All posts by Natasha

Vegan macaroons!

Hi everyone!

Here is a very yummy recipe for vegan chocolate amaretto macaroons! I know we have learned about making egg white foam in the lab, and this recipe uses chick pea liquid as a replacement for egg white foam. How wild!

 

Here is the link:    http://www.morselsandmoonshine.com/blog/2015/3/19/vegan-macarons-chocolate-amaretto

Tempered Chocolate

Hi everyone!

This week I found an article that discusses the importance of tempered chocolate and how to do it! It also talks about the differences in cocoa butter content and what qualifies as couverture chocolate. If you’re into making fancy sweets – this post is for you!

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Vegan Sugar Cookies: Trial and Error

This week I made a batch of yummy sugar cookies. Being a vegan, I’ve found that making sugar cookies is a complicated challenge that often fails, leading to a crumbly, burnt or gooey mess. But I was determined this time. I found a recipe that didn’t require obscure ingredients (which is usually the downfall, I’m sorry I don’t have cream of tartar lying around) and set to it.

The recipe calls for three cups of flour and claims the substance becomes very crumbly, but I was determined to make it better. The recipe suggests mixing dry and wet ingredients separately and then adding the dry to the wet in three parts. I figured this was the downfall here, so I added them in 6 parts and kneaded it until it was nice and shiny, and most of all, not crumbly!

I believe I kneaded the dough until the flour and wet ingredients mixed to make a homogeneous substance slower than the original recipe called for, which allowed the flour to bond with the wet ingredients better. This is all in the process – just like the mayonnaise we made a few weeks ago!

Here is the recipe:

Vegan Sugar Cookies that Won’t Spread

Baking & Spices

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tspn baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Tspn vanilla extract

Oils & Vinegars

  • 1 cup Coconut oil

Other

  • Juice from one can of beans (about ½ cup) – I used pinto beans

Raw Twix Bars!

Do you ever feel hungry for a snack, perhaps candy, but can’t stomach processed food or refined sugar? Look no further! Here is a recipe for raw Twix bars that are oozing gooey caramel with a crunchy ‘shortbread’ base surrounded by a coating of velvety smooth chocolate — and they’re 100% raw! So get your chef hat and enjoy these (healthier) treats!

twixbars

Here’s the recipe and procedure:

VANILLA COOKIE BASE
1/2 cup of cashew nuts
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

GOOEY CARAMEL
1/2 cup of pitted dates
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons of filtered water
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

DARK CHOCOLATE SHELL
1/3 cup of raw virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons of raw cacao butter
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract

METHOD

  1. Prepare a small brownie pan by lining it with a piece of parchment paper. If you find it sliding about too much, you can lightly grease the tin with coconut oil which will act as a slight adhesive and hold the paper in place. Please note that this recipe will make twelve small chocolate bars.
  2. First make the vanilla cookie base by placing the cashew nuts and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the three until a coarse, dry crumb is achieved, before scooping in the brown rice syrup, vanilla, and salt, and blitzing once more until well combined and a consistent texture.
  3. Press this vanilla mixture into the base of the brownie pan, ensuring that you have spread it evenly and left no gaps at the bottom (which has the potential to ruin the rectangular appearance of the final product). I like to use wet fingers, or the back of a metal dessert spoon. Once sufficiently flattened, slide into the freezer and allow to set whilst you set about readying the other components.
  4. Next make the gooey caramel by placing the pitted dates in a bowl and covering them with warm water. Allow these to soak for ten minutes, or completely soft, then drain, squish, and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the peanut butter, water, and salt, and blend continuously for around 2 minutes or until a smooth, sticky consistency is reached. You may need to stop the processor and scrape the sides down every once in a while as this is a rather sticky mixture.
  5. Take the vanilla base out of the freezer and check if it’s solid – if so, scoop the date caramel on top and proceed to smear evenly atop the creamy white cookie base. Again, I find using wet fingers or a hot spoon the most efficient at this task. Keep in mind that this is fiddly work, but the end result is most certainly worth the tugging and sculpting! Once you’ve wrestled it into an even layer, return to the freezer for around two hours, or until almost completely solidified.
  6. Once you’ve reached this stage, use a hot, clean knife to cut individual finger-sized sticks of cookie caramel slice. You’ll need to wipe the blade clean between each slice to avoid any sticking and ruin the rectangular aesthetic. Return these sticks to the freezer on a fresh piece of parchment paper atop a wide plate to set whilst you get about making the chocolate.
  7. To make the chocolate, heat the coconut oil and cacao butter in a small saucepan over a low heat until just melted. Once liquefied, add the cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla, and whisk vigorously until smooth and glossy. Pour this molten chocolate into a wide dish, and prepare for dipping!
  8. There are many ways of coating a bar in chocolate, but my personal favourite is to simply get in there with mucky hands and do it myself, one by one. I cradle the bar in my fingertips, baptize it in the tepid chocolate liquid until an even layer forms, then place back on the parchment paper and repeat with the others. A quick flash in the freezer, another dip, freezer, dip, and one last time in the freezer will leave you with the most luxuriously crisp and shiny twix bars you’ve ever had. As they say, if you want it done right, do it yourself! You can store these bars in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a week before they start losing their lovely texture and shine (although they’ll still taste wonderful).

Find more raw and vegan treats at http://www.thecoconutgoddess.com/