Saturday, 4 July 2009


This is what I had for breakfast this morning. Not that anyone really wants to know!

What are they? Rugelach!

Rugelach is a Jewish pastry of Askenazic origin. It looks a bit like a mini chocolate croissant but it doesn't taste like one and if you expect it to then you will be disappointed. It's not as sweet as a chocolate croissant and not flaky at all. The dough can be made with cream cheese, and indeed mine is, but those who want to eat them after meat and keep things Kosher will leave out the cream cheese. I have used yeast in my dough but this is not bread and it does not require kneading. The yeast is just added as an extra ingredient.

My recipe comes courtesy of Nigella Lawson's Feast and are filled with dark chocolate, which was why I was lured to them in the first place, but they can be made with a variety of fillings such as walnuts, raisins, cinnamon etc. The recipe makes 36 but this isn't a problem as you can freeze two thirds of the dough to make another small batch later (which is a very simple thing to do).


(Nigella Lawson: Feast)

425g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
50g caster sugar
1 packet (3 teaspoons) easy-blend yeast, optional
250g cold butter, diced
100g cream cheese, cut or spooned into pieces
1 egg
60ml sour cream

Briefly process the flour, salt and sugar, and yeast if you're using it, just to combine them, and then add the diced butter and cream cheese pieces, and process again until the mixture resembles damp sand.

Beat the egg and sour cream together, and with the engine running, pour down the funnel of the processor. Continue running the motor until it comes together in a silky dough; it will seem like it won't make a dough, but leave the motor running and be patient.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, and divide into three, forming each one into a fat disc. Put the discs into freezer bags and leave in the fridge to rest for an hour though you can leave them there for longer - just taking them out about 10-15 minutes before you want to get rolling. (It's at this point that you should put 2 of your 3 discs in the freezer if you want to make them up another day.)

250g dark chocolate
50g light brown sugar
50g butter

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of caster sugar

3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons boiling water

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Process the chocolate until it's battered into rubble, and then put these dark brown crumbs into a bowl with the sugar, using your fingers to mix them together.

Melt the butter separately and let it cool slightly.

Roll out one of the discs of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a circle 25cm in diameter. With a knife, divide the circle into 12 triangles, like you would divide a pizza, only don't pull apart the triangles yet.Brush the circle of triangles with the melted butter, and then spread or sprinkle a third of the chocolate filling to cover the circle. Then very carefully pull away one triangle at a time, rolling each one up from the thick end to the narrow end to form a bulging curly-whirly crescent; think of a croissant.

Follow this procedure with all the dough discs and their filling.Put the rugelach on to lined baking sheets (if you've used yeast, let stand on the tins as they are for 20 minutes) and brush each one with the egg wash, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

When they come out of the oven, browned and puffy, mix the sugar and water together for the glaze, and brush the rugelach with this to make them shiny. Let them cool on a rack.

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P.S. I also had some fruit so it wasn't a completely non-nutritional breakfast!

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