Pesach baking made a bit easier

Pesach baking is unlike year-round baking in that we eliminate plain wheat flour all together and there isn’t a real replacement. It’s not about substitution of ingredients, it’s actually about a different way of thinking. Here are a few tips that we hope will help you with your Pesach baking:

1. Look to your own recipe repertoire, both for baking and everything else: How many things do you make year-round that are already Pesach-friendly? You will be surprised by how many items you already make that will fit in with the restrictions of Pesach, but somehow we forget about them. Think about your fruit-based compotes and jellies, as well as pavlovas and mousses — many of them are already Pesach-friendly.

2. If you wouldn’t eat or drink it in its natural state, don’t add it to your dish and hope it will improve with the addition of heat. There are usually so few ingredients in Pesach foods that it is important to not leave one out or to use something that is less than delicious. If you wouldn’t drink a specific wine in its natural state, or eat a specific chocolate bar because they don’t taste nice, heat and some extra ingredients won’t improve the situation.

3. Keep your eggs at room temperature. Wondering why your cake didn’t rise? Or why your mousse didn’t set? Wonder no more, one of the biggest culprits is fridge-cold eggs. Make sure to bring your eggs to room temperature before you start to bake, otherwise the end results may be disappointing.

4. Toast your nuts: With so few ingredients in most Pesach bakes, it’s important to give each ingredient the attention and care it deserves — and with nuts that means toasting. Don’t skip this step, it’s one of those things where you won’t notice if it’s not done; but when you have toasted your nuts, it elevates any dish.

5. A spotless clean bowl for whisking up egg whites. It feels like we whisk more egg whites on Pesach than the rest of the year combined, and the step of ensuring that your bowl and whisk are spotlessly clean seems to interrupt the flow of everything that is going on in the kitchen. But this step alone will save you much heartache as you wonder why yet again your stiff peaks look more like a foamy mess!