For too long, Passover desserts have been considered tasteless, dry and not worth the bother. This is simply wrong.
There are plenty of delicious options, particularly if you are following a dairy or pareve meal. But even if you need a pareve dessert, we’ve got you covered.
Flourless Chocolate Torte
This cake is a showstopper. I made it for a friend’s birthday recently and she said she never wants another cake for the rest of her life. This is perfectly elegant on its own, or can be dressed up with fresh whipped cream, fruit or candied nuts.
1 pound dark chocolate
2 sticks butter (or margarine)
8 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round pan with cooking spray and line the pan with parchment. Spray the parchment. Place the pan inside another larger pan in preparation for a water bath. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter on 50 percent power for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir until smooth and add the eggs, whisking constantly. Add the vanilla and mix again.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and place the “double pan” into the oven. Pour water into the outside pan so that it comes at least halfway up the cake pan. This keeps the cake from getting too crusty on the outside, and it maintains the creamy texture.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the edges are starting to crust but center is still soft and glossy.
Remove the pans from the oven, allow them to cool in a water bath, and invert the cake on a plate. Peel off the parchment, and serve at room temperature or chilled.
Fresh Whipped Cream
This is not really a dessert — but it is a spectacular addition to any other dessert after a pareve or dairy meal. It elevates just about everything it touches, and if you have extra, put it in a Tupperware container; your morning coffee will be that much more special.
Some simple suggestions:
- Purchase Passover cakes or tarts and top them with homemade whipped cream.
- Serve pretty bowls of berries or other cut-up fruit with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Scoops of ice cream or sorbet are instantly more elegant and festive with a spoonful or two of whipped cream.
- For a dramatic presentation requiring a bit more effort, make parfaits: In a tall, fluted glass, layer crumbled Passover cookies or macaroons, whipped cream and chopped strawberries, ending with whipped cream and topping with a whole strawberry. Chill and serve.
The following recipe makes about 2 cups of whipped cream.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Place all the ingredients into a medium bowl.
Whip the mixture until soft peaks form and the cream is beginning to hold its shape. Chill thoroughly until ready to use.
Sorbet Loaf Cake
This is relatively simple to make but requires advance planning and time in between steps to ensure proper freezing.
The decor possibilities of this cake are significant; edible flowers, candy, fruit or colored sugars can make this quite elaborate — or keep it simple. You can use any combination of sorbet flavors, toppings or fillings that you wish. Toasted nuts, coconut flakes, Passover cookie crumbs, chocolate bits, caramel, chocolate spread, pureed fruit — the sky is the limit.
This basic fruit version has a tropical vibe and is nicely colorful, but you can opt for any combo that suits your taste.
1 pint mango sorbet
1 pint coconut sorbet
1 pint raspberry sorbet
½ cup coconut flakes
2 ripe bananas, sliced
In a small skillet, toast the coconut flakes over medium heat, stirring constantly. When lightly browned, remove the flakes from the heat and cool completely. (This can be done far ahead of time.)
Remove the mango sorbet from the freezer and allow it to soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes. (Leave the other sorbets in the freezer for now.)
While the sorbet softens, spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, then line it with plastic wrap, leaving several inches overhanging in each direction. Spray the wrap.
Sprinkle toasted coconut on the bottom and up sides of a lined loaf pan. Carefully scoop the mango sorbet and spread it into the loaf pan, pressing down to make an even, thick layer (about 1½ inches; there may be extra sorbet; save for another use or eat it).
Spread the sliced bananas in one layer on top of the mango sorbet, press gently into to sorbet and place the pan in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
After about 35 minutes, remove the coconut sorbet from the freezer to soften. (Leave the pan in the freezer until the coconut sorbet is soft.)
Remove the pan from the freezer, and spread the coconut sorbet on top of the bananas in a thick, even layer, again, approximately 1½ inches. Add another layer of bananas, press gently and return the pan to the freezer for another 45 minutes.
Repeat this process with the raspberry sorbet, which should fill the pan. When filled, flatten the top and wrap the overhanging plastic over the raspberry sorbet. Press gently but firmly to condense the cake. Return the pan to the freezer for several hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, run hot water over the outside of the pan for about 10 seconds. Invert the pan onto an oblong plate or tray, lift the pan and peel off the plastic wrap. Run a serrated knife under hot water, and slice to serve.