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Archive for the ‘dessert recipes’ Category

of cheese blintzes and cheese kreplach

27 May
coating the pan with batter to make the blintzes
In my home growing up, my mother and grandmother would prepare and serve dairy delicacies for our milchig meal on Shavuos.  These included Cheese Blintzes, Cheese Kreplach and Cheese Knaidlach to name a few, and an old-fashioned style cheesecake which I did not appreciate at the time.  Being the first in my family to get married, I continued the tradition of making these specialties to serve in my home on Shavuos morning.  Subsequently, two of my brother’s got married, and since my mother wanted them to enjoy these foods and could not expect their wives to make them, she started the tradition of making the blintzes and kreplach for all of us for Yom Tov.  And the cheesecake!  Being in the cheesecake business does not exclude me from getting my own pan of (unbaked) cheesecake, made with the traditional dough on the bottom and dough on top with a farmer’s cheese filling.  Yum!
In the past several years, my mother has been preparing these items with my help in my home, so I can appreciate how much time it takes to cook it and pack it up for the individual families.  Yesterday my mother came over and single-handedly made 80 crepes (still not enough!) and filled them.  With the help of my daughter-in-law and 10-year-old son, dough was rolled out, filled and sealed for approx 180 kreplach, after which my mother cooked them in gently boiling water, drained them and bathed them in breadcrumbs toasted in butter.  Serve with a sprinkling of confectionary sugar either as a dessert or as an entrée, perhaps accompanied by a blintz, a dollop of sour cream and a fresh strawberry.  Ahhh…..
Are you wondering what I did yesterday as everyone around me was put to work?  As a matter of fact, I was taking pictures for this blog post and I made the blintze filling, kreplach filling, and the dough for the cheesecakes.  All in all, we spent hours in the kitchen together, bonding – mothers, grandmothers, daughter and daughter-in-law, and lets not forget the sons and son-in-law – some helping and some watching and tasting.  What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
CHEESE BLINTZES
This recipe is from The Haimishe Kitchen, volume 1.  It makes approximately 16-18 small crepes.

Ingredients

CREPES
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
stack of crepes
FILLING:
  • 1.5 lb farmer cheese
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon vanilla sugar
    blintz filling

Directions

For crepes, mix together flour and eggs.  Stir until no lumps remain.  Add remaining ingredients slowly.  You may need an immersion blender to make it smooth.  Heat frying pan, brush with oil or butter.  With a ladle, pour some batter into the pan while tilting and swirling it to make a thin layer.  When the underside is brown, turn to brown the other side.  Crepes should be soft and pliable.  Pile them one of top of the other until you are done and are ready to fill them.
For the filling, mix all ingredients together.  Fill and roll blintzes.  Note: The blintze filling is not overly sweet, because too much sugar will make for the filling liquid and it will ooze out. If you prefer a sweeter blintze, top with confectionary sugar (and sour cream ;)). Serve warm by reheating covered in an oven or in a single layer in a  pan with melted butter.
blintz heaven
CHEESE KREPLACH
This recipe was given to me by a customer that asked me to make them for her.  They are soft and delicious.  Do not reroll the extra dough, as it will be tough.  This recipe will yield approximately 60 kreplach.

Ingredients

DOUGH:
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 whipped cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • dash of salt
  • 4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
FILLING:
  • 2 lbs farmer cheese
  • 1/2 tub whipped cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • vanilla sugar & sugar to taste*
TOPPING:
  • breadcrumbs
  • butter
  • drop of sugar
*note: sugar makes the cheese soft causing a loose texture, so put in the smallest amount that it needs to taste good.  Then a bit of confectionary sugar on top should put on the finishing touch of sweetness.

Directions

Mix all ingredients together for the dough.  Let stand at room temp for 2 hours.  If  it is too soft to roll, refrigerate for 1/2 hour or more.  Heat a pot of water to a gentle boil.  Add a bit of salt to the water.  In a frying pan, melt 1/2 stick of butter.  Add breadcrumbs and a bit of sugar and toast till it’s a nice light brown color.  My mother likes to make her own breadcrumbs, so the pieces are not too fine.  I bought the panko crumbs (not the orange ones), but you can use any unflavored, store-bought breadcrumbs.
Roll out dough to 1/16″ thickness.  Cut dough into 2 -3″ rounds with a cookie cutter.  Spoon a bit of filling in the center of each round.  Fold in half and seal with a fork or with your fingers.
When you have several of them ready, gently drop into pot of water.  Cook for a few minutes.  Remove kreplach from the water and place in a strainer or colander.
When drained, toss in the breadcrumb mixture.  Serve warm with a bit of conf. sugar on top.
 

devil’s food cake verrine

02 Sep

Chocolate talks to me.  Dessert talks to me.  This is an unforgettable dessert I served at one of my simchas.   A Verrine is layers of different textured foods in a glass (sweet or savory).  This is the ultimate chocolate dessert – basically a deconstructed take on a devil’s food cake including four components: a dense chocolate cake, creamy chocolate mousse, a rich chocolate sauce and a crunchy, salty cocoa nib streusel.  If you are short on time (who isn’t?), you can use any devil’s food cake mix for this recipe.

This recipe is from Elizabeth FalknerC from Fine Cooking magazine.

Serves twelve.

For the Cake:
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter or margarine; more for the pan
  • 3-1/2 oz. (1 cup) cake flour (if you don’t have, use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons flour)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 oz. (2/3 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 cup hot freshly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (use 1 Tbsp lemon juice and add soy or parve milk to make 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
For the Mousse:
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (if making parve use all bittersweet chocolate)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 Tbs. honey or light corn syrup
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or parve equivalent
For the Streusel:
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 5 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 oz. cocoa nibs (about 1/3 cup) (I haven’t been able to find this in my area. You can omit if this is the case.)
  • 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
For the Sauce:
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream or parve equivalent
  • 2 Tbs.  light corn syrup
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. dark rum (not extract)
Make the Cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Butter an 8x8x2-inch square cake pan, line the bottom with parchment, and butter the parchment.

Sift the cake flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt onto a piece of parchment. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and the coffee over medium heat to melt the butter. Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg, and yolk and then the flour mixture until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto the rack, remove the parchment, and cool completely.  (Cake may be frozen for later use.)

Make the Mousse

Melt the bittersweet and milk chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk the yolks and the syrup over the water bath just until warm. Remove from the heat and whisk briefly to cool.

With an electric hand mixer on medium speed, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

With the mixer on medium-high speed, whip the cream in another medium bowl until soft peaks form.

Whisk the yolk mixture into the melted chocolate. Whisk in a spoonful of the whipped cream. With a rubber spatula fold in the remaining whipped cream and then the egg whites. Refrigerate. (The mousse can be made up to 4 hours ahead.)

Make the Streusel

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour and cocoa powder. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture in three increments, including the cocoa nibs and salt with the final addition. Mix until the dough comes together. (The dough can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to 2 months.)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and press the dough into the pan in a 1/4-inch-thick layer.

Bake at 325°F for 8 minutes and then rake with a fork to break into medium clumps. Bake for 7 minutes more and rake again to create small pieces. The streusel will look sandy and will crisp as it cools. (The streusel can be made 1 day ahead or frozen for longer.  Use extra streusel over ice cream.)

Make the Sauce

Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Put the cream, syrup, salt, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, pour over the chocolate, and stir to melt.

Assemble

Divide the warm chocolate sauce among twelve 8-oz. glasses. Cut the cake into 1-inch cubes and put 4 in each glass. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. of the rum on the cake cubes. Scoop a spoonful or a quenelle (oval shaped scoop) of mousse into each glass. Sprinkle about 2 Tbs. of streusel on top of the mousse, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The cake can be baked 1 day ahead. The streusel dough can be refrigerated for a week, and baked up to 1 day ahead. The mousse can be made up to 4 hours ahead.

Photo: Scott Phillips

 

cookie dough cheesecake

28 Apr

Some words just make your mouth water – and cookie dough is one of them!  This cake won first prize in a contest years ago and with good reason!  I already decided that this will be the cheesecake I serve my guests this Shavuos.  Well, maybe one of the cheesecakes….  You see, my friends Shirley and Chaim Cohen eat by us the first night of Shavuos each year.   Every year when I invite Shirley, I tell her that I don’t know if and what we’ll eat because I don’t know when I’ll have time to cook, and she always answers me with a laugh “that’s OK, we’ll have 4 courses of cheesecake!”  And she’s not joking – it’s my family that would have an issue with that…..

 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups crushed chocolate chip cookies or chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

 

  • COOKIE DOUGH:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter.
  • Press onto the bottom and 1 in up the sides of a greased 9-in. pan.  Place pan on a baking sheet; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in sour cream and vanilla.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.  Pour over crust; set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.   Add water and vanilla.  Gradually add flour and mix well.  Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.
  • Drop dough by teaspoonfuls over filling, gently pushing dough below surface (dough should be completely covered by filling). Place pan on a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until center is almost set.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.  Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove sides of pan. Sprinkle with remaining chips. Refrigerate leftovers.

 

  • Yield: 12-16 servings.
Nutrition Facts: (do you really want to know??) 1 slice equals 551 calories, 36 g fat (22 g saturated fat), 131 mg cholesterol, 328 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 8 g protein.
recipe credit: Taste of Home
photo credit: Taste of Home

 

pecan cheesecake pie

28 Apr

Pecan pie and cheesecake all in one bite! Who could resist this?  I got this recipe from Devorah Newhaus many years ago, but like everything else, I found it on the internet with a picture!Pecan Cheesecake Pie

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

 

  • 1 ¼ cups chopped pecans

 

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine the cream cheese, 1 egg, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and salt. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Pour the cream cheese mixture into piecrust.
  4. Next, chop the pecans (not too fine) and sprinkle them evenly over the cream cheese layer.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the 1/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, 3 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  6. Whisk everything together until it’s well combined and pour the mixture over the pecans. Place the pie on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 on the lowest oven rack for 50 to 55 minutes or until the pie is set.
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).
  9. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

photo credit: Jennifer Davick

 

 

neopolitan cheesecake

28 Apr

Someone recently asked me if I have any cheesecake recipes to share for an upcoming publication.  I said they could take anything off my website, but she said there wasn’t much there.  What????  I checked and she was right!  I guess the Shavuos/cheesecake season with late nights and long work hours, doesn’t leave much time for blog writing!  I am trying to rectify the situation,  and you’re all welcome to share your favorite recipes here as well.
Who doesn’t like the Neopolitan ice cream combination?  Not only does it look enticing, the flavors are familiar and comforting.  This cake has won awards and ribbons around the country.   The recipe called for a 9-inch springform pan but I think it is more impressive in the 8-inch because the layers won’t be so flat.  You can choose between the two.  Happy Baking!!
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted,divided
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, divided
  • 2 1/2 ounces white chocolate, divided
  • 1/3 cup mashed or blended sweetened strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons shortening, divided

 

DIRECTIONS
1.   Combine crumbs and 3 tablespoons of butter; press onto the bottom of an ungreased 8-in. springform pan or one piece cheesecake pan.   Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes; Cool.
2.  In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time just until mixed.   Add vanilla
3.  Divide batter into three portions, about 1 2/3 cups each.  Melt 2 squares semisweet chocolate (I microwave them at 50% power
for 1-2 minutes to get them melted); stir into one portion of the batter.  Spread dark chocolate mixture evenly over crust.  Freeze pan for 1 hour before proceeding.
4.   Melt 2 ounces of white chocolate; stir into second portion.  Carefully spoon this layer on top of the dark chocolate layer.  Freeze for 20 minutes before proceeding.
5.  Stir strawberries into the remaining batter.  Carefully spoon it on top of the previous 2 layers.
6.  Bake cheesecake on the lowest shelf in the oven, in a water bath,  at 325 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.  The center of the cake should jiggle.  It will set as it cools.  If the cake is no longer frozen when it goes in the oven, you can bake it on the 2nd to bottom shelf in the oven.
7.  Remove from oven.  Cool for several hours or overnight.
8.  Run a knife around edge of pan and remove cake from pan.
9.  Melt remaining semisweet chocolate, remaining butter and 1 teaspoon of shortening; cool for 2 minutes.  Pour over cake.  (note:  this amount of chocolate will only coat the top of the cake).
10.  Melt remaining white chocolate and shortening then drizzle over glaze.
11.  Refrigerate until cold before serving.
recipe credit: Taste of Home
photo credit: Lusenda
 

apple compote

19 Mar

I know this sounds elementary, I mean who doesn’t know how to make compote?  Compote is a dessert which is generally a concoction of cooked fruit with sugar and spices.  It is the staple of desserts.  I don’t think there is a time when I don’t have a container of homemade compote in the freezer.  When my family is full after a meal, there’s always room for compote.  I generally use apples and serve it with a sprinkling of sliced or slivered almonds, but anything goes!  Peaches, pears, rhubarb, strawberries, plums, or a mixture of the above – you name it.  Peel the fruit, slice it and put it in a pot.  Add water about 1/4 – 1/3 way up, put in a handful or two of sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit and how sweet you like it.  You can always add more water and more sugar if needed.  Then add in a few cinnamon stick and let it cook on a low flame for a couple of hours.   With apples, the longer you cook it, the more it will melt into applesauce and even turn pink.  When plums are in season, I add some to the mixture (pitted but not peeled) and the mixture turns a gorgeous magenta color.  Let me know what your favorite compote combination is!

 

chocolate-honey ganache layer cake

16 Sep

When the newest issue of Fine Cooking arrived at my door, I was amazed at all the Rosh Hashana/Sukkos appropriate recipes.  The chocolate honey cake sounded intruiging.  Although I’m not a huge fan of honey cake in general, I think I like chocolate cake in any form, so I gave it a try.  It is large (10-inch) and impressive.  I can’t wait to present it at the meal and to sample it!

The combination of natural and Dutch-processed cocoa powder, coffee, and mild honey gives this cake an incredibly moist texture and an intense, complex, and very grown-up chocolate flavor. Making the cake layers ahead allows the flavors to develop, and making the ganache ahead gives it time to firm up to the perfect texture for spreading.

Serves 16

  • For the cake
    cooking spray
    2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
    1-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
    1-1/2 cups hot, strong brewed coffee
    1 cup mild honey, such as clover
    3-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    4 large eggs, at room temperature
    3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate-honey ganache
    1 lb. semisweet chocolate (60% cacao), finely chopped
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/4 cup mild honey, such as clover
    2 oz. (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
    3 Tbs. dark rum (optional)
    1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate curls (optional)
    1 thick block semisweet chocolate

Make the cake
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray two 10-inch round cake pans (with at least 2-inch sides) with cooking spray and line the bottom of each with parchment.
  3. Sift both cocoa powders into a medium bowl. Whisk in the coffee and then the honey. Let cool completely.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
  5. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed. Gradually add the oil, beating until combined. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Raise the mixer speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well on medium-high speed after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla, beating just until combined. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture in three additions and the cocoa mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour (scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary). Beat just until combined. Divide the batter between the two pans, using an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Tap the pans once or twice on the counter to settle the batter.
  6. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of each cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the pans, invert the cakes onto the rack, and remove the pans and the parchment. Let cool completely.
Make the ganache

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.

Combine the heavy cream and honey in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir with a silicone spatula over medium-high heat until the honey dissolves into the cream, about 30 seconds. Just as the cream comes to a simmer, remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let stand about 1 minute; then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter, rum (if using), and vanilla until the butter is melted and the mixture is glossy. Cool the ganache at room temperature for at least 8 hours. It will thicken as it cools. (The ganache can sit, covered, at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)

Frost the cakeSet one of the cake layers on a serving plate. Spread about 1 cup ganache over the surface of the cake. Top with the second cake layer and spread a very thin layer of ganache over the top and sides of the cake to seal in any crumbs. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set. Spread the remaining ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cake. 

Make the chocolate curlsTo decorate the cake with chocolate curls, if using, soften the chocolate in the microwave on high power for 30 to 50 seconds. Scrape a vegetable peeler firmly down one side of the chocolate block to form thick curls. Put the curls on a plate and refrigerate until they’re firm enough to handle. Scatter over the top of the frosted cake. 

Make Ahead Tips

For the best spreading texture, the ganache should be made 8 to 24 hours ahead. Keep covered at room temperature.
For the best flavor and texture, the cake should be made at least 1 day before serving. To store at room temperature, wrap each completely cooled layer tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap and store for up to 2 days.
Up to 10 hours before serving, fill and frost the cake. Keep the cake at room temperature, covered with a dome, until ready to serve.
The cake layers can be frozen for up to 2 weeks: Transfer each completely cooled unfrosted layer to a 10-inch cardboard cake round and wrap tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then in foil, and freeze. Up to 15 hours before serving, remove the foil but not the plastic wrap from the cake layers and thaw at room temperature. When completely thawed, unwrap, fill, and frost the cake.
If you plan to travel with this cake, it’s easier to transport if it’s refrigerated, uncovered, until the ganache is firm. To aid transport, assemble the cake on a cardboard cake round and transfer it to a covered cake carrier once it’s firm. When you arrive at your destination, put the cake on a serving plate and allow it to come to room temperature before slicing.

photo: Scott Phillips
 

amazing banana nut roll

09 May

Amazing Banana Nut Roll

I love bananas in any way, shape or form.  To paraphrase a childrens’ book “I can eat them here or there, I can eat them anywhere!”  After I tried this cake many years ago, I misplaced the recipe and went to great lengths to get another copy. (I finally found it in the library, where they keep magazines on file for quite a while.)  This cake is a favorite of my sisters’, and I know that she would welcome a piece any day!

In this cake, the jellyroll and the filling are baked together and then they are rolled together. A thin icing is then spread over the cake.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 11 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Lightly grease a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan (cookie sheet). Line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Combine cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment of your mixer on medium until smooth. Add whole egg and milk; beat until combined. Spread in the prepared pan; set aside.
  4. In a small mixer bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla on medium speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar, beating till sugar is dissolved. Stir in banana and nuts.
  5. In a clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Do not over beat.
  6. Fold yolk mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle the flour mixture evenly over egg mixture; fold in just until blended.
  7. Carefully spread the batter evenly over the filling in the pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
  8. Immediately loosen the cake from sides of pan and turn out onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully peel off paper. Starting with narrow end, roll up cake using towel as a guide. (Do not roll towel into cake.) Cool completely on wire rack.
  9. spread top with cream cheese frosting. If desired, drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Cream cheese frosting: In a small mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 oz cream cheese, softened and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beat with a mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 cup unsifted powdered sugar. Beat in enough milk (1 to 2 tablespoons) to make a frosting of spreading consistency. Makes about 1/2 cup frosting.

Makes 10 servings.

recipe credit: Better Homes & Gardens

photo credit: kitchenchatter

 

my mother’s famous pesach sponge cake

04 Apr

Today I got to the best part – cooking in the Pesachdike kitchen!  I made 5 recipes of this cake, 3 in tube pans, one on a huge cookie sheet, and one as 3 9-inch rounds.  As you already know, my mother is a cook and baker par excellence.  She puts her heart and soul into the food that she makes and it shows!  This is her famous, classic Pesach sponge cake.  It is elegant served all on its own or you can turn it into a strawberry shortcake by layering with strawberry jam and strawberry whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS:

8 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup orange juice

3/4 cup potato starch
DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the yolks in a bowl with 1/2-cup sugar until pale yellow in color. Add the oil and orange juice.
Add potato starch. In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until frothy.  Slowly add the remaining 1/2-cup sugar, until the egg whites hold a definite shape, but are
not dry. Fold into the yolk mixture.
Pour into a 10” tube pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Turn the pan upside down to cool.  Most tube pans have 3 “legs” to stand on.  If yours doesn’t, turn the pan over and center the middle over a bottle that fits into the hole.  Once cool, freeze the cake before removing from pan.

 

pomegranate ice

08 Feb

Ever since I can remember, it has been a tradition in our family, that my mother sends all of her married children and grandchildren platters of dried fruit and nuts for Tu b’Shevat.  This year, my parents are in Florida, so with the help of my 12 year old niece, 9 year old nephew, and my 10 year old son, I prepared 10 colorful platters to distribute to the family. (Thanks Rikki, Yitzy, and Yitzy!)

As one of the shiv’as haminim, pomegranate seeds were included on our platters.  While pomegranate was once reserved for a yearly Rosh Hashana treat, it has become an all year round staple in all groceries and supermarkets as well as a  jewel-like accessory to sprinkle on salads.  I was recently served this pomegranate ice alongside a triangle slice of the Chocolate Lovers Truffle Brownies from Suzie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design cookbook.  It’s a winning combination – with the tartness of the pomegranate ice perfectly offsetting the richness of the cake.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups Pom pomegranate juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Boil the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Cool

Add the pomegranate and lemon juices.  Freeze overnight.  Defrost 10 minutes.  Blend or process in food processor.

Refreeze.  Check texture before serving.  If necessary, defrost briefly and re-blend.