Passover baking can be pleasure or purgatory. Like many things in life, it is a matter of whether you focus on the opportunities or the limitations. But think of those glorious once-a-year treats that the festival brings, whose unique tastes, textures, shapes are redolent are of Passovers past — moist and tender coconut pyramids; fragrant, fudgey cinnamon balls; rich, dark, flourless chocolate cake.
Most “traditional” Pesach sweets were probably cherry-picked from the culinary traditions of wherever Jewish communities happened to live — vegetable-based jams (angemacht) from Eastern Europe, tender biscuits made with ground nuts from Spain and the Middle East, delicate meringues from France, moist tortes from the Austro-Hungarian Empire…
This gorgeous almond chocolate dacquoise is no exception. It has its roots in 17th-century France. It is a spectacular dessert made up of two layers of almond meringue enclosing a luscious coffee and chocolate filling. It is equally delicious in both the parev and dairy versions; it is also coeliac-friendly. Chag Sameach!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes. Refrigerate 3 days.
Freeze 3 months
For the nut meringue
4 egg whites
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar or 1 teasp vanilla extract
225 g (8 oz) ground almonds or hazelnuts
For the filling
3 teasp coffee granules
2 tbsp water
175 g (6 oz) plain chocolate
3 egg yolks
175 ml (6 fl oz) non-dairy cream or 225 ml (8 fl oz) double cream
5 teasp coffee or chocolate liqueur (if available)
To make the filling