Behold the beautiful art from the generous studio of Lucile Prache celebrating the soup of the hour, Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls. Visit Lucile's site to view other gorgeous culinary art - all available as prints or custom original work. Lucile Prache is a French-based artist who is classically trained and takes her inspiration from her love for cooking and people from all around the world sharing their own family recipes. Her work is available in various sized prints (with free shipping) via Lucile's Kitchen or for the Matzoh Ball Soup print itself, visit here.
Dear Bakers and Friends,
Welcome to the April 2023 issue of Betterbaking.com!
I used to mistakenly believe that the fall was the real start of the real baking season. But many years in the BB test kitchen have made me finally appreciate that the real baking season is not dependent on outside weather or even the seasonality of ingredients.
Baking like cooking, never really stops – there’s always something that wants doing. There always a hankering for learning with flour or the appetite for this or that - things you simply can’t buy that needs to be sated. Baking, at least to me, is as daily as those three square meals a day. It’s like the wood-fired bagel ovens in Montreal; those infernos burn hotter in certain seasons but no one ever tires of bagels (or cookies, scones, et al) and so a baker’s work is never done. It might not be peak banana bread time in April but it’s definitely a perfect time for something
Ok – it’s a little true… now that spring is here, our thoughts flit from rhubarb and maple to Easter and Passover fare and our tastes lean towards things light but decadent. So let’s just say, another real baking season has sprung.
Passover Carrot Cake - flour-free but with the homey, familiar spice sensibility of regular carrot cake.
April does inspire me by the sense the newness in the air. To me the spring season is like a coat or jacket I forgot I had in storage. I’m not sure it still fits and then I try it on and what do you know: it’s perfect but it could use a new scarf or some update. That’s how I feel about recipes I dig out of hiding around this time of year. I just wake up and see things in a new light which accounts for taking a classic like Hot Cross Buns and giving it an update like the Cadbury Mini Egg Hot Cross Buns. I actually like traditional Hot Cross Buns since I’m a pushover for sweet yeast doughs with a bit of spice. That said I can pass on the citron and candied orange usually found in Hot Cross Buns. To paraphrase Nora Ephron from her book Heartburn: ‘Everything that’s good with anchovies is just is good without anchovies”. Yes, I agree. To me (and apologies in advance for those who differ), ‘Anything good with citron and candied orange is just as good without those things”.
I also just realized that my Passover Carrot Cake has all the flavors I love in regular carrot cake. I did myself a favor by creating this Passover version for my first cookbook awhile back and with all the Matzoh Crack/Buttercrunch and chocolate Passover desserts, I forgot I even had this recipe until I noticed new versions of carrot cakes, especially a Brazilian one called Bolo de Cenoura buzzing in the air. It made me think, why not carrot cake of some sort for Passover? Add a slick of cream cheese icing and it will be Easter perfect too.
I welcome you to this new month of hope and rebirth and fresh recipes. I suggest you shake off what ails you or no longer serves, embrace a new start; leave the old ways and old feelings but take the cannoli.
Warm wishes from my kitchen to yours, where just outside my window, flying so close I could touch them, the Canadian geese are home, just in time for first Seder and Easter Sunday.
Free Cadbury Mini Eggs Hot Cross Buns
Passover Carrot Cake
OG Quebec Sugar Pie
Molten Chocolate Passover Cake
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