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A Taste For The Past

Archive for the ‘Jewish Cooking’ Category

Linzertorte (Novel Food 4)

Posted by bakinghistory on June 21, 2008

A traditional Linzer tart made with almonds, spices, and berry jam.

Novel Food is a lovely, seasonal blog event that pairs food and literature—hosted by Simona of Briciole and Lisa of Champaign Taste.


This time I chose to recreate a food item from the novel The Inn at Lake Devine , by one of my absolute favorite contemporary American writers: Elinor Lipman.

In this novel the author addresses the issues of antisemitism and prejudice, of religious and ethnic barriers and the courage to cross them. It is no small feat to explore these themes in a novel and Ms Lipman succeeds at doing that through a flawless, witty tale in which sharp social satire intertwines with romance and tragedy, and destiny takes unpredictable turns.

The most remarkable aspect of the novel, in fact, is that it carries across its message clearly and powerfully by describing how the social and historical context affects the personal and the individual—and vice versa.

The novel unfolds at a swift pace and is masterfully written in a language peppered by humor—and a few Yiddish words here and there.  The story is told through the voice of Natalie Marx, who embarks in her own personal crusade against bigotry and social injustice and finds love in the process.

Food is present throughout the novel, as a metaphor for separateness and closeness, identity and nurture. Natalie realizes that her call is becoming a chef and through food she will finally, albeit unwittingly, conquer a local example of antisemitism—the Inn that gives the title to the novel itself.

Here is an excerpt from the novel in which the Linzertorte is actually mentioned:

Ahead of Nelson, a woman in a blue lace dress, with hair the smoky gray of cat fur, turned to speak. “What’s the name of your hotel again?” she asked.

“The Inn at Lake Devine”

“Is that near Rutland?”

“Very close. Do you know Rutland?”

“I have a cousin there,” she said. She held her plate out to the chef overseeing the Linzertorte. “Is it a white hotel with a big porch and a lawn that goes down to the water?”

“That’s us,”said Nelson.

She paused before asking, “And how long has your family owned it?”

“All my life,” Nelson said, with the polish of a spelling bee finalist. “And my grandparents before that.”

“My cousins told me about you,” said the woman, minus the smile of a satisfied customer.

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In: “The International Jewish Cookbook”, 1919—USA


8 oz. flour

8 oz. shelled almonds (not blanched)

8 oz. sugar

4 oz. butter (room temperature)

2 eggs

1/2 tbsp brandy

1 generous pinch of allspice

1 pinch of salt

2 jars berry jam (e.g., strawberry, raspberry)

Grind the almonds with the sugar until powdery. Mix with the flour, spice and salt. Work in the butter at low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the eggs, lightly beaten, and the brandy, and mix at low speed until the dough holds together. Wrap the dough in wax paper and let rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare a 10-inch springform pan.

Take 2/3 of the dough and roll to about 1/4-inch thickness on a generously floured surface. The dough is crumbly and is tricky to roll. Alternatively it can be patted into the pan. Line the pan bottom and half way up the sides. Prick all over the dough with a fork, then fill with jam. Roll the remaining dough and cut in strips to form a lattice top on the jam layer.

Bake the tart for 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan placed on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold it and let it finish cooling on the rack.

The tart is better made one day ahead.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Jewish Cooking, Pies & Tarts, Spices, Treenuts | Tagged: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Covered Cheesecake

Posted by bakinghistory on June 8, 2008

An unusual version of cheesecake: the cheese filling is baked between two layers of sponge cake

While reading this recipe I was immediately intrigued: a cheesecake that was made by baking the cheese filling between two layer of sponge cake was unusual and I was curious to see how it would turn out. Mid-way through assembling it I was suddenly sure it would never work: the cheese filling seemed too liquid compared to the cake batter and at that point I had not many hopes of getting any decent results.

However, the cake did surprisingly turn out well—the filling stayed in, the cake baked just fine and the final result was surprisingly good. It is also a relatively quick cake to make and overall I found it worthy to share. A good cup of tea or coffee to accompany it are all that is needed. I have made this cake many times since and it is always a pleasant dessert.

The holiday of Shavuot begins June 8 at sunset and ends June 10 at nightfall: to celebrate this holiday it is customary to eat dairy foods, and cheesecake is one of the traditional choices. This recipe would be a nice addition to the holiday menu.

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In: “The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According To The Jewish Dietary Laws…”, 1919—USA



2 eggs

1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

1 cup milk

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 lb. pot cheese

1 tsp (organic) lemon extract (or to taste)


1 cup (200 g) sugar + a little extra to sprinkle on top of the cake

2 oz. (60 g) butter

1 cup (237 g) water

2 eggs

2-1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1tbsp butter + 1 tbsp flour for the cake pan

Preheat the oven at 325F (160C). Butter and flour an 8-inch springform cake pan

Make the filling: Dissolve the cornstarch in a little milk (taken form the total), then add the rest of the milk and mix well. Bring to a boil on low heat until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool, stirring once in while to prevent a skin from forming on top.

Put the pot cheese through a fine strainer and set aside. Beat the eggs with the sugar at high speed, until very light and fluffy. Mix in the cheese, lemon extract and finally the cooled milk mixture. Set aside in a cool place.

Using a blender or mixer to make the filling is not a good option: the mixture turns out too liquid.

Make the cake batter: Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside. Cream the butter then begin to add the sugar a little at a time, then add the eggs well beaten and continue mixing at high speed, then add 1/3 of the flour and mix well. Add 1/3 of the water and mix it in, then continue adding 1/3 more flour, 1/3 water, the the remaining flour and then the rest of the water. The batter should be light and fall in a ribbon when the beater is lifted.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared cake pan, making sure it is well distributed to make an even layer.

Then pour the cheese filling all over it, working in circles starting from the center (the filling should be soft enough to fall in a ribbon) and making sure the cake layer is well covered by the cheese filling.

Finally pour the remaining cake batter on top of the cheese filling, still working in circles to distribute it as evenly as possible. With the back of a spoon gently even out the top cake layer and then sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden.

Let the cake cool in the pan placed on a rack for about 5 minutes, then gently remove the side of the pan. Let the cake cool and then refrigerate overnight in a closed container.

Remove from the refrigerator 15 minurtes before serving. Keep any leftover cake refrigerated.

Posted in American Cooking, Cakes, Desserts, Holidays, Jewish Cooking | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Pesach Cake With Walnuts

Posted by bakinghistory on April 16, 2008

A moist and light walnut torte for Passover

One of my favorite songs in the Sephardic music repertoire begins with this verse:

“Purim, Purim, Purim lanu

Pesach, Pesach a la mano”

which in the Ladino language means that Purim is over and Passover is approaching.

Tortes and pastries made with ground nutmeats (almonds and walnuts, pistachios and hazelnuts) are common in the Passover menus of Jewish communities around the world given the prohibition against foods that are considered leaven. Grains such as rye, spelt, wheat, barley, and oats, which can ferment, cannot be used to make baked goods to be eaten at Passover. Ground nutmeats, and potato starch, are then used instead.

This cake is simply made with ground walnuts, a small amount of matzo meal, no shortening, and a relatively high amount of eggs. The result is a moist sponge cake that can be enjoyed at the end of the Seder meal or with afternoon tea and coffee. The walnut taste is intense thanks to the long baking time at a moderate temperature, which toasts the nuts and brings out their flavor. There are many variations on this basic type of cake, such as those made with a mixture of walnuts and almonds and flavored with orange juice and zest, or by using toasted hazelnuts in place of the walnuts.

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In: “The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According To The Jewish Dietary Laws…”, 1919—USA


1/2 lb shelled walnuts

1/2 lb sugar

9 eggs, divided

2 tbsp fine matzo meal

1 pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 300° F (150° C). Line an 8-in cake pan with aluminum foil and generously grease with almond oil (or olive oil).

Grind the walnuts with 2 tbsp of sugar until fine and set aside. Beat the yolks at high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, then add the remaining sugar 1 tbsp at a time until the mixture is light. Mix in the ground walnuts, salt and the matzo meal and beat at high speed until well mixed. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula once in a while. Beat the egg whites until firm peaks form and add a small quantity to the walnut mixture, mixing well to lighten it. Add the remaining egg whites by hand, gently folding them in with a spatula, making sure they are well distributed (the walnut mixture tends to stick to the bottom of the bowl). Pour the prepared batter in the pan and bake for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean (not less than 45 minutes anyway).

Make sure not to open the oven door before 45 minutes, or the cake might collapse.

Take the cake out of the oven and leave it in the pan on a rack to cool for about 5 minutes. It will slightly sink and shrink from the sides. Unmold it and let it cool completely on the rack.

This year the Festival of Passover, the celebration of the Exodus from Egypt, from slavery to freedom, begins at sundown on Saturday April 19.

Chag Pesach Sameach!!

Posted in Cakes, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Flourless Cakes, Jewish Cooking, Pareve, Passover, Treenuts | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Zwiebelplatz (Potato-rye flatbread with onions) bbd #07

Posted by bakinghistory on March 1, 2008


An excellent rye flatbread with a chewy crumb speckled with potato bits and topped with sweet onions

Roundup is HERE 



breadbakingday 7 This is my entry for bbd #7 hosted this time by Cascabel of Chili und Ciabatta and initiated by Zorra. Cascabel proposed a great theme: flatbreads.

This rye flatbread—made with dark rye flour, potatoes, cornmeal, and a generous topping of onions—is amazingly good. The potatoes and rye provide a moist, chewy interior, speckled with potato bits. The roasted onion topping adds layers of flavor and sweetness. One of the best breads I have ever made.

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In: The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According To The Jewish Dietary Laws With The Rules For Kashering: The Favorite Recipes Of America, Austria, Germany, Russia, …”,1919—USA


2 cups (275 g) (Yukon Gold) potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tbsp (18 g) kosher salt

2 tbsp (15 g) yellow cornmeal (whole grain, stone ground)

1 cup (102 g) dark rye flour

3 cups (400 g) bread flour (King Arthur brand) or as needed

1/2 tbsp (6 g) sugar

1 tsp (4 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water

2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter


1 onion, sliced paper-thin

1-2 tbsp (15-30 g) butter

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Strain and reserve cooking water. Mash the potatoes and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer. Measure 1-1/2 cups of the potato water (add extra water if necessary to have 1-1/2 cups) place in a saucepan and mix with the salt and cornmeal. Bring to a boil, then take off the heat and add the butter, stirring until it is melted. Pour the mixture on the mashed potatoes and mix briefly. Let cool.

Once the potato mixture is cold, add the flours and then the yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water. Knead until the dough develops, about 7 minutes at low speed. The dough will be tacky, if too sticky and wet you may need to add a little more bread flour. Don’t add too much, the dough should be tacky because of the rye and potatoes.

Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise—preferably overnight in a cool place. The refrigerator might be fine, but a room with a temperature of 50°F (10°C ), such as a basement, is best.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), place a rack in the middle slot.

Once the dough is fermented, take it out of the bowl and delicately, without kneading it, stretch it and flatten it with the palms of your hands to form a thin rectangle. Place it in a buttered jellyroll pan (11 x 16 x 0.5-inch—28 x 40.5 x 1.27 cm), spread on the surface the onion slices and dot with butter here and there. zwiebelplatz-1.jpg (click on picture to enlarge).

Immediately bake the bread for about 20-25 minutes. zwiebelplatz-2.jpg (click on picture to enlarge)

Notes: it is important that the potatoes are mashed while still hot and mixed with the flours when cold. Warm potatoes make the dough gooey and tend to absorb lots of flour, ruining the final result.

Mashing the potatoes with a fork so that small pieces remain whole is better than using a potato ricer—the potato bits are tasty to find in the finished bread.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Jewish Cooking, Rye, Yeasted Breads | 16 Comments »

Kuchen Roll (bbd #05)

Posted by bakinghistory on January 1, 2008


A slightly sweet yeasted dough with a touch of nutmeg and a flavorful prune-cinnamon filling

breadbakingday51_2_2.jpg This is my entry for bread baking day #05, hosted this time by Chelsea at Rolling in Dough, and initiated by Zorra. Chelsea proposed Filled Breads as a theme, and I decided to keep on the sweet side with this kuchen roll. The dough is actually barely sweet, which lets the prune-cinnamon filling really shine through. It is perfect with a glass of lemon tea.

bbd #05 roundup is here 

From the original recipes by Lizzie Black Kander (Mrs. Simon Kander)

In “The Settlement Cook Book”, 1901–USA

Kuchen Dough, No. 1

1 pint (470 ml) milk, scalded

1/2 cup (113g ) butter

1/2 cup (100) sugar

1 tsp (6 g) salt

5-1/2 to 6 cups (750 g-820 g) bread flour (or as needed)

yolks of 2 eggs (or 1 egg)

1-1/2 tsp (6 g) active dry yeast

grated nutmeg to taste

1 egg to shine the roll surface

Prune Filling

1 lb. (454 g) prunes

2 qt. (1.90 l) water

1 cup (200g) sugar

2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

grated lemon zest

1 stick cinnamon (or 1 tsp of ground cinnamon)

Make the Filling

Soak the prunes in water for a few hours, then cook them in the same water, with (a stick of) cinnamon, until soft. Add sugar (1/4 cup of sugar every 2 cups of stewed prunes) and cook 2 minutes more. Take off the heat, add lemon juice to taste and lemon zest. Remove cinnamon stick (unless you used ground cinnamon) and process the prunes in a food processor or with an immersion blender till creamy. The quantity of sugar and lemon juice should be adjusted by taste; personally I prefer the filling to be rather tart.

Place the prepared filling in a covered glass container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. It can be prepared the day before.

Make the Kuchen Dough

Dissolve the yeast with 1 tsp of sugar in 1/2 cup of the warm milk and set aside till foamy. To the rest of the milk add the butter, sugar, salt, nutmeg and, when cool, the two beaten yolks or the beaten egg. Add some of the flour, mix well, add the yeast-milk mixture and then the rest of the flour, kneading on low speed with the dough hook attachment if using a stand mixer. The dough should be well developed, smooth, soft, supple and satiny; the amount of flour has to be adjusted so that the dough is not sticky but still fairly soft. Let the dough rise, in a covered container, until doubled and light. Then take the dough, press it flat with the palms of your hands in a rectangular shape, not too thin or it might tear, spread with prune filling leaving a little clean margin on one of the short sides. Roll up the dough, starting with one of the short sides and seal well the seams.

Let the shaped roll(s) raise, covered, till light. Gently brush the surface with the beaten egg glaze and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 35-40 minutes.

Cool the rolls on racks (unmold them if you used a pan). Slice and serve only when they are throughly cold.

The roll can be baked free form on a baking sheet lightly greased and floured, or arranged in a lightly greased bundt pan.

The dough can also be divided in two before rolling and filling to make two smaller rolls to bake free form or to arrange in a pan.

Posted in Blog Events, Fruit, Jewish Cooking, Spices, Yeasted Breads, Yeasted Cakes, Kuchen, Coffee Cakes | Tagged: , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Honey Cakes, No. 1

Posted by bakinghistory on September 11, 2007


Honey cake is one of the traditional sweets served on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This recipe is one of the best versions ever: it produces a moist, mildly spiced, golden cake with a deep honey flavor. It is best made one day ahead and it just improves over time.

Shanah Tovah–5768

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In The International Jewish Cook Book” 1919-USA


1 lb (1-1/3 cup–454 g) honey

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 tbsp (6 g) ground allspice (see note)

3 tbsp salad oil + extra for the cake pan

4 cups (1 lb–454 g) all-purpose flour

3 tsp (15 g) baking powder



Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C). Generously oil a cake pan (I used a traditional Bundt® pan–if you prefer you can use two 5.4 x 9.1-inches loaf pans (13.6 x 23.2 cm).

Pour the honey in a pan, and warm it up, on low heat, taking care not to let it boil.

Beat the eggs with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed for 20 minutes, until light and pale yellow in color. Add the oil and beat until well incorporated.

Sift the flour with the ground allspice and the baking powder, then add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Finally add the warm honey and beat well.

The batter will be creamy and glossy and golden in color. Pour it delicately into the prepared mold(s) and bake for about 1 hour–a toothpick must come out clean when the cake is ready. Take care not to bake the cake at too high a temperature (not above 350F–180C) or it will brown too quickly on the outside and remain raw inside.

Let the cake cool in the pan placed on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then take it out of the pan(s) and let it finish cooling on the rack. When completely cold, wrap it in aluminum foil (not plastic wrap) or place it in an airtight container for one day before serving. It lasts a long time and improves.

Note: if possible, it is best to use whole allspice berries. Toast them lightly in a pan (not non-stick) on low heat stirring with a wooden spatula until the fragrance rises. Take immediately off the heat and let cool. When cold, grind the allspice berries in a spice or coffee grinder, then sift the spice powder into the flour using a fine strainer.



Posted in Cakes, Holidays, Honey, Jewish Cooking, Spices | 15 Comments »

Rye Bread I

Posted by bakinghistory on August 28, 2007


An excellent recipe for a bread with a good rye flavor complemented by caraway and a mild sour taste.

Very similar to traditional “Jewish Rye”, with a moist crumb and thin crust. Ideal for sandwiches.

bbd #03 - bread with rye sourdough

This is my entry for Bread Baking Day #03, hosted by Ulrike at Küchenlatein. Thanks to Ulrike for proposing a great theme: Rye Sourdough Breads. And thanks to Zorra for initiating this monthly event.

The bbd #03 roundup is here

From the original recipe by The Council of Jewish Women (Portland Section, 1912)
In The Neighborhood Cook Book” 1914–USA


180 g (1 cup) sourdough*

105 g (1 scant cup) dark rye flour (whole grain)

345 g (2-1/2 cup) bread flour

240 g (1 cup) water

9 g (1/2 tbsp) salt

10 g (1-1/2 tbsp) caraway seed

1 egg white to glaze the bread

Make the sourdough: Mix 90 g (scant 3/4 cup) dark rye flour + 90 g (3.06 fl oz) water + 5 g (1/2 tbsp) mature sourdough culture** (100% hydration) and let it ferment for about 8 hours at room temperature.

Place the prepared sourdough in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the water, then mix at the lowest speed with the flat paddle attachment. Add the bread flour mixed with the rye flour and mix at the lowest speed to make a shaggy dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then switch to the dough hook attachment and knead until the dough is well developed (it will clean the sides of the bowl and be slightly tacky). Add the salt and the caraway seeds and mix until well incorporated. I prefer to finish kneading the dough by hand, and after 2-3 more minutes of hand kneading it will be smooth, elastic, supple, and only barely tacky.

Shape the dough in a ball and let it ferment for about 1 hour, then shape as desired (either free form or place in a loaf pan) and let it finish rising for about 60 minutes on a peel or baking sheet sprinkled with semolina (or in the bread pan). Brush the top of the loaf with egg white mixed with water and score the surface of the loaf with a sharp blade.
Bake in a preheated oven (450°F-232°C) till golden brown (about 1 hour). Cool the bread on a rack.

This bread is at its best the day after it is baked, and keeps fresh for a few days.

** sourdough culture: can be made by mixing equal weights of (organic) whole grain rye flour and water, (200 g each) left to ferment in a covered glass container for 48 hours at room temperature. After 48 hours some signs of fermentation should be visible. Keep 100 g of the mixture (discard the rest) and add equal weights of rye flour and water (100 g each) . These refreshments should be made ideally every 12 hours during the the first week.

Posted in Blog Events, Jewish Cooking, Rye, Sourdough | 10 Comments »

Barches (Challah)

Posted by bakinghistory on June 15, 2007


Barches is the name for Challah in German and western Yiddish. This version is the traditional old-fashioned kind made with a minimal amount of fat and sugar and no eggs except in the glaze. It has a thin crispy crust and a chewy crumb with a plain but excellent flavor. It is often a nice change from the Challah rich in eggs and honey that I usually bake.

From the original recipe by Lizzie Black Kander

In “The Settlement Cook Book” 1901-USA


2 cups (474 g) boiling water

1 tbsp (18 g) salt

1 tbsp (12 g) granulated sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) oil

1-1/2 tsp (6 g) active dry yeast

1/2 cup (118 ml) water at 100° F (38° C)

6-1/2 cups (890 g) bread flour

To Glaze: 1 yolk +1 tbsp (15 ml) water

Poppy seed (optional)


Dissolve the sugar and salt in the boiling water and add the oil; set aside to cool until lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm water(100°F–38° C), and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the yeast water to the flour and then the remaining water to which you had added salt, sugar and oil. Knead in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, at the lowest speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Leave the dough to rest in the bowl, covered, for about 20 minutes,then place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

The following day, take out the dough and, without kneading it, divide it in half. Divide each half into 3, 4, or 6 pieces, depending on how many strands you want for shaping the braids. Roll each piece into a long, even strand, not too thin, and shape the braids. It is better to lightly flour each strand before braiding them, this will help keep the braided shape neat during baking.

Sprinkle generously a peel or a baking sheet with fine cornmeal or semolina and place the shaped breads on it, cover and leave them to rise for 1-1/2 or 2 hours, then brush them with yolk mixed with 1 tbsp of water and sprinkle with poppy seed if you like.Bake the bread in a preheated oven 425° F (220°C) for about 45-60 minutes.

Note if you have a baking stone, preheat it for at least 45 minutes and bake the breads directly on it. Let the breads cool on a rack.

Posted in Jewish Cooking, Yeasted Breads | 4 Comments »

Bundt Kuchen No. 1

Posted by bakinghistory on June 8, 2007

Ethereally light, with the richness of butter and eggs balanced by the warm aromas of lemon zest and nutmeg. Something worth having for coffee with one’s best friends.

From the original recipe by Lizzie Black Kander

In: “The Settlement Cook Book” 1901-USA


1. For the Sponge

1/2 tbsp active dry yeast or 1/2 oz of fresh yeast

1 cup warm milk (about 100F-38C)

1 cup (4.5 oz-125 g) bread flour

2.For the final dough

2 cups (9oz-250 g) bread flour

1 cup (7 oz-200 g) sugar

1/2 cup (4 oz–115 g) butter

4 eggs

zest of 1 (organic) lemon

2 tsp (4 g) (or to taste) freshly grated nutmeg

3. For the Icing

1 cup (4 oz-120 g) confectioners sugar

1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) boiling water or milk

Make the sponge: Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, mix in the flour and let stand, covered, until it doubles and looks bubbly.

Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment beat the butter to cream, until very light and fluffy, then add the sugar and the lemon zest and nutmeg, when well mixed add the eggs, one at a time. Now switch to the flat beater attachment and add the sponge and then the remaining 2 cups of flour. Mix on medium speed until you get a very soft but elastic dough (about 10 minutes). At the end, it will look more like a batter than dough, almost pourable.

Grease very generously a 9-cups Bundt® pan, then put the dough in it leveling it with a spatula. Cover the pan and let the dough stand until very light, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)

Bake the kuchen for 45 -60 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Take out the kuchen from the pan and let it cool on a rack.

Make the icing, mixing the sugar and water or milk (the icing should be spreadable but not too thin), then ice the cake once it is cold.

Posted in Jewish Cooking, Spices, Yeasted Cakes, Kuchen, Coffee Cakes | 1 Comment »

Cardamom Cookies

Posted by bakinghistory on June 1, 2007


These cookies have a soft, crumbly texture because they are made with hard boiled egg yolks. Cardamom, rose water and almonds provide their delicate yet complex flavor.

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In “The International Jewish Cookbook” 1919–USA


6 hard boiled egg yolks

1/2 lb (230 g) sugar

1/2 lb (230 g) butter

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp (30 ml) brandy

1 tsp (2 g) ground cardamom

2 tsp (10 ml) rose water

1 lb (454 g) all-purpose, unbleached flour (or as needed)

To garnish

1 oz (30 g) blanched almonds (raw)

1 oz (30 g) Demerara sugar

1 egg

Cream the butter and set aside.

Place the sugar, yolks, cardamom, rose water, lemon zest and brandy in a food processor and blend until it all forms a smooth paste. Add the creamed butter and process until well blended. Add the flour, starting with 1/2 lb, pulse for a few seconds, then add as much flour as needed to have a soft, smooth dough that can be rolled.

Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Roll on a slightly floured surface (1/8 in-3mm thick) and cut with cookie shapes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Beat the egg, brush the top of the cookies with the beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar and ground almonds and bake for abut 10 minutes (or until lightly golden). Cool on racks.

The dough is soft and a little tricky to roll and cut.

Alternatively, the dough can be formed into little balls, flattened and then garnished. Or it can be formed into a log, wrapped in wax paper, refrigerated or frozen and then thinly sliced, garnished, and baked.

Posted in Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Jewish Cooking, Spices | Leave a Comment »