This week, the internet is abuzz with kosher recipes for Passover, both innovative and traditional. Yet none have been able to catch my eye as much as the ones from Levana Kirschenbaum. Levana is the author of several cookbooks, including Levana Cooks Dairy-Free and The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, and she is a well-known chef in the NYC area, offering very popular cooking classes.
While I was inspired by Levana’s Sweet Potato Kugel recipe (sent out in her regular newsletter), I have latched onto a luscious recipe featured in one of her classes. The class theme was “A Seder Feast,” and my recipe of choice (among the six incredible dishes) is the Chocolate Pecan Torte with Chocolate Glaze, which just happens to be gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free too! No more needs to be said, but the recipe of course …
Okay, I have just a little more to say. This is an indulgent recipe! If you are a healthy purist, please see my notes below to experiment with the dessert and make your own healthier variation. The recipe as is, is meant to be a once a year kind of treat, and something that I thought many of my dairy-free readers would enjoy since life can feel less indulgent sometimes when following a special diet.
Note on the Fat: You can make this recipe soy-free, too, by using a soy-free, dairy-free margarine, like the ones from Earth Balance. If you prefer to pass on the margarine, coconut oil or palm shortening should also work well, though you may need to lower the amount that you use and add a pinch of salt.
Note on Sugar: Also, if you prefer a less processed sugar option, you can powder an equivalent amount of coconut sugar or evaporated cane juice in a spice grinder, and at it to the recipe in place of the sugar.
Note on Eggs: This recipe is pretty reliant on the eggs – I’d be hard pressed to try and substitute them here. If you are someone who confuses eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See the explanation of eggs here.
- 1-1/2 Cups Dairy-Free Semisweet Chocolate Chips, best quality
- 2-1/2 Cups Pecans
- 1-1/4 Cups Sugar (see my note above for sugar alternatives)
- 2 Sticks (1 cup) Dairy-Free Margarine (see my note above for margarine options)
- 2 Tablespoons Brandy
- 6 Eggs
- 12 Ounces Dairy-Free Semisweet Chocolate, chopped, or 2 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- 1-1/2 Sticks (3/4 cup) Dairy-Free Margarine
- Pecan Halves, toasted (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Melt the chocolate at very low temperature, or in a microwave.
- Grind the nuts with a little of the sugar in a food processor until fine but not greasy. Set aside.
- Cream remaining sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
- Add melted chocolate and process just until combined.
- Add the margarine, brandy and eggs and process a few more pulses.
- Fold in the nuts with a spatula.
- Pour batter into a greased and floured 10″ springform pan and bake 30 minutes.
- While the cake cools, make the glaze. Melt the chocolate and the margarine on a very low flame or in a microwave.
- Dip the bottom of each pecan halves in the melted mixture. Place on a plate and refrigerate.
- Spread the remaining chocolate mixture evenly on the cake.
- Decorate the edges with the dipped pecan halves.