Archive for March, 2010

Last Minute Passover Advice: Charoset Recipe and More Links

March 28, 2010

So it is the eleventh hour, but it is not too late to offer some more suggestions. (more…)

Julia’s “Glorious” Chocolate Passover Cake

March 26, 2010

As a general rule, Passover desserts are either the kind that do not need flour to begin with, or are the type that have been converted for Passover use by swapping out the usual flour for potato starch and matzoh cake meal. The chocolate cake here represents a third sort: a baked good that is supposed to be made with potato starch.

This is Julia Child’s Le Glorieux, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two. It is a genoise type of cake that is made with potato starch. A large amount of melted butter and chocolate is added to make this a light, but rich cake. (more…)

Passover Recipes from Last Year

March 26, 2010

Okay, these recipes are from a couple of posts from last year, but these recipes worked out so well, it is worth reposting about them.. (more…)

Julia’s Genoise Electrique Morphed into Passover Marble Chiffon

March 26, 2010

As I’ve said before, Passover desserts fall into two camps: (1) recipes that are not based on flour and need little or no changes to work for Passover, and (2) recipes that are based on flour and need to be converted to work with potato starch and matzoh cake meal.

Generally, flourless desserts are a safer bet. But, sponge cake and chiffon cakes are a holiday tradition.

In the past, I have not had spectacular success with this kind of recipe. This year, I think I am finally making headway.


Something Different for Passover Dessert

March 24, 2010

I have not yet made this, but I am posting a link anyway just because it just sounds so good and so different, and it is not tagged as a Passover dessert.

Karen, of Citrus and Candy, has a few flourless cakes. There is the requisite chocolate cake (this one with hazelnuts). And there is a recipe for the classic orange cake. But, what really intrigues me is the Flourless Apple and Almond Tea Cake from The Cook’s Larder in Sydney, Australia. Okay, it is a little late in the season for apple cake, but this cake has maple syrup (or honey) and ginger and apples and almonds! I think this is one of the most popular cakes at The Cook’s Larder.

It seemed like a good idea at the time . . .

March 24, 2010

I was looking through some recipe clippings for something new for Passover and found a recipe for coconut lemon tarts in Cuisine at Home. The idea was simple: mix dried coconut, sugar, and egg whites to make a crust; fill the baked crust with lemon curd. The recipe warned that the crusts had to be made in tartlette pans with removeable bottoms–the crust would stick to any other pan.

Looking online for a comparable recipe, I found a recipe from Donna Hay for the same crust, but filled with ganache. (see also here) It was the subject for HHDD #18, so quite a few people made this recipe and posted their results. Donna Hay’s recipe calls for pressing the coconut tart mixture into muffin cups, which makes things easier if you don’t have the tartlette pans that the Cuisine at Home recipe calls for.

The full recipe is enough for 8 tartlettes (in tart pans or muffin pans). I think it is enough for about 24 mini muffins. I cut the recipe in half and pressed the crust mixture into mini-muffin cups. I had a hard time pressing in the crust mixture and regretted making so many little mini tarts. And then the crusts stuck. Argh. I should have used silicone pans or pressed the mixture into foil or paper cupcake liners.

Final analysis: very tasty, but a bit of a pain to make.

There has to be an easier way. Making these as thumbprint cookies?

Maybe it would be better to make these as tuiles?

I don’t know. But these tarts seemed like a really good idea at the time . . .

Chocolate and More Chocolate Passover Desserts

March 24, 2010

When it comes to Passover desserts, you have two options: (1) make a recipe that substitutes potato starch or matzoh meal for flour, or (2) use a recipe that does not depend on flour. Option two is usually the most successful.

Flourless chocolate cakes are the most obvious choice (and I will get to my favorite momentarily). There are cookies that are more or less flourless that are great options as well.

Maida Heatter’s famous chocolate cookies (also known as Soho Gobs, Mudslides, Bittersweet Decadence and a bunch of other names) are a fail-safe cookie choice. I especially like Alice Medrich’s take on this cookie in her book Bittersweet. Just substitute potato starch for the minimal amount of flour called for in the recipe.

I just discovered another winner: Beacon Hill cookies, as reinterpreted by Alice Medrich. So easy and so good–the only catch is that the cookies do not have much of a shelf life.


Irish Soda Bread Pizza

March 17, 2010

Well, this is exactly what it sounds like. Irish soda bread batter (from Rachel Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School), topped with sauce and cheese and baked like pizza.

Feta, Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Cheese Savory “Cake”

March 17, 2010

This is stupendous–really and truly.

The French like to make savory cakes (cake salé) and serve them as nibbles with drinks. They are moist and savory with eggs and cheese and a wide assortment of add-ins like vegetables, meats, nuts, and even dried fruit.

I have made my own version twice, and was quite pleased. My first version just had smoked cheddar cheese and scallions. Batch number two had roasted red pepper (jarred version worked perfectly), feta, smoked mozzarella, and scallions.

This tastes delicious hot from the oven, oozing melted cheese, but it is quite good room temperature or even cold. It takes mere seconds to put together from odds and ends in the fridge, and it reheats perfectly.


Crème Fraiche

March 14, 2010

I made my own crème fraiche! And it was pretty easy!

Actually, I tried two methods side by side: (1) Joe Pastry’s recipe, and (2) a method suggested in an article by Harold McGee. (more…)