January 2010 Archive

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