Chef Doug Sisk of the Social Club at the Surfcomber Miami Beach is known for his eclectic menu with global influences, like Peruvian chicken with warm potato salad and mini fried oyster sandwich with cucumber and Cajun cream cheese.
But when he is on the go, he often needs a power snack, and he came up with a cereal bar that packs a lot of energy. Given that it’s back-to-school time, he agreed to share his recipe. Who wouldn’t love to find these in their lunchbox or backpack? The also make a great grab-and-go breakfast.
Q. I am looking for a recipe for a New England apple tapioca. We had an elderly neighbor who made this. We gave her apples from our trees, and she would surprise us with it. Shrafft’s restaurant in New York City made an apricot tapioca that was close, but they are not in business anymore.
Your mention of Shrafft’s brought back fond memories, so I was happy to search through my old cookbooks, and found a recipe in the 1952 Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking by Meta Given. I did a little fiddling to make it richer, but I do believe this is a tapioca that will take you back. Purists may insist on soak-overnight pearl tapioca, but most of us are more inclined to go with convenience.
Key Lime cake
Gail Cohen writes: “I saw the request for Norman Brothers Key Lime Cake. You mention that the recipe dates to 2003, but I have a similar recipe from your column, to which I’ve made variations, from Townsite Super Market in Islamorada. This is one of my standard desserts, and everyone loves it. It’s so light and moist.”
The recipe she references uses lemon pudding, where the other one uses lime flavored Jell-O. They are both fabulously simple and delicious cakes, though I have to say I prefer the texture of Cohen’s, as it is more like a spongecake.
I also like the alterations she made to the original, adding more Key lime juice, adding zest and topping with a glaze rather than poking the cake and saturating it with a thin lime sugar syrup.
More on the Norman Brothers cake: Some readers found the recipe as published confusing because it mentioned water in the directions but not in the ingredient list. Standard recipe style is to not put water in the ingredient list because it is not something you have to make sure you have on hand. But given the confusion, in future columns we will include it in both places. For the record, that cake recipe calls for both 2/3 cup oil and 2/3 cup water.
Tried and New
When my children went off to college, I was always looking for a little taste of home to send them. At the time, the easy answer was cookie mixes in a jar, but those involved the addition of fresh ingredients and an oven, not always available in dorm rooms.
What I truly like about the My Mug Cake set by Tastefully Simple ($19.95) is that all you need to add is water to produce little cake confections in the provided mug. The set includes a mug and two cake mixes, Raspberry Chocolate and Cinnamon Streusel. You can also buy the cake mixes in three-packs for $9.95. All are available at tastefullysimple.com. (An early version of this story incorrectly stated that the set included two mugs.)
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