The Jerusalem Post

Pascale’s Kitchen: Stunning Rosh Hashanah confections

 THREE-LAYER Walnut Cream Cake. (photo credit: TAL SIVAN-ZIPORIN)
THREE-LAYER Walnut Cream Cake.
(photo credit: TAL SIVAN-ZIPORIN)

The first recipe is for a three-layer walnut cream cake. The second is for streusel profiteroles with apple cream. And the third is for a cinnamon and apple mascarpone pavlova. 

As we usher in the Jewish New Year, I would like to help enrich your dessert repertoire with a few original recipes that look like they were made in an upscale bakery. To that end, I recently met with pastry chef Ofer Gal from the bakery chain Boutique Central, which I love to visit from time to time. This is the perfect time of year to indulge ourselves and learn new dessert recipes and innovations.

Gal is an incredible – and humble – pastry chef who graduated from the Ferrandi Paris School of Culinary Arts, which specializes in rich, high-quality, precise baking. In other words, to properly prepare these cakes, you will need to use a kitchen scale.

For more of Pascale's recipes, click here>>

The first recipe is for a three-layer walnut cream cake. The second is for streusel profiteroles with apple cream. And the third is for a cinnamon and apple mascarpone pavlova. 


All three of these cakes are dairy but can be made parve by substituting margarine for butter in a 1:1 ratio, and by swapping 100 ml. of dairy cream with 60 ml. of parve whipping cream – whipped up with 40 ml. of water. 

Because these recipes are a bit more sophisticated than those I usually share with you, I recommend reading the directions all the way through to the end before you begin gathering all the necessary ingredients and utensils. This way, you will be sure to have everything on hand before you start. 

 THE WRITER with pastry chef Ofer Gal. (credit: HAGIT GOREN)
THE WRITER with pastry chef Ofer Gal. (credit: HAGIT GOREN)

Moreover, these cakes take longer to prepare, so plan ahead and give yourself some extra time. And take my word for it, you will be so happy that you took the extra time to achieve these stunning professional cakes to serve at your festive Rosh Hashanah table.

Shana tova! 

Three-Layer Walnut Cream Cake

Use three greased round pans with an 18 cm. diameter. 



  • 100 ml. water
  • 120 ml. canola oil
  • 150 gr. honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 120 gr. sugar
  • 200 gr. flour, sifted
  • 4 gr. baking powder
  • 4 gr. baking soda
  • 3 gr. cinnamon
  • 1 gr. ground cloves

Walnut cream:

  • 100 ml. sweet cream
  • 150 gr. white chocolate
  • 75 gr. walnut cream (can be purchased in specialty stores)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 gr. gelatin powder
  • 200 ml. sweet cream
  • 50 gr. walnuts, roasted and chopped

Honey syrup:

  • 250 ml. water
  • 150 ml. honey
  • 20 ml. (3 Tbsp.) brandy 

To prepare the dough:

Pour the water and the oil into a pot, and heat over medium heat. Once it has warmed up, remove the pot from the heat and add the honey. Mix well, then set aside. 

Add the eggs to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment, and mix at high speed. While mixing, gradually add the sugar until the mixture firms up. 

Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and slowly sift in the flour, folding it in with a spatula. Then, gently fold in the oil mixture. Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix well, then separate the dough into three sections and place each one in a round greased pan. Flatten the dough. 

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 150° for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and dry. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool down. 

To prepare the walnut cream:

Place 100 ml. of sweet cream in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Place the white chocolate in a bowl, then pour the hot cream on top and mix until smooth. Add the walnut cream and the egg yolks. 

In a separate bowl, mix the gelatin powder with 3 teaspoons of cold water and mix well. (If you are using a gelatin sheet, submerge it in the water until it has softened.) Add the gelatin mixture to the walnut cream mixture and mix well. Place the bowl in the fridge.

Whip the rest of the sweet cream (200 ml.) with a balloon whisk attachment. Then, fold it into the cream that’s been resting in the fridge. Fold in the chopped walnuts, then place the bowl back into the fridge. 

To prepare the syrup: 

First boil the water, then add the honey and brandy. Mix well. 

Now it’s time to put the cake together. Transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a #10 flat tip.

Place the first cake on a serving platter and drizzle the syrup on top. Then, squeeze on mounds of cream and add the second cake on top. Drizzle more syrup on top, then add a layer of cream. Add the third cake and then another layer of cream mounds so that the cake is completely covered. Sprinkle walnut pieces on top. 

  • Level of difficulty: Medium
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Status: Dairy

Streusel Profiteroles with Apple Cream

Makes 30 cream puffs.

Streusel crumble topping:

  • 115 gr. butter, cubed
  • 140 gr. Demerara sugar
  • 130 gr. flour, sifted


  • 100 ml. water
  • 100 ml. milk
  • 80 gr. butter
  • 10 gr. sugar
  • 5 gr. salt
  • 125 gr. flour, sifted
  • 3 eggs

Apple mixture:

  • 3 apples
  • 60 gr. sugar
  • 30 gr. butter
  • 20 gr. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. brandy


  • 300 ml. milk
  • 60 gr. sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 30 gr. cornflour
  • 1 vanilla bean

To prepare the streusel: 

Place all the streusel ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and mix for a few seconds at a time until mixed well.

Transfer the streusel to a baking sheet, then add another sheet of baking paper on top, and roll out the streusel until it is ½ cm. thick. Then, take a glass with a diameter that is the same as the diameter of the profiteroles, and cut out circles from the sheet of streusel. Place the circles on a tray and put them in the freezer.

To prepare the dough: 

Add the water, milk, and butter to a pot and heat over medium-low heat. Once all the ingredients have dissolved, add the sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Add all the flour at once and mix vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Continue cooking the mixture for another 3 minutes so that some of the liquid can evaporate. 

Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer to knead at medium speed. Add in the eggs one at a time, and mix well. 

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a #10 flat tip. Squeeze out mounds onto a tray that is lined with baking paper, making sure to leave space between each one. Take the frozen streusel circles out of the freezer and place one on top of each profiterole.

Place the tray in an oven that has been preheated to 180° and bake for 25 minutes. Lower the temperature to 150° and continue baking, with the door of the oven open, for another 10 minutes. This way, the profiteroles can slowly dry and get a little crispy. Then, take the tray out and let the profiteroles cool completely. 

To prepare the apple mixture: 

Peel and slice the apples into small pieces. Melt the sugar in a pot over medium heat. When it begins to caramelize, add the apple pieces, the butter, and the honey. Mix well, then lower the heat and add the brandy. Stir the mixture and continue cooking for 8 more minutes until the apple pieces have softened. 

Drain off any liquid from the apple mixture. 

To prepare the cream: 

Pour the milk into a separate pot and bring to a boil. 

In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together. Gradually add the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture, very slowly, while whisking constantly so that the temperature rises slowly enough to prevent the eggs from cooking. Pour the mixture back into the pot, and warm it over medium heat. Continue whisking vigorously. Once the cream reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add the apple mixture. Mix, then transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. 

To prepare the profiteroles: 

Cut off the streusel tops, fill the inside with the apple cream, and then place the streusel back on top. Just before serving, drizzle caramel or other sauce on top. 

  • Level of difficulty: Medium
  • Time: 90 minutes 
  • Status: Dairy

Cinnamon and Apple Mascarpone Pavlova

Use a 21cm. diameter round pan.


  • 50 gr. hazelnuts
  • 4 (120 gr.) egg whites
  • 120 gr. sugar
  • 120 gr. powdered sugar

Cinnamon mascarpone mousse:

  • 200 gr. mascarpone cheese
  • 50 ml. sweet cream
  • 30 gr. powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

Caramelized apples:

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 100 gr. butter
  • 100 gr. sugar
  • 30 gr. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. brandy

To prepare the meringue: 

Roast the hazelnuts for 15 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 130°. Let the nuts cool, then chop them coarsely.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat them until stiff peaks form. Then, gradually add the sugar while mixing until the mixture is firm and shiny.

Take the bowl out of the mixer and gradually fold in the powdered sugar and the chopped nuts with a spatula.

Spread the meringue out on a tray that is lined with baking paper or a silpat baking mat so that it is 1.5cm thick.

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 100° for 2 hours until the meringue has dried, but remains white.

To prepare the mousse: 

Place the mascarpone cheese and the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until light and fluffy. Fold in the powdered sugar and cinnamon. 

To prepare the caramelized apples:

Peel and slice the apples into thick pieces. Melt the butter in the microwave, and then mix it into the apple slices. Line a tray with a silpat baking mat or baking paper, and spread the apple pieces on it. Sprinkle the sugar on top. 

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 200° for 20 minutes until the apples have caramelized.

Remove the apples from the oven and transfer them to a bowl. Add the honey and the brandy and mix well. 

To put the cake together: 

Break the meringue into large pieces and arrange them on a clear serving platter. 

Transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a #17 flat tip. Squeeze out the cream onto the cake in a spiral form. Add the apple pieces on top of the cream. Then, add more cream and drizzle on top any liquid leftover from the caramelized apples. 

Store in the fridge until just before serving. 

  • Level of difficulty: Difficult
  • Time: 2.5 hours, including time for drying meringue 
  • Status: Dairy

For anyone who loves baking

I recently received a copy of Lessons in Creative Baking, a new and distinctive pastry cookbook published by the Danon Culinary Institute in Tel Aviv, which has become an authority in culinary training in Israel in recent years.

The Lessons in Creative Baking cookbook features 70 of Danon students’ favorite recipes. Within its pages, you will find recipes for pastries that range from classic to ultra-modern. Essentially, the cookbook tells the story of the students’ experiences and is a unique project that sums up Danon’s professional pastry course, during which students get to experience working in a real-life pastry shop.

Located at the Tel Aviv Port, the Danon student bakery is open to the public on Friday mornings, offering breads, pastries, cakes, and desserts prepared by the institute’s instructors and students. In the book, you’ll find recipes for the most popular desserts that are sold each week at the student bakery, such as malabi cruffin, citrus dacquoise, millefeuille croissant, cornflake tart, and many other delectable treats.

The cookbook is divided into four chapters. The chapter on Best Sellers includes students’ favorite items sold in the bakery. The chapter on Serving Platters includes recipes for cakes and desserts that are baked on trays and then cut up and sold by weight. The chapter on Croissants includes a step-by-step tutorial on how to make croissant dough at home. The final chapter on Breads features recipes that anyone can follow.

The recipes included in the Lessons in Creative Baking cookbook vary in level of difficulty, making them suitable for pastry enthusiasts at all skill levels. Novice bakers will find detailed explanations, information about ingredients, and step-by-step guidance for making impressive desserts like pavlova or St. Honoré cake. 

Both beginners and experienced bakers will learn from the thought processes behind the recipes and gain insight into the creative methods that are the foundation of pastry making, and help them create their own personal and original pastries.

The cookbook was co-authored by chef pâtissier Meir Danon and chef pâtissier Lior Shtaygman, the director of the school’s pastry program. Anyone who loves baking and for whom the world of patisserie is not just a hobby will be delighted to purchase this cookbook or receive it as a sweet gift for Rosh Hashanah.

The Hebrew-language hardcover cookbook is 294 pages, costs NIS 220, and is available for purchase on the Danon Culinary Institute website: 

Translated by Hannah Hochner.