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eG Food Blog: Lior (2011)


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Saturday afternoon was spent cooking some basics. My older children return Saturday evening to their homes, as the week here begins on Sunday. I cook for Saturday lunch (lunch here is the main meal), to eat with them, as well as for them to take home for the week, as they are overly busy at their careers or studies. The standard here, as all over Israel is chicken. Often it is chicken schniztel, which I rarely make!

chicken for shabbat.jpg

Spicy cherry chicken

cherry spicy chicken.jpg

Honey mustard paprika chicken

honey mustard paprika chicken.jpg

Chili chicken

chili chicken.jpg

SO everyone gets a bit of this and a bit of that.

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Very basic! I use tart cherry preserves. I like a certain Romanian brand. I spread it on the chicken. No oil or anything, just the chicken and the preserves. Then you sprinkle on spices. I used my dried hot peppers that I ground in my thermomix. I am sure you can do this in a processor. Also sprinkle some paprika,sumac or anything you like. I put into a very hot oven-220C for 15 mins and then lower to 200 and then 180. One hour total or until it looks just right. Either serve immediately-always the best option! Or allow to cool uncovered and then cover and place into a good container. Very basic and simple and quick. :smile:

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Have had a very hectic day. You know, doing a million things in the span of a day, and tring to enjoy them as well... One of the things was making chocolate.

An old photo of my chocolate kitchen, for those who have not been on the pastry forum

I think these are the messiest ones ever!!!

messy kitchen2.jpg

messy kitchen3.jpg

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I have been working on chocolates for the holiday season. Mostly Chanukah, but also quite a lot of christmas ones as I am sending friends abroad some chocolates, and there are friends here that celebrate christmas as well, from all sorts of sectors...

This is the chocolate I used first: Dark 70% from Valrhona and milk from Callebaut:


up close:


melting dark chocolate in a small tempering machine

dark choc.jpg

melting milk in another small tempering machine

tempering milk choc.jpg

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These are my two tempering machines. I also use two melters when necessary.


After the chocolate has been melted to the correct temperature, I add in "seed", which is just solid chocolate. This is part of the crytalization process required for preparing chocolate. Once the temperature of the chocolate reaches working temperature (after being agitated and "seeded"), it cools down to the temperature required. At this point I remove the left over "seed".

Almost ready!

almost tempered milk choc.jpg

Remove left over "seed"

take out seed.jpg

I por the chocolate into a piping bag and am ready to make shapes.

piping milk choc.jpg

Edited by Lior (log)
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While the chocolate is getting tempered, I need to buff up the molds I use. I do this by using a hair dryer, which warms up the molds, melts any chocolate left on them and warms up any residual cocoa butter, This is good to do as it cleans out any dust, any the cocoa butter gets buffed and this makes for shiny chocolate pieces! I use cotton to buff.

Chanukah molds

hanukah pvc molds1.jpg

Christmas molds

xmas pvc molds.jpg

warm molds!

cleaning pvc molds.jpg

cleaning and buffing

cleaning molds1.jpg

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Now, I need to pipe the melted and tempered chocolate into the molds

molds filled.jpg

sevivon filled.jpg

Next, I put them aside to crystalize (harden)

molds crystallizing.2jpg.jpg

When I look at the bottom of the molds, I can tell if the chocolate has shrunk back and detracted itself from the mold. This is a sign that it is ready to be taken out of the mold

milk chocolate xmas and chanukah.jpg

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Oh my gosh! blush! Thank you all so much! Life is weird, isn't it. I am also a high school teacher by the way, and I am preparing a powerpoint presentation on "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. I nearly uploaded the pictures here-lol!! :laugh:

SO back to delightful hedgehogs.

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I like my hedgehogs a lot. I like them to look textured so I have this cool method. Chocolatiers out there-be quiet, I know it is not special for you!!! I dip my finger into dark chocolate and shmear it well inside the hollow shape. I do this for each hedgehog. Then with the tip of a number zero paintbrush, I do the nose and eyes. This crystalizes and then I do a coating of milk chocolate. To make the "shell" I fill the shmeared hedges with milk chocolate, bang and shake to remove airbubbles, just like when making plaster of paris molds with the kids, and then empty out the chocolate. I will have to get hubby to take a picture of the chocolate "raining" out of the mold, as I worked alone, as I usually do so I could not coordinate the process along with photography!! :wink:

Here, if you look carefully you can see thenose and eyes on some of them. This is a picture of the inside of the mold:

hedgehog prep.jpg

mold 2

hedgehog prep2.jpg

The way it looks from the outside of the mold

hedgehogs ouside view.jpg

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Now I fill them with milk chocolate, then empty them.

hedgehogs filled with milk choc.jpg

I knock this, and bang it and wobble it (often to a song in my mind) until no air bubbles rise to the surface. Then I turn it upside down to let all the chocolate "rain out". Then this is set aside until it crystalizes...

hedgehogs after rain.jpg


hedgehogs after rain2.jpg

SO after this hardens I can fill it with my ganache, which as I stated previously, is a hazelnut milk and dark chocolate ganache. Hedgehogs seem nutty to me and so this is why I chose their filling as such.

Tomorrow I will photograph the finished hedges. Until then, a friend recently asked me a riddle-how do hedgehogs mate? Quite amusing actually...

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