The Ketura Group of Greater Atlanta Hadassah gathered Wednesday, April 6, for a taste and tell event, at which members shared their favorite Passover dishes and the stories behind them. More information about Greater Atlanta Hadassah and the Ketura Group is available at www.hadassah.org/atlanta.
The meeting featured a few true confessions:
Magical Mandel Bread
Amy Jampol, the Ketura Group’s president, would have contributed a brownie recipe that was published in the Southern Israelite years ago, but she couldn’t find it.
She baked the brownies years ago for a family seder she didn’t attend because she was in the hospital giving birth to her daughter. To her surprise and delight, the entire family got up from the seder and came to the hospital to visit that night.
Because the brownie recipe has been lost, Jampol brought mandel bread from a friend’s recipe instead.
2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
2¾ cups Passover cake meal
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup potato starch
1 large package chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cinnamon plus 3 teaspoons sugar (mixed together)
Greased cookie sheet
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the sugar with the butter. Add the eggs one at a time.
In a separate bowl mix together well the cake meal, salt and potato starch, then fold that mixture into the egg mixture. Add the chocolate chips and mix together.
Shape the batter into two loaves on a greased cookie sheet. The batter is very sticky, so use wet hands. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cut into approximately ½-inch-wide pieces while still warm.
Jampol said: “My family loves this Passover dessert! This mandel bread is moist and delicious. Thanks to my friend Nancy for sharing this recipe with me more than 20 years ago.”
Helen Ehrlich did bring brownies, based on a recipe contributed by her sister, Adele, and taken from the Rochester Hadassah Cookbook.
“For many years in Atlanta, we got together for seders with four other families,” Ehrlich said. “One year we were going to be out of town for Passover, and my friend who loves these brownies said it was OK for my husband and me to not attend seder, but please send the brownies.”
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 cup cake meal
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
Powdered sugar, optional
Mix all ingredients in the order listed in a bowl, using a mixer. Pour the mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top if you desire.
Makes 24 brownies.
Not Lost in Translation
Much of Fran Redisch’s family lives in Israel, and she brought a chocolate mousse from a recipe written entirely in Hebrew in an Israeli cookbook. Her daughter and niece stayed up until 1 in the morning to translate for her. The dessert was delectable in any language.
2 tablespoons matzah meal
7 ounces dark chocolate
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon instant coffee
6 eggs (at room temperature)
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (or rum) extract
Enough margarine to grease pan
Grease the pan with margarine. Spread the matzah meal over the bottom and sides of the pan, making sure that the bottom and sides are completely covered.
Break the chocolate into squares and add the boiling water and instant coffee. Melt the chocolate mixture in a double boiler. After the chocolate mixture is soft, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
Separate the eggs. Whip the egg whites in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Add ¼ cup of sugar gradually, alternating between adding the sugar and mixing, until the egg whites are firm but not stiff.
In a small bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until they become whipped and firm. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whip them together.
Combine that mixture with the beaten egg whites, mixing gently and alternating egg whites and chocolate, adding some chocolate to the egg whites and some egg whites to the chocolate. Stir gently until the mixture is creamy.
Put 2/3 of the mixture into the baking pan. Put the rest (at least 3 cups) into the refrigerator to chill.
Bake the mouse in the pan at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes; the cake will rise during the baking. After removing the cake from the oven, allow it to cool completely on a wire cooling rack; the center will sink.
Fill the center of the cake with the chilled mousse. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours; for a more solid center, the cake can be frozen for a short time.
Before serving, remove the cake from the pan and decorate it if desired.
Makes 12 servings.