April 2008 Baker's Stash
April 2008 Baker's Recipe Stash
Post Lawsuit Muffins, Passover Sweets, Sides and Mains...
Plus Some Maple Temptations from the BetterBaking.Com Spring Kitchen and a couple of freebies, including an April Fool's Day Pastry Surprise!
Spring is here or so the calendar on my desk top informs me. I will believe it more when the 7 foot snow mountain on my deck melts and I can find my Weber which is buried like a Cracker Jack prize somewhere at the bottom of it all. Earth Day reminds me: I know where the glaciers are disappearing to. Tell Al Gore they are sitting on my balcony and not to worry, they show no sign of leaving any time soon. Spring might indeed be late but nonetheless, my palate and Passover demand springy fare. With that in mind, I treat you to offerings of the new season and the holiday up ahead.
From maple country, I share some sweets you won’t be able to resist, such as a sticky caramel pudding au style Chomeur – a Quebecoise treat we are famous for, to tender crisp, fresh Apple Fritters, doused in pure syrup. There is also a wake-up-your-sluggish-winter-senses with a Potage au Bonne Femme, a herbal tonic of cream, fresh spring vegetables such as leeks and new peas and a lashing of white wine and of course, Passover recipes, both sweet and savoury.
I also take this occasion to ladle you over to my partners-in-butter, at www.GayLea.com.
Check out www.gaylea.com/whatsnew/page/17. A new, free recipe of mine, created exclusively for Gay Lea, using their fabulous, pure butter should be available soon.
For April, there is absolutely best biscotti I've ever done. Hint? It uses maple syrup.
(If you don't see the recipe, please email the webmaster at www.gaylea.com)
Each month, I am pulled between featuring something seasonal or holiday or simply something I want to do – just because. I could just create recipes and throw them online but the writer (and reader) in me prefers a theme –something that holds together the text and the food as a print magazine does. I was wondering about that recently when an old friend contacted me, having found me via a mention of Lawsuit Muffins online. This old friend is from my earliest baking days - in fact, the bakery that gave me my first and most important opportunity. Her note reminded me about my infamous muffin recipe and I went Google it. To my mind, aside from its benefits, Google is the strange offspring of the parents known as Pandora’s Box and Bermuda Triangle of Time Suckage. If you don't put a cap on it, you can easily disappear into a rabbit hole and miss your own life. On Google, I simply entered: Marcy Goldman Lawsuit Muffins in the search box. Instantly, I was staggered by how many blogs feature my recipe. Most comments (and photos) were/are lovely – except for the one blogger baker who said the muffins were hardly worth their hype. Or did she mean height? Still, a page from my life and work constituted a chapter in hers. That's flattering (perhaps undue but flattering).
At any rate, the note from the friend of my youth, along with the baking blogs chatting about my muffin recipe, made me realize it was perhaps time to tell the tale again. It’s 20 years later and time to re-tell the tale and update where that muffin has been....lately.
Because to me, where I am now, and how I bake now - is really the more important story.
Incidentally, I rarely make Lawsuit Muffins the old way anymore. I haven't made them that way in the longest time. Now there's Newest Edition Famous and Fabulous Buttermilk Muffins. I am also featuring, free, the original Rhubarb Lawsuit Muffins. Visit My Original Buttermilk Rhubarb Lawsuit Muffins. Why rhubarb? That’s easy – along with leeks, asparagus, and maple syrup, it’s the first crop of the season and chances are, you have some frozen rhubarb in your freezer. If you don't like rhubarb, the beauty of these muffins is that you can use any fruit you like. Out of buttermilk? I very often rely on Saco Buttermilk Powder in my buttermilk muffins.
Happy Baking, a happy Passover, and mostly, happy Spring - even if it is a rumour.
My Original Buttermilk Rhubarb Lawsuit Muffins !! Free!!!
These launched my career and still an awesome muffin. It is all over the Net, and in my second cookbook, The Best of Betterbaking.com and of course, here, online, from its original baker source.
My Muffin Story, Part One
New Version Buttermilk Muffins - The Story Continues
More about muffins...then and now, or the state of the art of the buttermilk muffin.
Newest Edition Famous and Fabulous Buttermilk Muffins
A new chapter in great muffins. Grab this recipe while it is hot. It is only here for a week.
Then you can probably get it free on someone else’s blog or in A Passion for Baking, Book 2. Are these good or better? Oh let me count the ways……Bigger, bolder, sassier – the baker is better; why should Lawsuit Muffins stand still?
In honor of April Fools Day! Mock Mille-Feuilles? For years, people have been doing odd things with Ritz Crackers and chocolate wafers. This is a good dessert that makes the most of graham crackers, turning them into a mock mille feuilles pastry. 24 hours chill time is recommended. It will keep for three days - refrigerated.
Starbucks Orange Oatmeal Scones
Dense and hearty, not too sweet, these are one of my all-time favourite and most popular scones. They are huge, wide, round tufts (like an oversized cookie but a scone texture) that feature a good hit of fresh orange juice. My local Starbucks used to serve these (or something like these). Baker that I am, I still bought one each time I visited and had a coffee. One day, not unlike the way The Body Shop discontinues your favourite perfume or fragrant oil scent, the scones disappeared. That’s when it is good to be a baker. I filled in the gap by replicating them at home. A large serrated cookie cutter works nicely here. You can make these plain, or top them with the orange maple glaze.
Caramel Sticky Pudding
This is similar to a Quebecoise Pouding Au Chomeur, which is a familiar treat around here. A brown sugar/flour batter gets spooned into a pan, doused with boiling water and the magic of the oven helps transform it into a golden brown cake atop a luscious sticky syrup bottom. This is perfect on its own, or with ice cream, or custard. Little prep, few ingredients (all pantry ready), and little expertise made pudding cakes such as these were once a popular, simple dessert.
White Chocolate Maple Truffles
A thin coating of white chocolate hides a cache of molten maple cream and then the whole thing is coated in crushed maple sugar. Easier than you can imagine to make and breath-takingly delicious.
Asiago Cheddar and Spuds Bread
This is a coarse textured, lusty bread that you make in a springform pan (or two loaves). It is one of those signature breads people will remember about you. It suits toast or sandwiches or just buttered with slices of tomatoes on top.
Maple Orange Chicken
This is good enough to make at least twice a week.I serve it with wild rice or scalloped potatoes, or couscous and a green salad. Leftovers are great cut into chunks for an Asian Chicken salad or into a pita bread sandwich.
Maple Country Elegant Maple Cream Layer Cake
Pure maple syrup makes the difference.I created this for Bon Appetit Magazine in my debut feature for them and I am still impressed with my creative efforts. cake. This recipe calls for pure maple syrup and makes a high standing, delicate grained cake.
Potage Bonne Femme, Bistro Style
A silken soup of quintessential spring dimension. Nothing is as easy or elegant as this soup, unless it is my famous, Favorite Cream of Leek and Potato.
Passover Stuff, Sweet and Savoury
Don’t forget, there are more recipes in the Passover chapter of my book, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, (available at Chapters online, Ecookbooks.com or Amazon) or just enter the word, Passover, in the Search bar on the Recipe Archive page. There are over 50 Passover recipes including sides and more decadent cakes, squares and pastries.
Passover Hotdog or Side Rolls
There are two Passover roll camps: those who view the cream paste versions as counterfeit and inappropriate, and those who accept what must be done. These inventive matzoh rolls, a classic of Passover, can be filled with tuna or egg salad for Passover brown bag lunches, used as hotdog rolls, or serve them as a breakfast roll. You can make them big or small, oval or round, use a pastry bag to make them professional looking or just deposit the wet dough with a spoon on the baking sheet. It is still a nice respite from matzoh and as versatile as you like. They cost (in bakeries here, at least) about $2.00 a roll! Good incentive to make your own.
Baked in Ganache Flourless Passover Torte
The ganache is baked into the batter for a velvety chocolate swirl cake that will never make it to the second Seder. You will have to make another one.
Mock Chestnut Torte
This recipe came about when I realized that kosher-for-Passover chestnut puree was not to be found. Sweet potatoes to the rescue. A light dusting of cocoa is all this needs. This is about the best thing, aside from Matzoh Buttercrunch, I ever invented. I am always surprised how few people know about it.