Passover desserts are always a challenge, especially those that are made without any matzo products and still taste delicious. Here are some terrific desserts from some of my favorite cookbooks (including my own)! These Passover desserts are too good to pass over!
When I asked cookbook author Gil Marks to share one of his favorite Passover dessert recipes, he suggested this versatile chocolate mousse with its intense flavor. The recipe comes from his cookbook “The World of Jewish Entertaining.” An added benefit is that this dessert is non-gebrochts.
Gil Marks believes that dairy ingredients mute the flavor of chocolate. His motto is “Never serve a dessert on Passover that you wouldn’t eat the rest of the year!”
Gil Marks offers 3 different, delicious ways to serve this delectable mousse. The simplest method is to serve it in individual dessert dishes. A second option is to bake part of the mousse mixture in a pie plate. It will cave in after baking, forming a chocolate shell that is then filled with the reserved mousse. A third option is to bake part of the mousse mixture as a sheet cake, then fill it with the reserved mousse mixture and roll it up to make a scrumptious chocolate-filled log. The choice is yours – so why not make all 3 versions! Enjoy!
Gil Marks’ Versatile Pareve Chocolate Mousse
8 to 10 servings
- 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
- ¼cup water
- 8 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and water, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating until stiff and glossy (3 to 5 minutes). Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
- Pour into a bowl or individual serving dishes, cover, and chill until set (at least 4 hours).
Chocolate Mousse Pie:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and dust with sugar.
- Pour 4 cups of mousse (above) into prepared pan, reserving remaining mousse in refrigerator.
- Bake until set (about 25 minutes). Cool for 30 minutes, then chill. (Center will fall, forming a shell.)
- Pour reserved refrigerated mousse into chocolate shell. Refrigerate until serving time.
Jelly Roll Mousse Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spoon 4 cups of mousse into a 15 1/2- by 10 1/2-inch jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake until firm (about 15 minutes). Transfer to a rack and let cool.
- Invert onto a piece of parchment paper placed on a flat surface, peel off the paper, and spread with the remaining mousse.
- Roll up from a long end. Refrigerate until needed.
Slice and serve.
This show-stopping non-gebrochts dessert is one of the signature Passover recipes in Divine Kosher Cuisine: Catering to Family and Friends, by co-authors Rise’ Routenberg and Barbara Wasser. The cookbook, published by Congregation Agudat Achim in Niskayuna, NY, is available online at www.divinekosher.com. This chocolate nut delight is guaranteed to please your guests!
Dr. Ruth’s Favorite Passover Nut Torte (Non-Gebrochts, Dairy)
10 to 12 servings
A frequent visitor over the years to her local family who belongs to Congregation Agudat Achim, Dr. Ruth Westheimer calls this nut torte her favorite Passover dessert. (image shown above)
- Potato starch for dusting pan
- 12 large eggs, separated
- 1½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cups finely ground walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans with removable bottoms. Line each pan with parchment paper, grease again and dust with potato starch
- Beat yolks on high speed with electric mixer until thick. Add sugar and lemon juice and beat until light yellow. Mix in nuts
- Beat whites in separate bowl at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into yolk mixture
- Divide batter into pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown or until tester inserted in center comes out mostly clean but moist. Loosen edges with knife immediately after removing pans from oven.
- Cool completely. Remove from pans and peel off parchment.
- 16 oz. heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- Whip cream at high speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- 8 oz. heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa, sifted
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- Combine all ingredients and whip at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Place 1 cake layer on plate and top with scant half of Frosting #1.
- Top with 2nd layer and spread with Frosting #2. Top with 3rd layer.
- Frost top and sides with remainder of Frosting #1. Decorate with chocolate curls and chill until serving.
Each year, I get many requests for Passover recipes that are suitable for people with diabetes, especially since the festive meals are so high in carbohydrates. I also get requests for recipes that are non-gebrochts – a double challenge!
Nechama Cohen, founder and CEO of the Jewish Diabetes Association, has written a wonderful diabetic cookbook, Enlightened Kosher Cooking: More Than 250 Good-Carb, Healthy-Fat, Sugar-Free Recipes, From the Simple to the Elegant (Feldheim).
Packed with magnificent photographs and recipes for all year round, Enlightened Kosher Cooking also contains a chapter with enticing Passover diabetic recipes and tips, as well as a list of common Passover ingredients and their nutritional values. Many of the flavorful recipes throughout the book can also be used for Passover (Read Nechama’s column).
Nechama writes: “Holidays are an integral part of Jewish life. One of my favorite parts is that they afford me the opportunity to spend time with my family and friends, creating many cherished memories. And much of this time, especially during Passover, is spent sitting down together for festive holiday meals. Surprisingly, eating healthy foods and feeling good on Passover are not so difficult. With a little bit of advance preparation, and after discussing with your health-care team the recipes and suggestions in my book, you can enjoy Passover to the fullest, while remaining within your dietary boundaries.”
Enjoy these tasty diabetic desserts from Enlightened Kosher Cooking during Passover and forget about feeling guilty!
Nechama Cohen’s Simple Almond Cookies
This dough also makes a great pie crust. For biscotti-like cookies, turn off the oven after they are baked and leave them in overnight. Then store in an airtight container.
Low Carb, Low Fat
- 2½ cups ground almonds
- Sugar substitute equal to 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond and/or vanilla extract
- 2 egg whites
- Almond halves, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend the almonds and sugar substitute together in a food processor with the knife blade.
- Add the almond and/or vanilla extract and egg whites, and blend until it forms a paste.
- Roll into small balls in the palm of your hands. Shape each one like a crescent or keep round and place half an almond in the center.
- Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with baking paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be slightly golden and soft to the touch. Remove from sheet and cool.
* Variation: Melt 2 small squares of bitterweet or baking chocolate and dip one end of each cookie in the chocolate. Place on cookie sheet to harden.
Nutrition Facts: 1 cookie (1/2 ounce) contains 70 calories, 2 g protein, 2.5 g carbs, 6.1 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.5 mg sodium, 0 mg calcium, 0.3 g fiber.
Exchanges: 1 fat.
Nechama’s Chocolate Cream
Yields 2 cups
Low Carb, Fat Free
- ½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- Sugar substitute equal to ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon liquid sweetener
- Dash of salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon potato starch
- In a saucepan, mix the cocoa, sweeteners, salt and vanilla extract with the hot water until smooth.
- In a separate bowl or cup, mix the starch with some of the liquid until smooth and return to the saucepan. Constantly mixing with a wire whisk or wooden spoon, warm over low heat until it starts to thicken.
- Cool and refrigerate. It will thicken more as it gets cold.
Nutrition Facts: 2 tbsp (1 ounce) contains 44 calories, 2.6 g protein, 4.2 g carbs, 0.3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 14 mg calcium, 3 g fiber.
Exchanges: 1/2 starch.
And for the easiest Passover cookie, try this quick and easy meringue cookie from my cookbook HEALTHY HELPINGS (Whitecap). For more Passover recipes, visit my website at www.gourmania.com and eat to your heart’s content. Wishing all my readers a happy and delicious Passover!
Norene Gilletz’ Lemon Meringue Clouds
Yields about 2 dozen cookies
These guilt-free treats taste a lot like lemon meringue pie! They’re easy to make and fat-free.
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- In a large glass or stainless mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Drizzle in lemon juice and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Continue beating until stiff and shiny. Fold in lemon zest.
- Drop cookie mixture from a tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet in small mounds. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off heat but don’t open the oven door. Leave cookies in the oven 1 hour longer. Remove cookies from oven and cool completely.
The cookies can be frozen or stored in a tightly covered container.
14 calories per cookie, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, trace protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 13 mg sodium, 7 mg potassium, 0 mg iron, 0 g fiber, < 1 mg calcium
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.