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Mar 30, 2009 06:45 PM

Great Pesach Desserts?

Looking for some really good pesach desserts, with an extra twist or something. Don't want the ususal, so please help. TIA

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  1. Years ago, my mother very slightly adapted a traditional Italian cookie recipe, which is almost totally inherently K-for-P. It's good enough that we both make them during the year, and routinely get asked for the recipe:

    Ricciarelli di Siena
    Makes about 24 cookies - double it, as they go pretty quickly!

    2 egg whites
    dash salt
    1 + 1/4 c. gran. sugar, divided
    freshly grated rind of 1 orange
    1 tsp almond extract
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    10 oz ground almonds
    1/4 c. matza meal, or potato starch if you don't eat gebroks, or flour during the rest of the year
    2 Tbsp margarine
    confectioner's sugar (optional)

    Beat egg whites with salt until stiff & dry. Gradualy
    add 1 cup sugar and beat to marshmallow consistency.
    Add orange rind and extracts. Last, add almonds. Mix
    until mixture is a fairly hard paste.

    Combine flour with 1/4 cup sugar. Generously grease a
    baking sheet with margarine and sprinkle with flour
    and sugar mixture. Divide almond paste into 24 equal
    parts and shape each into a diamond. Place 2" apart
    and bake at 350F for 12-13 minutes.

    Remove from oven and (optional) sprinkle with
    confectioner's sugar while still hot. (I never bother)

    2 Replies
      1. re: GilaB

        My mom made something very similar but used cake meal not matza meal.

      2. I already posted the first half of this a few days ago, but I have also added to it. It's hard to know what is meant by "an extra twist" or not "the usual," because I have been making some things for years, but they are nothing like the popular sponge cakes or Passover brownies, so maybe they will qualify as unusual . . . for someone, at least.

        New for me, though not new in the ultimate sense, I plan to make the chocolate mousse recipe koshergourmetmart posted (from the NY Times last year) when I had asked about the mousse dessert at Smokey Joe's. (I put it at the end of this post)

        I also looked on and put in "passover dessert" as a search term. I found a couple of things that looked good, one in particular is called Torta di Carote. As it was originally a Gourmet mag recipe, though, I'm not sure it will qualify as "easy."

        And if you can get your hands on a book called Fabulous and Flourless, it's a great book for lots of Pesach desserts. It's NOT a Passover cookbook, but rather one for people with wheat/gluten and dairy allergies, but because of what the recipes avoid, it makes it a great resource for Pesach recipes. I remember one year making four recipes from it, including some really interesting sweet potato-based cookies, and others with various nuts. Not everything is totally Pesachdik, but there's enough there to warrant a look. It may be out-of-print; I'd suggest trying a library or Amazon's used books option, if it interests anyone.

        I have made a number of recipes from Bon Appetit, specifically their April 1985, April 1992, and April 1996 Passover articles. I specifically recommend the Banana Nutmeg Cake with Caramelized Brown Sugar Sauce and the Raspberry Dacquoise Cake from the 1985 article and the Pecan Macaroon and Fig Tart (which I have also made with dates) from the 1996 article, and especially the Raisin Streusel Cake in the 1992 article. The fig tart is very impressive, but the Raisin Streusel Cake is probably my most favorite Passover dessert of all. It's a simple cake, but delicious. I have made various changes to it, which you can see in the comments on the recipe on Cooking Light has also had a couple of great articles with great desserts; their 2004 article has Passover Pecan Bars and a Baklava Cake which are amazing, and the Maple-Walnut Espresso Torte in their 2005 article is also excellent. (Some, but not all, of the Bon Appetit recipes can be found on and the Cooking Light recipes on These are my favorites up to now, but I may find something new this year.

        Here is the mousse recipe:

        11 ounces bittersweet chocolate
        8 large eggs, separated
        3/4 cup sugar
        1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
        2 tablespoons kosher for Passover brandy.

        1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate over low heat. Cool slightly. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until light. Whisk in olive oil, brandy and melted chocolate.

        2. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, whisking until stiff but not dry.

        3. Fold whites into chocolate mixture so that no white streaks remain. Spoon into an 8- or 10-cup serving bowl or divide among 8 or 10 dessert cups or glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

        Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

        2 Replies
        1. re: queenscook

          Seems like you should use Extra Light OO instead of EVOO. Still, sounds good. Thanks.

          1. re: DeisCane

            When I tried it out, I actually used canola, but this is the way it was published in the Times.

        2. From my Cookbook-Olive Oil Desserts by Micki Sannar

          Chocolate Lava Lava Cake SERVES 8

          A flourless cake that is truly to die for. Like a volcano, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Best if served right away. You could store it in the refrigerator... but you won’t want to!


          ¼ cup................... pure olive oil
          ¾ cup................... semi-sweet chocolate chips
          4 large.................... eggs, separated, discard 1 yolk
          1 tablespoon........ granulated sugar
          ⅓ cup.................... granulated sugar
          ½ teaspoon........... butter extract
          2 teaspoons.......... pure vanilla extract

          COCOA DUST

          ½ cup .................. powdered sugar
          1½ teaspoons....... dark cocoa powder (Dutch milled is best)

          PRE PARATION
          1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously spray 8
          individual ramekin dishes with olive oil cooking
          spray. Place on a cookie sheet (for balance
          and over-spills).

          2. In a microwavable bowl add olive oil and
          chocolate. Melt on high for about 1 minute.
          Stir until completely melted and set aside.

          3. In mixer bowl add egg whites and beat on
          high speed until soft peaks form. Turn mixer to
          low speed and slowly add 1 tablespoon of sugar
          and beat for another minute.

          4. In mixing bowl add 3 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar,
          butter and vanilla extracts. Beat until smooth and

          5. Fold chocolate mixture into egg yolk mixture.

          6. Using a spatula or large spoon, fold egg
          white mixture into chocolate mixture until
          completely blended.

          7. Pour approximately ¾ cup into prepared ramekin
          dishes. Bake for 11~14 minutes. Outside should
          be crusted. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes.

          Co c o a Du s t P r e p a r a t i o n
          In small mixing bowl add powdered sugar and
          cocoa powder. Mix until completely blended.
          Use a shaker or a fine mesh strainer to dust the
          top of the cooled cake. Garnish with a couple
          sprigs of mint.

          Su gges t i o n : Add a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or frozen yogurt on the side, and you are in heaven.

          12 Replies
          1. re: oliveoilchic

            Nice recipe. KP Vanilla extract is VERY hard to find, though, if it exists at all. KP vanilla sugar or pure vanilla bean should probably be used instead.

            1. re: DeisCane

              KP Vanilla definitely used to exist, though perhaps only artificial; I finished a bottle (Lieber's brand, I think) last year, but didn't replace it, so I can't check if it was real or artificial. If I need any this year, I am looking forward to opening a bottle of pure vanilla extract that comes from Israel, though it has the Kof-K hechsher. It has a vanilla bean right in the bottle, so I think it will be far better than what I've had up 'til now. It's a 100 gram bottle, so it should give me a few years' worth of vanilla. But if you can't find any, and don't object to artificial extracts, there are other flavors readily available. In a recipe like the one above, I think almond or orange would work quite well.

              1. re: queenscook

                The cake sound delicious! But I'll prob skip the vanilla and use vanilla sugar. I remember seeing vanilla extract-artifical- somewhere and putting it down b/c it was too expensive.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  i saw the real vanilla extract this year in shop rite in west orange and I believe in various kosher supermarkets in brooklyn

                  1. re: koshergourmetmart

                    Yep, I got some from the Shop Rite in Cherry Hill NJ. Thank you.

                    1. re: koshergourmetmart

                      What brand is the real vanilla extract?

              2. re: oliveoilchic

                This looks wonderful--my husband's 40th birthday is the night of the 1st seder & I'm dying since I can't find any KP margarine. But what's Butter Extract? Does that make this dairy?

                1. re: dknylic

                  Are you in NYC? I've seen KP margarine in almost every store I've been to.. .

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    I am in NYC, and there's a whole thread devoted to the lack of KP margarine (sticks, for baking) on Chow! Though thanks to that thread, it looks like my dad's going to score some in Brooklyn tomorrow. I hope.

                    1. re: dknylic

                      dknylic--I have seen lots of margarine this year, despite what many thought would be the case (myself included). But I'm still planning to avoid it because of the health issue (though I am tempted to make Pecan Pie squares that I don't think would work with oil . . .). Anyway, there are many cakes you can make using oil. And I've never used it, but I assume butter extract is parve.

                      1. re: dknylic

                        Where in NYC are you? I had to call around to find some on the UWS yesterday, but the Kosher Marketplace (Broadway between 90th and 91st) had a good supply of the one pound blocks. Nobody is making the stick form per se this year, but the blocks are the equivalent of four sticks, with the same water level, and are thus good for baking (unlike the tub form).

                        1. re: dknylic

                          What else is he looking for? I bought dates (to make charoset) in one of the stores on Kings Highway for $2.99/lb. I also saw the margarine there, but didn't buy any.

                  2. I feel like Quinoa guy this year but there are several recipes out there for a Quinoa rice pudding. Many call for coconut milk so I'm going to try fresh coconut pulverized in the food processor and added to regular milk. Ad some cinnamon and diced mango....

                    This variations uses pureed banana to add some flavor and texture:


                    Not sure there's a viable pareve option, but I'm thinking about it (if there was pesachdik canned coconut milk, maybe).

                    1. Another great idea is French macarons (not the coconut Pesach macaroons) - basically a meringue using almond flour (almonds pulverized in a food processor). Lots of great flavor combinations: