In the Kitchen with Cherry Bombe

November 20, 2017

What’s so special about your favorite recipe? Surely, there’s more to those ginger cookies than flour, eggs, and sugar. Maybe it’s the way they recall your favorite leafy season, or the spicy-sweet scent in the oven.

Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu love the stories behind our favorite foods. That’s why they teamed up in 2013 to launch Cherry Bombe—a magazine, podcast, and conference celebrating women in the food world and creativity in the kitchen. This fall, they’ve whipped up The Cherry Bombe Cookbook, a curated collection of 100 recipes from their fellow foodies.

“There are so many recipes online now,” says Kerry. “We wanted to rescue the recipe, so we asked each collaborator to share one that was meaningful to her.”

Their collaborators include some of the culinary industry’s most notable names—The New York Times’s “A Good Appetite” columnist, Melissa Clark, and North Carolina restauranteur Ashley Christensen each contributed a family recipe. But you don’t need a James Beard Award to become part of the so-called “Bombesquad.” Both Karlie Kloss and Chrissy Teigen graced the cover of the magazine and shared dishes for the cookbook.

Kerry and Claudia tested the dishes in their tiny New York City kitchens, working their way through each recipe’s pinches, dashes, dabs, and quirks. “Cooking someone else’s food creates a connection,” says Claudia. “You’re sharing their memories.”

Still editing your Thanksgiving menu? Here are three Cherry Bombe recipes to add to your own story this year.

Side Dish: Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini & Scallions
Chef Vivian Howard co-owns Chef & the Farmer, a Kinston, North Carolina restaurant you might recognize from her award-winning TV series A Chef’s Life. It’s in this kitchen that she’s mastered the art of putting a global spin on food that, like her, has firm roots in the region. Here, thickly cut sweet potatoes—a staple in the south—get a drizzling of Mediterranean tahini.

What You’ll Need
makes 2 servings
1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion (green part only)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped fresh mint

How To Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the potato into 8 wedges, leaving the skin intact. Toss the wedges with the olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl or pan with your hands to coat the wedges evenly. Arrange the wedges on a baking sheet, flesh-side down and not touching.

Roast for 15 minutes, then flip the potatoes over and roast for 10 minutes more, or until the potatoes are browned on all sides and creamy in the center.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, honey, lemon juice, sesame oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt. If the dressing seems too thick, whisk in a little water to loosen it up. When the potatoes are done, arrange them in a single layer on a serv¬ing platter and drizzle liberally with the tahini dressing. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, scallion, cilantro, and mint and serve at room temperature.

Cocktail: The Sinsear
Harlem resident Yvette Leeper-Bueno opened the doors to her neighborhood Spanish and Italian restaurant, Vinatería, in 2013. The first thing on its menu? The Sinsear. This cold-weather concoction blends bourbon with apple cider and ginger, making it time-tested favorite of the restaurant’s regulars—her neighbors.

What You’ll Need
makes 2 cocktails
½ cup bourbon
¼ cup apple cider
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons simple syrup
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

How To Make It
In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, cider, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ginger. Add some ice and shake. Strain into two glasses over fresh ice. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig and serve.

Dessert: Salted Caramel Brownies

Pop into any Brooklyn cafe and you’ll likely find a collection of sweet treats from Ovenly, Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin’s beloved bakery. But their popular salted caramel brownies didn’t originate during working hours. Rather, they first concocted this indulgent treat at the request of a dear friend with a strong sweet tooth. It’s made by topping brownie batter with salted caramel sauce—has there ever been a better combo?

What You’ll Need
makes 16 brownies
½ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for greasing the pan
⅔ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (60 to 65% cacao)
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unprocessed cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

How To Make It
Make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and dust it with flour.

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of cold water to create a double boiler (the bot­tom of the bowl should not touch the water). Melt the chocolate and butter over medium-low heat, stirring often with a rubber spatula, until completely smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate-egg mixture and combine with a spatula until smooth and uniform. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Dollop the caramel sauce over the top of the brownie batter. Use a butter knife to lightly swirl the caramel into the batter to create a marbleized effect.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top looks crisp and cracks begin to form. If a toothpick does not come out perfectly clean when you test the brownies, that is okay. They will set as they cool.

Let cool completely before cutting the brownies into 2-inch squares.

Salted Caramel Sauce
makes 1 1/2 cups

What You’ll Need
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Seeds from ½ vanilla bean

How To Make It
Combine ½ cup of the cream, the granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in an uncovered 1½- or 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the sugars have dissolved, whisk the mixture a few times to combine.

Continue to boil the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. When deep dark tan bubbles form, the consistency is thick and paste-like, and a candy thermometer reads 250°F, remove from the heat. (This should take about 5 minutes after the mixture reaches a boil.) Do not let the mixture burn. Add the remaining ½ cup cream and the vanilla bean seeds and whisk to incorporate.

Be careful, as the mixture will bubble up and can splatter when the cream is added. Return the saucepan to low heat and bring it to a low boil, whisking vigorously until no visible clumps remain and the caramel sauce is smooth, about 45 seconds.

Immediately pour the hot caramel sauce into a jar or heatproof bowl. Let it cool completely before using. The caramel sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for at least one month. Gently reheat it to use on ice cream, cake, cookies, or whatever you choose.

Recipes and Images reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Cherry Bombe, Inc. Photography by Alpha Smoot. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Want to choose more recipes? Shop the Cherry Bombe Cookbook here.

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