Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shana Tovah!

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.


  1. Awesome cakes. Love the idea of chocolate honey cake.

    You mentioned tackling quince. David Lebovitz has a tart that uses quince jam. It also has a no-roll crust. :)

    Maybe in your tackling you could make the quince jam yourself.

  2. Looks like such a fun get together. This chocolate honey cake does sounds delish!

  3. Hiya! Looks like a festive get-together! Anything with honey in it pretty much makes me smile.

  4. any chance you might be sharing that pomegranate scone recipe?

  5. Hey there, I am a huge fan of your blog and I have a blog proposal for you. Is there anyway I could get your email-- Is that too weird of a question? I hope not.

  6. Shana Tovah to you as well. We had a very nice gathering with family and friends, it was really wonderful.
    I love the look of that challah. It's my favorite bread.Cheers.

  7. It's me again,
    I was going to say that, seem like you have a wonderful gathering there as well.

  8. I have recently seen some beet red velvet cupcakes which looked awesome if you are interested, they used golden beets but of course you could use red, here is the recipe link:

    good eats to you:)