Sweeten your Passover Table with delicious desserts from Paula Shoyer’s The Kosher Baker. Paris-trained pastry chef, Paula Shoyer uses all her creativity and love of dessert, she developed The Kosher Baker. Passover is coming and now is the time to plan your dishes. I received a copy of the book, The Kosher Baker, by Paula Shoyer, and found a lot of traditional plus unique dishes as well as Paula’s own creations.
Did you know that Kosher dishes do not contain dairy? I didn’t realize that myself. Butter, milk, cream or any ingredients containing any dairy component cannot be used in a Kosher dessert or pastry. After reading through this 348 page cookbook, I found that dairy products are often replaced by substitutes like soy milk, soy-based cream cheese, and sour cream. There are also many non-dairy products available in grocery stores today that were not readily available in the past.
One of the key aspects of kosher laws is the separation between dairy and meat. Separate utensils are used for each, and a waiting period is observed between eating them. The kosher lifestyle often revolves around meat-based meals for Shabbat and holidays and kosher Jews are not permitted to eat dairy dessert are consuming a meat meal. This means that any dessert following a meat meal must be “parve” which means “neither meat nor dairy.”
The book is broken down into sections:
- Quick and Elegant Desserts
- Two-Step Desserts
- Multiple-Step Desserts and Breads
- Passover and Other Special Diets
The book is organized by the amount of prep time needed for each recipe. This is helpful if you need to make a dessert on short notice or are looking for a dessert for Passover or other special events. The steps are well described and are easy to follow. The accompanying stories and descriptions are also helpful.
The color photos help you visualize what you are making, although not every recipe comes with a photo. The black and white “step by step” photos are helpful. I am a visual person and always look for cookbooks that offer visuals. It really helps if you get stuck on a specific step in the recipe process.
Here are a couple of Kosher recipes from the book that you will enjoy making for your own family.
Marble Chocolate Matzoh
1/3 cup slivered almonds
10 ounces parve dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup parve white chocolate chips
3 large or 4 small pieces of matzoh
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment. Spread the almonds on the pan and toast for 15 minutes, stirring the nuts after 10 minutes. When the almonds are toasted, remove the pan from the oven and slide the parchment off the cookie sheet.
While the nuts are toasting, melt the dark chocolate in one heatproof bowl and the white chocolate in another. You can do this either on the stovetop in a double boiler or in the microwave. If you use the microwave method, be especially careful with the white chocolate chips so they do not burn.
When the almonds are toasted, use a large knife to roughly chop them into pieces about 1/3 of their original size. Mix the nuts into the melted dark chocolate.
Line 1 large or 2 smaller cookie sheets with waxed paper and place the matzohs on top of the waxed paper. Spread the dark chocolate and nut mixture all over the matzoh slices to cover them entirely on one side with the chocolate.
Drop clumps of the melted white chocolate randomly on top of the dark chocolate. Use a toothpick to swirl the chocolates to create a marble effect. Place in the refrigerator to set for 1 hour and then break into pieces to serve. Store in the refrigerator for six days or freeze for up to three months.
16 ounces fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon imitation rum extract, optional
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unflavored kosher gelatin powder
1 cup parve whipping cream
Remove the stems from the strawberries and set 6 of the strawberries aside. Take the 6 strawberries, slice thinly, and place in a small bowl with the rum and confectioners’ sugar. Mix to combine and then place in the refrigerator.
Cut the remaining strawberries in half and place in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Purée the strawberries completely, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl or blender so that all the strawberries pieces are puréed.
Place the strawberry purée in a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice and sugar and stir. Cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts. Add the gelatin, whisk, and then remove from the heat. Strain into a medium bowl, pressing hard to get as much strawberry purée through as possible, and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, stirring twice during that time.
In bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, whip the whipping cream until stiff. Remove the strawberry purée from the refrigerator and fold in the whipped cream in four parts. Scoop the mousse evenly into the ramekins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
To serve, remove from the refrigerator and place a few of the rum-soaked strawberry slices on the top. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Passover is one of the most important holidays of the Jewish calendar and is when families get together for the Seder meal. Passover baking is the greatest annual challenge in the Jewish kitchen because Passover dessert recipes cannot use flour, yeast, soy milk, or even pure vanilla, and shifting from flour to matzoh cake meal and potato starch is not intuitive, even for experienced bakers. As dessert plays an important part of the Seder meal, you need fabulous desserts to end your evening. This Passover, pastry chef and teacher, Paula Shoyer, shares delicious and easy desserts for Passover from her best-selling cookbook, The Kosher Baker.