I do love to play in the kitchen, and have invented something new for you this year. Why did we need a new Sponge Cake recipe? This year, Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz has said that we should not use Citrus Peels for flavoring this Pesach, because of some problems with the coatings on them. Since most recipes call for grated Peel as an ingredient, I thought it would be nice to have something else flavorful to do. This worked beautifully. I hope it brings a smile to your Seder table.
12 Eggs, room temperature and separated into 2 different large mixing bowls
2 tablespoons kosher for Passover, Almond-flavored Wine
1 tablespoon defrosted Orange Juice Concentrate
8 ounces blanched Almonds
1/3 cup Matzo Cake Meal
1/2 cup Potato Starch
1 cup granulated Sugar
This recipe requires a food processor and electric mixer. You will also need a 10 inch tube pan, the sort that comes in 2 pieces. Make sure the rack is in the center of the oven. Place a cookie sheet on it, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. You are doing this because tube pans have a tendency to leak, and you don't want to have to clean up a mess.
Fit the bowl of the food processor with the metal blade. Place the Almonds and Sugar in the bowl, and process until the mixture is powdery. Add the Potato Starch, and Matzo Cake Meal, then process again until they are thoroughly mixed. Set aside until needed.
Pour the Almond Wine into the bowl that contains the Egg Yolks. Beat with the electric mixer on high speed, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the Almond mixture until completely blended.
Wash the beaters thoroughly, and dry them. Start to beat the Egg Whites. As the Egg Whites start to thicken, add the Orange Juice Concentrate, and continue to beat until stiff and glossy.
Stir about a quarter of the beaten Egg Whites into the Egg Yolk mixture to lighten it. Then pour the Yolk mixture into the remaining Egg Whites and fold the two mixtures together gently, until they are mixed. Be very gentle as you do this, so as not to deflate the Egg Whites.
Pour the batter into the tube pan, and lightly smooth the top. Place in the oven. Bake for one hour, or until firm and resilient to the touch. Do not open the oven door for the entire hour; curiosity will deflate the cake.
Remove the pan from the oven and immediately turn it upside down over the neck of a wine bottle to cool. Do not turn the cake right side up again until it is completely cold, at least 2 hours.
Using a thin-bladed knife, cut around the inside edge of the pan and the outside edge of the tube, to separate them from the cake. Grab the center tube and lift out the cake. Use the knife again, to make sure the bottom of the cake is not stuck to the pan. Then place a hand on either side of the cake, lift it off the tube, and place it on a plate. Immediately cover the cake with a dome or cellophane wrap to keep it from becoming dry before serving.
Soak the pan for about 10 minutes in hot soapy water before trying to clean off the residue of cake batter. Rough scrubbing or use of steel wool will warp the shape of the pan and make it harder to clean the next time. Just let it soak, and use a plastic scrub sponge to clean it.
2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
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