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Passover Apple Cake

My second Passover bake this year is an apple cake. Instead of regular flour and baking soda, this cake utilizes potato starch and matzoh cake meal. The recipe for this bake came from ReformJudaism.org.

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“The Absolute, Hands-Down, Best” Passover Apple Cake

Dough:
6 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp potato starch
2 cups matzoh cake meal

Filling:
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
5 large Granny Smith and/or Braeburn apples, peeled and diced

Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Grease a 9″ spring form pan. Place parchment on the bottom of the pan. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Beat eggs with sugar until blended. Add oil and beat. Sift together potato starch and cake meal. Add sifted items to the egg mixture.

For the filling, mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix in the apples.

Put two cups of dough (or half the total amount of dough) into the pan. Spread evenly. Add the apple filling using a slotted spoon, leaving the accumulated liquid behind. Make sure filling is distributed evenly.

Put in the remaining two cups of dough. Spread evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping (you won’t see this in my photo as I forgot this step and dusted the top after the cake was baked).

Place the pan on a cookie sheet since liquid may seep out.

Bake for one hour.

Let cool in the pan before releasing.

Unbaked Passover apple cake

Unbaked Passover apple cake (sans cinnamon sugar topping)

Passover apple cake
Passover apple cake sliced
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Baklava

Over a year ago, I tried a bacon baklava recipe. It turned out really well! This time, I tried the recipe that the bacon one was modified from. This baklava recipe is from Closet Cooking.

Baklava is fairly straight forward and easy to make. If you’ve never used phyllo dough before, be forewarned that it is a pain. It is a thin dough so it likes to rip and tear and dry out. The dough may make you want to punch a wall, but the nice thing about baklava is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I had several layers of just pieces of shredded phyllo and some layers of uneven filling yet it looks, smells, and tastes great. So if you have the patience to not throw several sheets of phyllo against the wall in frustration, you will be rewarded with a sweet nutty treat. I used Athens phyllo dough instead of making my own.
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Baklava

4 cups walnuts, chopped (I did 2 cups walnuts, 2 cups pecans)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 cup melted butter (I always end up needing more, so have some handy)
1 lb phyllo pastry, thawed

Mix the nuts, cinnamon, and sugar into a bowl. Set aside.

Brush a 9×13 pan with butter. Place one sheet in the pan.* Brush the top of the sheet with butter. Repeat until there are 8 sheets in the pan. (*recipe recommends brushing the top of a sheet before placing in the pan, but I found it easier to brush after placing it in the pan)

Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan. Brush the top of another sheet of phyllo and place into the pan. Brush with butter and add a second sheet. Repeat for a third sheet. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the nut mixture into the pan. Butter and place two more phyllo sheets in the pan. Sprinkle the last 1/3 of the nut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan. Brush another sheet with phyllo and place in the pan. Continue until the last eight sheets are in the pan. Slice the baklava with a sharp knife. Bake at 350F until the top is a golden brown.

Syrup
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
2 inch slice of lemon peel
2 inch slice of orange peel
3/4 cup honey

Bring the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, and lemon and orange peels to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add honey and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and peels from the syrup. Pour the syrup over the baklava when it comes out of the oven. Let the baklava cool for several hours.

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cake

If you’re looking for a non-chocolate treat, check out this Cinnamon Toast Crunch cake recipe. This recipe from Sugar Geek Show can easily be modified and played with to make whatever type of cake you need.

For this bake, I kept my 8” rounds separate for smaller servings and frosted each with a basic icing sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. The site also had a suggestion of crumbling up Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and sprinkling on top.
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Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cake

12 oz all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
12 oz sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs at room temperature
8 oz milk at room temperature

To get ingredients to room temperature, let them sit out on the counter for about an hour before use.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8” rounds.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for 20 seconds until smooth. Sprinkle in the sugar and whip on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy. About 8-10 minutes. Scrape the bowl halfway through mixing.

Bring mixer down to low speed and add eggs in one at a time. Let egg mix in fully for one minute before adding the next egg. The mixture should look smooth, not broken or lumpy. If it is, your eggs may have been too cold.

Add the vanilla extract to the milk.

Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the milk. Start with flour, mix until just incorporated, then add 1/3 of the milk. Repeat. After you add the last bit of flour, STOP.

Take out about 1/3 of your batter and mix in your cinnamon. Finish the other batter by hand by mixing with a rubber spatula until everything is combined – about 3-4 strokes.

Spoon your batter into two pans, alternating between vanilla and cinnamon to get a nice swirl.

Bake for 25-30 mins or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake or your cake will shrink and your sides will not be straight