Originally published on JewishBoston.com.
My Grandma Ida was famous in our family for two talents: her knitting and her baking. She passed away almost a decade ago, so I’m grateful that I can still snuggle up beneath the afghan she knitted for me when I was much younger. And I’m grateful that she taught my mother some of her best recipes, including thie Passover cake. I’ve never attempted this one myself, but my mother likes to tell the story of how she tried unsuccessfully for years to replicate her mother-in-law’s cake using the recipe… but it wasn’t until Grandma Ida stood with my mother and they made the cake together that it finally came out right. One of these days I’ll have to make sure my mother stands with me so I can learn to bake it.
8 eggs separated (bring eggs to room temperature first)
¾ cup potato starch
¼ cup cake meal
sift potato starch and cake meal together
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
4 rounded teaspoons cocoa
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup sweet red wine
10 walnuts coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites until stiff; gradually add half of the sugar. Beat yolks with remaining sugar and salt; when yolks are thick and light in color add the oil, only a little at a time. Then add the wine and the cocoa, beating at a low level. Gently fold the cake meal/starch mixture into the whites, then fold in the yolk mixture throwing the nuts in at the same time. Bake in an ungreased tube pan for 50 minutes. Turn over and hang from a two-liter bottle until cooled.
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