ChocoChichi

Black Forest Cupcakes

 

Chocolate cake, cherry sauce, and whipped cream… yum, yum, yum!  People think I spend a lot of time on these. Really, they are very easy.

The cupcakes are best eaten within a few hours. They will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. But they get a little soggy.

So delicious!

So delicious!

BLACK FOREST CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Bake cupcakes according to your recipe.  Allow to cool completely.
  2. Use a paring knife to cut a small cone (about the size of a quarter, and about 1/2 down into the cupcake) from the center of the cupcake. Reserve the cones.
  3. Spoon cherry sauce into the cupcakes, letting some spill over onto the top of the cupcakes.
  4. Pipe whipped cream onto the cherry sauce using a large star tip. Or plop it on with a spoon!
  5. Push the reserved cones, point-side down, into the whipped cream so they stay put.
  6. Pipe a little more whipped cream on top of the cones.
  7. Sprinkle generously with chocolate shavings.

CHERRY SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz pitted cherries
  • 5 T amaretto flavored agave nectar
  • 2 T water
  • 2 t rum
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 T cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Place cherries, agave, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Mix cornstarch, rum, and almond extract. Pour into cherries while stirring constantly. Heat just until it begins to bubble.
  3. Let cool completely before using in cupcakes. It can be refrigerated for several days.
Posted by admin in Cakes, Sauces and Toppings

Donuts, donuts, donuts, donuts, and donuts!

 

My friend told me about a vegan bake sale. It was to raise money for Haiti. I wanted to bring LOTS of different things. I also wanted to keep it simple. So I made different flavors of donuts. I like cake donuts better than raised donuts. They are also easier to make (no boiling oil!).  I made plain donuts with glaze and sprinkles, plain donuts dipped in chocolate, curry donuts with coconut glaze, poppy seed donuts with lemon glaze, and pomegranate donuts with green tea glaze. I liked the pomegranate green tea ones the best. But they were too weak. Only two of them made it out of the pan whole! *sad, sad face* The coconut curry ones were a huge hit at the bake sale!

Which one should I eat?

Which one should I eat?

BASIC CAKE DONUTS

(adapted from Vegan YumYum)

Makes 9 – 12 Donuts

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tiny pinch or shake Cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs Earth Balance vegan margarine
  • 1/2 Cup Soymilk
  • 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbs ground flax seed mixed with 2 Tbs water

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1 Tbs soymilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Combine Earth Balance and soy milk in a microwave-safe bowl or cup. Microwave for 30 – 60 seconds, or until Earth Balance is melted.
  3. Add the remaining wet ingredients. Whisk until well-mixed.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until combined and there are no large lumps.
  5. Spoon batter into a pastry bag with a large tip (or into a ziplock bag with the corner cut off). Squeeze batter into mini-bundt pan, filling each cup 1/2 to 3/4 to the top. Smooth tops with a small spoon or spatula, if desired. (You could try to spoon or pour the batter into the pan, but that was really MESSY!)
  6. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the donut comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately, and cool completely on racks before icing.
  7. To glaze: Combine powdered sugar and soymilk in a small bowl. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved. You may need to add a little more soymilk of the glaze is too thick. Dip the top of the donut into the glaze. Hold it for a few seconds to allow extra glaze to drip back into the bowl. If using a topping (such as sprinkles, coconut, or nuts), pour the topping onto a shallow bowl. Lightly press the glazed side into the topping. Turn donut upright and place on a rack or parchment paper until glaze dries.
Vegan coconut curry donuts!

Vegan coconut curry donuts!

VARIATIONS:

Coconut Curry Donuts: Omit cinnamon and nutmeg. Add 1 teaspoon of curry powder with the dry ingredients. Replace vinegar with lime juice. Glaze donuts as normal, then press immediately into unsweetened dry grated coconut.

Lemon Poppyseed Donuts: Decrease soy milk to 1/4 cup. Add 1 can of poppyseed pie filling with the wet ingredients. To glaze, mix 1 Tablespoon lemon juice with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

Pomegranate Green Tea Donuts: Mix in the seeds of one pomegranate after the batter is prepared. I wish I would have decreased the amount of soy milk in these to make them a little firmer.  If I do it again, I would start with 1/4 cup soy milk, then add more if it seemed too thick after adding the pomegranate seeds. To glaze, mix 1 Tablespoon soy milk with 1/2 cup sweetened matcha powder.

From top to bottom: coconut curry, lemon poppyseed, plain donuts with sprinkles, and chocolate-dipped donuts.

From top to bottom: coconut curry, lemon poppyseed, plain donuts with sprinkles, and chocolate-dipped donuts.

Posted by admin in Cakes, Sauces and Toppings

Vegan Tiramisu

 

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

Wow! This dessert took a LONG time to make! It was tricky to make a vegan version. I tried 4 TIMES to make the suggested ladyfinger cookies.  None turned out good enough. I thought about dunking the cookies in coffee. That reminded me of biscotti, so I made those instead.

The mascarpone cheese and vanilla pastry cream were not too difficult to make vegan. I used coconut milk in place of the cream in the original recipes. And I made a few little changes to the recipes. I had no luck with making zabaglione. I don’t even know what that is! It seemed like the main flavor for the zabaglione was the marsala. That’s why I put the marsala in the pastry cream instead. I could have eaten the pastry cream all by itself! It was SO yummy!

Making all the different ingredients was the hard part.  Putting the tiramisu together was easy. I should have soaked the biscotti a little longer. They were too hard to cut through easily, so the whipped cream/pastry cream mix gushed out the sides. It was not pretty to look at, but it was delicious! I ate it after lunch so the coffee wouldn’t keep me up at night! Yum, yum, yum!

Vegan, tofu-free tiramisu!

Vegan, tofu-free tiramisu!

This recipe has many parts. You need 2 or 3 days to make everything. The finished tiramisu needs to sit a few hours, too. This is NOT a last-minute dessert to whip up. But it is a great one to make ahead for company. Make the mascarpone, pastry cream, and biscotti at least a day before you want to put everything together. The whipped cream is best right before you need it.

TIRAMISU

(adapted from Carminantonio’s Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007 )

Ingredients:

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup/235ml chilled coconut cream (refrigerate a can of coconut milk for at least 2 hours, then scrape off the cream from the top with a spoon)
  • 1/4 cup/55gms powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract

To assemble the tiramisu:

  • 2 cups/470ml brewed espresso, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup/110gms sugar
  • 1/3 cup/75gms vegan “mascarpone cheese” (recipe follows)
  • 1 batch marsala pastry cream (recipe follows)
  • 12  or more biscotti (recipe follows), depending on size of biscotti and dish
  • 2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions:

For the whipped cream:

  1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the coconut cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisu:

  1. Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8″ by 8″ should do) or one of your choice.
  2. Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.
  4. Workings quickly,  dip the biscotti in the sweetened espresso, about 10 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each biscotti to an 8 x 8 baking pan, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a biscotti into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
  5. Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the biscotti, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
  6. Repeat to create 2 more layers, using biscotti and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.

To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.

VEGAN SOY-FREE MASCARPONE CHEESE

(adapted from Vera’s Recipe for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese)
This recipe makes 6oz of “mascarpone cheese”

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (not “Lite”)
  • 2 T cashew butter
  • 1/2 T fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Thoroughly combine coconut milk and cashew butter using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor.
  2. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the coconut milk into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. If you do not have a thermometer, wait until small bubbles keep trying to push up to the surface.  It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating.
  3. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream becomes thicker, about 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.

Vera’s notes: The first time I made mascarpone I had all doubts if it’d been cooked enough, because of its custard-like texture. Have no fear, it will firm up beautifully in the fridge, and will yet remain lusciously creamy.  Keep refrigerated and use within 3 to 4 days.

MARSALA PASTRY CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons marsala
  • 1/4 cup/55gms sugar
  • 1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup/175ml soy milk

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the starch and marsala in a small bowl.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until mixture just begins to boil.
  3. Pour the starch/marsala mixture in slowly, while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat.
  4. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

CHOCOLATE-ALMOND BISCOTTI

(Adapted from Veganomicon)
This recipe makes approximately 18 biscotti, just about enough for tiramisu.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c soymilk
  • 2 T ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 1 1/2 c spelt flour
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 2 T tapioca starch
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c whole almonds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together soy milk, flaxseeds, sugar, oil, and the extracts until well-blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, except the almonds. Add to the wet ingredients, stirring just until everything is combined.
  4. Add the almonds, then briefly knead the dough, until it is stiff.
  5. Place dough on baking sheet and shape into a long rectangle, about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide.
  6. Bake for about 28 minutes, until it is firm and the top is slightly cracked.
  7. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about half an hour.
  8. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the loaf into 1/2 inch slices by pushing the knife down in one smooth motion rather than sawing back-and-forth.
  9. Place the slices back on the backing sheet, cut side up, and bake for about 12 – 15 minutes. They should be slightly brown around the edges.  They will firm up a little more when cool.
  10. Let cool slightly on the cooking sheet, then cool on wire racks completely. Store in an air-tight container. Cookies can be crisped again by heating in the oven briefly.

Cookies to the Rescue

 

I saw a recipe for white chocolate on BitterSweet. BitterSweet is one of my favorite blogs! I tried to make my own white chocolate. I failed to make my own white chocolate *FROWN*  I could not get the sugar to dissolve in the melted cocoa butter! I stirred, I used my electric mixer, I even tried the immersion blender and food processor. No luck. It was just one gritty, greasy mess. I guess I should have used powdered sugar instead of Sucanat!

Sucanat and melted cocoa butter don't mix!

Sucanat and melted cocoa butter don't mix!

I didn’t want to throw out the cocoa butter and sugar.  I decided to try again. I scraped everything into a bowl. Then I put it in the microwave until the cocoa butter was melted. I whipped it with my electric mixer. I hoped this time the sugar would dissolve. I kept whipping, but I could see the sugar wasn’t going to dissolve. I was FRUSTRATED! Still no white chocolate.

I almost threw the whole bowl away. But I had an idea. The whipped cocoa butter and sugar was like the start of a cookie dough. I added some soymilk, baking soda, and salt, then split the dough into three batches. I added vanilla extract to the first batch. The second batch got almond extract and finely chopped dried cherries. The third batch I added toasted hazelnuts to.  The dough was thick and very sticky.  I dropped it on the cookie sheets then flattened it with a fork.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

The cookies tasted pretty good. But the texture was a little weird. I wish I would have left the soymilk out and added more cocoa butter or coconut oil. Then they would have been like shortbread cookies. Or I should have added more soymilk to make them like regular cookies. I’ll have to save white chocolate for another day!

Much better than the mess I started with!

Much better than the mess I started with!

Posted by admin in Candies, Cookies

January Daring Bakers Challenge: Gluten-Free Hazelnut Nanaimo Bars

 

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

Sticky, sticky, sticky! Graham cracker dough is so sticky! I had to roll out the first batch 4 times before I got any that didn’t stick to the counter! What a MESS! I almost gave up.  But I didn’t want to be a quitter. Finally I got a few crackers that made it from the counter to the baking sheet.  It took a few more tries to get pretty crackers. I didn’t like the way the first ones tasted. Then I brushed off some of the extra flour (there was A LOT), and they tasted MUCH better. I have been munching on them for a week now, and they still taste fresh.  They don’t taste exactly like the ones in the store, but they are still yummy.

The layers are easy to make. I was worried that the nanimos might be a little boring. But they were very tasty. It would be fun to play with the flavors a little… maybe next time.

Make sure you leave the bars in the fridge long enough. I took mine out after about 2 hours. When I cut them, the bottom layer was very crumbly. I thought maybe the flax/water was not a good replacement for the egg in the original recipe. But the next morning, the bottom held together.  It was not crumbly at all. (Yes, I ate one for breakfast. I also had oatmeal.)

Coconut, hazelnut, and cocoa powder. A delicious base!

Coconut, hazelnut, and cocoa powder. A delicious base!

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 c Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) salt
  • 7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Earth Balance, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup
  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the Earth Balance pieces with a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
  2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple syrup, soy milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
  3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with the gluten-free flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of gluten-free flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
  5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
  6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
  7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
  9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.
Oh so sweet, ready to eat!

Oh so sweet, ready to eat!

Nanaimo Bars

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 T ground flax seed beaten with 3 T water
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs (See previous recipe)
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) hazelnuts (Finely chopped)
  • 1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) dried shredded unsweetened coconut

Middle Layer

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Earth Balance
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) So Delicious Hazelnut Non-dairy Creamer
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vanilla pudding mix (I used Dr. Oetker’s)
  • 2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) powdered sugar

Top Layer

  • 4 ounces (115 g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Earth Balance

Directions:

  1. For bottom Layer: Melt Earth Balance, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add flax mixture and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
  2. For Middle Layer: Cream Earth Balance, So Delicious creamer, pudding mix, and powdered sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
  3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and Earth Balance over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
Spreading on the middle layer

Spreading on the middle layer

Chocolate Beer Bread with Smoky Split Pea Soup

 
Chocolate beer!

Chocolate beer!

I was in Whole Foods with my friend and I saw chocolate beer! What a surprise! I asked my friend to buy it. She let me have a small taste. It smelled like chocolate, but it tasted like beer. It was sour and a little bitter. But it also had a chocolate aftertaste!

I used the chocolate beer to make beer bread. I mixed up the dry ingredients. When I added the beer, it very foamy. In the oven, the bread smelled a lot like chocolate-banana bread I’ve made before. I let it cool, then had a taste.  It was not too bad, but a little more sour than beer bread I’ve made before. The best part was the chocolate aftertaste.

Chocolate beer bread smells so good!

Chocolate beer bread smells so good!

I paired the bread with Smoky Green Split Pea Soup adapted from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan.  I had never had smoked tofu before.  It has a firmer, chewier texture than the extra-firm tofu I usually buy. It was also sweeter than other tofu. I had to add some white rice vinegar to the soup (about 2 Tablespoons) so it wouldn’t be too sweet.  It is a yummy, hearty soup. It was a perfect meal for New England winters!

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Chocolate Beer Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 12 oz. chocolate beer

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan.
  2. Mix the flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add the beer, stirring as you pour it in. Make sure you use a large bowl, because the mixture will bubble up quickly.
  4. Bake for about an hour, until the crust is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove and place on a cooling rack until completely cool. Slice with a serrated knife, preferably a bread knife.

Smoky Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 t salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 T dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried sage
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 lb dried split peas
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 5 – 7 c water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 oz smoked tofu, juienned
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 T white rice vinegar (if soup seems too sweet)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, celery, carrots, sweet potato, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, sage, and paprika. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add split peas, stock, 5 cups water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add tofu, cover, and cook another 20 minutes.  Add water as necessary to keep soup from getting too dry.
Sauteing the veggies

Sauteing the veggies

Posted by admin in Entrees

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

 

Why don’t chocolate truffles have truffles (the fungus) in them? I looked at LOTS of truffles. I checked to see if they had truffles in them. None ever did. Not even expensive ones! I learned on Wikipedia that chocolate truffles look a lot like the fungus truffles after they are dug up. That is why they are called truffles.

Truffles are easy to make at home.  You can add any flavors you like. You can also roll them in different toppings. This week I made four different kinds.

Which truffle should I eat first?

Which truffle should I eat first?

Basic Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp extract (such as vanilla, almond, or hazelnut)
  • 2 T liquor (such as rum, tequila, or Cointreau)
  • 3 – 5 T topping (such as cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, or chopped nuts)

Directions:

  1. Use a serrated knife to chop chocolate into small pieces. Smaller pieces melt easier.  Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Heat coconut milk on medium heat until bubbles just start forming. Pour onto chocolate. Stir until smooth. If chocolate does not melt completely, heat GENTLY in a double boiler, a warming drawer, or an oven set as low as possible.
  3. Add liquer and extracts and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Put about 1 T of the truffle mix in your hands and roll it into a ball. This can get messy! Then roll in the topping of your choice. You could try a melon baller or a small cookie scoop instead.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature.

Here are the combinations I used:

  • Cointreau truffle rolled in toasted orange peel (zest 2 oranges, toast at 350 degrees for 3 – 5 minutes, let cool, crush with a spoon)
  • Cointreau truffle rolled in ground espresso beans
  • Vanilla truffle rolled in cocoa powder
  • Tequila truffle rolled in Natural Desserts Raspberry Jel Dessert mix
Posted by admin in Candies

Tempeh Satay

 

The January 2010 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

Peanut sauce is one of my favorite toppings.  You can eat it on noodles, on salad, or as a dip for veggies. I was excited that this month’s Daring Cooks Challenge (my very first!) was a satay with peanut sauce. The requirements: to marinade something and make one or more dipping sauces. I chose tempeh instead of tofu. Tempeh is from Indonesia, just like satay. Tempeh is firmer and chewier. It holds up better when grilling. If you haven’t tried it, you should!  I shared it with my 2 1/2 year old friend. He loved dipping the tempeh sticks into the peanut sauce. He kept asking for more!

Tempah Satay with Peanut Sauce on a bed of mixed greens and edible flowers

Tempah Satay with Peanut Sauce on a bed of mixed greens and edible flowers

Tempeh Satay

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 T ginger root, grated* (4 cm cubed)
  • 2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
  • 1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
  • 1/2 T crushed red pepper (0.25 oz or 7 mls)
  • 2 T  peanut or olive oil (30 mls)
  • 1 lb tempeh

*A good way to keep ginger on hand: freeze whole, unpeeled ginger root in a plastic bag. When you need some, take it out of the freezer and grate it with a fine grater. No need to peel it!

Directions:

  1. Steam tempeh for 15 – 20 minutes. This helps remove bitterness and allows it to absorb more flavor from the marinade.
  2. Cut tempeh into 1 inch slices, crosswise. Arrange tempeh strips in a shallow dish in a single layer.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour on top of tempeh, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  4. Pan fry tempeh in a little oil over medium high heat until crispy and golden brown, about 1 – 2 minutes on each side.

Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
  • 4 T peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
  • 2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
  • 1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
  • 1 T ginger root, grated (2 cm cubed)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
  • 1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, ginger, and lemon, mix well.
  2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often, until peanut butter is completely melted.

Pepper Dip (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 4 T soy sauce (2 oz or 60 mls)
  • 1 T lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
  • 1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)
  • 1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)

Directions:

  1. Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Tamarind Dip (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 4 T tamarind paste (2 oz or 60 mls)
  • 1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)
  • 1 tsp brown or white sugar, or to taste (about 5 mls)

Directions:

  1. Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.
Posted by admin in Daring Cooks Challenges, Entrees

Mexican Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Winters are cold in New England! Hot chocolate is the best way to warm up. Mexican hot chocolate is my favorite. It is a little sweet and a little spicy.  Now I can eat it as a cookie. My recipe is adapted from the Wheat-free Chocolate Chip Cookies in Veganomicon.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Mexican Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 c rolled oats, ground to flour in a food processor
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 T. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. grated orange peel
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 1/4 c soy milk
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1/2 T. vanilla
  • 1 c chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix together oat flour, baking soda, salt, cayenne pepper, orange peel, and cinnamon.
  • Using a whisk or food processor, combine flax seeds and soymilk. Add remaining ingredients, except for chocolate chips, and mix until well-blended.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Leave mounded for chewy cookies, or flatten slightly for crunchier cookies.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (11-15 if using baking stones). Let cool slightly on cookie sheet (about 2 minutes), then move to cooling racks until fully cooled.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 dozen small cookies

Yummy!

Yummy!

Posted by admin in Cookies

Home Sweet Home: A Gingerbread House

 

I just finished my very first gingerbread house! It was also my first Daring Bakers’ Challenge! It was A LOT more work than I expected.  But it was REALLY fun. I want to build another one next year.  Maybe a castle! I LOVED sleeping in my house.  I had sweet dreams all night long!

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Model House

Model House

Check out the view

Check out the view

What I Did

  • Day 1: Make a cardboard pattern. This is so you know you have all the pieces and they all fit together.
    Day 2: Make the gingerbread dough, roll the dough, cut out the pieces by following the template, bake and trim the pieces.
  • Day 3: Make the windows: Smash Jolly Ranchers with a hammer. Place small piles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then break into the size you need.
  • Day 4: Attach windows with Royal Icing and decorate the sides of the house.
  • Day 5: Put the walls together using LOTS of Royal Icing
  • Day 6: Put on the roof using more Royal Icing. Make sure it’s DRY before you start decorating the roof!
  • Day 7: Add landscaping. I used Peppermint Leaves for the bushes, Jelly Bellies for the path, and gingerbread pine trees.
Peekaboo!

Peekaboo!

Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)

I modified a recipe from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Earth Balance, room temperature [226g]
  • 1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, and door out of cardboard.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.  I rolled out the dough about 1/4 inch thick (I should have rolled it thinner.  It was very puffy.  Some of the pieces didn’t fit right after baking.  I had to cut them. Cutting gingerbread is HARD WORK!).
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
Baking is done

Baking is done

Vegan Royal Icing:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Versawhip 600
  • 3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency.
  2. Pipe on pieces and hold together for a few minutes to allow icing to harden.
  3. If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl with a tight fitting lid. It does not need to be refrigerated.
  4. Icing can be colored by adding a few drops of food coloring with the powdered sugar.  Make sure you have enough. It is very hard to match the color if you run out and need to make a new batch! I came too close to running out several times!
I needed 4 batches of icing!

I needed 4 batches of icing!