Category Archives: Sweet Finishes

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.

Fresh Zucchini Cake

IT’S HARVEST TIME!

If you’ve ever planted more than one “hill” of zucchini squash, you know that at some point in the season, the output of this reliable plant can be somewhat overwhelming.  Here’s a tasty and scrumptious solution for using this prolific vegetable that is sure to remind you why you planted it in the first place.

Serves 8

This cake is vegan and simply scrumptious – sweet and with a lovely, pudding-moist texture. I like to top this cake with fresh fruit (such as raspberries or cut up peaches) and a squirt of Soyatoo.  Or simply cool, sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar over the top, and serve as is.

Ingredients:
1 c. unbleached white flour
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. turbinado or organic sugar
1/3 c. coarsely milled walnuts
1 ½ t. non-aluminum baking powder
½ t. soda
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. soy, rice, or hempmilk
2 c. shredded zucchini flesh (skin and all)

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all dry ingredients and stir to combine with a fork.  Add vegetable oil and milk and stir just until combined – don’t overstir!  Fold in shredded zucchini.  The batter will be thick.  Scrape batter into a 9″ round or square prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Apple Tarte Tatin

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Tarte Tatin originates from Western France. You can easily substitute pears for apples, and if desired dot with Gorgonzola cheese just before covering with pastry.

I am such a free form cook that the inflexible formulas required for baking often intimidate me. But this recipe is super easy and delicious. Apple Tarte Tatin is the perfect choice to follow a savory meal like Pasta Bolognese.

Ingredients:
4 oz. margarine
4 oz. white sugar
6 to 8 firm cooking apples, such as Macoun or Granny Smith
1 fresh lemon
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
10-inch seasoned low sided cast iron skillet

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Gently roll pastry dough to 1/2-1 inch larger than the inside diameter of the skillet. Place on a metal cookie sheet, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Meanwhile, heat skillet on low heat for 10 minutes. While pan is heating, peel, core, and quarter apples. Brush with lemon juice so the apples don’t turn brown while you prepare everything else.

Melt the margarine in the pan raising heat slightly, but still keeping the heat fairly low. As soon as the margarine melts, add the sugar and slowly cook together until the sugar dissolves.

Arrange the apples in the pan in a snug circular pattern. Cook over low to medium heat for 15 minutes or until the apples are slightly soft and the margarine/sugar mixture begins to caramelize. Make sure to keep an eye on the heat, so the caramel mixture doesn’t burn.

Remove the pan from the heat and place the disc of pastry dough over the apples. Tuck the edges down under the outer rim of apples using the back of a spoon. Move quickly, so that the layers of pastry don’t fuse together. Immediately put pan into the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow the tart to rest for about 5 minutes, then loosen edge with a sharp knife and give the pan a little shake. Place a serving dish over the pan and flip upside down to release the dessert so that the pastry is now on the bottom. Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Note: I love Granny Smith apples for this tart! They’re not too sweet, very crisp, and hold up well during baking.

Tofu Coconut Cream Pie

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Tofu Coconut Cream Pie

Sweet, light, vegan, and practically guilt-free, this pie is absolutely delicious.

For the crust:
1 pkg. vegan graham crackers (12-14 crackers)
2 T. sugar
6 T. vegan margarine

For the filling:
½ c. plus 2 T. toasted shredded coconut (reserve 2 T.)
1 14-oz. package firm tofu, drained and rinsed
¼ c. light brown sugar (very lightly packed) or pure cane sugar
2-3 T. coconut milk*
1/8 t. Vanilla extract (optional)

To prepare:
Preheat your oven to 350. In a small pan, melt the margarine. In a food processor, process the crackers and sugar. Place the dry mixture in a bowl and drizzle in the melted margarine, mix well, and press into a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, then remove it from the oven, and allow it cool.

Sprinkle the shredded coconut on a lined baking sheet and toast it in the oven until it’s light brown. Keep an eye on it, because coconut can burn very quickly. Remove the toasted pieces from the oven and place them in a bowl, fluffing the coconut if needed.

In a food processor, purée the tofu until smooth. Add the sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and 8 tablespoons of the coconut. Process on high for about 10 seconds, then pour the mixture into the pre-baked shell, and top with the remaining toasted coconut. Chill the pie for two hours, or overnight. This pie keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator – but it usually gets eaten long before that.

This recipe may also be prepared in a square or rectangular pan and cut into individual squares for a great party treat.

*Sweetened coconut milk is, of course, sweeter and has a more intense coconut flavor, however unsweetened works just as well. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

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Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

This cake was an invention of a good friend of mine and is the easiest cake in the world to make. Not only that, everybody loves it. Because there aren’t any eggs or dairy products in it, this dessert is both low in fat and good for you. Sweet and nutritious, it’s a great treat for children of all ages and one of the best ways to use up those old bananas.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 3/4 c. unbleached flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. cane sugar or turbinado sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. fine salt
3/4 c. soy milk
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c. safflower oil or any light vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. vegan chocolate chips

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8- or 9-inch square or round pan with baking spray.

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and blend with a fork. Add the oil, soymilk and vanilla and stir until the mixture comes together, being careful not to over mix. Mix in mashed bananas and finally fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake on center rack for 35-40 minutes, just until cake tester comes out clean.

Remove the cake from oven and place it on wire rack to cool. To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy. Also great topped with crushed pineapple or berries.

Note: Over mixing batter will create a more dense cake with a tougher crumb. Cakes should be gently mixed until dry ingredients are incorporated, unless specified otherwise.

Tofu Cannoli

Tofu Cannoli

Everybody loves this classic Italian treat – and now you can convert this high-calorie favorite into a luscious dessert that’s both lower in fat and good for you too!

Ingredients:
1 pkg. firm tofu (drained and pressed to release most of the water)
1 c. confectioners sugar, sifted (plus a bit extra for garnish)
2 T. candied orange peel or 2-3 drops of orange oil* (not extract)
1/2 c. chopped semi-sweet chocolate bits (vegan, if possible)
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
6-8 prepared cannoli shells (vegan, if possible)

To prepare:
In a food processor or blender, process tofu until fairly smooth, but textured – about 15 seconds. Think of the consistency of ricotta cheese.

Add the confectioners sugar and pulse to blend, then process for another 10-15 seconds. Add orange peel or orange oil, the cinnamon, and about three tablespoons of the chopped chocolate bits. Pulse for an additional 10 seconds or just until all the ingredients are incorporated. Scrape into a bowl and set aside to chill. (The flavor of the filling improves if left to sit for at least an hour or more.)

Just before serving, fill cannoli shells with chilled tofu filling. I simply use a spoon for this. Holding filled cannoli by its middle, dip each end in the reserved chopped chocolate. When all cannoli are filled, place on a serving platter and dust with additional powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!

I highly recommend Boyajian Citrus Oils. They’re the best available, last a long time, and you can usually find them locally in speciality stores. A little goes a very long way.

Hint: you can substitute chopped pistachios for the chocolate, if you like.

Easy Bananas Foster

Easy Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster is one of those recipes that is remarkably easy yet makes a great show in preparation. It’s one of the few ways I enjoy the subtile flavor of rum. While on a trip to the Caymans, where rum is everywhere, I picked up this recipe. If you have an electric stove, where the instructions say tip toward the flame and shake, simply light the rum in the skillet with a long stick camp lighter. The flame subsides as soon as the rum cooks off leaving behind a delicious caramelized flavor and scent. This can also be made with apples or even cherries, but for starters, try the banana.

Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas (ripe meaning not green, but not blackened)
1/2 stick vegan margarine
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. dark rum (lightly spiced and preferably Caribbean)

To prepare:
Melt the margarine in a sauce pan or skillet. Peel and cut the bananas in half across, then in half again lengthwise. Add the sugar to the pan and stir into the margarine until everything just begins to bubble. Add the bananas and shake the pan or stir gently – the bananas are fragile. When the bananas are heated through, about 3 minutes, add the rum and tip the skillet away from you toward the flame (or away from you) and light the liquid. The rum with fire up or flambé. As soon as the alcohal cooks off and the flame subsides the bananas are done and you have a mighty fine dessert.

Serve over your favorite frozen dessert or on toasted frozen waffles.

Additional topping options include toasted coconut flakes, nuts, or even a sprinkle of granola.

Sweet Chickpea Crepes Filled With Nutella

Sweet Chickpea Crepes Filled With Nutella

Crepes always look as though you went through a great deal of trouble to make them, but in fact, they’re quite easy. This recipe for dessert crepes using chickpea flour is not only simple, it’s more nutritious and lower in fat than traditional egg crepes.

Keep in mind that there is sort of a rule in cooking crepes and pancakes, which is that usually the first one doesn’t quite work out. It happens to just about everyone, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly, and practice makes perfect crepes every time.

Watch this recipe being made online .

1 c. chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1 c. white unbleached flour
3 1/4 c. water
1-2 T. Pure cane sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup of the water
2 T. light vegetable oil
½ t. salt

Whisk all ingredients together and pour through a sieve to collect any flour stones. Pour 1/3 of a cupful of batter into a hot, seasoned (or nonstick) crepe pan. Tip the pan to spread the batter evenly. Batter should have fairly thin coverage.

Let the crepe cook until it is loose when you shake the pan. Flip with either a spatula or with your fingers, as I do. Continue cooking and stacking until you’ve used all the batter. Spread a thin layer of Nutella onto half of the crepe, then roll or fold, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve warm.

Dessert crepes can also be filled with fruit or jam. They’re also delicious rolled as is then drizzled lightly with pure maple syrup.

Crepes can be made ahead of time, wrapped and kept warm in the oven, frozen, stuffed and baked or served simply with a little olive oil and black pepper. If you substitute a tablespoon each of sesame and olive oil for the vegetable oil and omit the sugar, this recipe can be a perfect vehicle for Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash .

Strawberries with a Twist

With strawberry season upon us, here’s a tip for some of the most delicious strawberries you’ll ever eat. The classic dressing for strawberries has historically been a little sugar and a squirt of fresh lemon. While even the sweetest freshest strawberries benifit from a light sprinkling of these two ingredients, one dressing you may not have thought of is balsamic vinegar.

In Europe, a good quality balsamic is often used in desserts. Something amazing happens when you combine these two ingredients. The one trick is finding a superior balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is an abundant staple in every supermarket these days, so knowing the difference between a real balsamic and a balsamic flavored vinegar can be a daunting task. Start by looking for a vinegar that is aged at least ten years and labeled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (traditional balsamic vinegar) from Modena, Italy.

Check the ingredient list, a fine quality balsamic requires no addition of extracts, sugars, or artifical anything. Simply grape must. This usually comes at a bit of a premium, price-wise, but this quality vinegar is the one I use and reserve for desserts such as fruit or ice cream. Because it is intended to be used sparingly, a small bottle will go a long way. Once you savor a true dark rich Balsamic, unfettered by a host of other flavors you will understand what all the fuss is about and you’ll never be without it in your pantry.