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Sivan Kobi: Sivan’s Kitchen, Baking as Therapy and One-Bowl Winner Orange Cake

Taste Buds with Deb - Episode 32
[additional-authors]
November 24, 2023

Sivan Kobi’s mission is to bring the simplicity and joy of cooking into people’s homes.

“Food is a love language; it brings people together and it tastes good at the same time,” the founder of Sivan’s Kitchen told the Journal. “If not for good food, I feel like our lives would be so empty.”

Kobi’s parents owned bakeries and a deli in Los Angeles (her mom’s side is Iraqi, her father’s is Ashkenazi), and her husband’s family had a kosher Israeli restaurant, so there was no escaping this family love of cooking and food.

“The best part about it is you can share it with others and bring in the joy of cooking and on top of all of it, Judaism into your home, then it’s win-win all the way around,” she said.

Kobi had a cake business for about ten years. When COVID hit, her daughter suggested she share her love of cooking online. On her @SivansKitchen Instagram page, Kobi shares a mix of classic and special recipes that anyone can create.

One of her favorite easy dishes is a one bowl winner cake. All you need is a whisk, a bowl and pantry staple ingredients. The recipe for her one bowl winner orange cake is below.

“I love when you can put in ingredients and you just whip it all up,” she said. “It creates this beautiful, delicious and moist [cake]. It can go with coffee. It can go with tea.

Kobi adds,” The smell of baking also is so amazing. It makes your home warm and cozy and comforting. … It brings joy to your heart and opens up your soul, your neshama.”

Plus, when you cook with ingredients you already have, it makes the whole experience more joyful. You can even take oranges gifted to you from a neighbor’s tree, turn them into orange cake and bake it forward.

As much as Kobi enjoys cooking, she loves to bake even more. It’s part of who she is.

“[Baking] is therapy for me,” she said. “It calms me down. It relaxes me. I enjoy eating it.”

Kobi also keeps baked goods on my counter at all times, which is a bittersweet memory.

“When my father was alive, he passed away about 15 years ago, every Friday, he would bring me bags and bags and bags from the bakery,” she said. “Just boxes of cakes and cookies and whatever it was. And whether we ate them or not … I would give it away to friends, family, neighbors, my daughter’s school … just seeing it there on my counter was comforting for me.”

When asked how people can use cooking and baking to get through challenging times, Kobi says to just get in the kitchen, put away your phone and see what your hands can create.

“Make a challah and get those hands kneading that dough,” she said. “Just connect to it.”

Then, you can enjoy what you baked with your family and friends or give it away.

“I can bake all day long in the kitchen and my time will go by so fast,” she said. “It just makes me feel so good.”

Follow @SivansKitchen on Instagram.

For the full conversation, listen to the podcast:

Watch the interview:

One Bowl Winner Orange Cake

Just in time for the holidays, so easy to make and with ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen. I recommend using fresh squeezed orange juice instead of store bought OJ. You can skip the coconut if you have allergies. If you can’t find the Osem brand vanilla pudding, use Jell-O brand. Orange blossom water can be found online or at most international markets.

 

Ingredients

Cake:

4 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup of granulated sugar (122 grams)

1 cup of neutral oil (grape seed, avocado, or canola) (250ml)

1 and ¼ cup of orange juice (312 ml)

2 cups of all-purpose flour (280 grams)

1 full package (80 grams) of vanilla instant pudding Osem brand (or 3/4 cup any brand)

1 Tbsp of baking powder (10 grams)

1/2 cup of finely shredded unsweetened coconut (47 grams)

zest from one orange

non-stick cooking spray

Orange Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup orange juice

2 capfuls orange blossom water

In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs and slowly add your sugar. Make sure you whisk for about 3-5 minutes. Slowly add your oil and orange juice, continuing to whisk. It should slightly be fluffy by now.

Sift straight into your bowl: The flour, pudding packet (don’t actually make the pudding) and baking powder. Whisk together, then add coconut. Add the orange zest and mix the entire batter till it’s nice and smooth, no lumps.

Generously spray a Bundt pan and pour in your batter. Tap it twice to release air pockets. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until the cake pin (or knife) inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean. Cool completely.

White the cake is baking or cooling, prepare the syrup. Place the ingredients into a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Once the cake is cooled, flip over and top with syrup. It can be prepared and frozen. It lasts on the counter for about 5 days.

Enjoy!


Debra Eckerling is a writer for the Jewish Journal and the host of “Taste Buds with Deb.Subscribe on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform. Email Debra: tastebuds@jewishjournal.com.

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