July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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Bo and Beshalach: Palpable Darkness and Honey Wafer Manna

Parshat Bo inspiration:

“The Lord said to Moses: ‘Stretch forth your hand toward the heavens, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, and the darkness will become darker.’ So Moses stretched forth his hand toward the heavens, and there was a palpable darkness over the entire land of Egypt for three days.”

I made probably the most enviable plague manifestation ever. It’s called Palpable Darkness—when the darkness becomes even darker and thicker (because it is a chocolate mousse layer on top of a flourless chocolate cake layer). This dessert would surely make Pharoah surrender.

I combined a La Bete Noire base with my mom’s simply delicious chocolate mousse recipe to create Palpable Darkness. I used a glass pie pan and cut with a thin metal knife. So rich and so good.


Palpable Darkness

Base layer:

  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 9 Tbsp. margarine (unsalted is preferred but not necessary)
  • 18 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chunk
  • 6 eggs
  • Mousse:
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Grease a pan. I used a glass pan this time, but also have had success with this recipe in a springform lined with parchment paper and greased. (Wrap the bottom with foil to prevent the margarine from dripping out if you use a springform.)

2. To make the base cake, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove the sugar syrup from the heat.

3. In a large saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat. Add the 18 oz. of chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk the sugar syrup into the chocolate. Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the 6 eggs, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture, whisking until well-blended each time.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes until the chocolate is fully set. When the base is set, remove from oven and allow it to fully cool.

6. To make the mousse, combine the water—trust me; it works—and chocolate chips in a saucepan and melt on low. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

7. Beat the egg whites into soft peaks; continue beating while slowly adding the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

8. Mix the egg yolks and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture and combine until smooth.

9. Slowly fold the chocolate mixture into the stiff-beaten egg whites. Keep folding slowly (sweeping around and up through the egg whites with a spatula while rotating the bowl) until the chocolate is fully integrated and there are no white spots remaining.

10. Top the base with the mousse. (You can simply use a spatula or get fancy with a piping bag.)

Refrigerate until shortly before serving. I took it out of the fridge after hamotzi and it was the perfect temperature by the time we were ready for dessert.

Parshat Beshalach inspiration:

“… The layer of dew went up, and behold, on the surface of the desert, a fine, bare substance as fine as frost on the ground. When the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, ‘It is manna,’ because they did not know what it was, and Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat…’ The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, it was white, and it tasted like a wafer with honey.”

How about Honey Wafers as manna? This is how I always imagined manna to look. I simplified a brandy snap recipe to create these.

Honey Wafers

  • ¼ cup margarine
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Optional: 1 tsp ground ginger, and/or 1 tsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the margarine, sugar and honey until no grains remain. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour until smooth. If you would like your wafers to be more faithful to a brandy snap, whisk in the optional ingredients now.

3. Drop teaspoons of batter onto the baking sheets, leaving at least 3 inches between them—they spread significantly. You might be able to fit only 4-6 wafers on a tray at a time.

4. Bake until the cookies have fully spread and turn golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before removing from parchment paper. They are a bit sticky so you may want to store them using parchment paper as interleafing before serving them hovering over pareve ice cream or other taste-sensation of your imagination.

Follow me @EdibleParsha on Facebook to see each recipe on the Monday of each parsha week for plenty of time to prepare it for Shabbat!

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