July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Shemot and Va’era: Burning Buche & Hardened Hearts

Parshat Shemot inspiration:

“An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from within the thorn bush, and behold, the thorn bush was burning with fire, but the thorn bush was not being consumed.”

This sounds like the perfect occasion to make a Burning Buche. My mom thinks this is my most outrageous pun, and the recipe certainly is memorable and delicious. I added cinnamon and chili pepper to a classic chocolate buche to recreate the gentle heat of Mexican chocolate. This recipe is fairly mild on the mild-to-hot scale, because I wanted my whole family to enjoy it (and they all did). If your family likes a little more heat, feel free to add an extra 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon of ground chili pepper, or add a teaspoon of cinnamon or a dash of liqueur to the whipped topping.

 

Burning Buche

  • 1 oz rum
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder + extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • ½ tsp chili pepper (cayenne is also fine), ground
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups whipped topping (whipped and sweetened to taste)

1. Heat oven to 375F. Line a jelly roll pan (a rimmed half-sheet pan) with parchment paper, making sure to cover the entire tray bottom (extra paper is better than any exposed tray). Spray generously with baking spray.

2. Dissolve the instant coffee powder into the rum and set aside. (Or just use a coffee liqueur. When one bakes in Oklahoma, one must get creative.) In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk to eliminate clumps and distribute ingredients.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs on high until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Lower the speed and beat in water and 1 tsp of the coffee liqueur.

4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until the batter is smooth—don’t overmix. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan gently on the counter to eliminate some of the bigger bubbles.

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While the cake is in the oven, prepare a clean kitchen towel by laying it flat and generously sifting cocoa powder across it (it will wash out in the laundry).

6. When the cake comes out, run a knife around the edge to make sure it will come apart from the paper easily. Then, in a quick motion, turn out the cake (and parchment paper if necessary) onto the prepared towel. Trim off any stiff or overbaked edges of the cake if necessary, or these will crack when you roll it. While still hot, roll the cake. Starting with a short end, roll the cake up with the towel inside. Let the cake cool, rolled, for at least 30 minutes.

7. Prepare the whipped topping.

8. Carefully unroll the cake and remove the towel (and any remaining paper. Do not worry when some of the cake surface comes off on the towel; that’s why buches are traditionally frosted, but I think it gives it a nice rustic look). Don’t force the cake to lay flat. Drizzle or use a pastry brush to apply the remaining coffee rum liqueur to the inside of the cake. Spread the whipped topping uniformly across the cake, and re-roll. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with extra whipping cream.

Parshat Va’era inspiration:

“And Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not let the children of Israel go out, as the Lord had spoken through the hand of Moses.”

I think that we can all agree that having a hardened heart is a bad thing. Eating these delicious, crowd-pleasing and easy-to-make treats are a different story. I watched an Ina Garten video for Palmiers on Food Network to learn the technique ( www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/palmiers-recipe-1915703 ) and just pinched the bottom to make it a distinct heart. Shockingly easy to make.

 

Hardened Hearts

  • 2 sheets, puff pastry
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (you will use less, but need excess)
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

1. Thaw puff pastry on counter for about 40 minutes. Heat oven to 450F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper (do not spray).

2. Combine the sugar and kosher salt. Pour 1 cup of the sugar/salt mixture on a flat surface such as wooden board or marble. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. This is not about sprinkling, it’s about an even covering of sugar. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13 inches square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom.

3. Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers. Pinch the thinnest edge to form the bottom of the heart.

4. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. The pastry will puff, so leave about two inches between hearts.

5. Repeat with the other puff pastry sheet.

6. Bake for about 6 minutes, until the sugar is just starting to caramelize and turn brown on the bottom. Flip the cookies and bake for another 3-5 minutes. Don’t overbake or the sugar can burn. Transfer to a baking rack to cool and get ready to amaze friends and family.


Follow me @EdibleParsha on Facebook to see each recipe on the Monday of each parsha week for plenty of time to prepare it for Shabbat!

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