Posts Tagged ‘Purim’

JpegWhen my husband and I were newlyweds (well, relatively) there was a heavenly poppy seed cake in the bakery that was basically two thin layers of dough with a lot of poppy seed filling.

Then they changed the recipe and started adding all kinds of fillers to the cake – raisins mostly – and completely ruined the cake.

For Purim, the poppy seed holiday, a craving for proper poppy seed cake came over me. Not 70% dough with a few poppy seeds hiding there but a lush cake that is more poppy seed then dough. And no raisins at all!

I based the recipe on three different recipes (all in Hebrew). Here is the final version.

I wanted enough cake to use in our mishlochei manot, so I spread it out over two large pans (26 x 32 and 20 x 30 cm). This means there was less dough to go around, but I wouldn’t put more dough – it was enough as it was. The filling was enough but there can always be more 😉


400 gr ground poppy seed (make sure it’s freshly ground or grind yourself. I bought it already ground because on Purim it’s usually fresh, everyone uses it).
300 ml milk
150 gr butter
200 gr sugar (I used a mix of brown and white because I ran out in the middle, it was still great)
75 gr crumbled gluten free cookies
2 eggs

Put poppy seed, milk, butter and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat, let cool a bit and then stir in the cookie crumbs and the egg. Let cool completely before assembling the cake.


150 gr butter
80 gr white sugar
1 tsp real vanilla
1 egg
300 gr Tami gluten-free flour
(original recipe also had 3 gr baking powder, forgot to put it 😳 )

In a food processor put the butter, sugar and the vanilla. Process until smooth. Add the egg, and process until smooth again. Add the flour and process only until you get large moist crumbs. Press desired amount into the bottom of the baking pan (I used around 2/3. If I make one pan I’ll freeze half). Refrigerate the rest (not critical but can help afterwords so the dough is less sticky). Dough was sticky but I didn’t add more flour as gluten free dough tends to be more sticky then gluten dough, and if you add enough flour the dough becomes crumbly. Dough was still crumbly to my taste, maybe the forgotten baking powder had something to do with it? Or simply use less flour next time (and it will be even more sticky 🙄 )


Preheat oven to 170°C. Spread the poppy seed filling in an even layer on the dough base. Grate the remaining dough on top of the poppy seed. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top and filling is firm.

While we did manage to put some in the mishloach manot, I kept taking “just one more piece” until it was finished 😉

Bon Apetit!


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It’s that time of the year again! Planning, baking, buying the plates and decorations, buying costumes (or making them for artistically inclined) and all the whirlwind of Purim.

This year, my eldest wanted to show off the recipes learned in his cooking class, which included Green Tahini, Olive Tapenade, and salty cheese cookies. So we decided to have a (mostly) savoury Mishloah Manot this year. We added some butter cookies so that my younger son would also feel part of it (he brought home a recipe for them with sugar and cinnamon) and the traditional chocolate balls that we make with my SIL’s family. The final menu was:

Whole wheat mini-pitas
Green tahini
Olive tapenade
Salty cheese cookies
Butter cookies
Chocolate balls (with butter instead of margarine)

We put them in ecological plates made of palm leaves and wrapped them in ecological bags. We added a picture of the Kids holding a “Happy Purim!” sign (note to self: next year the sign should be “Happy Purim from the leftoverRecipes Family!” and save us writing it on each one 🙄 ) The results was really cute (if I do say so myself 😉 ). In addition the kids donated money personally in the synagogue before hearing the story of Esther in the synagogue. I went to a women’s reading of the story which was very pleasant. I actually dislike the story for reasons I won’t get into here, but it’s always nice to get together. All the family delivered the Mishloah Manot in costume, and the kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly. We capped it by inviting the extended family to a BBQ lunch which was tasty and fun.

And then we collapsed 😀

Actually, we had more friends coming in in the afternoon and had another informal party for dinner. Exhausting but really, really fun. It was a great Purim.

And now for (part of) the recipes:

Green tahini:

1 cup cold water
2 cups sesame paste (tahini)
one bunch parsley leaves, chopped fine
1/4 cup lemon juice
one minced garlic or to taste
salt to taste

Mix water and tahini until white. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Add more water if desired to get a smoother consistency.

Olive Tapenade

1 jar kalamata olives, or other olives
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp minced fresh coriander
2 tbsp minced fresh basil
6 tbsp good quality olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin (or to taste)
ground black pepper to taste (I put in two dashes)

Put everything in the food processor and mix until desired consistency.

Whole wheat pitas

As I mentioned before, some of our best friends don’t eat sugar or white flour. We went together to a “slow food” cooking workshop for whole wheat sugarless cooking, and one of the recipes were these whole wheat pitas. It answered a question I always wondered about – how do you get the pocket in the pita? Apparently, you don’t. You just roll down the dough and put it in a really hot oven, and the yeast takes care of the rest. I made a tryout batch before Purim and all the pitas got a great pocket. Typically, the actual Purim batch did not 😕 I think it was because I didn’t knead the dough enough, it was a HUGE amount of dough as we made 3 times the basic amount!

Ingredients (8 pitas or 16 mini-pitas)

4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups water, room temperature (or slightly warm is also OK)
1/2 tbsp dry yeast
1/2 tbsp honey or date spread or puréed dates
1/2 tbsp, heaped salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix flour, water, honey or dates, and the yeast and knead for a few minutes ( I used a mixer with a dough hook). Let rest for 20 minutes. Add salt and olive oil and knead until dough is flexible (a bit sticky is still OK). This is probably where I skimped when doing the 3X Purim batch 😐 Cover with a clean towel and leave to rise one hour in summer and two in winter, or until doubled in size, or until you poke a finger in it and it doesn’t immediately start to fill up again (one of the methods will work 😉 ).

Before rising

Take out the dough on a floury surface and pat it a bit to get out any bubbles and split into 8 (or 16) equal parts (I weighed it so that it would be equal). Let the dough balls rest another 15 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 230 °C (or higher). Put a tray in the oven, upside down (so the pitas will be at the highest point of the tray, without overhanging edges). Cover with baking paper.

Roll down each ball into a circle 15 cm in diameter for full pitas, or until a few mm thickness.

Home made circles

Home made circles

Throw the pitas into the oven (2 big ones or 4 small ones at a time) limiting as much as possible the time the oven is open so as not to lose the high heat. Bake for 3-5 minutes until pitas look like full balloons (really cool!) .

Balloon time!

Balloon time!

Remove from oven and place between two clean kitchen towels to cool slowly (or eat immediately 😛 ). Continue with the rest of the dough.  Freeze any pitas that aren’t eaten immediately. To defrost, warm in the microwave 20 (mini)-40 (pitas) seconds while wrapped in a clean kitchen towel.

More recipes next time!

Note: I started writing this last week, around Purim. I finished it now, as it was a really hectic week. The recipes are still good, though 😉


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Ahhh, it’s that time of the year again….

A few years ago, my husband and I arrived at the conclusion that as we hate receiving store brought junk for Purim, we should also stop giving it. Our Mishloah Manot became more focused on quality and less on quantity. After that, our Mishloah Manot was strawberry jam (home made), chocolate balls and chocolate chip cookies and that’s it.

This year, I wanted something the kids could help out with. Jam was out. Also, the strawberries are still very expensive and not really worth making into jam. So we decided on 3 types of home made cookies: Chocolate balls (traditional, made with my SIL and nephew) chocolate chip cookies (also traditional, my husband looks forward to this all year!) and granola bars.

My eldest stopped eating his strawberry yoghurt, preferring cheese based dairy instead; so I had 4 strawberry yoghurts that needed to be used up. So we added to our Mishloah Manot strawberry yoghurt muffins.

The result was wonderful, and my kids helped with the granola bars and the chocolate balls, and my husband and I made the rest (my husband loves helping to make chocolate chip cookies … though for some reason there are always less cookies than I expect, while my husband swallows quickly and tries to look innocent :))

Also, we bought boxes for the Mishloah Manot that our children decorated, and our children helped give the Mishloah Manot, so our kids really felt the holiday! especially the cookies they got everywhere because they looked so sweet in their costume…

Chocolate balls:
1/4 kilo Petit Buerre biscuits, crushed finely (I use a food processor)
50 gr margarine, melted
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
water as needed (about 1 cup)
coconut flakes, for coating the balls
Small paper cups (size 1-2)

Mix everything but the water and coconut in a large bowl. Adding water a quarter cup at a time, mix until you can form a ball easily. Form balls, roll in coconut flakes. Place in paper cups. Refrigerate and eat!

We made together 1.5 Kg of biscuits!

Granola bars can be found here, I made 1.5 times the amount and to 2/3 added craisins and dried apple, and to the other 1/3 added only dried apple. The ones without the craisins were for my kids and me :).

Chocolate chip cookies:
Based on the recipe on the back of Oppenheimers chocolate chips:
150 gr margarine
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (Note – this came out too sweet, I’ll try 1/3 cup white and 1/3 cup brown next time)
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 1/4 cups white flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
one bag (300 gr) Oppenheimer’s chocolate chips

Mix everything but the chocolate chips in a food processor. Transfer to mixing bowl and mix in chocolate chips (not easy, my husband does this. The batter is thick and hard to mix). Put teaspoonfuls on baking sheet, a few cm apart as they spread. Cook at 190° C for 5-8 minutes. Cookies are done when edges are brown but still soft in the middle, they will cool into melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Do not bake until it looks cooked! It will cool into dry hard cookies. We made twice the amount.

Lots and lots of chocolate chip cookies

Yogurt muffins: I used the recipe from hillbilly housewife, here. I quadrupled the recipe, and then discovered that one carton of yoghurt is NOT a cup, so I had to add two regular white yoghurts to the mix. The result was absolutely delicious and the kids loved it.

Strawberry Yoghurt Muffins

Happy Purim!

Just getting started!

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