Passover Desserts Inspiration from the 2019 Colorado Jewish Food Fest

The 2019 Colorado Jewish Food Fest was filled with Passover activities this year. One highlight for many was the Passover desserts competition tasting, where participants lined up in advance to taste 11 different home-made desserts for Passover, and choose the winner.

The entries to the competition included four flourless chocolate cakes – all different- spicy, paleo, raspberry, and traditional. Two competitors, including a middle-school student, made French macarons. The winner of the competition, Lauren Hartstein, also won last year’s Kugel Kontest. Lauren submitted her French Macarons with vanilla buttercream. Many competitors chose to share their recipes, which you can see below. Have a delicious Passover!


Winning recipe: French Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream (submitted by Lauren Hartstein)

Macaron shells ingredients

  • 103g egg whites
  • 90g superfine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 130g almond flour
  • 130g confectioner’s sugar


  1. Pulse almond flour and confectioner’s sugar together in food processor, then sift into bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, whip egg whites until frothy, add in cream of tartar until whisk leaves streaks. While continuing to whip, add superfine sugar in thirds. Add color if using, and whip until stiff peaks.
  3. Add 1/3 of dry mixture to egg whites and GENTLY fold in. Add remainder of dry mixture and fold until fully incorporated (mixture should flow like lava).
  4. Pipe in circles onto parchment lined-baking sheet. Tap sheet on counter to remove air bubbles.
  5. Let sit out at room temperature until skin is formed (about 30 minutes)
  6. Bake at 320 fahrenheit for about 12-14 minutes

Filling ingredients

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2c confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk


  1. Cream butter until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Gradually beat in sugar until fully incorporated
  3. Beat in vanilla
  4. Pour in milk and beat 3-4 minutes. Add coloring if using and beat 30 seconds.


Second Place: Fudgy Chocolate Walnut Pesach Cookie (submitted by Victoria Marks)


  • 3 cups walnuts
  • 3/4 cup sugar regular or a combination of sugar and honey (you can reduce this if you are trying to cut sugar and they are still delicious)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • vanilla


  1. Put walnuts in magimix, and pulse until they are all small bits. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to blend.
  2. Use parchment paper lined on a cookie sheet. Drop mixture into balls on cookie sheet.
  3. Preheat oven to 350, bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are glossy and lightly cracked and feel firm to the touch; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through.
  4. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks to cool completely before serving. These cookies will keep well in covered container. Try not to eat them all before Pesach!


Third Place: Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Torte (submitted by Aimee Miculka)


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups hazelnuts (about 12 ounces or 340 grams), toasted, then skinned as much as possible*
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla

Chocolate filling

  • 6 ounces (170 grams or the equivalent of 1 cup chips) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso granules (optional)

Whipped frosting and filling

  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy or whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Other notable recipes to try:

Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroon Pie


  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 3 tbs Coconut oil
  • 10 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ½ cup sliced almonds


  1. Mix coconut and coconut oil together.
  2. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until golden.
  4. Ganache: Heat your coconut cream on the stovetop. Pour the coconut cream over the chopped chocolate. Allow the chocolate and coconut cream to sit for 2 minutes. Stir the chocolate and coconut cream until smooth.
  5. Pour ganache over cooled pie crust. Let cool.
  6. Spread almonds on baking pan and toast in oven until golden brown. Sprinkle almonds on top of pie.


Cottonwood Chocolate Chile Cake (submitted by Butch Weaver)

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegan, pareve margarine
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa (optional)
  • 6 ounces 70% cacao chocolate
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7/8 cup mild wildflower or clover honey (slightly less than half of a 24 oz honey bottle)
  • ½ to 2 tablespoons hot chile mixture.  See description above.

Ingredients for garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons mild wildflower or clover honey
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup juice)
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and halved, quarter extra large strawberries
  • 1 pint blackberries, washed
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional)


  1. For cake: Preheat oven to 325˚ F. for 5,000 feet MSL (Colorado), or 350˚ F. for sea level.  Cover the bottom of a 9” springform pan with parchment paper. I like to more than cover the bottom with parchment paper, close the ring over the paper, then trim the edges.  Grease the parchment paper and sides with 1 tablespoon margarine, then dust the margarine with cocoa powder for a flavorful release. The recipe calls for more cocoa powder than needed so that you can dust the entire pan and dump the rest.
  2. Using a bowl in simmering water (or double boiler) melt chocolate and ¼ cup vegan margarine together.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Using a blender, chop pecans finely, but don’t make pecan butter. Add eggs, vanilla, honey, chile mixture, and melted chocolate mixture.  Add slowly and blend until smooth. Pour batter into pan. If it does not pour easily, help along with a spoon and smooth into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes at 5,000 feet, 30-40 minutes at sea level, less for convection oven; cake should be moist but not wet. Allow to cool completely.
  4. When cool, run sharp knife around ring of springform pan and remove ring.  If desired, trim excess parchment paper from edge of cake. Slide cake on parchment paper onto serving plate.
  5. For the garnish: In a large mixing bowl, combine lime zest and lime juice. Add strawberries and blackberries, and toss gently.  Warm 2 tablespoons of honey gently to 100˚ F. or so. Drizzle a the honey in a thin stream over the berries and gently toss again.  Just before serving, gently toss again and spoon on top of cake.
  6. If desired, serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.


Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Cake (submitted by Fay Wouk)


  • 8 oz. Chocolate Chips, 60% cacao content or higher
  • 11/2 sticks Butter, diced
  • 6 T. Seedless Raspberry Jam
  • 4 large Eggs
  • ¼ c. Sugar
  • 1 T. Vanilla Extract


  1. Put the chocolate, butter and jam in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the butter is melted and the chips are soft. Stir until the chips melt, reheating briefly if necessary. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
  2. While the chocolate mixture is cooling, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a non-stick round baking pan (I use an angel food cake pan with a hole in the middle) with either a silicone liner, or if you don’t have one, with parchment paper cut to the shape of the pan.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 25 minutes; the top will have formed a thin crust, and it should register at least 200°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center.
  5. Remove it from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the pan with a table knife or nylon spreader, and turn it out onto a plate. Invert and let cool completely.

Note: If you can’t get seedless raspberry jam that is kosher for Passover, use seeded jam. Heat the jam to liquid and then strain out the seeds. Measure 6 tablespoons of the strained jam.


About Becca Gan Levy

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