Passover Desserts

As Pesach is fast approaching, I have decided on what desserts I am going to make to make this year: Chocolate-Pistachio Cake and the Orange-Ginger Cake (See Passover Preparations).

This pistachio cake is based on a recipe from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Italian Easy: Recipes from the River Cafe. It is a very easy cake to make. I would prefer to make it with butter, but I must make a parve cake for Passover.

Normally, I do not like Passover cakes made with matza meal, but this cake only calls for 1/2 cup and you really don’t notice it. Substitute with flour when it is not Passover.

Since the Passover hostess is a chocoholic, I am covering the cake with a bittersweet chocolate glaze, but the original recipe is served plain with a lemon glaze.

Print
Chocolate Almond Torte
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus additional for dusting
  • 400 g 1-3/4 cups finely ground almonds
  • 85 g 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the chocolate icing:
  • 85 g 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 85 g 3/4 stick margarine or butter, cut into pieces
  • 75 g 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 22 cm 9-inch cake pan or springform pan ( I use a springform)
Instructions
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350°F). Butter pan and dust with sugar, knocking out excess.
  2. Stir together ground almonds, chocolate, and spices in a bowl. Beat yolks with 1/4 cup sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, then beat in zest.
  3. Beat whites with salt with cleaned beaters in a large bowl until they just hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks.
  4. Stir one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites in 2 more batches. Fold in ground almond mixture.
  5. Pour batter into mold and bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in mold on a rack 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
For the chocolate icing:
  1. Melt chocolate with 1 tablespoon margarine in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Remove from heat and add remaining 5 tablespoons margarine, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until smooth. Transfer icing to a bowl and chill, covered, until slightly thickened and spreadable, about 30 minutes.
  2. Spread icing over cake with a small metal spatula. Sprinkle almonds on the top and sides of the cake. Chill cake until icing is set, at least 1 hour. Transfer cake to a platter and bring to room temperature before serving.

 

The other cake I considered making this year is another favourite of mine. It is a spice cake with a chocolate glaze. Simple and delicious. I do not remember where I got this recipe.

Print
Chocolate Almond Torte
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus additional for dusting
  • 400 g 1-3/4 cups finely ground almonds
  • 85 g 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the chocolate icing:
  • 85 g 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 85 g 3/4 stick margarine or butter, cut into pieces
  • 75 g 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 22 cm 9-inch cake pan or springform pan ( I use a springform)
Instructions
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350°F). Butter pan and dust with sugar, knocking out excess.
  2. Stir together ground almonds, chocolate, and spices in a bowl. Beat yolks with 1/4 cup sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, then beat in zest.
  3. Beat whites with salt with cleaned beaters in a large bowl until they just hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks.
  4. Stir one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites in 2 more batches. Fold in ground almond mixture.
  5. Pour batter into mold and bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in mold on a rack 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
For the chocolate icing:
  1. Melt chocolate with 1 tablespoon margarine in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Remove from heat and add remaining 5 tablespoons margarine, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until smooth. Transfer icing to a bowl and chill, covered, until slightly thickened and spreadable, about 30 minutes.
  2. Spread icing over cake with a small metal spatula. Sprinkle almonds on the top and sides of the cake. Chill cake until icing is set, at least 1 hour. Transfer cake to a platter and bring to room temperature before serving.
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