Mar
27
2012

Heavenly Chocolate Cake

A Passover Cake Good Enough To Eat All Year Long!

Heavenly Chocolate Cake

When my mother-in-law asked me to make a dessert for her Passover seder, I had my work cut out for me.

First off, as you likely know, you can’t use flour to make anything on Passover. In addition, I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth to begin with. Sure, there are some desserts I love—homemade strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, lemon meringue pie…but this is Passover, people.

So, after hunting around and making some modifications, I landed on the recipe below. It turned out really great and everyone loved it!
It’s light, airy, and not too, too sweet.
 
This cake is heavenly enough to just maybe make you forget-for a few glorious moments-that you have to eat matzah for a whole week. It’s even good enough to eat all year long!
 
 
************************************
 
Heavenly Chocolate Cake
Adapted from The New York Times via Smitten Kitchen
 
Ingredients:
 
Cake:
12 oz fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
12 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
 
Filling:
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted*
1 teaspoon vanilla*
* alternately, use 4 tablespoons vanilla sugar
 
Preparation:
 
 Preheat oven to 350°F.
 
 Grease three cake pans and line bottoms with a greased piece of parchment paper.
 
 Melt chocolate with water in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Cool to lukewarm.
 
 Beat yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until thick and pale—about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer. Fold in melted chocolate until blended.
 
 In a large bowl, beat whites, with cleaned beaters, until they just hold soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of whites into melted chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites—gently, but thoroughly.
 
 Spread batter evenly over baking pans and bake until puffed and top is dry to the touch—15 to 18 minutes—rotating cakes between racks to ensure they bake evenly. Transfer pans to cooling racks and, if necessary, loosen edges with a knife.
 
 Sift cocoa powder over top of cake layers and place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the pans. Place a baking sheet over paper and invert cake onto it, gently peeling off wax paper lining. Place layers in the freezer for about an hour, until they are firm enough to be carefully lifted without breaking.
 
 To make filling,use beaters to beat cream with powdered sugar and vanilla, until it just holds stiff peaks.
 
 Bring first cake layer out of the freezer and arrange on platter, cocoa side down. Spread 1/3 of filling evenly over the cake. Bring the next cake layer out of the freezer, placing it gently over the filling, again cocoa side down. Repeat this process until all layers and whipped cream are used.
 
 Keep cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Chocolate grated with a vegetable peeler makes for an excellent garnish.

Find even more tricks, tips, and awesome recipes to help get your through this eight-day holiday.

Mar
27
2012

Passover Pot-Roasted Beef With Potato And Horseradish Cake

The Perfect Passover Recipe

Passover Pot-Roasted Beef With Potato And Horseradish Cake

A Passover-friendly recipe, for those of you seeking inspiration this week. This flavourful dish pairs a richly flavoured roast with a great twist on spuds.

The closest thing I’ve ever had to the potato 'cake' are scalloped potatoes, but, of course, the horseradish brings an entirely new accent to this dish. It worked perfectly with the wine and rosemary-infused beef.
 
 
************************************
Pot-Roasted Beef with Potato and Horseradish Cake
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients:
2 lb beef tenderloin, trimmed (pot roast a suitable substitute)
Salt and black pepper
6 fresh rosemary sprigs, stems discarded
1 bulb of garlic, broken up, cloves left whole with skins on
Extra virgin olive oil
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 heaped tablespoons horseradish
1/2 bottle of Merlot wine
1/3 lb butter or margarine
 
Preparation:

 Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mash up the rosemary with a clove of garlic. Loosen with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then rub this all over the beef.

 Preheat the oven to 450F. Parboil the sliced potatoes in boiling, salted water for around 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, and transfer to a bowl with just enough olive oil to coat them. Season well with salt & pepper. To make the potato cake, use a round greased or non-stick cake tin. Place half the potatoes into the tin or pan, smearing the horseradish over the top. Place the rest of the potatoes on top, then pat down and put to one side.

 Brown the beef, on all sides, in a pan over high heat. Add the garlic cloves to a snug-fitting roasting pan, then place the beef on top of them and put in the oven, with the potatoes on the shelf below. Cook for 25 minutes, then turn the beef over, baste it and add the red wine (depending on the size of your roast and pan, be sure not to exceed coming half way up the beef) and butter to the pan. Remove the potato dish, then carefully place a clean tea towel over it and push down to compact the potatoes into a nice tight cake. Put the potatoes and beef back into the oven for another 20-25 minutes. If using a meat thermometer, allow the beef to reach an internal temperature of 140F.

 Remove the beef from the roasting pan and set aside on a cutting board, tented with foil. Mash up the garlic cloves, then pass the remaining sauce through a sieve.

 Carve the beef into slices. Divide the potato cake between 4 serving plates, and serve alongside the meat. Pour some of the jus over top of the beef.

Find even more tricks, tips, and awesome recipes to help get your through this eight-day holiday.

Mar
27
2012

Grilled Chicken Fingers

Skip the deep-fryer, say goodbye to the oven and pull out the barbie

Grilled Chicken Fingers

There's nothing I enjoy quite as much as a challenge on the grill. When I was asked to come up with a grilled version of the classic breaded chicken finger I certainly had my work cut out for. It's hard to compete with a deep-fried favourite that children love to devour.

Luckily, not only is this a healthier way to prepare chicken fingers, it turns out all three of my kids loved them! They have great flavour, a great crunch and when dipped into the dipping sauce are just undeniably delicious.  

Ingredients:
 
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
2 cups Panko crumbs
Cooking spray
 
Preparation:
 
 Combine barbecue sauce, vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl. Set aside 3/4 of the sauce in a bowl. Add all the tenders to the bowl with the remaining 1/4 of the sauce and stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
 
 Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Lightly beat eggs in another small bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Removing each tender from the marinade, shake off excess sauce then coat in flour. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off, then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on a baking sheet. Lightly coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray.
 
 Refrigerate breaded fingers for an hour to set coating.
 
 Spray the cold grill with cooking spray to prevent the breading from sticking to the grill. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
 
 Place the breaded chicken on the grill's grate and close the cover. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken, but should range from five to 10 minutes per side. Flip the breaded chicken only once to avoid ruining the breading.
 
 Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.