Chocolate Torte for Passover!

Chocolate torte | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I baked this cake for my dear friend Jen’s 40th Birthday. Just a private little torte for one, or 5 if she decided to share with her family. She’d had a lavish soiree at D’Amico Kitchen and phenomenal cupcakes from my favorite Minneapolis bakery, The Salty Tart. On the quiet Tuesday of Jen’s actual birthday she needed a cake. Her favorite sweet combination is chocolate and peanut butter. I decided to combine my devil’s food with a peanut butter buttercream icing. Because Passover is on my mind I tried my devil’s food recipe with matzo meal and it is a revelation, I may even prefer it and that is saying something! Matzo meal is something I usually only have on hand this time of year, but I may start to keep it in my pantry just for this recipe.

To get the evenly spaced stripes on the cake I used a cake decorating comb, which allows you to fancify your torte quickly and easily.

Other Favorite Passover Desserts:

Chocolate Caramel Matzo

Haystack Macaroons

Fruit Jellies

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Plate-Lickingly Good Chocolate Cake! (Henri’s TWO Birthday Cakes)

Chocolate cake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Henri Turned 10 this month and the celebrating has been at a feverish pitch for weeks. It is a big year when your little baby hits double digits and becomes a Tweenager. On his actual birthday we celebrated with our family. He wanted to rent the movie Grease (one of his babysitters was recently in the play at the high school), have sushi and eat chocolate cake! It sounded like a fantastic idea to me. After 20+ years I’d forgotten about some of the racy content in the movie, which they edited out of the high school play, Oooops! Luckily we were watching at home and could fast forward through the more “educational” scenes!

The cake he chose was amazing. I used my Devil’s Food Cake recipe and topped it with Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Malted Buttercream. A bunch of chocolate shavings made it look festive, but it was so simple to put together. (more…)

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Springtime Flower Cake for Kathy (Le Creuset Giveaway)

A closeup of the springtime flower cake | Photo by Zoë François

This weekend was my neighbor’s birthday. Her husband asked me to bake her a decadent chocolate cake and decorate it with “Spring Flowers.” Here in MN it isn’t exactly bursting with flora yet. In fact, as I was working on this flower cake it started to snow. But Easter is right around the corner and the tulips and rhubarb are promising to come out of the ground soon. We hold our breath and hope for a greener time, soon. Her cake, like Kathy herself, had to be over the top and fantastic! I wanted it to be bright and full of life to compensate for the snow!

The chocolate layers were made up of Devil’s Food, Chocolate Pastry Cream, Bittersweet Ganache, White Chocolate Buttercream and the flowers were made from gum paste.

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Last week I was in such a rush to get my Daring Baker Challenge done in time that I forgot to give away another Le Creuset Stoneware Heart Ramekin with Cover, Red. This week I will give away 2 to make up for it. Just leave me a note below and tell me what you are making for Passover*, Easter** or whatever you are craving now that it is spring. I will pick 2 random winners next week.

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