Passover Dessert: Orange and Hazelnut Torte

The key to a delicious and light Passover dessert, I believe, is not adding matzah to it. No disrespect to the cracker lookalike but if one doesn’t ordinarily grind up already-baked crackers and fling them in cake, there’s a good, taste-related reason for it.

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March 30, 2010. Tags: , , , . Baked Goods, Cakes, Cultural Feasts, Desserts, Festive, Gluten-free, Jewish, Passover. 10 comments.

Passover: A Poem of Love, and Charoset

When I did my previous post on charoset, I mentioned that it recalls the mortar with which the Jewish slaves in Egypt put bricks together. It completely slipped my mind that the recipe for this wonderful, sweet, aromatic fruit-and-nutty pesto may have been inspired by the Song of Songs, a biblical book of love, often taken as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel. The Song, also important for Muslims and Christians, is also interpreted to symbolize the relationship between church and man, or husband and wife.

Anyway, after reading this post by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, I was tickled and very keen to make more charoset, among other things. (more…)

March 28, 2010. Tags: , , . Condiments, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Gluten-free, Jewish, Passover. 2 comments.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It was nostalgic cooking with butternut squash recently, a much-neglected activity since the early months of weaning both my children. It has literally been years since I have picked up this fruit, preferring instead to make pies, couscous, roasted veg dishes and soups with pumpkin instead.

Back in the day, I’d skin the Mr-Peanut-shaped, pale beige butternut, cube and steam it, then whizz it into the most attractive orange-colored (more…)

October 15, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Festive, Gluten-free, Rosh Hashana, Soups, winter. 2 comments.

Chillied Pesto Fish


This is one of my fall-back dinner options when I am short of time, which is fairly regularly. There is always fish in the house, and invariably, some pesto or basil too. A whirl in my mini chopper of some basil, chilli, pecorino, pine nuts and olive oil and voila, a marinade is ready for a dish that will bake or grill in just a few minutes.

This amount will be sufficient for two portions. Served here with fig and mango salad.

  • Basil, large handful of
  • Pecorino, 2 tbsp, grated roughly (parmesan can be used)
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Red chilli, 1/2, chopped roughly
  • Pine nuts, 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil, 3-4 tbsp
  • Fish fillets, 2
  1. In a mini food processor, blend all the ingredients together
  2. Leave the pesto’s texture slightly rough (for more interest)
  3. Spread it over fresh, firm, white-fleshed fish such as sea bass or cod or haddock or tilapia
  4. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice
  5. Place on baking tray and grill or bake in a preheated 220C oven for about 5-6 mins

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August 5, 2008. Tags: , , . Asian, Dinners, Fish, Gluten-free, Grill, Mains. 1 comment.

Apricot and Banana Muffins


Every Passover, we really do look forward to munching on the symbolic matzah. Plain, with chopped liver, with hummus, egg and onion, or, at breakfast, with butter, jam or a fruit compote or dipped in eggs with a dash of cinnamon and transformed into matzo brei, like french toast – deelish! Unfortunately, the novelty can wear thin as well, so here’s an alternative for breakfast.

I experimented with some muffins made out nut flours, combined with rice or tapioca flour, and came up with this one. It turned out pretty tasty, contains protein from the soy flour and almonds, and fibre from the fruit and almonds, and was wonderful eaten warm, split in half with a dollop of creamy, melty butter 🙂

Apricot and Banana Muffins

  • 1 cup soy flour
  • 3/4 cup – mix of tapioca or potato flour and ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apricots
  • 1 cup banana, squished (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together
  2. Combine wet ingredients separately
  3. Add wet to dry, mix gently till just combined
  4. Add nuts, banana, apricots – gently fold in
  5. Use ice cream scoop to spoon into Pam-ed muffin pan
  6. Bake in pre-heated 175C oven for 20-25 mins
  7. Turn out and cool on rack when done
  8. Dust with sugar and eat immediately!

April 24, 2008. Tags: , , , . Baked Goods, Breakfast, Brunch, Cakes, Fruit, Gluten-free, Jewish, Passover. 1 comment.