A Passover Birthday Party

Yesterday Hannah turned 20. She invited a few friends over for a low-key party.

The night before, we made the birthday cake. Passover baking options are limited, especially since Hannah can’t have wheat. Regular flour isn’t allowed, but matzah meal is used in a lot of recipes, especially “cake meal” which is ground more finely. They don’t seem to make that in spelt or gluten-free versions, at least not at a reasonable price.

I looked online and found a commercial recipe for a cheesecake with a macaroon crust. It’s similar to the graham-cracker crust used in the “regular” recipes. While none of us are really supposed to have coconut, none of us react to it strongly and it IS a double holiday- Passover and a birthday. The filling recipe was super simple- just sugar, eggs, and cream cheese, so we didn’t need to worry about substituting for the small amount of flour in a regular cheesecake recipe.

In years past, I’d use goat cheese instead of cream cheese to make it more compliant. But I don’t do all that well on goat cheese anyway, and Hannah has no problem with cow’s milk cream cheese, so we went with the more affordable option. We’ll likely use this recipe again even when it’s not Passover.

While Hannah made the cake herself the night before, the decorating was left to her friends during the party itself. I melted chocolate chips and then they decorated the cake with melted chocolate, mini marshmallows, and candles.

Before serving the cake, we had matzah pizza, tossed salad, and tuna salad. They also played with balloons and bubbles. Who needs to act like an adult just because you’re 20?

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