The Passover Potluck is a unique annual online event. I’ve invited my friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to share recipes that are kosher for Passover. My goals are simple– to foster mutual understanding between different cultures, to introduce you to my foodie friends, and to share yummy recipes and cooking ideas for Passover! To learn more about the Passover holiday, click here. To learn about what makes a recipe kosher for Passover, click here. To check out the other Passover Potluck recipes, click here.
Louise from Geez Louise is one of my Southern California food buddies. We met at the LA Times Food Blogger Thanksgiving, and we’ve been friends ever since. When I asked her if she had any ideas for my Passover Potluck, she immediately came up with this Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake. Anything with chocolate and hazelnuts is good in my book (Nutella, anybody??), so I told her to go for it! I love this cake, which is very similar to my gluten free, dairy free Chocolate Crackle Cake, has a wonderfully nutty, delicious flavor. Enjoy! ~ Tori
Hello guys and dolls, Louise here from Geez Louise! You might say I’m a little June Cleaver meets Betty Paige. I’m your modern day 1950’s housewife cooking my way around Los Angeles in stilettos and red lipstick. With a flower in my hair and a chef’s knife in my bag, I work as a professional chef, food stylist and media spokesperson. My food blog is where you can find me dishing up classic American comfort food with a modern twist. I flip for meatloaf and mashed, believe that grilled cheese sandwiches & tomato soup can turn your frown upside down, and that homemade chocolate chip cookies keep kids off drugs.
I inherited my love for food and my vintage style from my parents who were a product of the 1950’s. I also adopted an intimate understanding of Judaism from my parents, who converted over 20 years ago. Through the years, I have had the pleasure of studying the Torah with my father and have observed many Passovers. I have always been mesmerized by the spiritual symbolism and thoughtful detail put into the preparation of the Passover meal. It was a treat for me to meet Tori this last Thanksgiving, and now my pleasure to participate in this online Passover Potluck.
This cake is lightened by carefully folding the egg whites into a thick rich batter of melted chocolate and ground hazelnuts. The result is a light but decadent “truffle like” chocolate cake. You won’t need but a sliver to satisfy your sweet tooth, but don’t forget the ice cream and the tart fresh raspberries to cut the sweetness. In keeping with the theme of Passover, this flourless dessert requires careful preparation and a lot of attention to detail, but don’t fret, it will be worth all the work when you hear your guests say, “Geez Louise! That’s good!”
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Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
- 10 ounces premium quality bittersweet chocolate
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup + 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces toasted hazelnuts
- 3 tablespoons kosher powdered sugar (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup premium quality cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1/3 cup hazelnut paste (recipe below)
- 2 teaspoons strong brewed espresso, cooled completely
- 2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Vanilla ice cream
- Fresh raspberries
Hazelnut Paste Ingredients
- 1/2 pound roasted hazelnuts (skins removed)
- 2 tablespoons egg whites (about 2 egg whites)
- 1 cup Passover Powdered Sugar (recipe below- or, buy Passover-approved powdered sugar))
- 1 teaspoon hazelnut liqueur
Passover Powdered Sugar Ingredients (recipe from Martha Stewart)
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- 2 cups granulated sugar
To Make Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and adjust the rack to the middle of the oven.
- Cut a 9 inch circle of parchment paper to line a 9 inch spring form pan.
- Lightly, with nonstick cooking spray, spray the bottom of the pan, place the parchment into the bottom, and then lightly spray again, (spray-paper-spray) and set aside.
- Melt chocolate over water in a Bain Marie, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once the chocolate is melted, set it aside to cool.
- Add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer, attach the whisk. Begin to whisk the egg whites on medium speed until they become bubbly and foamy. Then increase speed to high and whisk egg whites until they just begin to become soft peaks.
- Gradually add in 1/3 of the sugar and continue to whisk for an additional minute. Eggs should be in between soft and hard peaks.
- Using a spatula, gently remove egg whites and transfer them into another clean bowl – set aside.
- In a bowl of a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts with the powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt to form a fine, sand like mixture. Do not overprocess.
- In the bowl of the electric mixer, combine the butter and ¾ cup of sugar. With the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the Hazelnut Paste (recipe below), scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula – mix until well combined. Add in the yolks one at a time and mix until combined.
- Mix in the espresso, hazelnut liqueur and vanilla extract, followed by the melted chocolate – mix until just combined. Gently fold in the hazelnut mixture from the food processor. Fold in the egg whites in thirds until just combined – do not over mix.
- Place the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 50 - 55 minutes. The finished cake will be slightly cracked and puffy.
- Once removed from the oven, the cake will fall in the middle (don’t worry, it is suppose to). Allow to cool slightly then place into the refrigerator to cool completely and become firm (at least 4 – 6 hours or overnight). Do not try to unmold or slice while warm, the cake will fall apart and appear uncooked.
- Unmold the sides, serve with vanilla ice cream and raspberries – garnish with Passover Powdered Sugar.
To Make Hazelnut Paste
- In a food processor, finely grind the nuts until mealy. Add egg whites, confectioners' sugar and liqueur. Blend until paste forms. Wrap and store in a covered container, up to 2 weeks.
To Make Passover Powdered Sugar
- Regular powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which is considered kitniyot (some Ashkenazi Jews will not eat kitniyot during Passover). You can purchase Passover Powdered Sugar at many kosher markets. To make your own, in a food processor, combine potato starch and sugar (according to amounts above). Process until mixture is very powdery and resembles confectioners' sugar, about 2 minutes. Allow to settle for about 1 minute before removing processor cover.