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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some Interesting News and A Recipe

I though I would share this news with all of you.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a new connection of twitter.  We sent a couple of direct messages to each other, and I was invited to be a celebrity judge at the First Annual Southeastern New England BBQ Festival.  I am very excited about this opportunity.
The BBQ Festival will be held on Sunday, September 5, 2014 on the grounds of Congregation Beth El in Fairfield, Connecticut.  They don't have a website yet, but are on Facebook and Twitter.  On Face Book you can find them at:
I love good barbecue and this should be a lot of fun.  I hope many of you will be able to attend.
Stay warm.

Pickled Eggplant Israeli Style
Makes 24 Servings

12 baby eggplants, with stems
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 red bell peppers cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
8 to 12 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, membranes removed, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the eggplants in half, lengthwise.  Brush eggplants and red peppers with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a rimmed sheet pan.  Roast in the oven until just tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
When the eggplants and peppers are cool, place in a large crock, jar, or storage container with a tight fitting cover.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and pour over the eggplant and peppers. If the eggplants aren't covered by the liquid, add some more water.
Cover the container and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for 2 to 3 days before serving.
The pickled eggplant will keep for at least a month.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

One week to Thanksgivukkah!

Sorry I'm posting so late, but I have had numerous health issues including a recent stay in the hospital.
There are no new recipes today. Just an apology and a few add ins for latkes.
Since everyone makes potato latkes, why not spice them up and change them up a little.
Add some grated parsnips or celery root to the latke batter.  How about some sautéed, sliced leeks or some sliced green onions?  For spiciness, try some cayenne pepper to taste.  How about some diced, pickled jalapeños for those who like it hot.
For a sweeter latke, add some grated carrots, or pears, or apples to the batter with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.
With apologies for no new recipes.
I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Easy Rugelach for Yom Kippur

Shana Tova again to all!
I had meant to post another entry for Rosh Hashanah, but I wound up in the hospital for a few days and had not access to my computer.  Hopefully, all will be well now.
Since Yom Kippur is so hectic, I thought a quick, easy, make ahead dessert would be great.  This recipe is easy to execute and can be made a day or so ahead.  They can also be frozen before baking and popped into the oven as needed.


1 package puff pastry, thawed
1 stick unsalted butter, 4 ounces, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I prefer Vietnamese cinnamon, but use whatever you have at hand.)
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sugar, aka sanding sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
Remove the puff pastry from the packaging.
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry until it measures 15" X 10".  Repeat with the second sheet.
Brush each sheet of the pastry with the softened butter, leaving a 1/2 inch border all around.  Sprinkle each sheet with 1/2 the cinnamon/sugar mixture and 1/2 the currants and walnuts.
Starting on the long end, tightly roll the pastry, like a jelly roll.  Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.  Slice into 1 inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Put in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
Remove to a cooling rack.  When cool, store in an airtight container.  Will keep for 1 to 3 days.

Variations:  Instead of the butter, use apricot jam or raspberry jam.


May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a Good and Healthy year!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Desserts for a Sweet Year

The summer is coming to an end, autumn is coming, and Rosh Hashanah is a week away.
Since everyone seems to make the same main courses of brisket and chicken, I've been concentrating on interesting sides and desserts.  So, in the interest of sweetness for the New Year, here come desserts.

Honey Cookies (P)

Sweet cookies for a sweet New Year, a treat for Rosh Hashanah

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies

1 cup honey
1 cup unsalted parve margarine (2 sticks), at room temperature
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and honey until light and fluffy.  Stir in the flour mixture until just blended.
Drop the dough by heaping teaspoons placing cookies 2 inches apart.  Press with the back of a floured teaspoon to flatten slightly.
Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet then place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely. 
Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

(Page 143, "Kosher Salt and Exotic Spices," by Sharyn Rosler)

Honey Ginger Cookies (P)

Honey and ginger for a Rosh Hashanah treat.

Makes at least 3 dozen cookies

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup well packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Place the four, baking soda, ginger and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together well.
Place the shortening and light brown sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla and honey and beat until well combined.  Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.  Bake about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.
Will keep for two weeks in an airtight container.

(Page 144, "Kosher Salt and Exotic Spice," by Sharyn Rosler)

Apple Nut Cake (P)

The perfect dessert for Shabbat.  Enjoy!

Makes 12 servings

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼” to ½” dice, either Granny Smiths or Jonathon Apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a 9” x 2” cake pan and line with parchment paper.

Place the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine.  
In a large bowl, mix the apples and the sugar together.  Stir in the oil and mix to combine well.  Add the eggs, vanilla and nuts and mix until well combined.  Add the flour and stir until just moistened.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Then invert onto a wire rack, turn over and cool completely.
Place cake on a serving platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

(Page 129, "Kosher Salt and Exotic Spices," by Sharyn Rosler)

Wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy, Loving, and Prosperous NewYear.
L'Shana Tova!

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Sweet Kugel for Rosh Hashanah

Sweet foods for a sweet year. Traditionally, we eat sweet foods on Rosh Hashanah. 
This kugel is a sweet treat that can be eaten as a side dish, a dessert, or a snack. It is delicious hot out of the oven, or prepared ahead of time and eaten cold or at room temperature.  Best of all, it is parve.
This kugel is full of summer fruit, a gift from my kitchen to yours for a sweet year. enjoy its peachy goodness. 

Parve Peach Noodle Kugel

1 -- 12 ounce package egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
4 large eggs
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup melted, unsalted parve margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 to 4 peaches, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted parve margarine, cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Lightly oil a 9 X 11 Pyrex baking pan

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the salt. Add the noodles and toss gently until well mixed. 
In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, pecans, zest, cherries, melted margarine, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the peaches. 

Place a layer of the noodle mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Lightly sprinkler a layer of the peach mixture over the top. Then another layer of noodles, another layer of the peach mixture, repeating until the noodles are used up.   Dot the top with the cubed margarine and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. 

Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

Rosh Hashanah is coming

Okay people, don't panic!  I know it's only a little over 3 weeks to Rosh Hashanah!

Don't worry!  I've got you covered.  

I realize many of you prepare the same main courses every year.  Brisket and/or chicken, but what about side dishes?  I know, tzimmes is a regular guest at your Rosh Hashanah table, but what if we change that up!  You might be surprised at the results you receive from your family and friends.  They'll probably gobble up the new sides.

Have you ever made a tagine?  It's a Moroccan dish named after the pot it's cooked in.  However, you don't need to run out and buy any special equipment.  You can prepare it in an ordinary saute pan.

Here's my recipe for a sweet potato tagine that's great for carnivores and vegetarians alike.

Sweet Potato Tagine (P)

A tagine is a Moroccan stew.  This is a flavorful dish that is sweet enough to serve on Rosh Hashanah or any time of the year.
Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 10 ounce package frozen pearl onions, thawed and drained
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 carrots cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Heat the oil on medium high heat in the base of the tagine, if your tagine has a metal base, or a large saute or fry pan.  Add the onions and saute about 5 minutes, until tender.  Remove half and reserve for later.
Put the sweet potatoes and carrots in the base of the tagine and saute until lightly browned.  Add the prunes, apricots, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute.  Add the honey and vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 1 hour, until carrots and sweet potatoes are very tender.  
Stir in the reserved onions, cover and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes.  Fold in the cilantro and mint, taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve warm.
Goes well with brisket, roast chicken or lamb.

This is the first installment of Rosh Hashanah entries.  Check back every few days for something new for Rosh Hashanah and for Yom Kippur.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Challah Musings

This time of year, with the holidays sneaking up on us, my thoughts go to freshly baked,honey laden, yeasty, delicious challah. Interestingly enough, I have no pictures of challahs I have baked.
Today, coincidentally, I ran into a couple of friends who do a challah bake for the local chapter of Jewish Women International.  It was the day of their annual challah bake and rising time coincided with lunch.
I have been musing on the different types of challah s I have eaten and those I have heard rumors about. There are the normal challah s, plain, with sesame seeds, with poppy seeds, and with raisins. Then there are the challahs that a bit different. Israeli challahs which are sweeter than American challahs. Chocolate chip challahs and chocolate cherry challahs, remind me to blog that recipe for you before Rosh Hashanah.
Then there are the challahs that I've heard of that are totally off the beaten path.  One that really took me by surprise was a challah made with a Milky Way Bar baked in the center.  Oh, anyone for a peanut butter and jelly challah?  I suppose the variations are endless.
As for forming a challah, how many strands would you like?  I've seen everything from a simple three strand braid to an elaborate twenty-four strand braid.  Round challahs, square challahs, rectangular challahs,  pull apart challahs and free form challahs.
A plethora of form and flavor.
One thing that is constant is their presence on Shabbat and on the holidays.
Enjoy your challahs.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Barbecue Beans for the 4th of July

I can't believe it's almost July 4th.  Where did the time go?  It's been a hectic month for me and I'm hoping things will be calming down.

July 4th congers up memories of parades, flags waving in the breeze, swimming, and barbecues.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, corn on the cob, cole slaw, potato salad, and always, baked beans--usually from a can.
These beans evoke flavors and memories of barbecues from the past.  Feel free to change any ingredients that you don't like and make this recipe your own.

Yummy Baked Beans
Makes about 24 servings

Baked Beans are great at a barbecue or picnic.  This recipe is easy even though it does have a long list of ingredients.

2 tablespoons grape seed or vegetable oil
1 large, Spanish onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 -- 1 lb. 13 oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 bottle smokey barbecue sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven.  Add the onion, garlic, and peppers and cook, stirring often, until soft.  Add the beans and mix with the vegetables.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently until well blended.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Place int the oven and bake, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour.
Remove the pot from the oven.  Let stand 10 minutes, uncovered, before serving.  Serve hot.

To reheat:  Place baked beans in a casserole and heat, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 1/2 hour until hot.

Sharyn Rosler (c) July, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Easy Pickles

It looks like it's finally summer.  Of course, it seems that spring decided to skip us this year, although we did have a few days that seemed like spring before it became cold again.
The farm stands are open and cucumbers will soon be abundant.
I love pickles.  Pickling is really nothing to fear.  In fact, you'll be surprised at how easy it is.
Just follow these easy instructions.  The only equipment you'll need are some mason jars.  That's it.
So sit back, relax, and make these wonderful pickles.  You'll surprise yourself!

Ice Box Pickles
Makes about 6 quarts

3 pounds kirby cucumbers, washed well and cut in quarters
1 large, white onion, sliced
8 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
2 cups white vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar for a sweeter flavor
4 cups water
Enough sprigs of dill to have one sprig in each jar (about 6)
1/2 cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar or to taste

Wash 6 quart jars in the dishwasher on sterilize.

Distribute the cucumbers, onion, garlic, and dill among the clean jars.
Mix the vinegar water, salt, and sugar together.  Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Divide among the cucumbers in the jars. 
Cover with clean lids and seal.  Let stand at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.  Store in the refrigerator for two to three months.
These can be eaten after two days, but the longer they stand, the stronger the flavor.


Sharyn Rosler (c) July, 2000

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another Yummy Dairy Recipe

Sorry it's been so long between postings, but I have had a few health challenges I had to deal with.
But enough about my problems.
Shavuot is a week away.  Here is a wonderful alternative to blintzes.  It can be made gluten free using gluten free flour.  These pancakes are delicious either way.
Have a wonderful Shavuot.  Chag Sameach!

Farmer Cheese Pancakes
A wonderful dish for Shavuot instead of blintzes or with them.  Delicious and easy to make.
Makes about 30 pancakes

2 1/2 pounds farmer cheese (or cottage cheese well drained.)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Grated zest of 2 lemons or limes
1/3 cup agave nectar or light brown sugar
3 large eggs lightly beaten
2/3 cups dried cherries
2 cups flour
1/4 cup grape seed oil or olive oil to cook
Sour cream for serving
Powdered sugar for serving.

Mix the cheese, lemon or lime juice, and zest together.  Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy.  Mix in the cheese mixture and the cherries.  Add 1 cup of the flour, slowly, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
Put the remaining cup of flour on a plate.  Shape the  dough into 30 - 2 inch rounds approximately 1/2 inch thick and lightly dredge in the flour.
Heat a nonstick fry pan over medium heat.  Pour in about 1 tablespoon of the oil and distribute over the pan.  Place pancakes in the pan  and fry until golden brown on each side.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with sour cream on the side.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shavuot is coming 2

I promised more dairy recipes for Shavuot.  Sorry about the lack of pictures for the next one.  I was sure I had some in my archives, but I searched to no avail.  Trust me, it is as good looking as it is delicious.

Savory Cheesecake with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Herbs (D)

Makes a wonderful main course when served with a salad or a fantastic appetizer.

Makes at least 12 servings

For the tomatoes:
1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained with 2 tablespoons of the oil reserved
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pecans
For the cheese cake:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon melted butter
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into pieces or 16 ounces cream cheese and 8 ounces mascarpone
1/2 cup sour cream, if using mascarpone, use only ¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 9” x 2” cake pan and line with parchment paper.
Prepare the sun-dried tomato mixture:
Place the basil, sun-dried tomatoes and their reserved oil, garlic, Parmesan and pecans in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the mixture is well blended and almost smooth.  Set aside.
Prepare the cheese cake:
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, thyme, salt, pepper, eggs and flour in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the mixture is smooth.
Butter the top of the parchment in the prepared cake pan and sprinkle the pecans over the top.  Press into the butter.  Pour half the cheese cake mixture over the pecans.  Spoon the sun-dried tomato mixture evenly over the cheese cake mixture.  Spread the remainder of the cheese cake mixture over the sun-dried tomato mixture.
Bake the cheesecake in the center of the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes.
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the pan on a rack and refrigerate, covered loosely for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.  (Will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.)
To serve, run a knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake, invert onto a serving platter, nut side up.  Garnish with basil leaves and smoked salmon curls.

I know you will really enjoy this.  Serve it with a nice mixed leaf lettuce salad dressed simply with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.

Another Shavuot installment coming soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shavuot is Coming!

Passover is over.  The matzo crumbs are just a fond memory, or not.  The chumetz is back and our thoughts about food travel forward a month to Shavuot.  Dairy!  What to make that is not boring or the usual.
Well, I have a few ideas about that.
For my first Shavuot posting, I have a couple of recipes that I hope are unique to you and that you will enjoy.
Let's start with a wonderful pasta dish.

Mushroom Bolognese
Makes enough to coat 1 pound of pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 large shallots, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup dry white wine, preferably a chardonnay
1 1/2 pounds porcini and shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, with liquid, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sugar if needed
1 pound linguine, cooked according to package directions
Grated Romano cheese

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots, shallots,  onion, salt and pepper to taste, and saute until soft.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 1 1/2 hours.  Taste for and adjust seasoning.

Toss with linguine and serve with grated Romano cheese.

Now we have something that I think is absolutely delicious.  Hope you like it as much as we do.

Artichoke and Chick Pea Casserole (D)

A great dish for lunch at Shavuot or any time of the year

Makes 8 servings

4 eggs, well beaten
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 -- 10 ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts
1 -- 15 ounce can chick peas
1/4 cup pimientos, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Parmegiano cheese, grated
4 tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a 9” X 13” casserole

Mix together the eggs, cream cheese, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Add half the mozzarella, the cottage cheese and mayonnaise and stir until completely combined.
Chop the artichoke hearts and fold into the cheese mixture along with the chick peas, olives, pimientos, capers and oregano.  Pour into the prepared casserole.  Place the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remainder of the mozzarella and the Parmigiano.
Tent the casserole with aluminum foil and place in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes and remove the foil.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the casserole is set.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve with tossed or Caesar salad.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Some more Passover treats

Well, it's less than a week to Seder.  Cleaning is at full steam ahead.  Hopefully a lot of the shopping for staples is done.  All that's left for me are the perishables.  Those I'll probably go to the market for on Sunday.
First, I have a wonderful non-cooked dessert.  I did this one in a Passover class I taught at Chef Central a couple of years ago.  I've had a lot of good feedback on this and I hope you enjoy it.  It is published in my second cookbook, KOSHER SALT AND EXOTIC SPICES, with a lot of other great recipes.

Israeli Matzo Cake (D) 

A wonderful no bake dessert for a busy time of the year

Makes 8 to 12 servings
8 Matzot
2 tsp. Coffee mixed with
1 cup hot water
2 sticks soft butter or pareve margarine if you want to serve it for dessert after meat
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz. cocoa 
2 ounces of chocolate, shaved
1-2 tablespoons Sabra ® Liqueur
Break the matzot into small pieces (1 inch square approx.)  Pour the hot coffee over it. Mix well.  Cream the soft butter or margarine together with the sugar, cocoa and the liqueur. When all ingredients are well mixed, combine them with the matzo mixture and transfer into a square dish.  Decorate with the shaved chocolate. 
Refrigerate overnight. Cut into diamond shaped pieces and serve. 

Next is a wonderful chocolate sponge cake.  Absolutely delicious and light.  Great as a birthday cake.

Chocolate Sponge Cake
Makes 8 servings

1 Tablespoon grape seed oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder plus more for the pan
1/4 cup matzo cake meal or potato starch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs at room temperature, separated
1/2 cup pus 6 teaspoons extra fine sugar
1 teaspoon kosher for Passover vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Raspberry jam
Chocolate Icing:
1/2 cup almond milk (KP Parve) or 3/4 cup parve cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Oil a 13 x 9 x 2 metal baking pan, line with parchment paper and oil that and the sides 
of the pan.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.

Sift the cake meal (or potato starch), cocoa powder and cinnamon into a small bowl and set aside.
Place the egg yolks into a deep bowl.  Add the 1/2 cup sugar and beat well with an electric mixer set at medium, until thick and pale lemon in color.  Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Sprinkle in the remaining sugar and beat the egg whites until thick and glossy and almost at firm peak stage.
With a rubber spatula, fold half the egg whites into the yolk mixture.  Sift half of the cake meal mixture over the  batter and fold together until just blended.  Repeat with the remainder of the egg whites and the cake meal mixture, gently folding together until just blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, gently spreading it evenly to the edges.  Bake until the cake springs bake when gently pressed, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Run a paring knife around the outside to loosen the cake.
Placing a cutting board over the top of the pan, invert the cake on to the board.  Remove the pan.  Gently peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the cake.  Using a serrated knife, trim the cake and then divide into three even pieces.
Spread the raspberry jam evenly on two of the pieces and stack with the unspread piece on top.

Chocolate Icing:

Put the chocolate chips into a small, deep bowl.
Bring the almond milk to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Pour over the chocolate chips and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until the icing is smooth.  
Let the icing cool to thicken slightly.  Spread over the top and sides of the cake.

(This cake can be made 2 days ahead.  Store it in an airtight container.)

Sharyn Rosler (c) February, 2012

Next is a wonderful torte that is gluten free so it is great for Passover and all year long.

Pecan Torte (P)

A delicious, gluten free cake for Pesach or any time of the year.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

9 egg whites
9 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces pecans, toasted and finely ground

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put egg yolks, sugar, zest, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium high until pale and thickened, about 4 minutes.
Fold in the pecans.
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into yolk mixture.
Pour into a 10 inch spring form pan.
Bake until golden brown, about 1 hour.  (If top browns too quickly, tent the cake with foil.)
Let cake cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack.  Remove the sides of the pan and let the cake cool completely.  Run a knife around the edge and the center of the pan.  Remove gently and place on a serving platter.
Serve with either whipped cream and berries or pareve lemon curd (p. 143) and berries.

Pareve Lemon Curd (P)

I love lemon curd with raspberries or plain with a meringue.  It is also delicious as a spread for scones or muffins.

Makes enough for 1 tart

2 large eggs
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 stick pareve margarine cut into small pieces 
Grated zest of 3 lemons

Place the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt into a medium metal bowl.  Whisk together and add lemon juice.  Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, being careful not to let the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.  Whisk constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes (an instant read thermometer should read 160 degrees F.)  Remove the bowl from the water and strain the mixture into a clean bowl.  Add the butter and lemon zest and stir until the butter is melted.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  The mixture will thicken as it cools.
The curd will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Wishing everyone a "Sissen Pesach!"