This week's bake is MANDELBROYT, that dry almond cookie that I've been munching on since childhood. Many years later, as an adult living in New York City, I was introduced to "biscotti". They were very similar, except biscotti came in a variety of flavors and had a harder texture. Both were good dipped into hot coffee and I always thought of them interchangeably. So this week, along with all of my Mandelbroyt savvy taste testers, I looked forward to biting into that most familiar of cookies. We were all surprised, and disappointed, when we didn't recognize what came out of the oven.
At first glance the recipe sounded a lot richer than most biscotti recipes I've made but I followed it to the letter, only replacing the glace fruit (think FRUITCAKE) with the alternative chocolate chips. The dough was much wetter, tackier and more delicate than any biscotti dough I've worked with. I resisted the temptation to add
more flour. Instead I used a variety of spatulas and bench knives to help form the shaggy dough into two logs on a non-stick surface.
As an experiment, I sprinkled flour on top of the second log to aid in shaping. When they were baked you couldn't tell which was which.
Putting on the egg wash was a delicate matter because
the surface of the dough remained very sticky.
Both logs baked up beautifully, spreading considerably
in width, and happily neither stuck to the bottom.
Anna gently glazed both loaves with simple syrup. It made them glisten, but left the surface slightly sticky, so I doubt I'll do that again.
Once completely cool, the loaves were sliced on the diagonal,
exposing the walnuts & chocolate chips, while the
heady aroma of almond paste filled the air.
Everyone who tried some basically said the same thing --
"it's delicious but it's soft cake, NOT MANDLEBROYT"
I agree. This reminded me of what's offered at a "coffee and cake reception" following services at Temple. It was cake that was baked once, not cut and returned to dry out in the oven. Those of us who grew up in NYC and NJ were especially disappointed. Some of my taste testers came with hopes of tasting something close to the Mandelbroyt made by their late aunts & Nanas. Then I noticed the adjoining recipe in the cookbook was for Kamishbroyt (Jewish Biscotti). No one I mentioned this word to had ever heard of it before. A Google search indicated it was an interchangeable term for Mandelbroyt. Maybe someplace, but not in the neighborhoods where we grew up. There was only one thing left for me to do.
A quick scan of the Kamishbroyt recipe seemed very familiar. For many years my business BONNI BAKES made 13 types of "Biscotti To Die For". I was home again. This recipe was for a lean dough, highlighted by the addition of toasted almond halves. From the get go, it was drier, came together easily and was a pleasure to shape.
It baked up into relatively flat & wide large golden loaf.
The directions called for slicing the hot loaf right out of the oven.
Separated slices were returned to the oven to bake at a lower temperature for 20-30 minutes, until dry and golden.
THIS IS WHAT WE ALL KNOW AS MANDELBROYT
according those of us who tasted some Saturday. But it won't
be official until Leona and Sharon try some and let us
know if it comes close to the tastes they remember.
THIS WEEK'S BAKE: SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE
No controversy here, this cake is a JEWISH CLASSIC
soft delicate cake with streusel & walnuts
Anna & I will be baking it on Friday.
Stop by to sample some between 2-4pm Friday at
my home, The TreeHouse, just down the driveway at
932 12th St., Bradenton (Village of the Arts)
It's also an ArtWalk Weekend Fri 6-9:30pm & Sat 11-4
I will be open for the ArtWalk on Saturday from 11-4
with limited amounts of
Chocolate Orgasm Cookies
Homemade Jam & Chutney
Cookies made with Belgium Chocolate
Mandlebroyt (the first cake-like recipe w/almond & choc)
samples of POLISH POTATO BREAD (while it lasts)
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want
to order something for Friday pickup
Everything is limited availability. Orders are only guaranteed if you receive an email confirmation.
Any questions, call me at (941) 746-6647
Hugs from the kitchen,