Tag Archives: dairy free

Cranberry Torte

As I shared on my last post, I had lots of cranberry relish leftover from Thanksgiving. 

Rather than let it go to waste, I thought I would use it to make this fruit torte. 

This cake recipe is very flexible and it has endless variations. Feel free to adapt the recipe for whatever fruit you have available — fresh or canned. It can even be adapted for various flours with success. 

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Optional: you can use other flavorings such almond, lemon, etc. depending on the fruit

2 cups flour

Optional: you can substitute almond, cornmeal, whole wheat, spelt, rice flour or gluten-free flour blends in any combination. It may change the texture, which could make it more interesting. I usually make it with spelt.

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”) 

Optional Variations:
Chocolate cake: substitute 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup flour

2 cups cranberry relish 

Optional Variations: Add 2-4 cups fresh or canned fruit on top and sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. It amount depends on the size of the pan. 

Instructions:

By hand: cream together oil and sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in sifted together dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Pour batter into greased or parchment lined pan. Place cranberry relish on top.

If using fresh or canned fruit, sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, if desired, over fruit.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Here are the pictures:

Cake batter on the bottom.

Ready to be baked.

Fresh out of the oven!

The final product. Voila!

Raizel and her friend Kayla said, “this is awesome!” I cut them both a piece before freezing it.

Enjoy!

References:

This recipe is adapted from my ubiquitous 1-2-3-4 cake and the apple cake recipe from Classic Kosher Cooking. 

As I have shared, all my cake recipes are basically an adaptation of the 1-2-3-4 cake. I then adjust the liquid or the sugar if using fruit, or adding pie filling. Sort of like mix and match. In Classic Kosher Cooking the apple cake recipe called for 2.5 cups cake flour and 1/4 orange juice. I eliminated the liquid and decreased the flour, since I generally use spelt or regular all purpose flour.

I have since, however, seen this recipe published on various sites all over the internet using different proportions. 

Most recently, my friend Malka introduced me to the recipe which is published annually in The New York Times as a Plum Torte. 

Here is the link:

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3783-original-plum-torte

So, this recipe is practically no fail and VERY versatile!

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The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake & Optional Glaze

The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake

The road to parenthood was not simple one for us. So, when we granted the blessing of children, I was eager to celebrate their birthdays with a homemade cake, decorated with roses.

Just before their first birthday, with great excitement, I enrolled in a local cake decorating class.

The class was definitely a learning experience. But, not in the way one might expect.

I learned that cake decorating is really sugar art. The cake functions similar to the canvas of a painting.

The greatest lesson I learned, however, was that I do not like decorating cakes. I found it very time consuming and very labor intensive.

So, my days of cake decorating came quickly to an end. I have not touched an icing tip since.

This was the cake recipe that I used for my class. It is the perfect cake for the time challenged cook. It is fast and easy, only uses one bowl, and it is easily adaptable.

I have included all the multiple variations, so you see how this is really the only cake recipe that you will ever need.

The marble cake I just posted is also one of the many variations.

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, lemon, etc.

1 cup liquid (water, juice, milk, coffee, etc.)

3 cups flour — I used spelt, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, corn meal or any other flour too. The texture, however, may be slightly altered.

3 tsp. baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”)

Optional Variations:

Chocolate Chip Cake: stir in 1 cup chocolate chips when mixed

As You Like It Cake: stir in 1 cup chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Chocolate Cake: 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup flour for a chocolate cake

Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients

Lemon Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients and, add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients. Do not add lemon juice for the liquid because then the baking powder will work differently. You could try adding baking soda instead, but I have never personally tried that.

Almond Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper and 1/4 cup ground almonds when adding flour.

Lemon Poppy Cake: Add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients and ¼ cup of poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.

Marble Cake: Pour ¾ of batter into the pan. Then, with the remaining batter, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pour over vanilla batter in stripes. Gently swirl with a knife. Do not over mix!

Instructions:

By hand: beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate adding the liquid and the dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Stir in nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit if using.

Pour batter into a greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

This can be made in a greased and lightly floured Bundt pan, or two 9″ layers, one 9″x 13″ rectangular cake or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Although I didn’t intent to add a glaze, Raizel made a special request. How could I say no?

Optional Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)

Instructions:

Pour icing sugar in a bowl. Add the liquid 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle over cake, while slightly warm.

This cake also freezes well, with or without a glaze.

Here are the pictures:

 

Yaffa decided to help take pictures and took this one all by herself.

This is my picture, attempting to avoid shadows.

 

Fresh out of the oven, ready to frost😉

 

Raizel REALLY wanted it frosted.

Raizel approved!

 

Raizel, as you can see loved it. I gave her a piece fresh out of the oven.

After not baking a cake for quite a while, Raizel has come to the realization that homemade, from scratch cakes are REALLY yummy!

Raizel said, “I really missed homemade cakes.”

I am also very grateful for my trusty oven thermometer. It is making such a big difference!

Hurrah!

Enjoy!

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon — Joint Post

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon

The blogging world has opened up so many new culinary opportunities.

The beauty of blogging is that I get to virtually visit the kitchens of people all over the world and then adapt the recipes to suite my family’s taste. Hence, I recently posted a recipe which I called Lentils Napoleon. Here is the link: https://cookingforthetimechallenged.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/lentils-napoleon/

I adapted the recipe based on The Eggplant Napoleon recipe posted by Dolly, who is behind the apron of koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com.

Here is the link to her wonderful blog: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/

Here is the link for her post on Eggplant Napoleon:

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/eggplant-napoleon/

However, I must apologize for an inadvertent culinary faux pas: Lentils Napoleon is really a misnomer.

Through this joint post, I have learned that my lentil dish should have been named Lentils with Cumin and Sumac.

And, how did I learn this?

Because Dolly, who is a dedicated teacher, kindly reminded me that “Napoleon” really refers to anything baked in thin layers interspersed with something creamy.

My lentil dish was certainly not that. I simply liked the spices she used and thought I would use lentils instead.

BUT, my malapropism has led to this current hands-on learning experience.  Dolly is a genuine educator: she suggested that we do a joint post on a “real” Lentils Napoleon.

Our goal is to post as simultaneously as possible both of our recipes, using the culinary concept of layering vegetables interspersed with something creamy, the real culinary definition of Napoleon-style dishes.

Here is the link to Dolly’s post on Beets and Beans Napoleon. I am sorry but I don’t know how to make a short link:

Beets and Beans Napoleon – koolkosherkitchen

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/beets-and-beans-napoleon/

For me, this has been a real opportunity to see how unique we all are.  We infuse our own special spark into everything we do.

Our own special spark

Raizel’s painting from camp.

Based on a more careful reading of Dolly’s post, and some online research, I discovered that Wolfgang Puck, the original creator of Beets Napoleon, used goat cheese between layers of beets.

For this post, I decided to use thinly sliced zucchini between a tofu-lentil creamy layer.  I thought that tofu, with a dash of vinegar, would recreate a more goat cheese-like texture. In addition, I had run out of lentils, and I didn’t feel like shopping for more.

Raizel was my hands-on helper in this activity. She came home from camp this week, and was very excited when I suggested we make this dish for our joint post.

Raizel helped with the actual cooking, and she also took some of the photos. Raizel has a unique gift for coming up with recipes that are often quite good. But, photography is one of her passions; and of course, she loved using my phone as a camera!

Lentil-Tofu Napoleon

Ingredients:

For Tofu-Lentil Layer:

1 lbs. firm tofu

Spice mix:

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1-2 teaspoons garlic power

1 teaspoon pepper, and cumin

½ teaspoon coriander, and sumac

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Optional: fresh cilantro

Optional: Leftover Napoleon Lentils

Vinegar to taste, in order to get a slightly tangy taste for the tofu. I used red wine vinegar, but I think that apple cider vinegar would be good too.

Vegetable Layer:

3 Zucchini, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

Lentil Tofu Creamy layer: Slice the tofu about 5 mm thick and sprinkle spices on top. Spray oil grill, and cook the tofu until done.

I took the leftover lentils from when I first posted the recipe and pureed it together with the tofu and added the vinegar.

The vinegar gives it a nice tang and a creamy texture.

Then I adjusted the seasoning.

Raizel said, “It looks terrible but it tastes great.”

Vegetable layer: Slice the zucchini is thin slices. I have a wonderful compact grater/slicer that I used. It is very sharp and is able to slice 2 different thickness. It also has 3 blades for various grating. Raizel actually sliced the zucchini and she did it very well!

Sauté zucchini in pan, sprayed with olive oil. Add crushed garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Layer zucchini in a small, lightly oiled dish. Next add layer of tofu-lentils, and continuing layering until near the top. Top layer should be of zucchini.

Bake covered for 20 minutes or until cooked.

I made this in individual servings. I think that it could be made in a larger pan, and then sliced when cooked. However, it might be difficult to  maintain the desired layered look. Wolfgang Puck, I believe, used a cookie cutter to get a uniform and attractive serving portion.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Here are the pictures. Since I made it with Raizel and she likes photography, we took quite a few.

 

Tofu marinating with the spices.

Raizel slicing the zucchini. Go Raizel!

Sauteing the zucchini.

Raizel placing the tofu on the grill.

Raizel cooked the tofu by herself!

Pureeing the tofu

Ready to cook!

Voila! The final product!

 

The verdict:  The recipe objectively came out great. However, subjectively, is was not well received.

After it was so beautifully prepared, my husband reminded me that he does not like anything creamy. Raizel, who was very excited and very enthusiastic during the whole process, also didn’t eat it. Despite her protestations, Raizel does not like anything creamy either.

In the end, I was the only one who ate it. I thought it tasted great.

I also ate the leftover tofu “cream” during the week, as a spread on rice cakes.

Overall, I would say that this recipe is delicious, but for someone else’s family.

What did I learn?

I have my own song in the kitchen. 

Everyone has their own song.

For my family, simple is best.

Finally, I had lots of fun discussing and planning this with Dolly. We had a bonding experience!Thank you Dolly!

 

 

Vanilla Cake In A Mug

Vanilla Cake In A Mug

We are still unpacking, so I have not yet started to bake again yet.

These microwave 1 cup cakes are a perfect solution for those moments when you want something sweet, without too much fuss.

Yaffa said that she wanted a vanilla cake, and that she likes vanilla more than chocolate. That she could even vocalize that in and of itself is amazing. I had to honor her request.

This cake was a bit of a risk. I made the recipe up, based on the proportions of flour to sugar in the brownie cake posted earlier. As a bonus, this cake also does not have eggs. Spelt flour can easily be substituted, for those who do not eat wheat.

I am happy to say that it came out really well!

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup milk (or liquid of your choice. I used rice milk)

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (1 capful)

Instructions

In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla and liquid, and mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.

Microwave for 90 seconds

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary.

Adding the wet ingredients to the dry.

Mixing the batter until smooth.

In this version, I added chocolate chips.

Baked with chocolate chips.

 

 

Final product with chocolate chips added on top by Raizel.

 

 

Raizel said, “This is soooooo good. It needs ice cream.”

My husband said, “Very cool. It’s pretty gosh darn good!”

Fast, easy, all natural, healthy and even small kitchen approved.

Lentil Mushroom Soup

During Sheva Brachot, I served 2 soups.  This was the second soup that I served.  It can be made with either red or green lentils. I find the red lentils have a finer texture, but the green lentils are more hardy.

Lentil Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

1 onion

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

4 bay leaves

2 cups lentils, red or green

1 tablespoon salt, to taste

Optional: pepper and or garlic, to taste. I usually do not add either, unless the vegetables are not flavorful.

Water to cover

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to garnish

Instructions:

Sauté onions and mushrooms. Add lentils, bay leaves, and salt.

Add water and then bring to a boil, cover and simmer until lentils begin to soften.

Next, add the celery and carrots. Continue to simmer until done.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 5 minutes. Released the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done. Then, add carrots and celery and simmer until done.

Crockpot. Add all ingredients into crockpot. Cook on low until done. If desired, add carrots and celery half way through the cooking, and then continuing cooking until done. Less water is required.

It is important to add just enough water, but not have it be too thick or too thin.

Here are the pictures:




This was another hit!  Many of our guests requested second helpings.

Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

For the Sheva Brachot, I made 2 soups. 

 This soup was a hit! 

Below are the basic amounts, but, this recipe is very flexible. 

I made enough to serve 28 people, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Ingredients:

2 butternut squashes, peeled and roasted in 425* oven

2 onion, sliced

2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut

Alternative: my sister adds cooked chickpeas instead of sweet potatoes.

4 carrots, peeled and roasted

Optional: 2 parsnips or parsley roots, peeled and roasted. I used a small amount 

Optional:1 bay leaf

Salt, pepper, fresh garlic

Optional: my mother makes this soup with ginger and cumin.

Water to cover

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to garnish

Instructions:

Roast squash, carrots, and parsnips in 425* oven.

Sauté onions in the pot until caramelized. Add roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes, and spices.  

My sister says that sautéing the onions is what gives it a great flavor. 

Add water and then bring to a boil, cover and simmer until done.  

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Puree with an immersion blender and adjust liquid to personal taste. 

I recommend not cooking with too much water and then adjusting the thickness of the soup after it is cooked. It is important to not make it too thick or too thin. 

My mother said that it is important to maintain the colour of the soup, so she does not recommend using white potatoes.

This can be made in a regular soup pot, a crock pot or a pressure cooker.

In a crockpot, cook on high or low until done. This is not my preferred method, as it makes the soup too dark.

In the pressure cooker: cook 3-5 minutes to pressure, quick release method, depending on how small you cut the sweet potatoes.

Adding fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro give it a beautiful fresh flavor and a dash of color.

Here are the pictures:

 

   
  
  

I guess I was a little time challenged, so I didn’t take pictures of the whole process.

As you can see, this is a very flexible recipe and easily adapted to individual preferences. Since I did not know the people who were coming, I opted for simple and basic. Some people can back for seconds, so this was a culinary success!

Enjoy!

Sheva Brachot Cranberry Ice

I feel like I can’t let the week pass without posting at least 1 recipe.  

So, I thought I would post what I served for dessert first. Sometimes, last is best.

For the Sheva Brachot I served cranberry ice, with sugar cookies and fresh green and red grapes for dessert.

The sugar cookies recipe was already posted much earlier. I will try to include a link later.

This recipe is very fast and easy and also very economical.

Ingredients 

1 16 oz. can cranberry sauce 

1 cup ginger ale, or lemon lime soda

Optional: garnish with mint leaves 

Instructions 

Blend cranberry sauce in food processor until puréed. 

Fold in ginger ale or lemon lime soda.

Freeze in ice cube trays. 

After it is frozen, remove from freezer and defrost slightly. 

Blend again in food processor and refreeze. 

Defrost for 1/2 hour before serving. If not using cookies, garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Since we had 28 guests, I used 3 cans of cranberry sauce and 3 cups of soda.

I think this recipe is very flexible and easily adapts to other canned fruits and liquids. In the future, I may try it with canned pineapple and coconut milk. Raizel suggested canned cherries. 

Raizel has become my culinary consultant and she has many good ideas. I guess this blog has been helpful for her too in many ways!

Here are the pictures. I didn’t use ice cube trays, and after I puréed the cranberry sauce, I used a tin pan:

  
Here I folded in the ginger ale.

   

After I puréed everything for the second time, this is how it looked:

  

The Cranberry Ginger Ice was a big hit! This is all that is left:
  

Raizel said, “the texture is perfect and this is yummy!”

Enjoy!