1. Chocolate Panna Cotta, Cucina Palm Beach
When it comes to the art of pastry, milk, cream, and eggs have traditionally been vital components for binding ingredients and creating rich flavor and texture. Recently though, vegan desserts have been popping up on local menus, proving that a post-meal indulgence tastes just as sweet without the dairy. Such is the case with Cucina Palm Beach’s vegan chocolate panna cotta, which swaps coconut milk for heavy cream and agar powder for gelatin in a recipe private chef Fernanda Lozada concocted for the restaurant. “It used to be difficult when we first started making vegan desserts, just because the ingredients were foreign,” explains chef-partner Kent Thurston. “Now it’s just like normal cooking. The ingredients have become widely available, and you learn how they all behave under certain temperatures and conditions.” Turn the page for more of our favorite vegan treats.
2. New York–Style Cheesecake, Darbster
Cheesecake devotees would put the version at this vegan bistro up against Manhattan’s best. The soy-based cream cheese and tofu cake hits all of the same notes as the classic, while the walnut, oats, and shredded coconut crust adds a twist and a crunch. The berry compote on top lends the perfect amount of sweetness to this indulgent dish. West Palm Beach
3. Big Fat Oreo, Field of Greens
If a cookie is going to one-up an Oreo, it’s got to be good. The Big Fat Oreo, or BFO, at Field of Greens satisfies with two giant chocolate wafers joined by a creamy filling. It’s ridiculously addictive, regardless of whether or not you choose to dip it in vegan milk. Various locations
4. Vegan Ice Cream, Proper Ice Cream
Owner Rick Felberbaum has cracked the code to creating vegan ice cream as delicious as its dairy counterparts. Hint: It’s cashew milk and raw cocoa butter that impart the creamy texture. Proper makes 10 vegan flavors, such as pistachio, all without the preservatives and stabilizers found in mass-produced ice cream. Try them at Proper’s two Delray Beach locations, including a storefront near the new iPic.