Friday, May 2, 2008

and moses said to pharoah, "let my people go!"... let's eat! (dessert, that is)

Passover is not my favorite dessert holiday, or my favorite food holiday for that matter. Doesn't matter; I still like baking for pretty much any reason, even if there's no flour involved. I usually make a flourless chocolate cake, covered with a poured ganache, and served with a raspberry sauce. This year, in a break from tradition, I tried a new recipe: Dark Chocolate Torte with Spiked Blackberry Coulis. And guess what it tasted like? A flourless chocolate cake, covered with a poured ganache, and served with a blackberry sauce. I guess I'm not quite as original as I thought, though in my defense, the recipe made it sound... lighter? torte-ier?... than a typical flourless chocolate cake.

My friend Anna encouraged me to try something new. The cake was pretty straightforward; the ganache not truly a ganache as it wasn't made with heated cream, but instead with chocolate, butter, and a few tablespoons of the coulis stirred in. I was concerned that the chocolate would then taste like fruit, but it didn't. Kind of like when you add espresso powder to chocolate and can't really taste coffee, the coulis deepened and enriched the chocolate, but didn't leave a discernible fruit taste.

I was most skeptical about the coulis flavor combo: pureed blackberries with wine and sugar, simmered with cloves, bay leaves, and allspice, and strained. You know what? It tasted kind of like the sauce part of the cranberries we make every Thanksgiving. I'll say that was the allspice. It was delicious. I decided it looked thinner than I'd expected, so I popped it back on the stove and simmered it down until it reduced by maybe a third (I wasn't watching too closely). It was a beautiful color, and as noted by other commenters on Epicurious, would've been great over cheesecake or vanilla ice cream. I ate some of the leftovers with matzah brie (which, since I grew up eating it with jam, is not such a departure).

A tiny bit labor-intensive, but not at all offputting... and worth the time to branch out a little. I also served macarons, my mom made a couple of desserts, and my sister chocolate-dipped some strawberries. So despite the lack of matzah toffee, we weren't exactly lacking in Pesadicah sweets. Happy Passover!

PS I'm usually a pretty good speller, but I do like to spell-check before posting. I don't even know if there's a spell-check function in Blogger. So I was going back and forth... discernible, discernable. For those of you grammar junkies reading, both are acceptable!


sulkygrrl said...

Delurking to say that the swirls in the ganache are a really beautiful touch!

jami said...

Thank you, sulkygrrl!! I'm always fretting about how to dress up a really simple-looking cake.