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:

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