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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sephardi Alternative to Honey Cake: Tispishti

Commentor tdr requested this flourless cake recipe from me. It is a traditional Sephardi Rosh Hashana recipe and those who are accustomed to forgoing nuts will quickly notice it has lots of nuts in it. If you don't eat nuts on Rosh Hashana, but want to give this recipe a try, save it for Pesach. It beats any Pesach cake you can buy on the market hands down, and will put Pesach cake mixes to shame.

My regular readers will also notice it isn't the most frugal of recipes. But, considering I'm using the ground nuts that were leftover from the Pesach charoset, and that have been sitting in my freezer, I can say it didn't cost me anything more than what I already had to spend.

Recipe adapted from Sephardic Holiday Cooking by Gilda Angel (my holiday cooking bible).

Cake batter:

6 eggs separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon liquor (the author uses Whiskey, I've used Hazelnut liquor or Almond liquor. Whatever is in our home-which isn't much-should work)
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups ground walnuts (I imagine almonds would work too)
grated rind of orange and lemon

Syrup: (Heat in microwave or boil over stove)
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat egg yolks until think and lemon colored. Add sugar and beat until smooth.
Stir in vanilla, liquor, water, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, ground nuts, and grated rinds.
Beat separated eggs whites until they are stiff. Fold together batter and egg whites.
Pour into a greased baking pan. I used a circle baking pan because it gives a nice presentation.
Bake 30 minutes more or less.

Poke holes in cake with a fork. Drown cake in syrup.

This is a rich recipe. It has been a hit amongst guests, but you can't eat too much of it. I recommend serving with fresh fruit.

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