Tag Archives: passover

Flourless Almond Cake

almond cakes

Flourless Almond Cake

The almond is native to modern-day Syria, Israel, and Turkey, though it was spread to parts of Europe and North Africa in antiquity. Romans referred to almonds as “Greek nuts” and showered newlyweds with them as a fertility charm.

This is the perfect Passover cake.

¾ cup sugar
2 cups slivered almonds
pinch ground cardamom
4 eggs
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 stick butter, at room temperature
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted (or get these from Trader Joe’s – they’re amazing)

Butter a round 9 to 10 inch spring-form pan, and cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place the almonds, sugar and generous pinch cardamom into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the eggs to the mixture followed by the almond extract. Drop in the butter and process until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the mold. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The cake is done when the top if golden brown, feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Unmold the cake, invert onto a platter and remove the parchment paper. Invert the cake again onto another platter to have the top of the cake right side up.

In a small saucepan, mix the honey with the lemon juice. Set over medium heat and simmer for a couple minutes, until it has the consistency of a glaze.

Spread the honey on the outer circumference of the cake – about 1 to 2 inches – using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the glazed area with the toasted sliced almonds and serve.

Serves 12 to 15

This cake is adapted from Patti Jinich’s Flourless Almond and Porto Cake

Matzo Ball Soup

matzo ball soup

Matzo Ball Soup

In celebration of Passover, only unleavened bread may be eaten to commemorate when Egypt’s pharaoh agreed – after 10 plagues – to let Moses’ enslaved people go. The Jews left their homes so quickly that they didn’t have time to prepare bread for the journey. Instead, they ate an unleavened mixture of flour and water that turned flat, hard and cracker-like when baked. The cracker, called matzo, when ground into a fine meal and mixed with other ingredients, became the comforting matzo ball, a type of dumpling cooked in soup.

The chicken soup is adapted from the Empire Kosher Chicken Cookbook. Matzo balls adapted from Andrea Watman’s recipe for Zabar’s.

For the chicken soup:
one 6 to 8 pound chicken
4 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 celery stalks
6 to 8 large carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half
20 sprigs parsley
20 sprigs dill
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons peppercorns

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, dill, garlic, salt and peppercorns in a large stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 ½ hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and chill. Once chilled, remove the surface fat to use for the matzo balls.

For the matzo balls:
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or chicken fat
¼ cup seltzer
1 cup matzo meal
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, oil, salt, pepper and matzo meal. Stir in seltzer. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours then form the balls by rolling the mixture in your hand. Dip your hands in cold water to keep them from getting too sticky. Bring the chicken broth to a boil, drop the matzo balls into boiling broth, reduce the heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. The balls will double in size and begin to float to the top when ready. Serve hot. Delicious.

Serves 12