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Bourbon Honey Cake Balls

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

OK so truth be told, I may be one of those people that has big eyes. When I’m in a restaurant, I always order way more than I can possibly eat. And no matter how much food I have planned on my menu, I’ll walk past that extra special ingredient in the store and I just have to have it. It’s foodie FOMO and I’m guilty. as. charged.

So when honey cake season rolls around, I always make my amazing honey cake recipe, but then I pass by the honey muffins and all the assorted honey cake flavors in the bakery, and I’m all, “Oh, the kids would just love this!”. Which is precisely what happened when I saw the chocolate honey cake two weeks ago. I bought it, the kids loved it, and the next week, I bought it again. Except by then, we were all honey-caked-out, and the cake just sat on my counter for days.

I hate throwing things away, so I thought about re-purposing it in a trifle, or even an apple and honey cake bread pudding, but it just seemed too typical. I thought of all the foods you would make using leftover cake, and it hit me – rum balls! Rum balls are made using leftover brownie or chocolate cake, with added rum for a spiked chocolate truffle. I had to put my own twist on it, and since honey and bourbon marry well together, I decided to go with that.

To take my bourbon honey cake balls to the next level, I dipped them in melted chocolate and finished them with pink Hawaiian salt, because I love some salt with my sweet. The results were fudgy and reminiscent of a rumball – exactly as I had imagined.

The thing to keep in mind with this recipe is that it’s not quite a recipe at all – more like an idea. Since every honey cake is different (some are more moist and some are more dry), and everyone has a different amount of leftover cake, use your own judgement to put these together. If you’re honey cake is not so sweet, you might want to add additional honey, and if it’s especially dry, maybe even a bit of melted butter might help. Whatever you do, have fun, and don’t get too drunk on that bourbon!


Wishing you an easy fast and a Chag Sameach!

Related Recipes:

Parsnip Honey Cake
honey cake with caramelized apples
gingerbread truffles
Tu B’Shvat truffles

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Passion Fruit Cream Cornucopias + a Coolada

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Being a food blogger has awarded me such amazing possibilities! Getting a chance to work with some amazing kosher products is one of them!

When I was approached about working with Morad’s amazing Danue line of fruit flavored wines, I was all over it! We’re talking sweet fruity flavors like pomegranate, lychee and passion fruit – oh my! Have I ever told you how much I adore passion fruit?

Passion fruit is not exactly readily attainable in New York. Case in point: I actually forked out a whopping $3.99 for ONE little round one to make the blessing of a new fruit (Shehechiyanu) on the Jewish New Year. I think that puts me at about $1.00 per seed. Still, I wanted to splurge on my favorite exotic fruit for the holiday – so I went all out. I’m thinking it’s time for another trip to Aussie, where they sell passion fruits like apples, to hoard up on the sweet and tangy delicate fruit.

When I heard that Morad had a passion fruit flavored wine in their collection – I was beyond excited to work with it! I wasn’t surprised to learn that it’s Morad’s best seller – who wouldn’t want alcohol that’s infused with the fruity goodness of passion fruits, hello?!

I set out to make the most of my passion fruit wine with both a cocktail and a dessert that would celebrate it’s exotic appeal. First…the dessert. To highlight the holiday of Succot – a time when we celebrate the overflowing harvest – I decided to go with a twist on the classic cream horn. The cream horn resembles a cornucopia; horn of plenty, that is a symbol of abundance. You’ll find cornucopia’s pouring forth with produce – especially around Thanksgiving time, making this dessert all the more appropriate.

Now I doubt you’ve ever seen a cornucopia filled with passion fruit cream – that is thanks to Morad’s amazing wine that I reduced down into a syrup which I used to spike the pastry cream. And not just any pastry cream. To keep it dairy free, I made the classic french custard with coconut milk, to highlight the tropical feel. My husband is a huge fan of custard-based desserts, so I couldn’t wait for him to be my taste tester when he got home from work. The man sure knows his pastry cream! Well let me tell you guys…one lick of the stuff and he said it was the best custard he’d ever had! I used the leftovers to make him a classic napoleon and he licked his fingers down to the last crumb. I’d call that a success! :)

As for the cornucopia’s themselves? Don’t be overwhelmed by their cuteness – these babies are such a breeze to make! All you need are some cream horn molds and frozen puff pastry and they’re done in under 15 minutes. Let me tell you – I’m not one for these involved pastry type of things, but they were truly super easy! Just MAKE SURE you lightly grease you molds before applying the puff pastry. Ask me how I know.

And don’t worry, if you can’t get your hands on the pastry molds in time for Succot, you can always wrap some sugar cones in foil and use those instead. They’ll be larger than traditional horns – but that just means more passion fruit cream for you!

To get the recipe for these passion fruit cream cornucopias, head on over to Joy of Kosher!

Now that we have our dessert all set, we’re onto the cocktail! I mean, you gotta have a cocktail right? Especially on Succot! To highlight the exotic passion fruit in this spiked smoothie, I decided to do a riff on the classic Pina Colada by using Morad Passion Fruit wine instead of rum. You can add the ice for a delicious slushy, or keep things light with a cocktail, sans ice. Either way, this fruity, creamy and lets face it – dreamy – cocktail is a winner!

To get the recipe for the Passion Fruit Colada, head on over to Joy of Kosher

Thanks to Morad Wineries for the opportunity to work with their delicious fruity wine, and for sponsoring this post! I’m off to finish the bottle!

Other Fruity Cocktails:

The Hamantini
Whiskey Cider
Sangria

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Whiskey Cider

Monday, September 16th, 2013

I’m really not much of a drinker. At all. I can appreciate a nice glass of red wine, but cocktails? I haven’t the faintest clue where to start. The first real cocktail I ever drank was a whiskey sour when I was dating my husband. It was sour all right. And strong. I didn’t hate it all that much and the buzz I got was kinda fun, but drinking is not really my thing.

When the Kosher Connection team decided on the theme “Spread the Joy” for the September link-up, the first thing that came to mind was inviting someone into my Sukkah to make a l’chaim (more on that later). Since whiskey sours are about the only drink I know how to make, I thought about how I could turn it into a sweeter version that celebrates the coming of fall. I decided to sub the sour element with a spiced apple cider syrup – reducing the cider with lots of  autumnesque spices. To get the real holiday buzz, I used equal amounts of whiskey and cider syrup, but if you want to go easy, you can serve the cider nice and warm (you don’t have to reduce it) and add just a splash of whiskey. Either way, you’ve got a delicious buzz-worthy cocktail to share!

First things first – what is a sukkah? A sukkah is a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot. If you’ve passed by a Jewish neighborhood, you may have seen them topped with branches and decorated with Judaic themes.

I grew up in Brooklyn, in a modest apartment on Eastern Parkway, just a stone’s throw away from the famous 770 synagogue, the central hub of the Chabad movement. Back in the day, The Grand Rebbe of Lubavitch would draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe, all hoping to be granted a meeting or blessing from him. Living so close to where the Rebbe & his congregants gathered, our Sukkah was a regular stop for family, friends, neighbors and even strangers on their way to the synagogue. As more and more people poured in to our small little hut, it seemed to stretch itself out to accomodate more than it’s physical space. L’chaim’s were poured in abundance as beautiful melodies poured fourth from it’s plastic walls.

My mom would pass her Yom Tov delicacies through the kitchen window, homemade meals of chopped liver, stuffed cabbage, sweet and sour tongue, yerushalmi kugel and other traditional foods which she made from scratch. The smells and tastes of the Chag come back to me each year, as the weather begins to herald the coming of fall, and the leaves begin to show their first signs of browning.

Sukkot is truly a joyous time. And not just because the mess gets left outside, and our homes are filled with delicious food and loving family. But because the emotionally taxing Days of Awe are behind us, and we are certain that we’ve all been inscribed for a happy and healthy year. It’s just the time to take out your shot glasses and spread the joy by inviting others into your humble hut to make a l’chaim.

As for me, I’ll be raising my glass to wonderful memories of a time when people from all walks of life, gathered in our family Sukkah to toast the New Year and all the good things it had in store. May the blessings abound, and may we all merit to raise our glasses to happy occasions!

Related Posts:

3 layer chocolate cake martini
mulled wine
sangria
mustache straws
how to decorate cocktail glasses with colored sugar

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