My husband and I feel personally responsible for the Greek yogurt trend in America. We went to Greece, fell in love with Fage, came back, asked our local Trader Joe’s to start carrying it, and voila! A month or so later Greek yogurt was everywhere. Blame us if you want, but life is better with Greek yogurt.
In Greece, yogurt is a way of life. Served in gigantic proportions, and always with honey and walnuts, the thick and creamy concoction only barely resembles the dessert-like American counterparts. As people that regularly make our own yogurt at home, we immediately fell in love with it and ate it at least once a day while on vacation.
You can truly top yogurt however you like, but our favorite way is easily with the traditional honey & walnuts. As former beekeepers, we still have a stockpile of honey around our home, and for the walnuts, this is my favorite recipe. You could use raw walnuts, and live happily in ignorant bliss, but the crunch and light spice that a candied walnut adds is a great way to perk up this simple dish.
- ¼ cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Powder (optional)
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 4 oz Walnut Halves (about 1 large cup), avoid smaller pieces
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat.
- Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, combine the sugar, chili powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and mix.
- Once the water is boiling, add the walnuts and blanch for 3 minutes.
- Drain the walnuts well and immediately toss with the sugar mixture. The sugar will melt slightly. Once the walnuts are evenly coated, spread evenly on your baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until the walnuts are a deep golden brown. Watch them carefully because they can burn quite easily.
Toss the walnuts with the sugar mixture.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Makes 4 ¼ servings.
Can be used to top salads, yogurt, added to granola, oatmeal, ice cream, or your favorite place to add a sweet crunch!
Registering was one of the very few tasks my now husband and I looked forward to when wedding planning. We spent a lot of time trying to have a registry full of things we needed and wanted, thought were funny or useful, and that reflected our style as a couple. Some things were easy to agree on; we had been lusting over a food processor for years (I wish ‘years’ was an exaggeration, but it’s embarrassingly true). Others were a bit one sided; I picked the sewing machine and he picked the Fred & Friends Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters>.
And then when we agreed the registry was finished, I then went back and added a bunch of things willy nilly.
It wasn’t that I was out to sabotage our registry with things that I wanted exclusively, it was that I spend more time shopping than Brian, and our registry was running out of items. I had been looking at registries for other couples (everyone we know is getting married these days), and I’d think, “Oh, we could use one of those too,” and find a similar object and add it. Brian worried that this behavior would dilute our registry and that we wouldn’t get the things we really wanted, but in the end we got nearly everything, and now we additionally have some extra items that we never would have bought for ourselves.
Honeycomb Pull-Apart Pan, image care of Williams Sonoma
One of these items is Nordic Ware Honeycomb Pull-Apart Dessert Pan (see it on Amazon here). Brian and I have never been bundt people. It’s not my favorite dessert, and I always think once you have a bundt pan, that particular shape and design becomes your signature bundt. People will recognize it as yours. And it takes up so much space in your cupboard for a single function tool that if I were ever going to own one, I’d have to really love it. After seeing a bundt pan on someone else’s registry, I started browsing through the infinite pans on Amazon. It was fairly easy to tell that Nordic Ware is the best in the biz, so I narrowed down my search and browsed through tea cake pans, pans shaped like castles or roses or bugs. Finally I found the honeycomb pan, and instantly I knew this was our pan.
I still felt a bit silly adding it to the registry. Again, we’re not bundt people. I felt even silier when someone bought it for us (thank you David!!!). I wasn’t even entirely sure what we could make in it, since it is an unusual pan with its dividers. We tried the recipe it came with, which was dry and mealy. While the cake came out exactly as the pictures look, the flavor and texture were so disappointing that the pan moved to the back of our cabinet for some time. If you do ever buy this pan, ignore that recipe. Then, one day, I stumbled upon this recipe for Honey Cornmeal Cake. The ingredients are simple, the instructions are easy, and the whole thing takes very little effort.
And the flavor?
I am going to be this mother. Some mothers make cookies or soup or ratatouille. Some mothers are known for their pie or roast or tamales. My mom is known for caramel corn (heaven).
I am going to be known for Honeycomb Cake. The cake can be served as dessert with whipped honey butter, or as breakfast with jam. It’s moist with great texture from the cornmeal, and it’s just dense enough to be a pull-apart bread rather than a true fluffy cake. The orange zest adds a lovely citrus flavor, and the pan divides it into the perfect sections.
I don’t know what this cake tastes like in a regular pan, I am sure it is fine. But it’s the combination of this recipe and this pan that will have my kids requesting it for special occasions and other mothers clamoring for the recipe (yes, I do live in my own little world).
Also, Brian did get his Ninja Cookie Cutters.
Makes one cake. Recipe care of Pure Wow, care of Bees & Beans.
Pan: Nordic Ware Honeycomb Pull-Apart Dessert Pan
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup fine grind cornmeal
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 325˚. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal until just combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar, salt, honey and orange zest until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating fully before adding another. (The batter may start to separate for the last few eggs.) Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake slightly, then remove from the pan, slice and serve.