Friday, April 18, 2014

Chocolate & Raspberry Cake for Passover


Though a trip to sunny Miami seems to be the direction I want to be heading in, I'm in Montreal making berry Passover cakes in what seems to be a 'bipolar' spring climate. Keeping our spirit's up during this gloomy April consists of continual self-talk like "summer is coming - It better!" or "Playoffs yeay- Go Habs Go!" In the meantime and until summer really kick's in, I am on a mission to exploring simple flour-less cakes in the hopes of delighting my holiday guests in my cozy Cote Saint-Luc kitchen. In a addition to the previous Pavlova meringue cake post, this pareve chocolate and raspberry dessert recipe is a keeper to be enjoyed all year round. The combination of whip cream, chocolate and raspberries is simply DELICIOUS! To turn this thin layered cake into a thicker version, as per preference, simply double the recipe and add 5 minutes more to baking time.



INGREDIENTS serves 8
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 oz semi sweet chocolates (at least 70% cocoa solids broken into pieces)
  • 1 cup of ground almonds or hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8- 10 oz of fresh raspberries
  • 2 small cake pans 6 inches, greased and lined with parchment paper

 INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Beat with a hand-held electric beater for 5 to 8 minutes until very thick and creamy. The mixture should have leave a trail when dripping from the beaters. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and beat for another 3 to 5 minutes until cool.
  2. Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of gently simmering, not boiling water, making sure that the base of the bowl doesn't contact the water. Heat gently until the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir the chocolate until smooth. Let cool.
  3. Gradually add the cooled chocolate to the beaten egg mixture. Stir in the ground almonds  or hazelnuts, mixing lightly. Divide the mixture evenly between 2 round pans, tap on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes until well risen and the tops spring back when touched lightly with your fingers Remove from the oven and let cool for ten minutes.
  5. Spread the cream over one layer on the top and garnish with well washed raspberries ( pat dry to remove excess water).  Put the second layer on top and decorate with the remaining cream and raspberries. Store lightly covered in the refrigerator. The undecorated cake will keep for up to 2 days. 

Photos by Leslie Perez | Recipe taken from  Healthy Food for Kids by Rachael Anne Hill. 2005.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fruit Pavlova with Chocolate Syrup for Passover



This has got to be one my favorite Passover desserts! Pavlova is a delicate meringue based dessert that has a light and delicate crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center. This makes for a perfect Passover dessert typically served with softly whipped cream and fresh fruit or you can spread chocolate spread and sugared nuts.



INGREDIENTS serves 6 to 10

  • 4 large (120 grams) egg whites
  • 1 cup (200 grams) superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon potato starch 

TOPPING
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh fruit - kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pineapple, or other fruit of your choice
  • Chocolate syrup
INSTRUCTIONS

1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (130 degrees C) with the rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper. Turn the parchment paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.

2) In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat, on high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff and shiny peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers). Beat in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the vinegar and potato starch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold in. Spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)

3) Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the outside is dry and is a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)

4) The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for a few days.

5) Just before serving gently place the meringue onto a serving plate. Whip the cream in your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Sweeten with the sugar and vanilla and then mound the softly whipped cream into the center of the meringue. Arrange the fruit randomly, or in a decorative pattern, on top of the cream. Drizzle chocolate syrup and serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.



Adapted from JoyofBaking.com

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Westminister Gourmet's Matza Mille Feuille & Beyond


When I was a kid, my favorite Passover desserts were Montreal Kosher's raspberry or apricot jelly rolls. Decades later, I'm overwhelmed by IGA's selection of Passover delicacies. While the majority of Cote Saint-Luc's kosher bakeries will be closed during Passover, the latest one, Westminister Gourmet, located at 5458, av Westminster is serving up full-course kosher for Passover menus and stunning desserts - a convenient option for those who cleaned sooo much they just don't have the time to cook ;) .


An array of creamy & yummy  kosher for Passover desserts.









Opened a few years ago by Blossom by La Plaza Catering, Westminister Gourmet bakery & catering is offering chocolate espresso cakes, fruity mousses, almond coconut macaroons, chocolate chip cookies, marble cakes, Matza smores, and even cake pops ALL KOSHER FOR PASSOVER. Amid the selection I listed my favorite top 3:

1) LE MILLE FEUILLE made with matza





2) LE GATEAU RUSSE





3) ALMOND COOKIES





Westminister Gourmet
5458, av Westminster, CSL
Opened for Passover, including April 13, 14, 17, 18, 20


To place your order call 514-489-7111