Chocolate and Raisin Rugelach

, from Issue #25. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chocolate and Raisin Rugelach

These pastries are of Jewish origin and are traditionally eaten at Hanukkah. The cream cheese is the key to the light flaky pastry. The raisins can be replaced with finely chopped dried apricots or figs.


300 grams flour
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
200 grams butter, diced and chilled
225 grams cream cheese, diced

40 grams butter
200 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup condensed milk
1 cup raisins, finely chopped

To cook
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
raw sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Pastry: Put the flour, salt, butter and cream cheese in a food processor and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Tip onto the bench and bring the dough together. Form into a cylinder, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

Filling: Put the butter then the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Place over a saucepan of barely simmering water to melt, stirring only occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk to just combine and make a smooth paste. Don’t over mix the chocolate or it will go grainy. Set aside to cool but don’t refrigerate.

To assemble: Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll the pastry out, one piece at a time, on a lightly floured bench to form a 30 cm circle. Keep the remaining pieces in the fridge. The pastry is difficult to work with if it gets soft.

Using a palette knife, spread a third of the cooled chocolate mixture over the pastry and sprinkle with a third of the raisins. Cut into 8 triangles. Starting at the widest edge, lightly roll each piece to resemble a croissant. Place on lined baking trays with the pointed end underneath. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Cover and refrigerate until very firm. The rugelach can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

To cook: Brush each rugelach with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a good golden brown and well cooked. Transfer to a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Rugelach will keep in an airtight container for 3 days. Makes 24.