Parshat Masei, Pareve Condensed Milk and Dairy-Free Chocolate Revel Bars

Masei discusses the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael and recounts the journey and encampments of B’nei Yisrael as they traveled from Ramses to the Sinai desert to the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

For my parsha cake, I made pareve chocolate revel bars, which have a bottom and top crust of oatmeal and a fudge filling. The top crust cracks a bit, looking very topographical. With better foresight, I would have shaped the top crust to look like the appropriate land masses and let the fudge filling be the bodies of water. I didn’t have such foresight, so I was compelled to roll out chocolate fondant to make the land. I used marshmallow bits to show the path of travel. If you want to see this kind of parsha cake in color, go here.

Here are the maps that the above parsha cake was based on: travels in the desert from Lookstein.org and boundaries of Eretz Yisrael from Tanach.org.

Dairy-Free Coconut Chocolate Revel Bars

A long, long time ago, my sister told me about these yummy looking bars that she saw sold in the local delis and bodegas: A top layer and a bottom layer of oatmeal cookie, filled with a layer of fudge. For years I meant to find and make a recipe for her, but I never did. Until now! And they are pareve!

The dairy-free part is a real coup, because the recipe calls for condensed milk, which is not so easy to substitute. The usual approach is to make pareve condensed milk from scratch (here is Shoshana’s recipe for homemade pareve condensed milk using soy powder).

I have found that cream of coconut sometimes works as a substitute. I was very pleased with how it worked in seven-layer bars, and sort of pleased with how it worked in key-lime pie (the filling was delicious, but the pie looked horrible because the graham cracker pie crust disintegrated and floated to the top during baking for some odd reason).

The cream of coconut works perfectly in this recipe, and if you want to emphasize the coconut flavor, you can substitute 2/3 cup of shredded coconut for 1/2 cup of the oatmeal, and you can use coconut oil instead of margarine or shortening.

Dough:
1 cup sugar (I used half dark brown and half white sugar; 200 g. / 7 ounces)
1/2 cup shortening (90-95 g. / 3.25 ounces) (or 7 Tbl. butter or margarine or coconut oil)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (155g. /  5.5. ounces)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (120 g. / 4.25 ounces)

Cream the shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and add to the shortening/sugar/egg mixture. Mix until combined. Mix in the oats.

Line a 9″ square pan with parchment and grease with baking spray. Take a little more half the batter (between half and two-thirds of the total amount of batter) and press into the pan in an even layer. This is the bottom crust, and you will put the filling over this layer. Place a layer of parchment or waxed paper over this (the edges of the paper have to extend past the edges of the pan) and then press the remaining batter in a very thin layer over the parchment–this will be the top layer of crust that will get placed over the filling. Place the pan with both layers of dough in the fridge or freezer while you make the filling. When you are finished making the filling, you will pull up the top layer of parchment with the second layer of dough on top, set it aside, and pour the filling over the bottom layer of dough. Then you will peel the top layer of dough from the parchment paper (or waxed paper) and place it on top of the filling. Or, after making the bottom crust, you could just take the leftover dough and put it in a bowl for later crumbling over the filling.

Filling:
7 ounces cream of coconut (half the 15 ounce can; if you want to use up the whole can, make a double batch and bake it in either two pans or in one 10″x15 pan a 9″x13″ pan)

6 ounces chocolate, very finely chopped (usually chocolate chips are used, but I recommend using bittersweet chocolate, such as Callebaut 835, to make the cookies less overpoweringly sweet)

1 Tbl. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt the ingredients in a bowl in a microwave for less than one minute–just enough to melt the chocolate (check after 40 seconds). Stir and reheat for a few seconds more or as needed. Cool the mixture.

Take the pan with the two layers of dough from the fridge or freezer. Gently pull up the paper with the top layer of dough to expose the bottom layer of dough. Pour the chocolate filling over the dough in an even layer. Pull up pieces of the top layer of dough from the parchment paper and place the pieces of dough in an even layer over the top of the filling.

Put back in the fridge or freezer while you preheat the oven (if you haven’t already preheated) to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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One Response to “Parshat Masei, Pareve Condensed Milk and Dairy-Free Chocolate Revel Bars”

  1. Lauren Says:

    Oatmeal cookie and chocolate? Sign me up!

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