Monthly Archives: October 2011

Coconut Milk Rice Pudding – Gluten and Dairy Free

Mmmmm... rice pudding...

Growing up, I’d come home from school to find a tray of little glasses filled with a creamy, sweet mixture, dusted with cinnamon and garnished with raisins, chilling in the fridge.  I knew, then, that my Avo, my Portuguese grandmother, was somewhere near by.  And I knew how much my father loved her rice pudding.   Avo learned everything by tradition: she gardened, plucked chickens, baked bread in a brick oven in her garage, and fed her 15 grandchildren and countless relatives at an endless table on holidays.  If I ever have half the skill of my Avo, I’ll be one happy, dusty baker.

That rice pudding looked so delicious.  This rice pudding tastes so delicious.  And I can eat it. Because it’s dairy-free!

A friend left New York City the other night to move back London, and shared her last meal in the states at my apartment: cheap and delicious Mexican food from up the block.  And before that meal, we had this for dessert.  She proclaimed it her favorite of any of my creations.  I always know I’m onto something when someone makes that statement.  I miss you horribly already, Mel.  And I don’t care who knows it!!!

This recipe is incredibly easy: gluten and dairy free, it contains only 2 tablespoons of maple syrup as sweetener.  It’s delicious warm from the stove, at room temperature or chilled.  A vanilla bean really adds incredible flavor to the small list of ingredients, so I highly recommend it instead of using vanilla extract.

Make it for people you love, please!

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 Tbsp cachaca, dark rum, brandy or cognac
  • Scant 1/2 cup long grain white or arborio rice
  • Scant cup water
  • dash of salt
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (full fat and preferably organic)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 egg, beaten well

Method:

In a small bowl, soak raisins in alcohol and allow to sit while you prepare the pudding.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, toast rice until it becomes fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Add water and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until absorbed, about 12 minutes.

Add 3/4 can of coconut milk, maple syrup and scraped vanilla bean and cook until almost fully absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Beat remaining coconut milk with the egg.  Pour over pudding.  Stir in raisins and alcohol.

Spoon into four glasses.  Serve warm, bring to room temperature or chill completely.

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Cabernet Carob Cake

Cabernet Carob Cake with Vegan Blackcurrant "Cream Cheese" Frosting

I ate the crap outta this cake for days.  It was a recipe that kept morphing: I wanted something chocolaty, a cross between a brownie and a cake.  I was craving blackcurrant in everything for some reason.  And I was digging throwing multiple textures around.

But then I decided to not go with chocolate.  Chocolate, while I love it, has a lot of caffeine in it.  And carob, its under-acclaimed cousin, contains no caffeine.  It’s also high in fiber, has a decent amount of protein, and has one third the calories and half the fat of chocolate.  And it’s incredibly high in antioxidants.

It’s also naturally sweet, meaning you use less additional sweetener in baked goods!

So in this I used 8 Tbsp of carob and 2 Tbsp of cocoa, to give the cake an incredible depth.  Layers of blackcurrant jam and vegan blackcurrant “cream cheese” frosting packed an incredible punch.  And a sprinkling of slivered raw almonds added the crunch I was craving.

The gluten-free flour blend was pushed along by the addition of 2 tablespoons of Cabernet wine flour.  It’s an uncommon one – sort of hard to find online.  Made out of the skins of grapes, it’s a bit grainy and offers an aftertaste that can be a bit sour, which is why 2 tablespoons is the top I’d go in a delicate cake recipe.

I then slathered it with my vegan Blackcurrant “Cream Cheese” Frosting.

The result: an incredibly rich combination of currant and carob, dynamic and layered.

I literally ate it for days.  And kept piling the frosting on top of anything I could find to go with it.

Make this.  And enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 13 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 Tbsp carob powder
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ribena blackcurrant concentrate (it’s a British product, found in specialty stores)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp Cabernet wine flour (I found out online from Marche Noir Foods)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cracked pepper or 1/2 tsp grains of paradise
  • 4 Tbsp blackcurrant jam (found in awesome food stores… sorry I don’t have more advice on where to find it!)
  • one recipe of Vegan Blackcurrant “Cream Cheese” Frosting

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease desired cake pan of choice.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter.  Slowly add carob and cocoa and whisk until dissolved.  Then slowly whisk in blackcurrant.  Set aside to cool.
  • In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer on medium/high speed beat eggs, and palm sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very smooth and creamy.
  • Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly add the carob mixture until combined.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the carob / egg mixture.
  • Pour into the pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool completely in pan.

Assemble:

  • Cut the cake into squares or circles as you see fit, into three layers.
  • Layer 2 Tbsp of blackcurrant jam between each layer.
  • Cover with blackcurrant cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with almond slivers.

Blackcurrant Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan)

Vegan Blackcurrant "Cream Cheese" Frosting

I love this frosting.  I want to roll around in it.  I want to put it on steak, eggs, green vegetables and toast.  I want to give it a national holiday.

OK, those are all going way to far.  But it’s good.  It’s really good.

Smooth, creamy, pungent with currant, it’s my new favorite thing.

It’s not fluffy and not pipeable.  It makes a mess.  But I love it so much I don’t care.

Slather it on all things sweet, especially if they contain chocolate or heavy spice.

Maybe don’t put it on steak, eggs, green vegetables or toast.  Other than that, go batty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8oz container Tofutti “cream cheese”
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter flavored Earth Balance
  • 2 Tbsp Toffuti “sour cream”
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more to taste
  • 3 Tbsp blackcurrant jam

Directions:

  • Beat “cream cheese” and Earth Balance until blended.
  • Add “sour cream” and beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat until creamy and slightly fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add jam and continue to beat to desired consistency.

Variations:

  • Use strawberry or raspberry jam instead of currant.
  • If you don’t need to go vegan, use regular cream cheese and butter just colder than room temperature.
  • Instead of the sour cream, use milk (soy, almond or cow), or omit completely, depending on the consistency you desire.
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