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I've been asked by a chef to help with a dessert to be prepared in a kosher kitchen. He doesn't have a pastry chef on staff but needs to prepare a strawberry shortcake dessert for 130 people for this weekend. We're going to be at the temple kitchen on Friday afternoon to prep.

My preferred recipes for biscuits for strawberry shortcake contain dairy in some form (butter, light cream, heavy cream or buttermilk) or another.

I can replace the butter with margarine, but what can I replace the fluid dairy with? The chef is suggesting soy milk, and I'm thinking that I'd need to increase the fat in the recipe somehow in order to get it to work. Has anyone tried this?

He's ordered some non-dairy stuff that you just whip in a mixer for the whipped cream; I don't know what brand he got, but maybe that's an alternative? (I've never used that so I don't know.)

Any ideas, helpful hints or recipes (please!)?

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if he bought a no dairy mix that you just whip then its probably dried and or contains sodium alginate or LM Pectin with calcium salt to make it whip, that is not an alternative to milk.

You do not need to increase the fat, water will do just fine or just about any other liquid you want to throw in there. The butter is what makes it divine, milk is just for flavor and maybe a little help on the browning side.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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The non-dairy creamers and whip toppings work fine in recipes. Many people pu pu them, but they work as subs.

They are, in fact, mostly oil - so no need to increase any fat**. The most common (non-Passover) brand is Rich's (their website). There are other brands out there as well (Ungar's, Mishpacha, etc.).

Having said that, I'd do as chiantiglace suggests, and test your shortbread recipe subbing margarine and water. If you can get it, Earth Balance margarine sticks are the best for baking.

**eta: I just looked at the website again, and they seem to have fat-free versions of the coffee-rich now. I've never seen it, but it's a soy product and could make a good alternative for people who don't want to use the edible-oil version.

Edited by Pam R (log)
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I do a ton of pareve baking. For margarine, I recommend Earth Balance, Willow Creek, and maybe Fleishmans, if you are desperate. I would avoid mothers, Rich's and Mishpacha, unless you enjoy a chemical flavour to your food. Earth Balance tends to be a little more plastic than most margarines which aids in building layers.

For milk I typically use unsweetened plain soymilk. You can also try almond milk which some feel gives a fuller, rounder flavour.


BTW... it is interesting that they are doing pareve given that it is Shavout, a holiday where it is customary to eat dairy meals. I spent most of yesterday and today making cheesecakes, creme brulee, cream puffs, and a boat load of other dairy rich pastries. Pictures to come.

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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