passover week- passover panforte

31 Mar 2015

Hi Every-one,

Welcome to Day 2 of Passover week. When I made this Panforte at Christmas, I realised it would be the perfect treat for Passover with just a few minor adjustments. Panforte doesn't contain any butter so it’s pareve and you can use any combination of fruit and nuts depending on what’s available. I used candied lemon rind in my version and if you'd like to do the same I've included a recipe for you to use or you could also use the candied lemon slices from this recipe. 

Candied Lemon Peel
Here’s what you’ll need. After juicing a lemon keep the 2 halves to make into candied rind. Slice each lemon half into 3 or 4 pieces then place the lemon pieces into a small saucepan of water then bring to the boil. Drain the water and repeat this boiling and draining process 2 more times to reduce the bitterness.

Weigh the lemon slices and measure out the same weight of sugar. Place the sugar and 1 or 2 tablespoons of water in the rinsed out pan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Place the lemon slices back into the syrup and simmer for 45 minutes or until the skin turns translucent. Remove the slices from the syrup and place on a rack to drain overnight. The following day turn the slices over and do the same before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. This will make a little more rind than you need for this recipe. You could also use candied lemon slices from this recipe.

I've made panforte twice since Christmas and I've tweaked the recipe a little. I ran short of almonds one time so used macadamias and liked the result so much, I've added them to this recipe. The candied lemon gives the panforte a little zing and I've also reduced the flour content so dry panforte is a thing of the past.

Here's the recipe for you which makes an 8 in/20 cm panforte. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Passover Panforte (recipe adapted from here)

50 g (1¾ oz) blanched almonds
50 g (1¾ oz) macadamia nuts
100 g (3½ oz) roasted hazelnuts
90 g (3 oz) dried figs, coarsely chopped
60 g (2 oz) dried apricots, coarsely chopped (not Turkish)
50 g (1¾ oz) candied lemon peel
½ cup Passover baking mix (equal quantities potato flour and superfine matzo meal)
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Chocolate Syrup
60g (2oz) dark chocolate, chopped 
¼ cup sugar 
½ cup honey

To serve

Cocoa powder

Spread almonds and macadamia nuts on an oven tray, put into moderate oven (180°C/350°F) for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden. 

Sift the Passover baking mix with the cocoa, the cinnamon and the black pepper. Combine the nuts in the bowl with the chopped figs, the dried apricots, the chopped candied lemon peel and the sifted baking mix.

Grease and line the base and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin with baking paper.

Put the chopped chocolate, the sugar and honey in a saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved, brushing down sides of saucepan with brush dipped in hot water to dissolve any sugar crystals. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered until syrup forms a soft ball when a few drops are dropped into a glass of cold water or reaches 116°C/240

Add the chocolate syrup to fruit and nut mixture, mix well. Spread mixture quickly and evenly into prepared tin. 

Bake in a moderate oven (180°C/350°F) for 35 minutes or until just firm, remove from oven and cool in tin. 

Turn out; remove paper before wrapping in aluminium foil. Leave at least one day before cutting, though I think it needs at least a week to mature. 

Before serving, sift cocoa powder over the top of the panforte then cut into wedges.

I hope you get the chance to make this. 
It's not very sweet and has lots of dark complex flavours which I find highly addictive, so you've been warned. I made 2 and have already eaten the first one and it's not even Passover yet!

See you all again tomorrow with another sweet treat for Passover.



passover week - passover 3 nut cake

30 Mar 2015

Welcome to this year’s Passover week. As usual, I’ll be doing a mix of tried and true recipes adapted for Passover and some new to me recipes. I'm travelling on Friday so I might not have time to post so Passover week may stretch out into next week.  

Now you will need to do some preparation for this year’s recipes.  
  • Passover certified brown sugar and Passover vanilla extract will need to be sourced as well as some Tate and Lyle golden syrup. 
  • You’ll also need superfine matzo meal and potato flour (starch) to make the Passover baking mix. To make the Passover baking mix, thoroughly combine equal quantities of superfine matzo meal and potato flour (starch) which you’ll use instead of flour.  
  • If you can’t source Passover icing (confectioner’s) sugar you can make some by blitzing sugar in a food processor or just leaving it out.  
  • To make caster sugar you’ll need to whiz regular sugar in the food processor.  
  • This year, you may even need to candy lemon rind and make condensed milk from scratch, so you've been warned! Recipes and instructions to follow over the next few days.

    The first recipe is one that’s new to me. It’s the Three Nut Cake from Belinda Jeffrey's Mix and Bake and as the cake only uses a small amount of flour I thought it would be pretty easy to make a Passover friendly version. 

    You need to use a lot of nuts and coconut for this cake and I’m warning you it produces a pretty chewy result. The pastry is quite crumbly, so don’t fret if you can’t cut a perfect slice of cake because I couldn’t either.  

    Here's the recipe for you.  For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.   

    Three Nut Cake – makes a 17 cm cake. 

    This quantity of pastry is sufficient for a 23 cm cake. If you make a 17 cm cake, you'll only need to use half the pastry for this recipe. You can wrap the remaining pastry in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for another cake or use the pastry to bake some tart shells. If you'd like to make a 23 cm cake, just double the filling quantities and proceed. The original recipe used one less egg yolk but as the Passover baking mix absorbs more liquid than regular flour I think the extra egg yolk will be needed. The baking time will remain the same and please be careful not to overcook the cake as it will dry out, so start testing at about 25 minutes. 


    120g almond meal 
     tablespoons caster sugar 
     tablespoons Passover baking mix 
    75g very cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks 

    60g toasted hazelnuts 
    50g toasted pecans 
    ¼ cup Passover baking mix 
    ½ cup shredded or flaked coconut 
    1 egg 
    1 egg yolk 
    ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar 
    ½ teaspoon Passover vanilla extract 

    Sifted icing sugar 
    60 gm Passover dark chocolate, melted  

    1) Heat oven to 180°C/350°F. Have a 17cm springform tin ready. There is no need to grease or line the tin.  
    2) For the crust, put the almond meal, sugar and Passover baking mix into a food processor and whiz together until combined. Add the butter and whiz some more until it forms coarse breadcrumbs.  Press the crumbs into the base of the cake tin and about ⅓ up the sides of the tin. Put in the fridge to chill.  
    3) For the filling, coarsely grind the hazelnuts, and then the pecans in the food processor. Sift the Passover baking mix into a bowl then add the ground hazelnuts, the ground pecans and coconut and whisk everything together.  
    4) Either in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment or using electric hand beaters beat together the whole eggthe egg yolk and brown sugar until it is light and fluffy. 
    5) Gently fold the nut mixture and vanilla into the egg mixture until its well combined.  
    6) Pour the batter into the chilled crust and level the top before baking in the 180°C/350°F oven for 30-40 minutes or until the top of the cake is just dry but an inserted skewer comes out with moist crumbs. Start testing at about 25 minutes.
    7) Cool on wire rack before releasing the springform tin and removing cake.  
    8) To serve lightly dust the top of the cake with homemade icing sugar and decorate with a little melted chocolate if desired and a good dollop of cream.  

    The cake keeps in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. If you are a margarine user, (I'm not) you could substitute it for the butter in the pastry converting this into a pareve dessert with maybe some vanilla bean scented almond milk ice cream on the side or whipped coconut cream.

    See you all again tomorrow for another Passover baking treat.

    Bye for now,

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