Truffles, Challah and Tortillas (Oh, My!)

DSC_3332 Challah is one of my favorite breads. I prepare a slightly sweet, spicy and tender whole wheat challah on Friday. I enjoy leftovers all week-long (usually in the morning with the required cups of coffee), toasted and slathered with butter and Spanish honey or a spoonful of homemade Turkish fig butter.

Of course, one cannot live on bread alone (though I almost can). Chocolate is also required for sustenance. We’ve been playing around with a vegan chocolate truffle recipe (or as my little girls calls them, “KKKKruffles!”). The recent creation of a fig, ginger and orange variety are over-the-top scrumptious and focus on the chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.

A blog posted a yummy homemade whole wheat tortillas recipe. Hers look perfect; mine appear “rustic” at best (read: ugly) but taste great. They are stuffed with all of the fixing for fish tacos (or in my case, bean tacos, as fish is making me nauseous. Hubby says, “It’s another BOY.”).  

Other recent adventures in Curls and Carrots land: the hubby completes the long interview trail; there is lots of gardening; the kids and I enjoy nightly evening walks around the ‘hood. Littlest Guy rides in the stroller and four-year-old Snu Magoo walks with me, up to a mile. She calls them our “Girl Walks”!


Whole Wheat Challah 

Adapted from Yummly.


1 cup hot water (110•F)

2 1/4 tsp. bread machine yeast (Red Star)

1 tsp. granulated sugar 1/4 cup butter or Earth Balance, melted

1/4 cup good quality honey

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 cups organic, whole wheat bread flour

1 tsp. cardamom (or substitute cinnamon or nutmeg)

1 1/2 tsp. fine salt 1 cup golden or brown California raisins (optional)

1 egg 1 Tablespoon water

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

your seed of choice, such as pumpkin, sunflower, sesame or poppy.


  • Place the hot water, yeast and sugar in a bread machine. Close and allow to sit fifteen minutes.
  • Add butter, honey and egg.
  • On top of it, add the flour, raisins, cardamom and salt.
  • Run the “dough” cycle.
  • Do not open the machine after the cycle ends. Allow the challah to proof on a counter (free from drafts) for several hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Divide the bread into at least three strands, or more for a complex braid.
  • Roll the strands out on a floured surface. Braid the strands.
  • Place the challah in a standard-sized, greased loaf pan.
  • Mix the egg, water and vanilla. Brush the challah with the mixture. You will not use all of it.
  • Sprinkle the challah with your seed of choice.
  • All challah to rise in the bread pan, in a warm place, for at least an hour. The challah will rise above the pan.
  • Preheat oven to 425•F. Place the challah in the preheated oven. Cover with parchment paper.
  • Immediately reduce the temperature to 350•F.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the loaf light golden and makes a hollow sound when tapped at the bottom.
  • Cool and slice. Serve with butter and honey, if desired. Reserve extras; this bread makes the ideal French toast.



Gingered Fig Truffles (Vegan, GF)

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis at The Food Network


1 cup roasted, salted cashews

1 cup water

12 ounces 60-70% dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup fig jam, homemade or store-bought, or 1/4 cup puréed Turkish figs and 1/4 cup honey

1 tsp. fresh, grated ginger

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

the zest of one orange

Topping suggestions: unsweetened cocoa powder; chopped, crystallized ginger; chopped, roasted pistachios


  • Line a standard-size baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Blend the cashews and water in a food processor until creamy. You will not need all of the cashew cream.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 2/3 cups of cashew cream and the dark chocolate. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering hot water.
  • Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, a few minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the preserves, ginger, vanilla and orange zest.
  • Taste the mixture. If it is not sweet enough for your taste, add additional fig jam, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Place the mixture in a food processor and process until very smooth and velvety.
  • Refrigerate the mixture until firm, several hours or overnight.
  • With a small “melon-ball” ice cream scoop or a tablespoon-size round measuring spoon, spoon out the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Roll the mixture into balls and return to the baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  • Roll the truffles in your chosen toppings and enjoy. Keep refrigerated to maintain freshness.

©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


60 thoughts on “Truffles, Challah and Tortillas (Oh, My!)

  1. I love the shape of the challah! So artistic. The tortilla must be delicious, and rustic chapes are the best. Shanna your kids are looking more grown up in these photos since last time!!! And I love the photo of you with them, so much love and enjoyment 🙂 Besos amiga!

    1. Thank you so much, Sofia. Tortillas were my first… I am definitely going to keep working on that recipe before I post an adaptation. 🙂 The photo… don’t you love my huge sunhat? Haha. It’s a must in the high desert. Have a wonderful weekend; besos a ti!

    1. Haha, right?! Stefan says more water next time might help. I bake at high-altitude, over 7,000 feet, some it’s amazing what a Tbsp. of H20 can do. The challah recipe is my favorite. Thanks for the note. Your course sounds fun!

  2. What a happy last picture, Shanna! Thanks for sharing so many amazing recipes. You are having fun in the kitchen for sure.

  3. Oh, Shanna, have you seriously set out to bake and cook in threes? Wow, I’m in awe! I totally agree with Sofia, that challah bread looks so beautiful. And what about the truffles? I like the sound of those girl walks ❤
    Un beso gordo, gordo!

    1. A fat kiss! I love it. 🙂 Thanks, Rosa, for your warm words. Blogging has been a luxury lately… I had a bit of time and decided to share three of our week’s kitchen adventures. I love to share bread recipes when they turn out well! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend, amiga. Besos Gordos!

  4. Hi Shanna, good to see you’re still cookin’ 🙂
    The tortillas look like they could have used a few drops more water. It is sometimes amazing how much difference just a few drops can make. The challah does indeed look great.

    1. Yes, Stefan, that is exactly what I wondered as I rolled them out. I was unsure if it was too late to add extra water at that point. Thoughts? The challah really is so yummy; you should try it! Thanks for the visit and kind note. Happy Saturday!

      1. As long as you can distribute the water evenly throughout the dough it should be fine. What I do is that I roll out the dough, then spray it with water (using a plant spray) and then knead it again. You may have to rest it again if it becomes too elastic. Make sure to always wrap tortilla dough in a damp cloth while it rests, and also the dough that is waiting to be rolled out.

      2. The plant sprayer is also great for spraying a bit of moisture into the oven just when you put the bread in it — the vapor that causes will help to from a nice crust.

      1. Do you know Shanna, it will be a very nice Sunday night for me: I’m going to a dancing dinner served on the terrace of an old castel. It’ s really a magic place on the river Adige in Verona down town.

  5. This is the BREAD Shanna! The shape you gave it is perfect! I read you’ve added cardamom, I bet the flavour was amazing! And what about the gingered fig truffles??? So yummy!
    Your kids are beautiful Shanna!

    1. Thank you so much, Margherita. You are very, very kind… too kind. 🙂 This bread is amazing, though maybe not as spectacular as your savory Kranz bread. MMMM. Cardamom – love the spice and order it online from a great spice company. 🙂

  6. Great looking bread! I love making yeast breads too and challah is on my to do list. I will have to try this recipe soon. The truffles looks heavenly as well. Your kiddos are looking adorable too! Nothing like a sunflower seed eating monster helping out in the kitchen! I mysteriously have many ingredients missing as well!

    1. Gretchen, I love that you can always related to my posts. We share a lot common food favorites and certainly the houseful of mischievous kiddos. 🙂 Definitely try the challah. You can even use it for turkey and cheese sandwiches for the week’s school lunches. MMM. Thanks for the note!

    1. Thank you, Laura. Yes, seeds are so fun and tasty… you can never have too many varieties in the pantry. Yummy, tiny hemp seeds recently joined our seed collection. Yes, my four-year-old chica is definitely a challah monster like her mama. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks, Conor! 🙂 Some days I excell more at the cooking, other days the child-minding. I burnt two batches of sesame seeds in a row yesterday while multi-tasking and just gave up; those little munchkins! 😉

    1. Thanks, Julie. Congrats on your new little guy. OH my gosh, he is adorable. I just can’t get over those cute cheeks and big, handsome eyes. You must be the proud mama; two perfect little angels.

  7. Your Challah looks so delicious and yes, my tortillas usually turn out quite rustic as well! 🙂 Your girl walks sound like the best…they will make wonderful memories. Congratulations on the new little one!

  8. The girls and I also love challah bread. We use it for our French toast and for making grilled cheese sandwiches. I love your flavour additions. And congratulations Shanna! That is indeed wonderful news!

  9. oeh lalaaa Gingered Fig Truffles!! And that bread looks so good and healthy! The picture of you cute! Have a nice evening.

  10. Hello, Hello Darling Shanna, I am back. You have been busy baking and cooking. This challah is everything a challah can be!!! I love the photo of three of you and my God, how children have grown in the matter of just couple of months. Did you enjoy your trip to California couple of months ago? Is California in the future of your family? Hugs, Fae.

  11. love your “new” site, sure its been like this for a while but I havent been out about on the web and enjoying everyones writing especially yours I regret to admit, happy to visit today though! Yummy as always and I cannot get over how adorable your children are

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