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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake that’s Perfect for Pesach
photo: Miriam Pascal for Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman @2017

Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake that’s Perfect for Pesach

When I think of planning for Passover I gravitate to desserts first. Although I always want to add new flavors to our holiday table, the last course is always my challenge. That’s why I start this review with mention of the most delicious, dairy-free, gluten-free, Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake with Coffee Glaze.

True confession: I have a fear of baking Passover desserts. It hearkens back to a day about 25 years ago when a new friend asked if I wanted to join her to bake for Pesach together. Talk about bonding!  After we spent an entire day whisking and mixing, folding and unmolding, we had a magnificent disaster. I don’t recall that even one cake or cookie was salvageable.

Everything was appallingly dry, crumbling and misshapen. We acknowledged our disaster and made do with dreadful store bought desserts.

With Naomi Nachman’s just released cookbook, Perfect For Pesach; Passover Recipes You’ll Want to Make all Year, I have full confidence that you will nail anything you make from her friendly and easy-to-follow volume. I know, because I was one of the 50 recipe testers and I see that a small detail that I suggested on one of the recipes I tested was indeed, amended.

This volume would be a super gift for cooks of any age and expertise level. Nachman’s recipes range from fail-proof Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake with Coffee Glaze, recipe below, to more experimental but still approachable ideas.

cauliflower crust pizza
Photo: Miriam Pascal for Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman @ 2017

Try this Cauliflower Crust Lachmagine, a Syrian meat mezze. Here, Nachman forms a simple cauliflower crust (Yes! Use frozen cauliflower and 75% of your work is done) and tops it with ground beef, prune butter and a few other ingredients that lend authentic Sephardi flavors. Make it for lunch with an alternate topping of tomato sauce, chopped veggies and cheese instead of matzah pizza on another day.

There are plenty of traditional dishes that Nachman has kept alive here because they are not only delicious and part of our collective culinary traditions, but they feed a crowd with very little effort.

The Zucchini Kugel, for example, is a lower carb version of traditional potato kugel. With only 6 ingredients plus salt and pepper, this pudding comes together quickly and feeds 10. When I prepared it as one of my tests, I shared it with M. and my Mom to get their feedback. My Mom teared up and said she hadn’t tasted anything like it since her own Mom baked kugel for the holiday.

This is why we keep culinary traditions alive.

Nachman comes to her love and expertise in Pesach cooking via her family’s history. Her parents ran a Pesach hotel program in Sydney, Australia for 28 years so matzah meal pulses naturally for her. Naomi has been catering for time stressed clients in the NY area for many Passovers. She now caters and teaches around the USA and runs a Pesach catering program in Miami.

If only I could get there one year…

healthy salad Passover
Photo: Miriam Pascal for Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman @ 2017

One of my favorites in this volume is the Charoset Salad. Considering that everyone eats this nutty jumble by the spoonful at our seders, it makes perfect sense that she created a salad that deconstructs the ingredients. Clever!

Nachman’s cook’s tips and prepare- ahead notes are concise and helpful. She covers steps for prepping in advance, freezing, defrosting and re-heating plus super ideas about how to enjoy these recipes all year.

I’m excited to make the Mock Sesame Noodles with Spaghetti Squash. It’s low carb and still shimmers like a bowl of glossy rice noodles.

Ready to make this at other times? Turn to Nachman’s handy chart of suggestions to see which ingredients can be swapped out. It’s a helpful inverse of what we normally do with non-Passover friendly ingredients as we look for substitutions.

Nachman has devoted three chapters to dinner proteins, separating fish, poultry and meat, which makes for easy searching. The Tequilla Lime Chicken and Red Snapper en Pappillote are tempting, especially with such easy instructions and concise ingredient lists.

Nachman hasn’t forgotten the vegetarians although I wish there was a chapter dedicated to meat-free dishes. Instead, you’ll find plenty of vegetarian soups, dips, salads and sides either in their own chapters or mixed in.

It’s easy and friendly enough, for sure.

Photo: Miriam Pascal for Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman; @2017

Nachman’s dessert chapter has a bit for everyone. It includes a classic Pavlova (so easy and impressive on the buffet), a classic Sponge Cake  (I never understood the appeal but it’s essential that I have one for M. to nibble with morning coffee), cookies, chocolate mousse, this bright and quick to throw together fruit sorbet and finally, this Fudgy Bundt Cake (recipe below) that even S. and I wouldn’t have blown 25 years ago.

Watch for our cookbook give-away of Perfect for Pesach later this week. We’ll be offering one copy to a lucky winner. Still, I suggest you purchase a few copies to bring to your hosts (at least a week in advance) or to share as gifts for any home cook who would welcome some new ideas along with the classics.

Recipe reprinted, with permission, from Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman

Artscroll/Shaar Press / March 2017

 

8 Comments

  1. I love desserts! it is the first thing I flip to in any cookbook! so excited to try a new recipe especially one that is gluten free and can be used on pesach and during the year!

    • Rachel, I am happy to report that I’ve made this cake and love it. It is indeed, deeply chocolatey! I amplified the coffee in the glaze by adding another spoonful- just be careful to add extra liquid to the glaze very slowly so it doesn’t get too runny.

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