Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sweet Seder: Chocolate Passover Torte

Growing up very Southern and very Catholic, my only experience of Passover was the biblical story told every year during "Passover Sunday" mass--fleeing Egypt, no time for the bread to rise, forty years in the desert.  Now that my circles are wider, and I have some Jewish friends, I've had the privilege of a much broader experience of Passover. 

This was especially true when, a few years ago, my friends Elizabeth and Dennis invited me to Passover Seder.  I learned a lot, I ate a lot, and (thanks in part to the chocolate torte I brought) I've been fortunate enough to be invited back.  Mazel tov!

So, baking for Passover is tricky.  First, there's the no flour rule.  No wheat flour, no rice flour, no corn starch, no nothing of the kind.  Second, since the meal is often one that is meat-based, there's the no dairy rule.  Fortunately, my good friends at Epicurious.com were not deterred...

Passover Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce

8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted kosher-for-Passover pareve (non-dairy) margarine
8 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
5 large egg whites
Paper doily
Fresh raspberries (optional)
Raspberry Sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Stir chocolate and margarine in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool until lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until pale and very thick, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture in 2 additions and beat until well blended. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake torte until crust forms on top and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter and some moist crumbs still attached, about 55 minutes (top may crack). Run small sharp knife around torte to loosen. Cool in pan on rack (torte will fall and crack). Remove pan sides. Invert torte onto platter. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and store at room temperature.)

Grind 1/3 cup sugar in blender until fine powder forms. Place doily atop torte. Sift ground sugar over doily; gently remove doily. Garnish torte with raspberries, if desired. Serve with Raspberry Sauce.

Raspberry Sauce
2 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, with juices
1 cup sugar

Purée raspberries with juices and sugar in processor until smooth. Transfer mixture to strainer set over bowl; press on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Literate Baker notes:  You can save yourself a bowl, a beater, and a whole lot of trouble by whipping the egg yolks and whites with the full cup of sugar until thick and pale yellow.  You'll still get a really nice rise.  Also, the ground sugar is a pretty decent substitute for confectioner's sugar, but I like the crackly top and don't think it's necessary.

In addition to being Passover-friendly, this recipe is a great choice if you need a gluten and/or dairy-free dessert.  It is reminiscent of chocolate souffle and always a crowd pleaser.  I mean, it's no matzoh ball soup, but it will definitely...

Keep it sweet.
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1 comment:

  1. It was a truly amazing chocolate torte. And, really, the most popular item on the menu. Go Dawn!!! Thanks so much.