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Monday, March 16, 2015

Passover is Coming!

Happy Monday everyone! So there are 2 big holidays coming up this spring: Pesach (Passover) and Easter. I like to divide and conquer, so let's take this week to discuss Passover! While the usual suspects (you know who you are) usually turn out dry, bland, or leave you *ahem* stopped up for days, these recipes will make you forget about chametz. You'll want these recipes regardless of whether or not you celebrate!

Chocolate. Crowd pleaser from one of my favorite authors...
Decadent Fudge Brownies
Marcy Goldman

  • 2 cups granulated or brown sugar
  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine, melted and cooled
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 scant cup matzoh cake meal
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 7 by 10-inch rectangular baking pan, a 9-inch square pan, or an 8- or 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix the sugar into the melted butter, then the eggs, coffee, cocoa, salt, cake meal, and toasted walnuts, if using.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Do not overbake. The brownies should be set and seem dry to the touch, but there should not be a crust around the sides. Cool in the pan. Cut into squares or (if baked in a round pan) into wedges.

A new take on a classic recipe...
Chewy Almond Macaroons
Yewande Komolafe, given by a French boulanger

  • 18 oz. almond paste (not marzipan; see note)
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. amaretto liqueur
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the almond paste, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, knead together until mixture is just incorporated. Add in the liqueur and gently work it into the paste to form a smooth dough.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Using a ½ oz. metal scoop, scoop out individual portions of the dough and place each in the bowl of powdered sugar. Coat each ball completely with powdered sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a 1-inch space between each macaroon. Pinch together the sides of each macaroon with your fingers and thumb, leaving a finger-indented well in the center like a little volcano. Let the macaroons sit out for 20 minutes to dry out. Bake until golden brown, about 10–12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container.
Note: Almond paste is similar to marzipan but contains less sugar and no fillers. (Some versions of almond paste do contain cream or eggs; to make this recipe vegan, ensure that your almond paste contains no eggs or dairy.) Marzipan will not work for this recipe.

No flour necessary...
Chocolate Walnut Torte
Florence Fabricant

  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 8 ounces walnuts, finely ground
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with half cup of the sugar until well blended, about 2 minutes at high speed in an electric mixer. Beat in the chocolate and fold in half the nuts. Set aside.
  3. Beat the egg whites with the salt until very softly peaked, then gradually beat in the remaining sugar and continue beating until the egg whites hold firm peaks but are not dry.
  4. Stir a little of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in about half the remaining egg whites. Finally fold in the remaining nuts and the rest of the egg whites.
  5. Spoon the mixture into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Place in the oven and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and turn upside down on a rack or suspend, upside down, over the neck of a bottle, until completely cooled. Use a knife with a thin, stiff blade to loosen the cake from the pan by running the knife carefully and closely along the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Happy baking!

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