Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Healthier Double Chocolate Muffins

I altered another recipe of mine, the Dark Chocolate Applesauce Cake, to make whole wheat pumpkin double chocolate muffins. They are almost sinfully delicious.


2 1/2 cups white whole wheat or all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use and recommend Ghiradelli unsweetened)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp decaf or regular instant coffee granules
4 large eggs, beaten (or the equivalent in Ener-G Egg Replacer, which works great!)
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1 and 1/4 cups oil (I use, and recommend Mazola Vegetable Plus with Omega 3's)
2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, honey, sugar, vanilla and coffee granules in a mixer and blend well. In another bowl, combine baking soda and powder, salt, flour and cocoa. With the mixer on, add half the dry ingredients and half the pumpkin puree, and then repeat. Stop the mixer as soon as the ingredients are blended to prevent over-mixing or any gluten development. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon generously into mini-muffin tins, larger muffin tins or loaf pans. Mini-muffins will take 12-15 minutes  to bake, while larger tins will take longer. Muffins are finished when they are firm on top. Yields 28-36 mini-muffins or 14-16 regular muffins. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kosherfest Preview

With my twin girls walking, running, flying, and getting into all manner of cute trouble (and they're not even two yet!), I have less time than ever to commit to Kosherfest, our industry's largest event of the year. I won't be hanging at CKCA's booth either the whole time like the past two years (though I will still leave my coat there!), so I will have the opportunity to really see the booths and make an effort to check out as many of the new products as possible.

As you may know, my mission at Classically Kosher is to utilize healthier cooking methods and products to recreate classic Jewish recipes. I hope that some of the products coming out will support my work, as it has in past years. Products like MimicCreme, Earth Balance and others have permanently altered and broadened the way kosher cooks can function in the kitchen, and while Jack's Gourmet's Facon product might not be the healthiest of options, it is sure to open up a whole new world of recipes previously untried by the kosher cook (Julia Child's beef bourguignon recipe comes to mind).

I also am happy to see a pronounced interest in social media platform development forming around Kosherfest this year. While I was unable to attend the (first annual?) Kosher Food Bloggers conference in NYC today, I was thrilled to see that most (if not all) of the names of the speakers were familiar to me, especially Ely Rosenstock, a social media/branding expert and beloved former colleague of mine.

While the topics discussed at the conference seemed to be focused on how the bloggers can present themselves, I hope that this additional interest in social media from the kosher community will lead to bloggers taking more responsibility to use their Internet powers for the benefit of the marketplace. I say this because much of the information about what happens in the kosher world is now accessible through the Internet and, like never before, kosher food bloggers have the opportunity to help promote or hurt kosher food purveyors by their posts and commentary. It is more important than ever that social media representatives take their roles seriously to avoid misinformation or abuse of the larger marketplace.

Enough of my soapbox: Feel free to visit this space over the next couple of days to see my impressions of this year's Kosherfest offerings, and feel free to follow me in real time on Twitter at #kosherliz.