Mitzpe Hayamim, The Best Cake in The World

Mitzpe Hayamim cakeI stand on the wide terrace and watch my favorite Galilean landscape. Clear air, green fields around me and the sound of silence. All the hotel guests are still asleep and only me and Sivan Tzafrir, the Mitzpe Hayamim Hotel’s Pastry Chef, are awake. I walk quietly to the patisserie window and watch him work.

Mitzpe Hayamim cakeMitzpe Hayamim cakeTzafrir, who recognized my passion for the baking world, collaborated with me and made me an active spectator in his preparations. He would smile at me through the big window, occasionally coming out of the patisserie with hot products from the oven and inviting me to come in and watch his magical work.

Mitzpe Hayamim cakeMitzpe Hayamim cakeMy favorite moment was to see him making the cake (and of course to taste) that I later named “The Mitzpe Hayamim Cake.”

Mitzpe Hayamim cakeThe first time I tasted it I realized it was a miracle, it was the best cake I’ve ever tasted and to be honest to this day I think it has no competitors. Tzafrir gladly agreed to give me the recipe and after making it dozens of times and making some changes in the recipe, I came up with my favorite version.

Mitzpe Hayamim cakeWhen I posted the cake recipe a few years ago on the old blog, I never imagined it would become the most beloved cake on the blog. People from all over the world send me pictures of it, people are willing to swear that this is the best cake they have ever tasted (and I agree with them), it has become a “permanent resident” in so many homes and it’s so exciting.

Mitzpe Hayamim cakeFor Rosh Hashanah, I decided to re-examine the recipe, change it a bit and photograph the result. This cake is wonderful for Rosh Hashanah and for every day, it has honey and date honey, nuts and a wonderful sweetness that will stay with you all year long, at least.

Mitzpe Hayamim cakeMitzpe Hayamim, The Best Cake in The World 
square cake pan 23cm

Ingredients
Almond Pastry Dough:
200g soft butter, cubed
50g brown sugar (I use Muscovado)
230g all-purpose flour, sifted 
5g baking powder 
30g almond meal

Caramel and Nuts Layer:
200g condensed milk (or 100g condensed milk, 100g heavy whipping cream)
200g butter, cubed
120g brown sugar (I use Muscovado)
30g honey or date honey (Silan)
360g roasted nuts, chopped. I use a mix of hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts

Chocolate Ganache:
220g heavy whipping cream 
220g dark chocolate, chopped (at least 70% cocoa)
20g honey

Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 160C degrees and line a 23cm square pan with parchment paper.
2. Almond Pastry Dough: In a mixer bowl or food processor, mix all the dough ingredients until a soft and uniform dough is obtained. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan to form an even layer and bake for about 30 minutes, until the dough is very golden. Set aside to cool.
3. Caramel and Nuts Layer: In a medium saucepan cook together condensed milk, butter, sugar and honey. Bring to the boil and add the chopped nuts, continue to mix and remove from heat.
4. After the filling has cooled slightly, pour it over the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. Chocolate Ganache: In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until almost boiling. Remove from heat and strain the cream into the bowl with the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes before stirring. Using a spatula, slowly begin to stir together the chocolate and cream. Keep the spatula in the center of the bowl, touching the bottom, without lifting it out, so that air bubbles aren’t incorporated in. Stir slowly and carefully until you have a glossy ganache with no air bubbles. Add the honey and stir slowly, pour the ganache on the caramel and nuts layer.
6. Refrigerate for 2 hours, cut into cubes and enjoy.

Mitzpe Hayamim cake

Bon-Appétit ans Shana Tova
Sharon

Comments

  • 29 August 2021
    Anne H

    Sharon we love your recipes and the pictures you take are so amazing & really manage to convey the flavors
    I feel that I want to go into the kitchen and bake 😉
    thank you very much for the recipe this cake feels very tasty 😋
    Merci Anne H

    reply
  • 29 August 2021
    Laura Cerda

    For the ganache, when do I add the honey? The instructions do not mention it.. thank you.

    reply
  • 29 August 2021
    Kathy

    Is the condensed milk “sweetened condensed milk”?

    reply
  • 31 August 2021
    ¨Mariela Covelli

    Hi I would like to know that if I can use dulce de leche instead of the caramel?

    reply
  • 01 September 2021
    Susie

    This looks incredible! I love your recipes. I think I have everything already in my pantry. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough! Thank you for the recipe.

    reply
  • 01 September 2021
    Marie

    Hey, that one looks soo tasty! You just visited our bakery in Düsseldorf and now i need to try your pastry. Thanks. Looking forward for the next recipes.

    reply
  • 02 September 2021
    Isabel Ochoa

    Thank you. I love your receipts and the way you write.

    reply
  • 02 September 2021
    Haani

    Beautiful recipe, thank you! Made so many though. How long can I keep them in the fridge for?

    reply
  • 04 September 2021
    Pete

    In your Instagram video the liquid sweetener with the nuts does not look like honey or Silan, it’s clear. Did you use another invert sugar (trimoline?) instead? Similarly for the ganache? I’m keen to make this; looks good! Thanks.

    reply
  • 05 September 2021
    Flo

    Hi! What temperature should I take the caramel to?

    reply
  • 06 September 2021

    Can you tell me how long this can keep? Planning to include this in my Christmas platter box. Thanks

    reply
  • 07 September 2021
    Anita Zimmerman

    Hello, this sounds wonderful, can’t wait to make. However, I am not fond of honey, would using the date honey also in the ganache change the flavor profile too much. Any other suggestions instead of honey? Thank you

    reply
  • 07 September 2021
    Budi

    Hi Chef Sharon,

    I have a question, do you caramelized the sugar mixture or just bring to a boil and add the nuts ?

    reply
      • 03 October 2021
        Budi

        Thank you! 🙏🏻😊

        reply
  • 19 October 2021
    Ash

    Hi, Sharon. Do you use unsalted or salted butter for the dough and nuts layer? Thank you. 🙂

    reply
  • 24 October 2021
    Asha

    Hi ,may I know if I can use Almond blanched ground(superfine)
    Are they the same thing?
    Thank you

    reply
  • 10 November 2021
    Shira G

    Just came back from the mitzpe hayamim hotel up in Northern Israel . (Stunning resort secluded in the hilltops – a must stop for any seasoned traveler to Israel and wants something a little different )Having googled the hotel prior to coming I happened upon your blog post and went in search of this amazing cake . On our last morning we called over the waitress and showed her your blog saying we were disappointed that we didn’t see this cake at any of our meals . Tamar , our friendly waitress, promptly went to back kitchen and brought us a private plate of our own slice of heaven . More of a chocolate bar then a cake it still earns top nods from this discerning traveler.

    reply

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