Passover is coming up next week, and unlike my friends who gave up chocolate for Lent (don't worry folks, the end is near), there is absolutely no reason to give up chocolate for Passover. Well, yes and no. Depends if you keep kosher or not--and then to what degree, but I won't go there. Besides my interest in chocolate for which I have no 'real' education, I do have a PhD in Religion, and I do understand the fine points of kashrut. However, the following delightful treats--a combination of salt and sweet tastes-- are available to everyone whatever your religion.
So the question remains every year, how to enliven unleavened bread (matza, matzoh-spelling varies) that often tastes like cardboard? What else, add chocolate!
Here's a great easy recipe adapted from Ellen Helman that appeared in the Boston Globe several years ago.
Chocolate-covered Matzoh6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
½ cup dark brown sugar
4 sheets regular unsalted matzo
8 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter or margarine. Add the sugar and stir well.
3. Place two matzos on each baking sheet. Divide the butter and sugar mixture among the sheets of matzo -- about 2 tablespoons for each one. With a rubber spatula, spread the mixture over the entire surface of matzo.
4. Bake the matzos for 6 to 7 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and brown.
5. Remove the sheets from the oven and immediately sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of the chips. Let them sit for 30 seconds, then use a metal palette knife to spread the chocolate evenly.
6. Transfer the matzos to wire racks. Remove the foil from the baking sheets and set the racks on the sheets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes so the chocolate solidifies.
Don't want to go to all that bother? Streit's has a milk chocolate matzo. 7 oz. for $6.99
Indulge in Chocolate has a Kosher Chocolate Covered Matza which is covered in rich, dark chocolate and covered with colorful sprinkles! Cost is $31.95. for a 5 pound package. Judaism.com has this available in 1 lb boxes.
Want to be more adventurous? Several websites have recipes for Chocolate Covered Toffee Matzo. I'm a big David Lebovitz fan, living the sweet life in Paris. What chocoholic or foodie doesn't follow his blog? He had a great recipe for Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch last year. In this recipe, you're actually making more of a brittle. Be sure to substitute margarine for butter if you're taking this to a Passover seder where brisket will be served, but only if you assume it will be eaten during dessert, and if it matters, you should probably keep a kosher kitchen. But you can always bring this as a gift. There are a few companies that sell something similar, but it would be worth taking the time to make this yourself.
Want another Chocolate Passover treat to make. Here's a recipe for Chocolate-Covered Matzo Caramel Squares from Zelda's Sweet Shoppe in Skokie, IL.
Now let's get down to some chocolatiers. Charles Chocolates in San Francisco makes a great Chocolate Covered Matzah--pieces enrobed in their special 65% bittersweet chocolate. (This product is not certified kosher for Passover.) Vosges has a Dark Chocolate Matzo listed under its Crunchy Chocolate Snacks. This consists of broken matzo coated with their 64% cacao Venezuelan dark chocolate and finished off with a sprinkling of kosher sea salt. (Certified Kosher, but not Kosher for Passover,)
Here's one that I'm 'dying' to taste. Charoset Chocolate Matzo from Vosges. Dark chocolate broken matzo covered with apples, walnut and cinnamon. One stop shopping!
Passover starts on the evening of April 8, 2009.