Archives for category: dessert

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I had a couple of avocados that needed to be used, so I tried another avocado chocolate mousse recipe, this one from Well Plated. Unlike my first attempt, this recipe has no nuts: it’s really just melted chocolate, avocado and a few other flavours. To serve I added a blob of vanilla-flavoured coconut yoghurt, and raspberries.

I followed the recipe, though I knew that the chocolate flavour would be very strong. Sure enough, kid #1 said it was too strong for her. I had concerns that reducing the amount of chocolate would let the avocado taste through. But there’s absolutely no trace of avocado flavour with the recipe as written. (I did add the optional agave nectar.) When I make this again, I’ll reduce the amount of melted chocolate a bit (maybe 3/4 or 2/3 of the stated amount).  I like the texture of this mousse, which I made very smooth in my high-speed blender. I didn’t find the flavour too strong myself, though it might be a bit overwhelming without the addition of some coconut cream or coconut yoghurt, and fruit.

 

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I buy frozen berries and frozen mangos regularly, and use them to make green smoothies. One day I was unpacking the groceries and realised that I’d accidently bought a packet of frozen pineapple pieces, instead of frozen mango. Oh no! How to use them up?

A quick google brought me to Connoisseurus Veg’s recipe for pineapple upside-down cake. I was too impatient/lazy to wait for the pineapple to thaw properly, which was probably a mistake. I just chopped the frozen pineapple chunks in half and used most of them to decorate the bottom of the cake (which becomes the top when you turn it out. I didn’t have any pineapple juice in the house so I just whizzed up the rest of the frozen pineapple in a stand blender, until it looked like gelato, and then tried to defrost it in the microwave!  This might not have been such a great plan because it meant that the cake mixture was cold when it went into the oven, and the frozen pineapple pieces might have released quite a lot of moisture too, as they cooked.

So, the resulting cake was probably a bit too moist and really should have been left in the oven for longer, in hindsight. But child #1 and I enjoyed eating it: she said that it tasted like pancakes with pineapple on top, and she loves pancakes.

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This is the mousse part of Dreena Burton’s Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse Pie, from Let Them Eat Vegan. It is the first time I have made a chocolate mousse that contains the secret ingredient…. <whispers> avocado. For some reason, my high speed blender didn’t completely obliterate the texture from the soaked cashews: you can see some graininess in the photo. But this tasted good as a chocolately dessert.

OMG: have a look at the date of this post and the date of Dreena Burton’s post that I linked to in the previous paragraph!  That’s a completely unprepared coincidence, I promise you. Exactly 5 years from her recipe post to mine.  And that reminds me: a week ago it was my 5th anniversary as a vegan. Hooray!

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Looks great, don’t you think?  It tasted great too. My starting point for this cheesecake was a recipe on One Green Planet for Oreo Cheesecake Tartlets.  I made a couple of modifications: I’m always looking for ways to use up almond pulp (created as a by-product of the fresh almond milk that I make for my green smoothies, since I only see long-life almond milk in the shops near where I live).  So my base was around 1 cup almond pulp, 1 cup dates, cacao powder (about 3 tablespoons?) and some rolled oats, maybe 1/4 of a cup. Then I made the vanilla cream layer, as in the recipe linked above. As in many raw vegan cheesecakes, the cream is made from cashew nuts, coconut milk and flavourings. I didn’t have cacao butter so I substituted melted coconut oil.

But I was too lazy to make the chocolate ganache drizzle that they suggested in the recipe, so I simply topped the cheesecake with fresh strawberries when serving. I think the freshness of the strawberries added a nice element to the dessert.

Instead of tartlets, I used an 8 inch round springform cake tin, lightly greased and lined. As you see, there was enough base for a decent layer on the bottom and up the sides, and luckily, the vanilla filling came up to pretty much exactly the right height! If you haven’t made a raw cheesecake before then (you definitely should and) I should probably mention that after putting the base and filling together, the cheesecake goes in the freezer to firm up. When serving, cutting it while it’s quite frozen helps keep the base together, but I prefer to let it soften up for at least 10 minutes before eating it.

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A couple of weekends ago, it was my children’s school’s Market Carnival. Among the usual stalls I spotted some gorgeous looking bread from Brasserie Bread. I couldn’t resist buying a loaf of their emmer sourdough (apparently emmer is an ancient grain?!) and sour cherry loaf.  We enjoyed the sour cherry toasted, topped with vegan margarine or macadamia nut butter.

However, we didn’t use much of the sourdough. I could have put it in the freezer, as the nice person who sold me the bread suggested (I was trying to decide if we could really eat two loaves of artisan bread quickly enough). But instead I thought I’d make bread pudding. I’d just received a copy of the Joy of Vegan Baking, which luckily enough had just the recipe I needed.

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I was happy with this dessert, though it was very filling, being made with a wholemeal sourdough. It definitely needed the moistness of the (soy) icecream. I followed the recipe almost exactly, just using vegetable oil instead of melting vegan margarine. (I’m often too lazy to melt the margarine! and vegetable oil usually seems to work just as well.) This is good comfort food.

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There are so many reasons to visit the Green Edge, as I try to do every time I’m in Brisbane. (See here and here.) Usually I go for lunch and I’m too full to try any of their delicious sweet treats. But on my last visit, my Mum suggested that we buy something sweet to take home for afternoon tea. What a great idea!  I chose this gorgeous concoction: I’m afraid I can’t remember what they called it but I think it involved raspberries. This is what it looked like when I took the end piece of chocolate off with my fork, before demolishing it. Berries, chocolate, what’s not to love?

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This was the ‘before’ shot. (I should have included a fork or something, for scale: it was maybe 10cm long. It almost looks like it could be the size of a loaf of bread!)

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It’s really hot in Sydney at the moment. Really, really hot. So a frozen treat is always welcome. I know I’ve mentioned this recipe for seven-ingredient vegan cheesecakes (from Minimalist Baker) before, but it is one of my favourites. Last time I mentioned it, my big realisation was that I could substitute almond pulp for the nuts in the base, which works really well. Today I mention it simply to say that you should also add a big handful of frozen berries in the topping. These berry cheesecakes taste delicious and look very pretty.

In this batch I also blended the base for longer, leading to a much softer consistency . This was an improvement, I thought, so I’ll do it this way from now on.