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Passover Chocolate Truffle Cake

3 Apr

Passover chocolate truffle cake

Passover is less than three weeks away (yikes) so you’re probably planning your holiday meals.

This recipe isn’t what I’d call easy, but it’s really yummy and it’s gluten free. You can kid yourself that it’s good for you because it’s made with sweet potatoes – which you can’t really taste, but which help make it lighter than most flourless chocolate cakes.

You can gussy it up more than I did in this photo by garnishing with berries and/or whipped topping.

Ingredients:

16 oz. semisweet chocolate, divided
1½ cups baked mashed sweet potatoes at room temperature (or use canned sweet potatoes)
1/3 cup plus ¼ cup sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla sugar or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. very soft unsalted butter or margarine
6 large eggs, separated
¼ tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.

Melt 10 oz. of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and let cool.

Using a wire whisk, blend together the mashed sweet potatoes with 1/3 cup of sugar, the vanilla sugar or vanilla and the softened butter until well blended.

Stir in the egg hyolks and then the melted chocolate, mixing to blend.

In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer, starting on low speed. When the egg whites are foamy, add the salt and whip on high speed, slowly dusting in the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture and work in to lighten the batter. Then gently fold in the remaining 2/3 of the egg whites, blending well but taking care not to deflate the mixture.

Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes. The cake will rise somewhat, look dry, and have a slight crack on top. The middle should be soft but firm.

Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove the sides from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Chill for at least an hour.

Make the ganache glaze: Chop the remaining 6 oz. of chocolate. Bring ¼ cup of water to a gentle boil and add the chocolate all at once. Remove from heat and stir briskly with a wire whisk until all the chocolate melts and is a thick sauce-like consistency. Refrigerate for an hour.

Invert the cake onto a platter so the flat bottom faces up. Pour the glaze over the cake, using a spatula to even it out and spread along the sides.

Serves 8 to 10

Gila’s Chocolate Cake

1 Mar

 

Gila's chocolate cakeParve or dairy

I got the recipe for this cake, which could be nicknamed “death by chocolate,” from Gila Semp. It’s very rich and moist, and it’s easy to make, especially with a stand mixer. And even though it’s based on boxed mixes, it tastes homemade.

Full disclosure: I made this cake for guests last weekend, but I neglected to take a photo! This one is by Emily Hill, via Flickr Creative Commons — and I like her addition of shredded coconut and sliced chopped nuts on top, though because this cake is so rich I often make it without the chocolate glaze, and just sprinkle with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

Ingredients:

1 box devil’s food or chocolate fudge cake mix
5 eggs
½ cup oil
1 cup water
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix (most are dairy, but you can find parve mixes in kosher food stores)
1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 package (6 oz.) chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the cake mix, eggs, oil, water and pudding mix together with an electric mixer.

Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into a greased bundt pan.

Bake 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Optional glaze:

Combine a 6-oz. package of chocolate chips with ¼ cup of boiling water. Stir to combine.

Add a little more boiling water if the glaze seems too thick. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.

Serves 12 or more

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

20 Oct

cranberry upside down cake 2

I got this recipe from the Detroit Free Press. It’s a nice dessert for this time of year, when fresh cranberries are plentiful. And it’s not too soon to start planning for Thanksgiving. This would be a great addition to your feast, or a nice coffee cake to serve at breakfast the day after. It seems like there’s a lot of sugar in it, but it’s really not all that sweet because the cranberries are so tart.

Ingredients:

12 oz. cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together cranberries, brown sugar, juice, zest and cinnamon. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld electric beater), beat eggs on high speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Cascade in granulated sugar; beat, 1 minute.

Switch the speed to medium and beat in butter, sour cream, vanilla and salt. Sprinkle in flour. Mix on low, just until combined.

Scrape cranberry mixture into prepared pan. Cover with cake batter. Bake until fruit bubbles at the edges and a toothpick poked in the cake portion comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Invert a serving plate onto cake pan. Slip on oven mitts. Hold plate and pan firmly together and flip so that plate holds cake, fruit side up. Give the pan a sharp rap to loosen any sluggish berries. Lift off pan.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Serves 8

Citrus Coconut Bundt Cake

27 Jan

coconut citrus cake

Here’s a very nice cake recipe from Annabel Cohen that was recently printed in the Detroit Jewish News. I was hosting a brunch and had some aging coconut in my pantry, so this seemed an ideal choice.

The cake has a lot of flavor but is not-too-coconutty and not-too-citrusy. It has a fairly dense and moist texture. I made it without the glaze and it wasn’t too sweet. It would be very nice for brunch or dessert. There’s no milk or butter involved so if you’re kosher you can serve it with a meat meal.

Ingredients:

2½ cups flour
1½ cups sugar
1 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup orange juice
2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. graded lemon zest

Orange Glaze:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup fresh orange juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large tube of bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk well. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine coconut milk, oil, eggs, lemon extract, orange juice and zests, and mix well with an electric mixer.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix until incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Make glace by whisking together confectioner’s sugar and orange juice. Pour over cooled cake.

Cinnamon Apple Bread

13 Jan

apple breadI can’t give credit where it’s due because I can’t remember the publication from which I clipped this lovely recipe. I made it for a potluck a few months ago and it went over really well. In looking for a photo, I noticed I posted a similar recipe, Apple Dapple Cake, last August. This one is less sweet and doesn’t include nuts.

Ingredients:

⅓ cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
1¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix in.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl and stir into the butter mixture. Add milk and mix until smooth.

Pour half the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Add half the apples and half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Then add the rest of the batter, the rest of the apples and the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon. Lightly pat the apples into the batter and swirl the brown sugar mixture through the apples with a finger or spoon.

Bake about 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Applesauce Cake

30 Sep

Applesauce CakeMy first copy of The Joy of Cooking had a great recipe for applesauce cake – really a spice cake made with applesauce. When my first Joy fell apart from heavy use, I replaced it – but some of the content was different, and the applesauce cake was no longer included. When I had a large amount of applesauce to use up, I searched the Web and found this one, which looks similar.

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½  teaspoon salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups applesauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a tube or bundt pan.

Sift together twice flour, soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine. Add sugar gradually and cream well. Add beaten eggs; mix well.

Add flour mixture alternately with applesauce.

Pour into pan and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, on until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool a little before removing from pan.

Serves 12 to 16

Apple Dapple Cake

26 Aug

Apple Dapple CakeNote: We are taking a break next  week. Come back September 9 for a new recipe!

If you’re starting to plan your menus for the Jewish holidays, consider this apple cake. It’s very moist, and chock-full of apples and nuts.  I’m including the frosting recipe, but I almost always make it without the frosting, which verges on making the cake too sweet.

It can be parve as long as you don’t use butter or milk in the frosting.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup orange juice
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups chopped nuts
3 cups peeled, chopped apples (3 medium-large apples)

Frosting (optional):

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup milk, apple juice or orange juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans or a bundt pan. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, eggs, oil and juice. Add the flour mixture in thirds until combined. Stir in vanilla, then fold in nuts and apples. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 45 minutes for the loaf pans or 1 hour for the bundt pan, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pan(s) and cool on a wire rack.

If you frost the cake, start the frosting (it’s more like a glaze) as soon as the cake comes out of the oven.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter or margarine and milk or juice and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cook 2½ minutes, stirring constantly. Cool slightly, then pour the hot frosting over the hot cake. (Be sure to put some foil or newspaper under the rack to catch the drips and make cleanup easier.)

Serves 10 to 12