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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sponge Cake

I have always loved the taste of my aunt's moist, lemony Passover Sponge Cake. However, when I attempted to make Sponge Cake last year, I must have done something wrong.  I was so upset that after using 9 eggs and separating them very carefully, the cake did not rise as it should have. This year, I asked my aunt if she could teach me how to make it properly. My photograph her as she baked a sponge cake for our seder. What a great success!

On a side might recognize my aunt from her second home located at Bayview and Eglinton called Duff's Famous Wings.  When she is not at the restaurant working, she is often at home cooking up a storm for the family, always making delicious meals and desserts. I thought that I could learn a few tips from her. The pressure she felt while I was taking photos of her as she was making the cake was too cute!  She did it though and made a yummy cake. Thanks Auntie Helen!

Here are the ingredients you will need. 

Here is a list of some of the supplies you will need:

-stand mixer with two bowls  (key to being efficient)
-whisk attachment
-bowl for separating the eggs
-lemon zester
-lemon juicer
-measuring cups
-10" tube pan

How to Make Auntie Helen's
 Sponge Cake
Separate 9 eggs one at a time.  Be sure that none of the yolks mix with the whites.  I suggest using your hands.  After all, they are your best tools in the kitchen!

Lots of eggs are used on Passover! 
I used 30 the other day, just to make matza balls!

Grate the zest of two lemons.
Be sure to wash the outside of the lemons before using them. 

Juice the lemons.  Rolling them on the counter first, produces more juice.  Cut in half and extract as much lemon juice as you can. Use a strainer to strain all of the pulp and seeds. 
Add sugar and lemon juice to yolks.  Beat until fluffy.

Continue to add sifted cake meal, potato starch and lemon rind to egg yolks. Beat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and salt. Auntie Helen's tip: The egg whites are ready when the bowl is flipped over the whites do not fall out!

Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
Looks good!
Pour into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.
Bake at 350 for just over an hour.

Remove from oven.
Invert pan immediately and let cool for 2-3 hours.

Tada!  This looks so much better than mine did last year.  It even makes a spongy sound when squashed!
To make your own Sponge Cake follow the recipe below.

9 eggs separated at room temperature
2 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons water
2 ½ teaspoons grated lemon rind
¼ cup lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup cake meal
3/4 cup potato starch

In one bowl, beat egg yolks with water, lemon juice and sugar until light and fluffy. (3 minutes at medium speed using an electric mixer). Gradually add cake meal, potato starch and lemon rind and continue beating for an additional 2 minutes at medium speed.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until a very firm peak is formed. Fold beaten egg whites into batter gently but thoroughly.

Pour into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan, and bake in oven at 350 degrees for one hour and 10 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched lightly with finger.

Invert pan and cool thoroughly (a few hours) before removing cake from pan. Shave inside of cake with a sharp knife to easily remove it from pan.

For a real treat, top with whipped cream and berries. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Frozen Lemon Dessert Passover Style

This is a family favourite during the summertime that I have adapted to make kosher for Passover!

I am especially proud of the meringue decoration that I designed as a border!

Melt the margarine/butter and add brown sugar.  Add matzo meal and mix well. This will form the base of the dessert. I like to use a glass to press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Egg whites and sugar...yummy! Beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer meringue to a large bowl and set aside a separate small bowl with 1 1/4 cups of mixture.

Combine the cream, fresh squeezed lemon juice and remaining sugar. Whip it up! Fold in egg whites from large bowl.

Pour over the base and spread evenly over top.

Fill a disposable piping bag with 1 1/2 cups of egg whites from small bowl.  Create a pretty border. 

Broil in oven for 10-15 seconds to create meringue topping.

How beautiful!

Freeze overnight.

3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups matzo meal

4 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup of white sugar
1 container non-dairy whip topping
1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)

Melt the margarine in a pot over low heat. Add the brown sugar and mix well. Add the matzo meal and mix together until combined. Press mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside.

Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Slowly add 1/2 cup of white sugar. Remove the whipped egg whites and sugar to a bowl.  In another small bowl, reserve about 1 1/4 cups of the egg white mixture for piping.

Whip together the cream, remaining 1/2 cup of white sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Gently fold in the egg whites. Spread the egg white mixture on top of the base.

Set oven to broil.

Fill a piping bag with the reserved egg white mixture.  Pipe small flowers around the border of the dessert.
Broil on top rack of oven for about 10 seconds or until the flowers become golden brown.  Freeze overnight.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Matza Crunch

It's that time of year again. Passover! Beginning on Monday evening, families who celebrate Passover are unable to eat yeast or foods that rise for an entire week.  It's okay!  I will be posting a few of my yummy Passover dessert recipes over the week for you to add to your collection and enjoy! 

Set oven to 375 degrees.  Double line two rimmed cookie sheets with tin foil, and top with wax paper. This is very important as the mixture becomes very sticky during baking.

Use your favourite brand of matza and arrange on cookie sheets.

Approximately 6 matza boards should fit. Four matza boards should fit as wholes and the other two can be broken into smaller rectangles.
Make the caramel.  In a medium sized pot, melt 1 cup of margarine or butter.  Add one cup of brown sugar.  Combine over medium heat and whisk constantly until caramel forms and comes to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and whisk into caramel.

Pour caramel over matza boards.  (Since I find the caramel to be very sweet and thick when poured,) I often take a brush and immediately spread out the caramel over top of the matza boards.  Doing it immediately helps to avoid clumps.) This thins out the layer of caramel.

Place in oven and immediately turn down temperature of oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets to opposite racks in between. Check every few minutes to make sure the boards are not burning.  If the matza boards seem to be browning too quickly, lower heat to 325 degrees. 

Be sure to wear a good pair of oven mitts when removing trays from the oven.  These were my Bubbi's! When my dad asked me if I wanted anything from her condo, I had to grab them! 
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Break the cooled matza into squares or odd shapes.

 Melt 3/4 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Fill a piping bag or Ziploc bag with melted chocolate.  Squeeze bitter sweet chocolate first, followed by white chocolate.  

Mmmmm!  It actually tastes even better than it looks!

Let set in refrigerator for about an hour.

Store in an air tight container hidden from family, or it may very well disappear in no time at all!

Bring over to your first Seder for dessert. It makes a great gift!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Candy Sushi with Riley

She may just be the most beautiful 3 year old I know, (okay, I might a little biased since she is the daughter of one of my best friends), but, Riley was the best helper and made some sweet and delicious candy sushi with Carly, her mom Julia, and I, last week. 

Since many of my friends and I are teachers, March Break is a great time to spend time together and hang out. When Carly mentioned that she made candy sushi with her sister and that she also recently made it at a bridal shower, I thought it would be the most perfect blog post for Riley to help us with!  My girlfriend Julia, (Riley's mom), was also very excited!  All in all, it was a great morning spent together! 

Just look at that look on Riley's face as she gathered all of the candy that would be used to make the candy sushi!

For the base of the roll, we used fruit by the foot.  Cut one roll into four even pieces and layer to form a square. For the sushi rice, we used Rice Krispies Treats cut in half and flattened.

Select any candy of your choice for the filling (longer items work best). 
Some possibilities might include:
-kit kat
-gummy worms
-chocolate covered fingers

Cut 2 Rice Krispies Treats in half, horizontally.  Flatten out all four pieces.
Look at those little hands at work!

Lay overtop of fruit by the foot "mat."  Choose a filling. 

Roll it up Riley!  So focussed and so hard at work!
What a great job!

Onto the next type of "shushi" as she called it! 
She loved adding the fondant rectangles to the top of the "rice." 

The best part...dipping the sushi into the chocolate sauce.

"Shhhh...don't tell anyone that I ate a piece of shushi before lunch!"

How could anyone resist!

Mmm...all packed up and ready for takeout.

Without even planning it, the Nib filled rolls looked like happy faces!