Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Flourless Chocolate-Orange Cake for Passover

Today I welcome a Facebook friend who shares my love of gardening, photography and baking, among other things. I 'met' Emily Stashhower on Facebook through another garden lover. Little did I know at the time that we would have so much in common -- both friends and relatives, as well as interests. What a small world! I just love the Internet!

This recipe is great for Passover since it's Flourless. It may be described as a pudding in the original recipe, but it's definitely a cake. Yummy!

Emily Stashower is an amateur nature enthusiast, blogger and mother of twins. After a career in healthcare and numerous community organizations, her current endeavor, her blog www.rootsinreality.com, was started on a lark to combine a love of gardening, writing, photography, nature and an inability to meet deadlines. The blog notes that "sometimes an empty nest is just a nest without a bird. Other times, it's a middle aged suburban woman rediscovering interests and cultivating passions."

EMILY STASHOWER:

In September, 1990, the New York Times (in some section or another) published many recipes for “puddings.” 

Foolishly, I tried one out – Chocolate-Orange Pudding. I figured it would be something eaten with a spoon and in texture, resemble other puddings; one of my favorite desserts. The combination of flavors drew me to this particular selection but, in the decades since that first attempt, I’ve learned a great deal about this specific “pudding.”

First of all, it’s not what I consider a pudding. It’s a dense, flourless cake that could be eaten with a spoon but truth is, a fork will take care of the job just fine.

Second, though many puddings are cooked, few are cooked and then taken out of the “form” so it stands on its own (don’t let your mind wander to flans . . .).

Last, even if it is a “real” pudding, it’s best served as a dense, moist cake accompanied by ice cream or a whipped topping (or another decadent drizzling of taste across the slab of chocolate orange goo).

The recipe has a lot of advantages; once you have the ingredients, all you need is a food processor, a microwave safe dish and microwave. The “pudding” can be partially cooked, then frozen, and reheated in the microwave to warm it up and finish the cooking time. The dessert can be served hot or cold (I prefer hot) and is appropriate for any time of the year. However, I notice a flurry of requests for this recipe when it is Passover because it’s made without flour (but it is dairy, and I’ve not played around with it to make it parve).

The recipe below can be doubled – just make it in a soufflĂ© dish with a larger diameter. The pudding will rise and make a mess of your microwave but when the chocolate settles, I can guarantee you – you’ll be thrilled and in a chocolate orange frenzy.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE-ORANGE CAKE aka Pudding (which it's not)

Ingredients
Vegetable oil for greasing bowl
1 cup slivered almonds
Zest of 1 medium orange
1 cup packed light brown sugar
16 ounces semi sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 teaspoon baking soda
16 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Triple Sec (I use vanilla & orange extract)

Steps
• Grease a 3 quart soufflĂ© dish or non metal bowl with vegetable oil
• Place almonds in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add orange zest & sugar, processing until finely chopped. Then add the chocolate, baking soda and butter – process until smooth.
• Add eggs, cream and Triple Sec and process until combined. Pour into the prepared dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. All microwaves are different so the rule of thumb is to cook until it slightly pulls away from the sides of the dish but it will be jiggly. Instructions say “cook at 100% power in a 650-700 watt oven for 12 minutes. Prick the plastic to release steam.
• Uncover and allow to stand, covered with a plate for 10 – 20 minutes
• Unmold and serve.

The recipe does qualitfy the pudding as a “rich cake” but personally I don’t think the reverse could ever be true. A pudding it is not.

A thin slice is plenty but the recipe as above serves at least 12.

Hope you try it out and enjoy!

Happy Passover!

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