Food writer, recipe columnist and Daily Mail blogger Anne Shooter grew up with many wonderful scents filling her family’s kitchen in Romford, including figs, almonds, honey, pomegranates, cinnamon and citrus.
The author of baking book, Sesame & Spice, Anne spends the first seder night with about 40 other people at her parents’ home, where a new tradition has emerged.
“For the past few years, we have cracked our eggs by bashing them against the person next to us to see which is the last to crack. It always gets competitive and very funny,” says Anne, whose cooking is influenced by her East European roots, as well as by visits to her husband’s family in Israel
Coconut, dark chocolate and cherry fingers
If you like Bounty bars, these will make you very happy. I find them ridiculously addictive.
- 200g desiccated coconut
- 85g caster sugar
- 150g dark chocolate chips
- 85g glacé cherries – halved
- 2 eggs – beaten
- 150g dark chocolate – broken into pieces
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas4.
- Line a 30 x 20cm brownie tin with baking parchment.
1.Combine the coconut, sugar, chocolate chips and glacé cherries together in a bowl until everything is evenly distributed, then mix in the eggs until you have a gooey paste.
2.Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly with a wooden spoon, packing it down firmly. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and set.
3.Meanwhile, melt the chocolate pieces in a small glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. When the coconut mixture is baked, pour the melted chocolate over the top and spread evenly across the mixture.
4.Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into fingers with a sharp knife and refrigerate until really well set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
Passover roasted vegetable strudel
The pastry for this strudel also makes an excellent quiche, or can be used to make sweet tarts.
For the pastry:
- 4 eggs – beaten
- 120ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 200g fine matzah meal
- 50g potato flour
- 4 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the filling:
- 500g butternut squash – peeled and cubed
- 1 red pepper – peeled and cut into strips
- 1 red onion – cut into eighths
- 6 garlic cloves – unpeeled
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt flakes and black pepper
- 200g mushrooms – sliced
- 1 egg – beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
- Grease a baking sheet and a large roasting tray with oil.
1.For the pastry, mix all the ingredients in a bowl, then bring together to form a pastry and squash slightly into a flattish disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate while you make the filling.
2.Put the butternut squash, pepper, onion and garlic on the roasting tray. Scatter with rosemary leaves and drizzle over the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3.Roast for 40 minutes, or until everything is soft, adding the mushrooms after 20 minutes. Once cooked, set aside until cooled and turn the oven down to 180°C/Gas 4.
4.Roll out the pastry into a rectangle around the size of an A4 piece of paper. This is easiest to do between two sheets of greaseproof paper as you cannot use flour to stop it sticking. Get it as thin as you can – around 3 to 5mm.
5.Take off the top piece of greaseproof paper and squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skins onto the pastry, spreading it over evenly. Arrange the filling down one long side of the pastry, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Brush a little beaten egg around the border to help seal the pastry when you roll it. 6.Using the greaseproof paper, roll the strudel up. Finish with the seam underneath and seal the ends. Lift it onto the baking sheet and brush with the remaining beaten egg. Make a couple of little diagonal slashes in the top to help air and moisture escape.
6.Bake for 30–40 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and golden. Serve warm, in slices.