I have a sweet tooth. Ok, that is putting it lightly. I am a sugar junkie, craving all things doughy and sweet – cupcakes filled with custards and jellies, topped with a thick layer of
rich frosting. There is nothing more satisfying than ending a meal with a slice of moist rich chocolate cake. I am the girl who makes chocolate chip cookies just to eat the raw dough. Brownie batter? That’s my drug of choice when I need an instant mood lift. When going out to eat, I would often choose a restaurant based on their dessert selection – naturally, my husband and I often found ourselves at dairy places! You can imagine my dismay when my doctor recently told me to avoid all things dairy while nursing my son. I can easily give up my pizza and Greek salad, but what about dessert?
Good news! Just in time for my non-dairy diet, I found “The Kosher Baker”, by Paula Shoyer, which contains over 160 dairy-free recipes! When I saw the photo on the cover of an Orange Tea Cake being drizzled with white icing, I knew I had found the bible of dessert cook books. I spent an entire Shabbat looking through all of the recipes, eagerly turning each page in search of my next favorite treat.
Not only is every imaginable dessert listed, but Paula has organized them into sections, such as “Quick and Elegant Desserts,” “Two Step Desserts,” and “Multiple Step Desserts and Breads.” This makes it a breeze to sort both by preparation time and how much you want to impress your guests.
Enjoy this tasty sampler for “Summer Fruit Galette” from “The Kosher Baker:”
When I first moved to the United States with my family, we settled in Stamford, Connecticut. My mother insisted we buy that particular house because of the massive apple tree in the back yard, complete with a swing tied onto a low branch. At the time, apples in Thailand (my native country) typically sold for close to $50 a pound, as they were considered “exotic” fruits. Naturally, my mother’s excitement over the prospect of unlimited apples in her own back yard got the best of her. Consequently, I learned how to make apple pie. Lots and lots of apple pie.
This pie worked out perfectly fine for me, until one day my fiancé requested one. It was then that the curve ball came. “I like it with crumbs on top,” he said. My eyebrow raised as my eyes widened. Crumbs on top? What matter of silliness is this? Then I thought, the guy gave me this huge diamond ring, the least I can do is give him a crumby pie. So I set to work, revamping my cherished apple filling to compliment and withstand a Dutch crumb topping.
This is what I came up with, and I must say, Eric might be onto something with these silly crumbs. Any way you slice it, it’s a great way to end a meal, not to mention a perfect way to start out the new year. L’shanah tova!
Your favorite pie crust (an all-butter crust seems to work the best here)
3 lbs Baking Apples (approximately 6 apples total, see note), sliced to about 1/8″ thickness
1/4 to 1/2 C Medium Brown Sugar, to taste
1/2 tsp to1 tsp Kosher Salt, to taste
1 to 2 tsp Saigon Cinnamon, to taste
2 tsp Corn Starch
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 C Rolled Oats
3/4 C All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Saigon Cinnamon
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Unsalted Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out dough to fit into a standard 9 1/2″ pie pan. Place pie crust into freezer. If you are not using an all-butter dough, brush the bottom of the pie crust with a beaten egg white before baking. While crust is in the freezer, combine sliced apples, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Taste frequently to make sure you have the seasonings right. This variation depends on how naturally sweet, spicy or juicy the apples naturally are. After well seasoned, add lemon juice, sprinkle corn starch over the apples and combine. If the apples are particularly juicy, you may need to add an extra teaspoon of corn starch. Remove the pie crust from the freezer. The crust should be very cold, but not frozen. Pour apples into the pie crust and spread evenly. Place pie into preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, to dehydrate the apples. While pie is in the oven, make streusel topping by combining the dry ingredients and incorporating the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter. Alternatively, you may use a food processor. Process/work the ingredients until you get crumbs. Remove pie from the oven and reduce the heat to 375F. Spread crumb topping evenly over the apples and return to oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more. Pie is done when filling is bubbling and slightly thickened. It will probably smell pretty good too. Allow pie to cool a bit and serve. If you can’t wait that long, ice cream helps a lot. Enjoy!
While the depression of the 1930′s certainly presented everybody at the time with great challenges, some were actually met with quite a bit of genius and ingenuity. Some fancy food synthesis falls into this category. It’s a good thing too, because when World War II came along just a decade later, these clever foodies didn’t even miss a beat, continuing to tackle the challenge of cooking with restricted ingredients with great aplomb.
Some of their concoctions were pretty logical, while others really require a head scratch while speculating what on earth they were thinking. Some notable eyebrow-raising recipes of this era include Mock Apple Pie, a pie made almost entirely of Ritz crackers its proponents swear taste like the real thing, Campbell’s Tomato Soup Cake, a (sometimes) vegan spice cake with a very unusual ‘secret’ ingredient, and of course, my absolute favorite, Wacky Cake, a sublime chocolate cake with a moist crumb to rival that of a commercial mix. Best of all, unlike most cake mixes, it’s completely parve!
Wacky cake gets its lift from the acidity of the cocoa and vinegar combining with the baking soda. This is a fast reaction, and some even insist that this cake be mixed and baked in the same pan. However, you’ll do just fine opting to mix in a bowl, if you do some fast mixing followed by a speedy transfer to the pan and directly into a hot oven.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup oil (I like to use coconut or grapeseed, but any light, mild-flavored oil will do)
1 cup cold water
Prepare a 8 or 9 inch baking pan, and make sure your oven is preheated to 350 and ready to go. Thoroughly mix dry ingredients in either a mixing bowl or the baking pan. Combine liquid ingredients and then add to dry ingredients, quickly whisking together. If batter is mixed in a bowl, quickly transfer to baking pan. Place cake into oven immediately and bake approximately 30 – 35 minutes, or until cake springs back after pressed lightly. Cool completely before frosting.
Make a parve frosting with margarine, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt and soy milk, or simply whip together cocoa powder, marshmallow fluff, and additional powdered sugar to taste. For a more sophisticated look, top with a chocolate ganache by combining parve chocolate chips, margarine, and Mocha Mix or soy milk over medium low heat and cooling slightly before pouring over the cake. Enjoy your slice of history!
1/2 cup of soft margarine (from a tub), melted
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose white flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (make sure that the oven is at the right temperature with an oven thermometer).
2. Spray a square pan (8×8) with cooking spray and lightly flour it.
3. Whisk together the melted margarine and sugar in a bowl.
4. Add egg substitute and vanilla extract and whisk.
5. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and mix it all together.
6. Add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
7. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Allow to cool. Cut into squares.
Two of my favourite dishes are kugel and quiche, so when a friend of mine presented me with a recipe that was essentially those two combined into one beautiful work of culinary art, you can imagine I was pretty darn excited. I’ve had to alter the recipe to make it work the way I’d like, but with these changes, it comes out very nicely. This is another dish that my two children will eat without complaint which automatically turns it into one of my favourites. Aside from tasting great when it’s first made, it is also quite tasty the next day, even served cold. For this reason, we’ve found this is a great dish for Shabbes or any Yom Tov.
2-3 medium Potatoes, peeled and grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 lb Broccoli, sliced thinly
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
3 Large Eggs
1 cup Milk or Cream
1/2 Cup Grated Cheese
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Basil
Paprika for dusting
Combine ingredients for crust in a large bowl. When thoroughly mixed, form into a crust in a 9 inch pie dish, pressing down the bottom but not the sides. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Cover and continue baking for another 10 minutes. While crust is baking, prepare the filling; Saute onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil until translucent. Add broccoli, stir and cover, cooking about 5 minutes, or until tender. When the crust has finished baking, spread half of the cheese on the bottom of the crust. Spread cooked vegetables on top, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Beat eggs and milk together and pour over top. Dust with Paprika. Bake uncovered at 375F for 35 minutes.
Broccoli (frozen or fresh)
Spinach (frozen or fresh)
2 tablespoons mayo
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of onion soup mix
a hanful of cornflake crumbs for the topping
Cook the broccoli & spinach. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix it so it’s combined fully. Pour into pie crust and sprinkle on the cornflake crumbs then bake it uncovered for an hour on 350.