I am so excited to present this week’s recipe by stylist Dani Fisher. Dani asked if I’d be interested in a recipe for Passover, and unexpectedly, the recipe included chocolate. It was a win-win for me, as I love learning about traditional/holiday foods from other cultures/religions, and I know that everyone loves chocolate. I hope that even if you aren’t having a Passover seder, you will consider making these Chocolate-Covered Matzah because they are so elegant and so easy to make that it would be a shame to pass them up! To produce this piece, Dani had the enviable fortune of cutting up with the Shooter + Stylist team, headed by Matt Armendariz and Adam C. Pearson. — Kristina
About Dani: After many years in New York, first at Barnard College and then as an editor at Food and Wine Magazine with a stint cooking in a southern Italian restaurant, Dani has relocated with her beau to Los Angeles where she is forging a freelance food-centric career. She styles props and food for cookbooks and magazines, reviews restaurants for BlackboardEats and trolls the many great SoCal flea markets for vintage kitchen tools and other culinary style treasures. Her recent projects include Susan Feniger’s Street Food, Asian Tofu and Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners, among many other editorial and commercial endeavors. Dani’s previous recipe for Orecchiette with Orange-Spiced Lamb Meatballs can be found in our archives.
The full recipe continues after the jump . . .
Chocolate-Covered Matzah Two Ways
with Candied Kumquats and Toasted Coconut
- 2 bags of semisweet chocolate melted in a double boiler
- 1 box of salted matzah
For the candied kumquat version:
- 1 cup kumquats, sliced very thin
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in shallow sauté pan, stirring constantly until sugar is totally incorporated. Reduce to a simmer.
2. Add kumquat slices in a single layer. Cook on low heat for 40 minutes or until the whites of the fruit become translucent.
3. Remove and let cool on a rack.
4. Spread a thin layer of chocolate onto two matzot using a spatula or icing knife.
5. Arrange candied kumquats over the chocolate.
6. Let set and cool for a few hours or overnight.
7. Use a sharp knife to cut into ninths.
For the toasted coconut version:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1. Mix ingredients together.
2. Spread on a baking sheet.
3. Bake for 20 minutes at 300ºF or until the edges begin to brown.
4. Mix into chocolate.
5. Spread onto two matzot using a spatula or icing knife.
6. Sprinkle the coconut-shaving garnish (recipe below) over the chocolate before the chocolate sets.
7. Use a sharp knife to cut into ninths.
For the coconut-shaving garnish:
1. Spread coconut shavings on a baking sheet.
2. Bake for 20 minutes at 300ºF or until the edges begin to brown. (Shake the pan after 10 minutes.)
Photography by Matt Armendariz, styling by Dani Fisher and food by Adam C. Pearson; portrait of Dani pigging out by Karen Spector
Why Dani Loves These Recipes
My interest in cooking began when I was a toddler, sitting on the white-and-pink tiled floor of my Grandma Joan’s San Francisco kitchen. I liked to be near her when she cooked, and in order to keep me out of her way, she gave me a pot, a potato, and wooden spoon to play with. That was all I needed; I was hooked. Although these chocolate matzah recipes certainly aren’t traditional Ashkenazi fare that grandma would have made, they are inspired by the rustic, handmade treats that always came out of her kitchen. The kumquats and toasted coconut make for a beautiful presentation — always important when entertaining for any occasion. Neither of the chocolate matzot are too sweet; the perfect light dessert after the rich, multi-course seder meal. And, perhaps most importantly for me, making these chocolate-covered matzot is way easier than actually baking, not to mention that you can make them ahead of time to lighten your seder-day load.
*If you are not hosting seder, chocolate matzot make a great hostess gift. Wrap uncut matzot up in parchment paper and tie a ribbon around the package, or put cut pieces in a tin or gift box.