By Elizabeth Kurtz
My Pesach desserts are delicious. I always keep lots of chocolate around because it’s just a wonderful ingredient and perfect for Pesach. We all have many recipes for great flourless chocolate cake so I put together a few other desserts that include lush chocolate but are not what everyone else is serving.
The chocolate walnut torte looks like a Tweed Torte, with puffed up meringue, nuts and chocolate all folded together. The blondie bars, rocky road bars, and brownie drop cookies are fantastic in your Passover repertoire, and won’t last long – they are that good. And the Orange Chocolate Lava Cakes are a terrific twist on traditional chocolate molten cake. Happy Pesach cooking!
CHOCOLATE WALNUT TORTE
This is a meringue torte so its light and filled with chocolate and walnuts. Its deceptively moist and speckled (kinda tweedy) and has no flour or egg yolks. It’s gluten free too. I like it with some whipped pareve (non-dairy) cream on top.
- 1 cup walnut pieces (or a full ½ cup of ground walnuts)
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or use semi-sweet)
- Zest of 1 small orange, optional
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 7 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon kosher for Passover cream of tartar, if available, or omit
- Pareve whipped cream for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
In a food processor, pulse walnuts with 1 tablespoon of sugar until finely ground (alternatively you could use about ½ cup ground walnuts and mix with sugar). Take the nuts out of the food processor and place in separate bowl. Using the same processor, pulse the chopped chocolate with 1 tablespoon sugar, until chopped into pieces of varied sizes, from coarse meal, to ¼-inch bits. Add chocolate to nuts and then mix in orange zest (if using) and salt.
Using a mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar (if using) until creamy white and soft peaks are formed. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar until egg whites are glossy and stiff, but not dry.
Pour half of the chocolate mixture over the egg whites and fold together. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture and fold until thoroughly combined but do not over-mix.
Scrape the batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the torte is puffed and golden brown on top.. With a tester a toothpick inserted in the center should come out moist and with some melted chocolate stuck to it.
Run a knife around sides of pan before releasing the springform. The cake can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored covered at room temperature or frozen, well wrapped for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BLONDIE BARS
Makes 24 (2 inch square bars)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup neutral oil, plus extra for greasing pan
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
- 3 ¼ cups ground almonds
- ¼ cup potato starch
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch pan. Press in a piece of parchment paper that is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Grease the top and sides of the parchment. Set it aside.
Place the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add he ground almonds and potato starch and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix to distribute.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are brown, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Let it cool. Loft out the parchment and then cut into squares or bars. Store at room temperature for up to five days or freeze up to three months.
ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES
- 4 ounces chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup oil or margarine (use a neutral oil like grapeseed oil)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup matza cake meal or potato starch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped in little pieces
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt chopped chocolate and oil/margarine, until smooth, stirring so the chocolate does not burn. Stir in the sugar, turn off the heat and cool a little bit.
Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Stir in cake meal, salt and chocolate chips. Fold in marshmallows and walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 26 – 28 minutes, or until moist crumbs appear on a cake tester. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the marshmallows reserved for the topping. Bake for an additional 4 – 5 minutes or until marshmallows appear a little toasted and puffed up.
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips for the topping over low heat. Drizzle melted chocolate all over the brownies and then sprinkle with walnuts.
Cut into bars. These freeze well. Defrost in the refrigerator.
BROWNIE DROP COOKIES
Rich and cake-like, just like a brownie, but also crunchy like a cookie. Use chunks of anything you like in these, from dark to semi-sweet chocolate or even white chips. Or use hand chopped chocolate which is meltier and luxurious. For perfectly moist, slightly gooey cookies, take the cookies out of the oven when they still seem a little soft to the touch, they will firm up as they cool. These are great year round!
- 4 tablespoons margarine, cut into chunks
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup walnut or pecan pieces, toasted
- 6 ounces chocolate chunks or white chips or 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease cookie sheets or line sheets with parchment paper.
Melt the margarine and bittersweet chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl over simmering water or melt in the microwave. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla. Set aside and let cool for a few minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
In a small bowl, whisk potato starch and baking soda. Then add it to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Stir until smooth, glossy and the batter comes away from the sides of the bowl (this is important). Stir in the nuts and chopped chocolate or chips.
Scoop slightly rounded tablespoons of the batter and place 2 inches apart onto thcookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are puffed and crackled on the surface but soft to the touch. Cool completely.
ORANGE CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES
Super terrific twist on chocolate molten cakes.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted margarine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 whole egg, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate, margarine and oil in a medium bowl in the microwave until completely melted, about 1 minute. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Stir in the orange zest and cool slightly.
Whisk the sugar, egg and yolk until pale in a medium bowl. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the potato starch and vanilla until smooth. Divide the batter among four prepared muffin tins. Bake the cakes until just barely dry on top (they will be soft in the middle), about 12 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool, about 5 minutes.
Gently flip the cakes onto a plate. Sprinkle the cakes with sea salt and top with the orange supremes. Drizzle with a bit of oil.