Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chocolate Tortes for Easter or Passover Tortino di Cioccolato

originally posted for Easter, 2011

There's just something about individual desserts that make people hop around.   Think how big cupcakes have been.  How big donuts are were.  Cronuts... Creme brulee, ice cream sundaes, cookies.  Whatever's for one seems to be "in."  Or fun.  If you have an invite for Easter or Passover ( try -ahead- using ground almonds instead of bread crumbs to avoid leavened bread) and just have to bring dessert-lucky you-, you might want to try this little ditty I made from MY BREAD by Jim Lahey.  This is the book with the wonderful No-Knead bread recipe made famous by Mark Bittman in the NYT.  In fact, we visited that recipe right here in the blog not long ago.
Remember this?

I adore any light end to a big meal that is chocolatey without being chocolatey.  Tortino di Cioccolato (practice saying this so you sound great) is, without doubt,  bowl-scraping scrumptious and I gilded the lily by added a bit of Haagen Daz (5 ingredient) Vanilla Ice cream (not too much) and a squiggle of hot fudge (not too much again.)  You could, instead, add a tiny dump of whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hot Cross Buns

                                            originally posted in march of 2013
 It is a tradition amongst many Christian bakers to produce a batch of Hot Cross Buns (Click to sing the nursery rhyme!) for Good Friday.  And, if not, we stop at the local bakery and see if THEY made any.  These barely sweet firm rolls, served on a day when no meat is eaten,  are hearty tea treats of the first order--complete with a light buttery hum that is almost topped by the spice notes.  The pretty "X" snipped into the top (and often emphasized with a bit of icing painted into the grooves) lets the world--and you, too-- know what kind of bread this is.  An "X"  on bread can also be assumed to keep evil away. (Or as some might put it:  the "X" lets the devil escape from the dough ensuring great bread!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Curried Lentil Soup with Fresh Greens

My most recent lentil love soup -- happily vegan, curried, and garnished with sunflower seeds and scallions.

Once, while visiting my sister, I said, "How about some lentil soup?"  knowing I was cooking dinner.   She shuddered and made as if to retch, all the while saying, "I love lentil soup, but..."  Turns out that years ago, when she was still cooking for her family, a very large and delicious kettle of the soup went uneaten by anyone except by her.  Days went by, the soup remained, she kept eating until....well, you might get the picture.  If you are not used to eating lentil soup (or bean soup or beans) every day for days on end, and you embark on such a journey, you might find you are in a tad of intestinal distress.  No one can fake-retch like my sister or show a horror of food quite like her; I wish I had a picture.  I made chicken noodle or asparagus--something else anyway. Maybe we went out?

Here's one of my oldest lentil soups.