charoset haroset passover jewish cooking

These little morsels of Passover goodness are simply a delight – we like to call them Jewish Bliss Balls! They can be made well ahead and kept in the fridge (I love to eat them cold and hard) for an anytime snack.

We were so lucky to come across Susan Barocas in our world wide search for recipes for our third book, It’s Always About the Food.

Susan’s story about these Charoset Balls is just wonderful:

If you look closely at the official photos from the past two White House Seders, you can see them. There, sitting on silver serving dishes on the beautifully set table—my charoset balls! 

I still get a jolt surprise and pleasure when I think back to my three years serving as the guest chef for the Obamas’ seder. I remember after the first year in 2014, someone remarked that I could check that off my bucket list. Really?? I gotta’ tell you that cooking at the White House was never on any list of mine.

Who could have imagined it for this self-taught cook, teacher, caterer and writer! I’ve been cooking since I was a young child and still have my first cookbook from 1959 when I was seven, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls. While I started cooking because I liked it and it was fun, by the time I was 11, family circumstances meant it became my job to fix dinner nearly every week night for my parents and three siblings. When this kind of responsibility is thrust on a kid, I think eventually you face a choice as I did: resent that responsibility, rejecting it as soon as possible, or embrace it and make it your own. I was fortunate because cooking remained mostly enjoyable for me, becoming a positive piece of my identity growing up…and this was way before Food Network!

To this day, I find the kitchen is a place of unending creativity and self-expression. It is also where I connect strongly with my family history and my Jewish heritage, both the Sephardic and Ashkenazic sides, as well as with my now 20-year-old son as he was growing up and still today.

Each year, standing in the compact White House kitchen, cooking all day with the other chefs, the anticipatory nervousness quickly disappeared as the joy of where I was and what I was doing took over.

After the first year, I was able to add a few Sephardic items to the menu, including those charoset balls, which have become one of my trademark dishes over the past 20 years. And each year, as I ground the fruit and nuts mixture, then rolled the balls in uniform sizes, I truly felt that somehow, my parents, grandparents and even unknown ancestors were there with me, smiling and sharing this most unexpected and amazing experience.  

charoset haroset passover jewish cooking
Charoset Balls for Passover
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
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Servings
36 balls
Servings
36 balls
charoset haroset passover jewish cooking
Charoset Balls for Passover
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings
36 balls
Servings
36 balls
Ingredients
Servings: balls
Units:
Instructions
  1. Line a baking tray and set aside.
  2. Using a food processor with the metal blade, pulse and grind the dates, figs, raisins (or sultanas) and apricots coarsely.
  3. Add the walnuts, cinnamon, allspice and wine (or grape juice) and pulse until the mixture is well chopped (but with pieces still visible) and starting to stick together. Pulse it a few more times until the mixture forms a large ball, taking care not to over process.
  4. With slightly damp hands, gently roll the mixture into large-marble sized balls and roll each ball in the ground almonds.
  5. Place the balls in a single layer on the prepared tray and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
  6. The charoset balls can then be layered in a container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
  7. Makes approximately 36 balls.

 

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Looking for a dairy free lemon tart?
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This Lemon Tart is gorgeous and glossy and is a great one to make right now, while lemons are at their peak. And even better If you're lucky enough to have your own lemon tree (or know someone who does).

This cracker of a recipe comes from Melbourne kosher caterer @naomialthaus. One of the greatest challenges if you keep kosher (and therefore don’t mix dairy foods with meat) is making desserts that can be eaten with a ‘meat’ meal. Just as an example, if you make roast beef for your main course, your desserts can’t be made with butter or cream or cheese. It’s quite a challenge! So, when Naomi gave us this recipe some years ago, we were excited to share it. The beauty of the filling is that it is already dairy free, and Naomi makes her pastry with margarine instead of butter and it works really well. We will always go back to butter but we’ve tried it with marg (we used Nuttelex) and it was pretty great!

The recipe is in our second book The Feast Goes On, and it is a winner. Those of us who do not keep kosher will continue to make the pastry using butter, and for those who do, margarine is a great option.

Time to get juicing! 
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This Carrot Soup with Coconut and Harissa has long been one of our favourites. Glamorous enough for a dinner party and fast enough for a midweek meal. Find the full recipe below and click the link in our bio for our roundup of all our favourite soup recipes. Remember you can also save any of our recipes by hitting the bookmark icon on the bottom right corner of your screen! 

​Ingredients
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
700 g carrots peeled and sliced (1 1/2 lbs)
1 litre vegetable stock (4 cups)
6 cloves
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons harissa
250 ml coconut milk (1 cup)
sea salt to taste
toasted shaved coconut for garnish
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons harissa

Servings:
6

Instructions
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 15 minutes until softened.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute.

Add the carrots and toss through and then add the stock and cloves, bringing it to the boil.

Lower the heat, partially cover the pan and cook for 25 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove the cloves.

Puree the soup with a stick blender (or blender).

Return the soup to the pan and whisk in the harissa and then the coconut milk. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and harissa. Sprinkle with toasted coconut to serve.
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