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It’s Chanuka and Jewish tradition calls for oil fried dishes, such as latkes – potato pancakes; sufganyot – jelly-filled doughnuts and more. Jelly filled doughnuts never appealed to me, so here is my version of doughnuts.
2 ½ cups flour
1 packet of yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup warm water
¾ cup milk – cow, soy, almond, and cashew…warmed
2 ½ tbsp. shortening- softened
¼ cup sugar
oil for frying
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well until there are no lumps, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. ,(You can also put in in the refrigerator for a slow overnight rise. Just bring the dough to room temperature before continuing.) Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains. About 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a floured 3-inch cutter. * (See note) Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F. Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.
1-tablespoon corn syrup
2-4 tablespoons of water
Place sugar. Corn syrup and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue until you reach desired consistency. It should be liquid but not runny.
Submerge doughnut half way, turn over, and place on a cooling rack to set
NOTE: At this point the formed doughnuts can be refrigerated overnight, brought to room temperature the next day, and then rise before baking. You can also freeze them on a cookie sheet.
It’s Shavuot and time to open the dairy floodgates!!! My inclination is to skip dinner and go straight for dessert. Blintzes are already posted on the site and as I always say, “boredom is the mother of invention, in the kitchen”. Once I am making crêpes for blintzes, how about making a cake?! This is a classic, simple and versatile dessert. You can fill it with anything you want. I prefer whipped heavy cream or pastry cream, or both. Feel free to alternate with layers of jam, chocolate spread, hazelnut spread or anything else that might strike your fancy. This is a great do ahead dish as all of the components should be made the day before and assembled and chilled on the day of service.
Photo by: Tess Bernstein
Shavuot is also my father’s birthday. This is always a cause for something special. He has always favored strawberry shortcake, so this year I am filling a crêpe cake with strawberries and whipped cream.
1 pint strawberries thinly sliced
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3 cups heavy whipping cream well chilled
2 tablespoons vanilla
5 tablespoons sugar
Toss the sliced strawberries with confectioners sugar and place in a strainer over a small bowl.
In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
Add vanilla and sugar, beat to combine.
To assemble the cake, place a dollop of whipped cream in the center of a serving plate. Cut 4 strips of parchment and form a square out of the strips to cover the edge of the plate so as to keep it clean. You will pull these out once the cake is ready to serve.
Choose the best looking crêpe and set aside for use as the top layer.
Place a crêpe in the serving plate. Put a large dollop of whipping on the top of it and spread it evenly. Repeat until you have 4 layers of cream.
On the 5th layer spread a thin layer of cream and ½ the strawberries. Coat the back of the 6th and place it cream side down on the strawberries. Continue building the cake with 4 more cream layers, a strawberry layer, and the cream layers to finish.
Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Garnish with berries and confectioners sugar and serve.