• Shlomo Mansour. Photo courtesy of the family.
    Shlomo Mansour. Photo courtesy of the family.
  • Cream Crumble Cake. Photo: Adi Shilon.
    Cream Crumble Cake. Photo: Adi Shilon.
Recipe

Shlomo Mansour’s Favorite Cream Crumb Cake

Their favorite dish: Shlomo Mansour likes the old-fashioned cream crumb cake, which his wife Mazal makes best. Adi Shilon makes it for him

You’ll have a very hard time finding a kid in kibbutz Kissufim who doesn’t admire Shlomo Mantzur, the kibbutz’s carpenter and the school’s carpentry teacher. Actually, everyone loves Shlomo. There’s a great deal to love with a smile that never leaves his face and the open arms that invite you into his heart. An exceptionally skilled handyman, Shlomo is always there to lend a helping hand – and a screwdriver – ready to solve any problem you might have.

Shlomo is 85 years old and was born and raised in Iraq until the age of 13 when he moved with his parents to Israel. He arrived at kibbutz Kissufim in his teens to help build it, locked eyes with Mazal, fell in love and the two have been together for 70 years. Shlomo is the glue of his family and nothing brings him more joy than spending time with his wife, his children and his grandchildren – with whom he laughs hysterically and spoils rotten with ice cream. Pistachio and Halvah to be precise.

Shlomo knew the value of simple joys: Mazal’s delicious old school cream crumb cake, watching old western movies and listening to the Arabic music of Abdel Wahab and Umm Kulthum on the hand held radio, painting a picture of Shlomo’s childhood. It takes him a split second to land in your heart where he remains forever. 

Shlomo Mansour was kidnapped by Hamas from his home in Kibbutz Kisufim and taken to Gaza on October 7th.

Ingredients for Cream Crumb Cake

For the dough:

  • 7 oz (200 grams) butter soft
  • 4.25 oz (120 grams) Sugar
  • 2 eggs medium
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or vanilla
  • grated lemon peel from half a lemon
  • 14.1 oz (400 grams) white flour
  • 1.75 oz (50 grams) Ground Almonds

For the cream:

  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) sweet cream
  • 2.8 oz (80 grams) Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 4.25 oz (120 grams) Sugar
  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) sour cream
  • grated lemon peel from half a lemon
  • a little more ground cardamom (optional)

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) degrees on turbo/fan/convection.

  • 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a whisk, cream the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs and beat until integrated. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until a uniform dough. Be careful not to overmix.

  • 3. Spread a third of the dough in a small sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Spread the remaining two-thirds uniformly and evenly in a cake pan, completely lined with parchment paper. I wanted a tall cake so I chose a 8" (20 cm) diameter pan. If you want a lower cake, choose a larger pan. The only requirement in that it is a springform.

  • 4. Bake the two pans together (if they both fit on the same shelf) for about twenty minutes until golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

  • 5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the sweet cream with the instant pudding and sugar until almost firm. Add the sour cream, cardamom and zest and mix a little more until combined. Pour evenly over the baked cake crust.

  • 6. Crumble the third that you baked separately over the cream and put in the refrigerator for four hours, preferably overnight. An hour before serving, put it in the freezer. This makes the cake much easier to slice.

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This recipe is part of Adi Shilon’s “Their Favorite Dish” project, which tells the story of 60 abductees through the recreation of their favorite recipe for a pastry or dessert. For all the details and additional recipes in the project.

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