Heaven on Earth Project

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Vegan quality desserts are becoming more easily available in supermarkets. Soy icecreams are more recent additions. Although kosher standards do not eliminate animal products from food as a whole, desserts especially will usually be free of milk and animal emulsifiers. They may however contain egg products.



This recipe will make a small batch of ice-cream. The following recipe is to make a large batch, but for that one you will need a commercial size blender or an insertion blender such as a Barmix.

2 d/s lecithin granules
2-3 powdered granules of mastihi or gum Arabic #

3 d/s malt powder

1 d/s agar agar

3 d/s vanilla essence

4 d/s cocoa powder (optional or add more to taste)

5 heaped d/s golden syrup or equivalent sugar

100 gm tahini

50 gm melted coconut oil (or corn oil)*

Heat 200 ml of water to about boil and add the first group of ingredients and while simmering, stir until all the granules are dissolved. When dissolved, make up the volume of water to 500 ml with cold water. This should get the temperature down to about 45 degree C. In another pot, melt the coconut oil. If you are using another liquid oil, by-pass this step. Begin to blend the remainder of the ingredients one at a time in the order listed. Add the oil last.

After blending for a few minutes, pour the mixture into the desired container and allow it to cool. There might be some separation of the oil and water components. Do not re-blend but instead mix by hand. Place in freezer and just before it is solid, mix it again to re suspend the emulsion. If you have an ice-cream maker, add the mixture to it after it has cooled. Tahini ice-cream is very nice made by this method.

# Mastihi (mastic)is not an essential to this ice-cream but it is worth the effort of getting. Most oriental or Greek stores should stock small containers of it.

* Coconut oil may be difficult to obtain. It is certainly the nicest in this recipe but corn oil or another bland oil such as sunflower oil is also useable.

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(Large quantity)

This is a popular and easy to make milk-free ice-cream. This recipe makes a large batch so scale it down to your requirements. A bar-mix type of implement is required to make this quantity. It will not fit into the domestic size blender. If you do make this quantity, freeze it in small quantities as it sets very hard and cannot be scooped unless you have a proper ice-cream machine. In this case make up the mixture below and process through the ice-cream maker.

3L water warmed to about 45 o C.

50 gm lecithin

150 gm malt

1/4 t/s mastic granules

2 d/s agar agar

1 kg golden syrup or fruit concentrate

50 ml pure vanilla

600 gm tahini

200 gm coconut oil (or corn oil)

100 gm cocoa powder (if you want chocolate flavour)

Take about 300 ml of the warmed water into a saucepan and mix in the dry ingredients while you bring it to boil. Make sure you stir constantly until all the agar is dissolved otherwise it will burn.

If you are using coconut oil melt it gently in another saucepan but do not get it hotter than about 60 o C.

When the dry ingredients are dissolved, add the mix to the bulk of the water and blend. Add the next set of ingredients in the order listed. Wait for each ingredient to be blended into the mixture before adding the next. Make sure the coconut oil or corn oil are blended in last.

The agar agar is optional in this recipe but if it is not used the mixture may separate into a water and oil layer while cooling. If this happens, do not re- blend as this will 'butter' the oil out of solution. Instead, re-mix with a manual implement such as a whisk, then place in freezer immediately.

If you want a few flavours divide the batch into as many flavours as you want. Add cocoa or carob powder, and / or small pieces of fruit. If you are adding fruit finish all the blending before you add it. Then stir it in so that there are whole pieces. You may need to re-mix the fruit just before the ice-cream sets.

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A very easy and unusually tasty cake to make. It keeps well under refrigeration.

500 gm (peeled) very ripe (mushy) bananas

200 gm crude molasses

250 gm treacle

4 t/s baking powder

1/2 t/s salt

150 gm melted coconut oil

150 gm vegetable oil

or 300 gm nuttelex margarine

150 gm chopped dated & sultanas (mixture)

50 gm walnuts (or other nuts)

whole meal flour - enough to make a dough.

Mash the bananas and mix with the first set of ingredients until even. Add the next group and stir well. Add and mix in the oils. This stage will be easier if you have an electric beater. Add the nuts and sultanas then begin to add flour a little at a time until the mixture forms a pasty dough. Pour into oiled trays to about 3/4 their depth and bake at 170 degrees C for about one and a half hours or until centre is no longer gluey. Test this with a thin knife or a wire.

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Some country stores do not stock milk-free margarine. If you want something similar to margarine try this recipe. Commercial margarine is made with specialised equipment which cannot be easily matched by domestic utensils, but this recipe is worth a try.

200 ml carrot juice

50 gm tahini or 50 ml soy flour

2 d/s lecithin granules

1 t/s salt

300 gm coconut oil or palm oil such as 'copha'

125 gm olive oil

125 gm vegetable oil

Heat the carrot juice and add the other of the first ingredients. Stir constantly as the mixture come to simmer.

Melt the coconut or palm oil slowly and add the other oils. Add and mix the carrot juice mixture. Blend for a few minutes until very even then pour into a cooling bowl. There will probably be some separation on cooling. Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator. When it has set completely, mix until the separation is re-suspended, then transfer to smaller containers for storage. As there is no preservative in this preparation it will sour quickly unless kept under refrigeration. Store stock in small quantities in your freezer.

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104. SOY

This is a dangerous item to have around if you are concerned about your weight. You can easily eat it all without sensing the richness.

150 gm milk-free margarine

75 gm malt (powder or syrup)

125 gm golden syrup

75 gm carob powder or 50 gm cocoa powder

2 cups soy flour

3 t/s vanilla essence

desiccated coconut for coating

Mix the first set of ingredients manually or with an electric beater until a caramel consistency.

Mix in the soy flour and then the vanilla. Form into a number of logs about 3 cm thick, roll in coconut, cover and store in refrigerator.

Serve 2 or 3 thin slices with coffee or tea.

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There are many variations of this delicious dessert. Often it is made with honey and with butter which does not suit the diet code of some vegetarians. Most varieties of filo pastry available from supermarkets contain glycerin which is almost certainly of animal origin, so depending on your attitude to this issue, it may be worth reading the ingredients on the packet you are about to buy.

You will need a pastry brush (of non-animal origin if you want to take the vegetarian matter a little more seriously) or better still, a hand spray. The syrup should be pre made so that it is cool when poured over the hot baked baklava. The best rose water seems to be a Lebanese variety called CORTAS and is readily available from Greek and Arab stores, and also some health shops.

Syrup: This will make enough for about 3 baklava preparations. Stored in a clean bottle it will keep indefinitely without refrigeration.

1 Kg raw sugar

500 ml water

100 fresh lemon juice

100 ml rose water


2 packet filo pastry

1 tub milk-free margarine (e.g. Nuttelex)

500 gm raw peanuts, pecans or some other raw nuts

Bring the water for the syrup to the boil, add the lemon juice then the sugar and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Once boiling begins lower the heat and simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Take care to watch for the first boiling as it has the tendency to suddenly froth and empty itself over the stove. After about 1/2 an hour of simmering the syrup should have thickened. Add the rose water, stir well and remove from heat. Keep covered until cool to prevent the rose fragrances from evaporating, or transfer to clean bottles.

Mince, chop or process the nuts so that they are reduced to wheat grain size.

Melt about 1/2 the margarine and paint or spray it onto a the base of a shallow baking tray. Place one sheet of filo pastry on it so that a few centimetres of the pastry hangs over the edge. Paint or spray margarine over all of this sheet. Add another sheet with its edge overhanging another side of the baking tray and paint all of it with margarine. Repeat this process until about 20 sheets have been pasted and all 4 sides of the tray have overhanging pastry. Make sure to regularly stir the margarine otherwise it is likely the water in it will separate and make the pastry soggy. Depending on the size of the tray and the size of the pastry sheets, it is possible to make the overhang meet exactly in the centre of the tray when it is folded to enclose the nut mixture. Instead of a paint brush you can use a hand actuated garden spray. Just melt the margarine to about 50 degree C., pour it into the spray gun container and adjust the spray so that it is not too fine so as to drift away. Cover each sheet as with a paint bush.

Pour the chopped nuts onto the top sheet of pastry, spread evenly and then fold the overhangs in so that the nuts are enveloped. Paint or spray margarine onto the top pastry and then keep adding the remaining sheets, making sure to paint each one including the last.

Cut the entire preparation into diagonal bite- size pieces as shown in the diagram You will need a very sharp knife to do this without ripping and destroying the entire preparation.

After cutting, place in a pre-heated oven set at around 170 degrees C. The filo pastry is very delicate and burns easily so you may have to adjust your stove temperature to suit. Check the tray after 1/2 an hour and rotate it if the oven cooks unevenly. Leave for another 1/2 hour. The top sheets of pastry should be a golden yellow by this stage. Remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack. Immediately pour about 750 ml of the prepared syrup into each of the cuts. This must be done as soon as the tray comes from the oven. Allow to cool. Baklava will keep without refrigeration for a few days. If storing for a longer period, cover it with plastic before storing in the refrigerator. Allow to reach room temperature before serving.

An alternative to brushing on the margarine is to firstly melt it and then pour it into a small hand operated garden spray gun. Adjust the nozzle for a dense spray and coat each sheet as with a brush. Spraying is easier to apply an even coat and does not tear the pastry sheets.

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This Arab semolina and rosewater cake improves with a little aging. It stores well even without refrigeration.

250 gm milk free margarine

300 gm caster sugar

50 ml vanilla essence

4 d/s potato or tapioca flour

1.5 d/s baking powder

500 gm soy yogurt

750 gm fine semolina

250 gm desiccated coconut (optionally make up with extra semolina)

30 - 40 blanched almonds or other nuts such as cashew (optional)

Rosewater syrup (for recipe see Baklava recipe #105)

Blend the first set of ingredients in a food processor until very fine. Add the yogurt and continue to process. When this mixture is smooth and creamy, transfer to large bowl and add the semolina and coconut. Stir this until even and then transfer to an oiled baking dish. Smooth out the surface and sprinkle the almonds, cashew or other nuts evenly over the surface. If you wish, distribute the nuts geometrically so that each slice (see below for details) contains one or more nuts.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 160 degrees centigrade for about 40 minutes. Remove, place on a level bench and immediately pour about 1 liter of rosewater syrup evenly over the surface, including the edges.

Allow to stand and cool a little. While still warm, cut diamond shapes to the desired size with a sharp knife. This is done by cutting a series of parallel slices parallel to one side of the baking dish and then cutting a series of parallel slices at about 45 degrees to the first slices. When serving Basbousa, the slices can be arranged in various star patterns due to their geometric shape. Serve cold or at room temperature

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Black rice pudding has been a very popular dessert at the restaurant. Without a pressure cooker it requires a long cooking period unless it is pre-soaked for about 24 hours. Black rice, or black sticky rice as it is sometimes called, is usually available through Asian or Indian stores.

500 gm black rice

250 gm raw sugar

2 L water

2 sticks cinnamon

4 or 5 pods cardamom

2 or 3 clove sprigs

1 can coconut cream

If you are not pressure cooking it is advisable to soak the rice for a day or so before cooking.

Begin to heat the water and rice in a pot and when beginning to get hot add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Break up the cinnamon and crush the cardamom and cloves in a mortar and pestle. Place these spices onto a piece of cloth gauze (such as light bandage) and form a bag by closing it with an elastic band or a piece of cotton. Submerge this in the mixture and pressure cook for about 30 minutes.

When the pressure has come down, open the pot, stir any sedimented rice into suspension and then allow to simmer for about 15 minutes without a lid and with regular stirring on a low flame. This will form a syrup. While simmering occasionally press the spice bag against the wall of the pot so that more of the spice essence enters the rice mixture. Mix well and serve or use a measuring jug to transfer the rice to storage containers.

If you are cooking the rice by simmering, note the level of water in the pot when you have dissolved the sugar and added the spice bag. It will probably have to simmer for at least 90 minutes so occasionally top up the water level and stir well. If you cook the rice and spice without the sugar it will become soft much sooner. Add the sugar once it is soft enough to eat.

Serve hot with a topping of coconut cream (and with a spoon of tofu ice-cream if you have some).

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This dessert cake can be made in a variety of flavours. It is best made some time before its use so that it can be served chilled.


100 gm margarine or vegetable oil

70 gm raw sugar

25 ml water

1 t/s vanilla essence

200 gm plain flour

1 t/s baking powder

1 d/s cinnamon and / or ginger powder


500 gm tofu (hard or silken or mixture of both)

alternatively replace some tofu with soy yoghurt

50 ml syrup, or 50 gm sugar, or 50 ml sweet fruit juice

100 ml lemon juice

50 gm tahini

1 medium mango (if in season) otherwise

3 ripe bananas, 1 or 2 passion fruit, or equivalent canned fruit.

2 d/s vanilla essence

Melt the margarine in a pot with the water and dissolve in the sugar by very slow simmering and regular stirring. Add the vanilla. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Mix the flour, spices and baking powder together and then add this to the margarine while it is still hot. Mix well to form a pastry.

Press the pastry into a baking dish (large enough to take the volume of the filling ) so that it is evenly spread over the base and sides. Place this into an oven set at about 160 degrees C. for about 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking prepare the filling by blending or processing the filling ingredients. Make sure all the tofu and fruit has been blended fine. Remove the baking dish from the oven and add the filling. Replace into the oven for about one hour. Check after about 30 minutes whether the dish needs rotating. The filling will set more on cooling.

Chill before serving with some slices of fruit and a topping of passion fruit pulp.

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Soy Cheese Cake

This is an excellent cake and because it is made from fermented soy, it can be called a real cheese cake. Only the base is baked in this recipe.

2 pks Digestive (or other appropriate) biscuits

1/4 tub Nutelex (or other appropriate margarine)

3 d/s ginger pdr or cinnamon

3 tubs Kingland Soy Cream Cheese

3 tubs (equal volume to cream cheese) Soy Yoghurt

3/4 tub tahini

1/2 tub Golden Syrup or other sweetener.(I use rosewater syrup, see Baklava)

Vanilla essence (to taste)

1/2 tub lemon juice

1 t/s citric acid

Break up the biscuits in their packets.Blend up (food process) dry until very fine. Add ginger then add nutilex and blend until evenly spread.

Spread evenly over the base of a baking tray so its about 1.5 cm thick. Bake for about 15 minutes at 150 C.

While baking, blend or process the first set of ingredients until very smooth.

When baking is done, add the lemon juice and citric acid. Blend until very even, then immediately pour and spread evenly over the base. Allow to cool and refrigerate. It may take a day or so to set firm.

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This is another excellent thirst quencher which you will almost certainly be pleased to have available. It stores without refrigeration indefinitely.

1 kg raw sugar

600 ml water

300 ml vinegar (preferably cider)

1 cup fresh mint or better, spearmint leaves

Bring the water to boil, add the sugar, dissolve, and then add the vinegar. Bring to boil again and then simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Add the mint or spearmint leaves, remove from heat immediately, cover pot with firm fitting lid to prevent the mint vapours escaping, and allow to cool. When cool, transfer to dry bottles along with the mint leaves for storage.

Serve with water and ice in the desired proportions.

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Rose water is available from Greek and Arab stores. It is useful in many preparations but especially in this one.

lemon rind from about 10 lemons

1 l lemon juice

1 kg white sugar

50 ml rose water (this may vary according to brand)

Peel the rind from the lemons and mix them into the sugar rubbing it in with your palms. Leave stand for about 1 hour. This will draw some of the oils out of the rind into the sugar.

Heat the lemon juice to near boiling then add the sugar and rind. Stir constantly until all the sugar is dissolved. As the solution nears boiling, remove the rind with a kitchen scoop. Add the rose water. As soon as boiling occurs, remove from heat and transfer to bottles. Be careful boiling nears as the solution will quickly boil over the pot. You have to be with it at the moment of boiling.

Use as a cordial with water and ice. There is no need to refrigerated the undiluted lemon squash.

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