bread

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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Pão de Queijo

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If you’re looking for a bread that’s lovely and melty and that you don’t have to let rise in a bowl for an hour, this has your name all over it. It comes together in a blender and uses a muffin tin. It also doesn’t require the use of yeast so it feels less intimidating as far as breads go.

In a blender (I use our trusty mini food processor) combine: 1 room temperature egg, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup water, 1 1/2 cup tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch, sold at Sprouts from Bob’s Mill), 1/2 cup of grated cheese (I used feta) and 1 teaspoon salt. That’s the basic recipe. I added 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne for some extra flavor. Change these according to whatever sort of cheese you use. Pulse until everything is combined into a batter.

Spoon into mini muffin tins (I like these from Wilton) greased lightly with olive oil. Fill the muffin tin to the brim. This recipe should make 16 full mini muffins.

Cook at 350 for 35 minutes. Cool briefly but serve warm.

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Garlic and Cheese!

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Roasted Garlic:

Peel off excess skin from two heads of garlic. Slice 1/4″ – 1/2″ off the top of the heads. Drizzle 2 tsp. olive oil over the exposed garlic. Wrap in foil and bake approximately 45 minutes in a 400* oven. Let cool. When cool, remove cloves of garlic from the skin and set aside. A gentle squeeze and they tend to pop right out.

Sourdough Crostini:

Slice sourdough baguette thinly. Lay slices on cookie sheet and brush with olive oil on one side. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip slices, brush the other side with olive oil. Return to oven for another 10 minutes.

Whipped Chevre

Combine 3 Tbs whipped cream cheese, 11 oz. chevre, 1/2 tsp. sea salt and the roasted garlic in a food processor. Pulse to combine.

To Serve:

Spread on crostini and top with a sprinkle of chili powder.

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Spicy Garlic Mussels

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Scrub and de-beard 2 lbs live black mussels. Discard any that do not close within a minute when tapped against another mussel.

In a high walled skillet or Dutch oven, heat 3 cups white wine or vegetable broth over medium high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, and 6 oz tomato paste. Whisk together until everything is combined. Bring to a boil. Add mussels in. Cover and cook 5-6 minutes, until the mussels have opened. Finish by stirring in 3 Tbs butter chopped into pieces. Discard mussels that did not open.

Spoon into a shallow bowl and top with extra sauce. Crusty bread is delicious dipped into the sauce. We make French bread at home, but as Ina Garten would say, “store bought is fine!”

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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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