Why is this man smiling?
We are at the half way point between the end of Succot and the beginning of Hanuka. Today we announced the upcoming month of Kislev and on the 25th of Kislev we light the first candle of Hanuka.
What has that got to do with my smiling man? Well, he holds a cake made with the grated rind of an etrog (citron fruit). Since this year was shmita we had to treat our Israel grown etrogim with special respect and we couldn't just let them dry up as usual. We were advised to use them in food. So we did. I made a cake like this right after the holiday (also many of my neighbors 'donated' their etrogim to the effort and received a small cake in return). But we put away 1/2 a cup of grated rind in the freezer and today we are having a festive half-way mark before Hanuaka as the month of Heshvan (sometimes called mar-heshvan or bitter heshvan for lack of holidays) wanes.
Here's the recipe:
1/2 a cup of margarine with 1 1/2 cups of sugar then add 4 eggs (beating them in one at a time)
100 grams (4 oz) grated semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup finely shaved citron peel (the recipe I took it from says you can also use candied orange or lemon peel)
2 1/3 cups of sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
alternatively with one cup of water or orange juice
Beat until smooth.
Bake in a moderate oven.
I usually bake this in loaf pans but this time I wanted to put half of it away so I used two small heart shaped pans which I have around. It also comes out nice in a bundt pan.
Usually I serve it with powdered sugar on top but the man found the other chocolate bar and melted it on top of the cakes. It tasted good but in my opinion the cake is sweet enough without the chocolate icing.