Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to the Throw a Chocolate Seder

Happy Passover! I hope your holiday is off to a good start. I'm enjoying Passover so far, but perhaps not as much as I enjoyed it the time that David and I hosted a chocolate seder.

Today I'm going to walk you through what our seder table looked like, just in case you, too, want to have a chocolate seder. (Hint: you probably do.)

We did a lot of reading about chocolate seders before we embarked on our own, and by and large what we found was that other people would have chocolate seder plates but would just eat normal festive meals. We wanted to go harder than that. (Surprise.) So we set ourselves a challenge: every dish on the table must include chocolate.

Chocolate NYC: go big or go home.

Here's how we did it.

Instead of four glasses of wine... drink four glasses of chocolate milk.

Instead of matzah... buy chocolate matzah, or make your own.

On the seder plate:
- In place of an egg, use a Cadbury Creme Egg.
- In place of bitter herbs, you can use shaved unsweetened chocolate. Or you can melt down a bar of bakers chocolate and mix nibs into it, if you want a more spreadable texture.
- For greens, use green M & Ms or other little colored candies. Or, just use celery and parsley like normal, but dip them in a bowl of chocolate syrup with sea salt, rather than a bowl of salt water.
- Make normal haroset, then throw in some mini chocolate chips once it's done.
- The shank bone is a challenge. We could not find a shank bone-shaped chocolate bar. Instead we just bought a block of white chocolate and carved it to resemble a shank bone, as our friend Kasey models here:

For the festive meal:
This is where the going gets tough. The most obvious choice for a main course is chicken mole, since mole is, after all, chocolate sauce. However, if you're drinking four cups of chocolate milk and you keep kosher, you need a meat-free meal. So, unfortunately, no chicken mole.

Here's what we did, instead:

-Salad with chocolate dressing.

-Gluten-free gnocchi that we added some cocoa powder into. I should note: this tasted terrible. Gluten-free gnocchi is challenging enough to get right. Once you start throwing in cocoa powder, you're really in No Man's Land.

A better suggestion would be to just make the gluten-free gnocchi-- or even invest in some of that yucky store-bought kosher-for-Passove spaghetti-- and then make a chocolate sauce to go over it. I used a chocolate tomato sauce recipe from the Ghiradelli Chocolate Cookbook that wasn't as chocolate-y as we'd wanted, but here's a recipe for chocolate hazelnut cream sauce that seems like it might work better.

-A sweet kugel (like this one, for example) that we thew chocolate chips into.

For dessert, you can't go wrong. We served David's mom's famous flourless chocolate cake. But you could also do fruit with chocolate fondue, or chocolate sponge cake with chocolate whipped cream, or chocolate mousse... I mean, it's dessert. You've got this.

BOTTOM LINE: There is no holiday that, with a little ingenuity and effort, can't be turned into a chocolate feast.

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