Monday, September 13, 2010

Chocolate 'n' Cherries ... Need I Say More???

I love kugel [KOO-guhl] -- a noodle pudding served for dessert or as a side dish. I absolutely adore it. It's sweet, it's creamy, and I can delude myself that it has redeeming nutritional qualities because I use part-skim ricotta, low-fat sour cream and whole wheat noodles.

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
2 eggs
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.



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Angela said...

OK, I am up late and this indeed looks like a plate full of crack heaven--I have pitted tart cherries from the CSA and have been wondering what to do with them. Now I know...

180-Watt Subwoofer Sony SA-W3000 Performance Line 12″ 180-Watt said...

Its seems so delicious, weww mmmhhh :)

Larri said...

Yum! This sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Meet & Greet. Happy Monday! :o)
Larri at Seams Inspired

The Sisters' Hood said...

Here from the hop, so fab to meet you here on line but should never have read this post prior to having breakfast!
ugh ... diet, diet, diet ....
must, must, must ....

Rachel (Diary of a Recovering Chocoholic) said...

This looks fantastic! Now that I have a kitchen I can actually make some of your recipes :)

Unknown said...

Noodle pudding? I've never heard or seen anything like this before...but I want a big chunk right now!! It sounds wonderful!

Tara said...

I'm a new follower from Making Friends Monday!

Amanda said...

That looks yummy!

Hi! Following you for Making Friends Monday! I'd love a follow back!

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

I've never heard of this!!!! That is very interesting and looks really good!!! Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Mary, you did it this time! This looks so decadently declicious I'm appreciating Jeremy's friend's metaphor. I gotta try this one for sure and the tutorial couldn't be clearer. Happy Rosh Hashanah! Who knew I'd love kugel?

Unknown said...

Following from Meet Up Monday!! Hope you can visit me at: It's Mom Friendly Meals Monday!

Kelsey said...

I've never heard of this before, but it sounds really interesting! Especially with a slight healthy factor. I started a weight loss challenge for myself and I'm searching for recipes...perhaps I'll give this a try!

Katina said...

Looks delicious! I need to run a marathon by just looking at it!

Ron Cooper said...

Good to see you on Making Friends Monday! My inspiring messages are now available on Twitter. Stop by and sign up!

Candace said...

Oh my! I have never had kugel before; but this looks amazing. Chocolate, cherries..... you just can't beat that combo!


Robin said...

Oh dear... eating crack. I am beginning to think it is a good thing we live so far

Unknown said...

Insane goodness.

I know kugel sometimes teeters between side-dish and dessert. This doesn't tip the scale, but rather tosses it so far into the dessert field that it'll be difficult to bring back.

I've sooooo got to try this. Kugel is one of the few things I "bake," but given your the graham cracker topping, cherries and the chocolate chips, it might need to go to our baker instead.

Cranberry Morning said...

Did you say noodles?? I'm not kidding. I read this post twice. I just can't seem to wrap my brain around it. The picture looks amazing, then I get to the noodle part. I've gotta go back and read this again.

And while I'm re-reading it, I'd like a piece, please.

Hunger and Thirst said...

Thank you for linking up at Hearth and Soul. Kugel is an old comfort food for me, especially so when made with whole milk and cheese :)

Christy said...

I didn't know kugel was made with noodles and all sorts of dessert ingredients. I would love to try some! Thanks for sharing with the Hearth'nSoul blog hop!

shelley said...

Happy New Year Mary!
this looks devine, i will have to try it.. maybe i will switch out the past to whole wheat pasta though lol... i can smell it now!

April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

Oh my, your kugel looks scrumptious! I can almost smell it just from how you described it too. I'm definitely going to have to try making it!!

a moderate life said...

Yenta Mary, I hope you had a blessed new year! I am here to make you feel a bit better about your Kugel! First of all, butter is filled with DHA and saturated fat which is great for your brain, nerves and keeps your hormones in balance. It also helps build healthy new cells in your body and keeps your skin soft and smooth and wrinkle free. Eggs are also high in many fat soluble vitamins, great protien and again, dha to keep your brain functioning well. That, coupled with the LOVE you put into this recipe and the tradition you are following with your faith makes this a VERY soulful and healthy recipe~!!!! Thanks so much for sharing it on the Hearth n Soul hop! Alex@amoderatelife

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