Dessert for Passover Angel food cake keeps the faith in healthful way

April 05, 1995|By Leslye Michlin Borden | Leslye Michlin Borden,Special to The Sun

Everyone loves Passover -- all the special foods, the extra-long Seder with lots of discussion, the sense of participation in a continuous and living history.

Because this holiday is so important, I always try to underline the occasion by preparing some dish that is as wonderful and outstanding as the holiday itself, recipes fit for the reclining royalty emulated on this occasion.

Given the difficult food rules of Passover, not to mention those of kosher, it isn't easy to come up with many extra-special recipes worthy of the occasion.

For me, the difficulty has been compounded ever since my husband and I have decided to follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. As you know, no rising agents are allowed during Passover so traditionally Jewish bakers have relied on eggs to lighten many Passover delicacies. Most Passover spongecakes use 12 whole eggs, and they are not the only foods that do so.

Imagine how excited I was when I got the idea of baking a Passover Angel Food Cake for this year's super recipe. I experimented for quite a while, until it turned out just the way I wanted. After a few hilarious failures, I came up with a cake that is really fabulous. It is light, moist and flavorful and contains no fat or cholesterol.

lTC The method I follow is similar to what I used to do when I baked regular Passover spongecakes, except I use 12 egg whites instead of whole eggs. Of course, I use matzo cake meal for flour, orange juice to keep it moist and pareve, and a little orange rind for flavoring.

Besides being tasty and light, the cake has an added advantage of being versatile. You can serve it by itself, of course. Or you can turn it into two other desserts. Serve one at each of your Sedarim.

For the first Seder, April 14, serve Passover Strawberry Shortcake. Just split the Angel Food Cake, fill it with fresh strawberries and drizzle the top with a glaze made of preserves and sweet Passover wine. What a treat!

For the second Seder, serve another spectacular dessert -- No-Cholesterol Passover Chocolate Fondue. Prepare a large platter of cut-up fresh fruit and squares of Angel Food Cake. Place bowls of no-cholesterol chocolate dipping sauce strategically around the table so everyone can reach them. Have your guests dip the fruit and cake into the sauce. Believe me, you won't have to ask twice. Everyone will enjoy the fun of this dessert, as well as its taste and appearance. Passover is, after all, a dipping holiday.

So go ahead and prepare Passover desserts that are as special as the holiday itself. Your guests probably will be so impressed by Angel Food Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, or Chocolate Fondue that they won't even notice that the fat and cholesterol

are missing.

No-Cholesterol Passover Angel Food Cake

Makes 20 slices

1 1/4 cups matzo cake meal

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel (no white)

1 3/4 cups egg whites (about 12)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons orange juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Measure 1 cup sugar into a small bowl. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar with the matzo cake meal. Add the orange peel and set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, alternately with the orange juice. Beat well after each addition. Continue beating until stiff peaks form when the beaters are slowly raised.

Using a rubber spatula or wire whisk, fold the matzo cake meal-sugar-orange peel mixture, one-quarter at a time. Use the 15 under-and-over strokes for each addition, turning the bowl a little after each stroke. When all the matzo mixture has been added, fold an additional 10 strokes.

Pour this batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cake springs back to the touch. Remove from the oven and immediately invert the pan and let it cool.

When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to loosen the sides and center of the cake from the pan. Turn out to a serving plate. Serve at once or proceed with other recipes.

Per slice: 105 calories; 3 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol.

Passover Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 20

1 No-Cholesterol Passover Angel Food Cake

2 baskets fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows)

Bake cake according to directions. When it is thoroughly cool, slice cake in half horizontally with a long knife. Place the bottom half on the serving platter, cut side up. Spoon on half the Strawberry Sauce and then cover with half the strawberries, sliced. Place top half of cake over this. Drizzle it with the remaining Strawberry Sauce. Garnish with the rest of the strawberries, sliced or whole.

Per serving: 136 calories; 3 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrates; 0.14 grams fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol.

Strawberry Sauce

Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup Passover strawberry preserves

1/4 cup sweet red Passover wine

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