Decadent Desserts for Shavuot
Worth the calories!
Shavuot is not only a time for great cheesecake (and definitely try the White House Cheesecake recipe below) but a time to use some of those dairy ingredients that are hard to duplicate with a pareve (non-dairy) equivalent. Nutella is a decadent chocolate hazelnut spread that has an incredible creamy texture. I love this spin on chocolate pudding cakes, the addition of Nutella adds decadence and great flavor. Dulce de Leche is a fantastic take on creamy caramel and these super sweet Magic Bars are always a hit. They are sweet and crunchy with a ooey gooey-ness that’s addictive. I can’t resist including sweet crepes with maple pecan glaze because the filling made from farmer cheese and whipped cream cheese is what every cheese danish is supposed to taste like. It’s a good thing Shavuot only comes once a year!
Nutella Chocolate Pudding Molten Cakes
This can be made dairy or pareve. Both versions are scrumptious, especially warm served with ice cream.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter/margarine, melted, plus softened butter for greasing ramekins
- 1 cup whole milk or non-dairy creamer
- 3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella) or pareve chocolate hazelnut spread
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour, sifted
- 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups boiling water
- Garnish, optional
- Ice cream or whipped cream
- Toasted nuts
Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350°F. Grease six 1-cup ramekins with the softened butter/margarine and place on a large rimmed baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter/margarine, milk/non-dairy creamer, hazelnut spread, eggs and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk the flour mixture into the hazelnut mixture. Divide the batter among the ramekins, about 1/2 cup batter for each.
In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder and the granulated sugar, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar. Sprinkle each ramekin with about 2 rounded tablespoons of the cocoa-powder mixture.
Gently pour 1/3 cup boiling water into each ramekin. Bake until the puddings bounce back when gently pressed, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Dust with cocoa and top with the ice cream, whipped cream and nuts, optional.
Dulce De Leche Magic Bars
Makes 18 bars
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (6 1/2 ounces)
- 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, chopped
- One 16-ounce jar dulce de leche
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving up to 1 inch of overhang. Spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, cook the butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and browned, about 4 minutes. Scrape the butter into a large bowl and freeze just until solid, about 15 minutes.
Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk into the butter at medium speed until blended. Add the flour and salt and beat until moistened crumbs form. Press the crumbs into the prepared baking pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the crust is set and lightly browned. In the bowl, toss the coconut with the chocolate chips, and almonds.
In another bowl, whisk the dulce de leche with the condensed milk; pour two-thirds of it over the crust. Lightly press the coconut mixture over the dulce de leche. Drizzle the remaining dulce de leche mixture on top.
Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bars cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Carefully remove the bars from the pan and peel off the paper. Cut into bars and serve. I like them chilled.
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 or graham crackers
- 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 for topping (optional)
Crust: Heat oven to 300°F. 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. Scrape 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 move gently, 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.
Mini Cheese Crepes with Cinnamon Pecan Glaze
Decadent as either a dessert or even a sweet side dish, I know it’s a stretch, buy its Shavuot…so we are a little more decadent.
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- dash baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- pinch salt
- Canola oil
- 1 pound farmer cheese
- ½ cup whipped cream cheese (4-ounces)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup sugar
- Cinnamon Pecan Topping:
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients until smooth.
In a 6 inch sauté pan, heat ½ teaspoon oil. When oil is hot, add about 2 tablespoons batter and swirl around pan. Cook until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes, flip and cook on the other side. Remove from pan, and continue making individual crepes, using all of the batter. Cover to keep cooked crepes warm.
For Filling: In a medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Set aside. Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into crepe. Spread a bit, leaving a ½-inch border. Roll gently and set aside.
For Topping: In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in cream, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens lightly, about 3-4 minutes.
To serve: Lay warm, filled crepes in a decorative 9 x 13 pan. Warm sauce and pour over crepes. Top with toasted pecans.