Mocha-Hazelnut Cake, Mina Pachter's - dairy
Posted by : Karen Selwyn
Mina Pachter was 70 when she was sent to Terezin in 1942. She, along
with other women in the camp, would try to hold on to some semblance of
normalcy by talking about home, food, and family. Mina recorded the
women's recipes on whatever scraps of paper she could find and stitched
them together in a book.
Mina died in Terezin on Yom Kippur, 1944, but before her death she
entrusted a package of poems, photographs and the book to a friend
requesting that he get it to her daughter, Anny Stern, who had escaped
to Palestine. Years after the request, the book was delivered to Anny.
David, Mina's grandson, and Anny worked with Cara da Silva and Bianca
Steiner Brown, herself a Terezin survivor, to bring the book to the
point where it could be published. Beyond the challenge of deciphering
writing on brittle, yellowed paper in three languages, ingredients were
omitted and directions were scanty or halted in mid-sentence, a
reflection of the starvation of mind and body experienced by the women
* * * * *
Mina Pachter's Mocha-Hazelnut Cake
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
3 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons strong coffee
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/4 cups ground hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Lightly grease and flour
8-inch springform pan.
In the large bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar
until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well
after each addition.
Beat in chocolate, and coffee 1 tablespoon at a time, alternating
with half ground hazelnuts, flour and the lemon peel. Fold in beaten egg
whites, mixing alternately with remaining ground hazelnuts and flour.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing the top. Rap pan twice
on hard surface to expel any air bubbles.
Bake 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out
Let cake cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert on rack and let
Bianca Brown's suggestions for presentation: Spread with strained
apricot preserves. Glaze with chocolate icing or sprinkle cake with
confectioner's sugar and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Source: In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin
Cara de Silva, editor
Bianca Steiner Brown, translator
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