This mother of three, wife of one lives in Rockland County, NY. Her articles and recipes on simple, healthy family fare can be found in the About Our Children insert in the Bergen County Jewish Standard. Rachel's alter ego, Roxy Chocsmith, isresponsible for the fanciful and outlandish chocolate creations found at www.roxychocsmith.com
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On Passover there are at leat 13 ways of looking at matzah; Matzah Pizza, matzah lasagne (meat and dairy version), matzah farfel stuffing, matzah brittle, brussell sprouts with garlic matzah crumbs, matzah layer cake, chocolate covered matzah, matzah ball soup, matzah meal chicken nuggets, matzah brei, matzah rolls….. And now, maple pecan matzah “granola”. This one is for my kids- who are already tiring of cream cheese and jam on matzah for breakfast, and vowed to never take a simple bowl of sweet crunchy morning cereal for granted.
Maple Pecan Matzah Granola
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. maple syrup
It’s amazing how when you put something out there, the Universe will respond accordingly. Lately I’ve been thinking of the trip we took to Israel a couple of summers ago. More specifically, I’ve been recalling a meal we enjoyed at a beachfront cafe in Tel Aviv, where I tentatively ordered a watermelon feta salad. I wasn’t sure about the flavor combination, but my culinary curiosity was piqued. I reasoned that it had good potential since the two components of the dish were both items that Israel does well- watermelon and feta. And, of course, it turned out to be wonderful, a delicious contrast of cool sweet juiciness and salty creaminess.
I had my sweet “eureka!” moment in the health food store yesterday, more specifically in the canned goods aisle. With a glance at a can of coconut milk, all my non-dairy dessert dissatisfaction just fell away.
My devotion to dessert is almost religious. I believe that no good meal is complete without a sweet ending, and that chocolate sometimes does the job better than sex, drugs, or rock ‘n roll. However, I often fall short in the dessert department when preparing a meat meal, meaning: my parve desserts aren’t spectacular. I have been tinkering with non-dairy chocolate cake recipes for a while, but until now always felt somewhat dissappointed with the results. One version wasn’t nearly chocolatey enough, another was throat-sticking dry, and how about the one with the weird sawdust aftertaste?…. And then, alas, there was this chocolate number. Rich, endlessly chocolate, dense, and moist, this cake makes me retract my earlier declarations that baking without butter is just a waste of time. The coconut milk gives this cake creaminess and heft without being coconutty in flavor, and the Trader Joe’s parve chocolate chips lends it a deep dark chocolate-ness. The chocolate glaze is optional, but my theory is if you’re having dessert- have dessert.