Parev desserts are often the sticking point of a Jewish hostess. After serving a gorgeous meat meal, there’s nothing more disappointing to you guests than a few dry parev yeast cakes to end the evening. A good meal deserves a fitting ending. Over the years, I have come up with quite a few parev desserts that taste really good and allow you to end the meal with a flourish.
One of my standby parev desserts takes me way back to my childhood. My late mother was well known for her trifle. We would often have dairy meals when guests came over as the fish in South Africa was so good that it rivaled the meat for taste. At the end those meals, my mother would often bring out her large trifle, topped with whipped cream, glace cherries and crushed Cadbury’s Flake chocolate. The decoration was always the same, and the desserts was always delicious, with it’s custard and jelly base with fruit and cake.
After making it a few times in Israel, using vanilla pudding instead of custard (you can get custard powder here, but it’s a pain to make), I developed a parev version. It’s so easy to make and looks great on the table. I always serve mine in a glass bowl on a long foot, and it never fails to elicit wolf whistles. This is a dessert that’s far more about assembly than baking, so it’s good for all kitchen skill levels. If there are lots of kids at the table, I leave out the alcohol, but if the average age is over 25, I merrily add sherry or sweet wine to the dessert for that extra kick. Another tip: Used bought cake – it’s not worth baking cake for this as after you’ve added all the liquids, no-one will taste the difference.
1 Elite or Osem plain packaged cake – ugat habayit (I use marble, but you can use chocolate or a plain white cake if you can find it. Don’t use cakes with bits in them)
About ½ cup sweet sherry or dessert wine (enough to drizzle over all the pieces of cake)
1 packet strawberry jelly (80g/2.8 oz)
1 800g (28 oz) can mixed fruit cocktail drained
1 packet instant vanilla pudding (80g/2.8 oz)
400ml (13.5 fl oz) soy milk
250 ml (8.5 fl oz) non-dairy cream
Parev dark chocolate for decoration
How to do it
1. Cut the cake into 2cm/1 inch slices and lay at the bottom of a medium-sized glass bowl, trying not to leave any spaces between them.
2. Drizzle the sherry or dessert wine over each piece of cake evenly.
3. Pour the drained fruit cocktail over the cake pieces evenly (try to arrange the red fruits near the glass to make the desert look most colorful when it’s done)
4. Prepare the jelly according to the directions on the packet. Pour over the fruit. Refrigerate until the jelly is set (about an hour)
5. Prepare the vanilla pudding according to the directions on the packet, using the soy milk instead of regular milk. Pour over the jelly. Refrigerate until the pudding is set (about half an hour)
6. Whip the cream and spread over the set vanilla pudding. Using the fine part of a grater, grate parev dark chocolate over the cream as decoration. You can also add other decorations to taste – if you have lots of kids, you can use gummy sweets to decorate as well.
7. Refrigerate until you serve.
Serves about 10-12.