Wednesday, December 17, 2014 Kislev 25, 5775

Did Someone Say Chocolate for Passover? Pass the Desserts!

April 2, 2014 By:
Deborah R. Prinz, JTA
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Toss the potato starch and matzah meal — serve delectable desserts this Passover made from chocolate. 

These desserts, especially if using fair trade or organic chocolate, further the awareness of the themes of Passover. They remind us of the great poverty of many cacao farmers and of the children tragically enslaved in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

Chocolate Charoset Truffles
This is a great combination of chocolate and charoset, the Pass­over fruit concoction representing the building of granaries by the Hebrew slaves. If you are using leftovers made Ashkenazi-style, you may want to drain the excess wine/grape juice. 
1⁄4 cup pistachios
1⁄4 cup pecans
1⁄8 cup almonds
1⁄8 cup pine nuts
1⁄2 tart apple
1⁄4 navel orange, with rind
few drops of sweet white wine
few drops of honey
pinch of fresh or ground ginger (or to taste) 
pinch of ground cinnamon (or to taste)
3 lbs. dark or bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces 

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Grind the nuts, apples and orange separately in a food processor. The nuts should be as close to a powder as possible without becoming “butter.” Combine the nuts, apple, orange, wine, honey, ginger and cinnamon in a bowl, mixing well. The charoset filling should have a smooth, thick texture. 

Roll the charoset into 1-inch balls. Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; remove from the heat. Using two forks, dip the balls into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet; refrigerate until the chocolate has set.

Makes 24 truffles.

Forgotten Cookies
These delicacies stay in the oven overnight, but they are not easily forgotten when you taste them. 
2 large egg whites
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, or both 
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
pinch of salt (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
30 to 40 chocolate kisses or buds

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and/or cocoa nibs and nuts. Add the salt and vanilla. Drop teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Cap each cookie with a chocolate bud or kiss. 

Place the pans in the oven; after about 1 minute turn off the heat. Leave in the oven for several hours or overnight. Carefully peel the cookies off the paper or foil using a spatula.

Makes about 35 cookies.

Wake-Up Chocolate Chunks
These delicacies wake us up to Passover’s messages of freedom and conscience.
1 lb. dark chocolate, chips or broken into pieces 
1 cup almonds
1⁄2 cup raisins, dates or other dried fruit
1⁄8 cup coffee beans
2 tsps. cayenne pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
matzah meal (optional)

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, alum­inum foil or waxed paper.

Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; remove from the heat.

In a food processor with the chop blade, combine the almonds, raisins, coffee beans and cayenne. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Stir the cocoa into the melted chocolate. Once the mixture is even and getting stiff, add the chopped nuts and fruits; keep stirring. Taste to check the spice level.

If the mixture is too moist and sticky, add more nuts or matzah meal, or wait until firm enough to handle. (Cooling in the refrigerator will firm the mixture faster.)

Roll the mixture into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cool completely. Remove from the baking sheet and store in a covered container.

Makes approximately 20 chunks.

Cocoa Nibs Citrus Salad
Cocoa nibs harken back to the most basic form of the cocoa bean and may be the healthiest form of eating chocolate.
1 grapefruit, peeled (membrane removed, optional) 
2 navel oranges, peeled
3 blood oranges, peeled
4 clementines, peeled
pomegranate syrup (optional)
several tablespoons cocoa nibs (try your local health food store or online)
pistachios, roasted and chopped

Cut the fruit into bite-size pieces and place in a large serving bowl, preferably glass. Add the pomegranate syrup to taste.

When ready to serve, sprinkle the cocoa nibs and roasted pistachios over the fruit salad.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz is the author of On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Re­cipes to the Magic of Cacao.

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