Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ethnic Flavor: Passover Dessert Roundup Part II

Ebony and Ivory from Kosher By Design (and Passover by Design)

Do you ever make a dessert that looks so fancy that people oooh and ahhh over it, but you feel secretly smug because it didn't take very long and it wasn't very hard?  This is one of those desserts.  I have mande it many, many times and it always comes out great.  The only tiny tweak that I would make is that the coffee flavor seemed to be stronger this time than other times I have made it.  It might be the kosher for Passover coffee, so just be careful if you don't like coffee.  Usually the coffee just enhances the flavor of the chocolate.   The best Passover chocolate I have found is Alprose Swiss baking chocolate.  If you can't find it near where you are, I ordered it from Oh Nuts!  They are a great website and I highly recommend them.  This dessert was a total hit with everyone at the table.  It is also wonderful because it requires no fake Passover ingredients.  Everything is already kosher for Passover!

Mama Penny's Lace Cookies

The first Passover my husband and I spent together, he asked me to make lace cookies (as though everyone knows what those are).  It turns out they are a combination of matzah farfel, sugar, eggs, margarine, almonds and a little bit of luck.  They are a little bit like florentines, but because they are for Passover, they are very, very thin and sticky.  The recipe comes from my mother-in-law, by way of a friend of hers.  

They are good cookies on their own, but this year I made them even better by adding a twist.  I sandwiched two cookies together with chocolate (I used leftover dark and white from the cake) and they were delicious.  My husband thinks I ruined them, since he doesn't like chocolate, but we had some of both so there was something for everyone.

A silicon mat is a MUST here, otherwise your cookies will stick like crazy.  Seriously.  We have made them without one, and they often end up a in a crumbled (but delicious) mess.

Recipes for the cake and the cookies are after the jump.

Ebony and Ivory
Ebony Mousse Layer:
15 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, broken into bits
3/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
3 teaspoons instant coffee (not freeze-dried) dissolved in 3 teaspoons water [blogger note -- I would use a little less coffee, maybe 2 teaspoons, but don't eliminate it all together because it enhances the chocolate flavor]
6 large eggs, separated 
3 tablespoons sugar

Melt the chocolate and the butter together, either in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Remove from heat and whisk in dissolved coffee and egg yolks.  Set aside.
In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form.  Slowly add the sugar and beat on high until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. 
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated [blogger note -- I folded the chocolate into the eggs and it didn't seem to make a difference]

Using a spatula, scrape the mousse into a 10-inch springform pan, being careful to keep the top half clean.  Place in the fridge or freezer.

Ivory Mousse layer:
12 ounces good quality white chocolate, broken into bits
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
2 cups heavy cream

Melt the white chocolate and water on the stove or the microwave.  Make sure the white chocolate is totally smooth.  [Blogger note -- this can take a while, don't dispair]
Whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Fold the cream into the melted white chocolate into completely incorporated.  [Blogger note -- it will look kind of yellowish, but it will turn white in the fridge]

Remove the pan from the fridge or freezer and pour the ivory mousse on top of the ebony layer.  Use a spatula to level the top.

Refrigerate 4-6 hours before unmolding.  This can be made 2 days in advance or frozen for up to a month.  Store in the refrigerator.  

Mama Penny's Lace Cookies
1 cup matzah farfel
1 tablespoon matzah cake meal
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup ground almonds

Preheat oven to 325

In a large bowl, combine farfel, cake meal, sugar and salt.  Mix well.  Pour melted margarine over farfel mixture and mix until sugar is dissolved.  
Add egg and vanilla and mix.
Mix in almonds

Line a baking sheet with the silicon mat (or foil, if you must).
Drop mixture by teaspoon, 2 inches apart -- these spread

Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool completely before attempting to peel from the cookie sheet.

If you want to fill them, melt some chocolate.  Spread on one cookie and sandwich with another one of similar size.  The chocolate will harden into a yummy sandwich cookie. 

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