Monday, March 25, 2013

David Lebovitz's Passover Dessert: Chocolate Caramel Matzah Crunch

I just about died when my friend made David Lebovitz's chocolate orbit cake (Thank you, Purnima!). Pure genius and now officially my favorite chocolate cake. So when I was looking for a Passover dessert, I couldn't believe my luck. I found David Lebovitz's Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch. It's easy to make and I'm sure it will be snapped up at Passover Seder.

Don't make the same mistake I did! As David recommends, don't use the best chocolate for this. Toll House dark chocolate chips worked better than Tcho and Callebaut. "[D]on't be tempted to get all fancy and eschew chocolate chips and chop up some top-notch chocolate for the coating. Since chocolate chips are designed to hold their shape and harden firmly after they’re melted, here you have my permission to break open a bag of semisweet morsels and dump those little devils over the whole she-bang instead."

P.S. Which matzah brand do I prefer? I tried this recipe with Yehuda Matzos (egg) and with Streit's Matzos (egg). The latter was too mealy and tasted like a tea biscuit (apple cider is in their ingredient list). The Yehuda is the one that tasted more like toasted bread. I prefer Yehuda.

N.B. I had dark brown sugar on hand so I used that instead of light brown sugar along with real butter and chopped almonds. I found it too bland without the almonds. Gluten-free, kosher, and margarine info is available on David's blog.

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch
Makes approximately 30 pieces of candy

4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzohs
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (215g) firmly-packed light brown sugar
big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (160g) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (80g) toasted sliced almonds (optional)

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet (approximately 11 x 17″, 28 x 42cm) completely with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

2. Line the bottom of the sheet with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

3. In a 3-4 quart (3-4l) heavy duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

4. Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350F (175C) degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it’s not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 325F (160C), then replace the pan.

5. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.

6. If you wish, sprinkle with toasted almonds (or another favorite nut, toasted and coarsely-chopped), a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, or roasted cocoa nibs.

Let cool completely, the break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week.

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