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Baking for Passover

For the Seder, it’s icing on the cake

By Karoline Boehm Goodnick
Globe Correspondent / March 24, 2010

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Many Passover hosts have spent years searching for the perfect flourless chocolate cake. When the holiday begins next Monday night with the first Seder, some good bakers will have found their ultimate holiday confection. If not, keep reading.

Unlike traditional flourless chocolate cakes, which are souffle-like and delicate, this cake is dense and moist. It’s so rich that a sliver will suffice. Serve it at room temperature so the glaze and the interior meld into one. This is actually a classic French torte and it relies heavily on butter. If you cannot serve a cake made with dairy products for dietary reasons, substitute margarine for butter, tablespoon for tablespoon, and omit the salt.

The technique is similar to making a giant brownie. You need only a bowl and a large whisk, and a double boiler (or heatproof bowl set over a saucepan). Bake the cake in a water bath to slowly bring the eggs up to temperature. Rotating and removing the roasting pan from the oven can be tricky procedure. Take your time and make sure it’s secure in your hands. Once the cake has been cooled and inverted onto a wire rack, you can glaze it.

The temperature of the glaze should not be hot to the touch nor should it be stiff. Cool glaze will act more like an icing. Too warm and it will run quickly off the sides of the cake. But if this happens, don’t worry. Scrape the glaze back into a bowl, cool for a few minutes more, and pour again. Chill the finished cake in the refrigerator only until the glaze sets. Then, immediately remove it from the rack and transfer to a platter. Watch the crowd gather round.