"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Passover Sponge Cake with Apples

With this post, I present to you the fifth-to-last cake in the cake chapter. I'm closing in on it!

Passover, as you may or may not know, poses a certain challenge to cooks since there are strict dietary rules around, well, everything. But especially baked goods since leavening is not allowed, nor are certain grains. So what's an intrepid baker to do?

Fortunately all that really needs to be done is to find a few good recipes and hit your local market for items you might have otherwise overlooked, like matzo cake meal and potato starch. There are many recipes in The Gourmet Cookbook that are appropriate for Jewish holidays, and Passover Sponge Cake with Apples is one of them.

The loft in this cake is provided by egg whites beaten to stiff peaks and folded into a base of yolks, sugar, lemon juice, matzo-meal and potato starch. You get a layered effect by alternating the cake batter with apple slices and cinnamon sugar.

This is a very pleasant cake but a little on the dry side so it's improved greatly by something to make it juicier, like whipped cream, ice cream or macerated fruit. Are those things kosher for Passover? I'm not exactly sure, but since I'm not Jewish I won't worry about it too much.

But since we're on the subject, I have a few things to report from friends who are--my neighbor Don who scoffed at this recipe and said that nothing can beat his flourless chocolate torte (I'm inclined to believe him) and our local rabbi, who told me while we were working out (he takes karate too) that a week of eating matzo is enough to wring the evil out of anybody.

So, if you're feeling evil but want to get right AND if you hate chocolate, give this recipe a shot. Otherwise let me know and I'll see if I can get the recipe for Don's flourless chocolate torte.


Anonymous said...

I heart really good flourless chocolate cake like the one I used to buy from Crixa Cakes in Berkeley.

Don said...

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Separate 6 eggs
Beat whites with 2 Tbsp sugar until it holds peaks

Cream together:
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups melted semi-sweet chocolate bits
- 4 Tbsp coffee or rum

... then add

- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup ground almonds (I use a coffee grinder)
- 1 cup matzoh cake meal (you can buy it or grind up some matzoh until it's flour-like)

Add & gently fold in the egg whites.
Place in a buttered 10 inch torte pan.
Bake @350 degrees for about 30 minutes (until a tooth pick, poked in the center, comes out dry).

Gourmet on a Budget said...

This looks awesome! I'm an amateur gourmet, check out my blog: http://www.gourmetcookingonabudget.blogspot.com