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Dairy Free Dessert Disaster - Need suggestions

I'm looking for suggestions for a dessert for a friends cocktail soiree. I am allergic to dairy, and they all agreed that I could make a dairy free dessert. I've made tofucake before which is similar to cheesecake, but I'm not sure if its to everyone's liking.

The theme of the night is Mexican, and I was wondering if anyone can suggest dairy free mexican desserts. Or infact any dairy free desserts for dinner parties would suffice.

I might have the problem sourcing authentic mexican ingredients though, as I live in the north of Scotland and I only know of two ethnic supermarkets - one is Indian and the other is Chinese.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I would suggest an Amazon Chocolate Cake (recipes all over the net, vegan) - add a spoonful of cinnamon to the dry ingredients and use coffee instead of water. Mexican chocolate cake!

    1 Reply
    1. re: buttertart

      I was going to suggest the exact same thing...I have a delicious vegan chocolate cake recipe that I found on the web a few years back - would post the link if I knew what it was, but I can post the recipe if you want it. Use a nice dark chocolate and make a cinnamon chocolate glaze and you've got yourself a decadent, dairy-free dessert!

    2. Why not try a Mexican biscuit called Bizcochitos that is already dairy-free?

      Bizcochitos are crumbly rich Christmas-time biscuits flavoured with anise seed, cinnamon and brandy.

      They're traditionally made with lard, but you can substitute another dairy-free solid fat like shortening or margarine.

      This recipe in this blog post here looks quite like to one I've used before, but I didn't have brandy to hand and substituted orange juice:

      5 Replies
      1. re: plum

        This thread has a lot of information about Mexican pan dulce, which is also almost always dairy-free:

        1. re: plum

          coconut oil could be a good stand-in for the lard.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Seems it doesn't need to be veg/vegan, just free of dairy, so lard not automatically ruled out.

            1. re: buttertart

              figured i'd err on the side of caution in light of the OP's screen name ;)

        2. Perhaps you might take along some churros dusted in cinnamon and sugar. The confiture filling is optional. You could also make a coconut custard (thickened either with cornstarch or gelatin). The coconut milk should be readily available at your Indian market.

          1. Mexican chocolate sorbet - I like the David Leibowitz (sp?) recipe readily available online - throw in some cinnamon and or chilis to give it a Mexican slant. I have also made it with passion fruit. or an assortment of tropical fruit sorbets is very Mexican.

            Flan made with coconut milk or rice pudding with coconut milk topped with passion fruit or grilled/roasted pineapple.

            Vegan key lime pie - or you can simply make it dairy free and add meringue as a topping.

            Churros are great! Sopapillas, but both are best freshly made IMO.

            1. Go check out the "Would you serve a seriously ugly cake" thread on Not About Food. HillJ linked to a recipe for vegan chocolate avocado cake, which he/she said was really good. I'll try to post the link, but I'm not so good at linking...If it doesn't work, HillJ's post was on July 16.


              1. Alton Brown's Mooless Chocolate Pie is always a hit at our house. Recipe is available online.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Procrastibaker

                  This is what I thought of, with a little cinnamon added to make it Mexican chocolate.

                  1. re: poundcake

                    Or do the Mooless pie with a marshmallow topping - browned and graham cracker crust - voila smores pie.

                    1. re: jsaimd

                      Mmm. Both of those variations sound yummy. Thanks!

                2. Someone on this board (sorry, I can't recall who!) makes a tofu-chocolate mousse that is stupid easy and remarkably tasty, especially with good quality chocolate. For your dinner, I would add cinnamon and some ground chile (not chile powder!) to make a spicy Mexican chocolate mousse.

                  Here's the original post that I copied verbatim ages ago. Apologies to the OP, who at this moment will have to remain nameless.

                  Here you go. I suspect that the flavour of this could be greatly improved if you use excellent quality chocolate, instead of chocolate chips. I've only ever made it with chips because, to be honest, I have no medical or moral reason to avoid dairy - so I'm not terribly motivated to make this more wonderful. However, having said that, it is a really remarkable dessert - puddingy when first made, more moussey after it chills - that can be served in a dish or as the filling for a vegan chocolate pie or tarts. No one - and I mean NO ONE - has ever guessed what is in it until I tell them.

                  Tofu Chocolate Mousse
                  19 oz. (539 g) package silken tofu (one full vacuum-packed block)
                  2 cups (500 mL) semisweet chocolate chips

                  Dump the tofu into the container of a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice.

                  Melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan or double boiler. Pour the melted chocolate into the blender or processor and blend until the mixture is very smooth and creamy. Spoon into individual dessert dishes and chill. Serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

                  1. I saw this recipe for "Caramelized Mango Tart with Mexican Chocolate and Pepitas" on Rick Bayless' PBS show recently. It can easily be made dairy-free since the butter can be replaced with a non-dairy substitute and some commercial puff pastries are made with shortening and not butter:


                    If you can't find Mexican chocolate, make a weight-by-weight substitution with bittersweet chocolate and some cinnamon. There are also almonds and other spices in Mexican chocolate, but I don't think it will matter too much if you omit these because of the pumpkin seeds.

                    Also, arroz con leche (rice pudding) with a dairy substitute is a simple but elegant dessert. I think a nut milk will work pretty well here, maybe almond or hazelnut. Champurrado using hazelnut milk sounds yummy too but it is more of a holiday treat.

                    I second the suggestion for coconut milk-based flan. The recipe I used was a Vietnamese take on creme caramel which substitutes coconut milk for some of the milk, although there is no reason why using an all-coconut milk version won't work. As with other flan recipes though, it does have eggs in it.

                    1. I made Mexican Hot Chocolate for a Feliz Navidad party a couple of years ago. You could make it w/ soy or some other milk sub. It wasn't the most authentic mexican hot chocolate in the world...i actually DID go go a latin market and buy mex choc, but I didn't think much of it and so added a good quality dark chocolate + Valhrona cocoa powder. I added cinnamon, vanilla and salt to make the flavor more exotic and whisked it before serving. make it rich and serve it in small cups. the other guests seemed pleased...I think lots of people never get hocho that's of better quality than Swiss Miss.

                      1. Thank you all for the advice. I ended up making the suggestion of the tofu chocolate mousse, and a tequila flavored panacotta. I used limejuice and tequila in the mixture which gave it a nice zesty tang. I also made cointreau granita which was lovely between the spicy chilli and cayenne potato wedges!