Chanukah may stir up memories of getting gold covered milk chocolate coins used to play dreidel games or just as one of eight gifts for the holiday. For me, I would rather have chocolate used in the baked goods that was bought at a kosher bakery such as Alan’s Bake Shop, located in Fresh Meadows.
“Parve” is the word that describes the cakes, cookies and bread. It means that neither meat nor dairy is used so that it does not clash with what you are eating, since the two should not be mixed in the same meal. Therefore, milk chocolate does not fall into play. According to Alan’s sales, Jewish people might as well be classified as “chocoholics.”
As the weekend approaches the challah breads become available both for those who break bread for the Sabbath or just anyone who loves the best French Toast. Does chocolate have anything to do with it? Yes, if it is one of many break away challahs made here. They resemble a round cake with separated buns and can contain fruit, chocolate or a combination of.
I have often wondered why chiffon cake could only be purchased at a kosher bakery, a cross between angel food and sponge. Oy, it is so delicious! Alan told me that it is probably due to it being a labored product as the eggs are separated. Yolks are first mixed into the batter and whipped egg whites are folded in. “We don’t use any type of mixes as all of our baked goods are made from scratch.” (Hmmm….is “scratch “on the money market?) Here, the chiffon cakes are sold in loaves and come in plain, marbled and CHOCOLATE. Other kosher bakeries have a sheet cake displayed where you buy it by the pound.
Babka is quite popular everywhere. They are made from a doubled and twisted length of yeast dough and comes in the flavors of cinnamon or CHOCOLATE with crumbs atop. Hey, don’t remove the big crumbs unless it’s your portion of the cake! If you crave that combination of chocolate and crumbs, a babka known as a “meltaway” is the one you want. It is like having a coffee cake shaped babka.
Chocolate covered brownies dipped in chocolate and covered with marshmallows. Did you just get sugar shock picturing that?
I recall eating each separate layer of the seven layer cakes. Chocolate frosting in between and topped with a layer of hard dark….CHOCOLATE.
Back to the holidays when fried food is featured. Time to make the deep-fried donuts called sufganiyah. Filled with jelly or custard and topped with powdered sugar, they are only available for Hanukkah the way hamentashen is paired with Purim. I wonder if they can make ‘em dipped in chocolate?
Let us not forget rugalach. I have eaten them soft. I have eaten them crunchy. I prepare the soft and Alan said that most of his customers feel the same way. What makes the difference is that yeast is used for the small batch and….CHOCOLATE is my top choice.
If you are looking for a pastry that contains almonds, you won’t find it here. Nuts to nuts. It may taste like almond, but is actually a paste made from debittered apricot kernels, sugar and water.
Alan’s Bake Shop is located at 189-09 Union Turnpike. 718-468-1243. Have a Happy Challahday!!!