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Passover desserts question


I'm looking for Passover desserts that don't taste like Passover. I don't like Passover sponge cake or cookies and I also don't like flourless chocolate cake - too dense. I really need something sweet and substantial after dinners and fruit doesn't always cut it. I pretty much eat different varieties of macaroons from the cans or matzoh tasting cake mixes which I can't stand, but eat anyway. I would really like to have something better to satisfy my dessert craving. Any help would be most appreciated, including links to sites or blogs. Thanks very much and happy, healthy Passover to all.

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  1. All the good stuff is milchig--cheesecake, mousse, etc.

      1. re: magiesmom

        Smitten Kitchen has a lot of suggestions here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/17-...

        Last year I made the Payard chocolate-walnut cookies and even people who don't like walnuts LOVED them. They were really good. I always make a pavlova and matzo crunch too.

        1. re: sharonlouk

          there was one year that those cookies were going to be mass produced-I believe they even won kosherfest's best passover product. unfortunately it did not come to pass.

          1. re: sharonlouk

            Payard and Matzo Crunch are my go-to too.

        2. Some of the favorites desserts made by family include meringue cookies with chocolate chips, mandelbredt, matzoh brittle and pareve fruit ices -

          1 Reply
          1. re: weinstein5

            Last year I discovered a fairly well-known recipe for an apple cake. It does have matzah meal, but I found it so moist and full of tasty spices, I don't think it tastes like a typical Passover cake.

            Arthur Schwartz’s Apple Cake
            Makes one 8-inch-square cake (though I made it in a round springform)

            1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
            3/4 cup sugar
            1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or a combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger

            3 eggs
            3/4 cup sugar
            1/3 cup vegetable oil
            3/4 cup matzo cake meal
            5 medium apples, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups), preferably Golden Delicious, Crispin (Mutzu), or other apples that keep their shape when cooked
            1/3 cup raisins (optional)

            Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil an 8-inch-square glass baking dish.

            To prepare the topping, mix together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

            To prepare the cake batter, in a bowl, with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until well mixed. Beat in the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until the mixture is thick and foamy. Beat in the oil, adding it in a steady stream. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the spatula, stir in the matzo cake meal, blending well.

            Pour half of the batter mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle about half the topping mixture evenly over the batter. Top with half the apples and all the raisins. Scrape the remaining half of the batter over the apples, spreading it out to cover the apples. Arrange the remaining apples on top of the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping mixture.

            Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the sides of the cake pull away very slightly from the baking dish and the topping has begun to caramelize. (A cake tester is not reliable. It will not come out clean due to the moist richness of this cake.) Let sit in the baking dish for several hours until completely cool before cutting into serving portions.

            I also make lots of flavors of sorbet, and varieties of meringues.

          2. You can safely stay away from Passover specific cookbooks. On a chocolate dessert cookbook I have a couple of flour less chocolate cakes that are intrinsically kosher for Passover. I can dig them out for you if interested

            2 Replies
            1. re: mrotmd

              The OP specifically said they didn't like flourless chocolate cake, although that's my favorite Pesach dessert, too.

              OP - have you tried desserts based on ground almonds? There are many lovely almond tortes and cookies out there. I make Italian ground almond cookies each year that aren't specifically a Pesach recipe, but happen not to contain any chametz; they're good enough to make the rest of the year, too.

              1. re: GilaB

                I incorporate both ground nuts and beaten egg whites to give flour less cakes a bit less density. Certainly the ganache style ones are dense and rich. I have a chestnut one that is neither too rich or too dense

            2. Thank you all for your suggestions and for taking the time to help with my annual Passover dilemma. I will look for recipes that are nut based, and the apple cake recipe looks good, maybe I'll give that a try. I forgot about meringue cookies. A friend makes hers with chocolate chips. That could work. I really hunger for cake, though. Dairy would be fine. Anyone have a good mouse recipe that doesn't use uncooked eggs?? Many thanks again for your help.

              2 Replies
                1. re: addicted2cake

                  Temptations cookbook has a great chocolate mousse recipe that uses marshmallow fluff instead of raw eggs. I've seen marshmallow fluff with a hechser this pesach.

                2. It is possible to whirl a box of Ancient Harvest supervised quinoa into powder in small batchen in a blender, and bake banana bread, muffins, cake...

                  You can also bake a Pesach a chocolate cake as light as you wish using cocoa powder and egg whites. Density increases with the addition of yolks, shortening or melted chocolate. Experiment a little and you can hit the balance of moist richness that you personally prefer.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: AdinaA

                    bake chocolate mousse to a flourless chocolate cake

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      Is the ground up quinoa a flour sub? Do you have a recipe? I prefer light cakes with cocoa powder instead of pure chocolate. I could experiment, I guess, but I'm not so terrific without a basic recipe. Thanks!

                    2. Does anyone have a recipe for a good non chocolate and non nut, passover cake that I can then cover in a frosting?

                      1. I make a fantastic refreshing lemon mousse that I do freeze. There are many ways to seve this.
                        I inflate mini ballons and dip them in melted chocolate. Place on baking sheet lined with waxed paper and freeze, Top with homemade strawberry sauce.
                        Also crush macaroons and make a pie crust in a springform pan. Fill with lemon mousse and freeze. Serve with a fruit topping. ENJOY

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bubbyrebecka

                          Could you share your recipe for lemon mousse? Thanks for the tip re: using the macaroons as a pie crust. Great idea!

                          1. re: bubbyrebecka

                            Passover Lemon Mousse (frozen) 6 eggs separated 2TB fresh lemon rind

                            1 1/2 cup sugar pinch salt 1/2 cup and 2TB lemon

                            juice from 6 lemons

                            Whisk egg yolks, add 1/4 sugar,lemon juice and lemon rind. Place in sauce pan and stir until thickened .DO NOT BOIL When thick as pudding cover with nplastic wrap puncture wrap to allow steam to escape. Chill 1 hour, then beat egg whiesi with salt until soft peaks form. Fold in 2 batches to lemon mix and freeze
                            Get creative when serving.

                            stir over moderate heat

                          2. Our standby is chocolate dipped fruit: strawberries, kfp dried fruit, whatever you have available.
                            Molly Katzen's Still Life With Menu suggested this and gives instructions. It's honestly the only use I've ever found for pesach margarine. Another thing to do with strawberries is sprinkle them with a little sugar and then a little basalmic vinegar and let them sit an hour or so at room temperature (or even through the entire seder. ) They will be tasty with a resulting syrup. You can eat them alone or use them to top any pesach cake. Even a dry or too dense cake will be greatly improved if you use these macerated strawberries as a topping. (You might want to put them on the cake a half hour before serving if you think it's really too dry.)

                            1. Try this chocolate cake recipe from Bon Appetit:


                              I've been making it for many years and everyone freaks out over it. You don't even realize it's KFP. Enjoy!!

                              1. Most of these (www.thekitchn.com/post-101-145256) are kosher for Passover.

                                One calls for grand marinier which can be substituted with a half-half mixture of orange juice and moscatod'asti and another calls for cherry brandy that would also be a good use for manechewitz/kedem concord grape wines.

                                They're all pretty sweet without being heavy and the extra fibre some of us need around this time of year.

                                1. I made these brownies a few days ago and they are delicious. I know my guests will really like them, and then I thought I didn't make enough so last night I made another batch. I left the nuts out...just a personal preference.


                                  And these Martha Stewart macaroons are also done and in my freezer. Nothing like the canned ones.


                                  1. A couple weeks ago I read in a number of related articles that the OU banned or doesn't approve quinoa as suitable for Passover. If you've been looking at ways to use this ingredient, you might want to double check first.

                                    That said, there are quite a number of things to play with as far as desserts go for the holiday. Skipping the sponge cakes, macaroons and flourless chocolate cakes that you said you'd rather avoid, other posters have made some great suggestions.

                                    One snack (not quite a dessert) that we enjoy at my house is a variation of chocolate chip cookie that does not taste anything like Passover! Crunchy, not overly sweet and nothing resembling cardboard! I'd be happy to share if you like.

                                    I also adapted a year-round recipe for Passover a couple years ago and it has been such a hit that I've had requests from friends of family and friends of friends just due to word of mouth. I'm very proud of it as it was one of those "trial and error" things. The truth is, the original recipe was so very close to the Passover version (it was half ground almonds to start with! can't beat that, really) so it wasn't that much of a difficulty to work out the ratios for replacement ingredients. The cake is moist and fruity - and you can choose pretty much any fruit you like. The original was a Raspberry Bakewell cake, my favorite sub is Blueberry Pesach Bakewell :) Again, I'd be happy to share if you think you'd like to give it a try.

                                    If you're a lemon pudding kind of person (these things take the edge off the traditional cakes) then I have a fabulous microwave lemon curd/pudding recipe that takes all of 10 minutes including preparation time and will keep up to 3 weeks in your fridge.

                                    Mexican brownies made with a combination of matzo cake meal and a little potato starch is a great variation of a truly mouthwatering year-round brownie. Lots of cinnamon and chocolate. This one's more of a cake-y brownie rather than a fudgy one, but so very tasty. Yum. Now I'm getting hungry!!

                                    Another easy choice is fruit (insert choice here) crumble made with matzo cake meal, sugar and margarine to top instead of the usual flour or flour and oats. Sure, it's matzo-ey, but something about baked fruit really drowns out the matzo. And a dash of your favorite spice might make it even better.

                                    Good luck with the ideas, as well as last minute preps for the holiday.

                                    Chag Samayach!

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: monkroo

                                      You are greatly mischaracterizing the OU's position on quinoa. Read p. 19 of their Pesach guide (available on their website at OU.org) to see what they actually said.

                                      1. re: queenscook

                                        I have actually seen the virtual Pesach guide on the OU website. And it's on page 21 not 19.

                                        I quote the virtual OU pesach guide as found on their website:

                                        Website: http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/pas...
                                        Link from website: http://passoverguide.realviewdigital....

                                        "Some kashrut organizations recommend using quinoa on Pesach and others do not. Since OU posekim (authorities) are dividied on this issue, the OU does not recommend using it, but you should ask your Rabbi for his guidance. [Even those who choose to be lenient must check through their quinoa grains carefully before Passover to ensure that no chametz grains are mixed in.]"

                                        That said, the quinoa issue really wasn't the point of my comment/post to begin with, rather that considering what I'd heard/read, it was simply a suggestion that people "double check" for their own sakes.

                                        My post was meant to offer dessert suggestions to the original poster.

                                        Thank you for you comment, however.

                                      2. re: monkroo

                                        It wasn't the OU, there was a caution from the cRc based on some issues raised by StarK. I'd go to that Board for the complete discussion. OU Rabbi we checked with and my ipad App say buy before Pesach and check for kitnyot. You'd need to buy the Trader Joe's or the Ancient Harvest Brand in boxes, not in bulk.

                                        1. re: lburrell

                                          I rewfer you to my reply to queenscook, above. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8411...

                                          Thank you for responding, though.

                                          1. re: monkroo

                                            We did indeed ask our local (West Coast) OU Rabbi. For a few years some of us vegans and vegetarians here in the West Coast have speculated that the East Coast Rabbis who seem to be less vegetarian and vegan friendly would some day try to put the kabosh on quinoa for Passover. So I've been somewhat amused to see this division appear. Not sure why they don't show the same concern about revelations of adulterations to purported pure extra virgin olive oil. Probably because East coast communities rely upon the olive oil, but quinoa is exotic there, while it's becoming a year round staple here.

                                            1. re: lburrell

                                              *nods* I can hear that. I must say, Lucky You! I'm not vegetarian or vegan and don't rely heavily on certain foods like others may, and when I asked my rav I was told not to use it.

                                              I've also been surprised at some things that are permitted on Passover. I suppose the best thing we can do is to trust our rabbinic authority to make the right choices for us and hope we're doing things correctly. Otherwise, some of the things I've eaten (the ones that have surprised me and been approved) might well put me in the wrong!

                                              Have a great Pesach!

                                        2. re: monkroo

                                          Too late for this year, but I would still love that lemon curd recipe. I'll file it away, or even make it when it's not Pesach.

                                          1. re: monkroo

                                            I was sorry to see that your kind offer to share your Passover Bakewell Tart got buried under a lot of back-and-forth about quinoa. Could you please post your recipe? Thanks!

                                          2. Claudia Roden has a truly fabulous Pesach cake. Light and flavorful, ingredients limited to oranges, almonds, sugar and eggs. It requires a blender or food processor or a lot of mincing.

                                            It's not difficult, just a tad time-consuming. p. 286 of the 1999 NY Times Passover cookbook.

                                            1. can French macarons be eaten after a passover meal? They use almond flour, right?

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Monica

                                                They would be wonderful. In humid climates, you might have to store them in something airtight and fill shortly before serving.

                                                1. re: AdinaA

                                                  AdinaA: I would love your banana bread recipe. I only have a KLP mini food processor (not a blender)- would that make the quinoa the correct consistency?

                                                  1. re: EmpireState

                                                    The only difference from my year-round recipe is that they don't make molasses for Pesach. :-(

                                                    I use a mix of cinnamon, allspice and cloves. And add chopped dates.

                                                    Or you can skip the spices and add chocolate chips.

                                                    I suppose that I use i stick of butter, 1.5 cups quinoa flour, 2 eggs, some sugar, 4 mushed bananas and a bit of water. But I don't actually measure. It's just a standard banana bread recipe. If I'm serving it as dessert and baking it in a bundt pan, I increase the amounts and add more sugar.

                                                    The trick is to put the quinoa into the blender in very small amounts, and grind it as fine as flour. It will retain the slight grittiness of whole wheat flour. It clumps as you pulverize it, so you have to stop and bang the blender cup on the counter, or stick a table knife in and scoop it away form the sides. It is a real pain in the neck to make the flour.

                                                    But it is very popular.

                                                    1. re: AdinaA

                                                      Do you sub equal amounts of quinoa flour for regular flour?

                                              2. Date squares are nice to serve on the last day(s) of Pesach, as a change from the usual cakes. Cooked dates sandwiched between layers of "crust" - I improvise using ground nuts, potato starch, egg white, honey and a pinch of salt and/or cinnamon - or you could use crushed macaroons, as someone suggested up-thread.
                                                I also bake sugar-free cookies based on ground dried apricots and dates, mixed with ground nuts, potato starch, eggs, salt and cinnamon. Fruity, dense and yummy.

                                                1. No one was more surprised that I when a <gasp!> mix I bought from our local kosher store <gasp! again!> turned out to not only "suffice until I can get around to my baking - after all, my husband will eat almost anything chocolate regardless of pedigree. Our store had the hadar cake mixes on sales from $3.89 to 99 cents a box - maybe they were lasts years, maybe they are being discontinued, I have no idea.

                                                  I added coffee chocolate chips to the chocolate cake and frosted it with a mocha icing I made. I only added cinnamon to the nut cake, and, to the coffee cake I added some thinly sliced apples. There are certain cakes I make every year (mocha brownies!) and sadly some I don't (no one could bake all year round like my mother-in-law A"H, and especially for Passover - I'll never have the likes of her sponge cake again, so far as I can tell or have tried.)

                                                  I would use these cakes in the future if they continue to produce them. I'm going to increase the amount of apples I used with the crumb cake mx and make an apple kugel for during Yom Tov.

                                                  Again, who knew?

                                                  1. One year I spiced up some Concord Grape wine with cinnamon and cardamon and sugar and used it to poach peeled pears. I caramelized some sugar and laced thin strings of it over the poached pears. Served it with cinnamon ice cream, but you could skip that and be 100% parve.

                                                    1. I love the Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte from Alice Medrich's book Pure Dessert. No subs needed, as the recipe is flourless, and pareve: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        I think that this recipe does need subs for many people. I have never found K for P unsweetened chocolate. (Depending on where I'm going, Scharffenberger unsweetened purchased before Passover works for me, as it has 2 ingredients - cacao and whole vanilla beans, and a regular year heksher). Also, I was unable to find Passover cream of tartar (maybe it would be easier to find in bigger kosher markets) and so I used some lemon juice for the egg whites.

                                                        Anyway, this is a magnificent cake, and I hope that others make it!!!

                                                        1. re: milklady

                                                          I agree that cheesecake is great because it can be made with just creamcheese, sourcream, eggs and sugar and you can skip crust if you dont like matzo meal butter sugar and cinnamon. Also i think you can make mousse with just white chocolate or milk or dark melted, cooled and stirred into whipped cream.Google Jeff Nathans Matzo Napolean recipe because it has mousse in it and i think thats how he did it. Also, I too was shocked after a lifetime of Passover desserts to discoverlast year, some Manischewitz boxed cake mixes that were really good. The yellow or marble, both with chocolate frosing, and the coffee cake with cinnamon crumb topping really hit the mark for our sweet craving. We also piped the frosting in circles and put some cherry preserves in the middle of the 'nest' for a black forest cake feel. What box mixes did you try and not like? I was curious if the other brands werent as good... I would say the cake was comparable to an Entenmeanns, like their yellow fudge frosted..Also, this is pretty Passover-ish, but I just spread maple syrup on bothe sides of egg matzo and broiled it and flipped it til both sides were lightly golden, and when cool i broke it into pieces. Hubby who does not like anypassover desserts except the Manny's cake mix, liked it and said it tasted like cracker jacks and suggested adding peanuts to it next time. Also, i once found really good passover ice cream, and dont know if you can find any, or if you are not that Kosher, some brands dont have anything in them besides cream eggs, and sugar,
                                                          and you can make hot fudge from a passover chocolate bar or choc chips and make a sundae or banana split..

                                                      2. Every year I am the dessert lady for Passover. I make orange flan, Toffee Matzoh, frozen lemon meringue and marshmallow /fruit kabobs. I have provided the link below for the flan. The marshmallows are always the hit of the Seder. I get sparkly swizzle sticks and use strawberries, bananas and use the pastel marshmallow twists. They look beautiful are light and sweet. Enjoy!


                                                        1. I usually make a light dessert like french macarons filled with jam for the Seder, and a fancy sponge cake [like David Lebovitz's Marjolaine which is an almond-and hazelnut sponge (I think) with chocolate, praline and creme fraiche fillings (separate fillings)] for later in the week when the time for a cake like this inevitably comes.
                                                          I'm still looking for a great chocolate chip cookie recipe for passover..

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: McBrownie

                                                            Wow, that cake sounds really good. I'll look it up. Thanks!!

                                                          2. Look at the cake recipe posted for Passover on The Smitten Kitchen blog -- it's like a dacquoise with whipped cream between and on top of the cake -- looks luscious!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Beulah

                                                              I've seen that cake on Smitten Kitchen's site. Looks great, as do all her desserts. Thanks for posting!

                                                            2. Get the Temptations: Kosher Recipes for Every Occasion cookbook. It has great Passover desserts plus a conversion chart so you know what regular recipes/desserts can be used for Passover.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: daphnar

                                                                Thanks, daphnar. I don't have a good Passover cookbook. I mainly cook my usual meals minus side dishes like rice and pasta. I'll check it out on Amazon as I could use some help in the meal planning department as well as with desserts. :)

                                                              2. Late to the party, but David Lebovtiz's Chocolate Sorbet was my huge Pesach hit this year. No one could believe it was pareve. It really is that good - rich and creamy and just plain delicious. I served it in meringue nests but all it needs is a spoon. Of course you would need a Passover ice cream maker but I've seen some posters here say that they do have one. This recipe is worth making any time of the year.


                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                                  I have a cuisinart soft serve maker that was given to me as a gift. D you think this recipe would work?

                                                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                    I think it should; the bowl is probably similar to the one used for the regular Cuisinart ice cream maker.

                                                                2. I am planning on trying these Gooey Flourless Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies for the second days: http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/11/24/...

                                                                  1. I made Claudia Roden's orange almond cake this year. Instead of baking powder I separated two of the eggs and beat the whites.
                                                                    It is a fabulous cake which was a huge hit. Best made three days ahead. Stays moist a week.
                                                                    Widely found on the web.