I grew up in Jewish home and Passover was always a favorite holiday. Our family was large when I was young and we went to my Grandma Ida and Grandpa Joe’s apartment in Brooklyn of the magic expanding table no matter what. For years, my girl cousins were miffed at me since as the oldest, I was seated at the grownups table, not the childrens table. Times changed
Dukkah-Spiced Chocolate–Covered Matzoh
Recently, I went dukkah mad, and that madness led to the creation of this dish. Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend made with nuts, cumin, sesame, coriander, fennel seeds, pepper berries, salt, some dried herbs, and chili pepper. The ingredients are lightly toasted and ground into a powder and make a divine dust for bread dipped in olive oil. During my dukkah delirium, I made batch after batch with different combinations of spices and nuts. I still had jars of them when my daughter asked me to make matzoh toffee for a Chanukah party. I spied the dukkah and thought, “Why not something different?” I slathered the matzoh with olive oil–enhanced Ganache Glaze, and finished with a shower of dukkah. The pieces were quickly devoured.
The recipe can be found here: http://francostigan.com/blog/dukkah-spiced-chocolate-covered-matzoh-for-passover/
For Passover and Easter
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
This is a delicious, preservative-free version of that canned cookie that appears on virtually every Seder table. These macaroons are too good to eat only on Passover, and you certainly don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy them.
The recipe can be found here: http://francostigan.com/blog/chocolate-dipped-coconut-macaroons/
Raw Chocolate Fudge and Mandarin Orange Tart
Raw chocolate fillings often taste like date paste–flavored cocoa (to me anyway). While that can be fine, is certainly not a rich and silken chocolate fudge. This filling is different. Luxuriously smooth and definitely chocolate, I’m betting that whether or not you are a raw enthusiast, this recipe will find its way into your file of favorite chocolate fillings. The filling can be spread into the baked Almond Cookie Crust, too, for a change of pace, and Dutch-process cocoa can be used. It won’t be a raw recipe, but it will be very good.
The recipe can be found here: http://francostigan.com/blog/raw-chocolate-fudge-and-mandarin-orange-tart-for-national-pie-day/
Mendiants are a French confection, composed of nuts and dried or candied fruits strewn on disks of melted chocolate. They look beautiful but can be time-consuming and tricky to make when using tempered chocolate and candying the nuts. I made a simpler version by using leftover ingredients. Melted chocolate left from a recipe test? Check. Walnuts or pine nuts? Yes. Four squares of candied ginger, a handful of dried cranberries . . . you get the idea. This is probably heresy but it works, so be creative. By the way, traditionally the nuts and fruits were chosen to represent the four monastic orders, or mendicants, of the church.
The recipe can be found here: http://relish.com/recipes/mendiants/
Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles
The liquid in this unusual, slightly chewy chocolate truffle is made by cooking fresh orange juice and finely minced orange zest with tahini (sesame seed paste) and agave syrup. While this truffle ganache is not perfectly smooth, the truffles taste very creamy, and the coating of lightly toasted sesame seeds provides color and crunch.
The recipe can be found here: http://francostigan.com/blog/vegan-chocolate-orange-sesame-truffles/
Chocolate, Orange, and Almond Olive Oil Cake
If you have ground almonds in your freezer, this cake takes almost no time to prep. (If youdon’t it’s fast anyway.) But don’t rush the baking and final steps: it is important to bake the cake until it is dark golden-brown for the best texture, and to sprinkle a layer of chopped almonds on the serving plate so that the bottom of the cake doesn’t stick to the plate.
The recipe can be found here: http://francostigan.com/blog/virtual-vegan-potluck-chocolate-orange-and-almond-olive-oil-cake/
Friends, I LOVE comments so please do! What will you be cooking for Passover and/or Easter this weekend? Do you play around with tradition or do you cook versions of the food served around your family table? Do you have one food that you must have in order for you to “feel” the holiday?
Dukkah-Spiced Chocolate–Covered Matzoh, Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroon, and Raw Chocolate Fudge and Mandarin Orange Tart photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Mendiants, Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles, and Chocolate, Orange, and Almond Olive Oil Cake photos by Kate Lewis.