As much as I love preparing and eating tasty and nutritious meals, there’s really nothing like having a little something sweet at the end of a meal. Whether it be a slice of cake, a bite of decadent chocolate or some fresh fruit, ending a meal with a little sweetness on the tongue is heaven for me.
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This week, here are three recipes for cakes that are very different from each other, but each can be served at family gatherings and Shabbat meals.
The first two were shared with me by chef Eddie Mizrahi and blogger Bat Chen Shmaya, respectively, who in the past had joined me in my kitchen.
I’d planned to use these recipes in previous columns, but due to limited space they were left out. Since all three of them are excellent recipes and I really wanted to share them, I am showcasing them here this week.
The first recipe, which hails from Greek cuisine, is for hazelnut baklava, which is full of nuts and soaked in syrup.
The second recipe is from my book Pascale’s Cakes. It’s a tasty cake that I call Cream on Cream Cake, which is made with layers of chocolate, cream and a thin chocolate glaze. Each bite is like a mini celebration on your tongue.
The third recipe is for mini almond and coconut crumble cups, a dessert made with mascarpone cream, candied nuts and coconut. This dessert can be a perfect sweet ending to any festive meal.
Recipe courtesy of chef Eddie Mizrahi.
Use a 36-cm. diameter pan.
- 1 package (400 gr.) filo dough
- 200 gr. butter (or margarine), melted
- 2 cups assorted nuts (hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios), roasted and finely ground
- 150 gr. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. orange blossom water
Arrange a filo pastry sheet on your work surface and brush it with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and brush it with melted butter as well. Repeat this step with a third sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine the ground nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix well.
Sprinkle the nut mixture evenly over the pastry sheets and roll them up tightly into a log. Continue forming logs of filo dough with nuts inside until you’ve used all the dough and nuts. There should be enough to form 5 or 6 logs.
Grease a baking dish and arrange the rolls inside the dish in a semi-circle shape, one after the other. Brush the rolls with the remaining melted butter.
Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180°, and bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until they’ve turned golden brown.
To prepare the syrup:
Bring the water, sugar and orange blossom water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for 12 minutes. Pour the hot syrup generously over the prepared baklava. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then serve.
Level of difficulty: MediumTime: 40 minutesStatus: Dairy or parve
CREAM ON CREAM CAKE
Use a 26-cm. or 28-cm. diameter pan.
- 6 eggs, separated
- 6 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 box of chocolate instant pudding
For moistening the cake:
- 4 Tbsp. chocolate liqueur or brandy
- 4 Tbsp. water
- ¾ cup candied nuts (can be purchased in baking supplies store)
- 1 container (250 ml.) sweet whipping cream
- 1 box of instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup milk
- 100 gr. bittersweet chocolate, broken up into pieces
- 100 gr. butter, cut into pieces
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. brandy
- White chocolate and bittersweet chocolate curls
- ½ cup candied nuts
Whip the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed. Once foam starts to form, gradually and slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
Beat the egg yolks in a bowl, then fold them into the egg whites. Gently fold in the chocolate pudding powder.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and dry. Remove and let the cake cool.
In a small bowl, mix the liqueur with the water, and use it to moisten the cake while it’s still lukewarm. Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the cake.
Whip the cream together with the pudding powder and the milk until you achieve a stable and smooth cream. Spread the cream over the cooled cake.
To prepare the icing:
Place all the frosting ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, let it cool slightly, then spread it over the cake.
Sprinkle the candied nuts all around the side of the cake and arrange the chocolate curls on top of the cake.
Level of difficulty: MediumTime: 1 hour Status: Dairy
MINI ALMOND & COCONUT CRUMBLE CUPS
Recipe courtesy of Bat Chen Shmaya.
Makes 6-8 cups.
- 150 gr. cold butter
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 100 gr. (½ cup) sugar
- 40 gr. coconut shavings
- 60 gr. ground almonds
- 1 container (250 ml.) sweet whipping cream
- 250 gr. mascarpone cheese
- 50 gr. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla cream
- Sesame crunch candy or other topping
- Edible flowers
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
In a bowl, place all the ingredients for the crumble except for the almonds, and mix with your hands to create a crumbly mixture. Add the almonds and gently mix, so the crumble is coated with the almonds.
Transfer the crumble to a lined baking dish and spread it evenly to form a uniform layer. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 20-25 minutes, until it has turned golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
Pour the sweet cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and whip it until it reaches a smooth and soft texture, similar to thick yogurt.
In a separate bowl, mix together the mascarpone cheese, vanilla cream and powdered sugar until it forms a smooth and creamy mixture. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until you achieve a uniform texture.
To create the crumble cups, transfer the cream to a pastry bag and snip off a corner of the bag. Fill the bottom of the cups with the crumble, then squeeze swirls of the cream on top. Next, add another layer of crumble and then more cream swirls. Garnish with sesame crunch candy, edible flowers and coconut flakes.
Level of difficulty: MediumTime: 1 hourStatus: Dairy
Translated by Hannah Hochner.