Jamie talks with Richard Heisler of Butterflake Bakery, the only kosher-for-Passover bakery that is also 100% nut-free.
I would imagine getting a bakery ready for Passover is a major job. Do you prepare your kosher-for-Passover items in the same location as your year-round products?
Our year-round products are made in our Teaneck location and the kosher-for-Passover products are made in our New Rochelle store. But both stores, as well as Kosher.com, carry our kosher-for-Passover items.
Let's face it, Passover is huge for kosher food sales. How far in advance do you have to start baking for Passover?
A lot of bakeries start their kosher-for-Passover lines around Chanukah. We start three weeks before the holiday so everything is as fresh as possible. Even if the base of a cake is prepared a few days in advance, like a seven layer cake, it isn't frosted or covered with chocolate or jam until the day the cake is sold or ordered. Our customers know they are getting items that are baked and finished fresh.
That's amazing! How do you keep up with all the orders?
Things get so busy; it's crazy! But, thank G-d there are 24 hours in a day! This time of year we work around the clock.
I hear about so many kids and adults who suffer from nut allergies, how do you accommodate that?
Last year, we became the only kosher-for-Passover bakery that is also 100% nut-free. Passover baked goods typically have a lot of nuts so we revamped our recipes and took out the nuts. Still, we maintained the delicious taste and high quality that has become our bakery's trademark.
What are some of Butterflake's kosher-for-Passover products that I should look for?
There are so many things. Where do I start?
We make classic jelly rolls, seven layer cakes and nut-free brownies. We make fudge and macaroon layer cakes, and a knock-your-socks-off decadent, flourless chocolate torte. This year we are featuring bundt cakes in white, apricot or marble flavors. And that's just the beginning.
For those of us shopping early, how should the baked goods be stored?
To ensure longevity, most things should be refrigerated. A lot of the cakes are covered in chocolate or jam. The covering helps keeps them fresh but you should still refrigerate them. The cookies and macaroons can be kept at room temperature.
Non-gebrokts is another trend in Passover eating. Are your Passover baked goods non-gebrokts?
More than before, there is a demand for high-quality, non-gebrokts bakery, especially in the New York tri-state area. So, instead of matzah meal or cake meal, we use potato and tapioca starch. There is a big difference when you bake with starches instead of matzah meal but I think that we do a tremendous job. Every year we get rave reviews.
I agree, the cakes are fabulous. How do you prevent the non-gebrokts products from being dry or bland?
Great ingredients that help keeps products moist and fresh are available to the baking industry. We use certain sugars that hydrodscopically retain moisture. We also use potato syrup as a sweetener which acts as a kind of moistener. Making high-quality, great-tasting, non-gebrokts baked goods is a skill my family has perfected in the 100 years that we've been baking.
- JAMIE GELLER is a best selling author (Quick and Kosher Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing, 2007), an internationally syndicated food and lifestyle columnist, an award-winning television producer, a motivational speaker, and the host of popular Internet cooking shows “Quick & Kosher” and “Simply Kosher."