For any kosher cook, one of the greatest challenges must be parev (non-dairy) desserts. Replacing the joys of butter, cream, buttermilk and all those other dairy ingredients that make for the creamiest and dreamiest of desserts hurts the purists among us. But it doesn’t have to be so.
I have tried out and tested many parev dessserts. Some of them leave with a taste of chemicals in your mouth, while others are simply delicious. Of course I find that the best parev desserts are those that don’t require any substitutes for dairy ingredients. Here’s my old favorite non-dairy cake that everyone loves – carrot cake. I think I have written out and sent this recipe hundreds of times, because whoever tastes it, wants to make it.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup cooking oil
How to do it
Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF)
Grease one large baking pan 32x22x10cm (13x9x2 inch) pan (I use the large disposable aluminium pans), or two 22 cm (9-inch) round baking pans. Tip: Line the pan with baking paper and spray with non-stick spray – it comes out cleanly every time.
Finely shred the carrots in a food processor (make sure you use the finest grater, otherwise the carrots will sink to the bottom of the cake – yuck!)
Mix ALL ingredients together in a mixer until combined. Pour into the greased pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to rest for about 10 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.
You can serve this without a topping or you can add a lemon glaze topping of the juice of half a lemon mixed with powdered sugar, until you get a spreading consistency (it shouldn’t be too runny or it will run off the cake)
Another parev topping option is to beat one container or non-dairy cream until it forms soft peaks. Then add powdered sugar until you achieve spreading consistency.
If you are having a dairy meal or aren’t baking this to serve after a meat meal, you can add Cream Cheese Frosting, which is the perfect complement to this cake.
Here’s the recipe for the frosting for the one layer cake:
Cream Cheese Frosting (Dairy)
Mix together in a bowl 2 tablespoons of soft butter, 100 grams of 30% fat cream cheese (Napoleon) and a few drops of vanilla. When it is smooth, slowly start adding powdered sugar and mix until you get a good spreading consistency (the mixture should not fall off the spoon). This will be about 300 grams of powdered sugar. Spread onto the cooled cake. For the double layer cake, double the recipe so that you will have enough to spread in the middle and up the sides.
Note: You can make this recipe into cupcakes as well. Very yummy with the frosting!