Passover baking tips and two winning recipes

Every year when Passover approaches, I receive requests from my friends to find interesting Passover desert recipes. They always say how hard it is to find a good cake or dessert recipe for Passover.  That is why this week I spoke with pastry chef Hadar Binhini, from “Dominique” bakery in Ramat – Gan, and asked her for some tips for Passover kosher baking. 

“Tere is no need breaking your heads about finding recipes appropriate for the holiday. In principle, any cake containing a reasonable amount of flour, as for example pound cakes or brownies, can be easily made Passover friendly by replacing the flour with the same amount of matzo meal, potato flour, corn flour or ground nuts. By  “reasonable amount” I mean up to – 1 ½ cups. Of course I would not recommend trying to bake a kosher pie for Passover “.

Are there any “rules” regarding when it is better to choose a specific substitute over the other? Or is it merely a matter of personal taste?

” Personal taste plays a key role, of course, however there are some general guidelines. In preparing cakes based on egg whites, which contain a small amount of flour, such as sponge cakes, I would recommend substituting with potato flour or corn flour, since it is light in texture and contributes to stability crispiness of the cake. However I would not recommend adding more then half a cup of these flours. They are usually used in baking as binding materials and even though they add to a crisp texture, they cause the cake to be heavy and leave an after taste. ”

What about those who do not eat legumes in Passover?

“If you are not eating legumes so you can substitute with ground nuts or even finely shredded coconut and poppy seed. Matzo meal would be too heavy for such cakes. As I mentioned before, in most other cakes you can easily replace the flour with finely ground matzo meal. I personally prefer to use ground nuts or a combination of ground nuts and matzo meal. But in this case you most have in mind that using nuts makes the cake considerably more expensive “.

What about other alternatives such as soy flour or rice flour, for example?

” Because of some qualities that these flours have, they are not interchangeable with white flour, and require us to make some additional adjustments to the recipe before using them, such as adjusting the amount of fluid, protein, etc. Therefore, I would not recommend to use them as an alternative unless you are familiar with them.”

                                                                                                                                 Rich & moist chocolate hazelnut cake

HaselNutchocolateckae

 

Tools:

26 cm round cake pan, buttered
Note – to bake in 24 cm pan, reduce the amount of Ingredients by 20%

Ingredients:

250 g bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
2 cups + 1 spoon (250 g) very soft butter
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1-2 tablespoons brandy
Pinch of salt
5 eggs
2 1/3 cups (200 g) ground hazelnuts

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (Turbo 165)
2. Place the chocolate and water in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir until melted. In a separate bowl cream the butter, sugar and salt until light and creamy (about 3 min). Pour in the melted chocolate together with the brandy and mix lightly with a wooden spoon until an even texture forms.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the walnuts and mix just until combined.
4. Pour into a greased baking form. Tap the form lightly a few times on the table to let out any trapped air bubbles. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the center of the cake seems firm. Do not open the oven door before 40 minutes are done, as it will cause it to sink. Let cool a few minutes in the oven before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.  Can be stored in the refrigerator.

                                                                                                                                  Impressive poppy-seed & cherry Tort

PoppySeedcake1

 

Tools:

26 cm round cake pan, buttered

Base

1/4 cup+1 spoon (100 g) soft butter (not melted)
1 / 2 cup (100 g) sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 / 2 1 cup (150 g) poppy seeds (can be substituted with walnuts, ground almonds, etc.)
1 / 3 cup (50 g) corn flour (can be substituted with potato flour or ground nuts)
1 packet vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 large jar of fruit preserved in syrup such as cherries, berries, etc.

Frosting

1 container (150 ml) heavy cream
1 package (250 g) cream cheese 20%
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
4 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation

Base

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees   (turbo 155).
2. Using your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar (about 3 minutes). Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour in the poppy seeds, vanilla sugar and corn flour. Stir using a wooden spoon until well combined and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whip together the egg whites and sugar until soft peeks form. Carefully fold a third of the whipped egg whites into the poppy seed mixture. Once a smooth texture forms, poor the mixture into the remaining egg whites, mixing gently in a folding motion only until combined (there should be small white lumps in the batter which will disappear during baking)
4. Poor into a greased baking form and bake for about 35 minutes (do not open the oven before 30 minutes have passed or the cake might sink in the middle) remove from the oven and pour 3-4 tablespoons of fruit syrup over the cake while hot.

5. Once the cake has cooled down, arrange the cherries on top, covering the entire surface and place in the refrigerator.

Frosting

whip together the cream cheese, sugar and poppy seed until soft. Pour in the whipped cream and whip until firm. Pour over the cake and refrigerate over night before serving.

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