Tomorrow evening my boyfriend’s aunt is holding a Passover and I’m very excited about going to it. My church holds a Christian version of the Passover each year (in fact it it today!) so I know a bit about it and what everything symbolises. I’m quite sad actually that I couldn’t go to it this year – clocks going forward, work tomorrow, don’t want to drive there and back in a day – as I really love it and there is such a sense of fun about it. But, I’m excited about going to a ‘real’ Passover tomorrow. My boyfriend’s dad is Jewish but as Judaism passes down the mother’s side he isn’t Jewish himself. I think it’s nice that his family still celebrate Passover and even nicer that we have been invited along. I’ve only met his aunt once, 2 years ago at Christmas time, so I’m a bit scared of seeing her tomorrow!
On Passover, you aren’t allowed to eat anything that is leaven – anything that has flour in. This is because when the Jews were fleeing Egypt, they quickly used up the ingredients they had to make a flat, unleavened bread – matzo. It’s really nice, quite dry and kind of like a cracker. I love it with boiled eggs on top….mmmmm! Anyway (!), we have been asked to bring something with us to the Passover tomorrow and me, being my usual adventurous self, decided to look for flourless cake recipes. After a bit of research I stumbled upon this great recipe for flourless Almond Cake from Clarissa Hyman’s The Jewish Kitchen. It’s ingredients are: eggs, sugar, ground almonds and orange zest. So simple to make and I had all the ingredients at home.
The first step is to separate 5 eggs and whisk the white until soft peaks form……..slight problem – NO ELECTRIC WHISK! I am still trying to buy all of the baking implements I need and after today, an electric whisk is top of my list!! Actually, it wasn’t that bad and I actually enjoyed physically changing the eggs’ consistency from runny to thick and shiny.
I had to enlish the help of my boyfriend who rather enjoyed flexing his muscles and showing me how powerfully he could whisk….actually, who needs an electric whisk when you have a muscly bf??!
The next step was to fold in a lot (175g) of ground almonds, orange zest and a tbsp of orange juice. I didn’t dump all of the ground almonds in as I knew it would knock all the air out of the eggs (and ruin all our hard whisking!) so I folded them in a bit at a time. This way, the mixture kept it’s airiness and didn’t lose any height created by the whisking.
All you do then is pop it in the tin, sprinkle with some flaked almonds and cook for 30 mins. Even though we moved into our flat 5 months ago I STILL haven’t worked out how hot the oven is. It’s a fan oven so I didn’t use the heat suggested but still cooked it for 30 mins…..it was a little black/brown round the edges so I think it was in too long. Maybe I have to cut the cooking time down too….
Almond Cake (taken from The Jewish Kitchen by Clarissa Hyman)
- 5 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 75g caster sugar
- 175g ground almonds
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 25g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line a 20cm / 8 inch springform cake tin.
- Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they stand in soft peaks.
- Whisking constantly, add the sugar a little at a time, until the mixture is firm, shiny and very thick.
- Fold in the ground almonds, orange zest and the juice with a metal spoon.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.
- Bake for 30 mins / until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleam.
- Allow to cool for 10 mins, then loosen, turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- This cake is best eaten the day after it’s made. Serve with whipped cream or fruit. Enjoy!