Category Archives: Holidays

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.

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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.

 

Decadent Chocolate Shortbreads from our time machine

Korova Cookies
Toni made these Korova cookies from Bloodroot’s cookbook on a past show. These super easy, rich, and delicious shortbread cookies are also palm oil free! Yes! They’re made with completely cruelty-free and environmentally-conscious refined Coconut Oil blended with high quality free trade cocoa powder.

Korova Cookies
Watch Toni make these cookies!
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
¾ cup organic refined coconut oil
2/3 cup organic dark brown sugar
¼ cup organic cane sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

In a small bowl combine flour, cocoa, nuts and baking soda. Set aside. In a mixer bowl add the coconut oil, sugars nuts, salt and vanilla and beat until smooth and blended. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients and as you would with brownies, mix just until the flour is blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Preheat oven to 350.
Divide the dough into two pieces and shape into logs. Wrap each tightly in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes until solid enough to slice into ¼-to ½ inch cookies. Gently lay the sliced cookies on the sheet about ½ inch apart. If some of the cookie dough falls away, simply reattach it with a light press.

Bake the cookies 12 to 14 minutes. The cookies will be soft. Set the pan on a rack to cool and proceed with another tray of cookies. When the cookies are completely cooled remove and serve. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to a month.

Gazpaco Soup Shooters

Gazpacho Soup Shooters


A Classic Spanish soup with all the flavors of summer. And with a few Delicious twists, this makes a fabulous Bloody Maria!

Gazpacho Soup Shooters

Ingredients

4-5 large tomatoes, skinned and seeded cut into chunks
¼ cucumber diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 red or green bell pepper seeded and diced
1 small clove of garlic
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil

Whiz all ingredients together in a blender. Chill and serve with chopped green onions, chives and a sprig of your favorite herb. Spoon into Chilled Shot glasses.

For the Maria, to 3 ounces of the chilled soup add a shake of Tabasco, a dash of Vegan Worcestershire sauce, a bit of vegan horseradish, a squeeze of fresh lemon, a few grinds of black pepper and 1 ounce of vodka.

Grilled Seitan

Favorite Summer Grilling Recipes.

Summer in Maine is upon us, and we can’t get enough of it.
So cooking outdoors is where it’s at. Here are Toni Fiore’s 5 top favorite July 4th recipes.

Before we start, we wanted you all to know that we’ve cooked up a Vegan Mashup kickstarter campaign to move on to producing Season 2. And we really need you to help us
make it happen.

Happy 4th! We hope you enjoy Toni’s take on outdoor grilling.

 

1.Grilled Seitan & Tempeh
From Dry Rub to BBQ Sauce, Toni skewers the competition.

 
2. Vegetable Medley on Grilled Polenta
Nothing’s sweeter than soft Italian veggies heaped over Grilled Polenta

3. Portobello Arugula Salad Burger
Nobody can cook a mushroom like Toni and this Whole Food Burger pops with flavor.

4. NY Spicy Sweet Street Cart Onions
Toni bats it out of the park with her NY street cart onions.
Perfect on your favorite veggie dog with mustard.


 
5. Peaches On The Grill
Toni’s Sweet Finish to a great BBQ

Holiday Fritters72

Holiday Stuffing Fritters

By guest chef, Cathi DiCocco

Cathi grew up cooking in her fathers Italian restaurant in upstate NY.  She is a hidden gem we found in the Maine woods. If you’re ever in Bethel, Maine, stop and visit  Cathi’s restaurant and market

Delicious and easy to prepare these tasty little fritters are perfect for stress free holiday entertaining.  With a perfect balance of sweet maple and savory herbs it’s hard to resist eating them right out of the pan with a dollop of tart cranberry sauce!  This recipe yields about twenty medium fritters, can easily be doubled for larger gatherings and they make absolutely fabulous leftovers.

1 ¼  cup  medium grind organic cornmeal

1 cup   all purpose flour

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

Few grinds of black pepper

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1/3 cup white beans (great northern or cannellini) cooked

½ cup corn (fresh or frozen) cooked

¼ cup scallions, white and green parts

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh

¼ to ½ dried marjoram

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil  (or 1 teaspoon dry)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or ½ to 1 teaspoon dry)

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 cup rice milk (soy or almond ) more if needed

¼-1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Fold in the beans, corn and quinoa.  Next add the scallions, thyme, marjoram, basil and sage.  Mix well. Add the syrup and half the rice milk. Begin mixing the ingredients into a stiff moist batter. These will need to retain their shape, so be sure not to have the mixture too thin. Taste for seasoning.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil reaches 360 degrees it’s ready or check by dropping a little batter into the pan. The mixture should almost float.  Use a ¼ cup measure per fritter, or a heaping tablespoon for snack size fritters. Fry each side until golden brown and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

 *If you’re cooking ahead of time and wish to keep the fritters warm preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Place blotted fritters onto a baking sheet and set in the oven until you’re ready to serve.

unbird800

The UnBird

by Miyoko Schinner

Watch this recipe being made on Delicious TV’s Vegan Mashup.

Creamy, roasted winter veggies all dressed up in a playful, sculptured “bird” form make a presentation that’s guaranteed to wow your guests. And it’s yummy to boot!

Roast the vegetables:

 3 cups peeled and large-diced butternut squash

3 cups brussels sprouts, cut in half

3 cups mushrooms, cut in half

1 delicata squash, cut in half, seeds removed, and sliced

2 cups sliced fennel

3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread the vegetables in one layer on a baking sheet or cookie pan, using as many pans as necessary so they are not piled up. It is best to bake each of the vegetables on separate pans, as cooking times may differ, but if you need to combine them, cook the squashes and brussel sprouts together, and the mushrooms and fennel together (as they have similar cooking times). Sprinkle the veggies with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to mix thoroughly. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes until they are beautifully browned. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, prepare the white wine sauce:

 1 tablespoon oil

½ cup minced shallots

1 ½ cups dry white wine

½ cup raw cashews

1 ½ cups water

1 tablespoon each minced fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage

salt and pepper to taste

 In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shallots and saute over low heat until translucent. Add the wine, turn up the heat to medium high, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced by two-thirds to concentrate the flavor. Make the cashew cream: combine the cashews and water in a blender and process until creamy (if you are not using a high-speed blender, it is best to soak the cashews in water for 3 – 8 hours to soften them a bit. Drain and discard the soaking liquid). Add the cashew cream to the wine-shallot mixture in the saucepan, and over medium heat, cook until thick, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the bowl and mix well to combine.

Assemble the UnBird:

 The vegetable-sauce mixture above

8 ounces filo dough, thawed according to package instructions

Non-stick spray or olive oil for brushing

1 crookneck squash for “neck and head” of UnBird

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the filo dough on a clean, dry towel. Put one sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray the filo sheet with non-stick spray, or brush lightly with olive oil. Place another sheet of filo on top, and spray with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Repeat with another 4 – 5 sheets of filo, for a total of 6 – 7 sheets of filo. Put the vegetable-sauce filling in the middle of the filo and pile it up as high as you can. Fold both sides of the filo sheets over the vegetables to encase it completely. Hold both sides of the unbird and try to squeeze it up higher to replicate the shape of a bird. Close up one end by pinching the filo together. Leave the other end slightly open. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown.

 Meanwhile, make the tail feathers and wings from the remaining filo. Stack 5 – 6 layers of filo, spraying with non-stick spray or brushing with oil, between every layer. Using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, cut through the stack to form two sets of wings about 6-inches long. Cut an isoscoles triangle with a wide base from one corner of the filo, then cut “feathers” by cutting slits down two sides of the triangle. Place the wings and tail feathers carefully on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until browned (they cook faster than the body of the UnBird).

 When the Unbird is ready, transfer very carefully to a serving platter. Lean the wings up along the sides, and the tail feathers along the closed end of the bird. Stick the crookneck squash into the slightly opened end of the bird to form a neck and head. Serve immediately.

Cherry Sangria

Reprinted from The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry. Available from Da Capo Press, an imprint of The Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012.  Watch this recipe on Delicious TV’s Vegan Mashup

There is one key thing to remember when making sangria: What you put into it, you get out of it. So if you use red wine that you wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy on its own, the quality of your sangria will suffer. I will admit that this is more expensive than your average sangria. But your friends will appreciate the investment. If you have them, use in- season cherries, but frozen cherries work just as well.

The Recipe
3 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 bottles good-quality red wine

3/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup GrandMarnier

1/4 cup Cointreau

1/4 cup agave nectar
Lots of cherries, stemmed, pitted, and halved

Combine all the ingredients in a large nonreactive bowl or con- tainer, mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

YIELD
enough to keep you and your guests “nice” for the evening

SOUNDTRACK

“Summertime” by B.B. Seaton from In Fine Style

BOOKS
When Angels Speak of Love by bell hooks
Manifest Your Destiny: The Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Everything You Want by Wayne Dyer

The Unprepared Feast by Miyoko Schinner

I am counting my lucky stars a lot lately. As a co-host of Vegan Mashup, I am the only one who has been able to see the show on television as it hit the air two weeks ago. Yes, KQED in Northern California has picked up the show, and it has been an absolute thrill to watch Toni, Terry, and the guests cooking up a storm in their kitchens (okay, so it’s not so bad to watch myself, either). My holiday wishes to Terry, Toni, and Betsy is that their local PBS stations will pick up the show in the coming weeks as well. Coupled with the release of my new cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, just 3 months ago, I’ve been pre-occupied with cheese and shows, and have hardly thought about the festivities looming around the corner.

Already deep into this weekend, I know I have to start thinking about Thanksgiving, only a few days from now. Usually, I get a huge head start, planning my feast weeks ahead in the notebook by my bed, pondering each night what dish goes with what, and what to make ahead, or how many things I can cram into my oven on UnTurkey day. But now I only have a few days to the finish line, and I have barely begun.
This year, we’re having a relatively quiet Thanksgiving. My oldest daughter is away in France as a high school exchange student, and we have decided to get away to our little cabin in the mountains. This place truly fulfills the meaning of “getting away” – there’s no cell phone service and no internet, so it really flings people back to the good-old-days when people have to talk face-to-face, take long walks, and simply enjoy nature and each other’s company. My youngest daughter, 16, is an old soul with a love of contemplative activities, and revels in our trips there, but my college-age son is the opposite. A technology addict, he suffers withdrawal symptoms when separated from his iPhone and apps. It shall be interesting.
My days there are filled in a most meditative and relaxing state – cooking and baking. That’s one reason I’m not particularly worried about the lack of planning for Thursday’s menu. Sure, it will be a smaller crowd than usual – just my family and a couple of neighbors – but in the relaxing atmosphere of the trees, I find I can cook all day without feeling an ounce of stress. I cook with whatever I have, whatever I find lying in my pantry, and somehow, it all comes together.
But perhaps you’re not quite as relaxed. Perhaps you’re a little more stressed, wondering what to make or take. What if you could put together an entire Thanksgiving meal in less than 3 hours. Check out My Unbird on the Delicious TV podcast.
And perhaps for a tasty finish you might want to try my Pumpkin Bread Pudding A comforting and warm alternative to pumpkin pie – also lower in fat since it has no pie crust. Serve with Brandy Nog Crème Anglaise.

To make this, you’ll want slightly stale or lightly toasted bread so that it soaks up the custard. You can use any kind of bread you like, but I recommend something on the lighter and whiter side and not sourdough (this is not the dish to use the heartiest wholegrain bread).. Trim away the crust and cut into cubes. You can let it sit out overnight to dry, or toast it.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Preparing the Bread:

You will need a total of 6 – 7 cups cubed bread. The less bread, the more custard-like it will be. Trim away the crust from about 1 pound of unsliced bread. Slice and cube. If the loaf is fresh, spread the bread on a sheet pan and toast at 350° for about 10 – 15 minutes until dry but not brown. Otherwise, you can just spread it out on a sheet pan and let it air dry overnight.

Preparing the Pumpkin Custard:

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a blender or food processor, combine all and blend until smooth:
1 lb. Pumpkin (canned is fine)
8 ounces medium tofu, mashed
¾ cup soy or almond milk
1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Ginger
½ teaspoon Sea salt
2 Tablespoon Cornstarch or arrowroot
Lightly oil a baking dish big enough for the bread cubes to fill it half-way. Pour the Pumpkin Custard mixture over the bread and mix well with a spoon. If desired, mix in:
½ cup raisins
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes until the custard has set. Serve warm with Brandy Nog Crème Anglaise.

Brandy Nog Crème Anglaise

In a saucepan, combine the following:
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Brandy
1 vanilla bean, split
pinch of salt
1 – 2 Tablespoon Sugar, optional
Combine the cashews and water in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat while stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. As it heats, it will thicken. The sauce is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.