International Chocolate Cake Day
by Molly Livingstone
July 7th is International Chocolate Day. Is it a Jewish Holiday? No. Not yet. Not that I know of. But it really should be. It fits right in with the rest of our foodie holidays, from honey and apples at Rosh HaShanah to cheesecake at Shavuot.
So let’s celebrate. Let’s consume loads of chocolate wherever you are in the world. And as for Israel Forever, we of course believe in giving you more than just a taste.
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem’s Head Pastry Chef, Claude BenSimon, has unveiled two new chocolate dishes, which have been added to the menu of the King’s Court Restaurant in the hotel’s famed lobby. And, yes, we have them just for you.
The hotel, which opened in 2014, has been named the Top Hotel In the Middle East and #7 in the world by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and has already been praised by the international community for its innovative cuisine.
A second generation pastry chef, Bensimon was trained in the bakeshops and pastry kitchens of Paris including time at the Michelin-rated Taillevent restaurant as well as working underneath famed pastry designer Jacques Genin. In 2001, he fulfilled his long-time dream of moving to Israel and in 2013 with the opening of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem he joined the hotel as head Pastry Chef.
Check out the recipes below and share your favorites with us too! Eat plenty of chocolate and connect with Israel one sweet bite at a time!
“Louie’s Mousse”—Chef Claude Ben-Simon
Yields up to 5 medium cups
Part 1—Milk Chocolate Chantilly Cream
1 ¼ cup (10 fl oz) Heavy Cream
1 ¼ cup (1/2 lb) Milk Chocolate
• Bring the cream to a boil and then add, in 3 parts, the boiling cream into the chocolate while stirring during every addition
• Allow the cream to cool down for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator
• After it has cooled, place the cream in a pastry bag with a st. honore nozzle
Part 2—Vanilla Crumble
5 ½ oz (11 Tbsp) cold butter cut into cubes
2 ¾ oz (6 ½ Tbsp) sugar
1 ¼ Tbsp salt
1 ¼ cups flour
2 ½ cups crumbled almonds
3 oz light brown sugar
• Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
• Add the butter and mix gently until you get the dough becomes pea size crumble
• Move the mixture into a baking pan with parchment paper and bake at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and crispy
• Take the pan out and put on the side to cool
Part 3—Exotic Coulis
3 ½ oz (7 Tbsp) banana puree
2 ¾ oz mango puree
1 ½ oz apricot puree
2 ¼ oz passion fruit puree
1 stick of vanilla bean, scraped
¼ cup white sugar
• In a medium sized pan, add the fruit purees.
• Scrape the vanilla pod into the pan, and mix with the sugar over a low flame.
• While the pan is on a medium flame, bring the mixture to a boil for about 7 minutes until the mixture becomes thick to nappe consistency.
• Remove from the flame and set aside in the refrigerator before using.
• In a medium sized cup, first place a spoonful of exotic coulis.
• Over this place 2 spoonfuls of vanilla crumble.
• Pipe out the cream to the rim of the cup.
• Decorate with crushed nuts and serve.
Molly Livingstone is a freelance reporter and comedian, not to mention a mother of two, living in Jerusalem. While playing all those roles, the script remains the same, showing the world the Israel that she sees everyday, from the people and places, to the culture and definitely the food.