Pareve Dessert

Almond Cake

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Makes 16, 2-inch squares.  

Simple to make, rich in almond flavor, this dessert is delicious served as a snack or with tea. I like to cut the cake into almost bite size squares, but that’s my preference. The whole preparation is done in a food processor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cups plus 1/3 cup sliced, blanched almonds, toasted (See Note)

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • Zest of 2 lemons

  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract

  • ½ cup extra -virgin olive oil

PREPARATION:

  1. Line with parchment paper a 9 inch square baking pan, making sure that the paper extends a little over the rim.  

  2. Preheat the oven to 300F. 

  3. In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup sliced almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar and zest of 1 lemon.

  4. This will be the TOPPING.  

  5. Place 1½ cups almonds, flour, baking powder and baking soda in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a bowl.  

  6. Place the eggs, ¾ cup sugar, the rest of the lemon zest and almond extract into the food processor and pulse until the mixture is light and frothy.  

  7. With the processor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube until thoroughly combined. Add the almond mixture and pulse to combine. 

  8. Pour the mixture into the pan and sprinkle with the topping. 

  9. Bake 45- 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.

NOTE:

I toast the almonds in a 350F preheated oven on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. 

 

Flourless Hazelnut Cake

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Makes 12 servings. 

A light tea cake which I like to serve with a raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries, this dessert is moist and has a bit of texture. It keeps fresh for many days refrigerated. Be gentle when you slice it, the hazelnuts make it difficult to cut. Keep this cake in mind for Passover.

INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:

  • ¾ pound hazelnuts, toasted (See Note)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine

  • 2 tablespoons potato flour

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature (See Note)

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • Zest of one lemon

  • ¼ cup lemon juice, about 1 large lemon

  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting the cake

INGREDIENTS FOR RASPBERRY SAUCE:

  • One 12 ounce package unsweetened frozen raspberries, thawed

  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

PREPARATION FOR CAKE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F 

  2. Chop the hazelnuts semi- coarsely, in 2 batches, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. 

  3. Grease a 10x2 ½ inch spring form pan with margarine and dust with potato flour. Invert pan and shake off excess. 

  4. Beat egg yolks in an electric mixer at medium speed, adding sugar gradually until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

  5. Lower the speed and add the lemon zest and lemon juice, beating until combined.  

  6. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff. 

  7. With a large rubber spatula, fold half of the nuts and a quarter of the whites into the yolks.  Repeat with the rest of the nuts and another quarter of the whites.

  8. Now reverse the process, pouring batter over the whites. Gradually fold the two mixtures together, making a motion like a figure eight, until all the whites have disappeared. Pour batter into pan distributing the batter evenly and smooth the top, if needed.  

  9. Bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes. It’s ready when you insert a tester into the center and it comes out dry.  

  10. Cool on a wire rack. The cake may drop a bit.

  11. Release the sides with a metal spatula and remove the rim. Loosen the bottom as well

  12. Invert onto a platter.  If the bottom is not attractive invert it again. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. 

PREPARATION FOR RASPBERRY SAUCE:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a blender until smooth.

  2. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve. Push the solids through the sieve with the back of a wooden spoon to obtain as much puree as possible. Be sure to scrape the underside of the sieve.

  3. Discard the pulp left in the sieve.

  4. Season to taste with sugar.

NOTE:

To roast the hazelnuts spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place  in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 minutes. Rub in a dish towel to remove the skin (some skin will remain). 

I separate the eggs when they are cold. This prevents the yolks from breaking. Then leave them to warm a bit at room temperature.

 

Honey Nut Balls

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Makes about 6 dozen cookies. 

Easy to make, nutritious and not too sweet, these treats keep well refrigerated or frozen for a long time. 

I store them in a tight-fitting container with wax paper in between the layers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ pound almonds, about 2 cups

  • ½ pound walnuts, about 2½ cups

  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

  • Grated rind of 1 orange

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

  • ½ cup honey

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature, whisked

  • ¾-1 cup flour

  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting the cookies

PREPARATION:

  1. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. 

  3. Roast almonds and walnuts in a single layer for about 10 minutes.  

  4. Reduce the oven to 250F. 

  5. Chop the nuts coarsely, SEPERATELY IN BATCHES, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

  6. Transfer to a bowl with the rinds, juices, honey and egg whites. Mix well.

  7. Add flour gradually, mixing with a wooden spoon to form a thick, but not stiff mixture.  

  8. Roll generous teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls between damp (not wet) palms. You will have to rinse your hands from time to time. Place on the cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes, until the tops feel firm to the touch. 

  9. Cool on a wire rack and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

 
 

Mandelbrot

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Makes about 5 dozen slices. 

Mandelbrot, which means “almond bread” in German, look like biscotti. It is the combination of nuts and long, slow baking that gives these cookies their wonderful crunch. I always have some on hand. This is a revised recipe which first appeared in my cookbook, Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine.

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces skin on hazelnuts

  • 8 ounces skin on almonds

  • 8 ounces dark raisins

  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 3 large eggs, whisked well

 PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. 

  2. Line a 9-x 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.  

  3. Chop the hazelnuts coarsely in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and transfer to a large bowl. Chop the almonds and add them to the hazelnuts. Add the raisins, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Combine well using a wooden spoon.   

  4. Stir in the eggs and combine thoroughly.   

  5. Press the mixture into the pan and flatten the top with your hands until it feels firm. 

  6. Place the pan in the middle rack of the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 300 F.

  7. Bake for 1 hour. 

  8. Lift the parchment paper and cool the mandelbrot for a minute. Place on a board and cut with a serrated knife into 3 equal parts. Cut each part into ¼ inch slices or thinner.   

  9. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 200 F. 

  10. Arrange the slices on a large cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes on each side.  The Mandelbrot should be very crisp.   

  11. Cool on a wire rack.

 NOTE:

Mandelbrot keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container or in a cool place.

 
 

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti.jpg

Makes about 2 dozen biscotti. 

The name biscotti means “twice baked,”once in a log form and then sliced and baked again to make them crisp.

These biscotti keep very well stored in a cool place and are delicious dipped into espresso, tea or dessert wine. I always have them on hand.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup unbleached all -purpose flour

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk at room temperature, whisked

  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2/3 cup pistachios, toasted or plain (3 ounces)

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

  3. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade pulse flour, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder until combined. Add the eggs and vegetable oil. Pulse until the dough begins to stick together. Add the pistachios and pulse until just combined. 

  4. Empty the dough onto the cookie sheet and divide it into 2 halves.   Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of each half of dough and press it into a log, about 6 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide. Square the ends.  

  5. Bake the logs for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.   

  6. Transfer to a cutting board and using a serrated knife cut into ½ inch slices.

  7. Do it gently since the logs tend to crumble.  

  8. Arrange the slices flat on the same cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.