Thursday, August 12, 2010

Plum, plum, plum....

Anyone interested in the recipe?

Friday, March 26, 2010

A problem with kosher-for Passover cakes

My eldest was born on 17 Nissan, 5759, (April 3, 1999,) so his Jewish birthday is always during Passover (Pesach). In my family we celebrate both Gregorian and Jewish calendar birthdays, and so every year we need a cake that is kosher for Passover. And this is where the problems begin. The ban on leavening is a big problem with cakes.

One year we had an impromptu matzah cake, that was pretty much matzah, chocolate pudding and hard chocolate frosting. That was okay, not counting the fact that my youngest and I can't stand matzah.

Last year we tried a recipe that called for 10 eggs and 1/3 cup of matzah meal (like many kosher for Passover cake recipes on the net seem to) and the result for me was like a big, sweet cylindrical serving of scrambled eggs than cake. As most of the recipes call for an insane number of eggs compared to the dry materials, I am less than enthusiastic to try a new recipe, especially the test run with a recipe Kevin found yesterday resulted in a baking disaster.

So what will we do this year? A three-layer pudding cake, made from two layers of chocolate and one layer of vanilla pudding. It's the old style, not-so-instant pudding (and think Dr. Oetker style rather than what a Briton would call pudding) that we decorate with fresh and canned fruit and serve with unsweetened whipped cream. As my son's birthday is on the Shabbat this year, it is good that this pudding can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator. It can either be served in the glass bowl it will be prepared in, or, if everything wirks out fine, it can be a stand alone creation. Photos of the end product to follow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gerbaud cake

Dough :
500grams flour
200grams butter (or margarine or shortening)
1 cup milk
25grams fresh yeast
1-5tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs (original recipe says another egg yolk)

fruit jam (I tend to use apricot, about two cups)
ground walnut (to taste, approx one cup)
+1 egg white to brush layers

Combine all the ingredients for the dough and let it rise at a warm place. Knead again, divide into 3 balls(or more), let them rise again. Roll out one, place on a big baking tray. Brush with egg white to prevent the dough getting soaked. Spread jam on the dough, then ground walnut. Repeat with the next two layers. Brush the top layer with beaten egg. Bake at medium heat for approx 30-40minutes.

Melt dark chocolate with a couple spoonfuls of milk or cream and cover the cake.

You can use any other jam you like, my faves are apricot or plum(best if a little sour). Alternatively you can experiment with different amounts of walnut or substitute other nuts.

This is how it turned out today:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Traditional Carnival Doughnuts

Just a tiny bit belated, let me show you two of our traditional doughnut recipes, typically made in Hungary in the "carnival" season.

The first is called Csöröge and is a very simple but delicious, crunchy type of thing. In fact, you wouldn't call it a doughnut as it's basically plain fried egg pasta.
To make the dough, simply knead a pound of flour with a cup of sour cream, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, half a cup of melted butter/margarine and five egg yolks. Let the dough rest a little before rolling it out on a floured surface. Cut the dough into palm-sized diamond shaped pieces. Make a cut in the middle of each and pull one corner through the cut. You'll get a funny bow-like shape.
Heat oil in a big pan and fry the doughnuts on both sides. Drain the oil and sift castor sugar on the doughnuts while still warm. Serve with jam.

From Kaják

From Kaják

To restore world order, the second doughnut I'll present you does look like an actual doughnut :)
It was named after the ribbon-like white stripe that goes around the middle.

From Kaják

Ingredients include a pound of flour, 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter/margarine, a pinch of salt, 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, a cup of warm milk, 50grams yeast, one egg.

Make a well in the flour, add yeast, sugar and milk, combine with a little flour and let the yeast rise a bit. Then add the rest of the ingredients and knead well, until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl and your hand. Let it rise at a warm place for about 30minutes or until about doubles in size. Roll it out a bit and fold into half. Roll out to about 3-5millimeter thickness (quite flat) and using a cookie-cutter or simply a glass, cut small circles of the dough. Let them rise again and fry them in hot oil on both sides until golden.

From Kaják

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sweet bread with walnut filling - originally Finnish holiday wreath

I read this recipe somewhere months ago and forgot to save it, so I came up with my own version.

It looked like this

I used about 1lb flour, 30g(1ounce) yeast, 1 cup warm milk, half a cup sugar, pinch of salt, 2 egg yolks, half a cup butter/margarine, a teaspoon of ground cardamom seeds and made a light and fluffy leavened dough. I let it rise for about half an hour then rolled it out a little. The filling consisted of coarsely ground walnut, melted butter and sugar. You can mix these and spread on the dough or sprinkle the butter first and then the walnut and sugar (saves you one bowl :)
Then I rolled it up and placed in a cake tin(the one that has a whole in the middle), let it rise again, then baked at 200C (400F) for about 30minutes. Sprinkling some milk on it in the last couple of minutes makes the bread softer!

Later, I found the original recipe online.
The ingredients are basically the same(more butter and a tablespoon of flour in the filling, and almond flakes on the top), but the shape is a bit different. They fold the roll into a circle, cut it into slices, but not cutting through to the bottom, and move the slices apart a bit, in and out. It looks like this:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A fantastic dessert

The name is Somlói galuska which means something like Dumplings Somló-style, but I doubt it has anything to with the Somló Hill area. And it's only called dumplings because of the form, but it's actually basic sponge-cake with a twist.

So, you'll need a big batch of basic sponge cake batter that you divide into three equal portions. Leave one as it is, add cocoa to the next, and ground walnut to the third. Bake them one by one on a greased baking tray and let them cool a bit.

Make a syrup from water, rum, vanilla extract, lemon peel and sugar.

You'll also need vanilla custard made from egg yolks, milk, vanilla extract, and a little flour.

Place one sponge-cake on a tray, sprinkle with syrup and spread third of the custard on it.

vaníliakrém somlóihoz

Place the next sponge cake on top and repeat the process with the remaining two layers. Some recipes call for raisins between the layers and apricot jam and cocoa powder on the top.

somlói kakaós lap
somlói lapok

Set the cake aside and prepare the chocolate syrup/topping : melt dark chocolate, add rum, sugar and vanilla to taste and a little water or milk. Heat until smooth then cool.


How to serve?

Cut pieces from the layered cake with a spoon (thus the dumplings), drip some chocolate syrup on them and top with whipped cream. I swear, it's heavenly!


Somlói galuska

Cottage-cheese dumplings

Hungarian cottage-cheese(curd-cheese) is a bit different from the ones you can buy in the US, but I think any type will do. If you happen to find ricotta that's also fine. In Hungary, look for "túró"

So, mix approx a pound of cottage cheese, 2-3 whole eggs, sugar to taste, vanilla-sugar or vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of flour and approx a cup of semolina ( or farina, Cream of Wheat, know what I'm talking about). Add as much of the latter as needed to make the mixture hold together. If the cottage cheese is of the drier type, you might want to add a little sour cream, too.

Heat water in a big pot, add a little salt, and when it's boiling, form small balls of the cottage-cheese mixture with wet hands and put them in the water. Don't cook too many at once.
Cook them for about 5 minutes, but at least until they start floating in the water. If you want to make sure they're done, take one and cut in half. If the inside is solid and has holes in it, then it's just fine!

Heat breadcrumbs with a tablespoon of butter in a large pan until golden and roll the dumplings in. Serve hot, with sour cream and castor sugar/granulated sugar.

yeah, a bit old picture :)

A kosher recipe a week 2. Pomegranate chicken

A family favorite, originally a Rosh Hashanah dish of Moroccan Jews.

Ingredients :

1/4 cup or 50 ml of olive oil
1 tablespoon of minced garlic, I usually just put them through my garlic "press"
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound, 1500 g+) chicken, cut up, we usually cut them into quarters
1 pomegranate, halved
1/4 cup or 50 ml dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon or about 2 tablespoons of 100% lemon juice
1 tablespoon cinnamon- sugar
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method :

Preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C. In a cup, mix oil and garlic, and let it stand for about an hour. Brush garlic oil over chicken with a brush or feather. Place the chicken pieces in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle any remaining oil over the chicken pieces. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, basting several times with pan juices, until skin is browned and juices run clear.
Remove 1 tablespoonful of seeds from the pomegranate. Set aside for garnish. Squeeze juice from remaining pomegranate through a sieve into a small bowl.
In a small non-reactive saucepan, mix pomegranate juice, wine, lemon juice, and cinnamon and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 5 minutes or till it thickens to taste. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Put the roasted chicken to a serving platter and pierce each piece several times. Pour sauce over the chicken. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve at room temperature.

We usually serve it with mashed potatoes. To keep it kosher, use pareve margarine and/or broth for the potatoes. Grandma serves it with rice, my stepmom prefers fries.

A quick Shabbat dinner

As Matthew and I got home rather late, I had to improvise with the Shabbat dinner. Being a semi decent Jew I managed to bake some challah, and once the oven was all fired up, I decided on utilizing the pre-heated oven.

I got out one of the Thanksgiving turkey baking bags and threw in a 3 lb chicken in one piece, salted and with home made spicy butter under its skin. The butter was mixed with some salt, parsley, a generous pinch of garlic, thyme and white pepper.

In the bag went 5 large apples peeled and cut up, 1 lb canned peaches without the juice--my kids drank that separately--, 3 lbs of potatoes chopped up, two large carrots, and because my kids love it, 1 lb of mushrooms. They stayed in the bag till they were about 98% done, then I removed the bag and let the juices evaporate for an additional 10 minutes.

I served it with challah (of course) and white grape juice for the kids.

A kosher recipe a week 1. Hungarian Jewis Egg Dips

What you need:

4 hardboiled eggs, cut/grated/broken with a fork
1 kosherized chicken liver
2 tablespoons of goose lard, chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
some ground pepper

Cook the onion in the lard, then add the chopped liver, salt, pepper. When cooked, mix with the egg. Serve with bread or toast and fresh tomatoes, cucumbers.

Lecsó, Letscho or whatever you wanna call it

This dish is very popular in Hungary, I have seen it on many a menu in Poland, bought it in jars in Germany and canned in Ukraine and Russia.


  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or goose lard
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 lbs of medium tomatoes, cored and sliced
  • 1 hot Hungarian green pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hungarian paprika, as neede, if hot green peppers are not available, use hot paprika
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten or 1 cup of rice uncooked
  • 1/2 lb of sausages or hot dogs, sliced


In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil or lard and add onions and bell pepper. Sauté until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and simmer very slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes and sausages and continue to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and hot paprika to taste. Add eggs, mixing well. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Alternatively, you might want to add some Hungarian style sausages, or hot dogs, or even rice. In case you add rice, you do not need to add the eggs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicken pound cake

Originally posted by Andi on Konyhamóka.

Line the pound cake mold with baking paper.

After putting salt and pepper on chicken breast slices, make a layer out of it in the mold.

Add eggs, salami, chives and grated cheese in the next layer.

Cover with bacon, Canadian bacon or ham.

Cover with another layer of meat and then add whatever is left from the other ingredients.

Bake cca 90 minutes on 250°C (480°F).


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