Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Honey-Citrus Gingerbread

I know, I know, I should be posting about Thanksgiving and turkey and all that, but everyone else is doing it. How about a change from the pumpkin and potatoes?
This quick bread is based off a french Pains d'Épices, also known as gingerbread, but with more citrus zest and honey flavor. The batter is thick and takes a while to put together and cook, but I think it's worth the effort. Eat it for breakfast with a glass of milk, or slice it thin and dress it with not-too-sweet whipped cream for an elegant dessert. I recommend making it a day early because it gets denser and easier to slice with time. Store it wrapped in foil at room temperature.

If you don't have a scale, get one. Without a scale you can't make most European recipes, and most breads are by weight as well. Get one precise to at least .25 oz or 5 grams for flexibility.


Main ingredients:
  • 130g all-purpose flour (4.6 oz)
  • 70g Rye flour (2.5 oz) (The rye can be replaced with regular flour, but I think it improve the loaf. And it's traditional!)
  • 40g brown sugar (1.4 oz)
  • 100g butter, melted (about 7 tbsp)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins
Flavorings (This is where you can be creative, use your imagination and cupboard to find your favorite combination):
  • 250g honey (8.8 oz)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • anise seed, cloves (to your taste, can be ommitted)

Putting it together:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Combine Flavorings in a saucepan and heat until the honey starts to bubble. Lower heat and cook for aout 5 minutes.
  • Combine both flours, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  • Add the honey mixture and melted butter to the flour and blend completely.
  • Let cool 5 minutes and add the egg and milk.
  • Stir in raisins.
  • Pour into a greased 9x5 loaf pan, bake 55-60 miutes. If the top starts to darken too much, cover with a piece of foil.
  • The loaf is done when an inserted kife comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Poll Results (Finally): Favorite frozen dessert

Ice Cream (any kind)
8 (53%)
Sorbet (no dairy, made with fruit)
4 (26%)
Frozen Yogurt
3 (20%)

Votes so far: 15

Unsurprisingly, ice cream won! Yeah, ice cream is just so good... Sorbet is tasty too, but it is often too sweet for my taste buds.
Most Frozen yogurts try to pass themselves offf as ice cream with a healthy twist, but they often just end up tasting bland. However, there is a shop called Red Mango in downtown PA (and other places, see link) that sells real frozen yogurt. It actually tastes like yogurt! It's sweet and tangy with the unmistakable flavor of yogurt. Red Mango frozen yogurt comes with toppings like fruit or granola or chocolate. When I went, I got raspberry and (of course) mango.