Club sweet on fourth book

Monday Morning Cooking Club is (from left) Lisa Goldberg, Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin...
Monday Morning Cooking Club is (from left) Lisa Goldberg, Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin and Jacqui Israel. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Monday Morning Cooking Club has been on a mission to uncover, test and preserve as many sweet recipes it can for its latest book, Now For Something Sweet.

The book is a collection of sweet recipes from Jewish homes around the world.

"These are simply the recipes we are most excited to share. And the ones you’ll catch us eating straight from the tray/tin/bowl/jar in the corner of the kitchen, again and again."

THE BOOK: Now For Something Sweet, by  Monday Morning Cooking Club, published by HarperCollins,...
THE BOOK: Now For Something Sweet, by Monday Morning Cooking Club, published by HarperCollins, RRP $54.99.
Monday Morning Cooking Club (MMCC) was born in 2006 when a group of Australian women - Lisa Goldberg, Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin and Jacqui Israel - got together in Sydney to talk food.

Now For Something Sweet is the MMCC’s fourth book after it published The Food, The Stories, The Sisterhood in 2013, The Feast Goes On in 2014 and It’s Always About the Food in 2017.

"We’ve searched for Sydney’s best, looked for Australia’s heirloom masterpieces and explored the dishes of the global Jewish diaspora.

"Now it’s time for something sweet. These are recipes we will make and remake."

The book covers every sweet type imaginable, covering biscuits, squares and bars, doughs, pastry, sweet cheese, desserts and four types of cake - the everyday cake, the chocolate cake, the occasion cake and the chiffon cake - and finishes with "an extra something" (for when the cravings strike) and "a drink and a nut" (aka savoury snackables).

Like the earlier books, the recipes incorporate the stories and histories of the food.

"We continue to weave the tapestry of a culturally diverse, uniquely food-obsessed community that loves to cook and, most importantly, nurture those we love through food."

MMCC has also incorporated handy "how tos" with step-by-step instructions for making things such as sugar syrup, custard, yeast, pastry, chiffon and bake a basic cake.

Chocolate and hazelnut cake

Serves 12

180g (1¾ cups) ground hazelnuts

180g (¾ cups) caster sugar

180g dark chocolate, chopped

280ml (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) water

2 Tbsp instant coffee granules

4 Tbsp fine matzo meal or fine breadcrumbs

80ml (⅓ cup) oil

7 eggs, separated

Chocolate glaze

100g dark chocolate, chopped

1 Tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp unsalted butter or oil

60ml (¼ cup) water

Also needed

50g (⅓ cup) roasted hazelnuts

Method

Heat the oven to 180degC.

Line the base and sides of a 26cm springform cake tin.

In a medium saucepan, combine the ground hazelnuts, sugar, chocolate, water and coffee granules. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook on low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the matzo meal or breadcrumbs and the oil, stirring well.

Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly, then add the egg yolks, beating well to combine. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. With a metal spoon or spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, undo the latch on the cake tin and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the glaze

Place the chocolate, sugar, butter and water in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring from time to time, until it is a smooth and shiny glaze. Set aside to cool until it is a thick consistency.

To serve

Place the cake on a serving plate and spread the chocolate glaze over the top, encouraging it to drip down the sides of the cake. If you wish, scatter the hazelnuts on top (we forgot!).

Cinnamon streusel babke

Serves 20

Dough

565g (3¾ cups) plain flour, plus extra

150g (⅔ cup) caster sugar

1 tsp salt

60ml (¼ cup) warm water

10g (1½ sachets/3½ tsp)

active dried yeast

1 tsp white (granulated) sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

155g unsalted butter

80ml (⅓ cup) pure cream

60ml (¼ cup milk

Filling

100g unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm

80g (½ cup) sultanas

Cinnamon sugar

25g (2½ Tbsp) ground cinnamon

375g (1⅔ cups) caster sugar

Streusel topping

90g (⅔ cup) plain flour

45g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped

55g (¼ cup) caster sugar

Also needed

50g unsalted butter, melted

Method

Combine the flour, caster sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and white sugar and allow to stand for 10 minutes or until frothy, to ensure the yeast is active. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and the yolk.

In a small saucepan, warm the butter, cream and milk together until the butter is just melted; do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside until it is lukewarm.

Pour the yeast mixture into the well then add the eggs and the milk mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine then gradually incorporate the flour until you have a rough dough. Using the dough hook attachment, knead on low-medium speed for 10 minutes or until you have a smooth dough that starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with baking paper and plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 3 hours or until doubled in volume.

To make the cinnamon sugar

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and set aside.

To make the streusel topping

Rub together the flour, butter and sugar with your fingertips to make a fairly fine crumble. Set aside.

Line a round 30cm cake tin or a deep square 25cm baking dish. When the dough has risen, punch it down by throwing the dough on to a lightly floured benchtop. Do not knead or add more flour, as this will toughen the dough. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll out 1 piece to a large rectangle, about 65cm x 40cm.

Brush with half the melted butter, sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar and scatter over half the sultanas. Roll up lengthways to form a log. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Cut each log into 5cm sections. Place these in a circular fashion into the prepared tin, starting from the outside, cut side up, leaving about 1cm between each one. Once the pieces are all in place and evenly distributed in the tin, press down gently with your hand so they are all the same height. Brush with the extra melted butter and then sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping. Cover with a light tea towel and allow to rise for a further 2 hours or until almost doubled in volume.

Heat the oven to 170degC . Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Serve warm or cover with a light tea towel until cool. If you wish, reheat it later, wrapped in foil.

Lemon syrup cake

Serves 12

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped

350g (1½ cups) caster sugar

4 eggs

350g (2⅓ cups) self-raising flour

pinch of salt

finely grated zest of 2 lemons

125ml (½ cup) milk, at room temperature

Lemon syrup

160g (1 cup) icing sugar

juice of 3 lemons

Lemon icing

320g (2 cups) pure icing sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Also needed

50g (½ cup) slivered almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

Method

Heat the oven to 180degC. Grease and line the base of a 25cm round cake tin.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine the flour, salt and lemon zest. Add to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk in 3 batches until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the icing sugar and lemon juice, and stir until dissolved.

Gently heat without boiling the syrup.

Prick the cake all over with a skewer, gently pour over the warm syrup and leave to cool completely.

To make the icing

Whisk together the icing sugar and just enough of the lemon juice to form a thick icing. Turn the cake out of the tin and place it on a serving plate right-way up or with the flat side on top, whichever you prefer. Pour the icing over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Sprinkle with the almonds.

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