KOSHER RECIPES FOR GLUTEN-FREE LIVING
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
To-Die-For Passover Banana Nut Cake, and a Review of A Kosher Gluten-Free Passover Cookbook
I couldn't have been more excited when I received a copy of Tamar Ansh's new cookbook from Targum Press. They were kind enough to ship me Pesach - Anything's Possible: Over 450 Non-Gebrochts, Gluten-Free & Wheat Free Recipes because they know this blog focuses on cuisine that is both kosher and gluten-free. This big, thick, hardcover book is the first widely distributed cookbook that I've seen that has advertised itself directly to the gluten-free community as well as to any Jewish cook looking for Passover fare. Unlike much Passover cooking, all of the recipes are gluten-free and non-gebrokts, meaning the book does not include recipes such as matzo balls or matzo meal cakes which involve exposing matzo to water. Some Ashkenazi Jews, mostly Hasidim, observe a tradition of only eating dry matzo during Pesach so their other Pesach food is all gluten-free.
Pesach - Anything's Possible is a kosher gluten-free cookbook full of beautiful, glossy full-color photographs. One of my pet peeves is cookbooks without photographs - And this cookbook does not disappoint in that department! It even has step-by-step instructional photos for some of the recipes. I don't like reviewing cookbooks without trying a recipe. I never give positive reviews to books or products unless I feel like they deserve it. So I chose a recipe to make for last shabbos: Banana Nut Cake.
Those who tried the cake could not believe what they were tasting - It was perfectly moist, even the next day. It was golden brown on top, with no burned spots. It had a tender, fine crumb. It wasn't crumbly, but instead held together quite well. It had just the right amount of sweetness, just the right amount of banana flavor, and the perfect amount of nuttiness. It had a consistency more like a rich, moist, fluffy cake than the wetter, more dense traditional banana bread. I am not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best gluten-free cakes I have ever eaten! Not the best Passover cake, or the best pareve cake, or the best banana bread... But one of the best cakes, period. If you make this for friends or family they won't believe it's gluten-free, let alone a pareve Pesach cake. Pareve (dairy-free) Pesach cakes are notorious for being dry. This cake puts them all to shame.
Other recipes in the book include Orange Sponge Cake, "Breaded" Cutlets, Chicken Blintzes, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Mexican Pepper Bake, Creamsicle Roll, Best Gefilte Fish Ever, Crepes, Butternut Squash Kugel, Sweet Potato Puffs, Shepherd's Pie, Zucchini Cheese Potato Latkes, Kneidlach, Lukshen (noodles) and more... 350 recipes in total.
Targum Press has been kind enough to give me permission to post the fabulous Banana Cake recipe here on my blog, so that my readers can enjoy this recipe for Passover ... or any time. To order the cookbook click here.
BANANA NUT CAKE
from "Pesach - Anything's Possible" by Tamar Ansh
Posted with permission from Targum Press.
[Gluten-Free / Pareve / Dairy-Free / Soy-Free ]
10 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups sugar
3-4 ripe bananas*
3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts or pecans**
3/4 cup potato starch
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C.
Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. In a bowl, beat the yolks together with the sugar, bananas, nuts and potato starch. Carefully fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until it is well blended. Pour the batter into a greased tube pan***. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges start to spring away slightly from the side of the pan. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cook completely. Remove the cake from the pan. If it seems moist to you, let it sit uncovered for an hour or so before you wrap it up.
*I used 4 ripe bananas that had been frozen in their skins. I defrosted them and then they slid right out of their skins, already soft enough to blended in with the batter.
**I actually used 1/2 cup walnut meal (finely ground walnuts) and about 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts, and I'll probably do that again next time I make this recipe
***I recommend using a silicone pan if you have one. I didn't have a tube pan so I used an 8x8 silicone brownie pan and a standard-sized tin bread ban.
Other books by Targum Press include:
The Kids Kosher Cookbook
Classic Kosher Cooking: Simply Delicious
Guidelines to Candlelighting and Separating Challah
Guidelines to Pesach