Pascale's Kitchen: How to make your own Krembos

Krembos (photo credit: AVI MIZRAHI)
Krembos
(photo credit: AVI MIZRAHI)
Some people know that winter has arrived when they see Krembo treats are being served in place of summer’s ice cream. Krembos are made with a cookie on the bottom, and cream on top that is topped with a thin layer of chocolate.
When you take a bite, you enjoy all three flavors and textures at the same time.
The first time I prepared my own Krembos in my kitchen at home, I thought it would be a quick and easy task. I mean, it’s just a cookie, cream and chocolate on top, right? Well, I ended up spending a few days in my kitchen until I could figure out how to make a proper Krembo.
But that was years ago, and now I’m able to successfully prepare Krembos whenever I get the urge.
This year, I decided to host pastry chef Orgad Rouache from the Dan Gourmet Culinary School, who came up with a number of Krembo recipes that are fun to prepare at home.
Here are a few tips before we start:
The base: cookie
You can either bake these cookies at home or buy smiley or Oreo cookies at the store. Especially if you are looking for gluten-free cookies, this will save you a lot of work.

The filling: meringue
There are three types of meringue: French, Italian and Swiss. According to Rouache, once you choose which kind of meringue you want to prepare, all you need to do is add a little gelatin. You will also need a thermometer.
French meringue is made from whipped egg whites. You add sugar either while whipping or by folding it in. French meringue works best when baking time is long and at lower temperatures (90-100°).
Italian meringue is made from whipped egg whites with hot syrup. Syrup should be 117-120°.
To make Swiss meringue, you add the egg whites and sugar to a pot and then bring to a slight boil. Next, you transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and whip.

Adding cream
Place the cookies on a metal rack and then pick one of two methods. The first method is to make layers of cream. Cover the cookie with a thin layer of cream.
Then add a smaller layer, and then another smaller one until you reach a peak.
The second method is creating a spiral of cream, like with soft ice cream.
Before adding cream, let it cool down and set.
There are a few techniques to cool down the cream, and I’ve tried all of them: letting it sit out at room temperature for 24 hours; placing it in an air-conditioned room for 60 minutes; or placing it in the fridge or freezer. Of all these, I’ve found that the best method is placing the cream in the freezer.

Chocolate icing
Krembo icing can be made from a chocolate compound, or from more expensive quality 70% bittersweet chocolate.
Of course, you can also mix the two types of chocolate, which is the method I’ve found to be the best for making Krembos at home.
There are two ways to ice Krembos.
The first way is to pour the chocolate over the Krembos. Arrange the cooled Krembos on a rack. Pour the icing over them evenly. You can reuse the chocolate that drips below to cover other Krembos.
The second way is to dip the Krembos in the chocolate. I’ve found this to be a more successful method than the first one. Dunk the Krembos in the melted chocolate and then place them on a rack.
Sprinkle whatever toppings you want on them and then put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

Vanilla cookies
Makes 15 cookies
■ 180 gr. butter
■ 180 gr. powdered sugar
■ 2 gr. salt
■ 160 gr. flour, sifted
■ 35 gr. corn flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer, place butter and powdered sugar.
Mix with dough hook until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for 60 minutes.
Flour your work surface and roll out dough so that it’s 0.5 cm. thick.
Cut out 5-cm. circles with a cookie cutter or small glass. On a tray with baking paper, place the circles, evenly spaced. Bake cookies in preheated oven at medium heat for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Chocolate cookies
Makes 17 cookies
■ 120 gr. butter
■ 90 gr. powdered sugar
■ 1 egg
■ 210 gr. flour, sifted
■ 25 gr. cocoa powder
■ 30 gr. ground almonds
■ 2 gr. salt
in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix with a dough hook until smooth. Add the egg and mix slowly. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for 60 minutes.
Flour your work surface and roll out dough to a thickness of 0.5 cm. Cut out 5-cm. circles with cookie cutter or small glass.
Evenly place the cookies on a tray that’s covered with baking paper. Bake at 165° for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Vanilla meringues
Makes 15 meringues
■ 100 gr. egg whites (from 3 eggs)
■ 150 gr. sugar
■ Seeds from ¹⁄3 vanilla bean
■ 3 gr. gelatin, dissolved in 15 ml. water
In a bain-marie, put egg whites, sugar and vanilla seeds. While stirring, melt sugar (temperature should reach around 40°-45°). Transfer to bowl of electric mixer. Whip the eggs and increase speed until full speed. Whip until stiff peaks form. Add the dissolved gelatin and continue to whip until well mixed.
Transfer meringue to icing bag with round attachment (No. 12). Spread onto cookies either in layers or in spiral (see explanation at beginning of article).
Put meringue in freezer for 20 minutes. Then cover with chocolate and decorate as desired.

Raspberry or strawberry meringues
Makes 17 meringues
■ 80 gr. strawberry or raspberry spread
■ 250 gr. sugar
■ 125 gr. egg whites (from 4 eggs)
■ 3 gr. gelatin, dissolved in 15 ml. water
Put the fruit spread and the sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. Stir over flame for 1 minute and then remove from flame.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add egg whites and whip until stiff peaks form.
On the edge of the egg whites, pour in fruit syrup while whipping. Add the dissolved gelatin and continue mixing until stiff peaks form and mixture has cooled down.

Chocolate meringues

Makes 17 meringues
■ 100 gr. egg whites (from 3 eggs)
■ 150 gr. sugar
■ Seeds from ¹⁄3 vanilla bean
■ 3 gr. gelatin, dissolved in 15 ml. water
■ 10 gr. (1 Tbsp.) dark cocoa powder, sifted (to make coffee flavored meringue, substitute 2 Tbsp. instant coffee here)
In a bain-marie, add the egg whites, sugar and vanilla seeds. Dissolve while stirring until mixture reaches 40°-45°. Transfer to bowl of electric mixer.
Whip egg-white mixture at maximum speed until stiff peaks form. Add the dissolved gelatin and whip until well blended. Fold in cocoa powder or instant coffee.
Transfer meringue to an icing bag with a round attachment (No. 12). Spread meringue on cookies in a spiral or layered fashion (see description above).
Put in freezer for 20 minutes to set. Cover with chocolate and decorate as desired.

White chocolate icing
■ 200 gr. white chocolate
■ 2 Tbsp. oil
■ 50 gr. caramelized chopped walnuts
Melt the chocolate and mix it with the oil and add the chopped walnuts.
Dip the meringue in the chocolate mixture and set on tray to set.

Chocolate icing
■ 200 gr. bittersweet chocolate
■ 1 Tbsp. oil
■ Pinch of ground cocoa beans and some
Crunch pieces Melt the chocolate and mix with the oil and cocoa beans and Crunch pieces. Dip the meringue in the chocolate and set on tray.
For decoration:
■ ½ cup dry raspberry powder
■ ½ cup instant coffee or cocoa powder
■ 1¾ cup caramelized nuts / roasted coconut pieces / sugared pecans / sugared orange peel / roasted pistachios.
Pick whichever topping you desire and put on chocolate icing.