Passover Dessert

Flourless Hazelnut Cake

Flourless+Hazlenut+Cake.jpg

Makes 12 servings. 

A light tea cake which I like to serve with a raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries, this dessert is moist and has a bit of texture. It keeps fresh for many days refrigerated. Be gentle when you slice it, the hazelnuts make it difficult to cut. Keep this cake in mind for Passover.

INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:

  • ¾ pound hazelnuts, toasted (See Note)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine

  • 2 tablespoons potato flour

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature (See Note)

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • Zest of one lemon

  • ¼ cup lemon juice, about 1 large lemon

  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting the cake

INGREDIENTS FOR RASPBERRY SAUCE:

  • One 12 ounce package unsweetened frozen raspberries, thawed

  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

PREPARATION FOR CAKE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F 

  2. Chop the hazelnuts semi- coarsely, in 2 batches, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. 

  3. Grease a 10x2 ½ inch spring form pan with margarine and dust with potato flour. Invert pan and shake off excess. 

  4. Beat egg yolks in an electric mixer at medium speed, adding sugar gradually until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

  5. Lower the speed and add the lemon zest and lemon juice, beating until combined.  

  6. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff. 

  7. With a large rubber spatula, fold half of the nuts and a quarter of the whites into the yolks.  Repeat with the rest of the nuts and another quarter of the whites.

  8. Now reverse the process, pouring batter over the whites. Gradually fold the two mixtures together, making a motion like a figure eight, until all the whites have disappeared. Pour batter into pan distributing the batter evenly and smooth the top, if needed.  

  9. Bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes. It’s ready when you insert a tester into the center and it comes out dry.  

  10. Cool on a wire rack. The cake may drop a bit.

  11. Release the sides with a metal spatula and remove the rim. Loosen the bottom as well

  12. Invert onto a platter.  If the bottom is not attractive invert it again. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. 

PREPARATION FOR RASPBERRY SAUCE:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a blender until smooth.

  2. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve. Push the solids through the sieve with the back of a wooden spoon to obtain as much puree as possible. Be sure to scrape the underside of the sieve.

  3. Discard the pulp left in the sieve.

  4. Season to taste with sugar.

NOTE:

To roast the hazelnuts spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place  in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 minutes. Rub in a dish towel to remove the skin (some skin will remain). 

I separate the eggs when they are cold. This prevents the yolks from breaking. Then leave them to warm a bit at room temperature.

 

Pine Nut Cookies

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Makes about 5 dozen bite size cookies.

These cookies are pareve, gluten free, bite size and ideal on Passover. They keep very well, refrigerated and stored in a tight fitting container with wax paper between the layers. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ cup pine nuts
  •  1 ¾ finely ground almond flour with skin (See Note)
  •  2/3 cups sugar
  •  1 ½ to 1¾ large egg whites, at room temperature, well whisked

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Line an 18 x13 inches cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the pine nuts on a piece of wax paper.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the almond flour with the sugar.   
  5. Add 1 ½ egg white to the almond flour. Combine with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes a paste (it may take a few minutes. If it is still too dry to roll into a ball add some more egg white).
  6. Roll the dough into cherry size balls. They will expand when baking.
  7. Roll the balls in the pine nuts, pressing gently.   
  8. Place on the parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes. The underside should be lightly golden.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

NOTE:

I use Bob’s Red Mill ground almonds flour with the skin. Once opened, I freeze it.

If you find it difficult to roll the cookies, do it with wet hands.

 
 

Chocolate Almond Mini-Macaroons

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Not only are these mini cookies easy to make but they are also delicious.  They are great   on Passover and any other time of year. They are also a fun activity for children .They keep crisp and fresh refrigerated.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet imported chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 3 ounces blanched almonds
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease 12x18 baking sheet with oil.
  3. Place chocolate and almonds in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and chop semi- finely.
  4. Beat the egg white at a high speed till soft peaks show, then add sugar gradually until the whites are very stiff.               
  5. With a rubber spatula fold the chocolate-nut mixture with the whites, combining well.
  6. Drop flat teaspoonfuls of batter unto the baking sheet. The best way to do this is to slide the batter with another teaspoonful to form mini balls.
  7. Bake for about 13 minutes, or until the tops feel firm to the touch. Let rest for a few seconds and release carefully with a metal spatula. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Refrigerate in an air tight container with wax paper between the layers.

Note:

It is best to beat the egg white in a metal bowl.

 
 

Almond Macaroons

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

These, delicious, dainty cookies keep for a long time, refrigerated.  They are perfect for Passover or all year round.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 11 ounces blanched almonds
  • 2/3 scant cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature, lightly beaten with a fork

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 12x18 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place 9 ounces of the almonds in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and chop until medium fine, do it in two batches. Keep the rest for the tops.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and add sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Fold in the egg whites and combine well (a wooden spoon helps). Let rest for a few minutes to allow the egg whites to absorb.
  5. With wet hands roll flat teaspoons of the mixture unto smooth balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet and top each cookie with reserved whole almond (from time to time, rinse your hands).
  6. Bake for about 16 minutes or until the tops feel lightly firm to the touch.    
  7. Right away gently release the macaroons (a metal spatula helps) and place on a wire rack to cool.
  8. Refrigerate in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers.  
 
 

Prunes Poached in Red Wine

Makes 4 servings.

Prunes are really dried plums that have enormous health benefits.  This is a delicious, versatile dessert that I like to serve warm, either as is or with a dollop of chocolate sorbet and biscotti.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cups good quality dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut into very thin slices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 7 ounces pitted prunes (See Note)
  • Zest from one orange, cut into thin strips, optional

PREPARATION

  1. In a small saucepan with a cover, combine wine, honey, vanilla bean and cinnamon.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Add prunes, bring to a boil and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and add the zest.

NOTE:

Prunes come in 7 ounce packages.