04 April


Pretzel Bars

April 26: National Pretzel Day

Here is a literal twist for a recipe on National Pretzel Day. Instead of serving the salty snacks, sweeten the celebration by making peanut buttery chocolate pretzel bars. This quick snack only has five ingredients and does not require baking. Pretzel bars are a delicious indulgence in observance of this fun food holiday!

Recipe

(Adapted from the Food Network)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pretzels chips or rods, crushed
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, divided use
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips

Directions

In a zipper top bag, place the pretzels. Roll and crush them into a fine powder. Combine in a bowl with the sugar. Melt the butter.

Mix in the melted butter into the pretzel-sugar mixture. Add ONE cup peanut butter and stir until moistened and it comes together. Press into an ungreased 8×8-inch square pan.

In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate chips the remaining ¼ cup of peanut butter by microwaving in 30-second intervals. Stir until melted and smooth. Pour over the pretzel mixture and spread out the top with a spatula. Refrigerate for an hour to set the chocolate. Cut into squares.  Yield: 16 squares.

Notes

Lilikoi (Passion Fruit)

Butter Mochi Cake

April: Easter Season (Palm/Passion Sunday)

On the last Sunday of Lent, a week before Easter, we attend Palm/Passion Sunday mass and listen to scriptural readings about Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. With a symbolic palm leaf that we receive at church, Highlander would make a cross for Islander to decorate our dining area. She usually prepares a Hawaiian or tropical meal for dinner with a dessert featuring lilikoi as an ingredient. These are our little Palm/Passion Sunday traditions.

Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for passion fruit. It is aromatic and tart and grows abundantly on the islands. When we do find them on the mainland, the lilikoi is overpriced and overripe. So we settle for the much cheaper passion fruit pulp in the frozen section of our grocery store. It works fine as an ingredient for our Palm Sunday desserts and adds a fragrant and flavorful twist to a regular butter mochi cake.

For a Palm/Passion Sunday-inspired food, start a little tradition and make something with passion fruit, like lilikoi butter mochi cake.

 Recipe

(Adapted from Hawaii Magazine)

Ingredients

  • 1 box (1 pound) mochiko flour
  • 3 cups sugar, granulated white
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (12-14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 4-6 tablespoon lilikoi puree (we substituted defrosted passion fruit pulp)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the mochiko flour, sugar and baking powder. Melt the butter. Cool slightly.

Pour the melted butter into the mixing bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla and coconut milk.

Stir in the lilikoi puree. Blend well. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, testing the cake with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from the oven. Cool slightly and spread glaze on top (optional—see Notes). Slice with plastic knife to prevent from sticking to the blade. Yield: 2 dozen.

Notes

  • Glazing the top of the cake is optional. To do so, mix together 1-2 cups powdered sugar with 2-4 tablespoons of lilikoi puree. Stir until it is a smooth consistency. Spread on top of the cake while still warm.
  • Try our regular butter mochi cake and poi mochi cake recipes.
  • Our final food photo of the lilikoi butter mochi cake above is set on a red tablecloth. Red is the liturgical color for Palm/Passion Sunday.

Battenberg Cake

battenbergcake

April 30, 1884: The Wedding Day of Princess Victoria and Prince Louis of Battenberg

As marriage sponsors at church, we are always intrigued with foods related to weddings. Battenberg Cake, with its distinctive checkered pattern and quilt-like markings, has a royal wedding history. It was reputedly created in honor of the German Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt when they were married on April 30, 1884. The princess is the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. Though the royal groom was born in Austria and raised in Germany, the family name eventually became Anglicized from Battenburg (Battenberg) to Mountbatten to disassociate with the Nazis during the World War. The cake itself seems to represent the alliance (marriage) between Germany and England with the two colors!

Battenberg Cake is a terrific teatime treat. Try this royal recipe for bridal showers, nuptial celebrations and the anniversary of the Prince and Princess of Battenberg.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 box pound cake mix (we used Betty Crocker brand)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • red food coloring
  • yellow food coloring
  • apricot jam
  • 2 packages marzipan

Directions

Prepare the pound cake mix according to the directions on the box. In a mixing bowl, combine the pound cake mix with the butter, eggs and milk. Add the almond extract.

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Mix until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter equally in two bowls. Tint one with red food coloring and stir until the batter is pink. Tint the other with yellow food coloring and mix well. Pour each into two separate, same-sized greased loaf pans.

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Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes, testing the cakes for doneness. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Trim off the brown edges from the four sides of the cake.

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Level out the tops. Stack one cake on top of the other. Slice down the middle to create long, rectangular strips of cake.

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Stir the apricot jam in a small bowl until smooth. Generously spread the jam on one side of the cake strip. Attach an opposite colored cake strip to the side. Brush more jam on the top of the two cake strips. Repeat with the other cake strips, topping them with opposite colors. Brush all crumbs away and spread more jam on the sides, including the top and bottom of the cake.

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Knead the marzipan to soften. Roll out on a clean, flat surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Keep rolling until the size is large enough to cover the sides of the cake. Brush apricot jam on the marzipan. Carefully wrap the marzipan around the cake.

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Trim off the excess marzipan. Make a neat seam on the bottom and overlap the edges. Turn the cake around and make light criss-cross markings on the top. Chill until the marzipan and jam are set (around 15-30 minutes). Slice off the ends to make the cake look neat and finished. Cut ¾-inch thick portions and serve during tea time.

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Notes

  • In lieu of the apricot jam, a thin layer of vanilla frosting may be used to “glue” the cake strips together.
  • Search our blog for other royalty-inspired recipes.

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