Tag Archives: cinnamon

Recipe of the Week

Cinnamon Babka French Toast with Berry Compote

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Cinnamon Babka French Toast with Berry Compote

If breakfast in bed is in order on Valentine’s Day — or any day — this decadent french toast recipe is full of proven aphrodisiacs…

Cinnamon was known for its sensual appeal in the ancient world and at one time was more valuable than gold because of its curative properties. It is among the spices considered useful for producing heat within the body and is known to increase appetite — both physical and sexual. As for berries, blueberries promote blood flow and help keep you young and energetic, raspberries and strawberries are full of antioxidants and are plump, pretty, and seductive. For more info about these and other aphrodisiacs check out Eat Something Sexy.

Click here for a blog I wrote on ancient aphrodisiacs and watch this great video collaboration with Carin Krasner with a step by step demo on how to make this sultry, comforting and delicious meal. Recipe below.

For the French Toast:
6 slices slightly dry day old cinnamon babka, sliced 1″ thick (Dean & Deluca makes the best babka on the planet)
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, for frying

For the Berry Compote:
1 pound mixed fresh berries
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water

Make the compote. In a medium saucepan, combine the berries with the sugar and the water and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until the berries are softened and the sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes.

Whisk together eggs and milk in a bowl. Add vanilla, sugar, and salt, whisk to combine.

Put the babka slices in a pie plate and pour the egg mixture over them. Let soak for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

Heat a large heavy skillet on medium heat.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet, add the babka and cook until golden brown 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with berry compote or with maple syrup.

Serves 2

Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

tomato pomegranate salad

Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

This recipe is adapted from one of my recent favorite cookbooks, Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More.

The pomegranate has ancient connections to love. When Hades, the king of the underworld, fell head over heels for Persephone he tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds so she’d have to spend a portion of each year as his queen. When Persephone was with him in the underworld, her mother, Demeter, the goddess of harvest, went into mourning causing all the plants to die and thus creating fall and winter. When Persephone went home to her mother, their happiness created spring and summer.

2 pounds cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, finely diced
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons pomegranate molasses
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
seeds of one pomegranate
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon mint

Mix together the tomatoes and onion in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt until well combined. Pour this over the tomato mixture and gently mix.

Gently toss the pomegranates seeds with the tomato mixture and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve.

Serves 6 to 8

photo by Audrey Chan