For anyone who is allergic to wheat, most Passover desserts are a great find. Amonds, potato or tapioca starch and eggs are the “glue” that hold the tortes, cakes and cookies together.
Beth Hensperger is a baker and food writer with a remarkable number of books with recipes for just about any bread or dessert you might think of making. I first connected with Beth in the 1980s after I had written the Artichoke Cookbook (Celestial Arts, 1985). Since then, she has been one of my favorite go-to women when I need something good. I remembered requesting a light sponge cake recipe without wheat several years ago. I had forgotten that she also included several other recipes, focused on Passover but delicious anytime.
The first is almond macaroons. If all you know are the canned macaroons available at Passover, do yourself a big favor and make these. They are light years better! I’m still attempting to recreate the coconut-almond macaroons sold at Draeger’s Market years ago. I adore both almonds and coconut and their macaroons were amazing. But I digress.
The other recipe that I really like that Beth sent is for a Chocolate Pecan Torte with a Chocolate-Coffee frosting. This brings up a point that is worth mentioning. Almonds are the most common nut used in Passover desserts. But you can substitute pecans, walnuts, filberts or hazelnuts and even macadamia nuts as they all work equally well.
I wish that time allowed for me to whip up one of these desserts to have a photo as a lead. Working seven days a week doesn’t cut me much slack for baking. However, I do plan to try a recipe from Scandinavian Classic Baking I’ve reviewed on my site. ToscaKake has been calling to me ever since I read the recipe and looked at the photo a few weeks ago. If I bake it, I’ll post a photo. Otherwise, you should read the review and buy the book because the photography in the book has haunted me with sweet dreams. Alas, it is very Northern European and made with flour, so not useful for Passover.
In the meantime, I’m wishing those of you who are Jewish a lovely seder, and hopefully one of these recipes will work perfectly for you.