Petit-beurre biscuit cakes

Petit-Beurre Biscuits in Disguise cake (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Petit-Beurre Biscuits in Disguise cake
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
It’s been so hot these last few weeks, and I find myself searching for air conditioners everywhere I go. Needless to say, when Friday rolls around and I need to decide which cake to prepare for Shabbat, the last thing I feel like doing is standing in front of a hot oven.
The best solution is to find a no-bake cake that is eaten cold.
So as I was sitting in my kitchen enjoying the cool air streaming over my face, my eye caught one of my cookbooks up on the shelf called Cake of the Week – an oldie but goodie – from 1992.
I took it down and began leafing through the pages, smiling to myself as I saw how far we’ve come in Israel in the field of culinary arts. The photography and styling was so different back then, and there were far fewer pictures in cookbooks in those days.
The raw materials and preparation techniques we use today did not exist in those days, when every recipe called for margarine, cream and rich chocolate icing.
After enjoying a few more moments of nostalgia, I decided to prepare a few different biscuit cream cakes. I amended the recipes a bit to cut down a little on the calories by cutting out some of the cream.
I settled on a triangle cake filled with cream and jelly candies. I replaced the chocolate with white chocolate, and the chocolate biscuits with regular biscuits, and reduced the number of candies.
In the cheese biscuit cake, I added nougat powder, which elevated the cake to a whole new level and made me feel like I’d just come back from a tasty visit to the past.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.
PETIT-BEURRE BISCUITS IN DISGUISE This nostalgic cake can be prepared in a number of ways, by changing the topping or the filling. The base can be made from chocolate, dates or cheese. For the icing, you can use coconut, hazelnuts or chocolate. Cake can be made into balls or a cylinder that you cut before serving. Makes 20 to 25 balls or 2 or 3 rolls
■ 1 cup white or brown sugar
■ ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
■ ½ cup milk
■ ¼ cup sweet red wine
■ 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
■ 1 Tbsp. rum
■ 1 Tbsp. brandy
■ 1 package (100 gr.) butter
■ About 5 cups crumbs from petit-beurre biscuits (for balls) or pieces of petit-beurre biscuits (for roll)
Put all the ingredients (except for biscuits) in a deep pan and melt together over a low flame until smooth. If you’re making balls, pour the cream slowly over the cookie crumbs while stirring and mix well.
Take a little bit of the mixture and form balls with 2- to 3-cm. diameters. Then roll them in coconut or sprinkles and lay them on baking paper. Chill in refrigerator until serving.
If you prefer to make a roll, pour the mixture over the broken cookie pieces and mix well. Place a sheet of baking paper on your work space and sprinkle a layer of coconut flakes on it. Divide the mixture into two or three parts. Take one section and put it on top of the coconut flakes and form a roll with a 5-cm. diameter.
Cover it with baking paper and press tightly to form the roll. Follow the same method to create the second roll (and third, if you have more). Freeze them.
• Transfer to fridge before serving so that it’s easier to slice.
• I recommend making each roll with a different filling, such as dates, or a mixture of white chocolate and cheese.
PYRAMID CAKE This is a no-bake cake that is served cold made from petit-beurre biscuits and made in the shape of a tent. There are quite a few steps to create it, but it’s not really that complicated.
Makes two pyramids
■ 500 gr. chocolate petit-beurre biscuits
■ ½ cup milk
■ 50 gr. walnuts, chopped or halved
■ 50 gr. marshmallows or colored jelly candies, cut into strips
■ 1 container whipping cream (250 gr.)
■ 1 package instant vanilla pudding
■ ¼ cup milk Icing:
■ 1 container sweet whipping cream
■ 1 package chocolate instant pudding
■ ¾ cup milk
■ ½ cup white chocolate chips
■ 2 Tbsp. roasted coconut flakes
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl, add all the ingredients for the icing and mix until smooth. Spray a sheet of baking paper with oil. Dip four biscuits in milk and then lay them in a row in the center of the paper so that the long edges are connected. Add another row to the right and to the left so that there are nine biscuits forming a square. Spread a thin layer of icing on the biscuits, then add another layer of biscuits that were also dipped in milk.
Spread half of the filling on the middle row of biscuits and then sprinkle on top half of the candies and nuts. Lift up both sides of the baking paper so that both of the outer rows of biscuits fold up and form a triangle shape, with the filling trapped inside. Press lightly so the biscuits retain tent shape. Prepare the second cake in the same manner.
Place cake on a cake platter. Carefully cut the baking paper, cover exposed sides with icing and then sprinkle with white chocolate chips.
Press coconut flakes at both ends of cake. You can use any leftover chocolate icing to decorate top of cake. Put the icing in an icing dispenser with a nozzle and decorate the top of the pyramid. Keep refrigerated until serving.
This recipe makes a very high cake, but you can certainly cut the amount in half and make it half as high. The shorter version is pictured here. use 30 x 27-cm. pan.
■ 1 Tbsp. instant coffee
■ 1 Tbsp. boiling water
■ ¾ cup milk
■ 2 packages (500 gr.) petit-beurre biscuits
■ 2 containers sweet whipping cream
■ 2 packages vanilla instant pudding
■ 2 cups milk
■ 200 gr. hazelnuts, chopped
■ 1 can apricots in light syrup, drained and sliced
■ 1 package apricot-flavored Jell-O In a bowl, melt coffee in boiling water. Add milk.
Dip biscuits in milk and then align them in pan two layers deep.
In a mixer, add cream, instant pudding and milk. Mix on high until smooth.
Spread cream evenly over biscuits and then sprinkle nuts on top (you can mix nuts in cream if you prefer). Then add a layer of apricot slices. Make Jell-O according to directions. Cool for 2 minutes and then pour over apricot slices. Cool in fridge at least 5 hours before serving This recipe makes a very high cake, but you can certainly cut the amount in half and make it half as high. The shorter version is pictured here. use 30 x 27-cm. pan.
You can swap the apricots with fresh strawberries and then use strawberry flavored Jell-O.
The addition of cheese makes this cake very light and fluffy, and the nougat powder adds an incredibly unique flavor.
Use a 23 x 23-cm. pan.
Cheese nougat cream:
■ 1 container (500 gr.) white cheese, 5% or 9%
■ 1 container (200 ml.) sour cream, 15%
■ ½ cup sugar
■ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
■ 1 tsp. lemon or orange zest
■ 4 Tbsp. nougat powder
■ ½ package vanilla instant pudding
■ 250 ml. sweet cream, 32%
■ 2 Tbsp. powdered or regular sugar
■ 1.5 packages (250 gr.) petit-beurre biscuits
■ ½ cup milk
■ 1 cup sweetened cream
■ Handful of cherries or any other fruit, such as strawberries, sliced canned pears or peaches
Using a whisk, mix white cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, grated lemon or orange zest and nougat powder in a bowl. Add the instant pudding and mix another 2-3 minutes until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the sweet cream with the powdered sugar until it rises and stiffens.
Fold the whipped cream gently into the cheese mixture until smooth.
Line a tray with baking paper. Dip the biscuits in milk and place them in lines on the tray. Spread some of the cheese mixture on the biscuits with a spoon or spatula. Then add another layer of biscuits that have been dipped in milk, and another layer of cheese mixture. On top of this, add the icing, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least five hours or overnight.
Before serving, drizzle a little cream on top, or create shapes with an icing dispenser. Decorate with cherries or other fruit. Store leftovers in the fridge in an air-tight container.
Are you watching your weight? You can substitute lighter cream for all these recipes. You can also cut down on the amount of sugar you add to the whipped cream. If you’re preparing the cake a day ahead, you can skip the step of dipping biscuits in milk, since they will absorb moisture from the cream mixture during the night.