I don’t think I’m alone when I say that Passover desserts leave a lot to be desired. Maybe it’s because I’m used to eating baked goods chock-full of chametz the rest of the year, but I usually skip dessert after the seder. Some sweets are passable, but for the most part, I’d rather fill up on the savory stuff than save room for a slice of K-for-P cake.
So when I chose a Passover recipe to try from Laura Frankel’s cookbook, “Jewish Cooking for All Seasons: Fresh, Flavorful Recipes for Holidays and Every Day,” now in paperback, I immediately zeroed in on the chocolate mousse puffs. My thinking: If Frankel could perfect this sweet dish, the others—sweet and savory—were likely just as good. Sure enough, these individual chocolate soufflés baked up light and airy, with a delicate crust on top and brownie batter-textured interior. And even better, they can be prepared in advance and take only minutes to bake.
Chocolate Mousse Puffs
Excerpted from Laura Frankel’s “Jewish Cooking for All Seasons”
Note: I used what I already owned, a combination of 2- and 8-ounce ramekins, to bake these puffs.
From the author: This dessert looks and tastes as if you spent all day working on it, but it’s remarkably simple to assemble (and you can even do it ahead of time). For serving, you can dress it up with fruit, whipped cream, sorbet, or whatever you’re in the mood for. This is a perfect Passover dessert, as it requires no flour or leavening products—plus, it uses no dairy, so it’s flexible for any menu. Use the best-quality chocolate and vanilla possible. The puffs can be assembled and refrigerated, covered, for one day before baking.
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, such as canola
Sugar for coating ramekins
6 ounces best-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
⅓ cup brewed coffee, espresso or water
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds scraped from ½ of a vanilla bean
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
Suggested garnishes: fresh fruit, sorbet or raspberry coulis
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly brush the bottom and sides of six 4-ounce ramekins with oil to coat. Sprinkle the ramekins with sugar to coat and turn the cups upside down to remove excess sugar.
- Melt the chocolate with the coffee in a medium saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Set the chocolate aside to cool slightly.
- Whip the egg yolks with 1 cup of the sugar at high speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract or seeds using a rubber spatula.
- In a clean bowl with clean beaters, whip the egg whites at medium-high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Ladle the mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them to the top.
- Bake the puffs in the oven until puffed and fairly solid, 10 to 12 minutes (if the puffs have been chilled, they may take a little longer). Serve puffs immediately with your choice of garnish.