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:”
Pickled Salmon is a practical fish or appetizer recipe because it is prepared days ahead of time and keeps well in the fridge for at least a week. This dish is tried and true – you will land up with the most delicious fish you ever tasted. A couple of friends gave me this recipe a few years ago – it is a successful recreation of an acclaimed pickled salmon dish served at a famous Montreal steakhouse. This remarkable salmon recipe makes a beautiful appetizer at holiday meals, main course or brunch dish.
Large salmon fillet (3-4 lbs) (skin removed, cut into individual slices, about 8, not too small)
2 large onions, Vidalia, Red or Spanish, cut into thick slices
1 or 2 large plastic containers to store the fish (9” x 13” size range)
fresh chopped dill, if desired
Brine: (enough for up to 3 lbs – you may double or triple recipe depending on amount of salmon)
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup white sugar
1 ½ cups ketchup (if you like spicy flavor, mix 3/4 cup ketchup with 3/4 cup chili sauce)
Handful of pickling spices
Mix all brine ingredients together in a bowl. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, decrease vinegar by ¼ cup and increase sugar by ¼ cup. Amounts are rather flexible within ¼ cup – add extra ketchup if you like the taste. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut up the salmon filet into individual portion-sized slices and one at a time, using a slotted spoon, place into the boiling water. The fish should cook for about 7 – 10 minutes — keep an eye on it and do not let it overcook or it will be tough. Larger pieces will take longer than smaller ones – you may begin to take out the smaller pieces after 7-8 minutes. Check for readiness by testing a slice – cut through the middle to see if it is cooked all the way through. Very thick pieces should be tested. Once the fish is cooked, remove pieces with a slotted spoon and place in the containers.
Scatter the sliced onions all over the fish. Place onions underneath and in between slices of fish to distribute flavor. Once you have finished this, pour the brine over the top of the fish. Top with any remaining onions. Sprinkle chopped dill over the top, if desired. Cover container. Refrigerate pickled salmon for three days and each day, move the sauce around by jiggling the container. After three days, you will have an elegant, nutritious and incredible delicious salmon dish to savor with family and friends.
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.
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt the margarine. Add in egg and vanilla extract. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients up until and including the salt. Next, add in the liquid mixture and mix well. Next, stir in Rice Krispies and chocolate chips. Scoop out about a tablespoon sized mound of cookie dough and place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes about 30 cookies. These cookies freeze well; you can freeze them in an airtight container with layers separated by wax paper.