Thanksgiving 2013 – Sweet Potato Souffle With Honey And Egg Nog

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I’ve been looking for the perfect Thanksgiving sweet potato souffle recipe for years. I think this is it!

This recipe substitutes eggnog for condensed milk and honey for the brown sugar, maple syrup and tiny marshmallows. It’s just as sweet and tasty, but a bit more sophisticated. (Not that I have anything against tiny marshmallows!!)

This souffle is something your guests will actually LIKE to eat!!

Yield:  4 large or 8-10 small servings

Ingredients:

2 Large or 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes

Granulated Sugar for dusting the souffle dish

Powdered Sugar for dusting the top

3/4 cup Eggnog

3 Large Eggs, separated and room temperature

1 cup Honey

2 tablespoons Butter plus more for greasing the souffle dish

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1 ounce Brandy (optional)

1/2 Lemon (juiced)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions:

Place sweet potatoes in a stock pot and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain and allow to cool before handling. Peel and discard skins.

Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and break up and mash using a spoon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish; dust with sugar.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in eggnog; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; mix in sweet potatoes and egg yolks. Stir in honey, vanilla, brandy  (if using), lemon juice, salt, and spices and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into sweet potato mixture; using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites. Pour mixture into prepared dish; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

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Cooking With Honey – Honey Berry Clafoutis

clafoutis

With berry season upon us, an easy and delicious dessert to make is clafoutis. All you need to do is mix and bake to have a fresh and scrumptious French custardy treat!

Yield:   One 8-inch custard

Ingredients

¾ cups whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

⅓ cup honey

1 tsp orange zest

3 eggs

1 Tbs vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

½ cup flour

2 cups fresh berries of your choice

2 Tbs granulated sugar, plus additional for pan

Powdered sugar for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch pie plate or round cake pan and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.

Blend together all ingredients except 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and berries. Pour a ¼-inch layer of batter into pie plate, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, just until a skin forms. Toss berries with sugar while first layer sets.

Once skin forms, remove plate from oven and add berries plus remaining custard batter. Bake until top is golden brown and custard is set (moves as one when jiggled, toothpick comes out clean), about an hour.

Can serve warm, but cool completely before removing whole clafoutis from pan. Store chilled.

Gertrude Jekyll’s Honey and Lavender Tea Cakes

tea cake

This isn’t really Miss Jekyll’s recipe, although I think she would like it. She adored lavender!

Yield:  6-18 tea cakes, depending upon size of the cake tin

Ingredients

For cakes

Two sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

Three large eggs at room temperature

Two cups minus one tablespoon all-purpose flour

One teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon dried food grade lavender, crushed/chopped up

1/3 cup buttermilk

For glaze

Juice of one lemon

Two teaspoons honey

1/2 cup confectioners’/powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit  Grease choice of tin very well with melted butter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, honey, and butter until fluffy and creamy. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until blended and pour them into the creamed honey, butter, and sugar, until just blended.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the crushed lavender.

Pour in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk. Stir through the bottom of bowl, repeat with the flour, remaining milk, stir, and then the final amount of flour. Continue folding butter and flour mixtures together until a batter is formed and no large clumps of flour remain.

Pour the batter into the buttered tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes for small cakes, or for 25-30 minutes for larger ones.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by juicing one lemon into a small bowl. Pour in two teaspoons honey and stir together with the powdered sugar until a fairly thick liquid is formed. Set aside.

Once the cakes are finished baking, let cool for a minute or so, then unmold the cakes onto a cooling rack or plate. Immediately drizzle over the glaze. Enjoy warm or completely cooled. Excellent with tea.

Black Tea Cupcakes With Honey Buttercream Frosting

black tea cupcakes

Dr. Eva Crane was a proper Englishwoman, and would have liked these tea-flavored delicacies! Perfect to accompany a “cuppa”!

Yield:  18 cupcakes

Ingredients

1 cup  milk

3 tablespoons black tea (or the contents of 3 tea bags)

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins.

Warm the milk until near boiling on the stove or in the microwave. Cut open the tea bags and add the tea directly into the milk. Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the tea brewed milk, mixing until batter is uniform and smooth.

Transfer batter to prepared pans and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Honey Buttercream

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons honey

2 cups powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and honey until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and salt and continue mixing until the frosting comes together. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add more honey (or a splash of milk) to thin it out. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch more salt until the desired sweetness is achieved.

Spread or pipe the honey buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and serve.

Madame Marie’s Sensual French Honey Chocolate Mousse

I feel certain that Madame Marie Curie enjoyed this classic, sensual French dessert on more than one occasion.

Yield:  10 servings

Ingredients

1 pound good quality semisweet dark chocolate  (or white chocolate, if you prefer)
16 oz honey
3 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Combine chocolate and honey in a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave 1 minute at a time (or less) stirring after each time (When melting chocolate  in microwave, don’t do until it melts completely. While it is still holding its shape, stir until it’s completely melted). Let cool.

Beat egg whites with a stand mixer, slowly add granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Rinse out the mixer bowl, add the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until stiff. Fold into chocolate mixture.

Chill in bowl or divide into bowls. Top with your choice of berries.

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Mary Todd Lincoln’s Honey, Almond And Vanilla Cake

white_cake

This is supposedly the cake that Mary Todd used to win Abe Lincoln’s heart. The original recipe didn’t call for honey, but it definitely improves the taste and texture of this rich pound cake.

Ingredients

1 cup almond flour

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1 cup honey

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of baking soda

3/4 cup milk

6 eggs, separated (best when eggs are cold)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.

With an electric beater or stand mixer, cream butter ,honey and sugar until light yellow in color and fluffy.

Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda three times. Fold flour mix into creamed butter, honey and sugar, alternating with milk, until well blended. Stir in almond flour and beat well.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they have stiff, firm peaks. (Use egg yolks for another use  Beaters and bowl must be washed and dried thoroughly before whipping egg whites or they will not stiffen properly. Fold egg whites gently into batter with a rubber spatula. Add vanilla extract.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for one hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool for at least 20 minutes before inverting, then allow to completely cool before serving. Sift confectioners’ sugar on top.

Makes about 12 slices.

Homemade Honey Marshmallows – For Medicinal Purposes Only!

Marshmallow Apothecary

Marshmallow Apothecary

My UK friends Emma Sarah Tennant and Emily Heath posted on Facebook about their recent visit to the Marshmallow Apothecary, a popup medicinal marshmallow shop in London.

Yes, you read that right. Medicinal Marshmallows. Who knew?

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For just two weeks,the Marshmallow Apothecary opened its doors in Carnaby Street, offering free consultations and marshmallow prescriptions to visitors.​  The delicious marshmallows contained herbal remedies for ailments ranging from the common cold to a lack of libidinousness.  As Mary Poppins was wont to say, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

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It turns out that the marshmallow probably first came into being as a medicinal substance.  The Egyptians concocted them with honey to treat sore throats.

egyptian-mallows

That of course gave me an idea. Why not make my own medicinal Honey Marshmallows?

Let me tell you, they are so delicious, it’s almost worth being sick!!

They Are More Medicinal When You Make Them Pink!

They Are More Medicinal When You Make Them Pink!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1 cup water

2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 egg whites

Food coloring, if desired

Directions

Dust an 8 by 12-inch baking sheet generously with confectioners’ sugar.

Place 1/2 cup of cold water and the gelatin in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Let stand for 30 minutes.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the remaining water, sugar, honey, salt and vanilla. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. If necessary, wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals clinging to the side of the pan.

Raise the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F. Remove from the heat and, working quickly, add the egg whites to the bowl of the electric mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to low and slowly pour the syrup into the bowl, making sure the stream remains between the whisk and side of the bowl. If you want to color the marshmallows, add the food coloring at this stage, until desired color is reached. Increase the speed to high again and whip until the mixture has at least doubled and becomes thick and fluffy.

Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread out evenly using a spatula. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and let it sit out overnight, uncovered, to dry. Invert the marshmallow mixture onto a cutting board and, using a hot knife, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch squares. Dust with more confectioners’ sugar.

Prescription:  Eat them until you feel better!

Holidays With Honey – L.J.’s Peanut Butter Honey Pinwheels

pinwheels

My beloved and talented mother L.J. (short for Lois Jean) ALWAYS made these for the holidays.  They were one of her many Southern specialties!

Ingredients

16 oz. powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (to keep dough from sticking to paper)

1/2 cup softened butter

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 oz. peanut butter

Directions

In mixing bowl, combine 16 oz sugar, butter, honey, milk, and vanilla (should be stiff and dough-like).
Chill for a few minutes to help prevent sticking.

Divide dough into 2 balls, and roll each ball out to pie crust thickness (Use parchment or wax paper and plenty of powdered sugar both over and under dough to keep it from sticking).

Heat peanut butter until runny and easily spreadable- not too hot- and spread evenly over rolled dough.

Roll dough into a log (you may have to sprinkle a little more powdered sugar on it as you go to help with stickiness).
Chill 1 hour and slice into 1/4″  pinwheels.  Keep refrigerated.

Holidays With Honey – Honey Eggnog Cupcakes

eggnog cupcake

Yes, I knew I had an eggnog cupcake recipe!  These are sure to become a holiday favorite with friends and family.  They also make great gifts!

Yield:  16 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour (I use cake flour for best results)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup eggnog (try it with honey eggnog recipe from earlier today)

1/4 cup bourbon, whiskey, OR dark rum

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

Prepare pans by lining with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger and salt. Set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar and honey until smooth and well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the eggnog. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the vanilla and whiskey (or your spirits of choice!)

Pour batter into prepared pans, 3/4 full. Bake 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

Eggnog Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

6 ounces cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup honey eggnog

4 – 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Fresh ginger

Cream butter and cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer or with handheld beaters. When the mixture is soft and fluffy begin to add sifted powdered sugar a little at a time. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of eggnog alternating with the powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. Beat until creamy. Pipe onto cupcakes using a pastry bag or spread with a spatula. Sprinkle fresh ginger on top.

Cupcakes may be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.

Holidays With Honey – Kentucky Bourbon Balls With Honey

bourbon balls

In 1936, Ruth Hanly Booe, a candy entrepreneur in Frankfort, Kentucky, invented the Bourbon Ball.  Simply and deliciously, it is a whiskey-spiked cream center covered with dark chocolate and topped with a pecan. Over time, it became a regional favorite,  especially popular during the holidays. My version contains honey as well as the finest Kentucky Bourbon.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

5 Tablespoons top quality Kentucky Bourbon

1 Tablespoon honey

Directions

Combine softened butter and powdered sugar until smooth.

Add bourbon and honey.  Mix until incorporated.

Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour.

Form the buttercream into 1 inch balls and place on waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm.

Transfer buttercream centers to a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for several hours or overnight.

Dip in chocolate coating. (See Below)

Chocolate Coating

4 to 6 ounces semisweet chocolate

30 -50 whole pecan halves, for garnish

Place a toothpick in each bourbon ball, sticking the toothpick into the center.

Melt chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave or a double boiler. Mix and heat until smooth.

Working quickly, dip the bourbon ball centers into the chocolate one at a time. Tap the toothpick against the side of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate. Set the coated bourbon ball on waxed paper covering a baking sheet or pizza pan. With another toothpick push the bourbon ball gently from the toothpick and cover the spot where it was with a pecan half.

When all bourbon balls have been dipped allow them to rest until set. (To speed the process the pan of bourbon balls can be placed in the refrigerator.) When set, transfer the candies to a holiday tin or other storage container.