Home Made Purim Basket

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Vegetarian covered tarts or pasties

Queen Esther had to keep her Jewish identity hidden from Achashverosh, so stuffed food like borekas, hamantahsen, are served on Purim day because they have hidden fillings.

Dishes with beans, chickpeas and seeds are also eaten during Purim to honour the legend that Esther kept kosher in the palace by eating only what was certainly kosher in the palace, like vegetables and seeds.

Caramelised onion and roasted peppers tarts

  • Base/Pastry
  • 125g butter soften
  • 200g plain
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

In a bowl mix all the ingredients quickly and from a ball. Put in a tart or pie dish and cover it with some cling film and leave it in the fridge until you need it. Before using it, remove form the fridge 15 minutes before using it.

  • Onions and pepper filling
  • 3 big onions or 5 small
  • 3 peppers of different colours
  • Sunflower oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar, Salt, pepper, Dried oregano

Slice the onions. In a frying pan, with 5 soup spoons of sunflower oil, fry the onion until they become golden. Add 2/3 soup spoons of sugar and caramelise the onions. Add ½ tea spoon of salt and 1/3 tea spoon of pepper. In a large oven tray covered with aluminium and baking paper, cut the peppers in slices. Add 5 soup spoons of olive oil and half glass of water. Add ½ tea spoon of salt and 1/3 tea spoon of pepper, ½ tea spoon of oregano. Mix the peppers. Roast the peppers in the oven between 20-30 minutes at 200◦ (th. 6/7), stirring them regularly.

Using a cutter, cut some small circles of dough.  Pre-cook them  for 8-10 minutes at 200 Celsius. It needs to become white and the borders slightly brown/beige. Then add the caramelised onions all oven the pie, and the roasted peppers over one circle. Cover the tart with another pre cooked circle of dough and cook again for 5 minutes at 200.

You can put different fillings. Bechamel sauce with leek and cheese, spinach and mushrooms with crème fraiche, etc…

At Purim, we get disguised!

Biscuit recipe for the giant edible mask

Ingredients

  • 100 g soft butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 200 g plain flour
  • ½  tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp vanilla essence

Put 100 grams of butter and 100 grams of caster sugar in a large bowl. Mix until smooth and light cream in colour.

Break 1 egg into a small bowl and beat lightly. Mix in half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Gradually add the egg into the sugar and butter mixture. If you add it all at once to will curdle!

Mix 200 grams of flour… ½  teaspoon of baking powder together in a bowl.

Now gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly until you can no longer see any lumps of white flour. It will turn into dough. Split it into two equal pieces, flatten it with a rolling pin, and cover with cling film. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, turn the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Once the dough is chilled, roll on a floured surface until it is approximately a centimetre thick.

Slide a pallet Cut out the biscuit into a shape of a giant mask big enough to cover your eyes. Place the biscuits straight onto the prepared baking tray covered with baking paper.

Place the baking tray into the oven and cook until golden brown. This should take around 10 minutes, but watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn.

Take the tray out of the oven and leave it to cool. Prepare a smooth icing by mixing icing sugar and water. To obtain this, mix two cups of icing sugar and then add some water gradually into it to obtain a thick and not too runny icing to decorate your mask. You can add some food colouring into it and then decorate using with many different cake decorating sprinkles, sugars, sweets, etc…

Be very careful, the mask is meant to be eaten and will break easily if you decide to try it on!

The edible book of Esther

Dreamt of an edible megilah?

Here is how to bake a delicious easy to make healthy yogurt cake and how to decorate it.

Delicious and easy yogurt cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 200g of Greek style natural yogurt
  • Using the pot of yogurt as a measuring cup:
  • 2 cups of caster sugar
  • 3 cups of self raising flour
  • 1 cup of sunflower oil

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together with an electric whisk until it becomes smooth. You can add half a cup of drinking chocolate powder if you want it chocolaty…

Pour the mixture in a rectangular shaped baking tray of 25cm. Bake it in a fan oven at 150C for 45 minutes approximately. To check if the cake is cooked, put a knife in the middle, it needs to come out dry when it is cooked.

Let the cake cool down completely before stating to decorate it.

You will need to form an opened book shape with the cake before decorating it. Prented your rectangle is the opened book. Cut some thickness from one side of the cake, and put it on the other half of the cake to make as if the book was opened, and three quarter were being read.

To decorate the cake:

1. Put your cake on a cake stand or a plate and cover it with jam or cream in order that the sugar dough will stick to it like glue.

2. Using some ready to roll icing, or sugar dough. Remove the sugar dough from the pack and knead it for 3/5 minutes like bread, in order to soften the dough and be able to flatten it more easily.

3. To color your dough before covering your cake, you’ll need to use food coloring, Put a few drops and blend thoroughly. You can also leave it white and then write on it with special food pen, and decorate it with sparkles or icing cut out shaped characters from the book of Esther.

4. Put some icing sugar on your table or worktop. Add a tiny bit of icing sugar on top of the sugar dough and using a rolling pin, start to flatten the dough. While you are flattening your sugar dough to half a centimeter thick, you will need very regularly to move your dough and make sure it does not stick to the work surface.

6. Once the dough is half a centimeter flat, take your rolling pin and quickly transfer the dough onto your cake and cover it. You need to leave enough dough onto the edges in order to make sure all the cake is covered. Leave a bit more dough on the side of the rectangle.

7. Cut the excess of the dough with a knife, and start decorating your cake with some colored sugar dough, cutters, characters and figures, flowers, as you would do with play dough.

Challah recipe

On Purim, the holiday challah is baked in non traditional forms such in the shape of a ring with poppy seeds to represent Esther’s crown, or a long, thick twist symbolising the rope used to hang Hamman.

  • 500g of strong bread flour
  • 2 sachet of dried yeast (2X7g)
  • 25g to 75g of caster sugar depending on how sweet you like the bread
  • 1 generous teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ litre of warm water
  • 1/8 litre of sunflower of vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg

 In a bowl mix all ingredients together until they are all blended and that you can form a neat ball. If, touching the dough, you feel you need more water or more flour, add them gradually and not too much at once.

On a clean worktop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes elastic and until you hear a “click” noise when you are kneading it. Leave the dough to rest and rise on your worktop and cover it with the bowl at least 1.5 hour to 2 hours (or more if you have more time, sometimes I leave it all night to rise), until the dough at least doubles in size. The temperature of the room has to be warm to help the rising process.

We want here to form a long, thick twist symbolising the rope used to hang Hamman. Brush the challah with egg yolk to make it golden.

Cook the bread at 200°C for about 10-12 minutes until golden.

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