Monday Morning Cooking Club: sweet recipes with heart and soul

Merelyn Chambers, Lisa Goldberg, Natanya Eskin and Jacqui Israel, of the Monday Morning Cooking Club. Picture: Alan Benson
Merelyn Chambers, Lisa Goldberg, Natanya Eskin and Jacqui Israel, of the Monday Morning Cooking Club. Picture: Alan Benson

After three best-selling cookbooks, the irrepressible Monday Morning Cooking Club returns with a stunning fourth book, a collection of mostly sweet heirloom recipes that are as treasured as they are mouthwatering.

Now for Something Sweet is the result of an intensive search to uncover, curate and celebrate the very best, most cherished sweet recipes from the Jewish community in Australia and around the world. Alongside the recipes, they recount heart-warming and poignant stories of family, friendship, community and survival.

Apple and jam oil cake

Apple and jam oil cake. Picture: Alan Benson

Apple and jam oil cake. Picture: Alan Benson

Ingredients

3 eggs

345g caster sugar

250ml oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

300g self-raising flour, sifted

60ml strawberry jam

3 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp cinnamon sugar (see note)

1 tbsp caster sugar, for sprinkling

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 24cm round springform cake tin.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and caster sugar until pale and creamy.

3. Add the oil and vanilla and beat until just combined. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour.

4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared tin, then dot with the strawberry jam and cover with half of the sliced apple. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Top with the remaining batter then the remaining apple slices. Finally, sprinkle over the tablespoon of caster sugar.

5. Bake for one hour then reduce the temperature to 160C (325°F/Gas 3) and bake for a further 30 minutes or until deep golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Note: To make cinnamon sugar, combine 230g caster sugar with two tablespoons of ground cinnamon. Store in an airtight jar and use as needed.

Serves about 10.

Cinnamon streusel babke

Cinnamon streusel babke. Picture: Alan Benson

Cinnamon streusel babke. Picture: Alan Benson

Ingredients

Dough:

565g plain flour, plus extra

150g caster sugar

1 tsp salt

60ml warm water

10g active dried yeast

1 tsp white sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

155g unsalted butter

80m pure cream

60ml milk

Filling:

100g unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm

80g sultanas

Cinnamon sugar:

25g ground cinnamon

375g caster sugar

Streusel topping:

90g plain flour

45g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped

55g caster sugar

Also needed:

50g unsalted butter, melted

Method

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 three hours or until doubled in volume.

4. To make the cinnamon sugar, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and set aside.

5. To make the streusel topping, rub together the flour, butter and sugar with your fingertips to make a fairly fine crumble. Set aside.

6. 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 onto a lightly floured benchtop. Do not knead or add more flour, as this will toughen the dough. Divide into two equal pieces. Roll out one piece to a large rectangle, about 65 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.

7. 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 two hours or until almost doubled in volume.

8. Preheat the oven to 170C. Bake for one 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.

Serves about 20.

Whisky and lime ice cream

Whisky and lime ice cream. Picture: Alan Benson

Whisky and lime ice cream. Picture: Alan Benson

Ingredients

4 egg yolks

250g caster sugar

125ml whisky

30ml lime juice

600ml pure cream

finely grated zest of 1 lime

Method

1. Start this recipe the day before serving. You will need a two litre freezer proof container, preferably with a lid.

2. Whisk the egg yolks together and slowly add half of the sugar, continuing to whisk until the mixture is smooth, thick and pale. Combine the whisky and lime juice, and add to the egg mixture, briefly whisking to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold the 2 mixtures together with the lime zest.

4. Pour the mixture into the container, cover and freeze overnight.

Serves about 10.

Romany creams

Romany creams. Picture: Alan Benson

Romany creams. Picture: Alan Benson

Ingredients

3 tsp unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder

60ml boiling water

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped

230g caster (superfine) sugar

185g desiccated coconut

300g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

150g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two large baking trays.

Now for Something Sweet by Monday Morning Cooking Club. Harper Collins, $49.99.

Now for Something Sweet by Monday Morning Cooking Club. Harper Collins, $49.99.

2. Combine the cocoa powder and boiling water and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Fold in the coconut, then sift together the flour and baking powder, and fold into the mixture until well combined.

3. Roll large teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and arrange on the prepared trays. You should end up with around 60 biscuits. Lightly press the tines of a fork on to the top of each ball. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden, then allow to cool.

4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler until just melted and still thick. Use the melted chocolate to sandwich the flat sides of the cookies together.

Makes 30.

  • Recipes from Now for Something Sweet by Monday Morning Cooking Club. Harper Collins, $49.99.
This story Recipes with heart and soul first appeared on The Canberra Times.