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Help me make this dessert dairy-free

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I am planning a Moroccan dinner party for 8. I have organised the menu and chosen a dessert, but some of my guests wont have dairy after having eaten meat (which will be in the main course). So I have chosen a dessert that I am trying to convert into dairy free. It is a Chocolate, Date and Almond Filo Coil (recipe here:
http://desarapen.blogspot.com/2005/10...

)

The problematic ingredient is butter. I am wondering that given that I am working with filo (phyllo) pastry, should I substiute margerine (which I never use, for anything) or oil? And if oil, which type?

All ideas appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. How about marzipan and/or almond butter (as a butter replacement) for the filling (reduce the sugar if using marzipan) and almond oil for the phyllo? Otherwise maragarine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fmed

      that almond theme sounds great (I would go with the almond butter instead of marzipan for the texture)

    2. Margarine. Oil will be greasier and won't have the water that margarine and butter have to help create a better texture. I would not get snobby over margarine - it's not going to kill anyone, and it has served a important role in kosher baking over the past century.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        I agree with the margarine- most of what I bake is margarine based so that it can be parve. Just make sure that you pick a non dairy margarine.

        1. re: cheesecake17

          Yes, non-dairy margarine is harder to find than you might think! Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks are both non-partially-hydrogenated and non-dairy; Fleischman's Unsalted (although not their other flavors) is non-dairy as well.

          1. re: GilaB

            I use both of those, but usually Fleischman's. It's less expensive and easier to find.

      2. Looking at that recipe, dairy-free margarine should work just fine. Just make sure your chocolate is dairy-free as well!

        1. I've successfully made vegan baklava and the like with canola or other light tasting oils. But I'm sure that margarine will work too.