Desserts for Passover used to be a drab affair. If you wanted to purchase one, you’d find boxes of sponge cake mixes, some cookie mixes and boxed macaroons. Even if you wanted to make your own dessert, finding kosher for Passover ingredients were a bit of a challenge. Well, those days are long behind us now. Supermarket shelves during Passover boast all sorts of new baking products that are specifically designed for baking during the holidays, and boxed goodies have evolved as well. Really, baking for Passover can be a creative endeavour to relish.
Coconut meringue cookies with caramel topping
This cookie bakes up flatter, sweeter and chewier than a macaroon. They’re also great without the caramel topping.
o 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
o 2 tbsp. potato starch
o 2 large egg whites
o pinch salt
o ½ cup granulated sugar
o ½ tsp. vanilla powder
o ½ cup granulated sugar
o 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
o 1 tsp. coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 325. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the coconut and potato starch in a bowl stirring until well combined.
Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks. In a thin stream, gradually add the sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in the coconut mixture and vanilla powder. Spoon 18 spoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, with about 2 in. between them. These cookies will spread.
Bake in the centre of the preheated oven until browned on top and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheet on a wire rack.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over low heat, combine the sugar and ¼ cup water. Cook gently until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil without stirring but brushing down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in cold water, until the mixture turns a deep amber colour, 5-8 minutes. Add in the butter.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture stops boiling and the caramel is smooth. Remove from the heat. Drizzle evenly over the cookies and sprinkle with salt. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks). Makes about 18 cookies.
Hazelnut chocolate meringue with chocolate cream and fruit
Use a regular semisweet or bittersweet chocolate for this meringue, with a cocoa content of 65 per cent or lower.
o 2/3 cup granulated sugar
o 5 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
o ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped
o 3 large egg whites
o 1 tsp. lemon juice
o pinch salt
o 1 cup whipping cream
o 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
o 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
o 1-2 cups fruit
Preheat the oven to 300. Place a piece of parchment paper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Trace a 9-in. circle on the paper. Turn the paper over.
Combine half of the sugar, chopped chocolate and hazelnut in a bowl; set aside.
Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice and salt until soft peaks form. In a thin stream, gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the hazelnut mixture.
Spread the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, just inside of the circle. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200. Bake the meringue for 1-1/2 hours or just until firm on the outside. Turn off the oven and let the meringue sit there for one hour. (Meringue can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days).
Place meringue on serving dish. Beat whipping cream with sugar and cocoa powder. Spread over top of meringue. Scatter fruit over. Makes about 8 servings.
Orange cheesecake with pomegranate and raspberry glaze
You can certainly make the glaze with all pomegranate juice or all raspberry pureé but the consistency of using both works really well for this cake.
o 1 cup matzah meal
o 1/3 cup granulated sugar
o ¼ cup shredded sweetened coconut
o pinch salt
o ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
o 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
o ¾ cup granulated sugar
o 2 tbsp. finely grated orange rind
o 1 tbsp. potato starch
o 3 large eggs
o 1 large egg yolk
o 2 cups sour cream
o 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
o 1 cup pomegranate juice
o ½ cup pureéd raspberries, seeds removed
o 5 tsp. potato starch
Preheat the oven to 325. Centre a 9-in. springform pan on a large piece of foil, pressing the foil up the sides of the pan; set aside.
Combine the matzah meal, sugar, coconut and salt in a bowl. Pour the melted butter over, stirring until the matzah mixture is thoroughly moistened. Press onto the bottom of the springform. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer or using electric beaters, beat the cream cheese with the sugar, potato starch and orange rind until very fluffy, about 5 minutes, Scrape down the sides and the bottom occasionally to make sure all the lumps are smooth. One at a time and beating well after each addition, beat in the eggs. Beat in the yolk. Fold in the sour cream and the orange juice.
Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour in enough hot water so that the water comes 1-in. up the sides. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked crust. Bake in the centre of the oven until the centre jiggles just slightly and the edges are set, 65 to 75 minutes. Run a small paring knife around the edges of the cake. Turn off the oven. Let the cake cool down in the oven for 1 hour. Remove cake from water bath and remove foil. Let cake cool in springform on a wire rack.
Bring pomegranate and raspberry juices to a boil in a saucepan set over high heat. Dissolve potato starch in 2 tbsp. cold water. Whisk into juice mixture. Continue boiling, whisking constantly, until the juice mixture is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour evenly over the cheesecake. Chill for at least 8 hours or for up to 2 days
Remove springform pan. Smooth sides of cake if necessary. Serve with fresh berries. Makes 12 -16 servings.