Master Chef 2 Israel – The Winner Is…..
You could feel the tension in the air as the 3 contestants squared off in the kitchen Saturday night.
The three finalist were soon narrowed down to two after Emanuel (the pilot) prepared his version of the traditional Arab dessert dish “kanafeh”. Unfortunately the judges gave Emanuel a thumbs down because his “kanafeh” came out of the oven slightly burned….oh no!! Because the “kanafeh” had cooked for too long the ricotta cheese filling was runny.
Then there were two…Avi and Eliav. For the final dish Avi prepared a meat heavy concoction and Eliav prepared a beautiful baklava dish. In the end Avi took the Master Chef title for 2011 and foodies throughout Israel have had what to talk about ever since.
In last week’s semi final round Avi prepared his version of Algerian Yoyo cookies – little donuts filled with almond cream. Following the show food journalists began to question the origin of Yoyo cookies. Seems they are Moroccan and not Algerian although Avi grew up with them….and he’s of Algerian descent. It really doesn’t matter. Judge Michal Ansky looked like she had died and gone to heaven when she bit into a Yoyo cookie.
You can watch Avi prepare this recipe here.
Here’s the recipe:
Yoyo Cookies – 12 servings
What you need:
For the cookies...
½ cup sugar
10 grams (small bag) baking powder
¾ cup oil
750 grams flour
For the syrup...
2 cups sugar
A bit less than 2 cups water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
For the filling...
150 grams almonds (without skin)
2 tablespoons sugar
50 grams butter
1 tablespoon almond extract
½ tablespoon rose water
For almond cream...
½ cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons cream cheese or crème fraiche
What to do:
Prepare the batter…
1. In a mixer fitted with the dough hook mix the eggs for 2 minutes. Add the sugar, baking powder and immediately the oil. Knead for 7 minutes until well combined.
2. Add the flour slowly and continue to mix until the dough is combined and sticky. Set aside…after an hour you will make the dough balls for frying.
Prepare the syrup…
1. Cook the water and sugar for 50 minutes on a low flame. At the end of the cooking time add the lemon juice.
Prepare the filling…
1. In a food processor combine the almonds, sugar, butter, almond extract and rose water and mix until you have a paste. Set aside ¼ of the paste that will be used in preparing the cream served with the cookies.
Frying the cookies…
1. Make balls from the dough. (after the dough has sat for an hour) Roll out a dough ball and place a small amount of the filling on the dough and close it well. Deep fry the balls until golden, remove from oil and place in a bowl.
2. After frying dip the cookies in the syrup and immediate roll in the coconut.
Prepare the almond cream…
1. In the food processor mix the remaining filling from above with the whipping cream and cream cheese or crème fraiche. Mix until a “airy soup” (translated from Hebrew!) is created and place in the refrigerator.
Place the cookies in a serving bowl or tray and drizzle the almond cream on the side.
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