Passover starts in a few days and let me tell you, its a craptastic holiday. I dread it every year. Without going into detail and taking up space here, the holiday is loaded with “do not eat” foods including any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt that has come into contact with water and been allowed to ferment and rise. So that means..no bread, pasta, cereal, most baked goods. The good stuff. If you want to learn more about Passover, watch The Ten Commandments. That’s it in a nutshell. The week is filled with matzoh, eggs (and more eggs), veggies, fruits and meat. For me, it’s a great time “in theory” to make a resolution to go low carb for the week since so much is off limits.
The only problem is, I accept this holiday as a challenge so I’m not deprived. So that includes making flourless chocolate cakes, macaroons, macarons and caramelized matzoh chocolate crunch. You may have seen a variation of this recipe using saltine crackers and it’s basically the same premise. Once you have the basic recipe down, you can be creative. Use milk chocolate, white chocolate. Use different kinds of nuts. Or don’t use nuts at all. Depending on how “kosher” you are, you can use M&Ms as a topping. It’s all up to you. You certainly don’t have to be Jewish to make this recipe. This time of year you will find matzoh stacks in most supermarkets. In some, it’s a dedicated “end cap” for the Jewish foods, in some markets with a higher Jewish population matzoh is just the beginning of “kosher for Passover” foods you can find.
A few years ago this recipe landed me at an Urgent Care facility. I was getting the brown sugar out of the panty and noted it was hard as a rock. I stuck it in the microwave to soften up for a couple minutes. Upon taking it out, I did not realize there was a hole in the bag and I ended up grabbing molten hot sugar. Second degree burns on my fingers debilitated me for the week of Passover and my Spring Break that year. No fun. I am now extra careful around cooking sugar.
The recipe comes from David Lebovitz who is one of favorite food bloggers. He is an expert at ice cream making and also makes a a flourless chocolate cake that makes it into the Passover dessert rotation. And I wonder why I can’t lose weight during this holiday. I need more discipline. Trust me, you don’t have to be Jewish to eat this and love this!
Caramelized Matzoh Crunch
- 4 to 6 sheets of matzoh
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted or salted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 cup (firmly-packed) light brown sugar
- optional: fleur de sel, or coarse sea salt
- 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, or coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Line a 11″ x 17″ baking sheet completely with foil (making sure it goes up the sides) and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Line the bottom of the sheet completely with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.
In a medium-sized heavy duty saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until the butter begins to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof utensil.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the syrup darkens and gets thick. (While it’s baking, make sure it’s not burning. If so, reduce the heat to 325F degrees.)
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips or chunks. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread smooth with an offset spatula.
Sprinkle with a flurry of fleur de sel or coarse salt, then scatter the toasted almonds over the top and press them into the chocolate.
Let cool completely (you may need to chill it in the refrigerator), then break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to eat.