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One other thing about the store-bought cakes: nearly all of them have a potato starch base. Consequently, take the blessing of shehakol rather than the mezonos that we usually say on cakes based on flour. For that reason, many shuls skip their usual kiddushes because they have no mezonos to set out.
However, if you do not have the custom of avoiding gebrokts, that is a mixture of matzah and water, you can make your own mezonos cakes based on cake meal, which is finely ground matzah meal. The first two recipes are based on that. The second two are gluten-free.
Passover apple cake
1 c. sugar
1 c. cake meal
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 egg whites, beaten to stiff, glossy peaks
5 lg. apples, sliced
1/3 to 1/2 c. chopped nuts
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 8 inch square pan. Combine first 5 ingredients, stir until well blended. Fold in beaten egg whites; gently, but thoroughly. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased baking pan. Arrange sliced apples on top. Carefully spoon remaining batter over apple slices. Stir nuts, sugar and cinnamon together. Spoon on top of cake. Bake 40 to 50 minutes.
Apricot squares (really, as good as anything chametz)
½ lb. softened margarine
2 egg yolks
2 c. cake meal (that’s extra finely ground matzah meal)
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla ot vanilla sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon rind (you could skip this in pinch)
1 lb. jar apricot preserves
½ to ½ c. lemon juice
½ c. chopped nuts (may be omitted according to taste)
Combine all dough ingredients. Spread ¾ of it in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 325 degrees. Refrigerate remaining dough.
Spread filling over crust while hot. Put nuts on top, then crumble remaining dough to form a crumb topping. Bake again for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into squares when cool.
Parve Strawberry Ice Cream (you should have a stand mixer because it has to whip for up to 20 minutes. )
1 egg white
juice of ½ lemon
3/4 cup sugar
½ lb strawberries
Beat egg white until foamy; continue beating as you slowly pour in the sugar. Wash the berries, and cut into quarters or slice. Add the berries and lemon juice to the egg white when it is in peaks. Keep the mixer going at a medium-high speed for an additional 15 minutes. It will triple in volume. Store in freezer.
Chocolate Torte (I get requests for this even when we can have chametz cakes)
1/2 cup pareve margarine
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, (you could use chocolate chips or break up a bar)
5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup ground almonds (it works with other types of nuts, as well)
Melt margarine and chocolate over low heat. Stir until smooth and let cool. In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat whites until stiff; about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat together yolks and sugar until thick and pale; about 1 minute. Blend in chocolate mixture and stir in almonds. Fold in beaten whites, 1/3 at a time, into chocolate. Place in greased 8” or 9” round pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Cover the torte with foil for last 20 minutes of baking. You can also put a baking with 1 inch of water on the bottom rack of the oven while baking to help keep the torte moist. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes and then carefully remove sides of pan. Invert onto a serving plate and cool completely.