dessert

Floats Like a Butterfly, Sweet Like a Bienenstich – Bee Sting Cake

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In small saucepan, combine 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, 3 1/2 Tbs honey, and 1 cup milk. Heat over low until the butter melts and mix is blended. Set aside to cool about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, stir together 4 cups all purpose flour, 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. When milk mixture has cooled, whisk in the zest of 1 lemon, 1 egg, and 1 Tbs. dry active yeast (4 packets). Let sit about 5 minutes until frothy.

Mix milk mixture in with dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Remove to a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, about 6 minutes by hand or 2 by machine. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with saran wrap. Let sit 1 hour in warm area or on top of a heating pad set to warm.

About 50 minutes into your rise, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 6 Tbs. honey, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2 cups slivered almonds, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Heat over high heat and bring to a gentle boil. Allow to boil until it begins to turn lightly golden (7-10 minutes). Remove from heat and add 1 Tbs. vanilla.

In 9″ springform pan, press the dough across the bottom. Do your best to press it along the walls of the pan. Pour the almond syrup over the top and spread so it’s flat.

Cook 25 minutes in an oven at 350. Pro tip: on the rack beneath your cake pan, put a cookie sheet covered in foil. That way if anything leaks out of the pan, you’re not scrubbing your oven forever.

Other recipes will tell you to cut your cake in half horizontally and then fill with a vanilla custard. Save yourself this step by serving atop the vanilla pudding you already know how to make!

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Bruleed Grapefruit

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Cut the ends off a fresh grapefruit and then cut in half. You’ve cut the ends off so that when you wield a torch at it, it doesn’t wobble and you don’t light your house on fire. Hopefully. Place grapefruits fruit side down on paper towels for ten minutes.

For some extra flavor, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or cardamom over the grapefruit before you add sugar. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Sprinkle half of mixture on each grapefruit half. You want a relatively thick coating. Even it out with the back of a spoon or a fork.

Light your brulee torch. Keeping the torch 1-2 inches from the fruit, move it in small circles to keep dispersing the heat. Melt the sugar so it caramelizes.

Give it a minute to cool off, then serve!

You can also make this in your oven: turn your broiler on and give it a few minutes to get hot. Put your sugared grapefruit under the broiler and keep an eye on it. It should take about 8 minutes.

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Pudding, Three Ways

I was only lucky enough to cook with Buzzy once, but I made sure to pay close attention when he taught me Graham’s family recipe for dessert. We made the vanilla that evening and used it to top some fresh banana slices. Graham and I make ours slightly differently, substituting vanilla almond milk in lieu of regular milk.

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Vanilla:

In a small bowl, whip together 3 egg yolks. Set aside. Stir together 2 cups milk, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour together over medium heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cook an additional two minutes while continuously stirring. Begin to temper the whipped eggs with small spoonfuls of hot pudding mixture. When the mixture is about half pudding, half egg, return it to the pan with the remaining pudding mixture. Cook an additional minute. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in 3 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Let cool, then serve. I like to add vanilla wafers, but you can’t go wrong with some fresh banana slices.

Butterscotch:

Follow the recipe as above, using brown sugar instead of white.

Chocolate:

Follow the recipe as above, using 2 egg yolks, 2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. You can skip the butter here, the pudding is so rich without it!

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Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberry Nana BreadBanana bread is a perennial favorite in our house; we like to add blueberries for an extra burst of flavor! It’s a great way to use bananas that are a little browner than your liking. All that mushy banana helps the bread stay moist!
Preheat your oven to 350. Cream together 1/2 cup salted butter and 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Mix in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 large eggs (beaten ahead of time). Then add 3 large smashed spotty bananas (approximately 1 1/4 cups), 1/4 cup milk (we use vanilla almond milk), 2 cups flour and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Mix together, then fold in 1 cup of blueberries. Pour into a greased loaf or muffin pan. It’s okay if your blueberries look suspiciously similar to walnuts or chocolate chips. It all turns out delicious. For muffins, bake at 350 for 45 minutes and check with a fork for doneness; if not done, check every five minutes. For loafs, bake at 350 for an hour and check for doneness; if not done, check every ten minutes. It’ll be nice and golden on top.

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