Archive for the 'kosher Israeli wine' Category



26
Mar
10

Passover Almond-Pistaccio Cake


[Eran Elhalal, food consultant, (about to become a restaurateur) chef extraordinaire, brings us a delicious Passover cake recipe and accompanying photos. He provides the gebroks and non-gebroks version. CS]

Pesach Almond -Pistachio Cake

12 Servings

[Gebroks]
The origin of this recipe is the Italian Baci De Dama or Lady’s Kisses, a festive hazelnut cake. I replaced the flour for sifted Matzo meal and based the cake on fresh ground almonds and pistachios, to make it more our own.

Ingredients:

Getting the ingredients lined up

[For the non-gebroks version of this delectable dessert, use potato or tapioca starch instead of the matzoh meal. Make sure, however, that you mix it well with the nuts before incorporating into the wet mixture, or the starch may clump up.]

Cake base:
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups ground almonds
3/4 cup ground pistachios
1/4 cup sifted matzoh meal
5 eggs separated
pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting
2 Tbsp crushed pistachios ( Garnish)
4 ozs confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 Tbsp warm water

Method:

1. Whisk egg yolks and gradually incorporate 1 cup of the sugar.Continue until the batter is bright and fluffy.In a separate bowl mix the nuts , matzo meal, oil and then incorporate vanilla and lemon zest.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the salt first, and then gradually whisk in the rest of the sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
3. Fold the egg whites into the nuts mixture gently only until combined.
4. Grease an 8 inch round baking pan.Pour the batter into the pan.
5. Insert into a 350 degree preheated oven , and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
7. Prepare the frosting by whisking the lemon juice, confectionery sugar and warm water well.
8. Spread evenly on the cake and sprinkle the crushed Pistachios .

A lusciuosly delicious slice

For a truly heavenly gastronomic experience, pair this cake with a glass of  Tzora Or 2006, a delicious wine from one of Israel’s boutique wineries. It is made Made from Gewurztraminer grapes, deep frozen for two months after harvesting. After 24 hours of thawing only the first drips of grape juice will be used for this potable. The gold colored wine is filled with honey and tropical fruits on the nose. Full bodied on the mouth, citrus, pinneaple and a hint of mint.

If this wine is not available, another great choice (more economically priced) is the Carmel Sha’al Gewurztaminer 2006 or 2007, otherwise, any dessert wine will most certainly suffice.

Enjoy!!

Chag kasher vesame’ach – Have a happy Passover

Eran Elhalal
Chef Entrepreneur

16
Mar
10

Benyamina Wines Tasting, Getting Ready for Tomorrow’s Tasting


On the evening of  Thursday, January the 21st, I attended a wine tasting of Benyamina wines given by Avi Ashman’s Israeli Wine Lovers Club. Asaf Paz, one of the two wine-makers at the Benyamina winery, presented a selection of wines in all price ranges.

Some of the wines we would taste...

Eran Elhalal, the club’s chef, prepared a nice assortment of cheeses (sharp and mild), fruits and sweets. Raphael Sutton, who edited Israel Food and Wine magazine and wrote on wines for Globes (Israel’s premier financial publication) was the resident expert together with Eran and Avi.

Asaf started the presentation with a Chardonnay 2007, we tasted it first at room temperature. It was pleasantly tart, with hints of citrus, grapefruit and apricot. When chilled it became fruitier with peach and floral notes. It’s made in the Champagne style since the Chardonnay grape together with its red grape cousins, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier is part of the triumvirate of grapes used for Champagne. This grape which easily adapts to every climate, no matter how extreme, is also used in large proportions in the production of classic sparklers around the world.

We followed with Yogev 2007, that combined Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. With Cherry and berry notes, the Shiraz gave it a smoky spiciness. Made from classical warm weather grapes, it won’t age as well as other higher end wines.

We continued with another Yogev 2007 selection, also a dry red. This wine combines 20% Petit Verdot (grown in the Negev Mountains, it has high acidity and produces fruity tannins) and 80% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s aroma brought out mint and black currant tones. Ages well and has a very unique strong personality.

Next we had a Reserve Merlot 2005, with hints of cherry and sweet spices. it goes well with lamb shanks and strong flavored meats. Next we had a delightful Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006.

Some of the higher end selections

Sapir 2004 followed this wines is aged for 16 months in the cask and 4 years in the bottle before it leaves the winery. It has 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz, and 25% Merlot, fruity with floral accents and sweet spices.

Odem 2005 was next, this wine has 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier it has a nice smoky taste and goes well with charcouterie meats.

Finally we got to taste Benyamina’s top of the line, The Cave – Hama’arah 2006, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. A superior wine that is aged not in the main winery but in a 300 year old cave in the heart of the Carmel Mountains, hence its name. This top quality wine, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the grapes were harvested in  the Upper Galilee. The wine was aged over 24 months in new French oak barrels and will continue to age well. Truly a superb wine.

Tomorrow, March 17, the Israeli Wine Lovers Club will be meeting again in Manhattan, at:
Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) NYC
6th Floor
The buzzer, on the ground floor, is # 6.

As Avi’s email advised: “Earlier today I got the wines for the “How Sweet It ISrael” tasting from the Royal Wine Company (the largest Kosher wines importer/distributor). The list is great — Carmel Shaal, Gamla White Riesling, Carmel Moscato, and more. Eran (our Club’s Chef) promised to make special treats for the tasting…. So, are you ready for a sweet feast as I am? We’d like to see you at the event.

You can RSVP at their web site: http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/12765713/ The cost for this tasting is $36 at the door. Hope to see you there.

CS




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