I'm a chocoholic. I cannot help it. I think about chocolate. I dream about chocolate. I eat chocolate. On my first ever trip to Paris, I didn't care about anything else but getting to the tour at Maison du Chocolat. I'm interested in where it comes from and everything about it from cocoa powder to the weirdest chocolate of them all, white chocolate. So, when I was lucky enough to be on Sirius Radio's Martha Stewart Everyday Food Show during "Chocolate Week," I was overjoyed.
That event has come and gone, but now I have another chocolate opportunity upon me: Passover. The food allergy-sufferer's dream holiday! Well not really: there's still noodle kugle and the egg whites in the macaroons, but no matter, I like to look at this holiday for those of us with food allergies to shine. Flour, leavening and legumes are banned from this big day, but creativity is not.
So, this is where the chocolate comes in.
I know, I know. You are thinking: this schicksa has completely lost her mind. The Passover Seder is weeks away, but who cares?! I'm a planner. I'm always thinking ahead, and I'm always thinking about dessert. Appropriately, I am in charge of bringing dessert for my husband's family's celebration. So here I am racking my brain for new ways to make something interesting, tasty, and, well, normal. Here's what I came up with: everything always tastes better with chocolate, so why not just cover everything with it? 'Tis the season, after all. Kosher for Passover chocolate is dairy and soy free, so I plan to stock up.
I am fortunate enough not to be allergic to soy or dairy, so chocolate is easy for me. It's not so easy for others, so I have come up with a list of clever, allergy-free ways for you to shine this Passover season, or frankly any other season of the year. Everyone loves dessert and few turn down chocolate. Here are a few ways to make something that everyone, even those most allergic will love:
1) Chocolate lollipops: take one bag of kosher for Passover chocolate chips or 4 bars of 70% cacao or higher chocolate bars and melt over medium heat in a double boiler with 1 teaspoon canola oil. Pour the melted chocolate into lollipop molds, refrigerate and voila, choco-pops that every child is sure to love.
2) Chocolate covered fruit: again, melt one bag of kosher for Passover chocolate chips over a double boiler. Remove the chocolate from the heat, allow it to cool slightly, and then dip strawberries, dried apricots, raspberries, bananas and whatever other seasonal fruits you can find and that you like into the chocolate. Allow to dry at room temperature on wax paper. Remove the candies to an air tight container and refrigerate until serving
3) What about chocolate-covered rice cakes?! Crispy, salty, chocolatey and delicious. Follow the above directions, but dip in the rice cakes instead.
4) I don't know if this one works, but someone recommended it to me yesterday. Make a chocolate cake from a Kosher for Passover chocolate cake mix. Substitute cola for the eggs, oil and water. Again, proceed with caution and always read the label to be sure that the mix is safe, but I thought that this was a clever idea.
5) Finally, whip up a batch of the Cool Mint Patties from my new book, Allergy-Free Delights.
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