Priscilla’s Israeli Crembo Recipe gives us a fun dessert, and its kosher-for-Passover. These pretty treats have a potato flour brownie-style base, topped with homemade marshmallow fluff and finally coated in chocolate. This is a delightful recipe for adults and children alike.
Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog. If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. This series is all about sharing Kosher recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.
Tell us about yourself, Priscilla!
You can find me on Instagram @bakingfairyhk.
I grew up in Florida, but have spent all of my professional career outside of the U.S. I’ve had the opportunity to live in more than 8 countries across 4 continents and you’ll find these influences in the Baking Fairy HK menu:
- dulce de leche filled sufganiyot inspired by my time in Argentina
- Vanilla Almond cookies as popular in Germany as they are in Israel
- pumpkin spice challah inspired by Thanksgiving at home in the U.S.
I met my husband in Germany and we have two beautiful children – Miriam and Rafael – who were born in Hong Kong. My husband is head of “Quality Control” of new recipes. Miriam would eat chocolate rugelach if I let her and one of Rafael’s first words was “cookie.”
I moved to Hong Kong nearly 7 years ago as a Risk & Compliance Professional. I’ve always loved cooking and baking. When the only artisan challah baker in town relocated back to Israel last year, I started to get queries about selling my own baked goods and Baking Fairy HK was born! This luckily coincided with my shifting industries with work, and the rest is history!
I run marathons. It keeps the calories from baking at bay and also clears my head. It started as a challenge after Miriam was born and it helps me find my happy place. My reading these days usually links in with my local synagogue’s programme called “One Congregation, One Book.” This year it’s been amazing – a two track mix of Food for the Body (The 100 Most Jewish Foods and Jewish Identity Through the Ages) and Food for the Soul (The Book of Psalms).
Tell us about your passion project, Baking Fairy HK!
When I first launched Baking Fairy HK, I had a number of well meaning friends give me questioning looks. One came into the bakery and asked how I was enjoying retirement. The bakery for me is about filling a need in the community and bringing joy. There’s something about how food brings people together that – let’s face it – a conversation about financial crime just doesn’t. It’s also been an amazing journey to be part of feeding people during the various holidays of the year and being a part of their own family celebrations. Our motto is “Sprinkling a touch of baking magic over HK” and I hope we continue to live up to that.
Tell us about your connection with Judaism. How is it expressed in your life in general, and in your kitchen?
Living in Hong Kong has had the biggest impact on my connection to Judaism of anywhere I have lived. Living here has both broadened and deepened that connection. In other countries, I’ve felt like I was on the outside looking in, mostly because these were communities far less transient than that of Hong Kong. Judaism now permeates so many more areas of my life. It’s not confined to the halls of the shul (or zoom services) or the wide range of formal programming. It’s knowing that I have several adopted Jewish mothers looking out for me and my family when we are so far from home. It’s the rotating Shabbat dinners that help us create our own extended families around our Hong Kong tables. It’s seeing the messages come through from the Young Professionals Whatsapp group as I started Baking Fairy HK saying, “this is a big change. Remember we are your community and we are here to support you.” For me, the kitchen and the food I make in it are an expression of that connection and community.
How do you express your values in your home through your kitchen?
For me, it’s cooking from the heart and respecting the values of others. I love hosting Shabbat dinners (and get in trouble with my 5 year old when it’s just the immediate family). I want my guests to be comfortable. We do fully kosher menus but, as we don’t keep a fully kosher kitchen at home year round, I’m equally happy to do full vegetarian menus to accommodate others. Given the relatively small size of the community in Hong Kong, we also like to invite Jewish and non-Jewish friends, both to share our joy with them and also to demystify a bit about Judaism. When explaining the bakery to a new arrival in Hong Kong recently, her comment was, but if it’s Kosher, does it taste good?!?!? You can guess who will be invited to dinner next week.
What is the best thing you learned from another person about food and hospitality?
Food can be a mitzvah. A friend asked me to prepare a care package for a colleague who had been in a bad car accident and was looking at months of recovery in a government hospital. She had tried twice to get food and other items in to him to no avail. After planning the delivery with the precision of a general preparing an amphibious assault, we were able to get 5 large packages to the individual. He called his mom in Lebanon in tears and also called my friend who had made the order. It was an amazingly beautiful moment that touched all of us.
What three food items could you not live without?
Coffee, champagne, and a stand mixer.
What is your best food tip?
Cover the bowl of any yeast dough – challah, babka, sufganiyot, etc. – with cling wrap and cut the rise time by up to 50%.
What are your go-to cookbooks?
The recipes here are ideal for anyone who is seriously into sport and fitness – they were written by Olympian Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky!
If you love Indian food, you need this book.
What’s the story behind your Israeli Crembo Recipe?
A very close girlfriend of mine – who was also one of the reasons I started Baking Fairy HK – came up to me and said: you know, there’s this thing in Israel. It’s been the biggest hit the past few years since it hit the market. She started describing it to me and, partially to give her a hard time, I said, oh, it’s just the German Dickmann’s repackaged. She protested, until I googled and sent her an image. What we did agree on, was that they taste delicious and that they don’t exist in Hong Kong.
When I was asked to come up with a recipe to contribute for Pesach, the timing seemed right. I love using soft meringue in baking. I use a homemade marshmallow fluff in a s’mores sufganiyot for Hanukkah and my go-to icing base for cakes is a Swiss buttercream. I then started experimenting with tweaking the marshmallow fluff into a Kosher for Passover version that could be used for Crembo.
I’ve given a few people my Kosher for Passover Israeli Crembo to sample – Israelis for authenticity and a mixed group of Americans/Europeans/locals. Israelis said the fluff is perfect. The Americans who had never had it before, said it was really sweet. For this reason, I really recommend using the darkest chocolate you can find to balance the sweetness of the fluffy filling.
Tips for making Priscilla’s Kosher for Passover Israeli Crembo Recipe:
Finding Kosher for Passover ingredients:
After testing the recipe, I highly recommend using Elite semisweet chocolate and Schmerling 70% chocolate if you can find it. Note that you can also use semisweet chocolate for the coating, but owing to the sweetness of the meringue filling, I recommend a darker chocolate to help balance it.
For oil, I typically use high quality grapeseed oil, as I find it to be more neutral in flavor than other options.
How to Serve the Crembo:
- Smaller Crembo can be easily eaten in one bite. Larger ones can be a bit tricky to eat with the hands – but if you like messy, go for it! Otherwise, serve with teaspoons.
- You can also pour individually on a plate for each guest and serve immediately (if serving immediately, it’s best to eat with a spoon as the chocolate will be soft and tacky to the touch).
- If your base forms any bubbles while baking in the oven, simply pop with a fork or toothpick.
- Grease prevents egg whites whipping into stiff peaks. Thoroughly clean the mixing bowl and any mixing utensils of any grease. To be extra sure, you can wipe down the equipment with wine or apple cider vinegar before mixing.
- It’s normal for the eggs to slightly deflate when adding the sugar syrup. Simply keep on mixing and they will fluff back up.
- Different from cookie dough, you can’t roll this up and re-use it as easily, so be sure to cut as close together as possible. To minimize waste, use a larger and a smaller cookie cutter. Cut the larger ones out first and use the smaller one afterwards on the scraps.
- DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE SHAPE WHEN PIPED. The filling is very forgiving and malleable. If you prefer a smooth, conical finish, simply take a clean butter knife and shape as desired. The filling should be stable enough to be easily shaped.
- While placing the piped meringue into the freezer before adding the chocolate topping adds additional stability to the structure, I know firsthand that freezer space can be at a premium at home – especially if you have a household of ravenous kids! In a pinch, you can also skip this step and go directly to the coating.
- You will have a lot of run-off from the chocolate coating. You can lift the bowl or the drying rack out, remove the chocolate and heat again to limit the amount of food waste.
For the base:
120g bittersweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons oil
50g / ¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
50g/ ¼ cup potato flour
For the filling:
1 ¼ cups / 300g sugar
1 cup/236 ml water
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Coating:
300g dark chocolate
2 Tablespoons oil
Hand or stand mixer
Two pots or pans for melting the chocolate using a double boiler method
Round cookie cutters or glass
9 x 13-inch/ 23 x 33-cm baking pan
Measuring cups and measuring spoons
Drying rack or small bowl
Icing piping bag with a round piping tip or a Ziploc bag
candy thermometer or infrared body thermometer
Start by making the base. Heat oven to 180 C/350 F and line the baking pan with baking paper.
Cut the semisweet chocolate for the base into chunks. Melt together with the oil using a double boiler method. Note that a microwave is not recommended as this can easily burn the chocolate. Once smooth and creamy, set aside.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together sugar and eggs. Once fluffy, add the salt and the potato flour. Finally, add in the melted chocolate and mix well.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes for a brownie-like base. For a more cookie-like base, bake for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Now make the filling. Place sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
While water is heating, begin mixing egg whites (stand mixer recommended) on low speed.
Bring sugar mixture up to a temperature of 110 C/ 230 F. Use a candy thermometer or even a household infrared thermometer to check the temperature. You may need to increase the heat to achieve this. If you are unable to find a thermometer to use, you can also bring to a rapid boil for 4 minutes, but this is less accurate. Stir constantly to avoid burning the sugar.
The egg whites should now be white and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Pour in the sugar mixture in a slow, steady stream. Bring speed up to high and whip until stiff peaks , the mixture is shiny and it looks like marshmallow fluff (this could take up to 5 minutes).
Assemble the filling and the base. Using the baking paper, lift the base out of the baking pan. Place on a flat surface. If you want bite-sized Crembo, use a cookie cutter (or glass) 3cm in diameter. For a larger size more similar to the boxed versions found in Israel, go for 6cm. Use the cookie cutter to cut out the bases of the Crembo.
Prepare to pipe! Get your piping bag ready or simply cut a corner off of a Ziploc bag. Using a spatula, transfer the filling into the bag. For larger Crembo, pipe onto the base in a circular motion to create a cone shape approximately 7cm high (see picture for reference) or simply pick your desired ratio of filling to base.
Place drying rack onto a baking sheet and place in a freezer for 60 minutes.
Coat the Crembo with chocolate. While the Crembo are in the freezer, repeat the steps in making the base to melt the chocolate for the coating. Set aside.
Remove Crembo from the freezer. Pour the chocolate over each individual Crembo, allowing the baking sheet underneath the drying rack to absorb the excess. If not using a baking sheet, turn a small, shallow bowl upside down on top of a baking sheet. Place each Crembo on top and pour the chocolate over the top in the same manner. For more control you can spoon the chocolate on top. If you’re not so patient, you can pour in a slow stream from the saucepan itself (I personally find that this coats a bit more evenly).
To dry quickly, place in the freezer for 5 minutes until set. Note that this will turn a shiny coating to look matte, but also adds a crispness to the coating.
If not serving immediately, and particularly if you live in a humid climate, place the Crembo into an airtight container and into the refrigerator. Crembo can be kept for a maximum of 2 days before serving.
Keywords: dessert, marshmallow fluff, crembo, dickman’s
More Community Recipes
Jewish Food Hero’s Community Recipes feature is a space for us all to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community. This is an easy and fun way to get new meal ideas and learn about each other. Since you’ve read Priscilla’s recipe, do you feel inspired to share your Kosher recipe? Don’t forget to get in touch to share your recipe too!
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