Everyone celebrates at certain times of the year with their family; and every festival in any culture has unique foods to help to make it even more special.
I may end up in the bad books for spreading these secrets but all for the greater good of delicious food and satisfied stomachs.
Desserts are a unique part of holidays for me and I have so many fond memories from childhood of ice-cream, baked cheesecake, jam doughnuts and specialty cakes.
So here are some that I prepared for Passover this year in Paris.
This is a short excerpt of the many family favourites for this time of year.
A big thank you goes out to my family for sharing its secrets!
(1) Bon Vivant – a Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
250g ground hazelnuts
250g unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate, melted
Hazelnut Meringue Base
Separate eggs, beat whites until stiff
Add half, 250g, of the sugar slowly
Add the hazelnuts quickly, trying not to lose any of the air
Place in a large greased and lined tray
Bake in a 175 OC oven for 15-20 mins
Soft Chocolate Cake Top Layer
Beat the softened butter with half the sugar until pale white and thick
Add egg yolks and melted chocolate
Cream until light and fluffy
Pour over the hazelnut base
Bake in a 175 OC oven for 10-15 mins
Cool in the baking dish, place in the fridge or freezer, it is best cut when very cold as the chocolate top is soft
Serve at room temperature in small bite sized pieces
This is decadent and so richly delicious you want be able to control yourselves!
(2) Tunisian Stewed Fruits –
500g Whole dried apricots
500g Whole dried prunes
300g golden raisins
Juice of 2 lemons
1 lemon, sliced
Add your dried fruits to a pot and cover with water, add sugar and lemon juice and lemon slices
Cook it for half an hour till the fruits are soft
This is a natural prokinetic for that prolonged period with Matzah – effective and delicious!
(3) Almond and Chocolate Meringues –
8 Egg Whites Whole dried apricots
150g Almond Meal
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
+/- Dark Cocoa for the chocolate variety
Beat the egg whites until stiff in a metal bowl
Add the sugar slowly and beat until thick, very stiff and the sugar has dissolved.
Carefully fold in the almond meal without losing the air
Use half the mixture for vanilla and add dark cocoa to the other half mixture
Pipe into little swirls on baking trays with paper
Bake in a 150 OC oven for 30-45 mins depending on whether you prefer them crunchy or chewy in the centre
They should have dried out and come easily away from the baking paper
Dust with cocoa and dip the bottoms into melted dark chocolate OR use the correct technique and line the back of a metal tray with cling film, pipe chocolate and then place onto the meringues onto the mounds of chocolate leaving a thin layer over the base and refrigerate until set
These are bite-sized gold!