Monday, April 21, 2008

fun with matzo meal

Passover has begun, and I'm slated to prepare an informal Seder meal at the mad hippie engineer house this week. I am now in the process of actively procrastinating on exam outlining, so I'm taking the opportunity to experiment with various kosher-for-Passover desserts.

A crash course in kosher-for-Passover rules: No leavening agents. No wheat, no rye, no barley. And if you're Ashkenazi, no legumes or corn, or derivatives thereof.

As you can imagine, these rules make kosher-for-Passover baking an interesting challenge. Desserts are mechanically leavened with beaten eggs; classic flour substitutes are matzo meal and ground nuts. And making desserts pareve, or okay to serve with either a meat meal or a dairy meal, adds an extra layer of complexity.

I decided to avoid the pareve issue in my first attempt, which is a dessert that is somewhere between a pudding and a cake, a distant relative of the murderous chocolate torte. (Which is also kosher for passover, by the way.) Combining whole-wheat matzo with chocolate may sound off-putting, but it really works quite well. The grains soften and give the dessert a delightfully toothsome texture.

(Sorry, no photos. My test subjects demolished the cake before I could track down Alex and her camera.)

Passover Almond Chocolate Pudding-Cake

Kosher for passover, but not pareve. If you're preparing a meat meal, consider baking this cake instead.

(Serves eight to ten.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch pan.

Melt two sticks of butter and one-and-a-quarter cups of dark chocolate chips together in a bowl over simmering water.

Beat four eggs in a stand mixer until foamy and tripled in volume. Fold half the eggs into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the other half. Stir in one cup of whole wheat matzo meal, half a teaspoon vanilla extract, half a teaspoon almond extract, and quarter of a teaspoon of salt.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Shake the pan to level the mixture out.

Bake for fifteen minutes if you want a soft, pudding-like texture. Bake for half an hour if you'd prefer something more cakey. Bake for twenty minutes if you'd like something in-between. Whichever way you choose, it disappears quickly when served warm with whipped cream.


Julie said...

The no-flour thing is sort of fun -- like a cooking challenge, and your pudding-cake sounds excellent.

adele said...

Oh, it's definitely an interesting challenge. Now I just have to figure out the pareve thing...

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Would be a good idea to bribe Alex to stay close next time...great post. Like the sound of the recipe...nice! Got here from Ann's at Redacted! Cheers

adele said...

Hello, passionate baker!

I try to warn Alex when I'm going to be baking, but I tend to do it impulsively. Maybe I need to wire up a system to alert her - I'm sure the mad hippie engineers could help me with that.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Lisa Cornelius said...

Darn test subjects! I'd have loved to seen a photo because it sounds devine. mmmmmm...

Cakelaw said...

This sounds soooooo good. Anything containing one and a quarter cups of choc chips can never be bad, right!

adele said...

Chocolate makes everything better.