Any traditional Jewish meal begins with the breaking of bread. Challah or Kitkah is a special kind of bread used for Shabbat and holidays. It is a very sweet, golden, eggy bread. The loaf is usually braided, but on certain holidays it may be made in other shapes. For example, on Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to serve round challah.
Yesterday I made an enormous batch of Challah. I had a great need to punch something and punching dough is also rewarding in the end.
I used this recipe from the Yeshiva College recipe book, well actually I doubled it but I won’t be repeating that again any time soon.
13-14 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbs salt
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup oil
4 packets dry yeast
4 cups of lukewarm water.
Mix half the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the centre and add in the liquid. Use a wooden spoon to mix and gradually add in the rest of the flour until you have soft, malleable dough. Knead it well and get that yeast working. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and leave to rise for about 3 hours. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it in a warm area away from the breeze and curious cats.
After a while, the dough has grown magically in size and is ready to start punching and braiding. Use a wooden board. Have some flour on hand so that the dough doesn’t get stuck to the board. Punch all the air out and have fun! Now you’re ready to shape and braid the challah. Place on a baking tray and let the dough rise again. After about 20 minutes it can go into the oven at 1800C for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
First off I had to find out why its called a pudding. I mean really, pudding is sweet and suger filled and served at the end of a meal right?
Take a quick look here to see some history about it and why its called a pudding then come back and see the recipe 🙂
Yorkshire pudding is meant to accompany the roast of a main meal. It should be light and airy on the inside and crispy on the outside and should have a dip in the top (not all of mine did), they are great for soaking up extra gravy!
You will need
Oil or drippings from your roast
A Yorkshire Pudding pan (I just used a muffin pan)
55ml water (note: you can use 130ml water if you dont want to use milk)
75g flour (about 1/3 of a cup)
You will need no less than 30 minutes to make these, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.
Set the oven to 180°C
Place a small amount of oil (or drippings) into the bottom of each muffin cup.
Place tray into the oven and allow the oil to heat up, it should start to smoke a little, about 10 minutes.
While you are waiting mix together the egg, flour and liquid. You should have a very thin batter.
Once the oil is heated remove the tray from the oven and fill each cup about 2/3.
Return the pan to the oven and allow to bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until they have risen and are brown and crispy.
Try not to open the oven door too much or they wont rise.
I used the above amounts for the ingredients and it made 8 smallish puddings. You can increase the amounts as you need to. Just remember that you should have (pretty much) equal amounts of eggs, flour and liquid. I.e. 2 eggs, 260ml water/milk (2/3 cup) and 150g flour or 3 eggs, 390ml milk/water (1 cup) and 235g flour.
So, I got me a hankering for some fudge and after a quick google search came up with what looked like an easy and quick recipe and more importantly one I had all the ingredients for.
2 cups caster sugar
1 tin condensed milk
splash vanilla essence
Before you get started, line a baking tin or tray with grease proof paper, this will help you to remove the fudge later without it sticking to your pan.
Most importantly make sure that the microwavable dish you use is big, if you think your dish is big enough get a bigger one. Trust me, its a bitch trying to clean sticky fudge batter that has boiled over off your microwave.
Place butter and sugar into the bowl and give a small mix.
Pour the condensed milk on top of the sugar and butter, dont mix.
Add your splash of vanilla essence.
Place the bowl in the centre of the microwave and set it for 10 minutes.
Watching to make sure the mixture doesnt boil over, stop the microwave (without resetting your count down) after 1 minute has passed and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon.
I used a wooden spoon to stir and then used a plastic spatula to scrape the mixture of the wooden spoon and back into the bowl.
Place the bowl back in the microwave and let it cook for another minute.
Stop the microwave and stir.
Place the bowl back in the microwave and repeat above until the 10 minutes are up.
I had to stop the countdown every 20 – 30 seconds after the 2nd minute because the mixture kept boiling up too high.
Just keep an eye on your mixture and make sure it doesnt boil over.
After the 10 minute count down is over spoon your mixture into your lined tin and refrigerate until set.
Cut the cooled and set fudge into squares and enjoy!
*** I spread the fudge mixture too thin in the pan, next time I will use a smaller pan and make thicker fudge. Also, use a bit of spray and cook on the bottom of the pan before putting in the wax paper, might make it a bit easier to remove from the pan.
Of course I didnt really stick to it 100% but I think they came out pretty well.
Here is my recipe (I once again forgot to take pics of the process…)
1 cup ( I used half a jar) smooth peanut butter (they use crunchy but smooth works well)
¼ cup marge
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups rice krispies
1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate morsels (I used 1 85gms bar of bitter sweet chocolate, I should have used 2)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening/Holsum (thanks @Saaleha) ( I didnt have any so I used margerine)
54 mini paper cups (I used 2 baking trays covered with wax paper)
Beat peanut butter, marge and sugar with an electric beater until well mixed. I used a fork and elbow grease as I didnt want to wake the kids up, next time I will use an electric beater!
Add rice krispies, mixing well. At this point I want to say that I would have crushed the rice krispies a bit before adding them in but I think if you use the electric beaters it might just crush them for you as you mix, I will definitely try this next time.
Taking a teaspoon scoop up a small dollop of the mixture and shape into a ball, they then say to place the ball into the paper cup, I just plopped them onto the wax paper baking trays.
Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave or on double boiler.
Spoon one teaspoon of chocolate mixture over each ball. My mixture was a bit thick, perhaps with shortening it would have been thinner, and it didnt pour very easily. Also, if you dont use the paper cups I would suggest dipping the balls into the chocolate to coat them (which I didnt do).
Refrigerate until firm.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
All in all they came out quite well. I cant stop stuffing my face!
I would definitely prefer the krispies to be a little finer and less ‘lumpy’ in the mixture and I will either use the paper cups or dip the whole ball into chocolate next time. I will also be getting some Holsum as I think the texture will be better for the chocolate.
Aaron has been asking to make a cake the whole week so I looked into the cupboard and found that I didnt have my trusty Moirscake mix, I did have flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and milk so I figured I would try making a cake from scratch. Aaron wanted a chocolate cake so I found some cocoa powder too.
I found a recipe for a chocolate butter sponge in an old International Goodwill Cookbook (7th edition). I made a few small adjustments but it turned out really well.
1 cup castor sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla ( I just poured in a splash)
1 ¼ cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt (I threw in a ‘pinch’)
2 teaspoons baking powder (I use 3 teaspoons but I know in my kitchen I have to increase baking powder)
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa
½ cup milk
Beat eggs, add sugar gradually, add vanilla and beat with a hand held beater for 3 minutes.
Sift dry ingredients 4 times (at this point I have to ask whose socks the creator of this recipe was smoking, I sifted the flour once, straight into the wet ingredients, that was it!), and stir into egg mixture, blending thoroughly.
Bring milk and butter to the boil and add to mixture.
Mix well with an electric beater.
Pour into 1 large or two small tins and bake at 180°C for 40min (large tin) or 25min (small tins).
Allow to cool before icing.
For the icing I decided to make a ganache. Mainly because I had some bitter sweet chocolate from Pesach and I wanted a really chocolaty icing. Unfortunately I didnt have any cream so I used margarine (purist dont hate me, I know its not even BUTTER!!!) instead.
250g bitter sweet chocolate
icing sugar to thicken
Break chocolate into pieces and place in a microwavable bowl.
Place bowl in microwave for about 1min depending on microwave strength.
Mix the icing until the chocolate is melted into the marge. You may need to nuke it a bit longer.
Once the icing is melted add a bit of icing sugar and mix.
Keep adding icing sugar until you reach the thickness you want.
This icing will also thicken/harden as it cools, so you may want to leave it to cool down before adding any icing sugar.
Once its ready layer it onto the cake, starting in the middle and spreading it towards the sides.
It may drip over the sides or you may need to spread it depending on thickness.