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Vegan Chocolate Truffles

I have weakness for chocolate – not just in terms of eating but it also happens to be my pet ingredient. After learning that one manufaturer of truffles – Lagusta’s Lucious Truffles – makes them using coconut milk instead of fresh cream, I decided to give it a try. This is my entry for Suganya’s Vegan Ventures.

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Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients

  • Chocolate (70% cocoa, no milk content) – 250 gms or approx 8 1/2 oz
  • Coconut Milk (thick, should be the consistency of fresh heavy cream) – 125 ml or approx 1/2 cup
  • Flavouring of choice – 2 tbsp
  • Toasted Nuts or Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup

Method

  1. Chop the Chocolate into small pieces or grate well. Roughly chop the toasted nuts.
  2. Bring the Coconut Milk to a boil in a heavy bottom saucepan or MW on high for 11/2 to 2 minutes. The milk should bubble.
  3. Take the milk off flame or remove from microwave and add chopped chocolate pieces. Whisk well until the mixture (called ganache) is silky, smooth and shiny.
  4. Add the flavourings and mix well.
  5. Chill the mixture in the freezer for 3 hours till it is well set. Using a melon baller or a spoon scoop a portion after the 2nd hour to see if the mixture is set. A well set mixture is easy to scoop, shape and is not very sticky.
  6. Line a tray or flat vessel with parchment or wax paper. Keep a flat bowl with outer covering (nuts or cocoa) ready.
  7. Take out the mixture from the freezer. Scoop out a small portion and shape into a round ball using the tips of your fingers.
  8. Make 5 to 6 such ball os approx 1 inch diameter, put into the bowl with toasted nuts/ cocoa and shake to coat all over. Transfer to the tray. Repeat for rest of the ganache.
  9. Freeze truffles for an hour until set.

Usually the ganache is prepared by pouring the cream over chocolate – I din’t want to use two vessels. Working with chocolate can get very messy if it isn’t properly set and you’re in a great deal of hurry to finish off making the truffles. Use as little skin surface a possible to shape and wipe hands with a wet towel so that this acts as a lubricant to prevent chocolate from sticking. 1/2 cup of coconut milk can be substituted with 1/2 cup of fresh cream or 1/4 cup of either and 1/4 cup of liquer. Note the recipe will no longerbe vegan if one uses fresh cream.

These truffles were sinfully delicious and had not a hint of coconut taste.

I will be experimenting with a lot more truffles – so besides the brownies that I keep making and posting, you can also expect to see more truffles for all of you to drool over. 🙂

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Thalara Karamedu (kariamudu) is an iyengar recipe. Lady finger (Vendaikkai), Brinjal (Kathirikkai) and Raw plantain (Vazhaikkai) are the three vegetables that are used to make this gravy. This combination of vegetables is very important to this recipe. I’m sending this to Linda’s JFI- Toordal , Suganya’s Vegan Ventures and Easycrafts Powerless event! Since Sra has ruled out Lentil based Gravys I cannot send it to hers (though this was the initial plan).

I finally convinced Lakshmi (my boss) to send one recipe for three events. 😀

I prepared this while in Chennai as a side dish for Phulkas. This curry tastes great with rice also. Lakshmi and Satish loved the colour and flavour of the curry very much.
Thalara Karamedhu

Ingredients

  • Lady finger – 6 nos
  • Brinjal – 1 medium sized
  • Plantain – 1/2
  • Toordal – 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind – lemon sized
  • Redchillies – 2 nos
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tea spoon
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and cut the vegetables to 1 inch slices.
  2. Soak tamarind in warm water and take out 3 cups of thin water.
  3. Wash and pressure cook the toor dal with 2 cups of water.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add redchilli pieces.
  5. When redchillies are brown, add curry leaves and the vegetables.
  6. Add turmeric and hing powder. Stir for a few minutes.
  7. Add the tamarind water, cover and cook on a medium flame till the vegetables are soft.
  8. Mash the toordal and add to the cooked vegetables. Add salt and simmer for 3 minutes.
  9. Serve hot with rotis or rice.

I served it with puffed phulkas made by Lakshmi! 🙂
Thalara Karamedhu Chapathis

Update: Those of who who missed the weekend post with a cute pic of our babies, head here.

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Chocolate Apple Brownies – low fat and vegan

My “bestest” days are when my kitchen experiments translate into success. One of the interesting food events that I stumbled upon is the Heart of the Matter – eating for life that rounds up heart friendly recipes each month based on a theme. This month’s theme is Baking. I find it interesting not because I am a health fanatic – in fact most of my favourite indulgences are far from low fat – but because:

a. Zero Butter low fat cooking opens up a whole world of amazing possibilities – Cakes and Brownies can graduate from a “once in a while” indulgences to a routine snacks.

b. I find it challenging to recreate the magic of food for those whose health affinities don’t permit these indulgences cooked the conventional way.

Here’s a “low fat- no dairy” recipe that I adapted using Emeril’s Microwave Double Chocolate Brownies as a reference. It qualifies as both low fat and vegan – and personally I am very satisfied with the yummy result it produced.

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Chocolate Apple Cake

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Chocolate Brownie with an Apple flavour

Preparation time: 10 minutes, Baking time: 5 minutes, Yield: 10 brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Nuts (Powdered)##
  • 1/4 cups Nuts (Chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Sugar (40 grams Powdered) (or 1/2 a cup for a sweeter taste)
  • 3 ounces Dark Chocolate (or 4 ounces for more chocolatey taste)
  • 1/2 cup Apple Puree* ##
  • 1 large Banana (Pureed) **
  • 1 tbsp Coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence (or flavourings of your choice)
  • a pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder**

cups = 8oz measures .

Method

  1. Line a baking dish (an 8 inch square dish or equivalent in other shapes) with wax paper.
  2. Coarsely chop the Dark chocolate into small pieces and transfer to a microwave safe glass dish. Micro on high for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. Whisk into a smooth paste with the Apple Puree and Banana Puree. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix the All purpose flour, powdered nuts, chopped nuts, salt and sugar.
  4. Add chocolate mixture, flavorings – coffee and vanilla and whisk into a smooth batter. Add baking powder and mix well.
  5. Transfer to baking dish and Microwave on high for 5 minutes (Timings for a 900 watts oven). Stick a plastic knife or toothpick in the center to check for doneness. #

Cut into pieces after cake cools completely and store in an air tight container.

*Slice Apples and micro on high for 4 minutes and blend in a blender. Strain the puree and blend the coarse lump that is left on the strainer. Repeat till you get a smooth puree.
Alternatively if you puree raw apples, melt Chocolate along with the Apple Puree for 2 minutes.

##Apple Puree and Powdered Nuts have been used as butter substitutes to add richness to the Cake. Apple Sauce can be used in place of Apple Puree though this might make the cake sweeter.

**Banana and Baking Powder have been used as substitutes for Egg. Banana also serves as a natural sweetener.
# Over cooking can result in cake becoming very crumbly.

The brownies were mildly fruity in taste and had a wonderful crust for something that’s been baked in a microwave. People with a sweet tooth might find the sweetness on the lower side and chocolate fanatics might need an ounce more of chocolate to make it more decadent. For Brownies that are richer, I suggest increasing the chocolate by an ounce and sugar by a few tablespoons.

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Heart friendly low fat vegan Chocolate Apple Brownies for Heart of the Matter 8: Baking hosted by Joanna.

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