One of my favorite Jewish chefs...
Passover Honey Nut Cake in Soaking Syrup
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon finely minced orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( or 1/2 teaspoon for a more pronounced cinnamon flavor)
- 1/2 cup matzoh cake meal
- 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or almonds
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 7-inch round layer cake pan (if you do not have one, you can use a round foil pan of the same or similar size available in the supermarket baking aisle).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, using a wire whisk, beat the granulated and brown sugars with the oil and eggs until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Stir in the remaining batter ingredients. Turn the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is light brown and set. Cool for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Soaking Syrup.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the ingredients. Heat to dissolve the sugar and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture becomes syrupy. Cool well.
- Pour the cooled syrup over the cooled cake, poking holes in the cake with a fork, to permit the syrup to penetrate. Allow it to stand for 2 to 4 hours to absorb the syrup. I prefer to refrigerate this cake so that while it is absorbing the liquid, it is also firming up. Also, chilling the cake offsets its sweetness and makes it easier to cut. Serve it on splayed muffin liners.
Always remember the chocolate lovers...
Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies
- 2 3/4 cups walnut halves (9 ounces)
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Position 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread the walnut halves on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, until they are golden and fragrant. Let cool slightly, then transfer the walnut halves to a work surface and finely chop them.
- In a large bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar with the cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in the chopped walnuts. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (be careful not to overbeat or it will stiffen). Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds.
- Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are glossy and lightly cracked and feel firm to the touch; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through.
- Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks to cool completely before serving.
Macaroon fanatics rejoice!
Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake
- 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 10 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 2/3 cup dried unsweetened finely grated coconut (10 ounces)
- Chocolate curls, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 11-by-17-inch jelly-roll pan with vegetable oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper; spray the paper.
- In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolates and let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour 1 cup of the chocolate ganache into a measuring cup and set aside at room temperature; scrape the rest into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the ganache until firm, at least 3 hours.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a bare simmer. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed until blended. Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the eggs are warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and beat at high speed until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Fold in 3 2/3 cups of the coconut. Spread the batter in the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden and firm. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake; invert it onto a baking sheet and peel off the parchment. Slide the cake onto a work surface. Using a serrated knife, trim the edges and cut the cake into 3 rectangles of equal size. Stack the layers and trim off any uneven sides with the knife.
- Set 1 cake layer right side up on a wire rack and spread with half of the chilled ganache. Cover with a second layer and the remaining chilled ganache. Top with the third cake layer, smooth side up; press down gently. Pour half of the reserved ganache on top and spread it evenly, letting it drip slightly down the sides. Pour on the remaining ganache and smooth the top and sides. Transfer the cake to a cake plate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then press the remaining coconut onto the sides of the cake. Garnish with chocolate curls and serve or, for best results, refrigerate the cake overnight.