Sunday, March 28, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Le Succès - Passover Cake #1


This is an awesome Passover cake! Thanks Rose!

Here is a link to some Mel Brooks if you need a laugh :)

       Or some nice exodus imagery (according to Jewish tradition, however, the sea split into twelve tunnels, one for each tribe as well, as well as other inaccuracies. Still, its nice.)

If you are Jewish, don't forget to eat some Matzah and Bitter herbs (horse radish or romance lettuce) this Monday night as well as to drink 4 cups of wine (or grape juice.)

Hand made Matzah is: "the bread of affliction." Perhaps it is called so because it can run upwards of $20 a lb! Spelt, Oat and Barley matzahs are becoming more available as well.

First, some pics of getting the kitchen ready for Passover ("kashering.") In order to make sure there is no left over flavor of leavening in anything we blow-torch, Easy-off burn and pour boiling water with a white hot brick over the stove, counters, sinks and utensils (to each item it's own method.) Then we tin foil the whole thing to make sure that the surfaces do not even have a chance to touch the precious Passover pots/pans dishes etc. (Yup, a whole set just for Passover - we also completely restock the pantry.) The general rule is, the same way the flavor got in, that's how it's going to get out!

You have to turn these so the fire reaches all the parts.

My "Cheeky Cherubs," as fellow HCB'er Nicola calls them, holding the cup for Elijah the Prophet. Near the end of the first (and second) night you fill Elijah's cup and take the lit candelabra with you to open the door to the night outside. A gesture to the presence of the Prophet Elijah, the harbinger of the redemption (see Malachi 3:23,) to come in and drink to the redemption!

Mis en place in the place my toaster used to sit. Notice the potato starch and macaroons on the side. Passover staples.

Draw the 8" circles. I realized that I could just trace a plastic plate.

The nut mixture. I toasted the nuts for extra flavor.

My brand new Passover hand mixer.

I could not find Passover-certified cream of tartar in the stores like I did last year. This may not have to do with the issue but, in general, fruit juice (such as wine, from which cream of tartar is derived) does not leaven things like water does. However, according to some, it can leaven even faster; especially if any amount of water is added to it. I may have under-beat the eggs a little for fear of over-beating. There was some kind of curdling effect around the edges that I have not seen before. I wonder if its from beating in the metal bowl?


Looks a bit like porridge. Hmm.


... and Bake!

To make the ganache, just break up the chocolate pieces, there is no need for the food processor, it will melt when you mix the hot cream in with a fork. This recipe calls for 1 LB! of chocolate. This really made a double recipe and I am going to have to make a second cake to use up all the ganache.

I could not use any dairy in this cake as I only have a meat oven for Passover. I was not sure what to substitute for the crème fraiche. In the end I decided to just use extra parve heavy cream and add some sour salt. I actually whipped it first (in the pot) to try and simulate the thicker sour-cream consistency.

Set some aside...

... and scalded the rest. Mix mix.

I do not think that whipping it did anything for the part that got scalded but I think the part I left over did thicken and fluff the end result a bit. Next time I would set aside a little more.

I could not find kosher for passover instant tea so I just made a concentrate in a bit of water and added it in.

Compose the layers. I did not bother with the whole "let it sit in the fridge between each layer for an hour" thing as it was already 1:30am. Mimi was coming back from Passover shopping in a bit and I wanted to surprise her. It did not seem any worse for the wear.

Ta Da! The meringue is a nice change from the regular potato starch cakes and the tea ganache, with  the real tea essence, had, as Mimi described it, "an assertive flavor."  I already got one "this does not even taste like a Passover cake!" comment and expect some more. :)


  1. Thanks for giving us a peek into your kashering; I had no idea it was so involved. Way to WOW everyone with a new Passover cake! I used real tea too, but haven't finished putting my cake together yet. Yours looks delicious!

  2. I'm so glad this worked out as a Passover cake for you, Mendy! I was fretting about your not being able to find a substitute for creme fraiche, but it looks like you did very well.

  3. Your cake looks lovely and i love the pics of your kashering! I never knew of all your post is so informative!

  4. Learning about Passover is amazing. I had no idea it is so complex. Your cake puffed up nicely. And it seems your girls are perfectly attired a la Disney Princesses and Ballerina finery!

  5. Thanks for sharing what all is involved in kashering. Have no idea! You tell it so well and I love all the pics. Great job on the cake. And very creative solutions for the items you can't find.

  6. Incredible post Mendy! It is a fantastic insight. Four cups of wine on Monday night - I would love to read your post after that.

    The cake looks fantastic, and I can only think that the comment of "doesn't taste like passover cake" is high compliment. Couldn't imagine potato starch being particularly palatable.

    Love your wee cherubs. Gorgeous!