Imagine a doughnut filled with marzipan chocolate ganache. That is just one of the novel fillings being used in Israel where pastry chefs are busy preparing for Hanukkah. Today’s Washington Post reports on Hanukkah sweets trends. This is the time of the year when foods friend in oil (like potato latkes) are traditional. Naturally the recipe for a marzipan ganache filled doughnut caught our eye.
Looking for a lighter cake that was not too rich, we came across this spongecake made with almond paste. The batter, basically a type of French génoise, is made from eggs that are whipped for a long time to build structure in the batter. Unlike other spongecake batters, this one holds up well although you need to take care when folding in the flour. Use a gentle touch and a large whisk to fold in the sifted cake flour.
The cake can be filled and frosted any way you like. The star-shaped silicone baking pan in which we made this cake called out for a simple glaze. We decorated the glazed cake with marzipan that we rolled and cut out with a snowflake-shaped cookie cutter. Served with a scoop of tart sorbet and a spoonful of extra ganache, this cake makes a fitting holiday dessert.
|Have you ever considered making your own chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Here’s an appealing recipe that requires no special skills.
At the Chocolate Show in New York in December, Pastry Chef Donald Wressell showed a packed crowd how to work with chocolate. Triple chocolate cookies and chocolate candies made with delicious single-origin chocolate from E. Guittard. (An award-winning pastry chef, Wressell represented the US in the prestigious Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie competition four times. In 2001 as coach and manager, he led the team to the gold medal victory.)We fall for any type of crispy chocolate candy like the simple rochers Chef Wressell made with puffed rice. This recipe is inspired by his demonstration. We’ve added diced almond paste or marzipan for flavor and some dried tart cherries.
They offset the sweetness of the mixture and give the finished candy some zing. (Grated orange zest would be a nice addition too.) You could even add up to ¼ cup of chopped toasted almonds or diced ginger to this recipe if you want more texture or a more complex flavor profile.
This festive “cookie” is really a cake. Like many classic petit fours, Neapolitans are thin layers of rich butter cake sandwiched with jam. Almond paste in the batter keeps the cake moist for a week or more at room temperature, a month or more when frozen.
Don’t be daunted by what appears to be a complicated cake. Now that smaller baking sheets (9 x 13 inches) are available, it’s easy to make uniform shaped layers. Divide the work into two stages. Make the cakes and layer them on one day. Ice and cut them another. A rich chocolate coating is traditional in bakeries where these Rainbow Cookies are sold. Chocolate fudge icing would also work well.
Traditional during the end of year holidays, we like to serve these at special occasions year round.
Here’s our Rainbow Cookie recipe.