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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Six Delicious Desserts, Kosher for Passover

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Matzo served during Passover is traditionally prepared from wheat specially ground and guarded so it is not in contact with water until just ready to be baked; the flour is quickly mixed with water, shaped and baked in a very hot oven (800 degrees) without allowing time for any fermentation. Ground matzo may be made into matzo meal as well as the finer grained matzo cake meal, and it can be used for cooking and baking. 

Over the centuries, Jewish cooks have produced a rich array of foods for the weeklong Passover holiday, and desserts are an especially important course of the meal. One of our special family Passover desserts is Chocolate Brownies filled with nuts and frosted with a silky rich chocolate frosting. Farfel Almond Cookies, Honey Sponge Cake, Farfel Nut Clusters and a Passover Potato Starch Sponge Cake will also add to your Passover dessert table.

CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
3/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup matzo cake meal
2 tablespoons potato starch
1/2 cup black coffee
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup ground walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Blend oil and sugar. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine cocoa, matzo cake meal and potato starch. Add to oil mixture alternately with coffee. Stiffly beat egg whites, fold into batter along with chopped nuts. 

Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with oil and dust with ground nuts. Pour in batter.

Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Frost with Chocolate Glaze or serve plain.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
2 tablespoons nondairy margarine or butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate

Combine margarine, honey and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Add chocolate and beat until stiff. Spread or drizzle over the cake.  

FARFEL ALMOND COOKIES
1 cup matzo farfel
1 cup matzo cake meal
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Combine matzo farafel, matzo cake meal, sugar and salt and mix well. Pour melted margarine over farfel mixture and blend until sugar dissolves. Add egg and vanilla and blend. Mix in almonds.

Line a baking sheet with ungreased foil and drop in farfel mixture by teaspoon, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cookies will peel off foil. Makes about 8 dozen cookies. 

CHOCOLATE FARFEL NUT CLUSTERS
16 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups toasted matzo farfel
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water or in a microwave oven. Pour chocolate into a large bowl. Add matzo farfel and pecans and mix thoroughly. Spoon chocolate mixture onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set. Peel clusters off of wax paper and place in paper cups or on a wax paper-lined platter. 

Makes about 30 clusters.

HONEY NUT CAKE
8 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 pound honey
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 1/2 cups matzo cake meal
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemon color. Add honey, coffee and dry ingredients and blend thoroughly. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture and then fold in walnuts. Pour into an ungreased 9-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Invert cake and cook thoroughly. Loosen sides of cake with sharp knife, remove from pan and place on a serving plate.   

PASSOVER POTATO STARCH SPONGE CAKE
9 eggs separated
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange or lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup sifted potato starch
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat egg yolks and sugar until light in color and fluffy. Blend in juice and lemon peel. Combine potato starch, almonds, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Blend into egg yolk mixture thoroughly. Beat egg whites until firm. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites gently until blended.

Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Invert pan immediately and cool thoroughly. Loosen sides of cake with sharp knife. Remove from pan and transfer to a serving plate. Serve plain and sprinkle with pulverized sugar and cocoa or chocolate glaze.


Judy Zeidler is a cooking teacher and cookbook author.

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