Love is a Sweet Surrender

What is love? Is it an emotion or an action? Why is it both amazing and yet painful? Love is the most natural thing in life…before we even realize it or have the knowledge of what love is, we have already loved. We have already experienced the greatest part of life itself. When we are born, we don’t choose to love…we aren’t mentally capable of being taught how to love either, it simply occurs naturally. We don’t pick who loves us or have any choice in it, it just is. I believe that love is both an emotion and an action as you feel the strong feelings that you have towards that person but you also continue to show your love by saying, “I love you” or by other displays of affection.

This weekend, I was forced into a family outing which I usually am not the biggest fan of, as some of the members of my family do not readily understand me. So there we were, driving around Long Island, looking for something to do or somewhere to eat. I was in a daze, my earbuds were shoved deep into my ears before the music imploded into them, drowning out a world that I desperately needed a short vacation from, if only for the duration of a single song. Then, we drove past a bakery. This was a bakery that I had wanted to visit for some time. I asked if we could pull over so we could go and check it out. It had this big draping awning that read, “Home of the Crannoli”. That was literally the entire reason that I wanted to step into this bakery at all… to try this confectionery masterpiece…to be transported into a sugar-filled trance…to be overwhelmed with the goodness of another food hybrid. The crannoli was the perfect cross between a cannoli, donut, and a croissant.

As I savored this majestic dessert, it was everything that I expected it to be and more. It had a crisp and flaky shell of a croissant that was delicately shaped like a doughnut but had the richness of the cream to make it the most balanced dessert. It was perfection. But I suppose I am missing my point. I was reminiscing about love and its meaningful qualities. I could easily say that I experienced love when I took my very first bite into my crannoli but that is not quite the point that I am trying to make. You see, we have all loved someone…someone who has impacted our lives greatly…someone who has loved us back unconditionally. I remember what that was like to love someone so much that it became my whole world. It made me a better person. When you lose someone that you love so completely, it is the most painful thing ever. So when I saw this particular bakery, it appealed to me beyond my amusement of its famous crannoli but the actual name of the bakery. The bakery was named Sweet Surrender Bake House. And that was it. That is what love is…a sweet surrender. Love can be painful, beautiful, fulfilling, and tumultuous but it is all worth it. Love is simply surrendering to your feelings in order to be a part of someone else’s world, their life, or their future. Love is the greatest sacrifice because there is no limit to it and that is an experience that I will never regret…that I could never fathom forgetting. Love, in its truest form, endures forever regardless of the circumstances. Love is a sweet surrender.

The Abundance of Food Trends

rolling pin and a rolled out piece of dough

Image by: Sameen Ismail

Everyone knows how easily a particular subject can gain attraction and become a viral sensation. From Justin Bieber to Grumpy Cat, it is apparent how rapidly a topic can rise to fame and for all to want to be able to partake in if only for a while before the short-lived fame begins to die down. This is even more crucial for food establishments as it may only be available for a short period of time before being completely taken off the menu. Food trends are probably the one of the best viral sensations to occur because it highlights the similarities of many people’s taste preferences. Everyone will spend not only their hard-earned money but their time in line with many others simply waiting for their turn to have the chance to feast on this thriving food product.

a pink icing glazed cronut

Image by: Phil Nolan

Food trends really began to soar in 2013 when the Cronut (a portmanteau for croissant and donut) was born in Dominique Ansel Bakery; it was the one food item that everyone wanted to taste and would wait hours in order to taste it even if there was a significant chance they would be turned away if the product sold out for the day. Ansel continued to surprise us with his confectionery masterpieces which included the chocolate chip cookie shot and a few other desserts. From then on, it was the cruffin which was another portmanteau for a croissant muffin which is readily sold at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco, the rainbow bagels from the Bagel Store in Williamsburg, and many other foods.

But the newest food trend is one that was discovered in New York just this year which is the Cinnamon Roll Stuffed Donut. Although it sounds insane many describe it as a delicious dessert. Chef Thiago Silva of Catch Restaurant located in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan created this dessert as part of his extensive dessert menu. It has received lots of praise and continues to as many come to visit his restaurant in search of this new food trend. Below, I have a recipe for the donuts, if any dare to try to recreate it in their own homes.

Cinnamon Bun Stuffed Donuts

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Dough

  • 2 packets yeast (4½ tsp.) I use active dry.
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 eggs

Filling

  • 2 Tbs. margarine, melted
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon

Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼-1/2 cup water

Instructions

Dough

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yeast with the warm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir until no longer lumpy and set aside to proof and bubble up; 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile add the ¼ cup sugar and the salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  3. In a microwaveable bowl warm the vegetable shortening with the soy milk until the shortening has melted. Pour the shortening/milk mixture over the sugar/salt mixture and stir to melt. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
  4. Add the flour and eggs into the mixer bowl. Then finish off with the yeast mixture. Mix on low using the dough hook until the dough comes together. Once it’s pulling off the sides of the bowl, set the mixer to medium low and mix for about 6 minutes.
  5. Grease or oil a large clean bowl and scrape the dough mixture inside. The dough will be sticky, but don’t add flour! Grease your hands to better work with the dough.
  6. Cover in plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise for one hour.
  7. Once the dough has risen, cut off ⅓ of the dough (about 12 ounces if you have a kitchen scale) to make your cinnamon buns. Set the rest of the dough in the fridge.

Cinnamon Buns

  1. Grease a 12 cavity cupcake pan and set aside.
  2. On a well-floured surface roll out the dough you just portioned off. Roll it into a rectangle about 12″ wide and 6″ tall.
  3. Melt the margarine and brush over the dough.
  4. Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Roll the dough into a log, you are rolling the long side up so your log is still 12″ long.
  5. Once rolled up use a serrated knife or bench scraper to cut the buns into 12 pieces.
  6. Place each bun in one cavity of the cupcake pan, cut side up/down.
  7. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Once the buns have risen, bake for 10-12 minutes until just lightly brown. You don’t want to overbake-these will still be fried.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and then carefully pop the buns out of the cupcake pan. The sugar will be extremely hot so your best bet is to flip them out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  11. Allow these to cool completely.
  12. Once the buns are cool, remove the reserved dough from the fridge.
  13. Divide the dough into 12 portions (just under 2 ounces each). Flatten each piece, I used well-floured hands but you could use a rolling pin.
  14. Place one bun pretty side down on the flattened dough. Carefully wrap the dough over the bun and pinch the seams together at the bottom.
  15. Set the donut to rise seam side down on a floured parchment lined baking sheet.
  16. Once all 12 donuts are formed, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  17. While the donuts are rising, heat your cooking oil. I use vegetable oil but use any oil with a high smoking point.
  18. Heat your oil to 350 degrees F. Proper temperature is everything: too cold and your donuts soak up all the oil and become greasy. Too hot and your donut is burning but the inside is raw.
  19. I use a deep fryer because it will regulate the temperature for me, if you don’t have one-make sure you have a really good thermometer and keep a close eye on it.
  20. Fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side.
  21. Carefully remove from the oil and drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

Icing

  1. Once your donuts have cooled (if you haven’t eaten them all yet) measure the powdered sugar into a bowl.
  2. Slowly add a bit of water at a time until you have a thick icing consistency. I went thick with these but you can thin the icing out more if you are looking for more of a glaze.
  3. Dip, drizzle, or pour the icing onto your donuts.
  4. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon for an added touch and enjoy!

Adapted from Lil Miss Cakes

 

But I would still advise going to the actual bakery to taste the original, not necessarily because it will taste better, but because sometimes the sheer anticipation of waiting in line and buying this widely talked about product adds to the delicious flavor. It makes it all worth it in the end of it after the time and money spent on it.

Comment below with anything you would find worthy of waiting in line for.