Vintage Inspired

Claire updates some classic recipes to suit your modern tastebuds! From the Hungarian inspired Chicken Paprika to her Aunt Tina’s Crackle Cake — these dishes are a must-taste!

Chicken Paprika with Egg Noodles


1 3.5 lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces

4 large onions, sliced

2 oz butter

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons hungarian paprika (sweet paprika)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup broth, hot

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sour cream


Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and lightly season with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven, cook onions and butter over medium heat until pale yellow, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, tomato paste, and the chicken.  Add 1 cup of broth and the salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.  Allow it to cool a bit and stir in the sour cream. Serve with egg noodles.

Baked Chipotle Cannellini Beans with Spinach and Cotija Cheese


4 or 5 15 oz cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or cooked yourself)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers

2/3 cup spinach

1/2 cup Cotija Cheese (or crumbled feta if you can’t find Cotija)

1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Bring the olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and minced garlic up to heat over a medium flame for about a minute. Stir in the tomatoes and the fresh oregano and bring to a gentle simmer.  Off the heat, add the adobo sauce and taste. I added a little too much the first time I made this, so beware, adobo is powerful stuff. Salt and pepper to taste, but go easy on the salt, because I find that canned beans can be a touch salty. Add the beans and spinach, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 baking pan and sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs and bake in the top-third of the oven for roughly twenty-five minutes, or until it is browned and bubbly on top. Enjoy!

Recipe for Tina’s Crackle Cake

Serves 10-12

Make in 3 10-inch cake pans lined with wax paper.



1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted then measured

2 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

9 egg yolks

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 cup egg whites (about 9 large eggs)

1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, packed

Coffee crunch topping (there will be a little left over):

Unflavored vegetable oil

2 tablespoon baking soda, sifted

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

3 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup


5 cups heavy cream

5 tablespoons sugar

5 teaspoons vanilla


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350F. Adjust rack in the lower third of oven.

Grease or spray 3 10 inch nonstick cake pans and line the bottom with wax paper. Grease the paper as well. Sift flour, half of the sugar (1 cup and 2 tablespoons), and salt into a bowl; set aside.

Whisk egg whites in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer just until frothy. Add cream of tartar; whisk until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cups sugar in a steady  stream, whisking until thicker, stiffer, glossy peaks form – about 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Scoop white into a VERY large bowl (trust me, you’ll need it) and set aside.

In the same bowl you used for the whites, beat the egg yolks with remaining sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes. Add water and beat until thickened, about 4 minutes.  It should be very thick and pale. Pour yolk mixture over whites and gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle a third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture; fold to combine. Repeat two more times just until ingredients are incorporated. Gently pour batter into the pans and level tops with a spatula.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top springs back slightly when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean. Invert pan onto a cooling rack, and cool for about 45 minutes.

To remove cake from pan, slip a butter knife down one side of pan and slowly trace perimeter to release the cake. When sides are free, cover cake with a rack and invert. Remove cake pan and the wax paper. Let the cakes cool completely.

For the coffee crunch topping:

Generously oil a large baking sheet or line with a silicon mat or parchment paper; sift baking soda onto a sheet of wax paper; set nearby.

Combine coffee, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy, 4-quart saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. When mixture is clear and begins to boil, increase heat to medium-high; cook until mixture reaches 290°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will foam up intensely). While still foaming, pour out onto prepared baking sheet. Do not spread (this will compress it) and let it harden and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Crush into very small pieces using your hands or a knife. Store in an airtight container if using later.

For the frosting:

Combine cream, sugar and vanilla. Whisk until cream holds stiff peaks.

Place cake on a cake plate. Spread whipped cream between each layer about 1 inch thick and sprinkle with the smallest pieces and dust from the coffee crunch.  Carefully stack the layers, repeating the whipped cream and sprinkling the coffee crunch. Spread remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of cake and decorate with as much coffee crunch as possible. Refrigerate until serving.