Recipes of the World

Chocolate Toffee Matzah Recipe

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Chocolate Toffee Matzah Recipe

4 Passover Matzahs

IMG_00811 cup margarine of unsalted butter (168 g)

1 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar (158 g)

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips of 160 grams chopped bittersweet chocolate.

1 cup nuts (120g) slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or pistachos.

  1. If you are using butter, it is best to remove it from the frig and let it soften a bit.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Either spray with cooking oil or line with parchment paper.
  4. Arrange matzohs to cover the baking sheet. Break some if necessary.
  5. In a heavy 3-4 quart saucepan, at medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar.  After it comes to a boil, cook for 3 minutes while stirring.  Add a pinch of sale and the vanilla.
  6. Pour the mixture over the matzohs and spread of a spatula.
  7. Reduce over to 350 and bake for 10-12 minutes. It should bubble up, but not burn.  Check frequently. If it starts to smoke, reduce heat to 325.
  8. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped chocolate of chocolate chips. Let it sit for 5 minutes and spread the chocolate to cover.
  9. Sprinkle the nuts over the matzohs.
  10. After it has cooled, break or cut into pieces and store in an airtight container.

 

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Genuine Apple Strudel

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GENUINE APPLE STRUDEL (this recipe relates to my story of “Aldar and the Golem of Prague”).
It takes a lot of preparation, but it is the real Austrian thing.IMG_3204

Dough Ingredients for 3, 16 x 30 inch dough plates:

3 cups (450 grams) Bread flour
3/4 tsp (7 grams) Salt
3/4 cup (180 ml) Water, room temperature
1/4 tsp (1.25 mil) White vinegar
2 Tbs (40 grams) Butter, melted and cooled to  near room temperature
2 large eggs Warmed to room temperature (1 for dough; 1 for later)

Filling Ingredients for one  14 to  16 inch ( 35-40 cm ) wide roll

2 medium Apples Approx. 11 1/2 oz. (300g) of chopped apple
1/4 cup (50 grams) Honey
35 g 1/4 cup ( 35 grams) White or golden raisins
1 Tbs (15 ml) Fruit schnapps (optional)
1/4 cup (30 grams) Walnuts finely chopped
2/3 tsp (2 gram) Cinnamon
4 Tbs (80 grams) Melted butter
 Dried bread crumbs to sprinkle.

Dough Preparation

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour and salt) in the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the remaining dough ingredients (the wet ones) in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients while stirring.
  4. Mix for about 3 minutes with electric mixture with a pasty arm or about 5 minutes if doing it by hand; until the dough forms a firm ball. (If it does not form a firm ball, add flour a few tsp at a time.)
  5. After you get a firm ball, let it rest for 10 minutes to allow the flour to fully absorb the fluids.
  6. On a floured surface, kneed the dough by hand for 10 minutes, or you can kneed with a pasty arm of a heavy duty mixer.
  7. Form the dough into a ball, place on a floured surface, and let it rest of one hour.  You can prepare the filling toward the end of the time period.

Filling Preparation

  1. Place the raisins in the bottom of a medium mixing bowl. Optional: add the schnapps, and allow to soak for about 30 minutes.
  2. Peel and core the apples; slice into small pieces (1cm), and add to the raisins.
  3. Add honey, cinnamon, and nuts.  Mix well.

Dough Preparation continued

  1. Spread a nap-less large pastry towel on a hard counter.
  2. Generously flour the towel.
  3. Divide the dough in three equal parts, roughly 8 oz. (230 grams) each. (2 can be frozen or refrigerated for later use)
  4. Place the small dough ball to be used on the cloth, brush its top with melted butter.
  5. Roll it out into a 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick piece.
  6. Brush the top surface of the dough with melted butter.
  7. Fold the dough over.
  8. Working to get the dough into a rectangle, roll out the dough again to 1/8 inch thick.
  9. Repeat steps 6,7, & 8 three or four times. Each time rolling to 1/8 inch thick.
  10. Enlarge the sheet of dough to about 16 inches (40 cm) by 24 inches (60cm) long. Do this by using a combination of hand stretching and rolling.

Final Assembly and baking  (baking time approx. 30 minutes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450oF (230 C).
  2. Prepare a supply of melted butter (about half a stick-4 oz), plus a beaten egg.
  3. Brush the dough generously with melted butter then sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs.
  4. Distribute the filling mix along one short edge of dough in a 3 inch (75 mm) wide row.
  5. Leave 1 inches (2-3) cm at each end free of filling for later sealing.
  6. Lift the short end of the pastry towel near the filling and begin rolling the dough around the filling.
  7. After each roll over of the log, brush the top with butter.
  8. Continue rolling until the dough is completely wrapped around the filling.
  9. Use some egg wash to seal the ends of the roll.
  10. Lightly butter a cookie pan. ( Recommend one with a lip, because the filling may leak.)
  11. Using two large spatulas, transfer the roll to the pan, seam down.
  12. Brush the roll with egg wash.
  13. Bake for 10 min.
  14. Turn oven down to 400oF (200 C), add egg wash again, continue baking for an additional 20 min.
  15. Check every 5 min or so until sufficiently browned.   

What in the World Is Hamantaschen?

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For those of you who have never tasted these delicious (except when they get old and can break your teeth) cookies, I have posted a recipe on www.aldarandthegolem.com.  My recipe uses sour cream so they stay moist.

The little cookie is a traditional treat for the Jewish Holiday of Purim, which occurs on the 14th day of Adar in the Hebrew Calendar. This year (2016) it falls on March 24th (starts at sundown on the 23rd).   The holiday celebrates the saving of the Jewish people in Persia from the evil Haman, whose 3 cornered hat, the cookie represents. The original of the story is the Biblical Book of Esther, whose original and authenticity is lost in history. The story itself is of a comic character and is celebrated by reading the “megillah” (a scroll that tells the story), exchanging gifts of food, giving to the poor, often a funny play, and like most Jewish holidays (except the fasting ones) a meal.

You don’t have to be Jewish to love these cookies. In my story, “Aldar and the Golem of Prague,” a nice mannered troll developed a taste for them when living in the Jewish community in Prague. It took the troll a long time after he left before he found anyone who knew about Hamantaschen, not to mention a recipe for them.

I hope you enjoy my personal recipe. I like to fill them with the traditional poppy seed, but any filling will work fine.

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