Dream sweets

Special desserts for the New Year

Classic apple pie (photo credit: AFIK GABAI)
Classic apple pie
(photo credit: AFIK GABAI)
They’re traditional, they’re delicious, and they make everyone happy on Rosh Hashana – desserts that include apples, honey and other holiday staple foods.
Moshe Ahuvi, pastry chef and owner of Piece of Cake, a chain of boutique bakeries, invents new takes on the traditional holiday desserts every year. He gave us a few choice recipes from the line he created for this year.
The originals are, of course, available at his bakery.
✔ 3¼ cups flour
✔ 1½ cups silan
✔ 1 tsp. baking soda
✔ 1 sachet baking powder
✔ ½ cup water
✔ 50 gr. margarine (or butter)
✔ Pinch each – cinnamon, clove, ginger
✔ ½ cup fondant (available in baking supply stores) or powdered sugar glazing (see below)
* In a mixer bowl with a kneading arm, mix all the ingredients, except fondant, until batter is smooth. Leave in the mixer bowl, remove the kneading arm, cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight. There is no need to refrigerate. In the morning, assemble the kneading arm and mix very briefly. Transfer the dough onto a clean and floured work surface. Knead briefly and roll out to a 2-cm. thick leaf. Using a 3- or 4-cm. round cookie cutter, create the cookies and place them 1 cm. apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Preheat oven to 180°. Bake for 15 minutes. Place the fondant or sugar glaze in a pastry bag. When cookies are cooled, drizzle them with the glaze. Let them dry. They can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
* If you cannot get fondant, replace it with white glaze made from 100 gr. powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. hot water and a few drops of lemon juice.
Makes 2 loaf pans
✔ 4 large eggs
✔ 1 cup oil
✔ ¾ cup sugar
✔ 4 Tbsp. honey
✔ 1 sachet baking powder
✔ ½ cup walnuts, ground
✔ 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. flour
✔ ½ tsp. each cinnamon, ginger
✔ ¹⁄3 cup candied ginger
✔ Zest of ½ lemon Preheat oven to 160°.
Place eggs, sugar, oil and honey in a mixer bowl with a kneading arm. Mix on low speed. When mixed, add the rest of the ingredients and mix until homogeneous.Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. While cakes are cooling, heat 3 Tbsp. honey with juice of ½ lemon and brush the cakes with the mixture. You may garnish the cakes with toasted slivered almonds for extra texture.
For the cake
✔ 1 egg
✔ 1 egg yolk
✔ 4 Tbsp. sugar
✔ ¹⁄3 cup water
✔ ¹⁄3 cup oil
✔ 4 Tbsp. honey
✔ 160 gr. flour
✔ ½ sachet baking powder
✔ ½ sachet baking soda
✔ Pinch cinnamon
✔ Pinch ginger
For the custard
✔ 250 ml. milk
✔ 100 gr. sugar
✔ 2 Tbsp. +½ tsp. cornstarch
✔ 2 egg yolks
✔ ½ vanilla pod Preheat oven to 170°.
In a mixer bowl whip egg, egg yolk and sugar on high speed for 10 minutes. In a different bowl, mix honey, water and oil and mix well until smooth. Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the honey mixture to the eggs. When the mixture is smooth, add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix briefly. Line a 40x30 cm. baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the batter on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and peel off the paper. Divide the roulade into 5 rectangular 8-cm. pieces. To prepare the custard: In a pot, boil together milk, vanilla pod and half the sugar. Using a hand-held mixer, carefully add the rest of the ingredients while mixing the boiling milk. Remove from heat and let cool. To assemble the cake: Place a layer of the cake on a serving tray, spread with custard, cover with a second layer and repeat. Garnish with crumbs, cocoa powder or chocolate flakes.
For the dough
✔ 15 gr. cold butter, cubed
✔ 180 gr. flour
✔ 6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
✔ 3 Tbsp. ground almonds
✔ 2 egg yolks
✔ Pinch salt
To prepare the pie dough: In a mixer bowl with a kneading arm, mix the dry ingredients until crumbly. Add the egg yolks and work briefly until dough is formed. Divide the dough into 2 parts – ¹⁄3 and ²⁄3. Roll out the large part to a ½ cm. thick leaf to fit a 20 cm. pie pan. Roll out the small part into a ½ cm. leaf and cut into 1-cm. strips. Place the dough in the pie pan and push to the bottom and sides. Place the strips on a plate and refrigerate until filling is done.
For the apple filling
✔ 6 green apples (Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cubed
✔ ½ cup sugar
✔ Zest of ½ lemon
✔ 1 tsp. cinnamon
✔ ½ cup raisins
✔ 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
To prepare the filling: In a pot, cook apples, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and raisins for 2 to 3 minutes covered, over low heat until liquid is extracted from the apples. In a glass, mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup water until there are no lumps. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot with the apples, stir and cook until mixture thickens. Let cool. Heat oven to 185°. Fill the pie crust with the cooled filling. Arrange the strips in a crisscross pattern over the filling and bake for 40 minutes until crust is golden.
Recipes and photos courtesy of chef Moshe Ahuvi and Piece of Cake bakeries: 17 Yehuda Hayamit Street, Jaffa, (03) 682-2163; 43 King George Street, Tel Aviv, 076-541-1600; and 20 Lishansky Street, Rishon Lezion, 1-700-551-110. Two more shops are opening soon at 30 Levontin Street and 54 Ibn Gvirol Street in Tel Aviv.