Lemon Curd & Cream Cheese Babka

I have seen and been interested in baking Jewish style babkas for some time, they just look so appetising with all that chocolate swirling around inside and that crunchy streusel like topping. Can one improve on perfection? Probably not….. but I did want to put my own twist on the “standard” chocolate babka.

So here is, a babka stuffed with lemon curd and cream cheese. The layers are less defined as neither the curd nor the cream cheese stand out as well as the chocolate against the bread dough….. but I find the combination of lemon and cheese absolutely divine.

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Making a babka isn’t that difficult, yet the results can be spectacular. In the recipe you will find instructions for two different options; one using a bread maker and one where the dough is made by hand. The lemon curd can be bought or home made.

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

Ciabatta

Well it has been an interesting week, we have heard of the discovery of Gravitational Waves, detected from the collision of two black holes more than a billion light years away and we have learnt that “made in England” suits for the English football team have to travel almost as far before they hit the shops!

Yup, dress yourself in a cloth that is sold as “100% British” and do your bit for the country. It is after all woven in Leeds so what could be more British? Well, as described by the BBC, the torturous route of these very British suits is……

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Well this week I am doing my bit for our planet, the recipe this week requires just two bowls and a spatula to make. As promised, a bread that does not need any fancy equipment, nor if fact does it require any effort at all. So dig out a couple of plastic bowls from China and give it a go……..

 

To read the full post and see the recipe please click here.

Ginger Crunch

Mothers, as they say in Spanish “¡No hay más  que una!”. Yes, we have only the one, but I bet mine wished she could have cloned herself when she was trying to keep me in food. I am not sure one would have described me as a fussy eater, as my likes were simple…. meat and potatoes for the main course, something smothered in custard for the second! Any variety of potato was fine and the custard could be out of a tin, instant from a packet or indeed traditionally made from eggs and milk.

As Mark Twain wrote:

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”

I can but hope! Anyway my Mother this week set my brain in motion on a couple of unrelated fronts…………..

……………….And the second thought my Mother induced into my sluggish brain? Well it was the recipe for this week’s post. We were bouncing recipe ideas around and she mentioned a Ginger Crunch. My neurones immediately began to fire and my fingers were dancing across the keyboard in search of the recipe. If truth be known I spend most of my time trying out new recipes rather than repeating tried and tested ones. I soon found the recipe though, one that my Mother had given me many moons ago. So without further ado here is my Mother’s recipe for Ginger Crunch…….

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The Finished Bars

 

For the full post and the recipe please click here.

The Spanish Roscón

Although there are many different opinions as to where the roscón came from originally, it is likely that it came from the Roman winter festival in honour of the god Saturn. it would then seem to have been taken over by the Christian faith and eventually used to celebrate the day of the “Tres Reyes” some two weeks later.

7 - Roscon filled 2Traditionally Spanish “Christmas” is celebrated on the 6th of January when the Three Kings (Tres Reyes) gave their gifts to Jesus. In a similar way to Santa Claus, the Three Kings give gifts to the children, but instead of climbing down a chimney they tend to arrive on all manner of quadrupeds or even on motorised floats. The streets are full of children keen to see the Three Kings and catch the many sweets that are thrown to the waiting crowds.

In some towns the Three Kings set-up residence in some public building then give out presents to the children of the town. The gifts of course were pre-delivered by the children’s parents, but they of course don’t know that. It is rather a shame that the innocence of our childhood is usually lost with age!

The roscón traditionally was a circular sweet bread which has evolved slightly over the centuries to include first a filling of whipped cream and more recently other fillings such as custard or flavoured creams. It also often has crystallised fruit set into the dough and normally a small gift hidden in the filling. The latter has in general little value. In some households, the finder has to pay for the roscón, so one is better off not being “lucky” and finding it!

 

To continue reading and to see the recipe please click here.