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Three trendy Rosh Hashanah recipes from Israel’s top chefs

  • WhiskeyAppleCocktail
(JTA) Rosh Hashanah menus, while traditional and delicious, can also get a little stale year after year. With Israeli food trending across the globe, now is a perfect time to add some authentic Israeli flavours to your holiday.
by JESSICA HALFIN | Sep 26, 2019

We have gathered three exclusive recipes for a sweet new year from some of Israel’s top chefs:

Apple streusel honey cake

Chefs Rossella Jona and Amir Porat, Biscotti Bakery

What started out as a very small Tel Aviv business 15 years ago is now a booming catering business with a staff of 200 workers and future plans to become an Israeli café chain. Now located in Bnei Brak, just east of the big city, they are committed to using high-quality ingredients to make their mark on the Israeli pastry shop scene. To replicate their famous apple streusel-topped honey cake at home this holiday, just follow this recipe, which we took straight from the head chefs.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup strong fruit tea, brewed and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 green apple, peeled and sliced for garnishing the unbaked cake

For the streusel topping

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Directions

  1. To make the topping: In a food processor, blend all the ingredients in short pulses until you get a coarse crumb.
  2. Transfer the crumbs to a sealed container and chill until ready to use.
  3. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350F (176C).
  4. Whip eggs with the sugar until the mixture becomes thick and triples in size.
  5. Add the oil and mix to combine, then add the honey and do the same.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the spices, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the egg mixture, and add the cooled tea. You can also add fresh peeled and chopped apples or pears, or cherries to the batter at this stage if you wish.
  7. Pour into two loaf pans, and top with a light layer of streusel and 12-13 apple slices in avertical line down the centre. Bake for about 40 minutes.
  8. Cake is done when a toothpick comes out dry with a few moist crumbs attached.

Apple and honey whiskey cocktail

Milk & Honey Whiskey Distillery, Tel Aviv

Israeli whiskey is making its name on the international scene, and Rosh Hashanah is the perfect occasion to treat yourself to a bottle of the first official batches of the stuff. With at least five Israeli whiskey distilleries having popped up in the past few years, the race is on to see which one can produce the best barrels the fastest. The warm climate in Israel actually speeds up the distilling process.

Milk & Honey’s whiskey has a smooth taste, which happens to be perfect for blending into a sweet apple and honey cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons honey syrup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 3 tablespoons Milk & Honey whiskey or other “new make” whiskey

Directions

  1. Make honey syrup: mix 3 parts honey with 1 part hot water and stir thoroughly until liquid unifies. For example: 10 ounces (283g) honey and a little more than 3 ounces (85g) of hot water. Bottle and keep refrigerated.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the apple with honey syrup.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with ice and shake vigorously.
  4. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an apple slice.

Cream puffs with candied pecan and date honey custard

Pastry Chefs Itzik and Keren Kadosh from Kadosh Café in Jerusalem

Kadosh Bakery and Café in Jerusalem is practically a city landmark. The establishment got its start back to 1967, and has been in the Kadosh family ever since. Now run by a husband-and-wife pastry chef team, Itzik and Keren Kadosh, the place preserves the European café culture of the family’s Hungarian roots while modernising the menu to include Israeli treats, sourdough breads, French pastries and fresh pasta, all handmade.

This is an exclusive recipe we got from the legendary chefs for Paris-Brest, a doughnut-shaped cream puff filled with a candied pecan and date honey pastry cream.

Ingredients

For the choux pastry

  • 1/2 cup full-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

For the garnish

  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar

For the pecan and date honey custard filling

  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon full-fat milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Scant 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • Scant 1 cup chopped honey roasted, or candied pecans
  • 1/4 cup date honey
  • 1/2 cup whipped heavy cream (from 1/4 cup heavy cream)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (176C).
  2. To make the choux pastry: in a pan, bring the milk, water, sugar, salt, and butter to a boil. Immediately take the pan off the heat and add the full flour amount all at once.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon and put the pan back on a medium low flame. Cook until the mixture starts to dry out and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan to form a ball around your spoon. Take the mixture off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  4. In a mixer on low speed (or in a medium bowl by hand), add the eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is thoroughly combined before adding the next egg. (The mixture will curdle initially, but then come back together as you beat it.)
  5. Prep a baking sheet by lining with baking paper and tacking the paper down with a small dot of the choux pastry mixture on the underside of each corner.
  6. Fill a large pastry bag with the mixture. Using a 6-inch round cookie cutter to guide you, pipe a fat 7-inch circle. The circle should be a bit raised and not completely flat.
  7. Mix the almonds, egg white, and powdered sugar, and spread it on top of the piped circles. Bake for 40 minutes, until deep golden brown, take out of the oven and set aside to let cool.
  8. To make the pecan and date honey custard: dissolve corn starch in 1/4 cup cold milk. Add the egg yolks and sugar, and lightly beat into a fully combined mixture.
  9. Pour the rest of the milk (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) into a saucepan. Add the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Remove the vanilla bean from the pot with a slotted spoon, split, and with the help of a spoon scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Return the vanilla pod to the pot, and lower the heat.
  10. Add a third of the hot milk to the egg-yolk mixture and beat well. Pour the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the hot milk mixture and cook over a low flame, stirring constantly for about two minutes, or until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon.
  11. Remove the empty vanilla pod, add chopped pecans and date honey, and mix to combine.
  12. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly covering the surface of the custard. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to chill for two hours.
  13. After chilling, whisk the custard for about half a minute to get a smooth mixture without clumps. Whip cream, and fold into the custard mixture and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip.
  14. To assemble: cut the cooled choux pastries in half lengthwise, pipe a fat layer of custard and seal with the other half like a sandwich. Sift powdered sugar over the top as a garnish.
  • Jessica Halfin is an American-Israeli baker, gourmet cook, food, and culture writer, and all-around foodie. She is the owner and operator of Haifa Street Food Tours, a company that leads custom foodie adventures in Haifa, Israel, where she lives with her husband and three sons.

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