Pascale’s Kitchen: Sweet treats for the Jewish holiday of love

With Tu Be'av on a Friday, I didn't want complicated deserts. I’ve chosen three delicious chocolate recipes that can be prepared in no time at all. 

 Gluten-free chocolate cake (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Gluten-free chocolate cake
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Originally I had planned a completely different set of recipes to offer my readers for Tu Be’av, the Jewish holiday of love. But then I realized that this year it falls on a Friday and didn’t want to include any complicated desserts requiring a lot of time and effort. Instead, I’ve chosen three delicious chocolate recipes that can be prepared in no time at all. 

My guest this week was chocolatier Neta Mula-Sofer, who found her way to the world of chocolate after completing a degree in interior and jewelry design. At some point, she began assisting her husband with his candy business, and would join him on his work trips overseas. That is when Mula-Sofer had her first glimpse into the world of quality chocolate. 

Learn more about Pascale's Kitchen here>>

Soon after, she enrolled at Estella Master Class, and then continued her training overseas at Callebaut chocolate in Belgium, completing her chocolatier certification at the Chocolate Academy. After learning from some of the top chocolatiers in Paris, Mula-Sofer returned to Israel and began promoting her own line of fine chocolates. 

She opened her first kitchen in Moshav Nehalim, and she currently works out of a large studio, where she conducts chocolate workshops. In addition, Mula-Sofer runs exciting workshops at events, workplaces and in people’s homes. All of these can be booked on her website: www.chocolata.co.il.

 WITH CHOCOLATIER Neta Mula-Sofer (L). (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) WITH CHOCOLATIER Neta Mula-Sofer (L). (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

“I’m a big believer that chocolate can be the solution to everything, as long as it is made with love and patience – and, of course, with only the highest quality and freshest ingredients.”

Neta Mula-Sofer

“I’m a big believer that chocolate can be the solution to everything,” Mula-Sofer says with a smile, “as long as it is made with love and patience – and, of course, with only the highest quality and freshest ingredients.” 

Mula-Sofer was generous enough to share with me three of her easiest recipes that truly everyone can prepare, even if you have no baking experience whatsoever. This is the perfect time to prepare something special for your sweetheart. 

The first recipe is for gluten-free chocolate cake. This decadent cake tastes like chocolate soufflé and can be made either as one large cake or as individual mini cakes.  

The second recipe is for caramel brownies that just melt in your mouth. There’s really nothing better than sitting down with a hot cup of coffee (with a splash of liqueur) and one of these brownie squares. 

The third recipe is for a romantic milkshake for two. Mula-Sofer shared a story that takes her back to the days when she and her husband, Gil, had just started dating. She recalls them ordering a chocolate milkshake, which arrived at the table in a tall glass, with a little umbrella stuck in it, and lots of chocolate syrup and colorful candies. 

Wishing you a special and loving Tu Be’av

Gluten-free chocolate cake

Use 3 heart-shaped 11 cm. x 13 cm. pans.

  • 250 ml. sweet cream
  • 250 gr. bittersweet chocolate
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup walnuts or candied nuts

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.

Pour the sweet cream into a medium pot and heat over a medium flame. When the cream is just about to boil, pour it on top of the chocolate and mix well. Add the salt, mix well and let the mixture cool. 

Beat the egg with the egg yolk, then gradually add it to the melted chocolate, while stirring vigorously. 

Add the nuts and mix. 

Pour the mixture into a pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes in an oven that has been heated to 170°. 

Note: The surface of the cake will crack during baking. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 25 minutesStatus: Dairy

 Caramel brownies (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Caramel brownies (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Caramel brownies

Use a 20 cm. x 30 cm. pan.

  • 200 gr. bittersweet chocolate
  • 200 gr. butter, cut into cubes and softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbsp. flour, sifted
  • 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50 gr. caramel chocolate chips
  • 50 gr. white chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt

Topping:

  • Powdered sugar

Add the chocolate, butter and sugar to a glass bowl, and melt in the microwave a few seconds at a time. Mix well until smooth. 

Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix well. Let the mixture cool down a bit, then add one egg at a time, beating vigorously after each egg is added. 

Add the chocolate chips and the salt, which enhances the flavor. Mix well. 

Pour the mixture into a greased pan, and flatten. 

Bake for 20 minutes in an oven that has been heated to 170°. 

Let the brownies cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 30 minutesStatus: Dairy

 Romantic milkshake for two (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Romantic milkshake for two (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Romantic milkshake for two

Makes 2 cups.

  • 1 packet (100 gr.) milk chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 2 cups of your favorite ice cream, such as vanilla, mocha, chocolate or pistachio
  • 1 packet (150 gr.) prepared chocolate whipped cream
  • For adorning the cups:
  • Colored sprinkles or coconut flakes
  • Toppings:
  • ½ cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 colorful straws
  • 2 chocolate cream-filled wafer rolls

Drizzle the melted chocolate on the inside of the glasses. Add the sprinkles to a flat plate. Drizzle chocolate on the rim of the glasses, then dip them in the sprinkles so that the sprinkles stick to the chocolate and form a ring around the top of the glasses. Place the glasses in the fridge to set. 

Add the milk and ice cream to the blender and blend. Pour the mixture into the prepared glasses. Add whipped cream on top, then the marshmallows. Drizzle more melted chocolate, then add a straw and a chocolate wafer roll to each glass. 

Serve cold. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 15 minutesStatus: Dairy

Translated by Hannah Hochner.