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Chana's Top Picks

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Zuchinni Latkes

 

Ingredients:
8 small zucchini
1 large onion
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup flour

Directions:
Add salt to grated zucchini. Leave 10 minutes then squeeze out excess fluid.
Mix all ingredients well - the mixture should be thick. Drop by the tablespoon on greased, hot griddle or fry in cannola oil. Cook until firm and lightly browned on both sides, turning once.

Cabbage Latkes

2 cups cabbage finely grated
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1 scallion chopped
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Mix all ingredients
With wet hands shape and fry

Sweet Potato-Parsnip Latkes

Ingredients
2 lb. yams, rinsed and peeled
1 lb. parsnips peeled
10 shallots, peeled
6 large eggs beaten
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Matzo meal
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
Oil for frying

Directions
Grate vegetables with course side of grater and toss together in a large bowl.
Add matzo meal, salt and pepper and mix well
Fry latkes in hot oil 2-3 minutes on each side.
Yields 2 dozen latkes. 

It's Cheesecake Time!

With the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, all that's on my mind is yummy cheesecakes!  Enjoy these delicious recipes, but beware, the rich decadence of these delectable dairy goodies will blow your mind, (and your scale).

Happy baking, and enjoy the Festival of the receiving of the Torah! 

Caramelized Apple Crumble Cheesecake

Ingredients

Caramelized Apples
2 tbsp butter
4 granny smith apples, thinly sliced
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar 
2 tbsp flour

Cheese Filling
1 ½ cups cream cheese
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract

2 graham cracker pie crusts

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup butter

Directions
Caramelized Apples
Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the apple slices, and toss over medium heat until apples are well softened.  Add brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well.  Allow to caramelize.  Mix in the flour and remove from heat.  Allow to cool before spooning into the bottom of the pie crusts, making sure to spread evenly.
Cheese Mixture
Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy.  Add the sour cream, eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Pour over the apples in the pie crusts.
Place a shallow baking pan filled with water and ice cubes on the bottom rack of the oven.  This will keep the oven moist and prevent the cheesecake from cracking. Place cakes in oven. 
Every 15 minutes, lower the temperature by 25 degrees until the temperature reaches 250°.  One hour into the baking, sprinkle with crumb topping, continue baking at that setting for an hour and a half.  Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an additional 45 minutes before removing to cool completely.  Refrigerate overnight before serving.
 


 

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Ingredients 
Crust
3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup seedless rasberry jam
 
Filling
4 - 8oz containers cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh)
2 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1-2 pkgs  vanilla sugar
 
Directions
Cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Combine the flour, oats, and salt.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.  The dough will be crumbly.  Press into a 9 x 13  baking pan, lined with baking paper and bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes or until the top is golden.  Cool slightly, and gently spread the  jam over the crust, taking care not to make it crumble.  It's important to spread evenly, so it's visible in every square.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until fluffy.  Add the eggs, lemon juice, and lemon peel until it is just blended in.  Carefully spoon this over the jam and even out the tip.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cheesecake is almost set.  (The top will not get dark.)  Cool, cover, and refigerate.

As a variation, sprinkle a bit of raspberry jam on top and swirl before baking. 

Caramel Cheesecake

Ingredients 
1 ½ cups cream cheese
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
10 tsp caramel cream - divided
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy.  Add the sour cream, eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Spoon into pie crusts.
Drop 5 tsp of caramel cream into each cheesecake.  Swirl well to marbleize.
Place a shallow baking pan filled with water and ice cubes on the bottom rack of the oven.  This will keep the oven moist and prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
Place cakes in oven.  Every 15 minutes, lower the temperature by 25 degrees.  When the temperature reaches 250°, continue baking at that setting for an hour.  Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an additional 45 minutes before removing to cool completely.  Refrigerate overnight before serving.
NOTE: substitute liquid chocolate for the caramel cream and use a chocolate pie crust.
If caramel cream is not available, you can use any caramel syrup.
 

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

18 oz. white dairy, eating chocolate
¼ cup heavy cream or 1/4 cup milk + Tbsp. butter or margarine
1½ lbs. cream cheese
½ cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 – 3 graham cracker pie crusts.
 
Topping
16 oz. white dairy, eating chocolate—broken up into small pieces (I use a peeler to shave it)
½ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
 
Directions
In a double boiler, melt white chocolate with cream or milk and butter. 
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar.  Add in sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Beat for 1 minute.
Add white chocolate cream to the cream cheese mixture.
Pour into graham cracker pie crusts. 
Preheat oven to 275°.  Put a shallow baking pan with water on bottom of oven.  Bake 1 hour at 275° and 1 more hour at 250° without opening oven the whole time.
Turn off and leave in for an additional hour. 
 
Topping 
1. Place white chocolate in medium sized bowl.
2.  Warm up heavy cream and butter in a pot.  When it is boiling hot, pour over the white chocolate and leave covered for 5 minutes and then stir.
Pour over cheese cake and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
 

Halvah Cheesecake

Ingredients

1 ½ cups cream cheese
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 lb marble halvah
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Topping
2 oz. semi sweet chocolate—coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 lb marble halvah 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy.  Add the sour cream, eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Crumble the halvah with your fingers and incorporate into the mixture.  Spoon into pie crusts.
Place a shallow baking pan filled with water and ice cubes on the bottom rack of the oven.  This will keep the oven moist and prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
Place cakes in oven.  Every 15 minutes, lower the temperature by 25 degrees.  When the temperature reaches 250°, continue baking at that setting for an hour.  Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an additional 45 minutes before removing to cool completely. 

Topping
In a small saucepan, combine chocolate, butter, water and cocoa and stir over low heat until melted and smooth.  Add corn syrup and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat until low boil.  Cook for 12-15 minutes until thick.  Turn off fire and add in vanilla extract.  Cool till room temperature before pouring on cheese cake.  Allow to set a bit before crumbling halvah and sprinkling on top.

Refrigerate overnight before serving.
 

Marble Cheese Cake

Ingredients

Crustcheesecake.jpg
2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
5 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine

Cheese Filling
3 — 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese—room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
2 oz. semisweet chocolate—melted
 
Frosting
6 oz. semisweet chocolate—melted
½ cup sour cream

Directions
To prepare crust, in a medium bowl, mix together chocolate crumbs and melted butter or margarine until well blended.  Press into a 9” spring form pan.
Preheat oven to 300°.
To prepare filling, in a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and eggs at medium speed until smooth and fluffy.  Spoon half of cream cheese mixture into crust.
Stir chocolate into remaining cream cheese mixture until well blended.  Drizzle over batter in crust to make swirls.
Bake cheesecake for 50 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack.  Cool completely.
Blend the frosting ingredients together and spread on cooled cake.  
 
YIELDS: 1 - 9” CHEESE CAKE

 

Mini Trifle Bowl Mousse

Ingredients 

BrowniesMini Trifle Bowl Mousse.jpg
1 cup cocoa
3 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 eggs
1 cup oil
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Cream
1 pound praline paste
3 sticks margarine
1 pound white chocolate
1 tbsp coffee (dissolved in a drop of hot water)
4 eggs – separated
15 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar

Topping
2 10oz cartons whipping cream
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Optional garnishes:
Chocolate
Viennese crunch

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350˚.  Grease and flour an 11 x 14 inch baking pan.
In a large mixer bowl, mix the first four ingredients well.  Add eggs and oil and mix on a low speed.  Add the baking powder and salt and mix again.
Pour into pan.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until cake is set.  Cool in pan, and cut small pieces to mush into the trifle cups, fill each cup 1/3 with brownie.

Melt the first four cream ingredients in a double boiler.  Set aside. 
Beat the egg whites with the sugars on high speed until peaks form.  Add the yolks and combine with the chocolate mixture.  Mix until smooth.
Spread a layer of cream on top of the cake in each cup – make sure the sides stay clean.
 
Beat the whipping cream on high speed until stiff.  Add confectioner’s sugar and mix.  Spread an even layer on top of the cream in each cup or squeeze through a pastry bag.  Garnish with chocolate shavings or crushed Viennese crunch, or make designs on parchment paper with melted chocolate and transfer the hardened chocolate on top of the mousse.  Serve with mini spoons or forks.
 

Bakery Style Rugelach

These rugelach are a snap to make, but require an ingredient that is not found in Montreal - sorry!  If you are in NY, make sure to stock up on the liquid marble chocolate.

IngredientsBakery Style Rugelach.jpg
Pastry dough
Baker's Choice Liquid Marble Chocolate

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups icing sugar
5 tsp cinnamon
5 tsp instant coffee
1 cup cocoa

extra icing sugar for coating
semisweet chocolate, melted - optional

Directions
Defrost pastry dough.  When soft, flatten it out and completely cover with liquid marble chocolate.
In a separate container combine  the sugars, cinnamon, coffee and cocoa.  Make the coffee into tiny crumbs using your fingers.  Mix well to incorporate and pour over the chocolate. 
Cut the dough into tiny pizza slices and roll them up.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until light golden. 
Drizzle chocolate on top and roll in confectioner's sugar when hardened, or just roll in confectioner's sugar without the chocolate - either way is delicious!

This recipe makes a lot of rugelach.  You can make the mixture once, and keep it in an airtight container in the pantry, and use it as you need it.
 

Lemon Chiffon Cake

This is a delicious cake on it's own, or cut in half and filled with lemon pie filling to add a taste of heaven!  For Spa for the Soul, I baked a sheet cake instead of a bundt, and covered the little chiffon squares filled with pie filling with fondant and mixed whipped cream and pie filling for the glaze.

Ingredients:Lemon Chiffon.jpg
1¾ cups sugar
8 egg WHITES
7 egg YOLKS
¾ cup oil
2 cups sifted flour 
3 tsp. sifted baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup orange juice
Grated rind of 1 lemon
 
Directions:
Beat ¾ cup sugar and egg whites — making “snow” and set aside. 
Blend 1 cup sugar, egg yolks, oil, flour, baking powder and salt.
Add orange juice  and lemon rind and mix.
Gently fold the two mixtures together.
Bake at 375° for 1 HOUR in an ungreased tube pan.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Any chocolate and mint lover's dream!  For Spa for the Soul, I covered the brownies with fondant for a more elegant, petit-four look.  Usually it's made as a sheet cake and cut to serve.

Ingredients:
Chocolate mint brownies.jpg
Cake:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick margarine - softened
4 eggs
1½ cups chocolate syrup (do NOT use Nesquik - it's too runny!  Make sure you buy the Jewish brands)
1 tsp. baking powder

Peppermint Filling:
2 cups icing sugar
1 stick margarine—softened
1 Tbsp. water
¼-½ tsp. peppermint oil—to taste
Few drops of green food coloring

Chocolate Topping:
¾ stick margarine
8 oz. semi sweet baking chocolate

Directions:
Combine all cake ingredients and mix well.  Grease a cookie sheet (use the baking sprays with flour added).  Pour batter into cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.  It might look a little wet.  Let cool.
Mix all filling ingredients together and spread over the cake after it cools.
Melt frosting ingredients in a double boiler.  Mix until smooth.  Pour over the peppermint filling on cake and spread evenly with a spatula.
Refrigerate to harden.

 

Chocolate Truffle Cups

Chocolate cups.jpgIngredients:
1 15oz. bar of baking chocolate
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1 16oz. can of praline paste
Viennese Crunch
Mini cupcake holders - the firm metallic ones work best!  (Packs of 72 at destination dollar)

Directions
Melt the baking chocolate in a double boiler.
Once it is totally melted, pour the white chocolate chips inside and let them melt.
Once it is totally melted, pour the praline paste inside and let it melt.
Once it is all melted, pour some into a plastic cup.  Squeeze the two sides together, so that it should have a little spout.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the mini cupcake holders.
Crush the Viennese Crunch and sprinkle on top.
Place in the freezer until right before serving.

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