Of course, reality is quite the contrary to this little fantasy. There are eggs (though only 2 for the entire 9"x13" pan!), there is butter in the topping (but only 1/4 cup!), and both sugar and brown sugar make appearances. Oh, well. Sometimes you just have to have some fun, and then run a marathon ... or at least contemplate the prospect, hoping it will burn off at least a few calories if you think about it really hard.
Jeremy has been asking me to make a chocolate-cherry kugel for awhile now. Well, I needed to make food for Rosh Hashanah, right? Holiday food. Celebratory food. And it's not a Jewish party without kugel. So, this was the time to try it.
I took my basic kugel recipe, added some of the hand-pitted cherries I'd frozen this summer, threw in a generous quantity of chocolate chips (because why be stingy with them???), and substituted chocolate graham cracker crumbs for the standard ones I usually use for a topping. I put it into the oven while Jeremy and his buddy Robby were upstairs, and when they came out of Jeremy's room I heard them say "It smells good in here!" and "It smells like pie!" Aromatherapy at its finest!
And in summation, let me tell you what Jeremy's friend Andrew said when he got a chance to try it: "This is like eating crack."
'Nuff said -- stop reading and go make kugel!
Chocolate Cherry Kugel
1-1/2 cups tart cherries
1/2 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup + 3/4 cup sugar
1 12-ounce package whole wheat noodles
1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 16-ounce container low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 rectangles chocolate graham crackers, ground into crumbs1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
Combine cherries, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl; let macerate for 1 hour, then drain and chop.
Prepare noodles according to package directions; drain.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, sour cream, salt, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 3/4 cup sugar, and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips, cherries and noodles.
Pour mixture into a greased 9"x13" casserole dish.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon; pour melted butter over the mixture and stir to combine.
Spread crumbs over the top of the noodles, then bake the kugel for 45 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a knife inserted into the center comes out nearly clean. Let the kugel rest for about 10 minutes before serving.