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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hello November!

November spells warmth to me. We're getting close to Christmas and New Year's but not quite there yet. The air is chillier, and as summer approaches, the afternoons are getting heavy downpours just before it stops raining all together. You see, in Costa Rica we have two seasons, rainy season and dry season, that's it. We're approaching the dry season right now, but right before it gets here there are usually heavy rains preceding it. That's where we're at, heavy rains.

Seeing as it is still raining and doesn't look like it's going to stop soon, my mind immediately goes to comfort food. One of my favorite childhood memories was when my mother used to make Pan de Miel or Honey Bread, literally translated. Recollections of the smells surrounding the kitchen, cutting the bread while it's still warm because you can't wait to try it and the sweet taste of this dense cake are what prompted me to make this tasty reminiscence of my childhood.

Pan de Miel is more like a very dense cake than an actual bread. At least that's what I think since there is no yeast in this recipe, there's also no kneading involved so I say it's a cake, and while it is called Honey Bread it is not too sweet. As the days go by, this loaf of cake gets even better!

I pried the recipe from my mother since I have been dying to make it only to find that she has decided to change some things. What?? Are you sure about this?

I guess I take after my mother, always trying to improve recipes or just adding stuff until they come out like I want!

But how could she change this recipe? Will it taste so utterly different from what I remember that I won't like it? What if she has ruined it for me all together, Oh no!

I had to try anyways, I needed to see if there was still any part of my childhood left in that bread! Um, I mean cake, whatever, I'll call it bread.
You see she's added icing now, I wonder what that will taste like...

Did my mother's new and "improved" (still to be decided) recipe for Pan de Miel deliver???

Yes it did!!!!

It was all that I remembered. Needless to say I ate half a loaf while it was still warm. I blame you mother! Good thing they were mini loaves.

And the icing? Did that work? It did, but I must say I prefer the original recipe, without icing.

To make these honey breads you will need:

1 kg. flour
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking soda

The icing is just confectioner's sugar and water.  I don't have the exact measurements because my mom likes to do things as she goes, but you just add water to the sugar until you get a desired consistency. 

With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add honey and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients until incorporated.

Grease two loaf pans and pour the batter until a little over half full.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack, remove from pan and pour the icing on top, just like the picture.


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