HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >

pareve cakes

a
arifree Feb 10, 2010 08:12 PM

Cake expert, Rose Levy Berenbaum, does not believe in using margarine. However, I've discovered that she has 3 recipes in her book, the Cake Bible that just happen to be completely pareve:
Moist Chocolate Genoise, Fudgy Genoise Jeffrey and the Chocolate Cloud Roll (which can also be made kosher for Passover). The recipes use chocolate bars instead of cocoa powder and the fat comes from the cocoa butter from the chocolate and the eggs.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. queenscook RE: arifree Feb 10, 2010 09:37 PM

    I'm not clear why you posted this.

    22 Replies
    1. re: queenscook
      a
      arifree RE: queenscook Feb 10, 2010 09:56 PM

      Most pareve recipes simply substitute flavorless margarine for butter. Pareve doesn't have to mean second-rate.

      1. re: arifree
        a
        ahuvas RE: arifree Feb 11, 2010 01:23 AM

        I agree. Rose Levy Berenbaum is entitled to her opinion but many a tasty cake recipe contains margarine. Rose's cakes are extremely exacting and are very temperamental. Personally I would take heimishe recipes that can withstand forgotten ingredients any day.

        1. re: ahuvas
          queenscook RE: ahuvas Feb 11, 2010 04:13 AM

          Actually, I think you are disagreeing with arifree, who seems to be saying that margarine should be avoided in pareve cakes. The word "flavorless" is pretty clear.

          1. re: ahuvas
            a
            arifree RE: ahuvas Feb 11, 2010 10:38 AM

            The margarine version would taste just as good as the same recipe made with butter?

            1. re: arifree
              queenscook RE: arifree Feb 11, 2010 12:44 PM

              As with many things in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure there are those who would never let a drop of margarine "soil" their cakes, but there are also those who want to be able to use a solid shortening for a parve dessert, and are limited by that.

              Not all cakes need margarine at all, by the way; I make a number of cakes with oil only. Then there are more flavorless margarines and more flavorful ones. I try to avoid transfats and therefore have only been using Earth Balance, a transfat-free margarine, which I find quite flavorful. Would it win in a blindfold test against butter? No, probably not, but Rose Levy Berenbaum doesn't adhere to the same kashrut restrictions that Orthodox Jews do, so I can understand why she does not "believe in" using margarine. If your cake standards are so high that you don't want to use margarine, that's all well and good, but I don't want to give up making certain desserts that absolutely need a solid shortening, where oil would not work.

              A genoise has essentially the same consistency as a sponge cake, which is far too dry a cake for my taste and is too unlike most of the types of cakes I make. But that's a personal issue, and if arifree wants to avoid using margarine in his/her baking, then he/she should.

              I still don't really understand why this was posted here at all. It doesn't seem to be a question, and it's rare that there are posts which simply state a personal opinion, without soliciting opinions of others.

              1. re: queenscook
                a
                arifree RE: queenscook Feb 11, 2010 02:19 PM

                "No, probably not, but Rose Levy Berenbaum doesn't adhere to the same kashrut restrictions that Orthodox Jews do, so I can understand why she does not "believe in" using margarine."

                That's why it is so interesting that she has a few recipes that just happen to be pareve. It is not a big problem for everyday but it is a problem when someone goes to an expensive kosher restaurant and discovers that the dessert tastes flat.
                It's also an important technique for Passover since we are limited to cottonseed oil and Mother's margarine.

                1. re: arifree
                  queenscook RE: arifree Feb 11, 2010 03:15 PM

                  I don't find it interesting at all that Berenbaum has pareve recipes; genoise recipes generally use no leavening agent other than eggs, and no other fat either (just what comes from the yolks), so any genoise is going to be, de facto, parve. (For that matter, so are meringues, sorbet, some candy recipes, homemade marshmallows . . . lots of stuff is naturally parve.) It's just not the tastiest cake on it's own; it generally serves as the layers in richer cakes. While I make layer cakes sometimes, sometimes you just want something like banana cake, chocolate chip squares, cupcakes, pound cake, and on and on. Genoise will just not do it in those cases; for me, Earth Balance is the answer. If it's not for you, that's OK.

                  As for Passover, we are not at all limited to cottonseed oil. I would never use that highly saturated oil in my cooking or baking. Walnut oil and olive oil (for baking I use the lighter, non-virgin type) are both far healthier and far better in baked goods. I haven't ever used cottonseed oil (and never plan to) and haven't used Passover margarine in at least two years. I make many cakes over the holiday, and have had no trouble finding recipes that work with oil. Not a single spongecake among them, either, by the way.

                  1. re: queenscook
                    a
                    arifree RE: queenscook Feb 11, 2010 06:04 PM

                    did you try her recipe for Moist Chocolate Genoise?

                    1. re: arifree
                      queenscook RE: arifree Feb 11, 2010 06:31 PM

                      No, as I said, I don't like genoise, and have dozens of other cake recipes that I do like. Generally speaking, I don't like chocolate cake anyway. What's so special about it? It sounds like you make it a lot, as much of a fan of it as you are, and as much as you are recommending it.

                      1. re: queenscook
                        a
                        arifree RE: queenscook Feb 11, 2010 07:30 PM

                        I didn't make it yet and I will once I get a good piece of Scharffen Berger pareve chocolate. The genoise is supposed to be very tender, moist and velvety. Rose uses it as a base for her triple chocolate cake which she claims is an exciting intense chocolate experience.
                        The triple chocolate cake is made with the genoise, chocolate hazelnut praline sheets, chocolate ganache and frangelico flavored syrup. The praline and syrup are pareve but the ganache uses heavy cream. i'm hoping that i can substitute the cream with hazelnut milk.
                        I'll work on the genoise first and see how it goes...the praline is quite involved.

                        1. re: arifree
                          queenscook RE: arifree Feb 11, 2010 07:59 PM

                          Now I'm really confused. It's OK to substitute hazelnut milk for cream but not margarine for butter? Why exactly? I thought your point was to make things which are parve without having to use substitutions.

                          (For what it's worth, hazelnut milk is far, far thinner than heavy cream; ganache made with it may work, but I can imagine that Rose Levy Berenbaum would object as strenuously to that substitution as she would to the substitution of margarine for butter.)

                          1. re: arifree
                            a
                            avitrek RE: arifree Feb 12, 2010 04:28 AM

                            Good luck with your parve ganache. I have yet to find a parve cream substitute which will make a solid ganache. If you find something that works, please share it with us.

                            1. re: avitrek
                              c
                              couldntbeparve RE: avitrek Jun 21, 2011 04:47 PM

                              Full fat coconut milk (the kind in the can) works well for ganache. It comes out a bit softer than ganache made with heavy cream so I usually use a tad less liquid than the recipe calls for. It whips beautifully too!

                            2. re: arifree
                              g
                              GilaB RE: arifree Feb 12, 2010 08:06 AM

                              As a word of warning, I've found her chocolate cakes very dry, and while I've been happy with some of the recipes in the Cake Bible (the white spice pound cake, made with (horrors!) margarine, and the orange glow chiffon (oil-based) are favorites), I've never had luck with the chocolate-based ones.

                              I, too, would warn against trying to substitute hazelnut milk for cream. It's like trying to substitute milk for heavy cream - it's way, way thinner and lower in fat, and behaves differently on a chemical level because of it. I haven't tried Mimicreme in a genoise, but you might be better off with that as a first attempt, as it's also nut-based, but has a much creamier consistency. You can get Mimicreme on Amazon.

                              1. re: GilaB
                                a
                                arifree RE: GilaB Feb 12, 2010 09:11 AM

                                from an Amazon review:
                                The Moist Chocolate Genoise, for example, uses bar chocolate instead of the cocoa. The cocoa butter in the chocolate replaces the clarified butter that would normally be added to a cake of this type. The result is a chocolate genoise unlike any other I've ever tasted. While many are stiff and dry, this cake is tender and moist."

                                Yes the mimicreme looks to be what I'm looking for. It won't taste the same as dairy cream but it should have a nice nutty flavor that I hope will go well with the praline and the frangelico.
                                I see a lot of vegans moving away from soy and rice milk towards the nut milks. Unfortunately, there are still too many pareve cakes made with non-dairy creamer that is loaded with chemicals and has a bitter aftertaste.

                                1. re: arifree
                                  f
                                  ferret RE: arifree Feb 12, 2010 02:14 PM

                                  I've been using the unsweetened Mimicreme in savory dishes and there's no perceptible "nuttiness".

                                2. re: GilaB
                                  a
                                  arifree RE: GilaB Feb 12, 2010 10:53 AM

                                  from the FAQ:
                                  Q. Does MimicCreme whip?
                                  A. Although our present MimicCreme versions will not whip, we are planning on a future release of a new product, which will be called "HEALTHY TOP"™. Healthy Top (tm) will be a whip-able, non-dairy cream based on almonds and cashews, (just like our regular MimicCreme). We hope to release our Healthy Top in late fall of 2009. Please keep a watch on our Updates page for further details.

                                  1. re: arifree
                                    g
                                    GilaB RE: arifree Feb 12, 2010 11:56 AM

                                    Do you need to whip it for this recipe? Ganache is generally hot cream poured over melted chocolate, then stirred.

                                    1. re: GilaB
                                      d
                                      DeisCane RE: GilaB Feb 12, 2010 12:08 PM

                                      You got to whip it, whip it good!

                                      1. re: GilaB
                                        a
                                        arifree RE: GilaB Feb 12, 2010 12:12 PM

                                        yes, the triple chocolate cake calls for Light Whipped Ganache and it has to form soft peaks. There are other recipes for unbeaten ganache and I'd probably try those for the genoise before attempting the Triple.

                                        1. re: arifree
                                          a
                                          avitrek RE: arifree Feb 13, 2010 03:27 PM

                                          Do you whip the cream or whip the finished ganache? If you're whipping the ganache then anything that will make a decent ganache should do since the body will come from the chocolate. If you're whipping the plain cream then I'm not sure how it's ganache and not chocolate whipped cream.

                                          1. re: avitrek
                                            a
                                            arifree RE: avitrek Feb 13, 2010 06:33 PM

                                            yes, you beat it after the cream and chocolate is mixed.
                                            I see that the Healthy Top is pushed to spring 2010. The regular might still work but I don't want to take any extra risks with a nice piece of chocolate! :)

              Show Hidden Posts