Noted cookbook author Marcy Goldman has an iconic recipe for Caramel Matzo Crunch (an insanely addictive matzo brittle.) Check out her beautiful cookbooks or Better Baking website for the recipe. Yum!
I also like to make Nigella Lawson’s Rocky Road, from her How to be a Domestic Goddess cookbook. Her original recipe uses Brazil nuts, but you can use any type of nuts you prefer. (It turns out especially well with macadamia nuts.) It couldn’t be simpler: melt best-quality chocolate (you can use a double boiler but I just set my microwave to 50% power and watch it carefully.) Line a baking sheet with parchment and set nuts on it, then drizzle with chocolate. Set in a cool place to harden. (I usually put it in the freezer though Nigella warns that this could “take the gleam off” the chocolate.)
My inlaws came to seder last night and brought chocolate covered matzo. They have been searching for the type they used to buy from a now-closed candy store back in New York, and a Judaica shop near their home in Orange County found Osem brand chocolate matzo for them. I thought it was good (how bad can anything be when it’s dipped in chocolate?) but they were disappointed by the chocolate-to-matzo ratio.
Fruit sorbet is a light and satisfying dessert. My favorite is the Haagen Dazs raspberry one.
You can also serve fresh berries, which is perfect for a Southern California spring, when so many types of berries are perfectly ripe and on sale. I served a bowl of fresh blackberries and strawberries with whipping cream (recipe below.) I didn’t think I was going to have time to make the roasted pears but I rallied at the last second and made them too.
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 firm ripe Bosc or d’Anjou pears, halved and cored
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, melted
Mix sugar and spices in small bowl. Place pear halves, cut-side up, in pie dish. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.
Bake in preheated 400F oven 30 minutes or until pears are tender, basting brown sugar mixture over pears halfway through baking. Cool.
Serve with fresh whipping cream.
FRESH WHIPPING CREAM
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
sugar to taste (if you can find superfine sugar, it will dissolve best, but regular granulated sugar does work. Demerara sugar or Sugar in the Raw adds a nice taste)
Choose a large metal mixing bowl for preparing whipping cream. Place it in freezer along with beaters at least 30 minutes before use. Refrigerate cream until just before preparation.
Pour cream and vanilla in pre-chilled bowl and whip with electric mixer. After about 60 seconds, add small amount of sugar and whip in, then taste. Add more sugar as desired.
Spoon carefully into serving bowl and serve immediately.