tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

Do not adjust your computer screens. You are actually seeing a new post from me. I can’t believe I actually got my sh*t together enough to pull off cooking, staging, photographing and editing a post. It helped that I have been wanting to make this recipe in honor of Tu b’Shevat since I made a larger dirt cake last year for our dear friend, Dave’s, birthday Shabbat dinner, which just happened to fall on Tu b’Shevat. At the time I thought to myself, I said, “Self, you HAVE to remember this and do it better and cuter for next year’s Tu b’Shevat” and so, here we are!

So what’s been going on since I last posted WAY back in July? Welp, the biggest news is that I am currently 6 months pregnant with our 3rd kiddo. Yep, we took the plunge. If you are a loyal Jewhungry reader, you’ll remember that I was wrestling with the question or whether or not to get pregnant in a previous post. When we finally came to the decision that, yes, we were going to try for a third, I felt so certain in that decision. That being said, 6 months into the hardest pregnancy I’ve experienced, I am FREAKING OUT. Ok, I don’t know if it’s fair to say ‘freaking out’ in all caps but I am having a lot of misgivings. A lot of, “What was I thinking!?” has been running through my head in the last 5 months. I started getting sick almost immediately and the nausea hasn’t stopped, which hasn’t helped my doubts. I am like a she-beast. I must be fed every hour on the hour or else I will puke on you. Seriously, you think I over exaggerate but I do not. Just ask my beloved husband or co-workers. It’s not pretty.

tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

Nausea aside, I keep thinking to myself that we have a nice little routine down with the girls and why on Earth did we decide to make a decision that was going to mess that up!? They have such a strong bond, will this new little critter threaten that? Also, dear Gd, these two girls sleep through the night have been since our current youngest was roughly 6 months old. Like, I get sleep and stuff. Why oh why did we f*ck with that scenario too!? I have enough experience as a mental health professional to know when I’m starting to spiral so I’ll stop here. I’m pretty confident you get the drift. That said, I’d be ever so grateful to know if you have more than 2 kids and had the same experiences of doubt. Please, seriously, normalize me!!!

Deeeeeeeep inhale and exhale.

tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

So back to these here chocolate dirt cakes for Tu b’Shevat. In case you’re unfamiliar with the holiday, Tu b’Shevat occurs on the 15th of the Jewish month of Shevat so the name of the holiday literally translates to 15th of Shevat. It’s also occasionally referred to as the New Year of Trees and is thought to be an agricultural day marking the first day of Spring. I’m sure if you’re reading this somewhere like Minnesota or Massachusetts you’re all, “Seriously? Spring in January!?” But remember, we’re talking about Biblical Israel here so it’s a wee bit warmer there this time of year.Tu b’Shevat technically a minor holiday but it’s just so dang fun that we make a point to ‘celebrate’ it in our household. A lot of commentary exists out there pointing to the fact that humans are “compared to the tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19) and that the ‘fruit’ we bear is not only children (which is the first mitzvah in the Torah we are given to fulfill) but also the living of a life embedded in goodness. It’s become tradition that folks plant trees and/or hold a Tu b’Shevat seder during which it is customary to eat dried fruits and nuts, specifically figs, dates, raisins, carob, and almonds. Many people also incorporate the Seven Species into their seders, wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

I also encourage you to incorporate these chocolate treats into your seder cause they’re delicious and fun to make. Please note that the trees I used in my recipe are NOT edible. They are there cause they’re just too cute. What is edible? The several layers of chocolate used to assemble these treats. My favorite component is the homemade chocolate cookie crumble. You can also always take the trees out of the scenario and have yourself a fancy little trifle dessert for any day of the week. Enjoy!

tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

 

tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

 

tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

 

 

 

 

tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

 

 

 

 

tu b'shvat chocolate dirt cake jewhungry kosher food

She just HAD to get into the picture.

 

Ingredients/Method
(Makes for 4 – 5 mini trifles depending upon how much you use during assembly)

For the Cake and Pudding:

OK, so for the cake and pudding I used ready-made items cause I have 2 kids, a full time job and am 6 months pregnant so SOMETHING had to give. You can opt to also use Oreo cookies for your cookie crumbles but the chocolate cookie crumble recipe provided is so user-friendly and nets you incredibly delicious crumbles. For the cake, I used Betty Crocker’s Original Recipe Scratch Cake Mix but any ol’ boxed cake will do. The pudding was your trusted Jell-O Dark Chocolate Pudding Packs. I also incorporated chopped nuts into my recipe but feel free to omit if you have a nut allergy!

 

For the Chocolate Cookie Crumbles:

(makes 2 1/2 cups)

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Method for Chocolate Crumbs:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 (F).
  • Combine 2/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low-speed until mixed.
  • Add 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and paddle on low-speed until the mixture starts together in small clusters and clumps — at this point, it should look a little bit like wet sand.
  • Spread the clusters on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, using a dough scraper to break them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly most to the touch at that point; they will harden and dry as they cool.
  • Let the crumbs cool completely before using in the recipe.

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • pinch of salt

Method for Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using an electric hand mixer whip the butter until light and creamy on medium/high-speed.
  • Once the butter is pale in color and light slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar one spoon at a time on medium speed. Let the sugar fully incorporate before adding in more sugar.
  • Add the vanilla extract, salt and cream.
  • Whip on high-speed for another 3-4 minutes until very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  • Use the buttercream straight away for keep it refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. Before use make sure it comes to room temperature.

Assembly:

I assembled by adding a base layer of pudding, then cookie crumble, vanilla buttercream (piped from a piping bag), chopped peanuts, another layer of cookie crumbs followed by chocolate cake that my kiddo crumbled up herself and then one final layer of cookie crumble. I encourage you to try-out your own order of assembly though it should be noted that this order got rave reviews from the husband and kiddo.

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Hello! Summer has officially arrived at Jewhungry! If you follow me on Instagram (and I hope you do — check out the sidebar to see all the fun you’re missing in case you aren’t), you’ll know that a few weeks ago, I posted what turned out to be a popsicle fail. I was so thrilled to be asked to join in on the my first ever #popsicleweek by the incredible Billy Green (of Wit and Vinegar). I was all excited to join in on the popsicle fun but then my husband went out of town for two weeks, summer school started and I fell waaaaaay behind on posts. You see, unlike actual seasoned food bloggers, I do not and cannot plan and execute my posts weeks in advance cause I just don’t have the time. My posts usually come together last minute on a Sunday that I’ve blocked out 3 days prior to a deadline. It’s not the MOST effective way to work but 9 times out of 10 it actually works. Two weeks ago, however, it did not.

So, like I was saying, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll remember that I posted a melted mess of a chocolate and vanilla creamsicle that I was hoping would have made it in time to actually be included in my first ever Popsicle Week. But, alas, it did not. Well, 5 days later, husband finally came home from being gone for 2 weeks and helped me make my Black and White Creamsicle dreams come true. And while they didn’t get done in time for Popsicle Week, they still got done in time for summer and you can find the recipe and some thoughts on the power of the Black and White cookie over at Interfaithfamily.com. Click HERE for the recipe! Happy Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So it’s officially summer though, to be honest, I wouldn’t know it. I’m knee-deep in teaching summer school health. It’s actually not as bad as it sounds. While I’d REALLY LOVE some time off, I rarely get to be in the classroom teaching students subject matter that I’m so passionate about. I mean, what’s not to love about spending 2 hours a day, 5 days a week talking to high schoolers about topics such as consent education, mood disorders, and sex education!? Fun, right!?

In the midst of all of this, my husband has been out-of-town for a week and a half (half a week to go!) and while I’m really loving having all this time with our girls, mama is in need for a little ‘me’ time. As it is, I’ve been getting up at around 5am just so I can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a fresh episode of The Great British Baking Show before the girls get up and it’s ‘go’ time. I don’t know about you, but as a parent, I struggled with anxiety when it came to the weeks leading up to being alone with the kids for an extended amount of time. When Eden was just 4 weeks old, husband had to go to Miami for a few days in order to complete some research for his PhD and if anyone is a proponent of exposure therapy for anxiety, it is me as that time alone with an infant and a 3 year-old truly taught me that I can do it. Now that the girls are older and Eden is at one nap a day, I’m able to actually enjoy my alone time with the girls. We can get out, explore this great city with my little buddies and, dare I say it, have fun. Our absolute favorite activity is to head to the beach with sand toys and picnic in hand. I’ve been trying to up our picnic game as lately it’s been day-after-day of pb & j sandwiches and cucumbers. Therefore, I put a call out to some food blogging buddies and the result is the recipe round-up below, which is chock full of vegetarian and vegan options for your summer picnics! I hope you enjoy and don’t forget your sunscreen!

 

Kosher ‘Krab’ Cakes with Zoodles and Avocado Crema from Jewhungry

 

Broccoli Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing from The Roasted Root

Kalyn’s Tabbouleh with Almonds from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Arabic Potato Salad from Persnickety Plates

Chipotle Hummus-Stuffed Potato Bites from The Lemon Bowl

Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad from Food Faith Fitness

Mediterranean Deviled Egg Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper and Hummus from Two Healthy Kitchens

Lentil Quinoa Salad with Golden Raisins and Lemon Dressing from Noshtastic

California Cowboy Caviar from Fork and Beans

Lentil Hand Pies with Walnut Pesto from Delish Knowledge

Israeli Couscous Recipe with Chopped Veggies, Chickpeas, and Artichoke from The Mediterranean Dish

All-Natural Carrot Dogs from Healthy Slow Cooking

Falafel Feta Salad from Jewhungry 

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