SHARON SCHACK’S BON VIVANT
Sharon Schack is originally from South Africa and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Sharon writes “All my family now lives in Sydney, Australia. Bon Vivant is a favorite dessert in Australia, and I make it every Passover because it has no flour. It can be made either dairy or pareve, and isn’t difficult at all. It’s also a good “make-ahead” dessert, as it needs to sit in the freezer for a while to make cutting easier. The recipe comes from Secrets From Our Kitchens, a cookbook published by Moriah College in Sydney. I’ve given you both metric and Imperial measurements as I’m comfortable with either one. Enjoy!”
8 eggs, separated
500 grams (2 cups) castor sugar, divided (see Note*)
250 grams (2 cups) ground hazelnuts
300 grams (10 oz.) dark chocolate
250 grams (1 cup) unsalted margarine or butter
Beat egg whites until stiff. Slowly add half the sugar, beating continuously. Then fold in ground hazelnuts. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish which has been lined with parchment paper; spread evenly in pan. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Melt chocolate; set aside and let cool. Cream margarine or butter with remaining 1 cup of sugar. Add egg yolks and blend well. Add melted chocolate. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Pour over the nutty meringue base and bake 20 minutes longer.
Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in the freezer as it is much easier to cut into squares when frozen. Cut into squares. (N.B. If this is left out of the refrigerator for too long, the chocolate may begin to melt.)
Makes 24 squares.
Note: To make castor (superfine) sugar, process granulated sugar on the Steel Blade in the food processor for 1 to 2 minutes, until fine.