Matzoh Experiment 1: Pesach Pyramids

I wanted to contribute something to a seder this year and the morning of I had a flash of insight. Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

  • One box of Matzoh (~15 sheets)
  • 1/2 gallon of orange juice
  • 8 oz baking chocolate
  • Sugar (white or brown, maybe 1 cup)

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and oil a cookie sheet
  2. Pour the orange juice into a 9×9-inch casserole dish, and then place in a stack of matzoh. The matzoh floats, so you’ll have to hold or weigh it down in order to keep the stack immersed. You may want to occasionally flip or shuffle the stack to soften the matzoh evenly. Soak until the top sheet feels slightly flexible. Soak half the box (8 sheets) at a time.
  3. Use a knife to cut the sheets into triangles and squares as indicated in this template (or equivalently). Just press, don’t saw. Place the cut polygons onto an oiled cookie sheet.
  4. Bake until firm, about 30 minutes. (Pieces will harden as they cool, but then soften again as they sit around.)
  5. Transport pieces to seder site for final assembly
  6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and add sugar to taste
  7. Fold a square of aluminum foil around each matzoh square to serve as a brace: We called 'em "boats"
  8. Place your message in the center of each square. I used quotations from the Talmud aggregated from lists like this one.
  9. Drizzle chocolate around the edge of each matzoh square inside the foil.
  10. Balance 4 triangles against each other on top of the square. Balancing the 4 upper faces of the pyramid together.
  11. Drizzle chocolate along the 4 seams to seal them. Allow to cool and harden (30 minutes).
    Completed Pesach Pyramids
    They could be prettier...
  12. Serve.

Notes

  • I came up with recipe as a joke of sorts. Suffice it to say that there is no reason, biblically or historically, to believe that the Israelites built the pyramids at Giza, and that we ate these pyramids to show our solidarity with the people of Egypt today, as they overthrew their own Pharaoh.
  • The chocolate sauce came out a bit granular/crystalline, and not very sweet. White sugar might work better than brown. I was in too much of a rush, so I only baked the polygons for 15-20 minutes, and they ended up being floppy enough that construction was very difficult. (Many thanks to a friend who helped out, and another who took these photos.)
  • This recipe is compliant with even the more ludicrous interpretations of passover kashrut. It contains no Kitniyot (like the soy lecithin in chocolate chips, which would otherwise probably make a fine glue), no animal products, and arguably not even any Gebrochts because it is soaked in fruit juice. The only stipulation we could think of that it doesn’t comply with: it’s not gluten-free.
  • The results are dessert-like, but not very sweet, and also somewhat filling. They seem to work well as a prelude to sweeter desserts. The leftover OJ-soaked matzoh bits make a good matzoh brie the next morning. The leftover OJ is still drinkable if you don’t mind drinking the distinct ashy flavor of matzoh.

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