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Passover Chocolate Torte

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Since it’s Passover / Easter time, I thought that it would be a good idea to post a recipe that could be served at the seder or other family get-together during the holiday.  Now this is specifically for Passover, but of course can be used at Easter brunch.  I just specifically decided to list this because of the dietary requirements for the Passover holiday.

My understanding of Passover isn’t as in-depth as it probably should be.  Being a non-Jew, memories of this holiday for me usually involve huge baskets filled with candy with some weird gigantic pastel rabbit hopping about.  But at Passover, any kind of leavening or chametz is forbidden.  This Jewish tradition commemorates when Pharoah released the Jews from slavery back in the day.  They knew they had to hurry and get out of Dodge, so they could not even wait for the bread to rise — hence the whole unleavened tradition.  Pharoah did eventually have a change of heart and went after the Jews, but that didn’t really go well for him.  If you would like a visual accounting of what happened, just watch The Ten Commandments.  I’m sure it will be on TV sometime in the coming weeks.

Now this isn’t limited to cakes or breads, but applies to alcoholic beverages for the most part (I wonder about potato vodka).  I think that this is all about fermentation and yeast.  So I don’t know how chemical leavening (baking soda, baking powder) factors into this.

Anyhoo, let’s get to the recipe.  This is a flourless Chocolate Torte, so it should be fine for Passover.  Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb. chopped chocolate (dark or bittersweet)
  • 3/4 c. butter, diced
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 7 whole eggs
  • 9 in. round pan

1.   Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and coat your pan with cooking spray.

2.  Place the chocolate and butter in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl.

3.  Combine the water and the sugar and bring to a boil, making sure the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate & butter mixture.  Stir with a spoon until melted and smooth (you could use a whisk to combine, but I think that would incorporate too much air into the cake).

4.  Whisk the eggs to combine.  Add a small portion of the chocolate to the whisked eggs to help temper them.  Then gradually mix in the eggs to the remaining chocolate.

5.  Transfer to the prepared pan and bake in water bath halfway up the side of the pan for about 45 – 50 minutes, until the center is set.  Cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator.  Cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.

To plate, you’ll have to warm the cake up to get it to release.  You could do this by placing it in a water bath (kinda like you did when you baked it) for a few minutes.  It should release when inverted onto a serving plate after tapping it out.

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Coconut Pie

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Here’s a recipe that I found at Penzey’s.  It’s very simple and has some good flavor.  Here’s the ingredients:

  1. 1 stick of butter, melted
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 c. sugar
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  6. 1/2 c. flour
  7. 2 c. milk
  8. 3 c. shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  Pour into an ungreased 9 in. pie plate.  Bake for about 35 – 45 minutes until browned.  Let cool.  Run a thin knife around the rim of the pie plate to help release before cutting

According to the recipe, this makes its own crust so do not put it in a pie crust.  When I made it, there was a crust that was formed, but it was not as pronounced as I thought it would be.  The pie did fall apart somewhat, so I’m trying to adjust the amount of flour and eggs in it.  I did add the zest of an orange which completely changed the end product.  I loved it, but it was a little intense so maybe half that amount would be enough.  You could also try mixing in some slivered almonds or something along those lines to just add a different texture, if you like that kind of thing

Hello y’all!

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Hello everyone.  Just bear with me cuz I’m just learning how to work this blog.  But I wanted to give y’all a brief introduction into what this site will be about.  Cooking and baking for me (and for lots of folks) is an evolutionary process.  Everything is always changing — new ingredients, new techniques, new tools of the trade, and all that jazz.  So nothing is really static.

Whenever I see a recipe, I see it as just a starting point.  Many times, I already know what I want to change (usually in regards to flavor profile) and go from there.  Hopefully what I’ve done and what I’ve learned can help others.  I can share what works, what doesn’t work, what really doesn’t work, and then post all the chronicles on-line.  Just stay tuned in and watch the magic happen 🙂