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Mar 27, 2006 09:34 AM

kosher nondairy desserts

  • j

i want to learn more about pareve desserts but am completely lost on what people use as a substitute for DAIRY in desserts that call for it. i want to make desserts that still call for dairy but can find a good substitute. not just find desserts that are dairy free naturally.

anyone give me advice on kosher desserts, where to find the best interesting pareve recipes, anything! :)


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  1. j
    Joyce Goldstein

    Personally I think it's best not to try to imitate dairy dessert. It just doesn't work imho. The best pareve kosher desserts are those that are fruit based - stewed or baked fruit like baked apples, compotes, poached pears or nectarines and those cakes which are oil based rather than butter/dairy based - chiffon cakes, Eastern European apple cakes, nut cakes and tortes etc. Take a look at any of Joan Nathan's cookbooks. She has a good selection. Also the cookbooks of Edda Servi Machlin (sp???) You might also come across some good ones on Personally I steer clear of those that substitute margarine for the butter. I don't want to deal with the transfats. But if that doesn't bother you, you can consider flourless chocolate cakes etc.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Joyce Goldstein

      i'm new to this kosher thing ;) but what about restaurants that serve "ice cream" with their desserts. are they making some sort of nondairy ice cream themselves? what about things like puff pastry. do they sell pareve?

      what about pareve pastry cream? is that even possible?

      i understand the best desserts are those that are fruit based, but i'm curious of what ways jewish cooks get around that if they even tried.

      1. re: junglekitte

        I believe Pepperdige Farm puff pastry is non-dairy and certified Kosher.

        1. re: JudiAU

          Yes, Pepperidge Farm puff pastry is very good for what it is and certified kosher and parve.

          Tofutti frozen dessert is a pretty good stand-in for ice cream. In fact, I think soy and rice milk products are the way to go for health reasons, avoiding the trans-fats in so many non-dairy creamers and margarines. Sorbets work beautifully too - chocolate and coconut sorbets have a particularly "creamy" consistency.

          For pastry cream, you can use soy or rice milk, or even orange juice, instead of milk. The orange juice makes a very tangy cream, but a thin layer in a tart topped with fresh fruit can be very refreshing.

          Scarffen Berger chocolate is another great ingredient to work with - strictly kosher and so flavorful that you won't miss the dairy products.

          You may also want to consult some creative vegan cookbooks for creative ways to use tofu and other natural foods products in desserts. With the right technique. these can be surprisingly good.

          Unfortunately, many strictly kosher recipes seem to be from the dark ages and offer little concession to today's health concerns. But, with some experimentation, you'll come up with some surprisingly good contemporary desserts.

          1. re: David

            thanks again. i have been experimenting but i am so used to making desserts with cream, butter, etc and trying to make the SAME dessert but pareve is proven to be really impossible.

            do any of you have a link to a great pareve website for recipes or cookbooks? i have one or two of joan nathans books and some of the recipes have really been either great or AWFUL! (including savoury dishes)

            1. re: junglekitte

              I realize this is sort of going around in circles, but I'm going to reiterate what Joyce Goldstein said: it's very difficult to make a really good non-dairy kosher item when you're starting with a fundamentally dairy recipe.

              I think your best bet is to try to find a vegan cookbook and see what kinds of recipes they have (try your local library as a cheap way of checking out books without spending money!). A simple 1c cream = 1c soymilk (or whatever, I've made that up) is unlikely to yield a good tasting product. So, if you really want to make desserts that are fundamentally dairy based (and by that I mean that butter/cream/cream cheese, etc. is a significant ingredient) you probably need to do more tinkering than straightforward conversion.

              The alternative is Joyce's recommendation, which I actually think is better. Make desserts that aren't based on dairy as a significant ingredient.

              Good luck!

              1. re: smokey

                Two very good vegan cookbooks are "The Voluptuous Vegan" and "The Healthy Hedonist", both by Myra Kornfeld.

              2. re: junglekitte

                Not kosher in the slightest, but Tyler's Ultimate Cheesecake from Food Network is awesome with dairy free cream cheese, sour cream and marg in the crust.

                If you look in the comments section, someone else commented on success with Tofutti...


      2. In recipes that call for melted butter, you can often substitute vegetable oil.

        I've had very good luck subbing soy milk in recipes that call for milk (such as some cakes and custard-based pies).

        Health issues aside, margarine subs for butter very well. Check the label; some margarines do contain some dairy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: doctor_mama

          Fleischmann's marg is non-dairy... I use it in a cheesecake I make non-dairy for the lactose-intolerant friend... I sub Tofutti cream cheese and sour cream substitute with no discernible taste difference.

        2. l
          La Dolce Vita

          You might want to look into meringue-based desserts, such as meringue shells filled with fruit, or maybe meringue cookies dipped in Scharffenberger chocolate.

          In Cake Bible, RLB has a recipe for "Schoggi-S" cookies that are basically chocolate Italian meringue. In that book, I've also tried Bert Greene's sponge cake, which is utterly fantastic and contains no dairy.

          Good luck!