Happy New Year! And, woah! Hello October!
Monday night, I got together with a bunch of friends from school for a rockin' Rosh Hashanah party - and I was asked to make dessert! Ah, yes. Long gone are the days of simple invitations, a kindly "won't you stop by?" Nope. Now it's, hey, Oakley, what sweet thing can you whip up for this event?
Ah, I kid. I love love love special occasion baking, especially when I get to research traditional dishes and put my spin on them. Rosh Hashana is all about sweetness, epitomized by apples and honey. I decided to make two cakes, a twist on a traditional Rosh Hashana honey cake with cocoa and lots of spice, and a simple apple cake with some of the best local apples I could find. Both were gobbled up with thanks and praise, signaling the official start of the holiday season.
Oh, holiday baking. You have been missed. All of a sudden, I'm having dreams of the twenty-five vegan apple pies I made for Thanksgiving last year, and the tons of pomegranate scones, not to mention gingerbread cookie bakes and shortbread wedges that are IMPOSSIBLE to stop eating. I'm looking forward to some interesting concoctions this year (Can I bake with Winter Squash? What else can I throw beets into? Will I finally tackle the quince?), but this month is all about the harvest. Sukkot's coming up, gotta make some goodies to break the fast next week, and traditional High Holiday foods are taking up a lot of my mental counter space.
My spiced chocolate honey cake and apple cake went really well with the hostess' AMAZING brisket, fresh apples and honey, some of the BEST challah I've ever had (complete with lemon honey butter - yum!) and some really great sides - beet salad with beef, pomegranates, hummus and pita, and good olives.
Ah, what a meal. Made all the better because it was shared with friends and tradition.
Enjoy the onset of fall, the holiday season, and have a sweet new year! Shana Tovah!
The recipe for the Spiced Chocolate Honey cake can be found here and the Apple Cake is here.