Halacha for Monday 29 Shevat 5779 February 4 2019

An After-Blessing on Cakes Which Contain a Small Amount of Flour

In the previous Halachot we have discussed that foods or dishes made from several different ingredients including a grain derivative (usually wheat flour) and the grain ingredient is added to add flavor to the food require the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing. Although the majority of the food is comprised of other non-grain ingredients, nevertheless, since the grain derivative is meant to enhance the taste and has a special innate significance, it does not lose its significance with regards to the other ingredients and it requires the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing.

An After-Blessing on Foods Containing Several Ingredients
Let us now discuss the more complex issue we are faced with which is regarding the after-blessing on such foods which indeed contain grain ingredients, however, they are primarily made of other ingredients. Thus, when one eats a Kezayit (approximately twenty-seven grams) of such foods or pastries, this will not contain a Kezayit-worth of dough and will include the mixture various ingredients of walnuts, cheese, cream, and the like. The question becomes: Is the appropriate after-blessing in this case “Al Ha’Michya” or should one not recite an after-blessing at all in such a scenario?

Clearly, if one at a large amount of the food or pastry such that there is no doubt that one has consumed a Kezayit of the grain product itself (within seven-and-a-half minutes), in our case, the flour or dough, one must certainly recite the “Al Ha’Michya” after-blessing according to all opinions. The question remains though where one ate a Kezayit of the food or pastry collectively and not a Kezayit of the grain product alone.

An After-Blessing on Cheese Cake
Let us first explain the law regarding cakes in which large amounts of eggs, sugar, cheese, or potato starch are mixed into the batter while the amount of flour in the batter is very little. If one eats a Kezayit of this cake but has not eaten a Kezayit of the grain product, may one recite “Al Ha’Michya” or not?

The Poskim disagree about this issue and there several opinions on the matter. We shall therefore only quote the law, halachically speaking, as Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l has ruled orally in his lectures and as explained by Hagaon Harav David Yosef Shlit”a in his Sefer Halacha Berura (Volume 10, page 410).

If there are several ingredients mixed into a certain food and they are in much greater quantity than the grain product, however, the taste of the grain product is detectable in the mixture and makes up no less than one-sixth of the mixture, it retains the law of any other cake for which the “Al Ha’Michya” after-blessing is recited even if one has only eaten a Kezayit and most of the food is made of other, non-grain ingredients. For instance, cakes which have cheese, sugar, and the like in mixed in the batter would nevertheless require the “Al Ha’Michya” after-blessing after eating even if one has eaten only one Kezayit.

Nevertheless, if the grain product, i.e. the flour, does not make up one-sixth of the cake’s mixture or if its taste is non-detectable, the “Al Ha’Michya” blessing should not be recited. In this case, no after-blessing should be recited at all.

When the amount of flour in the cake is less than one-sixth of the ingredient mixture of the cake, although it is meant to add flavor to the cake, since the amount of flour in the mix is so miniscule, the “Al Ha’Michya” blessing should not be recited on the cake even if one has eaten a Kezayit of it. Similarly, even if there is a large quantity of flour in the cake, if its taste is not detectable in the mixture, the “Al Ha’Michya” after-blessing should not be recited at all.

Summary: If one has eaten a Kezayit of a cake which contains some flour meant to enhance the cake’s flavor, if the flour’s taste is detectable in the cake and makes up no less than one-sixth of the cake’s ingredients, one should recite the “Al Ha’Michya” after-blessing after eating. However, if the amount of flour in the cake is less than one-sixth of its ingredients or if its taste is completely undetectable, one should not recite the “Al Ha’Michya” after-blessing after eating a Kezayit of the cake. We have discussed some other details within the Halacha itself.

In the next Halacha we shall discuss that a distinction exists among several specific foods in this regard.

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