Green Eats: Healthy baking

Do try these at home, they’re good for you.

Mulberry cake 311 (photo credit: Anatoly Michaelo)
Mulberry cake 311
(photo credit: Anatoly Michaelo)
In the last few months I’ve been working on a natural foods baking cookbook, and now that the baking is done and the book will be out this week, my friends, family and neighbors are disappointed (“What, no more free samples? No taste tests? No doggy bags?”).
Although I’ve loved the magic of baking since I was a little girl, baking for a book is quite a different matter; lots of trial and error, lots of sleuthing to find interesting and new ideas, shopping, schlepping, and worst of all – cleanup.
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But now I’m happy to announce to any of my friends out there who missed the deadline – the book is out, albeit in Hebrew (Afiya Bria Bekalei Kalut) – so you can now make your own quick breads, yeast breads, cookies, cakes and savory snacks in your own home, and believe it or not I’d love to have a taste.
P.S. The way I learned to write recipes in Hebrew was by reading the Hebrew translation of the English manuscript of my very first book, Hagiga Tzimhonit (published 1980 and a classic still sold in bookstores!).
BRAZILIAN PAO DE QUEIJO (NO GLUTEN) makes 18 mini muffins
These little pastries are almost the staff of life in Brazil where they are are available everywhere and eaten throughout the day.
✔ 1⁄4 cup canola oil ✔ 1 tsp. salt ✔ 1 cup tapioca flour ✔ 1⁄3 cup yogurt ✔ 1 cup grated hard goat cheese or kashkeval or 1⁄2 cup Parmesan and a half cup mozzarella (not the fresh kind)
Preheat the oven to 230º. Grease 18 mini muffin cups (one and a half pans) with butter. Place the tapioca flour in a bowl. In a small saucepan, mix oil, water and salt and bring to a boil. Add to the tapioca flour and mix quickly with a wooden spoon.
Add the egg, yogurt and cheese, mixing well. Use a spoon to fill each greased muffin cup two-thirds of the way up.
Lower heat to 180º and place the pan in the middle of the oven. Bake until the muffins begin to turn golden, about 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.
MULBERRY CAKE WITH PORT WINE For a 24-cm. springform baking pan (about 8 servings)
Easy to make, this beautiful cake uses fresh mulberries, now in season, to celebrate the season. Out of season use frozen blackberries or raspberries.
✔ 300 gr. fresh mulberries or frozen blackberries or raspberries (do not defrost) ✔ 3⁄4 cup good port wine ✔ 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar (I use organic cane sugar) ✔ 100 gr. butter, at room temperature ✔ 2 large eggs ✔ 11⁄4 cups 70% whole-wheat flour or white spelt flour ✔ 1 tsp. baking powder ✔ 1 tsp. vanilla extract ✔ 2 large eggs
In a medium bowl, mix the berries with the wine and a tablespoon of sugar.
Heat the oven to 180º. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Knock out excess flour.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup sugar with the butter for 2-3 minutes, stopping occasionally to wipe down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add in the flour and baking powder and beat another minute or two.
Pour into the prepared pan and even out the batter with a rubber spatula.
Drain the berries but keep the liquids. Distribute the berries one at a time on the top of the cake and then pour 2 tablespoons of the port wine marinade on top. Bake 50 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the ring of the pan.
To serve: Heat the remaining port wine liquids in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 1 minute and remove from heat. Garnish the cake with confectioner’s sugar passed through a wire mesh strainer, cut into slices and top with 1-2 tablespoons of the hot marinade.
Shavuot is fast approaching, and as well as spending time with family and eating cheesecake, the festival is traditionally associated with the mitzva of “bikkurim” – to represent the time when farmers brought the first fruits to the Temple.
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