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



8 eggs

500g sugar

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

100g sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

1 lemon, sliced


Stewed Fruits

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

450g sugar

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!



One response


    Dear Ari,

    The stewed fruits are not Tunisian but from the Ashkenazi side of our family! I know it can be confusing though!!

    I confirm the Bon Vivant is the best Pesach cake we have ever had!


    April 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm

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