Recipe of the Week: Passover Walnut Tweed Torte

This TreeHugger’s family celebrates both Jewish and Christian holidays so our thoughts turn to the coming week and the Passover seder. For the duration of Passover, Jews are forbidden to eat grains that have been fermented or leavened. This provides the Jewish cook with a bit of a challenge, but there is a wealth of great recipes using matzo meal rather than flour and without using baking soda or baking powder. Our partner’s favourite way to eat matzo is to spread it with margarine and stand over the sink to catch the crumbs. I think this year we will try to broaden his culinary repertoire. This recipe from Gourmet Magazine calls for matzo cake meal. It suggests grinding matzo meal in a clean coffee or spice grinder if you can’t find cake meal. This seemed like too much work, so we just used regular matzo meal and it was fine. This makes a light cake with lots of texture.Walnut Tweed Torte
  • 1 ½ cup walnuts (5 ½ oz) toasted

  • ½ cup matzo cake meal

  • 8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature for 30 minutes

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh orange zest

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely grated using ¼ inch teardrop shaped holes of a box grater

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Insert bottom of springform pan.
3. Pulse walnuts with 3 tbsp matzo cake meal in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped (be careful not to pulse to a paste). Add remaining 5 tbsp matzo cake meal and pulse until mixture resembles a grainy flour.
4. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until they form soft peaks. Add 2/3 cup sugar a little at a time, beating until white just hold stiff peaks.
5. Beat together yolks and remaining 2/3 cup of sugar with ½ tsp of salt in a large bowl at medium high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld mixer. Fold in nut flour, then zest, juice and vanilla. Fold grated chocolate into batter gently but thoroughly. Fold in one third of whites to lighten batter, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
6. Pour batter into ungreased springform pan, smoothing top, and bake until a wooden pick inserted at centre comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then run a thin sharp knife between cake and side of pan. Remove side of pan and cool cake completely. Invert cake onto rack and run knife between cake and bottom of pan to remove bottom, then flip onto a plate.

Serve with whipped cream if desired.
Serves 8 to 10
Cake can be made two days in advance and kept tightly wrapped in plastic at room temperature.

This recipe is from Gourmet Magazine, April 2004