Cranberry Sauce Muffins: Test 1

After your Thanksgiving celebrations are done, the turkey eaten, the pants unbuttoned, the last bit of leftovers is always the cranberry sauce. What to do with this food now? Who will keep the sauce from going bad? I present you with a wonderful solution! Muffins!!
Cook Time22 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 12 Muffins

Equipment

  • Mixer
  • Regular 12 cup muffin tin
  • Muffin cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce or pulp
  • 1/4 cup crystalline sugar, optional

Instructions

  • I started by preheating the oven to 400°F. In my standing mixer (though you can use a bowl and hand mixer easily here) I mixed together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • I got lazy and just tossed all the wet ingredients in next, sans egg shells (don’t be a smart ass). The cranberry sauce can be the pulp left over from making cranberry jelly, leftovers of your cranberry jam or store bought. I would recommend to use something with actual fruit bits in it for texture. I also would be hesitant to use something like cranberry relish here, I worry there is too much water, though maybe it would work, I haven’t tried.
  • Then turn on your mixer and get things thoroughly mixed but don’t overwork it. Get it so the batter looks the same throughout but don’t leave it running for an hour. You want to work it less if possible which will ensure less gluten development which means your muffins will be lighter. Think of gluten as binding power, we don’t want a lot of that in a muffin.
  • I divided these into 12 muffins. This meant that my muffin cups were full almost to the top and is why my muffins have that awesome dome on top. Don’t be afraid of overflowing your muffins, they’re going to be great.
  • I sprinkled some of that crystalline sugar for a fancy muffin effect. This is a personal choice, they’re great without this too.
  • I baked these for 22 minutes and even remembered to rotate the pan half way through.

Results

I am in love with these muffins for a few reasons. Firstly, I hate waste and cranberry sauce never gets finished so this satisfies my obsession with using up all leftovers. Second, when they actually get a few minutes to cool before you try to eat them, they develop this crust on top that is incredible. I have rarely been able to achieve this in a homemade muffin. Lastly, they look so darn good! I mean look at those domes!

References

Parent Notebook

Fruit Muffins

Cranberry Jelly: Test 1

The canned cranberry sauce for many is the iconic Thanksgiving condiment. This recipe is a nice upgrade to what you find at the grocery store, looks fancier, and is surprisingly easy to make at home.
Active Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 2 cups

Equipment

  • Small pot
  • Fine-mesh strainer

Ingredients

  • 2 12oz bags of cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1 orange rind
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

  • All ingredients were combined in a small pot and set over medium heat. You could see it foam up as the cranberries begin to pop. Slowly the foam subsides and the berries all burst, the mixture thickens to a thick paste even when hot. This did not take long, roughly 15 minutes. You can see the progression of the consistency in the small gallery below. Towards the end I did start helping the berries pop to speed things up.
  • This mixture was then strained into a clean bowl while still hot. It is a bit of a process but not so bad. I simply used a rubber spatula to help push the juice through the mesh. Remember to remove precious juice from the underside of the strainer where it likes to collect. Your efforts should be rewarded with a beautiful clarified cranberry juice. Pour this juice into any container. A mason jar will give you the iconic canned look or a beautiful mold can turn this into an elegant presentation.
  • I refrigerated my jelly overnight but you should let it cool for at least 3 hours before unmolding.
  • I tend to not be in a hurry, so I prepared my jelly for unmolding by simply letting it sit on the counter while I cleaned the kitchen and prepped my food. You could also carefully run some hot water for a few seconds over the mold. This should loosed the sides enough to allow your cranberry jelly to come out cleanly.
  • DO NOT THROW OUT THAT PULP! Cranberry sauce muffins are a great way to us it up!

Results

This recipe is another one for the bank. Simple and makes a great centerpiece. 

Source

Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Cranberry Condiments

Cranberry Jam: Test 1

This cranberry condiment is cooked but unstrained. This means it keeps the skins of the cranberries giving this cranberry sauce a stronger tartness.
Active Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 2 Cups

Equipment

  • Small pot

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • ½ orange rind
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick

Instructions

  • All ingredients were combined in a small pot and set over medium heat. You could see it foam up as the cranberries began to pop.½½
  • Slowly the foam subsides and the berries all burst, the mixture thickened to a thick paste even when hot. This did not take long, roughly 15 minutes. You can see the progression of the consistency in the small gallery below. Towards the end I did start helping the berries pop to speed things up by crushing them with my spoon.
  • Before storing, remove the orange peel and large spices. Can be canned or just refrigerated. Lasts quite a few weeks in the fridge.

Results

The resulting jam-like condiment is similar to the cranberry sauce most people know but with bits of tart fruit. The spices are strong but well balanced. I don’t feel like this need any further adjustment.

References

The Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Cranberry Condiments

Cranberry Relish: Test 1

Fresh cranberry sauce, or cranberry relish, is often overlooked as an ideal turkey condiment. I am not sure why no one has noticed how well this fruit mash works with turkey. Honestly I've eaten this stuff by the spoonful because it's just that good.
Active Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 2 cups

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cranberries, 1 bag
  • 2 small apples
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Instructions

  • I started by adding the cranberries, the whole peeled orange, nutmeg, ginger and 1 cup of sugar to the food processor and running it until finely pureed.
  • When I tasted it at this point, it was too tart and I opted for another 1/4 cup of sugar. Unfortunately, the relish was still too tart!
  • My solution this time was to add two apples that I had on the verge of going bad. It worked! It brought the tartness down quite a bit but now the whole thing was too sweet. Omit that last 1/4 cup is my recommendation and you'll have a well balanced relish.. I suspect it will ferment sooner than spoil.
  • Throw it into a storage container. You're done. How easy was that? This should last at least 2 weeks though I'll keep you posted as mine sits in the fridge. At 2 weeks it's still going strong. (A month later it had still not spoiled but I no longer felt willing to eat it past 1 month).

Results

This is by far the easiest cranberry condiment for your turkey, adding bright flavor to compliment the turkey’s blandness. Not the the other cranberry sauces take much work but this one also brings in the freshness of uncooked fruit. It’s really an underappreciated delight.

References

Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Cranberry Condiments

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Monkey Bread: Test 1

This was my first attempt at this luxurious cake. I tried hard not to change the procedure described in the source recipe and it paid off. This sticky, gooey mound of sugar coated dough lumps it like heaven on earth. Give it a try too and you won’t regret it!
Active Time1 hour
Cook Time35 minutes
Rising time1 day 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 day 3 hours
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • Standing mixer
  • 12 cup bunt pan
  • 2 small mixing bowl

Ingredients

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 7 g yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Coating

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup ground pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 113g, melted

Instructions

Pumpkin Bread

  • In a standing mixer I combined 1 cup of flour, yeast, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. I mixed these together with the paddle until blended.
  • In the meantime, I added the water and butter into a small microwave proof bowl and microwaved until the butter was fully melted. This took roughly a minute on high. Unfortunately, when I was done the water/fat mix was too hot to add to the yeast so I waited till it cooled. You want it between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Mine was at 126 degrees. I totally screwed up on this by the way, because my brain forgot what 4 vs 2 looks like and I used only 2 Tbsps of butter instead of the 4 suggested in the source recipe.
  • Once the water and butter were at a non-lethal temperature, I added it to the flour mixture along with the pumpkin puree, egg, and sugar and let it mix with the paddle for 3 minutes.
  • At this point I switched to the dough hook attachment and started adding flour bit by bit until the dough no longer stuck to the bowl at all. This was 2 1/2 cups for me on top of the first cup added in step 1.
  • The dough was then removed from the standing mixer bowl and gently turned into a ball and added to a large well oiled bowl to rise for 60-90 minutes. I think I was on the longer side for mine but honestly, I started cleaning things and just looked over form time to time to see if it had doubled in size yet. I should also note that my house, even in the middle of winter was a lovely 73 degrees Fahrenheit and dough does rise well on my counter. If you live like a student and your home is chilly, consider putting the dough into your oven with the heat turned off but the oven light turned on. One more aside before we move on, when I took the dough out of the mixer bowl it was still a pretty wet dough. It was borderline sticky. The oil from the bowl helped me and the dough remain separate entities.

Glaze

  • The glaze was made by just adding the brown sugar to the melted butter and whisking until incorporated. It’s really that simple and it will look for a while like these two will never come together but just keep going. This is a pretty good general rule in baking. If someone tells you to do something and it looks wrong, try mixing way longer!
  • Finally I just added some chopped pecans, maybe even a lot of chopped pecans. This turned out to be very, very important because these beautiful pecans get a nice candy coating and became beautifully crunchy. Can’t go wrong with candied pecans guys.

Assembly

  • Ok, so this is where it got long and a little tedious if you’re obsessive like me. I needed to take that lovely bread dough and divide it into 64 pieces. I like to weigh the whole dough and then divide it on a calculator and then weigh out each piece to the size I need. I did warn you about the tediousness. The shorter method is to just divide the dough in two, 6 times but then it won’t be perfect.
  • In a small bowl, I mixed the coating ingredients sans butter.
  • In another small bowl I melted the butter.
  • Finally, this is where it got exciting again. I sprayed my bundt pan down with some baking PAM because I’m lazy and unwary of scary chemicals. You can definitely choose to coat it in butter or do whatever you do to keep thing from sticking to the pan.
  • I took half of my glaze with those pecan gems and poured it into the pan in a nice little layer.
  • Next, I grabbed my precisely weighed dough morsels and dipped them into that butter before tossing in the sugar-spice mixture. Then each coated dough nugget was placed in the bundt pan in evenly around.
  • Once all of the dough has been used up and your pan is full of little dough balls, the rest of that glaze was poured on top. The dough was covered with plastic wrap with enough space for the expected rise but tight enough that the dough didn’t dry out.
  • At last, the raw cake was thrown into the fridge to rise slowly overnight.

Baking

  • After a long day the previous day, I loved how easy the next day was. The cake was removed from the fridge to let it come to room temperature. All in all it probably sat on my counter for 2-3 hours. Around 3 hours I realized it’s not going to rise anymore (might not be so great) and I chose to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The cake was baked for 35 minutes and then removed to cool

Results

I know, I know I just gave you so many notes in the recipe but I have some more things to confess. After I baked this thing, I turned it out for photos and then resisted eating it somehow, put it back in the pan, covered it, and threw it in the fridge for another 24 hours. Yes, I am apparently capable of self control. Hear me out though, this was meant for a friendsgiving party so what could I do? Before eating I warmed it up in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes before turning it out on a plate and letting people at it. 
So what was the final result?
Guys, this cake lived through the night ONLY because everyone was so crazy full from dinner, but it was picked at for many hours into the night with lots of love. It come out gooey, glossy, warm, tender, and those pecans…you heard about them already for good reason. Down side, the bread dried out a bit but I’m not sure if that’s because of the butter mixup or the reheating. I guess I’ll just have to try this recipe again. Woe is me!

References

https://www.barbarabakes.com/overnight-pumpkin-monkey-bread-with-maple-cream-cheese-icing/

Parent Notebook

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Butternut Squash Revioli: Test 1

This ravioli couldn’t have been better. I think of it fondly even months later. The sweetness of the butternut is perfectly balanced by the goat cheese. The addition of the semolina flour gives the pasta a little more bite which is ideal for these raviolis.
Active Time3 hours
Cook Time10 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 120 small ravioli

Equipment

  • Square ravioli cutter
  • Pasta roller/maker
  • Standing mixer
  • Food Processor
  • Large deep pan

Ingredients

Butternut Squash Filling

  • lbs butternut squash puree
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped sage
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pasta Dough

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup semolina
  • ¼ cup corn oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt

Sage Butter Sauce (per serving)

  • 3 leaves of fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts

Instructions

Butternut Squash Filling

  • For the butternut puree I roasted 1 sugar pumpkin and one tiny butternut squash. You can choose your gourd for this recipe as long as your reduce the water enough.
  • To roast, I coated the squash and pumpkin in olive oil and placed faced down on a half sheet. Baked at 375 for 45 minutes. When cooled, the skin was removed (easier to do this on the pumpkin than the squash as the skin is thicker and simply comes off) and the meat was pureed in a food processor.
  • I did not bother to squeeze any water out as I knew I would be cooking this mixture for a while but you are aiming for a consistency similar to what you get in a can and there is no shame in using the can. The can is delicious. I just had too many gourds.
  • The puree was transferred to a high walled pan and cooked on medium heat until it was warmed through.
  • The garlic, nutmeg, goat cheese, salt and pepper were added to the hot pumpkin. The idea was to not cook the garlic too much. I didn’t want to lose all of the garlic’s fresh taste but I did was it to permeate the mixture. The nutmeg really emphasized the sweetness which was needed as the sugar pumpkin isn’t as sweet as the butternut.
  • Lastly, I sliced up the sage and added it in. I didn’t want to cook this completely. I think herbs in general are better when they retain some freshness but I did want the flavor to permeate well.

Pasta Dough

  • All the ingredients were combined, dry ones first, in a standing mixer.
  • Using the hook attachment it was mixed for 15 minutes. This assumed that 5 minutes is what it would take to combine the ingredients and the other 10 minutes provided the dough with much needed kneading.
  • Once the 15 minutes were over, the dough was removed, covered tightly in plastic wrap and allowed to rest. Mine rested for a few hours but 30 minutes should be sufficient. The dough produced was quite soft and elastic. Pasta dough, though relatively dense, should no be hard.

Assembly

  • The dough was divided in to 8 sections. The sections not actively in use, were kept covered to keep from drying out.
  • Each section was thoroughly coated in flour and run through the pasta roller starting at the thickest setting and progressing one by one through each thickness until as thin as your machine will go. Reflouring was needed about half way through.
  • The dough was then laid out on wooden cutting board. This turned out to be important as the softer wood allowed the stamp to cut through the dough. The wooden cutting board is also good in that it traps the flour better and creates a surface that the pasta dough does not readily stick to. If you’re using a ravioli mold or other methods you may not need the softer surface.
  • I used a 1/2 tablespoon (25mm) sized scooper for each ravioli and arranged the filling in a grid with roughly 1 inch between them over half of the rolled dough. The remaining dough was then folded to cover the filling.
  • Because the filling creates a mound, the upper layer of dough must be stretched gently. The dough was pulled closed around each mound by pressing down gently with my fingers to create a seal. It’s important while doing this to push out the air. This reduces the change of the ravioli bursting while cooking.
  • Once each mound was sealed, they were all stamped out using a square stamper like the one in the picture and placed on a board. I recommend if you’re using plastic, cover the board in plastic wrap and then a layer of flour. The flour alone doesn’t eliminate the sticking enough. Over time, the flour on a plastic board absorbs moisture, especially in the freezer, and creates a nice glue for your ravioli. The plastic wrap really helps here, though honestly I couldn’t tell you why.
  • When you run out of room on the first layer of ravioli, you can cover them in more flour (I switched to semolina at this point as I felt it was easier to brush off later) and place another sheet of plastic wrap and flour and layer more on top. The idea here is to layers them well enough that they can freeze flat but not require every square inch of space in your freezer.
  • Finally, freeze them for 3 hours or overnight before transferring them into a storage container. Keep in the freezer until ready to cook. They will keep for months like this.

Cooking and Plating

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. The more water, the longer it takes and the lower the chance of them sticking together. I’ve done it with 6 quarts and with 2. It depends on how much you want to watch it.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, toast your pine nuts on a dry skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet melt you butter over medium heat. Add the sage and let it infuse the butter with flavor. The tricky part here is finding the right time to add the sage so that the butter has time to get a little brown before the sage is completely charred. This will depend on your heat but it’s also why I recommend not using high heat here. Melt the butter, give it a little time to cook, and then add the sage.
  • Do NOT defrost the ravioli. While frozen they are very easy to handle. Simply brush the excess flour from each and throw them into the boiling water.
  • Cook until they float and the dough is consistently cooked through. If the dough looks like it’s all one color, they’re done. If they float but the dough seems a bit splotchy, give it another couple minutes.
  • Strain the ravioli, plate it, drizzle the butter and sage over the top, and scatter the pine nuts. As additional toppings I recommend adding some grated Parmesan or some grated cured egg yolk.

Results

Ok so I have a confession to make. My butternut squash puree was mostly pumpkin. The good news is that the butternut squash would be actually even better because it’s sweeter and more flavorful than the pumpkin. That said, this whole dish was phenomenal. If you’re feeling the first chills of the year to are deep into winter, this is sure to warm you right up.

References

Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Parent Notebook

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Fresh Pasta: Test 1

Fresh pasta always seemed so intimidating but honestly it’s both easy and not that time consuming. More importantly, it’s worth the effort. You can’t get pasta this tender from a box.
Active Time2 hours
Cook Time5 minutes
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • Pasta maker/roller
  • Having the cutter attachment is advisable
  • Standing mixer

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • All of the ingredients were combined in the standing mixer and mixed on low using the hook attachment.
  • Once fully incorporated, the mixer was run for another 10 minutes.
  • After kneading, the dough was wrapped tightly in plastic wrap rested in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • The dough was removed from the fridge and divided into 4 equal pieces.
  • Working with one piece at a time and keeping the rest of the dough covered to prevent drying, each piece of dough was coated with some flour and patted down into a disc roughly 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
  • The disc of dough was then run through the biggest setting on the pasta roller, then the setting was reduced by 1 and the process repeated making sure to reapply flour to the dough as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Once the dough was run through the thinnest setting it went through the pasta cutter attachment to produce my fettuccine.
  • My pasta took only 6 minutes to boil but yours may depend on how it was cut. Do keep in mind that fresh pasta cooks much much faster than dried boxed noodle.

Results

This pasta was fantastic! It was way easier than I expected and it was so worth the effort. I think in the future I would like to make a pasta with a bit more bite to it though. This one turned out a bit too delicate for me but that may be due to my years of eating box pasta.

References

Fresh Pasta Dough Recipe

Parent Notebook

Fresh Pasta

Rum Babas: Test 2

After the mishaps with the previous test, I chose to keep this one simple and just let the rum shine through without any spices or additives. This resulted in a much gentler and more pleasing flavor.
Cook Time2 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 12 small cakes

Equipment

  • Medium bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • 3 Tbsp cookie scoop
  • Mini bunt pan with 12 wells
  • Sauce pan

Ingredients

For the Babas

  • 220 g bread flour
  • 7 g dry active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 100 g butter, softened

For the Rum Syrup

  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 200 g water
  • 220 g granulated sugar

Instructions

For the Babas

  • The flour and sugar were combined in the bowl of a standing mixer along with the salt and yeast, added on opposite sides of the bowl to avoid too much direct contact. I am not sure if this is really significant but some people say that salt can retard the yeast’s activity and so avoiding direct contact is good. I have never seen this to be a problem with dry yeast personally. The ingredients were then mixed together.
  • In a separate bowl, the milk and eggs were whisked until homogeneous.
  • The egg mixture was added to the flour mixture and combined using a dough hook on medium low speed. This dough was very sticky and so lent itself better to mixing with the dough hook than by hand. I allowed to mixer to run for 10 minutes until the dough looked smooth and elastic.
  • I added the butter to the dough with the mixer running and let the mixer knead the dough until smooth and shiny again.
  • The dough left to rise for an hour and a half until doubled in size.
  • The oven was heated to 350°F
  • Once risen, the dough was mixed again to release the air and divided into the mini bunt cake molds. My mold holds 12 individual bunts. These are quite small. Each can hold about 3 Tablespoons of batter. A 3 Tbsp scoop is very useful here and dividing the dough with a scoop means the cakes are more even and have fewer seams where the dough meets. If you make multiple additions into each cake well, you end up with seams where the dough doesn't quite adhere to itself.
  • Once doled out, the dough was allow to rise again until molds were filled nearly to the top.
  • They were bake for 20 minutes.

For the Rum Syrup

  • While the babas were baking, all of the ingredients were added to a small pot and brought to a rolling boil.
  • The syrup was then cooled to room temperature. When it snows here, placing the syrup in the snow really speeds up this process. Think outside the box (house)!

Assembly

  • When everything is cooled and ready to be assembled, I aided the syrup penetration by pricking the bottoms of the cakes with a fork and then letting the cakes absorb half of the syrup before flipping and repeating. I let my cakes then strain on a cooling rack for an hour before packaging them away until ready to serve.
  • You can top these cakes as you please when serving. Options include whipped cream and fruit or just fruit compote. There are nearly endless possibilities here but I opted for simple whipped cream and some canned and fresh peaches with a sprig of mint.

Results

These babas were lovely. The yeast was able to shine through the syrup because it wasn’t overloaded with flavors and the rum was able to make itself noticed. All in all, no one can say “tastes like wet gingerbread” about these lovelies. 

References

Rum babas

Parent Notebook

Rum Baba

Jewish Honey Cake: Test 3

This test and Test 2 were done simultaneously to better compare the effects of switching out coffee for tea. This test focuses on the combination of cloves and allspice as well as the original coffee. For me, this is the ideal honey cake.
Active Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Print Recipe
Yield: 2 9″ x 5″ loaf pans

Equipment

  • 12-cup bundt pan or two 13″ x 9″ loaf pans
  • PAM baking spray
  • Large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Medium bowl

Ingredients

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of one orange diluted to 1/2 cup
  • 2 Tbsps instant espresso
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions

  • I preheated the oven 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cloves were sifted together.
  • I prepared my coffee by mixing the espresso powder with 1 cup of boiling water. I still think this is a better option than normal coffee or even fresh brewed espresso because the powdered espresso lacks the acidity of the fresh coffee options.
  • In a separate bowl, I mixed together the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, and orange juice.
  • The wet mixture was added to the dry, mixing slowly from the center to incorporate the flour without lumps. This resulted in quite a thin batter. Do not let this scare you, it’s completely fine.
  • I chose to use 2 loaf pans but a bunt cake pan would work well here as well. I greased my load pans with PAM baking spray and divided the batter between the two pans evenly.
  • The cakes were baked for roughly 60 minutes and checked with a knife to make sure the center was done baking. The knife should come out clean and the cake should not be overly wiggly.
  • (Optional) In previous tests I found that the cake had a crust I didn’t care for. This was easily fixed by allowing the cake to sit in a sealed container while cooling.

Results

This was the best result. It had all the elements I wanted. It was deeply spiced and rich. The honey still came through, though, and the whole cake was moist, lovely, and surprisingly delicate. Compared with Test 2, the coffee gave this cake a deeper, darker flavor which I want for a fall treat and when comparing to Test 1, the cloves being cut with allspice took care of the cloves over-dominating the cake.

References

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/219008/moist-holiday-honeycake/

Parent Notebook

Honey Jewish Cake

Jewish Honey Cake: Test 2

In Test 1, the cloves were somewhat overpowering. In this test I hoped to bring that flavor down a bit by diluting the cloves with some allspice. The results show a significant improvement in flavor profile. I also wanted to see what impact switching out the tea would have. This, Test 2, and Test 3 were done at the same time to compare results.
Active Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Print Recipe
Yield: 2 9″ x 5″ loaf pans

Equipment

  • 12-cup bundt pan or two 5″ x 9″ loaf pans
  • PAM baking spray
  • Large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Medium bowl

Ingredients

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of one orange diluted to 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup strong brewed tea

Instructions

  • I preheated the oven 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cloves were sifted together.
  • In a separate medium bowl, I mixed together the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, tea, and orange juice.
  • The wet mixture was added to the dry, mixing slowly from the center to incorporate the flour without lumps. This resulted in quite a thin batter. Do not let this scare you, it’s completely fine.
  • I chose to use 2 loaf pans but a bunt cake pan would work well here as well. I greased my loaf pans with PAM baking spray and divided the batter between the two pans evenly.
  • The cakes were baked for roughly 60 minutes and checked with a knife to make sure the center was done baking. The knife should come out clean and the cake should not be overly wiggly.

Results

Cutting the cloves with all spice worked like a charm. The spices are well balanced now. The addition of tea instead of the coffee was more significant than I expected. It brought a good amount of brightness to the recipe. The tea is not a bad way to go but I think I would prefer the depth and richness of the coffee flavor in this recipe. I also didn’t really like the crust that this cake developed while baking. Some tasters disagreed but for me, cake loaves should not have a crust.

References

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/219008/moist-holiday-honeycake/

Parent Notebook

Honey Jewish Cake