Thursday, April 9, 2009

2 Recipe Updates!

I was planning to only be updating you on the final results of the Honey Sponge Cake that I made for Passover, but I had leftover Sesame Chicken Couscous Salad for lunch yesterday, and Holy Cow, was it delicious! So, you will be reading about both recipes again today.
Let's start with the Sesame Chicken Couscous Salad. What I have to say about that is simple: It is WAAAAAY better the next day. It was so delicious, it was like I was having a gourmet treat for lunch rather than leftovers. The flavors blended together beautifully, it was much less liquidy and everything about it was perfect. I will still be experimenting with the flavors of it, and trying to find some more ingredients that make it a bit more exciting, but for now, I will know to always make it one day before I want to eat it. It makes a huge difference!

Okay, and now for the Honey Sponge Cake:
First, I am going to let you look at the final are some pictures:

How does it look to you? Beautiful? delicious? spongy? Yes, yes, and yes! All of the above. This cake is amazing. I was shocked that it tasted like something other than cardboard (if you have any previous experience with Passover cakes you will know what I mean) I was very nervous to serve it because I usually never serve anything to people that I have not tried myself. After our Seder was complete, I walked over to Tim, who had just taken his first bite, and meekly asked, "how is it?" He said "It's good" so as I breathed a sigh of relief I walked over and cut myself a piece. I was still a bit nervous, and hesitantly took a bite. It was wonderful! It was so moist, the consistency was perfect. The honey flavor was distinct but not overwhelming. It was not messy and gooey like I had imagined. Everything was better than I expected. I love it when that happens!
I decided to top the cake with strawberries, because it looked too plain and lonely by itself. The strawberries ended up being a perfect accent to the cake. They tasted great with the honey, and were refreshing as a pairing with the dense cake. I loved this cake so much, that I am going to make another one tonight. I need something to get me through this week without bread, and cookies, and all that other good stuff! I think I will get some strawberries to go along with it too!
I am no longer scared of baking cakes for Passover. I have a feeling that this one will be requested again next year, and I will also feel more comfortable experimenting with more Passover dessert recipes now that I have overcome this first flour-less obstacle. Yay!

1 comment:

  1. OK, I must admit that when this first came out of the oven I wasn't completely thrilled. It had to sit in the pan and cool for a long time, whereas normally I enjoy eating burn-your-mouth-hot cookies and other baked goods right out of the oven. Having been raised a "gentile," I also am not well acquainted with unleavened desserts and I must admit I had a slight predisposition against the idea.

    After actually trying this cake, I was pleasantly surprised. The cake emitted a sweet aroma of honey. I cut myself a small piece and bit in. The cake was not as fluffy or light as one would expect from a typical sponge cake due to the lack of leaven, but it was still very soft and not at all too dense. I suppose the easiest way to describe the consistency of the cake would be to compare it to a loaf of bread. I would say it has roughly the same density as a typical bread loaf, except that the cake was very moist and of course much more delicious.

    The honey made the cake a little bit sticky, but not messy. It had just the right amount of sweetness and it tasted very good. I would give the base recipe 4 1/2 stars out of 5. I would actually eat this when it is not Passover, which is saying something.

    I think this recipe also has a lot of potential if you experiment with different ways to dress the cake. For the Passover Seder, Shawna dressed the cake with strawberries. These were a perfect complement to the sweet flavor of the cake. Strawberries are probably the perfect fruit pair for this cake because I can't think of anything that would make a better match. Shawna dusted the second cake with powdered sugar which I actually enjoyed even more, although I think the cake would have been even better by adding both the strawberries and powdered sugar. Other toppings I would try are icing or fruit preserves.

    My evaluation of the first cake with strawberries might be slightly biased because I was completely stuffed at the time, having just eaten an enormous dinner at the Passover Seder, and I felt a bout of nausea setting in around the time we started breaking out the desserts. I think if I tried the cake again with just strawberries, I would probably enjoy it more than I did the first time.