the appetizer:

Celebrate the Jewish holidays with Amazing Passover Desserts by Penny Eisenberg, including recipes for Fruit and Nut Tart and Chocolate Noisette Layer Cake.

I Love Desserts


Chocolate Noisette Layer Cake

Chocolate Noisette Layer Cake

Pareve or Dairy
Serves 8-10


The original of this cake was so much harder to make because the frosting used Meringue instead of Richwhip®. This version tastes great, is easier to make and keeps longer.


If you need to make frosting with no matzo cake meal, you can; it will just have less body and be more like topping with nuts in it.

Skinned hazelnuts are available from To make your own, see *Note at the end of the recipe.

For a dairy dessert, use 2 cups of whipping cream, 6 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar instead of the Richwhip®. Do not use butter for the vegetable oil in the decorating chocolate.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with a shelf in the middle of the oven. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and place kosher parchment paper in the bottom of each.

2. Place the pecans and the potato starch in the bowl of a processor. Pulse on and off until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a container.

3. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the boiling water, let the mixture stand for 30 seconds and then stir to melt the chocolate. If necessary, heat the mixture in the microwave in 15-second bursts, stirring between, until the mixture is melted and mostly smooth.

4. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs just to blend. Gradually beat in the sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until the eggs are thick, pale, and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.

5. Sprinkle half of the matzo-nut mixture over the eggs and gently fold into the eggs. Repeat with the remaining matzo nut mix. Stir 1/4 of the egg mixture into the chocolate, and then gently fold this into the remainder of the egg mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pans.

6. Bake For 25-35 minutes or until a tester comes out with no crumbs attached. Place the pans on a cooling rack. Loosen the sides of the cakes with a small metal spatula and then let them cool in the pans. Place an 8-inch cake board on each cake and invert pans. Reinvert so that the cakes are right side up. Leave the cakes on these boards. Freeze the layer that will be top layer.

For the Frosting and Assembly
1. Place the nuts on a tray in a 350 degrees F oven and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. (If using the toaster oven, heat at 325 degrees F. for 2-3 minutes). Put the nuts in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool them (or leave at room temperature until cool).

2. Place half of the nuts and the matzo cake meal and potato starch in a food processor. Pulse-process until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the remaining nuts and pulse until they are coarsely chopped.

3. Whip the Richwhip® to stiff peaks. Fold in the maple syrup, vanilla and the toasted nuts.

4. If you have a cake decorating turntable, set the bottom layer on it. Spoon the frosting onto the bottom layer and spread it 1/2" thick. Top with the frozen layer. Spread frosting thinly on the sides and 1/2" thick on the top.

Decorating (optional)
1. Place the chocolate and oil in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave on medium for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave in 10-second bursts until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. The chocolate should be runny enough to drip off of a fork. If not, add 1/2 teaspoon more oil, stir and check.

2. Place a fork into the chocolate. Hold it over the cake and rapidly shake your hand side to side to create a spatter design. Repeat until the whole cake is spattered to your liking.

Make a cake roll using Cocoa Cake Roll, page 151 of the CD. Use Noisette Fluff inside, and whipped topping or chocolate glaze for the outside.

Can Prepare Ahead
    refrigerate   freeze
Chocolate Pecan Cake   1 day   3 months
Noisette Fluff Frosting   1 day   3 months
Completed Cake   1 day   3 months

If you can't find skinned hazelnuts, place the hazelnuts on a pan in a 350 degrees F. oven and roast for 10 minutes. Pour the nuts onto the upper half of a kitchen towel. Fold the bottom half of the towel up over the nuts and rub back and forth. The skins should come off. If there are a lot of nuts with skins that won't release, place the nuts back in the oven and roast for another 5 minutes. It is okay if the nuts brown lightly. Repeat. Nuts that refuse to shed their skins can be boiled for 5 minutes and then the skins can be peeled off.


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This page created March 2009