Another year has passed and once again we ask the same question: where did this year go? It seems as if we just celebrated 5771 (yes, that is the year that just passed). I guess by now I should realize that time is not static.
Another traditional thing we do every year is asking for a “better” year. I do not understand why we need to ask for a better year next year. Why couldn’t this year be a great year ? – then we could ask for the same great year to continue.
I assume it must be a Jewish thing. Since we were persecuted throughout the history (and the tradition continues) we got accustomed to the fact that if we do not ask God for a better year next year while celebrating Rosh Hashanah, something bad will happen, for sure. By asking for a better year, God will listen to his chosen people and we will enjoy a great year. Is that makes sense? It would, except that we keep asking for the better year every year. I guess we need to define the meaning of “better year?”
Another thing we are asking repeatedly from God is: forgiveness. What if we did not do anything that requires forgiveness? The answer I received most often is that there is no such thing. We are all humans and it is in our nature to do thing we are not supposed to do; therefore, this is the time to get rid off that sin (or those sins) and hope that we will be forgiven, our sins will be forgotten and we can start to make new ones.
The whole world knows about the Jewish guilt. We feel guilty for everything we have done, for everything we have not done and for everything other people did. I already feel guilty that I am a day late in posting this article; I did not bake the traditional honey cake; I forgot to send my friend a Happy Rosh Hashanah card (and now it will be late); I did not Tweet a Happy Rosh Hashanah (Oy Wey), I forgot to buy gefilte fish produced by Manischewitz, and so on…did I leave anything out? Perhaps if I list all the things I feel guilty about I can get rid of this guilt?
There are some lovely things we do in this holiday too; for instance, I love to eat challah dipped in honey (Yum) and if this will give me a sweet year then my enjoyment is heightened even more. I like honey cake, especially Marcy Goldman’s recipe in “A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking”. But this year I wanted something different. Sweet is fine, honey is fine, but not honey cake. That is how I came up with the Jewish Tiramisu. Are you LOL? It is OK. I can take it, but you know what they say: “Laughs the one who laughs the last.”
In this case it is me, because it taste wonderful, looks not bad (but I let you to be the judge of that) and it was a stress-free process to make it.
I know this is not Passover; we do not eat matzoh in Rosh Hashanah and ……You are right but who else eats matzoh except Jews, so it is Jewish, irrespective of the holiday. Matzoh actually represents the story that people had to leave Egypt in a hurry so could not wait for the bread to rise.
So it is a perfect match. I was late to prepare a dessert for the Holiday, so I needed to prepare something in a hurry and here it was – the Matzoh box stared at me from the cupboard and said: “take me, take me, I’ll be fine” and the Jewish Tiramisu was born.
So let me show you what I did:
The Jewish Tiramisu
- 6 Matzoh pieces
- 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 package (8 ounce) farmer cheese (note: if you have mascarpone cheese use that; I did not have it, so I used farmer cheese, which is totally different from mascarpone); the way I created a smooth cheese from farmer cheese is added sour cream to it and let it turn and churn in the Food Processor until it achieved the desired consistency.
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 ounces) whipping cream
- 1 cup strong coffee
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
- 8 ounces finely ground, toasted almonds
- 2 ounces chocolate liqueur
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- zest from 1 orange
Method of Preparation
Prepare the dish where the Tiramisu will be assembled. Preferably, use either a square or a rectangular Pyrex dish. I did not have either, so I used the Pyrex pie dish, which gave me a bit of trouble to fit the pieces of square matzoh. That is why I had to break the pieces to fit; without a topping that would affect the appearance of the “cake.” If you have the right shape and size dish, you should not have any trouble to use the matzoh pieces without breaking them.
Butter the dish, so that it will be easy to take the end product out of the dish, if you so desire.
Heat up the oven to 350F and toast the almonds for about 10 minutes. Let it cool, then grind it to fine-ground.
Prepare a double boiler (a dish with water simmering in it) setup.
Set the bowl that has the egg yolks over the simmering water, add to it 1/2 cup granulated sugar and start whisking it constantly, frequently scraping the whisk around the sides and bottom of the bowl, as the mixture expands and develops into a frothy sponge (about 5 minutes or longer). Make sure that the bowl does not touch the simmering water.
When it starts to look foamy and appears to be doubled in volume, take the bowl off the simmering water and continue to beat it until it becomes pale yellow, formsa ribbon and thickens to an extent that if you dip a wooden spoon into it and run your finger across the spoon, it leaves a clear path.
Take the farmer cheese and place it in a food processor, add the sour cream and mix it until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. (Note: it actually should resemble the smooth mascarpone cheese, the real cheese of tiramisu). Add the other ½ cups of granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and the orange zest and continue to mix it until well combined. Note: It will not be as smooth as mascarpone cheese, but pretty close to it.
Prepare the sugar syrup by cooking ½ cup sugar in ¼ cup water until the mixture thickens and becomes syrupy.
Whip the egg whites and slowly pour the sugar syrup into it while whisking it; continue to whisk it until it holds moderately firm peaks and appear shiny. The reason we use warm sugar syrup, instead of granulated sugar is to cook the eggs. This will cut any contamination, if there is any in the eggs.
Nearly immediately we need to fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, to assure the same neutralizing effect.
Take ½ cup whipping cream and whip it until it holds a firm peak.
Prepare a strong espresso if you have the right espresso machine; alternatively you can prepare any type of coffee but make it strong and use it while the coffee is hot. Add the chocolate liqueur (or any liqueur of your choice) to the warm coffee prior to use.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute
Assembling the “cake”
Scoop the farmer cheese mixture into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Scoop the egg whites into this mixture and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Lastly take the whipped cream and fold it into this mixture with a silicon or rubber spoon until it is light and evenly blended. This is the filling of this “cake.”
Pour the coffee/liqueur mixture into a dish, and dip one piece of matzoh into it (dip both sides); then place it in the dish that you buttered, filling the bottom of the dish completely. Scoop 1/4 of the filling mixture onto the moist matzoh piece and smooth it over the entire matzoh piece to cover it completely. Sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons of the ground almonds on the filling. Then drip some melted chocolate on the ground almonds.
As you can see on the third photograph from left, I placed a single whole almond into the filling. I repeated this procedure on the next layer. These almonds considered to be hidden in the “cake”. It is said that the person who finds the whole almond inside will have good luck during the upcoming year.
Dip the next matzoh piece into the coffee-liqueur mixture and repeat the same process as above. In fact repeat the same process with all four matzoh pieces and leave the fifth matzoh piece to stay on the top.
Place the dish with the cake in the freezer for a minimum of 2-3 hours wrapped with a plastic wrap.
Whip the remaining whipped cream and when it reaches firm peaks add the sugar and vanilla and mix it just until combined. This goes on the top of the matzoh as decoration . Use a pastry bag filled with the cream and use any decorating tip you like. Decorate the top of the matzoh with the whipped cream (or actually it is Chantilly cream now) and grade some chocolate on the top of the whipped cream and Wallas! The Jewish Tiramisu was born. Enjoy it.
To serve, cut portions of tiramisù in any size you like, and lift each out of the pan onto a dessert plate.
it doesn’t turn very soggy unlike using the local one. But don’t worry it does soften as it chills in the fridge so its like easing layer cakes.
If you will try to make this fun thing, let me know how you liked it? Did you alter anything in the recipe? I love to hear from my readers just about anything. If you have a creative recipe that you do not mind to share it with our community, we would appreciate a copy.