Today I am sharing Kenden Alfond’s new book Beyond Chopped Liver: 59 Jewish Recipes Get a Health Makeover. This is Kenden’s third book and I am really very impressed with her work. The recipes are clean, clever and healthy and the photos are absolutely exquisite. Read on for more details and a recipe for that amazingly fudgy flourless chocolate cake that is on the upper right hand corner of the cover!
A few years ago, Kenden created a website called The Jewish Food Hero with the intention of getting “healthier plant-based food onto Jewish tables around the world as a way of improving our mental, emotional and physical health and helping our environment.” The website gathers recipes from contributors around the world and Kenden has published three cookbooks. Beyond Chopped Liver is the third.
When I found Kenden’s books, I knew I found a kindred spirit. I love Jewish food and, over the years, I have worked on many recipes to recreate my favorites like challah and matzo balls. Kenden has done the same! In this book, not only does she share her own version of these recipes, but she also has creative recipes for mock whitefish salad, crispy baked falafel, jackfruit brisket, stuffed cabbage, two different kugels, baked bimuelos, apple tarts, mandelbrot, “honey” cake, and more.
There is something really special about the look and feel of this book. It is calming (is that possible in a cookbook?!), easy to read and the photos are really beautiful. Each recipe includes information on the “traditional” recipe, the plant-based version and then lots of ideas for variations. If you are looking for a healthy cookbook full of foods that happen to be Jewish, this one is for you!
Let me give you an example: Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake. I love this recipe and I think you will too. It is perfect for Passover or really any time of year. It is fudgy and velvety, with a slight crunch around the edges and a deep chocolate flavor. Plus, it is gluten-free, dairy-free and oil-free. What more do you need in a dessert?!
You can also adapt this cake. For a citrus note, grate the zest from a whole orange or one to two lemons into the cake batter before baking. For a decorative peanut butter swirl, drizzle two to three tablespoons of creamy peanut butter over the cake batter and swirl with a toothpick before baking.
I cut the recipe in half and baked it off in little ramekins because I just love mini desserts but I have included the full recipe below for you play with any way you like! For my mini cakes, I used coconut sugar to keep it low-glycemic, homemade applesauce and Hu Chocolate Gems and it came out perfectly!
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons water
6 ounces (170g) dark 70% chocolate, chopped
½ cup (125g) unsweetened applesauce
1 very ripe banana, mashed
¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 tablespoons ground almonds (almond flour)
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray or a dab of coconut oil.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat the second it is melted.
- Meanwhile, put the ground flaxseed in a large mixing bowl and add the water. Whisk to combine and set aside for a few minutes until the flax mixture thickens up.
- Add the applesauce, mashed banana, brown sugar and vanilla extract to the flax mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add the melted chocolate to the mixture of wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Add in the cocoa powder, almond flour, espresso powder and salt. Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. The mixture will be thick and slightly glossy.
- Pour the chocolate cake batter into a lined cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is set and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries.