B’Tayavon: Pesach for four generations

by | Mar 24, 2022 | Other News

B’Tayavon is equivalent to French’s Bon Appetit.
In Jewish News, B’Tayavon is where locals share favorite recipes.

This issue features one of Shari Gutterman Berman’s favorites.

Pesach for four generations

Shari Gutterman Berman

I have such fond memories of sitting around the table at my parents’ home for the seder. My mom was a phenomenal cook who put her heart into the dishes she made. She didn’t just serve chicken soup, she made matzah meal cream puff swans that floated in it!

When I learned fully how to “make Pesach,” I realized that with all the work that goes into cleaning and preparing, it wasn’t always feasible to serve soup with floating beautiful swans. However, I was determined to combine some of my mom’s favorite Pesach recipes with new ones I had learned.

This year, we will have four generations at our house for Pesach—my husband and I, my parents, our son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Yael, and our beautiful, new granddaughter Ahuva Leora. Yael and I always have a great time cooking together. There’s something magical that happens when you spend time cooking with your kids—even when they’re adults. Yael makes the yummiest Pesach brownies I have ever had. They are totally addictive, so beware!

For years, I thought the only gefilte fish was the kind you buy in a jar that seems to defy an expiration date. Then I tried some delicious fish that friends made for Shabbos and realized what I had been missing. I combined several elements from their wonderful dishes and came up with an easy, yummy recipe that takes the gefilte fish right out of that murky jar water and on to center stage where it belongs.

A dessert I make at Passover and year-round was adapted from Hip Kosher by Ronnie Fein. I made a few changes to create a simpler version of Fein’s Flourless Chocolate Cake. This recipe is easy, delicious, and gluten-free.

My advice for people making Pesach meals is to keep it simple. You would be surprised at how many of your favorite recipes can be used just by simply swapping out a few ingredients. By keeping cooking simple, it’s possible to focus on one of the most meaningful parts of Pesach—fulfilling the mitzvah of telling the story of the Exodus to your children at the Seder. After all, isn’t that what Pesach is really all about?

Shari Gutterman Berman is the chef owner of Cater 613.

Flourless Chocolate Cake


8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee

1 cup unsalted margarine

5 eggs

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tbsp. cold coffee


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a disposable 9”x13” pan with parchment paper and spray pan with non-stick spray.

2. Put the chocolate, instant coffee powder and margarine in a pot on low and cook until the chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally to blend ingredients completely. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

3. Combine the eggs, sugar, and cocoa powder in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer set at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until well blended. Add the chocolate mixture and cold coffee and blend them in thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with a few chocolate crumbs clinging to the sides.

5. When the cake is completely cooled, use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out the shapes of cake you want to serve. (I use a circle and plate it with fresh blueberries.)


Zesty Gefilte Fish


Frozen gefilte fish loaf

Olive Oil

Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. (You can use a 9 x 13 pan and make 3 loaves at a time.)

3. Remove the wrapper and paper from the frozen gefilte fish.

4. Place the gefilte fish in the pan.

5. Brush with olive oil and then season with the spices.

6. Bake for at least 1 hour.

7. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.

Notes: The gefilte fish will puff up during baking and then “deflate” as it is cooling. To check for doneness, put a toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean. I bake mine for up to 1½ hours as my family likes it.