It’s not Hanukkah, and I’m not Jewish, but I made rugelach from Nigella’s book Feast. I have a lot of respect for traditional foods, even if they are of no direct relevance to me, and especially if they taste good. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as making bread, and these contain chocolate… I didn’t need a lot of convincing to pull out my cake mixer.
Nigella says that these can also be made with jam or nuts, and the addition of yeast is optional. They do take time to make, although the process itself is not complicated or difficult. I’ll admit that mine don’t look very glamorous, and there’s a certain messiness that you can’t avoid when working with processed chocolate rubble, but the taste of these light, puffy, bready, chocolatey scrolls are certainly worth the effort, time permitting.
425 g flour
1/4 tsp salt
50 g caster sugar
3 tsp dried yeast (optional)
250 g butter, cold and diced
100 g cream cheese, roughly cut up with a spoon
60 ml sour cream
Mix the dried ingredients briefly, just so everything is evenly dispersed. Blend in the butter and cream cheese (I use my cake mixer here, with the scraper paddle, or the dough hook – the hook seems to give a lighter, puffier dough), until the mixture resembles damp sand. Nigella uses a food processor for this part.
Beat together the egg and sour cream, and add to the sandy mixture to form a dough.
Turn out and divide into 3 fat discs. Instead of a lightly floured surface as Nigella instructs, I had used 3 large pieces of baking paper, and then topped with another 3 pieces… a tip from Raymond Blanc (this makes rolling the dough out easier, later – just roll right on the paper instead of faffing about with the floured benchtop etc.). Refridgerate for at least an hour, or the dough can be frozen at this point.
When ready to continue, allow dough to come to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes (or thaw completely if frozen). While waiting, preheat the oven to 190°C, and make the filling.
250 g dark chocolate
50 g (light) brown sugar
50 g butter, melted
Use a processor to cut up the chocolate to crumbs, then mix in the brown sugar.
Roll out one of the discs on the paper (or a floured surface) to a 25 cm circle. Cut into 12 pieces (like slicing a pizza), but leave the pieces in position.
Brush on the melted butter, spread a thick layer of the filling evenly, right to the edge. Roll up each triangular piece from the outside edge inwards (croissant-fashion, although you’ll see from the photo that mine were not so crescent-like, but no matter).
Stand on a lined sheet (leave 2-3 cm of space between each rugelach) for ~20 minutes if yeast was used. Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with a large pinch of caster sugar); this step is not necessary, but it does give the rugelach a lovely brown finish.
Bake for 20 minutes. Just before the time’s up, make the glaze by melting 3 tbs caster sugar in 3 tbs boiling water. Once out of the oven, brush each rugelach with the sugar glaze for a shiny finish. These taste good both warm from the oven, and cold the next day.
PS Leaf-shaped small serving plates courtesy of DP.