Monday, August 1, 2016

Blackberry Ice Cream

Blackberry Ice Cream 

New Jersey is known for summertime blueberries, peaches and tomatoes. Who knew that blackberries are also grown all over the state!  This past week we've gone blackberry picking twice, so we've had delicious blackberries out of hand, blackberry yogurt, a blackberry cobbler and here, you have a photo of very delicious - and easy to make- blackberry ice cream. The only trick is that you'll need an ice cream maker.  #jerseyfreshlove  !!!!

Measuring cups and spoons
Ice cream maker
Cute ice cream dishes (optional)


  • 4 cups half and half OR 2 cups heavy cream and 2 cups half and half . Try to find cream that is NOT ultra pasteurized- I use Whole Foods house brand
  • 3/4- 1 c granulated sugar 
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp raspberry or pomegranate fountain flavor - this is stocked at LorAnn Oils 
  • 1-2 tsp vodka (optional)  
  • 1 1/2 c lightly crushed fresh blackberries 
  1. Combine very cold cream and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the flavors and mix well. 
  2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process as per the machine's instructions.
  3. Mix the vodka into the fruit. A few minutes prior to the mixture being finished add the fruit to the soft ice cream and mix for several minutes more. 
  4. Pour into a container, cover and freeze until very firm. 
  5. Enjoy this very special summer treat! 

Other frozen dessert recipes on : 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Frozen Peach Dessert (peach non-dairy ice "cream")

Frozen Peach Dessert 

Its summer, it's hot (3rd day of a heat advisory in our area) and Shabbat is coming. We've been living without a working kitchen for months, but now that we're back in the kitchen, even with air conditioning,  it's unpleasant to bake. 

We purchased a container of Trader Joe's non-dairy cherry-chocolate chunk non dairy frozen dessert, but there are gorgeous, slightly under-ripe peaches in our fridge. There is no crime to have two flavors of non dairy ice cream for dessert, is there? 

I made this frozen dessert with unsweetened almond-coconut milk. I would think you can use your favorite (soy? rice? hemp? almond?) . The consistency of this peach dessert is not creamy or smooth,  it's more reminiscent of a chunky fruit sorbet. The yield is a bit more than a quart. 

Plan ahead and keep your ingredients very cold:
Making frozen ice cream, sorbet, ices, non-dairy ice "cream" in a regular ice cream maker requires that you have the space and remember to keep the freezer container frozen. There are options for more expensive machines that house a freezer unit within the machine, although there is a dramatic price difference.  

Pre-freezing will take at least 12 hours, although in my chest freezer I like to have the container frozen at least 24 hours. I have two containers and paddles for my Cuisinart ice cream maker, for dairy and non-dairy recipes. 

Prep your ingredients and then chill them at least 6-8 hours. I often prep the ingredients and then chill them overnight. 

measuring spoons, cups, silicone spatula
food processor, blender or immersion blender
ice cream maker (use according to instruction)

1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar 
4 medium peaches, slightly under-ripe, peeled, pitted and diced 
2 tsp peach flavor, available from LorAnn Oils 
1 1/2 (scant) cup unsweetened almond-coconut milk 
3 T vodka or peach or orange liquor 

1. Freeze the ice cream container at least a day ahead. 
2.Prepare the peaches
3. Make a simple syrup, mixing water and sugar and heating to a slow simmer. Turn off the heat, add the peaches and cover the pot. Cool 
4. Puree approximately half of the syrup and fruit. Mix with the un-pureed portion. Cover and chill at least six hours
5. Chill the almond-coconut milk at this time
6. Mix the fruit puree, peach flavor and almond-coconut milk 
7. Pour mixture into frozen container and process according to the machine instructions.
8. Just before you are ready to stop processing add 3 T of vodka or liquor, process another few minutes. 
9. Pour into a clean container, cover and freeze further to desired consistency. 

Enjoy and cool off !

Other frozen desserts on BreadandBabka: Creamsicle Sorbet  and Blueberry-Lemonade Sorbet  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lemon Chiffon Layer Cake for Passover

This cake is inspired by a Lemon Chiffon Cake recently posted by 
Melissa Clark of the New York Times. 

I love Passover sponge cake. I cannot say the same for my kids and so I'm hoping that they will suspend their bias and try this cake- it is really wonderful.  The cake reminds me of a Passover sponge cake, although it uses only egg whites, so it actually is a Passover cake-meal stabilized meringue. 

The cake, as described here is a lemon layer cake, it can be  modified to be a vanilla/chocolate layer cake or a vanilla/orange layer cake (see suggestions for modifications at the end). 

The cake is mixed and baked in about 90 minutes. It should be chilled, 4 hours- overnight before filling. Chill to set for at least an hour before serving.
  • Separate the eggs and whip to create a meringue
  • Sprinkle the cake meal over the flavored meringue and blend with a silicone spatula
  • Bake and cool the cake completely
  • Make the filling (if you are making a home-made filling) while the cake is baking - cool the filling completely
  • Split into two layers and fill  
  • Chill for several hours while the cake sets 
mixing spoon, silicone spatula, measuring cup, large mixing bowl
electric mixer 
spatula for spreading filling
loose-bottom baking pan (angel food pan or other cake pan with a removable bottom)
double boiler OR two saucepans (larger and smaller) 

For the cake
1 c Passover cake meal
1 1/3 c sugar
12 (large) egg whites
pinch kosher salt
1/2 c confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest (fresh if possible)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

For the filling: You'll have a very generous amount of custard, set aside any extra and enjoy!
adapted from Lemon Curd from
1/2 cup sugar
1 c lemon juice
1/3 water or orange juice
8 (large) egg yolks
4 oz coconut oil (cut into small chunks)

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees . Use an UN-GREASED pan with a removable bottom
  • In a mixing bowl, combine cake meal and 1/3 c sugar, set aside
  • Beat egg whites. After the beaten whites have formed soft peaks, sprinkle a good pinch of kosher salt and continue to beat until it forms firm peaks
  • To the beaten whites, add sugar, in 2 or 3 additions, zest and extracts, keep beating on slow speed and then remove beaters
  • Using a silicone spatula, sprinkle 1/4 of the cake meal/sugar mixture and turn into the whites until mostly mixed. Repeat 3 more times
  • The mixture will be stiff and glossy. Use the spatula to pour into the baking pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until slightly browned. 
  • Remove from the oven and cool upside down; this will help keep the cake's height  
  • Remove from pan after completely cooled (4-8 hours)

  •  Custard Filling:

    • Prepare the filling while the cake is in the oven. Fill a large saucepan or the bottom pan of a double boiler with water and heat.  
    • Mix the filling ingredients EXCEPT the coconut oil in the smaller pan and once the water comes to a simmer, place the smaller pan on top, making sure the bottom of the smaller saucepan is submerged in the simmering water.  Using a whisk, keep mixing until the mixture thickens, covering the back of a spoon (6-10 minutes). The mixture will not be as thick as commercial custard. Do not bring to a boil, it will ruin the custard.  
    • Remove the thickened mixture from the heat source and mix in the solid coconut oil pieces. Stir until the coconut oil has melted into the mixture and is well blended. Pour into a bowl
    • Chill well. There is no need to strain the custard for this recipe
  • Assembly: 
  • Remove the cake from the pan, by sliding a spatula around the edge and pushing out the bottom of the pan. Using a spatula, loosen the cake from the bottom piece
  • Cut the cooled cake in half crosswise. Place on a flat surface and spread about half of the filling. 

  •  Place the other half of the cake on top and spread the filling. Best if you chill before serving
  • You can further decorate with coconut flakes,  sparkling sugar or sliced almonds

  •  Cover loosely and store in the refrigerator. The cake holds well for several days 

  • Alternate flavors: 
    • Vanilla/Chocolate- omit the lemon extract in the cake and double the vanilla. Use home-made chocolate pudding, Israeli chocolate spread or ready made chocolate-nut filling to fill and ice the cake
    • Orange/Vanilla - for the cake -use double the vanilla extract instead of lemon, use 1 Tbsp orange zest instead of lemon. For the pudding, use 1 1/3 c orange juice and orange zest instead of lemon
Other Passover desserts on BreadandBabka include: Orange Flan  and Coconut-Cinnamon Macaroons

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Double Chocolate "Sour Cream" Loaf

Sometimes its just about a piece of dark chocolate loaf cake- 
not a layer cake, no icing, no drizzle, no crumbs (mini chocolate chips yes!).

This week's Shabbat dinner had a dessert focus. A slice of rich delicious dark chocolate loaf. It stands beautifully on it's own, it can be further enhanced by a scoop of ice cream or sorbet.  Our son ate it with fresh strawberries. 

This cake is pareve and very delicious; I used faux sour cream and margarine. Butter and real sour cream will undoubtedly be uber- delicious. 

Choreography: Start to finish you can bake this cake in under 2 hours.
This is a loaf cake (the batter will make 2 mid size loaves) - mix the ingredients in the typical way cake ingredients are added: combine the dry ingredients and then  cream the shortening and sugar, add the eggs, liquid, flavoring, sour cream and dry mixture. The batter is thick and requires a long bake (approximately 60 minutes). 

Note: the cocoa makes a difference, use a good quality dark unsweetened cocoa. 

2 medium loaf pans 
electric mixer or kitchen aid (use the batter hook)
measuring equipment (cups, spoons) 

1 cup (2 sticks) pareve margarine or unsalted butter 
1 3/4 sugar
3 extra large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp orange extract (YOU CAN SUBSTITUTE any extract you like to pair with chocolate, this can include mint, cinnamon, cream cheese, raspberry). All of these more unusual flavors are produced by 
LorAnn Oils , which can be purchased on line, at LorAnn Oils or through Amazon or King Arthur Flour. 
1 tsp white vinegar (omit if you use real sour cream) 
1/2 cup strong cold coffee  (caffeine free is fine) 
1 c faux sour cream (or real sour cream )
2 1/4 all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder 
1 c unsweetened cocoa
1 cup mini chocolate chips 

  •  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour 2 medium loaf pans.
  • Sift or mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa.
  • Cream the margarine and sugar until well-blended and fluffy, add the eggs and whip the mixture well.
  • Add the coffee, extracts, vinegar. Mix. Add the sour cream and blend well. 
  • Add the dry mixture in two additions. Mix well, but avoid overmixing.  
  • Add the chocolate chips. The batter will be thick.
  • Spoon the batter into the two prepared pans. Slip into the preheated oven and bake approximately 60 minutes. 
  • Cool for 15-20 minutes in the pans. Turn out and cool completely. 
  • This cake slices beautifully, it will slice more cleanly if you wait 1 day before serving. Cover loosely and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • The cake freezes (and defrosts) very well. Double wrap before slipping into the freezer. 

Other BreadandBabka loaf pan cakes that you may like: Pumpkin-Orange Whole Grain Tea Bread  or Cranberry- Nut Muffins (or loaf)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gluten-Free Kichel (Egg Cookies)

Although not made into the traditional bow-tie shape, these gluten-free kichel are pretty close to the originals found here: Bow Ties/ Egg Kichel .  The secret to kichel is the eggy dough which causes the baking dough to puff up in the oven, In this dough there are 8 whites and 3 whole eggs. The flour I use for these cookies is Bob's Red Mill gluten-free biscuit mix, which can be found in many grocery stores or purchased on-line. Although there are a few gluten free kichel products on the market, this is so easy to make and so superior, it makes no sense to buy the packaged product.

This cookie is easy to mix, roll out and cut. There is no resting period. Although the recipe is gluten free, it is not vegan or fat free. This cookie is NOT kosher for Passover.

Yield: approximately 120 small cookies.

mixing spoons, measuring cups
electric mixer
flat surface to roll out dough, rolling pin
waxed paper
baking parchment paper
2 cookie sheets 
flexible scraper or blunt edge knife

8 (large) egg yolks
3 whole large eggs
3 oz (1/2 scant cup) granulated sugar
16 oz gluten-free biscuit mix (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange extract
7 oz (1 cup) granulated sugar
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1. Measure all of the ingredients. Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
2. Mix the sugar and cinnamon (topping)
3. Beat the yolks and whole eggs until frothy. Add the sugar and continue to beat. Add the extracts.
4. Gradually add the biscuit mix, mix until a thick batter forms. Let rest 10 minutes.
5. Scrape the batter from the sides of the bowl.
5. Using approximately 1/5 of the dough at a time: sprinkle the sugar generously on a piece of waxed paper, which is laid flat on the rolling surface.
6. Make a short log with the dough, roll in the sugar. There must be a light coating all over the log.
7. Cover with another piece of waxed paper and roll out to 1/3-1/4 thickness. Sprinkle additional sugar if necessary. Trim edges and using the flexible scraper cut 1" strips. Cross hatch so that you have a series of 1x1 dough squares.

8. Slip the cookie squares onto the parchment lined cookie sheet.
9. Slip the baking sheet onto a shelf set on the upper third of the oven. Lower oven to 350 degrees and bake 12-15 minutes.
10. Repeat the process until the dough is used up. You can use the trimmings to re-roll out.
11. The cookies should have slightly browned bottoms. Move to a cooling rack, the cookies will crisp up over the next hour or so. Store at room temperature for 2- 3 days and then move them into the freezer or refrigerator for longer storage.

Other great gluten-free cookie recipes on this blog include: Orange Flan (kosher for Passover) and 

Enjoy the cookies, feedback is always appreciated! 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mandelbread (Biscotti)

I recently agreed to teach a gluten-free Jewish baking class. We're going to bake a few traditional Jewish-type cookies, all gluten free and in the case of this "Mandel bread,"  dairy-free and nut-free as well. Yes, I realize mandel means almond, and we should call this cookie a biscotti, but then it wouldn't be a Jewish baked treat for the purposes of this class.

"Teaching" a baking class, to me, is more of a "bake along with other who love to or want to love to bake." I supply the recipe and some of the tips I've learned along the way, but honestly, we all learn and teach together.  When my children were young gluten-free baked goods were meant for individuals who had Celiac disease; however, nowadays people avoid gluten for a variety of reasons. Gluten free baking is also very popular for Passover, but please be aware that the flour mixture used for this recipe contains garbanzo and fava bean flour which is not acceptable for Passover cooking in many Ashkenazi homes.

I think of most Mandelbrot recipes as blank slates upon which you can build a personal flavor/additions combination. This particular recipe calls for chocolate chips, but you could substitute or add toasted pepita (pumpkin seeds) , soaked dried raisins or cranberries, omit the chocolate and add a mixture of rosemary and toasted walnuts. Start with the basic gluten-free dough and let your imagination run wild. 

When working out the recipe I purposely wanted to keep this easy and accessible to a casual baker and therefore rather than create a flour mixture of several exotic gluten-free flours I've worked out a recipe that calls for two easily purchased flours: Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose baking flour and oatmeal flour. The fat source can be either entirely canola oil or a mixture of canola and coconut oil. The canola-coconut oil mixture produces a finished cookie that is slightly less crumbly.
Xanthan Gum, an additive that increases viscosity and stabilizing emulsions is integrated into the flour mixture. In the case of baked goods it mimics gluten and is necessary to bind the gluten-free flours. You can purchase it in the gluten free section of a well-stocked food market or from a number of on-line sources including Bob's Red Mill , King Arthur Flour , or LorAnn Oils.

If you are less interested in gluten-free and are interested in baking delicious mandel bread/ biscotti with wheat flour, I have very good recipes for Maple-Walnut Mandelbread   and Lemon Blueberry Biscotti on this blog.

In any event this type of cookie is very easy to make, requiring no special equipment other than a large mixing bowl, sturdy mixing spoon and measuring implements. Use baking parchment to line either a cookie sheet or quarter size baking sheet and a sharp paring knife or flexible bench scraper to slice the under-baked loaves into cookie slices that will be baked a 2nd time to create a traditional twice-baked crisp cookie slice.

8 oz (1 c) oil (either canola or half canola/half melted coconut oil)
6.5 oz (1c) granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange extract or orange oil
3 large eggs
12 oz (3c) Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking flour + 2 tsp to mix with the Xanthan Gum
   and baking powder
3.6 (1c) oat flour (NOT oat meal)
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 oz (1c) mini chocolate chips 
1.Measure the ingredients. Preheat your oven to 360 degrees. Set top rack to top third of the oven.
2. Combine the oil and sugar, mix well. Add the eggs and salt. Mix again.


3. Combine the flours and cinnamon. In a small bowl combine 2 tsp flour, baking powder and Xanthan Gum. Stir and mix into the dry ingredients.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. The mixture will begin to thicken and will form a thick slightly oily soft dough. Mix in the chocolate chips.
5. Using a sheet of parchment paper, fold the short edge so that there is a 1-2 inch folded edge and lay on the baking sheet.

6. Scoop approximately 1/3 of the dough, pat into a log, approximately 1.5 inch wide, 12-14 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. Smooth the top to create a rectangle shaped log. Create a fold with the parchment paper on the other side of the cookie dough. Repeat to make two more logs of dough.

7.Slip the dough into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. The loaves will be slightly browned but under-baked.

 8. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and working quickly, slice the loaves into cookie slices of approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. You do not need to turn the slices on their sides, but do try to slide the slices around so that there is a small amount of space around each slice.
9. Slip the cookie slices back into the oven, lower the oven to 330 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. Shut the oven and cool the cookies in the oven. When you remove them they will not be completely crisp (although delicious). Loosely wrap or store in a container, they will be hard and crisp when left to rest for 8 or 10 hours.

10. These cookies stay well for several days at room temperature. If  not consumed within 2-3 days, store in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!!

If nuts are not a problem for you, another delicious gluten-free cookie on the blog is Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sweet- Potatonik

Potatonik made with shredded sweet potatoes and shallots

 Potatonik , a cross between a kugel and yeast bread, is ordinarily made with white potatoes and onion. This recipe is inspired by George Greenstein's recipe that can be found on this blog: Potatonik ,as well as in Greenstein's baking book, Secrets of a Jewish Baker , a great book whose biggest draw-back is the lack of useful pictures.

 Potatonik employs both yeast and baking powder as the leaving agents. The resulting texture is chewy and soft. Greenstein's "secret" in this recipe is the use of a "sponge" (pre-ferment starter). His instructions direct a 30 minute pre-ferment, but I've left the sponge to rise for up to 6 hours with no compromise in the final product. Mixing, baking and cooling the dough will take less than 2 hours (one hour of which is passive baking time).

  • make the pre-ferment, cover and let rest in a draft free place
  • prepare 2 medium loaf pans by greasing well and sprinkling with either flour, breadcrumbs or cornmeal 
  • pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • shred or grate the sweet potato and shallot (a food processor makes this step very easy)
  • make the dough, mix in the shredded vegetables 
  • pour into the prepared pans and bake immediately 
  • bake at 365 degrees
  • remove from oven, let rest 10-15 minutes and remove from pan. The loaf is delicious served warm or at room temperature
  •  mixing bowls, spoons, silcone spatula and/or flexible scraper 
  • box grater or food processor (shredding blade)
  • 2 medium loaf pans 
  • cooling rack

 Ingredients : 
Sponge: 1 c  (8 oz) warm water
              1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast 
              1 1/2 c (6.5 oz) bread flour 
Dough: 3/4 lb (12 oz) shredded sweet potato
             1/3 lb (5-6 oz) shredded shallots
             1/2 c (3-4 oz) bread crumbs 
             1/2 c (2.5 oz) bread flour 
              1/2 tsp baking powder (mixed into the bread flour)
             1.5 tsp kosher salt 
             1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or more, to taste)
             1/2 c vegetable oil + 2-3 Tbsp more to grease 2 loaf pans
             2 extra large eggs 
             several Tbsps of flour or bread crumbs or corn meal to dust greased pans

1. Weigh/measure ingredients to make the sponge. Mix well with a large spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a draft-free spot to rise. 


2. Weigh/measure ingredients for the dough.  Mix the baking powder, pepper, salt and breadcrumbs into the flour . Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 3. Stir down the sponge (pre-ferment). Mix in the sweet potatoes and shallots. Use a flexible scraper to aid in the mixing. The vegetables should be completely incorporated.

4. Stir in the flour mixture and oil into the pre-ferment/ vegetable mixture. Mix and turn well. The dough will be sticky and on the loose side. 


 5. Push 1/2 of the dough into a prepared pan, and the remainder into the second pan. 
6. Place in the center rack of the oven. Lower the heat to 365 degrees and bake for approximtely 1 hour. The top should be golden.  If your oven is uneven, turn the pans 45 degrees after 40 minutes. To overcome hot/cool spots in my oven I keep a ceramic baking tile in my oven. The pans can rest directly on the tile.

 7. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn out of pan and allow to stand for a few minutes. Slice and serve immediately or at room temperature. 

The baked potatonik can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days; otherwise, double wrap and freeze. 

If you like savory-onion baked goods..............try other savory recipes on the blog: Matzah-Onion Kugel  or Rye-Onion Rolls.

Happy Baking!