You might be wondering why I am sharing a soup with you, being that this is a place where I mainly share non-dairy desserts. Well, this month, some blogger friends and I challenged ourselves to share a chilled soup recipe. Normally I would pass on a challenge that went too far out of my comfort zone, but this soup recipe is special because, I always eat it for dessert. Soup for dessert seems strange, but during the warm summer months, there is nothing I would rather eat. The original recipe is actually my Savta’s (hebrew for grandmother) signature dish. During the summer, she wouldn’t dare come over without a batch of her special fruit soup for the grandkids. Her recipe actually calls for peaches or nectarines, but I was never of fan of them so I left them out. I didn’t use recipe because like a true grandmother, she doesn’t use measurements. I have tried recreating home-style recipes in the past, and they never seem to taste the same, so this time, I decided to use my Savta’s fruit soup as the inspiration for this dish. I hope I made her proud!
Just because you might not be able to have dairy, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. I have a great recipe for non-dairy cheesecake that I have been making for so long that I don’t even know where I got it from. All I know is that it is yummy; and I can use it as a base for many variations of non-dairy desserts including this speculoos cheesecake with a speculoos cookie crust.
This recipe starts with ground speculoos cookies mixed with margarine pressed into the bottom of a springform pan. Then some delicious homemade speculoos spread gets mixed into the cheesecake batter. If you think a cookie filled cheesecake with a cookie crust is cookie overload, you can just choose one; but I think you might be missing out. You can go with a straight graham cracker crust and just swirl your spread inside the batter, or just make the cookie crust with a classic cheesecake filling, but why would you want to when you can have both!
If you have been following food trends you have definitely heard of hazelnut spread such as Nutella. You have also come across millions of ways to use it from cookies to cakes, pies, tarts…you name it, and you can find it. The newest food trend to hit involves speculoos cookies. These crispy cinnamon spice cookies, or caramelised bisuits are similar to gingersnaps and are usually served around the holiday season. They originated in Belgium and are the official cookie of Delta Airlines. Needless to say, they are amazing and every blogger seems to be getting in on this trend including my friend Melinda of Kitchen Tested, and Chanie of Busy in Brooklyn. Melinda made her own speculoos cookies and then turned that into a cookie spread (she also made vegan speculoos ice cream). Chanie took the ready made packaged cookies and used them to make Lotus cookie cinnamon buns with speculoos cream cheese frosting. I am going somewhere in between, using the store bought cookies to create my own non-dairy spread. I used the Lotus Brand Biscoff Cookies since they are aaaahmazing. They are sweet, salty, crispy, and perfectly spiced. I tried to make my own cookies; they tasted good, but didn’t come close to the original. And since the cookie spreads I have seen are not yet kosher certified, I made my own. It is probably not quite as smooth as the original secret recipe, but it definitely does the trick!
To celebrate Maxwell’s first birthday, his parents wanted to present him with an awesome cake at his party. His favorite toy is actually a musical, light up set of bongos. So his parents thought it would be cool if I replicated them out of cake!
The bongos were really fun to make! The toy actually leans like that, so instead of stacking the cakes straight, I stacked each layer slightly off center to get the right look. One drum is slightly larger than the other so I baked one cake 6 inch round and the other in a 5 inch round.
I had this great idea for the bottom tier to look like sheet music, but I wasn’t sure if it would work. I used my clay extruder to create the black fondant ropes and attached them playfully around the cake using clear piping gel. Then I attached black fondant lettering to the ropes using black royal icing. To add a little sparkle, I dusted the letters in glittery luster dust.
Here is the back of the cake, I really like how the musical notes look around the bottom tier! Happy 1st Birthday Maxwell!
I love getting new cake requests. When I was asked if I had ever made an Angry Birds cake, I said no, but I can! Then I had to go figure it all out. There are so many parts of the cake that I love. I am so proud of the slingshot, even though it’s not exactly the right color. I love the rocks around the bottom tier to look like the ground below the grass from the actual game. But I love the pigs the most. They, as well as the birds, are made of fondant. They were really fun to sculpt.
I made the wood platform and boxes out of fondant that I scored with an x-acto knife before letting them dry out for a few days. One all the wood was hard, I glued it all together using royal icing. The slingshot is also made of fondant, but I inserted a lollipop stick inside before allowing it to dry. That is how I got it to stand on its own.
I made the sunshine cake topper out of gum paste so it would be really strong. I mounted it onto a lollipop stick using stiff royal icing. The birthday boy turned 4 years old! I cut his name and age out of white gum paste using an angry birds inspired font and detailed it in black using a black food coloring marker. I know that Aviv loved the cake because he was carrying the cake topper around all afternoon! Happy 4th Birthday Aviv!
I love hot chocolate cake. I’m not sure when this fad in restaurant desserts began but I’m sure it is here to stay. Almost every restaurant will offer some sort of delicious hot and gooey chocolate dessert and that is what I always order; even if I’m not hungry. I somehow manage to make room for this sweet and decadent delight.
I don’t often make this dessert at home, but whenever I do, I use a super simple recipe I adapted from Hershey’s Classic Recipe cookbook. Not only is it easy to make, but it is non-dairy and vegan! It’s baked in a plain old square pan. Once it comes out of the oven it can be spooned into any fancy serving dishes. No need to buy special ramekins or bakeware! This recipe could not be easier and it is so easy to dress up. Just add some fresh fruit, whipped cream, your favorite ice cream and you are sure to look like a pro. The hot chocolate pudding forms underneath the cake as the cake is baking, so just be sure to drizzle plenty of it over the top. Hot chocolate pudding cake is definitely one of the best things I have ever eaten. Treat yourself to some today!
Stir together ¾ cup sugar, flour, ¼ cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Stir in the soy milk, coconut oil, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Pour batter into ungreased 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.
Stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, and remaining ¼ cup cocoa and sprinkle evenly over batter.
Pour hot water over the whole top and do not stir.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is almost set.
Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before spooning into serving dishes. Be sure to spoon the hot chocolate pudding from the bottom of the pan.
Tips and Tricks:
*The recipe can be prepared ahead of time, just prepare up until adding the hot water. About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve, pour the hot water over the top and bake as directed.
*The cake can be made ahead of time and kept warm in a 200 degree F oven.
I have been going to Kosherfest for quite a few years now. While it is a lot of fun, and I never leave hungry, I am often underwhelmed in the pastry department…until this year. This year I came across a new and exciting Passover granola cleverly named Matzolah by Foodman’s Original. Their Maple Nut Matzolah even won for best new Kosher for Passover product of 2012 and I agree! As soon as I sampled some I knew that I wanted to develop some sort of Passover dessert with it. The granola has great texture from sweet raisins, crunchy nuts, and is naturally sweetened with Vermont maple syrup. It sort of tastes like crushed up oatmeal raisin cookies (minus the oats which are not considered Kosher for Passover).
I already have delicious Passover recipes for double chocolate nut cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and banana chocolate chip muffins, but I wanted to offer something delicious without going into a chocolate coma. I was convinced I could use Matzolah in place of oats to make Passover “oatmeal” raisin cookies, and I did! These cookies are dense and moist with the right amount of crunch. I like lots of raisins in my cookies so I added extra raisins but it’s totally optional since the Matzolah is already loaded with raisins. These cookies do not taste like they should be Kosher for Passover which is exactly what I look for in a Passover dessert. They are a nice change from all those desserts overloaded with chocolate. If you see some Maple Nut Matzolah this year I urge you to pick some up and try these cookies!
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the margarine with the sugars until combined.
Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
Add in the Matzolah, cake meal, potato starch, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix until combined.
Finally, add in the raisins and mix until combined.
Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, drop a 2 tsp. amount of batter onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies just start to brown on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack because the cookies will be very soft. Once cool they will firm up a bit.
For more information about Matzolah such as where to purchase, check out their website: http://foodmannosh.com.
For more exciting Passover desserts check out the links below!
Hooray! It’s my 2 year blogaversary! I totally missed my first one. Then one of my fellow blogging friends was celebrating hers so I figured I would look to see when I wrote my first ever post. It happened to be March 6, 2011 and it was terrible! While I was proud of it at the time, I definitely feel like I have improved my blogging skills since then. I know that I am officially a week late to this celebration, but it was also just my birthday! I wrote my first blog post 4 days before my birthday, so I guess I will be celebrating these momentous occasions together from here on out.
To celebrate, I decided to make myself a cake I would love to receive. I have been seeing this ombre ruffle trend, started by Maggie Austin, all over and immediately fell in love with it! When I found out that Maggie was giving a Craftsy course on making this cake, I was so excited! Ombre has been in style for quite some time now, and who doesn’t love girly and whimsical ruffles? The cake would not be complete without some matching ombre ruffle cabbage roses. I am absolutely in love with these flowers and might be making them quite often. I learned all the secrets behind this gorgeous cake from the master herself.
I’m sure you are wondering what I was planning to do with a giant 2 tier cake all to myself. Well it just so happens that my sister-in-law had her bridal shower scheduled for this same weekend. I figured I would make to bring to the bridal shower. I chose the purple color scheme to pay tribute to the color of her bridal party. The cake was a huge hit! Happy birthaversary to me and happy bridal shower Miri!
For Donna’s 60th birthday, she was planning a big celebration and the cake needed to be fabulous. She told me that she loves her designer handbag, as well as expensive jewelry and gorgeous makeup. I was able to incorporate all her favorite things into one cake! This was my first handbag cake. I can’t believe I was never asked to make one before! When I was asked to make this one, I was so excited! I stacked a few rectangular sheets of cake and carved them to achieve the right shape. Once it was carved and covered in buttercream, I covered it in white fondant. I then airbrushed the cake with brown and black airbrush color. Normally, to build up the right color using an airbrush, you need to add a few coats of color, allowing the color to dry in between. But for this handbag, I wanted an uneven almost splotchy look to mimic the look of leather. So I just sprayed and sprayed until the cake looked really leathery.
It was important for me to replicate the logo onto the handbag. Since the design is pretty detailed, it would be difficult and very time consuming to hand paint it. Instead, I bought this stencil from Stencil Planet. To apply the logo to the cake, first I mixed up my paint. I mixed some gold luster dust with some bronze airbrush color. I like this mix as opposed to mixing luster dust with vodka because the paint ends up much thicker and doesn’t usually require more than one coat. Okay, time to paint. I held the stencil up to the side of the cake, dipped a paintbrush into my paint and gently dabbed the color onto the openings in the stencil until each shape and symbol were filled in. I really like how the pattern turned out! With the pattern in place, it was time for the details.
I wanted a realistic looking zipper and I didn’t have a mold; I wonder if they even sell a zipper mold. Anyway, I rolled out a thick strip of fondant and pressed an actual clean plastic zipper (attached to one of my sons tiny sweatshirts) into the fondant. I cut the extra fondant from the sides of the zipper off, and applied the zipper to the cake. I shaped the zipper pull out of fondant, but that part was just done freehand. Then I painted the whole piece with my gold/bronze paint.
I shaped the handles of the handbag out of some tan colored gumpaste. I made them a few days in advance so they would have time to dry. I made the buckles in advance as well to allow them to harden and keep their shape. I really wanted the handles to be standing up, but I was terrified that they would rip the edges of the cake off during transit, so I just attached them to the sides. After all is said and done, I actually like this look better and I’m glad I made this decision! The final touches were the cutest part of the cake. I draped scraps of white fondant on top of the exposed cake board to soften the overall look. Then I arranged the handmade fondant makeup and pearls! I painted the pearls with pearl colored airbrush color to get them looking realistic. Donna loved her cake! Happy 60th birthday and many more!
Yay! Our very own Ali-Babka got married! Allison is a good friend, foodie, chef, and blogger that I met her through the food world and I’m so glad I did! To celebrate her wedding to her husband Matan, some blog buddies and I decided to throw her a virtual party and I’m bringing a wedding cake; disguised as a cookie! Whenever I am given the freedom to do whatever I want, I always try an idea that I have been dying to try. Here was my chance to make wedding cake cookies on cake stands that I have been seeing all over the place. Even though I have over 200 cookie cutters, I don’t have a tiered cake cutter on a cake stand. Have no fear,The Bearfoot Baker has a great tutorial on achieving this effect using cookie cutters you already have. I have combined cookie shapes before to create the “Emily” cookie and the “2012″ cookie in this graduation cookie set for my sister, so I knew I could do it! For these cake cookies I actually used a wedding cake cookie cutter combined with the bottom of a menorah cookie cutter. I cut the shapes out of my sugar cookie dough and piece my shape together. Once the cookies are baked, the separate pieces fuse together and then the icing really keeps the shape secure.
I made the royal icing swirl roses in advance and once they were dry, I was able to apply them to the cookies. I followed the tutorial I found on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle to make them. With a little practice and a lot of patience, they come out great! Now, if you have followed my blog for a while you will notice that I use a lot of this Tiffany inspired blue color in my cookie and cake decorating. I just love it! It is so elegant but not too girly; perfect for an engagement or wedding celebration! Mazel Tov on your big day! Let’s celebrate with wedding cake…er…cookies…wedding cake cookies! Check out what my talented friends brought to the party, below!
Pink Princess Ruffle Cake:
I was asked to make Sophia a 3rd birthday cake. I made this hugely popular Harry Potter inspired ...
Mini Apple Pies: I was baking my traditional apple pie for Thanksgiving and had some extra pie filling. I have been ...
Farm Animal Birthday Cake:
This cake was made for Maya's farm themed 3rd birthday party. It was so much fun to make! Maya's...
Need a Manicure?: This cake was made for a made for a manicurist on her birthday.
The roses are made out of lavender ...
Stained Glass Cookies: One of my friends has been asking me to make him stained glass cookies forever. It has turned into ...
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles: I'm not sure what it is about pumpkin that I just can't resist but it has to be one of my favorite f...
Pink Leopard Print Cake:
This was my last cake of 2012! It was delivered on New Years Eve to be served to a special birthd...
Speculoos Cookie Spread: If you have been following food trends you have definitely heard of hazelnut spread such as Nutella....
Passover "Oatmeal" Raisin Cookies: I have been going to Kosherfest for quite a few years now. While it is a lot of fun, and I never le...
Banana Oatmeal Muffin Top Cookies:
Whenever I have overripe bananas, I make banana chocolate chip muffins. I am tired of them! So I...