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Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Fruitcake, after the holidays… You think I’m nuts and well, you’re right. See, I didn’t have time to make this before the holidays and I needed a little fruitcake in my life. This one is moist, rich, dense and sweet like most fruitcake yet it is relatively low-fat and low-sugar. Obviously if you’re one of them fruitcake haters well, don’t make it!

To reduce the sugar further you could replace the maple sugar by unsweetened orange juice concentrate. Adding candied orange peel and candied ginger would be a good variation.

This cake would easily keep a week if you didn’t eat it all way before that. It also freeze well.

Ingredients

  • 235 ml (1 cup) orange juice
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) rum
  • 235 ml (1 cup) carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 235 ml (1 cup) raisins
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) maple sugar (or sub vegan sugar of your choice)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) pomegranate molasses
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cloves
  • 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cardamom
  • 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) ground mace
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 470 (2 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 470 ml (2 cup) mixed dried fruits, coarsely chopped (I used cranberries, figs, apricots)
  • 235 ml (1 cup) dried currants
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) hazelnuts
  • zest of one orange

Combine orange juice, rum and raw carrots in a blender and process until puréed. Put this mixture in a sauce pan with the raisins, maple sugar, pomegranate molasses, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 165°C (325°F) and spray two 1L (1 quart) loaf pans with oil.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dried fruits and nuts and combine. Add the liquid mixture and the oil and mix well. Pour into the loaf pans and bake for 75 minutes. Invert on racks to cool.

Makes two medium size cakes.

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Sometimes one needs chocolate… And it doesn’t get much more chocolaty than this. My friend Julie introduced me to this decadent vegan version of the classic a couple years ago and it has since become the base of most of my chocolate desserts. Plan for very small portions, this is way lighter than the original but feels and taste just as rich. The lemon sabayon balances it out nicely.

Chocolate fondant with lemon sabayon, orange zest and wild violet.

For the chocolate fondant

Ingredients

  • 1 package of firm silken tofu
  • 200 gr (7 oz) dark chocolate (my favourite is Green & Black Dark 70% which is organic and Fair Trade)
  • 45 ml (3 Tbsp) maple syrup
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract

In a double boiler, melt chocolate stirring constantly. Carefull not to overheat.

Using a blender process the tofu until creamy and smooth. Add the melted chocolate, maple syrup and vanilla and process until well combined.

Pour into a medium shallow glass dish and refrigerate overnight.

For the lemon sabayon

Ingredients

  • 1 package of firm silken tofu
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) sweet Jerez
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon zest, grated
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) orange zest, grated (for garnish)

In a blender combine all ingredients, except the orange zest,  and process until smooth and creamy. Adjust sweetness to taste but keep tart. Put in a double boiler to warm gently.

To serve

Using an oiled cutting shape, cut small individual portions of the cold fondant and center on plates. Add a few spoonful of warm sabayon around it and garnish with orange zest.

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I rarely make desert because well, I’m usually not hungry by then and if anything I’d rather have an other glass of wine then some rich chocolate concoction. (Nothing wrong with rich chocolate concoctions though).

So here’s an easy and light desert to finish your meal with. Delicious on its own or for a more substantial Thai inspired treat, serve over sticky rice cooked with coconut milk.

To make, cut mangoes into 1/2 cm slices and lay them in a single layer on a non stick baking dish. Spray or brush very lightly with mild vegetable oil and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. Grill in the oven for a couple minutes until the sugar starts to caramelize. If the slices are very thin, no need to turn and grill the other side.

It’s served here with a pomegranate caramel sauce and a few ground cherries.

I would pair this with a luscious late harvest Semillon, either from Chile or from the Barossa Valley in Australia, which have mango and vanilla aromas.

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A fast and easy desert for lazy bakers.

baked appleLazy chausson aux pommes.

Peel and core the apple. I use Egremont Russet cause they’re my favourite. Set on a square of store-bought vegan puff pastry. Fill the cavity with chopped pecans and maple syrup. Add a pinch of cinnamon. Seal the corners of the puff pastry together over the apple. Repeat several time as everyone will want one. Set in a baking dish and bake at 200°C (400°F) for 30 minutes.

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Tarte tatin

tarte tatin

Yet an other vacation pie. This one’s a straight up tarte Tatin.

A semblance of recipe.

Peel, core and half  7 to 10 apples (I used organic Gala).

Oil the bottom and side of a heavy skillet and pour 100ml (1/2 cup) organic brown sugar evenly over bottom. Arrange apples snugly and cook over moderately high heat 20 mins give or take, until liquid is a light caramel colour.

Remove from heat. Cover with rolled out vegan puff pastry. Bake in BBQ preheated to roughly 225°C (425°F) approximately  40 minutes, until pastry is golden brown.

Cool 10 minutes. Invert onto a  platter and serve warm.

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Apricot pie

apricot pie

More vacation baking. Again no recipe, just fruit and vegan puff pastery.

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raspberry pie

Vacation baking… A strange thing because in real life I don’t bake. I guess I’m not a big desert person. I generally would rather have an other glass of wine then dessert but while on vacation I baked.

Here’s a raspberry pie. No recipe, just perfectly ripe local raspberries, a tiny bit of cornstarch and vegan puff pastery. Summer made into a desert.

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