Do you ever think, as I often do, “Why can’t we start a meal with dessert?” One year on a different holiday, Shavuot, we did exactly that. We started the meal with cheese blintzes, waited half an hour and then continued with a full meat meal. It was amazing, and sometimes I wish we could do that at every festive meal. However, as I mentioned in my last post, we have to keep up our traditions, and on Rosh Hashanah we have so much we eat before we get to the best part, dessert!
I could not do this post without my dear Mom z”l in mind. She just loved dessert. Every Rosh Hashanah she would make this spectacular meringue dessert, with a meringue base and then build small meringues up into a pyramid shape with Orley Whip, the South African equivalent of Rich’s Whip (a non-dairy substitute for whipped cream), and then she would decorate it with fresh strawberries. In addition she would make a fabulous fruit salad. This actually became her signature dish when she moved to Israel. She always had big bowls of fruit salad waiting when my own kids came to visit her, and when they were on programs like High School in Israel, she would send them back to their campus with a container filled with fruit salad. She did not only do this with her own grand children, but she always made a huge bowl of fruit salad when she went to my Aunt Marica for the Chagim, or in later years to my cousins, Errol and Carleen. In our family, fruit salad is immediately associated with Savta.
I have adapted the meringue idea, so that I still make meringues, just the end product looks different.
Meringues Baskets with Blueberries and “Cream”
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 cup Kinneret Whip/ Rich’s Whip
Separate egg whites from yolks. (I don’t use the yolks in this recipe, you may keep to make mayonnaise or any other use you may have, or discard them)
Beat Egg Whites until stiff. Soft peaks will form when it gets to the right stiffness.
Slowly beat in the cup of sugar.
Fold in the tsp. of Baking Powder, making sure it is properly incorporated.
Cover a flat cookie baking pan with aluminum foil.
Take a dessert spoon, and spoon 12 – 15 “dollops” of meringue onto the foil, gently shape them into round circles with the back of the spoon.
Fill a piping bag with a wide nozzle at the bottom with the remaining meringue mix. Pipe around the circumference of the circle (the outer edge) to form a little “basket” with a flatter center.
Note: Meringues must cook in a cool oven, so it is best to do in an oven that has not been used that day or at least not for 3 hours before.
Once completely cool, remove and store in an air tight container or Ziploc bag until ready to serve.
Beat Rich’s Whip till firm.
Place a spoonful of whip into each basket.
Place blueberries on top of whip and around sides of meringue on plate.
Drizzle chocolate sauce over the top.
Of course the ingredients for this dish vary according to what fruits are in season in your part of the world. For us right now, we still have most the summer fruits available so …
1 large papaya
2 golden delicious apples
1/2 Honeydew melon/ green melon
2 -3 bananas *
4 Passion fruit/ granadillas if you can get them fresh
juice from 2 – 3 oranges
* To stop bananas from turning brown, place the banana with its peel into a bowl of boiling water. Allow it to sit there until the skin turns black. Remove from the water, peel and slice.
Juice the oranges to begin with, so that as you put the fruit into the bowl, you can pour some juice over it to stop it turning brown.
Peel and slice all fruit into bite size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.
Pour rest of orange juice over the fruit, cover and place in refrigerator to chill.
Pour into serving dish when you are ready to use it.
In addition to the famous meringue and fruit salad, we always had some sort of home made parev ice cream.
Halva Ice Cream
6 eggs separated
1 box Kinneret Whip 16 oz. or 2 boxes Rich’s Whip
200 gram/ just under 8 oz. Halva
Beat whip till stiff. Set aside.
Place Halva in a bowl and using a fork, flake it into small flakes, but do not mash it. Put a little of the flaked mix aside for decoration.
With a fork, beat four of the yolks and add to the halva. Mix gently trying not to mash the halva.
Fold into the whipped topping.
Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites till they are stiff. and fold into the Halva mixture.
At this point you can put the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze till ready to serve. You must freeze this ice cream for at least 24 hours. However, I chose to make individual servings by putting cupcake holders into a muffin tin and adding 2 tablespoons of ice cream mixture into each cup.
Sprinkle each cup with a little flaked Halva that you had set aside, and cover the muffin pans with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 24 hours. At this point you can remove the cupcake holders from the muffin pans and place in an airtight freezer safe container until you are ready to serve them.
As my mom had her signature dish, I too have mine. It is my chocolate mousse. There is a funny story that goes with this recipe. I originally got this recipe from my Auntie Marcia in Israel. She always made the best chocolate mousse. Her recipe contained a tablespoon of sweet wine or sherry, but I eliminated this from my recipe. Many years later, she was visiting us in Johannesbureg, South Africa, and she asked me for my chocolate mousse recipe. I laughed so much as I told her it was her recipe! So, auntie Marc, this is our recipe, for which I have become pretty famous here in Atlanta.
200 grams chocolate chips or I prefer to use the Parev Elite Dark Chocolate Bars
1 box Rich’s Whip or 1and 1/4 cups Kinneret Whip
Break the chocolate into squares and place in a microwave safe dish. Add about 2 Tbs. of water to the dish and microwave on High for 1 minute 10 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir immediately to see that all the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
Separate eggs and add the yolks to the chocolate mixture while it is hot, stirring constantly so the egg yolks don’t curdle but they get absorbed into the chocolate mix. Set whites aside in a different bowl ready to beat.
Beat Whip till it is still. Gently fold the cooled chocolate mix into the whip. Fold till the chocolate is completely incorporated.
Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites till stiff. Fold them into the chocolate mix until they are fully mixed in. Be careful not to stir it, but to fold the whites in so that you do not lose their “fluffiness”.
Place in serving dish of your choice, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
I hope that you enjoy all my ideas for Rosh Hashanah, and at this point I want to wish you all
Le’Shana Tova Tikateivu Ve teichateimu. May you all be blessed with a wonderful, happy, and peaceful New Year and May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life.