Dairy-free Desserts

By Maxine Mulvey

October 26, 2018 6 min read

The winter holidays are peak dessert season. But the rich, creamy desserts that often decorate December dinners make scrooges of those whose diets are nondairy.

These dairy-free recipes update traditional holiday desserts and are sure to delight everyone around the table:

*Dairy-Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serves: 8

Inspired by a Gordon Ramsay recipe, amateur chef Paula Potts created a dairy-free sticky toffee pudding. Potts suggests substituting cashew milk for double cream. This recipe comes from her blog, "I See Hungry People."

For the pudding:

1 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon espresso, cooled

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the toffee sauce:

1 cup cashew milk

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375 F. Grease spongecake mold with oil or lard. Line with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper, ensuring the sides are properly covered. Make espresso. Place dates, sugar and water in a saucepan. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and dates are soft. Let cool. Blend dates in a food processor until smooth.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together dates, oil, vanilla and espresso. Add eggs and whisk again until well blended.

In two batches, fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture with a spatula until just combined.

Pour into the prepared baking dish of choice and bake for 25 to 30.

For the toffee sauce:

Place sauce ingredients into saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until oil and sugar have dissolved and sauce is smooth. Reduce sauce until thickened, taking about 10 minutes. Keep warm until served. Pour warm toffee sauce over puddings and serve immediately.

*Vegan Buche de Noel

Serves: 10 to 12

This recipe from Bon Appetit magazine re-envisions the classic yule log. On top of being dairy-free, Bon Appetit's recipe is vegan, satisfying even stricter dietary restrictions.

For the chocolate spongecake:

Vegan butter (for greasing)

2 cups self-rising flour (Suggested: 85 percent whole-wheat)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/3 cups vanilla sugar

9 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 1/2 cups water

For the gluten-free vegan chocolate mousse:

5 packages Mori-Nu extra firm silken tofu

1/4 cup canola oil

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups Sucanat (dehydrated sugar cane juice)

1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

4 cups vegan, kosher non-dairy chocolate chips

For the ganache:

1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk

2 1/2 cups dark dairy-free chocolate chips

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Heat oven to 325 F. Grease half-sheet pan (lined with wax paper) for the log.

Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Add sugar, oil and water. Mix to batter-like consistency. Pour mixture into prepared sheet pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, until cakes spring back to a light touch in the center.

Turn cake out onto a wire rack, strip off wax paper and cool completely.

To begin making the mousse, place silken tofu, Sucanat, vanilla extract and salt in a food processor and blitz until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Place chocolate chips and canola oil in double boiler and melt the ingredients slowly so the chocolate doesn't burn or get bitter. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until chocolate is smooth and silky.

Add melted chocolate mix to the food processor with all the ingredients. Process for about 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the vessel.

Allow mousse base to set in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 hours. Plate and top with fresh raspberries or cocoa nibs. For a special occasion, top with edible gold leaf.

For the ganache, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the soy milk and chocolate chips. Stirring frequently, cook until the mixture is well combined and the chocolate has a glossy finish. Remove ganache from heat, add coconut oil and continue to whisk. This ganache may be used warm or cooled.

To begin assembling the log, flip the spongecake out of the pan onto some parchment paper. Spread a thin, evenly applied layer of mousse onto the sponge. Using the parchment paper as a guide, roll up coated spongecake. To finish, give it a final roll and squeeze, making it as compact and secure as possible. Frost with your favorite vegan frosting and enjoy.

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