This Is the Cake of Our Affliction (and it’s awesome)

For being the “Bread of Our Affliction,” matzah sure is delicious! Here in the northeast (and probably in other areas with a large Jewish population), matzah is beloved by Jews and Gentile’s alike. Really.

Matzah, or ulevened bread is basically a giant delicious cracker that’s good on its own, but it also a great vehicle for almost anything else. I love matzah pizza, for dinner the other night I had matzah brei which is like a matzah and egg scramble and one of my favorite guilty pleasure snacks is honey drizzled on lightly buttered matzah.

This week, like almost every Passover of my life, I’m enjoying a different and unusual matzah treat; Chocolate Covered Matzah Cake.

My good friend Hans actually has a “favorite cakes” list. It’s one of the many things I love about him, but I’m not nearly as dedicated to cake as Hans so I possess no such list. If I had a favorite cakes list though, this would be on it (and probably that Brazilian carrot cake I made a few weeks ago too).

A dear friend of my mother’s, who sadly passed away, was an avid baker who came up with this recipe and it’s been a staple in my family ever since. The original recipe calls for margarine to keep this pareve for those who keep kosher so if that’s a concern for you feel free to substitute the butter. Also, the egg in this recipe doesn’t really get cooked so make sure you’re using fresh, organic, free range eggs.

Chocolate Covered Matzah Cake

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 7 to 8 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg beaters)
  • 6 sheets of matzah
  • Manichewitz wine (or grape juice) for dipping

    Using a shallow baking dish is the easiest way to dip the matzah in wine.

In small sauce pan on medium high heat or microwave melt together sugar, water and chocolate chips. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Add butter and egg and stir until smooth.

Dip one sheet of matzah in the wine for about 10 seconds, place on plate or cake platter and pour some of the chocolate mixture to coat.

Repeat with all remaining matzah until cake is completely covered with chocolate.

Refrigerate over night.

The next day the matzah will have softened and the chocolate should have a frosting like consistency.

Slice of Chocolate Covered Matzah Cake. Yum!

ENJOY!

B is for… Brazil: Have Your Cake and Love Yourself Too

Ola!

Brazilian flag

Brazilian women would never eat cake, right? I mean how could they when they are all perfectly manicured, bronzed beauties; cinched and waxed and oiled to perfection within an inch of their lives. Brazilian women can’t eat cake because they might gain an ounce and these women obsess over their appearance and strive for an unattainable level of beauty.

Wrong!

Last July my friend Karen organized an amazing trip to Martha’s Vineyard and for the first time I met her college friend Carla. Carla, originally from Brazil, was down to earth, laid back and loved her beer as much as I do. I liked her right away.

A couple of days in to the trip we were all chatting when Carla mentioned that by and large Brazilian women to have a much healthier body image than there American counterparts. I was confused, I mean everything I’d ever seen in the media told me just the opposite about Brazilian women who were consumed with their looks and a quest for perfection.

When I mentioned this my friend Karen, who had visited Carla in Brazil some years before, said, “Oh that’s not true at all. If you ever want to feel good about yourself as a women go to a beach in Brazil.” Apparently instead of a beaches filled with supermodel wannabes, the beaches of Brazil are filled with women who are skinny and fat, tall and short, old and young confidently striding along the sand, having a good time and loving life!

I’m sexy and I know it! Brazilian Model Fluvia Lacerda

Of course, still harboring a bit of disbelief, I did some Googling which only confirmed what Carla had said. Research paper after research paper and article after article all ended with the same conclusion; Brazilian women of all ages, shapes and sizes have a healthy body image and a great confidence and respect for their bodies.

So if you try this recipe for Bolo de Cenoura com Cobertura de Chocolate (Brazilian Carrot Cake) try channeling some Brazilian spirit and don’t beat yourself up for eating dessert, just cut yourself a sensible slice and enjoy! I promise you, you’ll still be beautiful in the morning.

Bolo de Cenoura com Cobertura de Chocolate

Cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large carrots, pealed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.

Put eggs, sugar, carrots and oil in a blender or food processor. Blend on high until smooth

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour in the carrot mixture and stir being careful not to over mix.

Pour in to greased pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter

Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.

Boil for 4-5 minutes until mixture thickens (sauce will thicken, but won’t become thick).

Pour hot glaze over warm cake.

Allow cake to cool and enjoy!

Brazilian Bolo de Cenoura com Cobertura de Chocolate         

FINAL VERDICT: A

Oh this is soooo my kind of dessert! This cake is super moist and light and not too sweet and the hint on chocolate is just enough to compliment the cake. It’s also surprisingly buttery, which is odd since there’s no butter in the cake.

If you like frosting heavy, sugary sweet desserts this cake might not be for you, but I loved it and will definitely make it again!

Bom Apetite!