Kosher Baking A-Z

 

Cookbook Spotlight: Nosh On This (Gluten Free) ...

 

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Last year we featured Lisa Horel from the GlutenFreeCanteen blog and her first book, the Book of Nosh, filled with gluten free classic Jewish bakery foods. After Lisa became gluten free she wouldn’t give up her favorites and with so many people needing to be gluten free she has fullfilled a great need for these recipes. Check out the full interview with Lisa here, In the JOK Kitchen with Gluten Free Canteen.

Lisa is back again with more gluten free recipes in Nosh On This, she says, “Nosh on This is a larger, more comprehensive book with a detailed introduction about gluten-free flours along with lots of helpful baking tips. It contains over 100 recipes including a chapter on baked savories and a chapter on how to use a baking mix in a variety of different ways. The book is full of photos – one for each recipe.”


 

Uses For Leftover Hamantashen Filling

 

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You have been diligently preparing for Purim making many Hamantashen with many different fillings. Your Shalach Manos baskets need to be filled with assorted treats and your Hamantashen are anticipated additions in your baskets.

Most religious institutions, when preparing for Purim festivities, enlist cadres of cooks to assemble scores of dozens of Hamantashen for their holiday carnivals. Along with the traditional prune (lekvar) and poppy seed (mohn) fillings, apricot, almond, chocolate, strawberry and other fruit flavors have become favorites.  When preparing hundreds or even thousands of Hamantashen at a time, bakers can easily use many different flavors and have no leftovers.


 

Two New Winter Cupcake Recipes

 

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I love cupcakes and once you get in a cupcake groove, it’s hard to get out.  They’re just so cute, so versatile, and so easy to whip together!  The only way to deal with this addiction is to feed it.  Usually bad advice to offer to addicts, except in the case of cupcakes. I love trying out new flavor combinations and recently started “Cupcake of the month”.  It gives me the opportunity to use different themes and ingredients to bring out the true feeling of that month. January right away makes me think of winter.  I live in California, where winter is mostly sunny and warm but I know somewhere out there, it must be cold and snowy.  When I think of winter, the first thing that comes to mind is the crisp fresh air. chocolate peppermint cupcake For my first cupcake, I chose a Chocolate Cupcake topped with a Peppermint Buttercream, drizzled with melted chocolate and pieces of peppermint candy.  The cupcakes have a dark chocolate flavor and are super moist.  Piled high on top is the peppermint buttercream.  You can add crushed peppermint to any of your favorite vanilla buttercream recipes.  By using actual crushed peppermint instead of a peppermint extract, you get that slight crunch in the cream that screams that cool & crisp wintery fresh taste. You might want to use a round tip to frost the cupcakes; otherwise, the pieces of candy will get stuck inside a typical swirl tip.  The optional melted chocolate drizzled on top helps bring together the flavors of chocolate and mint together.  For an extra crunch and a pretty finish, sprinkle on the remaining pieces of candy. chai latte cupcake

For the second cupcake I made Vanilla Chai Latte Cupcakes.  When it is cold outside I will most likely not leave the house without a hot drink in my hand.  I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I absolutely love chai lattes.  They are so comforting; the aroma itself warms you up.  Every sip gives you a beautiful blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamon that, when combined all together, make one incredible drink.

The vanilla cupcakes came out light with a fluffy texture and not overly sweet, which is perfect because it will be covered with just a simple yet rich buttercream. The buttercream is made with the chai spice mix that you make before hand using cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and cardamon.  Once iced, the cupcakes were lightly sprinkled with white sugar sprinkles and small white snowflakes giving off that snowy look as well. When you bite into this cupcake, the full flavor of a vanilla chai latte stirs all of your senses. Enjoy my cupcake recipes! Vanilla Chai Latte Cupcakes Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream


 

Curry, Caramel, Coconut and Chocolate Tart *Dear...

 

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Chocolate together with smoked chiles?  Chinese five spice?  Curry???  Well, yes, yes and yes!  But before we plunge into flavor adventures, let’s back up a bit.

As you know, there’s nothing else like chocolate.  It is great in both sweet and savory applications; it can be melted, chopped, grated and pulverized into nibs and powder for a multitude of uses; it can be used straight up and intense or blended with sugar and milk for a lighter taste.  And best of all, its deep, universally-loved essence blends beautifully with so many other flavors, each enhancing the other.


 

Non-Dairy Cronots

 

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With the holiday of Chanukah upon us, now is the perfect time to explore the world of the deep fried cronot.  Cronots are a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. This fusion dessert is actually perfect for the fusion holiday of Thanksgiving and Chanukah!  Fried foods are all the rage this holiday, stemming from the miracle of the menorah oil lasting eight days instead of one.  There is no better way in my humble opinion, to celebrate the miracle of oil than deep frying dough.  Cronots are  essentially made by taking buttery croissant dough, cutting it into a doughnut shape, and frying it instead of baking.  They look just like a traditional doughnut until you bite into one.  Cronots are crispy, light, tender, and flaky.  They rise from the yeast in the dough, as well as from the layers and layers of fat that has been rolled and folded into the dough.  When you cut it open, you can see the beautiful layers that were created from all the folding of the dough.

I have seen cronots cut in half and filled with all sorts of fillings including pastry cream and topped with glazes and powdered sugar.  I’m sure they would be delicious if filled with your favorite fruit jam or jelly.  I like to keep my cronots simple by  rolling them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, while they are still warm from the fryer.  The cinnamon sugar gives this delicious pastry extra texture and sweetness.


 

Cookbook Spotlight – The Holiday Kosher...

 

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Two years ago Paula Shoyer came to market with The Kosher Baker.  A cookbook that filled the void for many to create amazing non dairy desserts that left no need for apology.  Check out our first interview with Paula and learn more about her transformation from lawyer to pastry chef to cookbook author.  Now, Paula is back with more amazing recipes to add to your holiday repertoire.   The Holiday Kosher Baker Cookbook is a go to bible filled with tips and tricks for any new or seasoned baker.  Paula is especially gifted and making our favorite desserts without any dairy, although this book does include some specialty dairy recipes for Shavuot.

 


 

Hanukkah Desserts

 

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We all love more dessert recipes and our friends in Montreal really know how to do them right.  We showcased the Montreal Hebrew Academy Cookbook, And Then There Was Cake and shared a few recipes last month.  Now, we get to sample a few more special for Hanukkah.


 

Thanksgiving Pie Fries

 

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner it is firmly pie season. Sure, I make pies all year round, but there is no one-day of the year that screams “pie” like Thanksgiving. (Ok, maybe March 14th does as well, but only among the slightly nerdy circles I run in.) The challenge of Thanksgiving pies for me is that people expect the traditional flavors, leaving me much less freedom to innovate and play around with the dessert than I usually have. It is rare for me to serve the same dessert twice for Shabbat or holidays, but for Thanksgiving people expect the classics.

That is what makes these pie fries so much fun. They have the traditional Thanksgiving pie flavors of pumpkin and cranberry apple served up in a fun new shape. I had seen apple versions of pie fries all over the web, so when I was given the challenge of turning them into more Thanksgiving like treats I jumped at the opportunity. Although they are baked and not really fried, pie “fries” are the perfect Thanksgivukkah treat.


 

Vegan No Bake Brownies With Variations

 

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Sometimes I really miss baking.  Don’t get me wrong – working as a chocolatier is soul-satisfying, with fine chocolate’s unmistakable taste and aroma and the other fine ingredients I use, I’m in heaven.  On those days when I’m immersed in administrative business tasks and I’m away from the chocolate, I yearn to be back making it.  I love this beautiful food and how happy it makes everyone, including me.

But there is something very special about pastry too, with its varied components coming together in exciting ways when a dessert is assembled and its flavors and textures combined.  When I did pastry full time, I loved coming up with new creations for my clients – whether it was the restaurant needing something special for Mother’s Day or a client with a dietary restriction needing a creative solution.  I miss working regularly with those clients (though many have remained devoted fans of my chocolates too).  And while I still bake for my family, of course it isn’t the same.


 

Types and How To Melt Chocolate with Parve...

 

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What better way to end a meal than with decadent chocolate desserts?

Here is your source for all things chocolate:


 

And Then There Was Cake, Cookbook From Montreal ...

 

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As the Hebrew Academy of Montreal looks ahead to their 50th anniversary they decided to assemble the new kosher cookbook, And Then There Was Cake, desserts to enjoy and impress.  Throughout the years the leaders of the parent association found themselves in kitchens and around food as they worked to build a better school.  Now they are passing on these recipes to the next generation.

Glazed Pear Tart


 

Introducing Orly and Her Poppyseed Cake

 

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Before I start I would like to thank Jamie and Tamar for the opportunity to write a regular guest blog on Joy of Kosher. I have to confess that I’ve never written a blog before and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to write. If you’re reading me now please tell me what you would like to keep reading here.

I’ll start by telling you a little about me – I was born in Tel Aviv and lived my whole life in Israel. Food was and still is my passion. From a young age I used to bake and make all the dessert at home while my mother did the cooking. I started collecting recipes from friends, neighbors, magazines etc. I still have my first notebook where I used to keep all the recipes, which I marked so I would know whether to repeat them or not.


 

Chocolate Swirl Bread Like Babka

 

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When you move to Israel, you are constantly astounded at how different it is from the States. Everything, and I mean everything, is different from the size of paper, the fact that you pay for your medical insurance in the post office, and that chocolate is a type of sandwich not a bar.
I can’t tell you how or why, but I can most definitely tell you that chocolate sandwiches are not only an option but the option of choice when it comes to sandwiches. When I first arrived here, I found the concept of putting chocolate in between two pieces of bread bizarre and now that I am here for a number of years; I still find it to be incredibly weird.

For me chocolate spread was like coconut macaroons, it only existed on Passover. Seeing it sold here all year round and in great bulk is somewhat entertaining. So entertaining that my friend once called it chocolate fondue without a fire, which if you tried it, is no stretch of the imagination.


 

How To Make Homemade Halva

 

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One of my favorite things to do when I am in Jerusalem is to go to the shuk. I love the bustle and energy of shopping there. The fresh produce, the spice shops, the fresh baked pita, all the stalls draw me in inviting me to purchase just a bit of this and a bit of that. But no display grabs me quite like the halvah stand. Huge slabs of halvah in every imaginable flavor, with the shopkeeper handing out samples so good you just can’t help but buy some. I always end up buying way too much, but no one seems to complain when I bring it home.

Since I don’t live in Jerusalem and don’t have the good fortune of regularly shopping at the shuk I wanted to try to recreate some of that amazing halvah in my own kitchen. It turns out that the flaky yet creamy texture that makes halvah so alluring it somewhat dependent on making industrial sized batches, which makes it a bit tricky to translate to the home kitchen. That being said, I have come up with a method that yields delicious halvah that is so much fresher and more delicious than any packaged halvah available for purchase. It is slightly less flaky than the halvah I remember from the shuk but it comes very close in texture and matches it in flavor.


 

Strawberries + Dark Chocolate = Dairy Free Dessert...

 

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Summer berries are here in full swing!  It may be too early in the season to feast on homegrown fruit, but local farmers markets and supermarkets are fully stocked with an assortment of colorful berries, lush and bursting with flavor.

Sweet, versatile and nutritious, strawberries are one of the most well-liked fruits in the United States and perhaps the most popular of all the berries.  In addition to their distinct, juicy flavor and gorgeous crimson color, strawberries are packed with fiber and potassium and have the most Vitamin C of any berry, all at only 25 calories per half cup.  Nowadays the fruit is usually available year round, but peak season is from April to July when strawberries are welcomingly inexpensive.