I’ve considered for months what recipe to write up for Passover. I decided to take a simpler route that will turn out a great dessert even for amateur bakers.
Many of the best Passover dessert recipes call for special baking pans or separating a lot of eggs and using an electric mixer to whip egg whites. I wanted to share an easy recipe that you can mix by hand, without a mixer or added steps, and that will still please family and guests.
Will this be the most decadent dessert that I ever publish? No. I have a few of those Passover recipes already floating around, like my Pavlova and Chocolate Mousse recipes appearing in the Chronicle in previous years.
This recipe is kid-tested and approved which, at the end, of the day is heaven for most of us. I never want my children to feel like Passover is not an enjoyable time.
This recipe uses almond flour and no matzah meal or cake meal, so it’s gluten-free and non-gebrokts for those who need it.
The best part is that it’s good enough to serve year-round. If you haven’t baked with almond meal before, don’t expect this to taste like a brownie or cake made with flour. Almond meal is a little grainy if you’re not used to it, but the flavor is spot on.
This recipe calls for simple ingredients with some chocolate chips for added flavor and texture. I use California Gourmet pareve chocolate year-round. Its blue bag of kosher-for-Passover chips is the best Passover baking product on the market, so I add them as often as possible to my holiday baking.
1½ cups of packed almond flour (not almond meal)
⅓ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
¼ cup of neutral vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup of chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 F, and place the wire rack in the center.
Line a square 8-inch glass pan or a 9-inch single-layer metal cake pan with parchment paper, slightly grease, then lightly dust the parchment with plain cocoa powder. Many people use foil pans for baking, but you will always get the best result with a metal or glass pan.
In a large bowl, add the almond flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk it together, breaking up any lumps.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla together.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix well with a strong, rubber spatula.
Once it’s well combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
The batter is very thick and you will need to spoon it into the prepared baking pan. Gently pat the batter down with a spoon or spatula. I like to tap the pan a few times on the countertop to release any air pockets.
Bake for 26-29 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Metal pans usually cook a bit faster than glass, so check it at 26 minutes to ensure that the edges don’t burn.
Allow the brownies to cool completely before you take any more steps. If using a round pan, turn the pan out onto a plate and peel off the parchment paper, then turn the cake over again onto a cake plate.
If baking in a square pan, use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the entire cake from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Gently pull down the paper from the edges before cutting. Cut squares or wedges, depending on the shape of the pan. Just like with regular brownies, the edges will be cakier and the middle denser, so there is something for every preference.
You can dust this with powdered sugar, and serve it with fresh fruit.
This serves 12-16, depending on the size of your cuts.
Cover the brownies with plastic wrap if you’re going to make it ahead of time or if you have leftovers, but it can stand uncovered for a few hours after baking without drying out.
Wishing you a chag kasher v’sameach. Enjoy and bless your hands! PJC
Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.