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Passover Chocolate "Genoise" Cake


Carol Rosenstock


Food Editor's Notes:  This is the winner in our 2008 Passover Recipe Contest!  Thank you to Carol for contributing this recipe for a fabulous cake, perfect for the seder or for entertaining during the week.  The chocolate sponge cake layers sandwich a fluffy chocolate mousse filling, both spiked with a little brandy, and the whole thing is capped with a whipped cream topping, garnished with chocolate curls or shavings.  This cake looks great and tastes unbelievable.  It takes a bit of time to make, as there are three parts, but each can be made separately to make the whole production more manageable.  The cake can be assembled during the day of the seder and taken out of the fridge shortly before serving.  I made this cake as a totally dairy dessert, with butter and real cream, and it was to die for!  There was a lot of filling and I didn't use it all in the cake, saving some of it to be eaten as chocolate mousse by my sons.  Carol makes this as a pareve cake, using pareve unsalted Passover stick margarine (hard to find in 2008, but available in brick form in some kosher markets) and pareve whipping cream.  She also uses Sabra, the Israeli chocolate-orange liqueur, in place of the brandy.  Carol reports that this cake has been a wildly successful dessert at her seders, with great taste and a show-stopping presentation.  Enjoy!


Ingredients and Instructions


Chocolate Filling

1/2 cup butter or pareve margarine, softened

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 tablespoons brandy or liqueur of choice

6 large eggs, separated

1 cup sugar, divided

1/2 cup whipping cream, dairy or pareve


1.  Cut the butter into small pieces and set aside.  Melt chocolate in microwave for 2 minutes on high and set aside; stir in brandy and let cool.  [Food Editor's note:  When I added the brandy to the warm chocolate, it immediately seized up.  I had to stir it continuously for a while, but it remained very thick.  This didn't affect the final product, however, as the chocolate mixed in easily when added to the remaining ingredients.]


2.  With electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed.  Add 1/4 cup sugar, slowly, until whites hold stiff peaks, but are not too dry.  Set aside.


3.  In the food processor, using the metal blade, process egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar for 2 minutes.  Add butter pieces and process 1 minute.  Add melted chocolate and process 15 second.  Fold into beaten egg whites.  [Food Editor's note:  I didn't use a food processor at all in making this cake.  I just used my standing and hand mixers, with several bowls.  If the butter is very soft, cutting it into pieces isn't necessary.]


4.  With mixer, whip the cream until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate 1-2 hours.  [Food Editor's note:  I added a small amount of the cream to the chocolate first, to lighten it a bit, before adding the remainder.]


Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup butter or pareve margarine, softened

1/4 cup matzah cake meal

1/4 cup potato starch

1/4 cup finely ground pecans

6 large eggs, separated

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1/4 cup brandy


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut wax paper or parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan.  Grease the bottom well.


2.  In the food processor, using the metal blade, place butter or margarine, matzah cake meal, potato starch, and nuts in bowl and process for 10 seconds or until just blended.  Set aside.


3.  In mixer bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, until egg whites are stiff.


4.  In another bowl, beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar for 2 minutes.  Add cocoa, brandy, and 1/4 cup sugar and pulse 15 seconds.  Add reserved dry ingredients and pulse only until blended.  Gently fold in egg whites.


5.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.



1 cup whipping cream, dairy or pareve, well-chilled

1 teaspoon orange juice

2 tablespoons extra-fine sugar


In a cold bowl [Food Editor's note: I place the bowl and beaters in the freezer for a few minutes], add whipping cream, orange juice, and sugar and whip on medium high speed until thick and smooth.  Do not over mix.  Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Topping can be made 24 hours in advance.


To assemble cake


1.  Release spring form pan, remove cake, and peel off wax or parchment paper.  Cut cake in half horizontally.  Place bottom half on a serving plate.


2.  Spread bottom layer with chocolate filling.


3.  Top with second layer and spread on the topping.  You can decorate the cake with chocolate curls or shavings or chopped nuts for garnish.


4.  Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.


Serves: 12 to 16


An empty nester, Carol Rosenstock and her husband Steven live in Needham.  They are the proud parents of Jason and Paula, and Andrew. They are also the very proud grandparents of their first granddaughter, Gillian Frances, who will be one year old this May.   Carol enjoys cooking and baking and loves to try new recipes.  Carol helped in publishing Even More Delicious, a cookbook for Temple Aliyah in 2005.  She is a fan of ShalomBoston.com and has shared several of her recipes with us.


Passover Chocolate Genoise Cake



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