Cooking with Huckleberry Update: Chocolate Teacake, Cheese Rye Biscuits and Brisket

I’ve been cooking 1 recipe per day from Zoe Nathan Loeb’s cookbook:  Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets and Recipes from Our Kitchen, and am a bit behind in posting, so here’s a quick update.

First, a “chocolate chocolate teacake.”  I have been quite enamored with the teacakes served at both of Zoe’s restaurants, Huckleberry & Milo and Olive, because they are so light and moist.  Some of them are baked loaf tins and served in slices and others are baked and served in mini, tiny, single serving loaf pans.  I decided upon the chocolate teacake because I had all of the ingredients on hand:  buttermilk, dark chocolate, cocoa (or cacao) powder, flour, eggs, baking soda and powder, coffee, sugar, etc.  I am still not certain as to why this is called a “teacake,” though, because my research yielded only descriptions of cakes that were very simple, often with dried fruits, but not chocolate.  In addition, I cannot think of drinking tea with this cake, but rather a dark, delicious coffee with some cream, or a latte.  Anyhow . . . . I made quite an epic mess in the kitchen with this one, but it was undoubtedly worth it.  And I actually brewed some kilogram chai tea and mixed it with heavy cream as an accompaniment.

Chocolate Teacake 2 (7 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake 2 (8 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake 2 (10 of 13)

I made this part up myself — added a giant hunk of chocolate in the middle of the batter, for oozing factor.

Chocolate Teacake 2 (11 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake 2 (12 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake 2 (6 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake 2 (5 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake 2 (3 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake 2 (1 of 13)

Chocolate Teacake (1 of 2)


Chocolate Teacake sliced (1 of 1)

As a funny coincidence, just yesterday, the day I made the teacake, and after I did so, I came across a wonderful blog, thirsteafortea, that features wonderful information regarding teas of all sorts, the ceremony of tea brewing and drinking, and recipes for traditional tea accompaniments such as dumplings and scones, as well as reviews of tea houses.  The blog is beautifully photographed and written and has peaked my interest in tea, which I’ve always associated with refinement, serenity, a demure and quiet tempered disposition, and sophistication, rather than (for right or wrong) the things I associate with coffee such as young hipsters, jacked up drivers, hot tempers, full throttle emotional living, and high anxiety.  I love my coffee and have never thought to incorporate tea into my beverage arsenal, but now I am interested.  We’ll see how that affects my cooking!

Second up was brisket, which has always eluded me.  I don’t often make large roasts of meat and the one time I did make brisket, it was from a Suzanne Goin recipe that took me two days and multiple ingredients, stages, and techniques.  It was good but too much work that I don’t like.  I’d rather be baking and frying up burgers than browning, deglazing, braising, de-fatting, slicing, re-heating and on and on, large pieces of meat. Enter Huckleberry’s recipe, which is super simple and yielded the most delicious, tomato/wine sauced, tender brisket I have ever eaten.  To stay true to her recipe I served it as a “breakfast hash” with fried eggs, but for dinner!

Brisket (3 of 5)

Brisket (2 of 5)

Brisket (4 of 5)

Finally, my holy grail of baking:  the famous “super cheesy rye biscuit” that lived off (for breakfast) almost every day for a year.  Milo & Olive happens to be about 2 blocks from where I used to work, a very easy bike-ride break on my way to work.  I was so distressed when they first moved the daily biscuit to weekends only, then to some weekends, then they disappeared.  When Zoe announced her book I wrote to her inquiring if the biscuit recipe would be in there, and to my delight she responded affirmative.  Now I know why the biscuits are delicious:  cream cheese, parmesan, sharp cheddar, butter, butter and butter, buttermilk, rye flour and  . . . well you get the picture.  The upside is they are so easy to make, you freeze the biscuits for at least 2 hours but up to . . . . quite a long time, which makes it so convenient to just have one or two at a time if you are a small family or your own family!, and they are so delicious that my husband when he took a bite hot out of the oven, shoved his dinner plate to the other end of the table and put his hand on his forehead as if to express the high drama and seriousness of this biscuit.

Cheesy Rye Biscuits (1 of 9)

Cheesy Rye Biscuits (2 of 9)

Cheesy Rye Biscuits (1 of 7)Cheesy Rye Biscuits (3 of 7)

Cheesy Rye Biscuits 3 (1 of 1)

Cheesy Rye Biscuits 2 (1 of 1)

Cheesy Rye Biscuits 5 (1 of 1)


24 thoughts on “Cooking with Huckleberry Update: Chocolate Teacake, Cheese Rye Biscuits and Brisket

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      1. well it all depends on what you like. I have grown accustomed to using my kindle and I just prop it up on top of a couple of cookbooks on my butcher block to read!

  1. Loved that chocolate tea cake and delicious mess you made there with chocolate. My girls would have glued themselves there, licking each and every spoon :).
    Those Rye cheesy biscuits are fondue for :).
    Quite an interesting and wholesome book it sounds.

  2. OMG Again Sue! Your creations look insanely delicious! First of all that teacake….ahhh, you are killing me. Chai and chocolate are truly a match made in heaven, and your photos have me wanting to take licks off of the screen. Thanks so much for the shout out too …it’s so very kind of you! I have hope that I can convert you into an equally avid tea lover in no time. 🙂 I’ve become an instant fan of your site…you passion for food is infectious…thanks so much for finding my blog so that I could find yours! 🙂

    1. Haha, thank you so much, the crush is mutual!!! It’s nice to know, also, that you are in Los Angeles! I have 2 blogging friends (Patty Nguyen and Sofia Villar of Papaya Pieces) coming to visit this week on Friday . . . . might be fun to meet up with you I know it’s real short notice 🙂

      1. Hey Sue! It’s so very sweet of you to invite me. Tomorrow is actually my birthday, so I have some other plans already, but please count me in for next time…I would love to chat about blogging, food, and life you! I also follow Patty’s beautiful blog and will be checking out Sofia’s now. Thanks again, and count me in the next time around! 🙂
        P.S. Since you are in Santa Monica, I take it you must go to Surfa’s a lot? It’s one of my favorites! I went to baking school at the New School of Cooking in Culver City, just a block down from Surfa’s…from the looks of it you could teach there!

      2. I do go to Surfas all the time but it’s dangerous! I’m on forced sabbatical (due to budgetary issues!) from that place so I send my orders with my mom who’s there all the time. How neat that you went to the New School! It’s such a great area right now (Culver City)! Have a really happy birthday filled with lots of good tea, dumplings, pastries and laughs!!

  3. Everything looks so delicious as always. My mouth literally fell open when I saw the hunk of chocolate in the middle of the tea cake batter. And there it remained as I scrolled through everything else. I’m sure you already realize you need to write and photograph a cookbook.

  4. Please tell us. I have read over 109 reviews of this cookbook and so far out of 30 tried recipes by the 109 reviewers there were 20 that were accurate with measurements of the ingredients and 10 recipes that were very wrong. Will you comment? I have the book and have been marking it up with corrections. Do you know of an errata from the publisher that may address this? I have inquired to the publisher to no avail. I got my review information from people who have purchased the book from

    1. I will let the author know if you want to email me your notes. I know her personally and her husband. My very first recipe I had the same experience; the cheesy rye biscuits were too wet inside and she told me just cook them a little longer. my email is

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