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By ROBERT VILLANUEVA
UPTON — Nirvana put an Upton woman on cloud nine.
Orange Nirvana, that is. That’s the name given to a culinary creation by Upton resident Jayne Judd Adams that garnered her a national win in the ’08 Fleischmann’s Yeast “Bake for the Cure” competition.
Last year, Judd Adams won at the state fair level, making her eligible for one of three $1,000 grand prizes. She was notified in January that her recipe won the Central Region Grand Prize.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Judd Adams said.
The coffee cake recipe, which includes an orange marmalade center drizzled with a cream cheese topping, took the top honor for the central region in the competition. Orange Nirvana joins the likes of Peach Mini Pies and Dragon’s Breath Bread, winners for the Northern and Southern regions respectively.
Judd Adams had not planned to enter the contest but was inspired to participate after her friend Cindy Hodges was diagnosed with breast cancer. The contest helps support the cause against breast cancer by benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.
“She’s pretty much the reason this happened,” Judd Adams said.
In fact, Hodges was the first one she called with the news.
“She was excited, too,” Judd Adams said.
Since the announcement of her win came during a tragic time for a friend of hers and just days before the ice storm that crippled Kentucky, Judd Adams hasn’t been able to let everyone in on her news. She puzzled at the question of just who she has been able to tell.
The Upton resident credits her father for instilling in her the love of baking. Judd Adams and her father did some catering before his death in 1979. She said her father told her “you eat with your eyes.”
For Judd Adams that means a recipe has to be appealing on all levels.
“It’s got to taste as good as it looks,” she said.
So how did Adams come up with the recipe?
She’s not too sure herself.
“I’m not a big bread maker,” Judd Adams said.
On the other hand, she loves orange marmalade.
And she loves to bake.
“People like to eat,” she said. “You make them happy. You give them food; they’re happy.”
Her love of baking and flair for creativity combined to make a winning recipe, though the Upton woman gives a nod an ethereal ingredient.
“I was lucky with this one,” she said.
As for the prize money, it’s already earmarked.
“Now I’m getting the stove of my dreams,” Judd Adams said.
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1-1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ounce cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons orange juice
½ teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in large mixer bowl. Heat milk and butter to 120-130 degrees and add to flour mixture. Add butter, egg and orange peel. Beat for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch dough down. Roll into 14 x 9-inch rectangle. Spread orange marmalade down the middle of the dough, lengthwise. Make diagonal cuts 1-inch apart and 3 inches long down the two sides. Fold alternate strips of dough over the filling. Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with the two tablespoons of melted butter. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes. Combine topping ingredients to make crumbs. Sprinkle on top of the braid. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Combine all icing ingredients and drizzle over coffee cake. Yield: 1 coffee cake.
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743.