Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Surprising Chocolate Mousse

When I think of chocolate, I envision a food that is so sexy and decadent. This dessert is a chocolate mousse is both a little naughty and a little nice. The mousse is so creamy and flavorful and VEGAN. Yes that’s right, it’s completely vegan. 

Now I know that the idea of eating “tofu” is scary to people, but in this dish you can’t even tell it’s there. It helps to add the creamy silkiness to the dish. And it’s best served up with a nice creamy, but vegan whipped coconut topping and fresh berries. This is especially a great dessert for anyone who is lactose intolerant.

So come on and give this recipe a try and whip up some creamy chocolate goodness for you and your friends. It’ll be sure to put a FOODGASM smile on anyone’s face!

Chocolate Mousse with a whipped coconut cream-VEGAN
Makes 2 ½ cups

10 oz. Firm Silken Tofu
2 very ripe bananas 
3.5 oz. vegan chocolate chips (MELTED – microwave or stovetop in double boiler) 
2 Tablespoons agave syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Whipped coconut cream topping (see below)
Fresh strawberries and blackberries for on top (optional)

1. Melt the chocolate, and put all ingredients in a blender.
2. Blend it all together. Keep blending, about 1-2 minutes until it is all very smooth and creamy.
3. Put in serving cups and chill. 
4. Serve with the whipped coconut cream topping and fresh berries.

Whipped coconut cream topping- VEGAN
2 cans full fat coconut milk (13.5 oz cans)
¼ cup agave syrup or to taste
1 - 3 Tablespoon/s tapioca flour (add 1 Tablespoon at a time)
 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Put the cans of coconut into a refrigerator and chill at least 5 hours or overnight.
Open the cans, drain off the clear liquid and transfer the coconut cream to a chilled mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula to scrape all the cream out of the cans
In a stand mixer beat the thick coconut cream in the chilled bowl until it just starts to get thicker.
Then add the vanilla; gradually beat in the agave syrup and tapioca flour, 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time, testing for flavor and consistency.
Using a rubber spatula, transfer the coconut cream to a covered storage container, and chill for a couple of hours until the mixture firms up. Serve on top of the chocolate mousse.

This recipe debuted at the Chocolate Fest at The Chicago French Market.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gooey and Delicious

Brrrrrrr, It’s a chilly day, perfect for staying snuggled up under the covers. To warm up the house,  I thought it would be great to make a nice batch of gooey cinnamon rolls. It’s a great reason to make the house smell of warm delicious cinnamon. These cinnamon rolls are just like those addictive Cinnabon rolls you get at the mall, but way better since they are homemade. So without further ado, here is my recipe for some delicious and gooey cinnamon rolls (best enjoyed while piping hot).

                     GOOEY CINNAMON ROLLS
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast or ½ ounce fresh yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine, softened

8 tablespoons margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
What's inside!

  1.  To make the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
  2. Let sit till frothy (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add sugar, margarine salt, eggs, and flour, mix well (I mix it in my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook for the whole time--works just fine)
  4. Knead in mixer or by hand for a few minutes.
  5. Put in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide. A nice big rectangle!
  7. It should be approx 1/4 thick.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. To make filling, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and softened butter in a bowl.
  10. Carefully spread with a spatula the mixture on the dough. Leave a small space uncover on the bottom, so the mixture has room to spread as it rolls up.
  11. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
  12. Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.
  13. Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until light golden brown.
  14. While the rolls are baking combine the icing ingredients.
  15. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  16. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing. You can also fill an icing bag with the frosting and drizzle it decoratively across the rolls (or directly into your mouth—this, I find, is quite enjoyable too).
Ready to pop in the oven!

Hope you like the gooey cinnamon rolls as much as I did and the lucky people I shared them with. Remember when sharing food with friends, that FOOD IS LOVE…… so remember to food share responsibly :)