As a contrast to a dark Onik Leikach, it is traditional to serve a very light White Leikach. Also in contrast to the honey cakes made specifically for Rosh Hashana, white cakes are made at any time during the year, for most holidays, and, interestingly enough, for a consolation meal after a funeral. I think there is a life and death symbolism in that simple little cake made of three ingredients in three steps.
I have to tell you, though, that as many times as my grandmother shared this recipe, nobody could ever duplicate her light as feather, puffy and fluffy cake. I still don’t understand the reason for it because I really do not know of an easier cake to bake.
You need only three ingredients: eggs, sugar, and flour. A drop of vanilla extract is nice but not mandatory.
Carefully separate white from yolks and put the yolks aside. Sprinkle a pinch of salt into egg whites and whip them on high speed until stiff peaks form, then gradually add sugar. Continue whipping until all sugar dissolves. Add egg yolks and whip some more until they blend. Add some vanilla extract and start adding sifted flour. Add gradually and continue whipping, but reduce speed.
Once everything is blended well, pour batter into a greased loaf cake form. It should take about half the height of a standard form, but don’t worry! To quote the immortal Eliza Doolittle , “Just you wayt!” Treat it gently, tiptoe and whisper around it, otherwise, my grandmother claimed, the leikach will not rise. She also used to say a blessing on each food when she started cooking or baking it. I only do that on holiday foods and on challah.
You have to bake it for 30 minutes, then stick a few walnuts on top, and bake for 20 more minutes. We belong to a school of thought which holds that nisim (nuts) symbolize miracles (nes), and we can always use those, so I stick nuts into everything. Bake for about 20 more minutes, until golden and dry to the touch. And if you did everything right, it comes out twice the size of what had gone in!
Have a year light and happy like this Leikach! May your blessings rise and never fall! Shana Tova! A Zis Yor!
The dissemination of all my holiday recipes to a wider audience has been made possible through a valiant effort of Esme, The Recipe Hunter, of https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com, and her fantastic Recipe Exchange program. Thank you again, dear Esme, for performing this vitally important service for the community.
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 spoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease loaf baking pan.
- Separate egg whites from yolks. Put yolks on the side. Add a pinch of salt to egg whites.
- Whip egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add yolks, whip together until well blended.
- Gradually add sugar, keep whipping until sugar dissolves.
- Gradually add flour, whip on low until well blended.
- Transfer to greased baking pan, bake for 30 minutes.
- Place a few walnuts on top and bake for 20 – 25 more minutes until done.