Category Archives: Desserts

Grilled Pineapple

by Miyoko Schinner author of  Artisan Vegan Cheese and the The New Now and Zen Epicure.

 

kissing pineapple

Serves 6-10                                                        Time: 20 minutes

I love pineapples! And this is such an easy and delicious grilled dessert.

1 ripe pineapple, cut into half inch slices

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

1. Combine the coconut sugar, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl, and toss the pineapple slices in it to coat thoroughly.

2. Grill on both sides until you see nice grill marks, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Serve as is, or with  Coconut Whipped Crème Topping

Tip! The oil can be omitted if desired — just be sure to lightly brush the grill with oil or non-stick spray, or you may have to pry the pineapple slices off the grill.

Raspberry Crumble Pizza

By Julie Hasson Recipe from Vegan Pizza: 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes by Julie Hasson, Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013

Julies pizza2

Serves 2-4                                                  Time: 25 minutes

If you can imagine a dreamy dessert being a love child between a cookie bar and pizza, this would be it.

Makes 2   8” to 9” pizzas

Crumble

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) vegan, non-hydrogenated margarine, softened

1/2 batch Easy-Peasy Pizza Dough

About 1/2 cup raspberry jam

Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, for garnish

 

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. To make the crumble, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, mix softened margarine into the flour mixture, squeezing until a nice crumbly mixture forms.

3. Using half a recipe of the Easy-Peasy Pizza Dough on a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out your dough into two 8 to 9-inch rounds. The dough for this recipe is rolled a little thicker, to hold up to the berry filling.

Don’t worry if your dough tears. Simply patch it back together with your fingers. Lightly dust with additional flour if dough is too sticky. Try not to use too much, or your crust will be very dry. This is a fairly wet and sticky dough.

 Spread the jam evenly on the pizza, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the filling.

4. Carefully transfer the pizza to the pizza stone, if using. Otherwise, place the pizza on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Repeat with remaining pizza. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, then check it. You want the crumble topping and crust to be nicely browned.

Let the pizza cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This is a rich pizza, so cut into smaller slices than you customarily would for savory pizza. Dust with the confectioner’s sugar and serve.

 

Tip: This pizza is best eaten the day that it is made.

 

 

Easy-Peasy Pizza Dough

Makes 2 large (14- to 15-inch) or 4 personal thin-crust pizzas                        Prep and Rise time 2 to 3 hours

Recipe from Vegan Pizza: 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes by Julie Hasson, Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013

 

I have been making a version of this no-knead pizza crust for more than 20 years. It never lets me down! It can keep in the refrigerator for up to five days, so it can be made on the weekend and kept for quick weeknight dinners.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups warm water (110 to 120 degrees)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons agave nectar or 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

 

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt, mixing well with a fork. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the dry mixture, and add the warm water, olive oil and agave nectar or brown sugar. Stir with a fork until everything is well combined and there are no traces of flour left. If the dough seems dry, add a little more water as necessary to make a soft, moist dough. There is no need to knead this dough.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a fitted lid and set aside in a warm place to rise for at least 2 to 3 hours (or up to 6 hours). At this point, you can refrigerate it, covered, for up to 5 days, or divide the dough into two or four pieces and freeze them in a sealed plastic bag (with room for dough expansion) for up to 2 weeks. Let the frozen dough thaw overnight in the refrigerator before shaping.

3. Shape and bake the pizza according to the recipe instructions.

 

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

Recipe Reprinted with permission from: Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan, ©2013, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group

Makes About 30 (1-inch / 2.5-cm) Truffles

Classic chocolate truffles are sinfully indulgent, melt-in-your-mouth, bite-sized confections made from ganache (an emulsion of chocolate and heavy cream). Truffles sometimes include butter, as well as spices, coffee or tea, liqueurs, nuts, and even fruit purées for flavor. Vegan truffles, also based on ganache, are just as luxurious, velvety smooth, and indulgent—but not sinful. A variety of nondairy milks replace the heavy cream and no butter is added. And here is the best part: After making and tasting hundreds of truffles made with nondairy milks, I am convinced they taste more intensely chocolaty than their heavy cream–based cousins.

photo-5

8 ounces / 227 grams dark chocolate

(70 to 72%), finely chopped

3 ⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 210 ml unsweetened organic almond milk

2 tablespoons / 26 grams organic granulated sugar

1 ⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons / 10 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil

A few pinches of flaked sea salt, for coating and serving (optional)

Dutch-process cocoa powder for coating (optional)

 

Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set aside while you heat the milk.

 

Pour the milk into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking a few times, to a low boil.

 

Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate all at once. Rotate the bowl so the chocolate is completely submerged. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand undisturbed for 4 minutes.

 

Add the vanilla and olive oil and whisk from the center out only until smooth and glossy. (If the chocolate is not completely melted, refer to page 36 for instructions on using a water bath to melt the chocolate.)

 

Keep the bowl of ganache at room temperature while you test the final consistency. A properly made truffle ganache is firm enough to scoop and shape but still tastes creamy. Dip a teaspoon into the ganache, set the coated spoon on a small plate, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. After chilling, the ganache on the spoon should be smooth and firm but still taste creamy. It is unlikely, but if the glaze is too firm, add a tablespoon of room temperature milk and repeat the test. Add a second tablespoon if needed.

 

Cool the ganache in a shallow dish at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The ganache sets up fastest and most evenly in a 9-inch / 23-cm glass pie pan or similar dish.) Refrigerate uncovered until the surface is no longer soft, then place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ganache, covering it completely, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until very firm. The ganache can be refrigerated at this point for up to 1 week in an airtight container.

 

Make The Truffle Centers

Line a shallow container with parchment. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator. Use a spoon to scoop out 1-inch / 2.5-cm pieces of ganache and another to push the ganache off the spoon into the container. (If you prefer more uniform truffles, use a 1⁄2-tablespoon scoop.) When a half dozen or so are made, roll and press the pieces into irregularly shaped rounds. Repeat until all the ganache has been used, washing and drying your hands as needed. (If at any time the ganache becomes too soft to shape, refrigerate until cold and proceed.) Cover and refrigerate the truffle centers in layers separated by parchment paper for 15 to 25 minutes before finishing with the cocoa coating.

 

Finish The Truffles

Choose one of the following three methods from the chapter introduction (page 36) to suit your time or taste: roll in cocoa powder and flaked sea salt, coat in melted chocolate and cocoa powder (the hybrid method), or enrobe in tempered chocolate. Place the coated truffles in the refrigerator to set for 30 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle the truffles with a few grains of flaked sea salt, if you like, just before serving.

 

Save the Rainforest Blueberry Crisp

by Toni Fiore

Rainforests are the earth’s largest sinks of carbon, safely storing the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. In Indonesia, rainforests are razed to create industrial palm oil plantations, releasing massive quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, making the tropical nation the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Rainforests also provide critical habitat to thousands of species including highly endangered Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, rhinos and orangutans. These species are rapidly being driven to extinction. The Indonesian government has announced plans to convert approximately 18 million more hectares of rainforests, an area the size of Missouri, into palm oil plantations by 2020. As consumers we must make every effort to eliminate palm oil from our food, personal care and cleaning products.

For the past year in lieu of gifts for holidays, birthdays and weddings I’ve been making donations to organizations that rescue, rehabilitate and release animals whose forest homes have been exploited and destroyed by invasive palm oil production. There are “sustainable” palm oil alternatives but even those often overlap with non-sustainable sources. I’m trying my best to find products that don’t contain any palm oil. Let me tell you, it isn’t easy. In fact most often it’s downright impossible.
I’ve been working with coconut oil as a palm oil free alternative and I’m loving it! Here are a few reasons why this is such a good choice. Studies have shown that coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. It helps to fight off yeast, fungus and candida. Coconut oil can boost your metabolism, energy and endurance all while improving digestion and helping your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

 
Bluberry Crisp 1200

Blueberry Crisp
It’s August in Maine and it’s the height of summer fruit season. Blueberries, plums, peaches and blackberries are everywhere! One of my all time favorite desserts for summer (and winter) is my easy and delicious Fruit Crisp. I’ve always prepared this recipe with vegan margarine and it’s been great. However, after a few modifications I’ve gotten a fantastic result using organic expeller pressed coconut oil. Now my fruit crisp has a lighter texture, better flavor and the best part for me is that it’s PALM OIL FREE!
Ingredients:

6 Cups Blueberries (or any fruit of choice)
1-2 Tbl. all purpose flour
1 tsp lemon juice and grated zest from one half

1 cup Light brown Sugar, packed
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 ¼ cup Flour
1 cup whole (old fashioned) oats
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
10 tablespoons organic refined coconut oil, room

Preheat your oven to 350. Toss the fruit with 2 tablespoons of flour, lemon juice and zest. Spread the fruit evenly into a 12 inch casserole or baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil and then begin blending with your hands, working the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs that are not uniform in size. The crumb should clump easily into one to two inch pieces. If it feels too dry add additional coconut oil one teaspoon at a time. Alternatively if the crumb feels too oily add additional flour one tablespoon at a time. Spread the crumb evenly over the fruit. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 325 and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the topping is nicely browned and the fruit bubbles on the side.

Serve warm or at room temp with a scoop of dairy free ice cream, whipped topping or just by it’s delicious self!

Note: Unrefined coconut oil has a more distinct coconut flavor, which can be a nice addition to this dessert.