Matzah, wine, eggs, chicken, greens and haroset (credit: Thinkstock)
Passover is the widely-observed commemoration of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt and their freedom under the leadership of Moses. Traditionally, Jewish families gather on the first of eight nights of Passover for a special dinner at which matzo (an unleavened bread) is among the many items served.
918 Industrial Ave.
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Wendy Kleckner has been involved with kosher catering in the Bay Area for 35 years. She is the manager of Too Caterers, a full service, high-end kosher catering company based in Palo Alto. Wendy has built a reputation for combining current health conscious food trends with traditional Jewish dietary laws. Too Caterers takes pride in using the freshest ingredients from local organic growers and producers who follow sustainable practices.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 10” spring form pan ready.
- 1 ½ cups matzah meal
- 2 T. sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 T. orange juice
- Grated rind from one medium orange
- Mix all of the above and press into bottom and sides of the spring form pan.
- Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. While baking the crust, make the filling below:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 T. grated lemon peel
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
Mix the above and pour into pre-baked shell. Bake 25-30 minutes.
To make the syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 T. pure maple syrup
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
To make the torte:
- 1 cup walnuts (about 8 ounces), plus walnut halves for decoration
- 1/3 cup matzah meal
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 T. finely grated lemon peel
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup thickens slightly and is reduced to one generous cup, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil inside of an 8 inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Blend 2 cups walnuts and the matzah meal in processor until nuts are finely ground. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, maple syrup, sugar and salt in large bowl at high speed, 5 minutes. Add espresso powder, lemon peel and cardamom, and beat until beginning to thicken, about 5 minutes longer. Gently fold in nut mixture in 4 additions. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake torte until brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer torte to rack. Spoon 4 Tablespoons syrup over hot torte. Decorate top with walnut halves. Cool completely on rack. Can be made one day ahead. Cover remaining syrup and torte separately and let stand at room temperature.
Cut around pan sides to loosen torte. Remove pan sides. Cut torte into wedges. Serve with remaining syrup and whipped topping, if desired. Kosher-for-Passover nondairy topping mix is usually available in the frozen food section of kosher markets and some supermarkets.
Yields about 2 dozen pieces
This dish can keep for at least eight days, stored in airtight container room at room temperature.
- 4-6 sheets of matzah (preferably salted)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ginger juice, optional*
- Large pinch fine sea salt
- 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (1 cup)
- 3 ounces chopped candied ginger (3/4 cup)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, allowing it to go over the edges of the pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment. Arrange matzah over the parchment in one layer, breaking pieces to fit as necessary.
In medium pot over medium-high heat, bring butter and sugar to a boil for 3 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Stir in ginger juice and salt. Quickly pour mixture over matzahs. Transfer pan to oven and bake 15 minutes until bubbly.
Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle chocolate evenly over caramel. Let stand 5 minutes until chocolate is softened. Use an offset spatula to spread chocolate smoothly over surface of toffee. Immediately sprinkle with candied ginger. Place pan in refrigerator and chill toffee for 1 hour. Break into large pieces.
*To make ginger juice, grate a three inch piece of peeled ginger into a fine-mesh strainer and press out the juice