Two Chocolate Passover Desserts

March 26, 2010

I promised a great dessert to go with my local, sustainable, non-agri-business, healthy Passover meal, and here it is.  You can make this for many people very quickly, and it uses no margarine or that sludge they call non-dairy creamer.  God did not free us from slavery so we could poison ourselves with Mocha Mix and margarine…

The first recipe I adapted from Joan Nathan, which she adapted from “Dulce lo Vivas,” by Ana Bensadón (Ediciones Martínez Roca).  Joan’s recipe uses olive oil. I substitute the freshest nut oil I can find, usually walnut or hazelnut at the local farmers market.

Chocolate and Nut Oil Mousse

Time: 30 minutes plus 24 hours’ refrigeration

11 ounces bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate
8 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh walnut or hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons kosher for Passover brandy, marc or grappa

1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate over low heat. Cool slightly. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until light. Whisk in olive oil, brandy and melted chocolate.

2. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, whisking until stiff but not dry.

3. Fold whites into chocolate mixture so that no white streaks remain. Spoon into an 8- or 10-cup serving bowl or divide among 8 or 10 dessert cups or glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

And here’s the second, a Passover Chocolate Torte adapted from Alice Medrich’s Chocolat, minus the orange.

Here’s the recipe I use, adapted from Cocolat cook book.  I’ve made this for 15 years, and it is very hard to screw up.  You can link to the recipe here, but note my changes:  I do not use orange in the flavoring (yech) and I substitute one-quarter cup olive oil or nut oil for the butter.  If you are serving a non-meat meal or don’t care about such things, stick with the butter.

Chocolate Passover Walnut Torte with Chocolate Honey Glaze


1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
9 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray sides of 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper.

2. Pulse walnuts and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in food processor until very finely ground, being careful walnuts don’t become a paste; place in medium bowl. Wipe excess oil from food processor. Pulse chocolate and 1 tablespoon of the sugar until mixture resembles crumbs ranging from very finely chopped to 1/4-inch pieces. Add to nuts, along with orange peel and salt; stir to combine.

3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until egg whites are stiff and glossy but not dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently scrape into large wide bowl.

4. Pour half of the chocolate mixture over egg whites; fold in until nearly incorporated. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture, folding just until incorporated. Place in springform pan; spread gently to level.

5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until torte is puffed and golden brown on top and springs back when pressed gently with fingers. (A toothpick inserted in center will emerge moist and stained with a little melted chocolate, but not coated with batter.) Cake may crack slightly. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Slide thin knife or spatula around sides of pan; cool completely. Pour warm glaze (below) over cake, smooth with spatula. Let harden. Serve at room temperature. (Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)

Chocolate Glaze

8 oz. good quality semi sweet chocolate chips, such as Guittards

1/4 c. olive oil or walnut oil

1-2 Tablespoon honey

  1. Put all ingredients together in the top of a double boiler, over simmering water or in microwave. Cook until nearly all of the chips are melted. Watch carefully whichever method you use. Remove from heat before all the chips are melted.  Stir until glaze is smooth.
  2. Allow to cool so it is thicker but still pourable

8 servings

By the way, here is more or less my menu this year:

Passover 2010

Apple and Wine Charoset

Homemade Horseradish

Homemade Halibut confit with front yard Artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, lucques olives, caper berries, ‘eshman acre’ eggs and Spanish sea salt

Chicken Soup with Dill Matzo Balls

Grilled Young Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Green Garlic

Holly’s Brisket with Fennel and Olives

Potato and Italian Dandelion Torta

Roasted Asparagus with Fig Balsamic Vinegar

Blood Orange, beets and Butter Lettuce Salad

Walnut Chocolate Mousse or Chocolate Torte

Fresh Strawberries


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