Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake and Passover Memories

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My Aunt Rose knew how to create memorable Passover seders. Her table was beautifully set with her best china, linens, and crystal glasses. She cooked for a week making an extensive menu featuring her signature brisket and potato latke muffins. In fact, my aunt Rose was a colorful character herself. She dressed in bright colors and leopard prints. Her sentences were peppered with sarcasm and words in her native language, Yiddish. When I saw her, I always knew I would get a big hug and a satisfying meal. Passover seder at Rose’s house was extra special with a lively, warm atmosphere and scrumptious food.

Now generations have come and gone in my family, and it’s my turn to carry on the tradition and host Passover. I want my kids to have special memories of Passover like I do. Here’s my Passover table at my house:20120328-215438.jpgI like to set the table with family heirlooms to remind me of all the special women in my family who have hosted before me. As I prepare favorite family recipes, I feel connected to my mother, grandma and aunts– all amazing home cooks. I still make many of Aunt Rose’s Passover recipes such as haroset, brisket, and potato latke muffins. It just wouldn’t be Passover without those exact flavors. I hope I have done my Aunt Rose proud.

This year I have an outstanding edition to our usual Passover menu– Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake. This chocolate cake recipe is the best cake I have ever made. It’s flourless, so it’s perfect for Passover. But don’t just serve it once a year. This cake is an impressive finish to any dinner party. What’s amazing about this cake is the texture. My friend Jody called it “Nutella cloud fluff.” The cake has a surprisingly light and smooth texture that I just want to savor. My family is going to flip when they taste it.

Passover tip: Nutella is made with soy lecithin. If that’s not something you eat during Passover, you can substitute with another chocolate or chocolate hazelnut spread like Hashahar H’aole Special Cocoa Spread (parve and kosher for Passover). I found it at a local kosher market. Many online kosher markets carry it as well.

I came upon this recipe for Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake on the blog Ms Adventures in Italy. The original recipe lists the ingredients by weight in grams and requires a food scale. I have adapted the recipe so it can be made by volume with cups and teaspoons. Also, I added sea salt as a foil to the sweetness and added hazelnut liqueur to accentuate the hazelnut flavor.

Make the cake in 3 stages:

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This Passover recipe post is part of a “Cyber-Seder.” Five other food bloggers and I joined together to do what we love to do– share recipes and our personal memories of Passover. We hope you enjoy reading about our diverse backgrounds, which are reflected in our recipes. To join our “Cyber-Seder” and see more Passover recipes, click on the links at the bottom of the post.

Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake
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Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients:
  • Cocoa powder and butter to grease the pan
  • 6 large eggs (to be separated)
  • 3-1/2 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped (3-1/2 squares of Baker's Chocolate or 2 scored sections of a Scharffen Berger chocolate baking bar)
  • 1-3/4 sticks of butter (14 tablespoons), cut into pieces
  • ¾ cup scant Nutella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or coffee granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur (or substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • Powdered sugar to decorate the top
Instructions:
  1. This recipe uses 3 bowls that will be combined at the end. Bowl 1 is for chocolate and needs to be microwaveable. Bowl 2 is for egg yolks and needs to be the largest bowl. Bowl 3 is for egg whites and goes with the mixer. The first step is to separate the eggs into their respective bowls. Eggs separate more easily when cold. Then set eggs aside because egg whites gain more volume when beaten at room temperature.
  2. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper or grease the pan with butter and lightly dust with cocoa powder to prevent sticking. Place the oven rack on the second level from the bottom. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (175C). If using convection oven, lower the temperature by about 12 degrees F.
  3. The chocolate bowl: melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave at 50% power. Stir after every 30-60 seconds until smooth. Do not overcook. Alternatively, the chocolate mixture can be melted in a double boiler over the stove, but it will take longer. Remove chocolate bowl to the counter. While still warm, stir in the Nutella, espresso, liqueur, and salt. Mix with a whisk until fully incorporated. The Nutella will completely melt.
  4. The yolk bowl: whisk the yolks and sugar together until well combined. Then add the chocolate mixture into the yolk bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  5. The egg whites bowl: beat the egg whites in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until peaks form. The peaks should be between soft and stiff, but not dry.
  6. Add the beaten egg whites to the chocolate/yolk mixture. Gently fold together with a large rubber spatula. Use as few strokes as necessary to fully incorporate. If a few stubborn clumps of egg whites remain, whisk the batter a few quick times to finish the incorporation.
  7. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. If your springform leaks, place a piece of aluminum foil under the pan in the oven for the first 5 minutes of baking, then remove. The cake will puff near the top of pan at the end of baking. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Jiggle the pan slightly-- if the center sways more than the rest of the cake, it is not ready. The cake should not be completely solid when finished.
  8. As the cake cools, it will crack on the surface and deflate substantially. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar for decoration.


Cyber Seder Recipe Links:
Nancy Rose Eisman from Adventures with Nancy Rose – Cyber Seder and Moroccan Fava Bean and Potato Soup
Rachel Kaganoff Stern from Inside the Kaganoff Kitchen — Matzo Strata With Tomatoes and Zucchini
Deena Wachtel from Stay at Home Foodie – Roasted Spring Vegetables
Susan Licht Salzman from The Urban Baker – Claire’s Brisket
Jillena Hernandes from Eat Well Live Free – Passover Sweet Potato Latkes, Apple Butter and Charoset

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