Monday, September 26, 2016

Sauteed Onion- Fig Relish (Quick and Easy)

It's closing in on the end of fig season and we're trying all sorts of things in our kitchen. This onion-fig relish is simple, quick and delicious. Serve it with any protein- meat, fish, cheese, tofu.

If you're lucky enough to have access to fresh figs, here is another recipe to try.

10-12 figs, quartered
2 medium onions, sliced thin
a splash of good balsamic vinegar
several tablespoons of neutral oil

1. Slice onions, quarter figs

2. Heat oil, slowly saute onion, until they are softened and just starting to brown (10-15 minutes)

3. Add the figs and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Cover and cook slowly until the liquid thickens into a syrup (approximately 10 minutes).

5. Serve warm or room temperature, as an accompaniment /relish. Yield: approximately 2 cups.

Other condiments on BreadandBabka you might like to try:
Fresh Peach Chutney   and Oregano Pesto with walnuts and orange

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fresh Peach Chutney

Peaches, figs, and soon, early apples. Late summer/ early fall in the Garden State! 
This is an easy condiment made on the stove top. 
This condiment is NOT processed. It will keep in your fridge for a week to 10 days. 
Use the heaviest bottom covered saucepan you have to avoid burning on the bottom. 

Heavy bottom 2 quart saucepan 
Measuring cups, mixing spoons, mixing bowl 
Sharp paring knife, cutting board 
Storage jars 

The ingredients are more a guide than a hard and fast recipe, feel free to improvise, the results will surely be delicious. 
4-5 large, slightly under-ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, diced
1" piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 2 or 3 pieces 
2 - slices red onion (about 1/2 inch slices), chopped 
1/2 small shallot, diced finely
1/2 sweet pepper diced (it's pretty to use a mix of green and red)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar (you may want a bit more, correct after the mixture is cooked and cooled)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
2 cinnamon sticks

  • Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl
  • Pour into the saucepan and bring to a simmer
  • Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, onion pieces will soften, the peach pieces will be soft, but intact
  • Cool and pour into clean jars , cover and keep in the refrigerator
  • The chutney will stay for 7- 10 days 
  • Other additions/flavorings you may consider: a small hot pepper, 1-2 cloves of garlic, diced celery pieces, slivered almonds. Use your imagination and share the ideas on this post! 

 Want to try another delicious condiment on BreadandBabka?

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!