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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

March 23, 2013|By Noelle Carter
  • Chocolate haroset truffles rolled in nuts, cocoa powder and coconut.
Chocolate haroset truffles rolled in nuts, cocoa powder and coconut. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles…)

As writer Faye Levy shows, versatile haroset isn't just for Passover:

"Haroset, a blend of fruit, nuts and wine, is probably the most popular food of the eight-day holiday of Passover, which begins Monday night.

"For the Seder, the feast commemorating the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, haroset is spooned onto the Seder plate alongside other symbolic Passover preparations and is served as part of the ritual. Although haroset's brown color is meant to be a sad reminder of the mortar made by the Hebrew slaves, people's faces light up when it's time to sample it.

"Some Jews prepare extra haroset to use as a spread throughout Passover. To me, haroset is more than a holiday item. I use it as a basic flavoring for desserts the way French cooks use almond praline, Italians use chocolate-hazelnut gianduja and Americans use peanut butter."

She shares plenty of inspiring recipes.

And what is Easter without Peeps? Sure, you can buy them, but have you ever thought of making your own? They're nothing more than homemade marshmallows, a simple combination of sugar, water, gelatin, corn syrup and flavoring. While cut-outs are easy, those piped chicks take a little bit of practice. But no worries -- however they look, nothing beats the fresh flavor and soft texture of homemade!

This week's recipes include:

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