Malted Chocolate Cheesecake

photo: offallytasty.com

This chocolate cheesecake recipe is a yummy Shavuot cheesecake. Its a bit unique, but still traditional enough to satisfy the classic cheesecake lovers.

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup chocolate malt powder
4 eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Whoppers (malted milk balls) for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and press into bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.

Cream together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. On low speed, beat in the malt powder and then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla and pour on top of prepared crust. Bake for about 1 hour. Cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen. Finish cooling and sprinkle top with malted milk balls, if using. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove sides before serving.

Enjoyed this chocolate cheesecake recipe? Try another delicious Shavuot cheesecake.

Mushroom Feta Cheese Bread Pudding

This savory bread pudding recipe is a wonderful Shavuot recipes appetizer.

From the Bite Me Cookbook

3 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cups thinly sliced assorted mushrooms, shitake, button, Portobello)
1 cup chopped celery
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2-½ cups milk
1-½ cups feta cheese
1-½ loaves of challah, crust removed, cut into 1inch pieces
½ cup crumbled feta cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Ina small bowl, combine parsley, oregano, thyme, lemon zest and garlic. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, salt, and pepper. Sauté until soft and liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Add half of the parsley mixture and all the roasted red peppers stirring over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine remaining parsley mixture, eggs, milk and 1 ½ cups feta, stirring well to combine. Add mushroom mixture and bread cubes, stirring gently. Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with ½ cup feta cheese. Bake uncovered 40 -45 minutes, until set and top is golden.

Enjoyed this bread pudding recipe? Try another one of our Shavuot recipes for a side dish.

Artichokes and Cheese in Phyllo Dough

This phyllo dough recipe is savory and a bit unexpected. Shavuot recipes are a great way to try out new kinds of appetizers and side dishes – phyllo dough is delicious, especially with cheese.

¼ cup butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
3 eggs
2 cups artichokes, chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup cracker crumbs
16 sheets filo dough
½ cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a frying pan and sauté onions until sauce. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Beat cream cheese and cottage cheese together. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in onion-garlic mixture. Add artichokes, cheese and cracker crumbs. Brush light coating of melted butter across bottom of 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover with 2 sheets of filo, then brush with melted butter. Repeat until you have used 8 sheets. Spread artichoke mixture across filo. Top with remaining 8 sheets, brushing with butter every two. Bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoyed this phyllo dough recipe? Try another one of our side dish Shavuot recipes.

Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Squares with Raspberry Chili Chutney

photo:cookalmostanything.com

This puff pastry recipe is a combination of sweet and savory. Creamy goat cheese, rich puff pastry and spicy raspberry chutney. It’s a great Shavuot recipes twist.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pareve chicken broth
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup honey
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, left whole (available in most kosher markets)
1 (6-ounce) container fresh raspberries or 1 cup frozen (thawed) (alternatively, you can use strawberries)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
Flour, for dusting
1 (5.5-ounce) log goat cheese, at room temperature
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until aromatic. Add the pareve chicken broth, bell pepper, honey, ginger, vinegar, and chipotle chile, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 2 1/2 hours. Add the raspberries and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the chutney cool slightly. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. (Chutney can be prepared 3 days in advance. Cool and store in the refrigerator).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 12-inch square. Cut the pastry into 2 to 3-inch squares. Put the squares on the prepared baking sheet. Using a small cookie cutter score a circle in the center of each square or using a paring knife, score a 1/2-inch border around the edge of each square. Bake the squares until puffed and golden, about 12 minutes.

Remove the scored, top section of the cooked pastry and fill with some of the goat cheese. Spoon a generous dollop of the chipotle-raspberry chutney on top of the goat cheese. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.

Still hungry? Here’s another of our delicious Shavuot recipes.

Chocolate-Glazed Shortbread

I always ignore shortbread recipes because of the butter in them (not to mention the calories!) but Shavuot is the perfect time to indulge! Here’s a delicious and easy shortbread recipe for your to try this year.

Shortbread:
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1-1/3 cups flour
4-1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar

Topping:
½ cup (1 stick) butter
4-1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Glaze:
7 ounces semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour and press into 9-inch square baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes- until golden brown. Cool on rack.

For topping, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes, still stirring. Stir in vanilla and pour over shortbread. Cool for at least 1 hour.

For glaze, melt chocolate in saucepan over low heat or in microwave. Pour over shortbread and spread evenly. Cool until set. Cut into bars.

Still hungry? Here’s another of our delicious Shavuot recipes for dessert.

Apple Ricotta Lasagna

This Apple Ricotta Lasagna recipe is a twist on the classic dairy lasagna recipe. The apples and cinnamon add a wonderful sweet flavor. Everybody needs a great kosher lasagna recipe in their Shavuot recipes repertoire!

8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 (20 ounce) cans apple pie filling
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons margarine
6 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup quick-cooking oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread one can of apple pie filling across the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Layer 4 noodles over the filling. Mix together ricotta cheese, egg, almond extract and sugar. Spread this evenly over the noodles and top with the remaining 4 noodles. Spread second can of apple pie filling over noodles. Crumble together flour, cinnamon, margarine, brown sugar and oats. Sprinkle over apple filing. Bake for 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Still hungry? Here’s another delicious kosher lasagna recipe for Shavuot.

Mozzarella and Strawberry Romaine Salad

Serves 5

Romaine salad recipes are a great base for fun alterations and additions. This Shavuot romaine salad recipe was inspired by the classic mozzarella, tomato, basil salad. It’s sweeter and even brighter looking with the substitution of strawberries for tomatoes. It’s a great addition to your Shavuot recipes.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 heart romaine lettuce, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces (3 cups lightly packed)
1 8-ounce container of strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced (about 3/4 cup), try and use the freshest kind that comes in a ball
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar salt and pepper. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing. Place the lettuce onto a serving platter.

Toss the strawberries and diced mozzarella with the remaining dressing and place down the center of the salad. Slice the basil in thin strips and sprinkle over the top of the salad. Top with toasted pine nuts.

Still hungry? Here’s another one of our great Shavuot recipes for salad.

Cookie Dough Truffles

Not sure how to make truffles? No worries – this truffles recipe is simple enough, and tastes incredible.

Makes 5 dozen
2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels
1 cup finely chopped pecans or other nut
12 ounces chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon corn syrup

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate morsels and pecans, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours. Note* The dough is sticky so coat your hands in flour to help them roll into smooth balls.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, slowly. Do not overheat the chocolate while melting or it will burn and clump together. Add the corn syrup and mix well. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into the chocolate coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Still hungry? Here’s another great kosher dessert recipe for Shavuot.

Southwestern Spanakopita (Spinach Pie Recipe)

A Spanakopita recipe or spinach pie is a Greek savory pastry, often filled with cheeses and spinach. This one is full of tasty Southwestern influences. It’s a perfect Shavuot recipe, and a great addition to your kosher side dishes collection.

2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
1 scallion, minced
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
¾ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup corn
½ cup cooked black beans (canned is fine)
½ jalapeno, minced
12 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
8 sheets phyllo dough
½ cup butter, melted

Sauce:
1/3 cup avocado
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar

In a small skillet, sauté pepper and scallion until soft. Transfer to small bowl and stir in spinach. Combine with the cheese, corn, beans, jalapeno, cumin and chili powder. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a thin layer of butter across bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Place two sheets of phyllo on top and brush with butter. Please two more sheets on top and brush again. Spread filling across dough. Top with two sheets phyllo and spread with butter. Finish with last two sheets of phyllo and spread with butter again. Cut horizontally and then on the diagonal. Bake for ½ hour to 45 minutes until golden. Mash together sauce ingredients and serve with the spanakopita recipe.

Still hungry? Try another one of our kosher side dishes for Shavuot.

Broiled Zucchini and Potatoes with Parmesan

This broiled zucchini recipe is a perfect Shavuot recipe, to be used as a side dish. Kosher side dishes for Shavuot can be dairy or pareve, but the cheese makes it taste that much more delicious.

8 small new potatoes (red or white, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter)
4 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 small zucchini, cut in 1/2 lengthwise (about 1-inch wide by 5 inches long)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ cup grated Parmesan

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool. When cool, cut the potatoes in half.

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary and let cook until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, season the cut sides of the zucchini and potatoes with salt and pepper. Place the zucchini and potatoes in the melted butter. Let them cook until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the browned zucchini and potatoes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan. Place in the broiler until the cheese is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve.

Still hungry? Try another of our kosher side dishes for Shavuot.

Roasted Asparagus with Orange Mayonnaise

This roasted asparagus recipe can also be baked or grilled. Asparagus is a great option for kosher vegetable recipes and kosher side dishes.

2 cups freshly squeezed orange or tangerine juice
2 oranges or tangerines
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
1 egg yolk
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup olive oil plus a little more for grilling
2 bunches about 2 pounds total) asparagus, trimmed
Long strips of orange zest
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Put the juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to ½ cup. Let cool to room temperature. Peel the oranges, removing the bitter white pith, and segment over a bowl to catch of the segments and the juices. Refrigerate until very cold.

Combine the reduced juice, tarragon, egg yolk, and salt and pepper to taste in a blender and blend until well mixed. With the machine running, add the 1 cup olive oil, in a drizzle, to emulsify. Keep in the refrigerator until needed. This keeps for 2 to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or warm the grill. Toss the asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast or grill until the spears are just tender, about 8 – 12 minutes (less on the grill).

To serve:

Arrange the asparagus on the platter with the reserved orange segments. Drizzle some of the mayonnaise, and then drizzle with the reserved orange juice left in the bowl. Garnish with the nuts.

Still hungry? Try another of our kosher side dishes in our Shavuot recipes collection.

Warm Olive and Artichoke Dip

Remember that onion soup mix, spinach, sour cream dip that people used to serve in a big, scooped out bread? This warm artichoke dip with olives is a newer and more gourmet version. It’s a Shavuot recipe staple in our family.

1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (or 8 ounces canned)
¾ cup (packed) fresh basil leaves plus more for garnish
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup green or black olive tapenade (you may use store-bought as well)
1 (5.2-ounce) Boursin or Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese
Assorted pita chips, bagel chips, crackers and crusty bread

Preheat oven to 375. Coarsely chop artichokes and ¾ cup basil in the food processor. Transfer mixture to a 4-cup baking dish. Mix in Parmesan, tapenade and Boursin cheese. Bake until hot, about 30 minutes. Garnish with basil. Serve with breads and crackers.

Here’s a great product to serve all your kosher dips.

BBQ Glazed Chilean Sea Bass

1 cup white onion, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard powder
¾ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons instant coffee

BBQ sauce:
Heat the oil in a medium sized sauté pan. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until soft, five minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer slowly. Add the mustard powder, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and instant coffee. And simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Chilean Sea Bass:
6 (6 ounce) fillets Chilean sea bass with skin
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ cup BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the sea bass with salt and pepper. In an oven-safe skillet, heat the oil and sear the fish, skin side down. When the skin is crispy, turn the fish and glaze with the BBQ sauce. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the fish is flakey and opaque. Remove from the oven and let the fish rest and serve with extra BBQ sauce.

Mixed Citrus Salad with Escarole and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

This citrus salad is perfect for Shavuot. It has the zesty citrus fruit, the crunch from the mixed greens, and a creamy blue cheese vinaigrette dressing. Don’t be afraid of trying the blue cheese vinaigrette; it’s milder when mixed in.

1/2 red onion, sliced thin and cut in 1/2
1 grapefruit
1 orange
2 mandarin oranges (1 small can, drained if you prefer)
1 ounce blue cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 cups torn escarole leaves or any green lettuce like romaine or red leaf
1/4 c fresh chervil or Italian parsley

Slice off top and bottom of grapefruit, then stand it upright. Following the contour of the fruit, slice off the peel & white pith in thick strips. Holding the fruit over a bowl, cut along each side of the membranes between the sections, letting each section of fruit and any juices drop into the bowl. Cut each section in 1/2 crosswise. Repeat with oranges and mandarins, then set citrus aside.

Put cheese in bottom of a large salad bowl and add olive oil. With a fork, mash the cheese into the oil till well blended. Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper. Add escarole or greens and gently mix to coat evenly. Add all the citrus and their juices, red onion, minced chervil or parsley and mix to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

Still hungry? Try another great kosher salad recipe for Shavuot.

White House Cheesecake

They may not know about Shavuot but the White House pastry chef, Bill Yosses, does make a marvelous cheesecake, or so the Obamas say. Supposedly, this cheesecake recipe has been passed down from chef to chef and has been served since the Eisenhowers lived in the White House. The perfect American Shavuot recipe – kosher cheesecake at its patriotic best!

For the crust:
1 stick butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan
6 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour

For the filling:
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
¼ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Sour cream or crème fraiche fro topping (optional)

Crust: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and 8 –inch spring form or plain cake pan, and line bottom with parchment paper. Spread cookies on a baking pan and toast until very dry, about 10 minutes. Remove and leave oven on. Pulse in a food processor to make crumbs. Mix one cup lightly packed crumbs in a bowl with sugar and flour and then mix in melted butter. Pour into prepared pan and pres s in evenly.

Filling: In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, scraping down sides to eliminate lumps. Add sugar and honey, and mix until smooth. Crape down sides and add sour cream and heavy cream, then mix for 2 minutes.

With mixer running, add vanilla and then eggs one at a time and mix until completely smooth. Pour over cookie base.

Place pan in a larger baking pan. Fill that with hot water halfway up the side of the cake pan to make a water bath. Bake 80 to 90 minutes, or until just set. To test for doneness, shake cake pan gently. There should be no liquidity but it should undulate in a mass, like Jell-O. Remove from the oven to a rack and let it cook, then refrigerate it in the pan for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

If using spring form, remove the ring. If using a plain cake pan, warm bottom of pan over a very low flame one minute, moving it constantly to distribute hat. Invert cake onto a plate, then quickly re-invert onto a serving plate.

Frost top of cake with a think layer of sour cream, if using.

Still hungry? Here’s another delicious kosher cheesecake recipe.

Pesto Palmiers

photo: eatingoutloud.com


A great hors d’œuvre Shavuot recipe – small, simple, and delicious.

2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
6 tablespoons pesto
6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold each pastry sheet. Spread pesto over dough and sprinkle with cheese. Starting at long sides, toll up the dough from both sides, meeting in the middle. Lightly dampen the center seam of the pastry between the 2 rolls and press together. Cut into thick slices and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Grilled Balsamic Glazed Portobello Mushrooms


6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus 3/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 large Portobello mushrooms, wiped of any dirt, washed and quickly dried

Preheat the grill. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, toss the garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt. Wrap the garlic cloves in tinfoil and place on the tray in the center of the oven. Cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic with the 3/4 cup olive oil and mustard.

In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt. Place them, stem side up, on the hottest part of the grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, you may see liquid starting to emerge from the stem area. Turn on the other side and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Move to a cooler side of the grill and continue cooking until soft when pierced with a fork. Make sure to move them to an indirect heat part of the grill so that you do not burn the outside of the mushroom but still cook it through. Reseason them lightly with salt.

Remove the garlic from the oven. Squeeze the garlic pulp out from their skins and whisk it vigorously into the dressing. Arrange the mushrooms on a serving platter and top with the dressing. Serve immediately.

Skinny Cheesecake

Especially on Shavuot, I go for full fat desserts, but if you are watching your calories this is a great cheesecake recipe to have your cheesecake and eat it too.
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ cups fat free small curd cottage cheese
1 cup Eggbeaters (original)
½ cup sugar
½ package (4 ounces) fat free cream cheese
¼ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom and dies of 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle graham crumbs evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of baking dish. Place cottage cheese and egg beaters in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add sugar, cream cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake 50 minutes, or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Cool and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled. Cut into squares to serve. Garnish with fruit.

Sticky Chocolate Cake with Pina Colada Sauce


By Pastry Chef Ehud Ezra, Basil Restaurant.

This chocolate cake recipe has three components; the cake the sauce and the garnishing. It is a delicious alternative to the typical Shavuot recipe. Your family and guests will appreciate the change. You will love how easy it is to make and how impressive the dessert looks and tastes.

10 servings

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake:
10 – 4 ounce individual foil cups or ramekins
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee (instant can be used dissolved in hot water)
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Garnish: Toasted slivered almonds and toasted coconut

Preheat the oven temperature to 350.

In a mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until it is fluffy. Next add the eggs, mix until blended. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt, mix until blended. Then add the buttermilk and vanilla extract; blend it in and scrape the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. Gradually add the hot coffee to the batter, until it is blended in. Make sure to scrape the bowl as you add ingredients to make sure everything is getting blended.

Spray the foil cups with non-stick canola spray, scoop the batter and place in the cups, more than 3/4 to the top of the cups.
Place cups on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes.
The cake should not be over baked; it should be cracked on the top and moist in the center.

Ingredients for Pina Colada Sauce:
1/4 cup of Coco Lopez (Cream of coconut)
1/4 cup of Pineapple juice
1/8 cup of white rum

Mix well and pour into individual small cups to serve along side the chocolate cakes.

Ingredients for Garnishing Chocolate Sauce:
2 semi-sweet chocolate bars, such as Schmerling’s
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Break the chocolate into small pieces in a bowl. In a small pot, boil the heavy cream. Add the hot cream to the chocolate, let it sit for a minute; this will melt the chocolate. Mix well with a whisk. Serve immediately or it will set. If you aren’t serving it immediately and it has to be warmed, simmer on low, or put in a bowl of hot water.

Garnish with toasted almond slivers and toasted coconut flakes. Toasting can be done in a dry frying pan or on a baking sheet at 350.

Here’s another great kosher cake recipe for Shavuot.

Mexican Pizza

1 cup cooked (can use canned) black beans
½ cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon chili powder
Dough for 1 12-inch pizza (can make fresh, buy dough from pizza shop or frozen or even buy the prepared crusts)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup sliced black olives
1 scallion, minced
Sour cream for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Purée together beans, red peppers, garlic clove and chili powder. Dust a pizza pan with cornmeal and stretch dough across the pan or place prepared crust there. Spread the black bean purée across the dough leaving a small border. Sprinkle with the cheese, tomatoes, olives and scallion. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes – until crust is crisp and cheese is browned and bubbly (our family likes it “well-done” and the cheese very brown but let your family’s taste preferences be your guide). Cut into wedges and serve with dollops of sour cream, if desired.

Halibut in Puttanesca Sauce

One of the best halibut recipes, and very healthy.

Puttanesca Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 anchovies, roughly chopped or mashed with a fork
1/4 cup capers
3/4 cup pitted Moroccan oil-cured black olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups Pomodoro Sauce (see recipe below)
6 (5-ounce) Halibut fillets, skinned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch basil, stemmed, for garnish

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, 1 minute. Add the anchovies, capers and olives and cook until the anchovies have begun to dissolve in the oil, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and the Pomodoro Sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the fish fillets, making sure they are submerged in the sauce, and gently simmer until the fish is cooked through and the flesh is milky white and slightly flaky, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the sauce and lots of fresh basil.

Fresh Pomodoro Sauce
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for garnish
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 fresh tomatoes, cut in large chunks
3 (28-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
2 -1/2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt
¼ cup fresh basil, chifonnade or delicately sliced

In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, both fresh and canned and bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar, and season with salt, to taste. Add fresh basil.

Serve sauce over hot pasta with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of basil, and cheese.

Let extra sauce cool completely and then seal in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up 1 week and freeze for up to 1 month.

Still hungry? Here’s another of our kosher fish recipes for Shavuot.

Savory Parmesan Biscotti

photo: flickr


2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh not the powdered)
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add butter and using hands or a fork, mix until coarse crumbs for. Add cheese and stir to combine. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary and garlic. Add to the flour mixture and mix well. Divide in half. Shape each piece into an approximately 10-inch log and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten until about 3 inches wide. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and slice. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Mini Lasagna with Sweet Corn and Mascarpone

Kosher lasagna recipe adapted from original mini lasagna recipe by Giada De Laurentis

Butter for ramekins
12 lasagna sheets
3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup whipping cream, at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (4 ounces) finely grated Parmesan, plus 1/2 cup (2 ounces)
1 large lemon, zested
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Special equipment: 6 (10-ounce) ramekins, each 2 1/2 inches tall and 3 1/2 inches in diamete

Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter 6 (10-ounce) ramekins. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain. Using 2 cooked lasagna noodles in an “x” shape, line each ramekin, pushing the noodles gently into the bottom of the ramekins, allowing any excess pasta to overhang on the sides.

In a food processor, blend the corn, cream and garlic until chunky. Add the mascarpone, 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse until just combined. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling into the bottom of each ramekin and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Fold 2 overhanging pieces of pasta over the filling, (trim the ends of the pasta with scissors, if necessary). Add another 1/4 cup of filling to each ramekin and top with another 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Fold over the 2 remaining overhanging pieces of pasta.

Spoon any remaining filling on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

To serve: Run a knife around the edge of the ramekins to loosen the lasagnas. Unmold the lasagnas onto serving plates and serve.

Salmon Wrapped in Puff Pastry with Spinach and Mushrooms

Serves 4 as a main dish, can be doubled
4 (6-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skin removed (equal size pieces)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 cups washed, dried, and loosely packed fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup sour cream
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Brush both sides of the salmon with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Warm 2 tablespoons oil in 2 separate skillets over medium-high heat. Add half of the onion and half the garlic to each pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and thyme into 1 pan and the spinach, lemon zest and remain lemon juice in the other pan. Stir the spinach until it wilts, then transfer it to a bowl and set aside. Sauté the mushrooms until they are reduced and tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. Set aside.

Unroll a pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin lightly seal the seams and lengthen the dough slightly. Cut the pastry sheet into 3 equal strips, using the natural seams as a guide. Roll out the second puff pastry sheet to get 1 more strip. Save remaining puff pastry for another use. Lightly prick the 4 strips with a fork. Put 1 heaping spoonful of mushroom mixture on 1 half of each pastry, top with salmon, and then layer with a heaping spoonful of spinach mixture. Wet the edges of the pastry with water and fold over the other half, pressing lightly and folding to seal the edges. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Cut 2 vents on the top of each pastry packet and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake until the pastry is golden and fish is just opaque in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Garnish with chives or parsley and serve with honey mustard sauce if you wish.

Berry Baked Brie


1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/3 cup berry preserves
8 ounces wheel Brie cheese
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
Crackers and slices of fruit

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll gently to seal any cracks in pastry. Spoon preserves onto center of pastry. Place cheese on top of preserves. Sprinkle evenly with nuts. Fold pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim excess pastry and press to seal seams. Reserve pastry scraps.

Whisk egg and water in small bowl. Brush seams with egg mixture. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Cut pastry scraps into decorative shapes and arrange on top, if desired. Brush with egg mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting. Serve with crackers and sliced fruit.