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Archive for September 16, 2009

TIP OF THE DAY: Magic Mushrooms

In celebration of Mushroom Month, take a walk on the wild side. While most people think of mushrooms as a winter dish, wild mushroom season actually begins when winter ends: The fab fungi pop up from March through September. Thankfully, cultivated wild mushroom varieties like cinnamon cap, enoki, hen of the woods, morel, oyster, porcini and shiitake are available year-round. A mélange of mushrooms, sautéed in butter with garlic and a pinch of rosemary, makes an elegant, impressive and easy first course (you can add a splash of red wine, too). It’s a heavenly side to almost any grilled or roasted meat, poultry or fish dish; and a delicious topping for linguini or other “long cut” pasta. Pair mushroom dishes with earthy red wines like Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo.

 

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ROSH HASHANAH: Honey Cake Gift

honey-cake2-230

Small honey cake from The Exceptional
Dessert, shown with a a jar of honey from
Savannah Bee Company (a NIBBLE Top Pick Of
The Week, also certified kosher). Photo by
Erika Meller | THE NIBBLE.

The Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, begins on Friday at Sundown. If you need a gift or a treat, head over to TheExceptionalDessert.com and send a most honey cake (certified kosher).

Honey represents a sweet beginning to the Jewish new year, and honey cake is a traditional of Rosh Hashanah dessert. Succulent with honey and traditionally spiced with “pumpkin pie spices,“ a good honey cake is very moist and irresistible. It’s delicious with a cup of tea or coffee, or a sweet dessert wine. This one is made with heart-healthy canola oil, cinnamon, allspice and cloves, with a touch of coffee and brandy, and garnished with sliced almonds. It’s heavy on the allspice, making it nicely spicy—this is no bland honey cake. Very moist, we polished off an entire one at a morning meeting while testing organic coffee.

Also new at The Exceptional Dessert are OK-certified pareve and pas Yisrael are Exceptional Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies, made with oats, bittersweet chocolate, dark brown sugar, canola oil, cinnamon sea salt (plus other ingredients). They’re also available with dried cherries and walnuts.

If you want to bake your own honey cake, try this recipe from our friend Marcy Goldman’s cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking.

Marcy’s Amazing Honey Cake

Serves 15

Serve with Homemade Applesauce (see accompanying recipe).

– 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
– 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
– 1 cup canola oil
– 1 cup honey
– 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
– 3 large eggs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup brewed coffee
– 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
– 2 tablespoons rye, whiskey or more orange juice
– 1 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds

Preparation

1. Adjust a rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Generously grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan and line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Add the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, orange juice and whiskey.
4. Using a sturdy whisk or an electric mixer on lowest speed, stir together well to create a thick, thoroughly blended batter. Spoon the batter into the pan, and spread it level with a rubber spatula.
5. Bake until the cake springs back when gently pressed in the center, 55 to 65 minutes.
6. Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and allow the cake to cool about 20 minutes before inverting the cake from the pan. Or let the cake cool completely in the pan and cut the cake into squares or rectangles before serving.
7. When the cake is almost completely cool, sprinkle the almonds over the cake’s surface.

Happy holidays!

 

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