Kashrut is a Hebrew word meaning ‘fit’ or ‘proper.’ Although it has several applications in Jewish law, kashrut is most often spoken about in relationship to food and the Jewish dietary laws. To explain the entire system of dietary laws here is a much larger undertaking than I am interested in, so I will VERY briefly sum up the highlights: no pork, no shellfish, no mixing of meat and dairy , and no eating dairy after meat for 1, 3, or 6 hours (depending on who you ask). Due to the prohibition against eating meat and dairy together, traditional Jewish meals are classified as either halavi (dairy) or basari (meat). Restaurants in Israel serve EITHER dairy dishes OR meat dishes, and meals within homes are also given the same classification. Therefore, after being invited to a Shabbat meal and being asked to bring dessert, my first question was, “Is it a meat meal or a dairy meal.” The answer, “Meat.”
No. That does not mean I would be making a dessert with meat in it. It does, however, mean that the dessert cannot contain any dairy products – milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, and other creamy things that often find their way into the end-of-meal deliciousness.
Fear not, dessert lovers, because there is a solution! It’s BIG. It’s green. It’s still creamy:
Yes. The avocado is the magical replacement ingredient for dairy. While others may be bringing margarine-laden delicacies to Shabbat meals, I am powering my meat-meal dessert with the fatty avocado (a good kind of fat, if you’re interested!).
I decided that I wanted to make a chocolate avocado cake, loosely based on this recipe. *see the full recipe for my cake below
First, mix together the dry ingredients of whole wheat flour, white flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda:
In a separate bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, water, apple cider vinegar, 1 mashed avocado, and white and brown sugar. This will quite possibly look gross. In fact, the one in my kitchen looked quite gross, hence my artistic decision not to include a photograph of this particular step. Don’t worry though, it will still taste great!
After you mix the wet ingredients (as listed above), combine them with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly:
Pour the batter into a large pan (two small pans would be preferable – I just didn’t have) and cook for 45 minutes at 350º.
When the cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for about 30 minutes. While you’re waiting…make the frosting!
Combine two cups powdered sugar with cocoa powder and cinnamon:
Add (another) mashed avocado to the mix and stir until the frosting takes on an even consistency:
Once the cake sufficiently cools, you can layer and frost it! Since I had only the large pan to cook in, I ended up cutting the cake in half and making layers that way. If you have two pans, I have no doubt that would be much easier!
Full cake (with avocado flecks – don’t be scared of the green!):
Half cake (otherwise known as the first layer):
Frosting and layers:
Tell your guests that the green bits are actually delicious. And that it’s healthy. And no one will care. Or, just get a food processor. 😉
For the cake:
- 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 3/4cups water
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 ripe avocado, mashed
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
For the frosting:
- 1 ripe avocado, mashed
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- for the cake, combine cocoa powder, flours, cinnamon, baking
powder, and baking soda in a large bowl
- separately, combine coconut oil, water, apple cider vinegar,
mashed avocado, and sugars
- add the wet ingredients to the dry, transfer to a pan and cook
for 45 minutes at 350º
- as cake cooks, make frosting by combining all ingredients
and stirring thoroughly until smooth
- allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting