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Yay for VeganMoFo! Not only did my readers suggest wonderful pear desserts, one of them ‘clicked’ with a recipe I’d just come across at one of my fellow MoFo-ers, Have Cake, Will Travel!

Here’s the pear with chocolate syrup and sliced almonds I had for afters last night. It was awesome!

Untitled

It would have been lovely on a pear tarte tatin as well. ;) But that was too much work for a Friday night.

I made 1/3 of the original recipe -which is SUPER easy- and still have plenty left to experiment with this week. Ideas: chocolate milk, banana split adaptation, fruit or (speculoos) cookies dipped in chocolate, chocolate soygurt… I can go on and on! ;) A new favourite for sure. Try it!

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Today’s small Meatless Monday bento, next to which I had two houmous-cucumber sandwiches providing the necessary carbs in my lunch.

Messy Meatless Monday Bento #185 (11-06-2012)

Main container

  • Steamed broccoli with garlic pepper, salt and dried yuzu zest
  • Cherry tomatoes wit basil and black olives
  • A date
  • 2 homemade parsley-tofu balls with musterd sauce and cocktail sauce
  • Chocolate mousse in heart-cup, covered with strawberries

All on a bed of lettuce.

Side container

  • Wild peach
  • Cucumber slices
  • Sauce container carrying basil dressing for the tomatoes, olives and lettuce

On the side

  • Clementine

A lunch like this is a good start of the week!

 

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Hello, have you missed me?

I’m glad to be back on this Meatless Monday ~ or Plantaardig Maandag in Dutch. :) And even though I have a backlog of three bentos to post, I’m going to share a slice of the luxurious raspberry-chocolate pie I made for Easter!

Chocolate-Raspberry Pie for Easter

It’s so good I will definitely make this over and over again! Mind you, I’m not even that much of a chocolate lover… But the flavours of this torte complement each other so well: a sugarless cake bottom with bitter-sweet (FairTrade) chocolate and the tartness of fresh raspberries. Need I say more? YUM!

It’s originally a recipe from the Belgian Vegetarian Association EVA but instead of making 6 small pastries I decided to make one big pie (with some other small adaptations). So far I have only made three recipes from the EVA website: birthday brownies (served 3 times), marvellous mayonnaise (I never go without) and now this tart. Obviously they are all a hit! So I guess I should take an even better look at that site. :)

Now the baking of this pie does take a bit of patience… It’s not a lot of work (!), but there’s waiting time in between stages. Personally, I rather saw that as an advantage! I made the cake, which is the most time-consuming part, the night before (or actually 2 ;), the chocolate filling on Easter morning and I added the topping -raspberries and powdered sugar- just before serving at teatime. That was a fun job to do with our little helper cousin.

Of course the adults decided to have some prosecco wine instead of tea with this indulgent treat. :P

Raspberry-Chocolate Tart

Serves 10.
Dutch translation at the bottom of this post.

Chocolate-Raspberry Pie for Easter

Ingredients

Pastry shell:

  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 125 g soy butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1-4 tbsp soy milk

Chocolate filling:

  • 300 g dark chocolate (vegan and preferably FairTrade, like Tony’s Chocolonely), broken into small parts
  • 50-75 g soy butter
  • 150 ml vanilla soy milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 60 g raspberry jam

Finishing touch:

  • 500 g raspberries (extra if they are really big)
  • powdered sugar

Preparation

Chocolate-Raspberry Cake bottom for Easter

Stage 1: pastry shell
Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

  1. Grease a 25 cm pastry tin and/or cover the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Mix flour, salt and ‘butter’ (125 g) by hand to make a crumbly pastry dough.
  3. Add soy milk spoon by spoon until the mixture holds together well, like shortbread dough.
  4. Roll out pastry dough, forming a circle big enough to cover bottom and sides of your pastry tin. I cover my working counter with a flexible silicon baking sheet, put the dough on, cover with baking paper and use my rolling pin over that.
  5. Put the flattened dough into the tin – here’s where a silicon sheet comes in handy! :)
  6. Press well into the sides: you can use a bit of the dough in cling-wrap to do this easily. Cut off any extra dough.
  7. Use a fork to make holes in the bottom and put the dough into the refrigerator until it feels firm. This takes at least 30 minutes – I just went out to do my holiday grocery shopping. :) You can put it in the fridge if you’re pressed for time.

Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Cover the pastry dough with a little baking paper (recycle the piece you used for rolling the dough) and fill with pie weights or whatever you use for blind baking.
  3. Prebake in the oven for 25-30 minutes: keep a close eye on from 15 minutes onwards. Remove weights and paper and bake for another 15 minutes until light golden.
  4. Take from the oven and let it cool.

Stage 2: filling

  1. Melt the chocolate Bain-Marie on low temperature (you know how to do this, right?).
  2. Add butter bit by bit (keep stirring to mix well), vanilla soy milk and maple syrup. It may seem that the chocolate is forming clumps but everything will be all right if you keep stirring carefully.
  3. When everything is mixed well and creamy you can start filling your pie! First get the pastry shell out of the tin though. :)
  4. Cover the bottom of the pie with raspberry jelly.
  5. Add the chocolate filling.
  6. Let it cool at room temp for approximately 2 hours (or more).

Stage 3: finish

  1. When you’re ready to eat you can layer the chocolate with fresh raspberries.
  2. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Chocolate-Raspberry Pie for Easter

Stage 4: Bon appétit!

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Recipe in Dutch

So. I promised to show you my animal friendly chocolate-beetroot pie once it was finished. Drumroll please..! :)

Baking an Ecofabulous chocolate-beetroot pie

The recipe for this delicious-looking cake came from the Ecofabulous cookbook I mentioned earlier in my Cookbook Sunday Salon. It’s one of the reasons I had to bail out of the 24 Hour Readathon today! But there are worse things. Like, if this pie doesn’t taste as good as it looks.. :(

I deviated from the recipe only in its final stage, applying a couverture instead of the chocolate topping described by Lisette Kreischer. Baking time also took a while longer. In the end I didn’t dare keep it in the oven for a minute more, as I feared it would burn. Now I hope it’s got no soggy bottom ’cause I couldn’t take British Bakeoff judge Mary Berry’s look of disapproval. ;P

This cake is part of a present for Mr Gnoe’s foodie cousin, celebrating her 40th birthday tonight. I hope she’ll like it! She’s baking a (non-vegan) lime pie, carrotcake muffins, brownies and cheesecake herself right this minute. With a little help from a friend, I believe. ;)

I better not forget to take a photo of a slice tonight! Please remind me? There’s twitter, whatsapp, 4square.. Whatever social medium you like. ;)

With the risk of overdoing it, here’s another pic of the pie ready to go. See you later!

Baking an Ecofabulous chocolate-beetroot pie

This food-related post is part of Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 42, 2011

As I was planning on baking a chocolate-beetroot cake this weekend (!), I was hoping immensily for red beets among Wednesday’s CSA vegetable loot. And YAY — a wish come true!

Other nice veggies too, like fennel which I needed for a fennel-bean dish I meant to make that evening for my visiting brother: a surprisingly good recipe from the new Puur Plantaardig (‘Purely Plant-based‘) cookbook that I mentioned in my Cookbook Sunday Salon.

Fennel-bean dish from PuurPlantaardig cookbook

Here’s the complete list of this week’s greens.

  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Silver-stalked Swiss chard
  • Bundel of young beetroot
  • Lollo Rosso lettuce
  • Goudreinette apples

I’ll leave you with a preview of my unfinished beetroot pie: only the chocolate couverture topping left to do. That’ll have to wait till morning — so you must have patience as well. I hope you can handle the suspense..? I know I’m finding it difficult! ;P

Cooled down chocolat-beetroot pie in penultimate stage

This food-related post is also submitted to Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

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It’s only the 2nd day of my ExtraVeganza project and I’m already not keeping up with posting daily. Sorry! But more importantly: the vegan eating is going well and I feel weirdly ehm.. ‘clean’. And you may take that by its different meanings. ;) It feels good!

Day 2 Menu

Breakfast: winter fruit salad (apple, banana, kiwi fruit, pink grapefruit & lemon juice), toast with Marmite & soy margarine (Provamel).

Lunch: 3 ’5-seeds sandwiches’

Vegan sammies

  1. Veganaise, avocado, tomato, mustard cress, chili flakes, salt & pepper. My favorite of the day! It was smoothy & crisp — YUM!
  2. Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ spread (garlic & herbs) with gherkin, walnuts, salt & pepper. This sammy was pretty good too: garlicky, nutty & sour — a good combination.
  3. Slices of Taifun almond-sesame smoked tofu with tomato, mustard, capers and fresh herbs (thyme & parsley). The mustard was a bit too sharp, overwhelming the tofu. But it was funny to notice this combination tasted slightly Japanese! It was the tamari soy sauce and sesame of the smoked tofu combined with the bite of the mustard and ‘pickled’ capers. Still, next time I will use some other toppings, like the leftover spicy soy-lemon sauce from my Experimental Bento.

Dinner: hamburger

Snacks: home-baked Paradise Cookies, Bonvita vegan chocolate (rice milk chocolate & 71% dark with cranberries), cashews

Experiences

I was hungry again pretty soon after breakfast, but that might have something to do with the fact I had been looking at cookie recipes non-stop. ;)

Since I then made an extra sandwich for lunch (I usually take 2), it tided me over to dinner after 7. Completely averting my usual hunger attack around 4 o’clock! Wow.

Any difficulties?
Nope. What might have been a complication on Day 2 was No-Problem-At-All. We were having dinner prior to a Lost-2 mini marathon at my cousin’s and decided on a hamburger meal together. :)

So I had my Albert Heijn organic vegan burger on a small ciabatta bun from the whole food store, piled with veggies, ketchup and… garlic sauce based on the amazing veganaise I had whipped up in Happy Herbi’s Eat Good, Feel Good cooking workshop that was my official ExtraVeganza kick-off.

And no telly night without snacks to munch on! ;)

Vegan chocolate couvertureI’m one of those rare people that doesn’t have a craving for chocolate. I like a bite every once in a while and at those moments I prefer milk chocolate with nuts or white. You won’t catch me eating a piece of dark chocolate. ;) But my cousin likes it a lot so I wanted to bring some — and of course I tasted both.

To me the ricemilk chocolate couverture tasted pretty dark although the 71% one is stronger and the cranberries are a great addition. This brand uses 100% FairTrade and organic cacao.

Vegan Paradise Cookies

Today was also my first try at vegan baking. I chose an easy-looking recipe from Vegalicious for which I only needed to buy 1 extra ingredient: canned pineapple. My Vegan Paradise Cookies didn’t turn out as good looking as promised — rather pale as you can see, but they do taste nice!

Vegalicious' Vegan Paradise Cookies

They’re not as sweet as mass-produced, shop-bought and I rather like that. They’re a little crunchy on the outside, soft and a bit cake-like on the inside. I didn’t know they would be that way, so I had them in the oven twice as long as I was supposed to because they still felt elastic to the touch. It also took me waaaaaaay longer to make them than I had thought, because getting the ingredients ready (chopping nuts, mincing pineapple) took some time. So we were a bit late on our dinner date :-o

The recipe on Vegalicious doesn’t mention when to use the vanilla, so I put it in with the flour and baking powder. My batter didn’t turn out too wet to handle, like a note on the original recipe says, but that might have to do with the fact I couldn’t find any ‘sweetened coconut flakes’ and used ordinary grated coconut, which I always have in stock.

Everybody liked the chocolate as well as my coconut cookies. My family also tasted the garlic sauce and thought it good (although they took the dairy version that was also available, probably not wanting me to have too little ;)
So it’s safe to say that our ‘Friday Snack Night’ was a success. ;)

On with Gnoe’s vegan adventures on Day 3 of ExtraVeganza!

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New recipe(s) tried for the Whip Up Something New! Challenge!

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Elma from Chasing Chatwin gave me some chocolate euros to use in my bento. How appropriate on the day Michael Jackson died! The ancient Greeks put money in the mouth of a deceased, for paying Charon (ferryman of the river Styx) to bring his / her soul to the world of the dead.

I didn’t have much preparation time so I had to get through the day with just one tier of food in bento #57 :\

Contents
Chocolate money (obviously), radishes with gherkin, raspberry vinegar and dill, mushroom noodles, broccoli with black & white sesame seeds, walnut and nori seaweed.

Having just admitted to being a teenager in the Eighties, you might have guessed I was a Michael Jackson fan in those days. I even had a poster hanging on the wall (among many others though ;) No matter what came of him in later years, he was and still is an icon. I find it a fascinating idea that on Friday June 26th, a huge part of the world population has been playing Wacko Jacko’s songs all day on the radio, television, internet and at home. It’s so profound it’s almost unimaginable.

RIP MJ. And now, life goes on.

Time flies when you’re having fun! Last Tuesday it was two years ago, on June 16th 2007, that I made my first real bento! I brought a lunch for two on a 16 km hike, in my first actual bento box. Of course I decided to use this blue usagi sakura box for my anniversary bento (#54) as well!

I like to think that the dots behind the white cherry blossoms (sakura) are full moons, since in Japanese culture rabbits (usagi) are often depicted with these mochi-tsuki. I still love this bento box a lot, but I use it less than my favourite flower lunchbox because that one’s smaller. Anyway, I’m getting distracted ;)

Upper tier:

  • sakura muscat white chocolate
  • 3 sesame-soy rice crackers
  • 3 yoghurt coated (dried) apricots
  • 3 mini plum tomatoes
  • basil
  • radish
  • pistachios
  • mix of roasted black & white sesame with a bit of walnut and nori to go on the spinach (in the other tier)

Lower tier:

  • quickly stirfried spinach with spring onion, kikkoman soy sauce and sake, topped with walnut and nori
  • (more radishes
  • scrambled egg with tomato and basil

Scrambled eggs with tomato is my favourite egg dish since childhood :) But it was all REALLY good!

ICHI, NI, SAN, SHI — on to year no.3 (&4)! :)

Voor de maand maart heb ik vast aan mijn opdracht voldaan en 2 dingen uit de hamstervoorraad gebruikt: roerbaksaus van zwarte bonen (die we in huis haalden toen we griep hadden en weinig puf om te koken) en het restant boemboe lemper, wat deze keer wel tot een geslaagd experiment leidde :) Bewijs is bijgevoegd, met excuses voor de weerkaatsing van de flits in het bord.

Stir fry & lemperVan de stir fry sauce ging maar een half zakje op zodat die er deze week nogmaals een roerbakgerecht op het menu komt.

Het is wel lekker (en supersnel), maar ik ben bang dat het iedere keer hetzelfde smaakt. Dan gooi ik net zo lief zelf wat kruiden door elkaar met goela djawa of gembersiroop en ketjap of… Nou ja, gefermenteerde bonensaus zal ik niet snel zelf maken ;)

En zo aten we gisteravond zomaar onbedoeld veganistisch!

Update: inmiddels staat de teller al op 3 want ik gaf ook nog een Zotter drinkchocoladetablet weg ;)

Black bottom cupcakes

Chocolate cream cheese cupcakes

Om niet teveel met mijn neus achter een beeldscherm of in een boek te zitten, probeer ik ook wel eens andere hobby’s uit. Zoals tuinieren (op het balkon), of bakken. En aangezien ik al een poosje mijn zinnen had gezet op deze black bottom cupcakes, werd het vandaag cakejes bakken. Het handige van allrecipes.com is dat je de Amerikaanse hoeveelheden met één druk op de knop kunt omzetten naar Nederlandse. Alleen in de beschrijving moet je dan even opletten. Maar oorspronkelijk was ik als een blok voor dit recept gevallen op het blog Culinary Obsessed.

Ik heb de tip van ‘jworth’ op allrecipes opgevolgd en in plaats van water koffie gebruikt die ik van instant espresso maakte (Nescafé). Ook nam ik frambozenazijn in plaats van witte of appelazijn (beide had ik niet in huis) en heb ik gewoon chocolade in brokjes gehakt in plaats van chocolate chips. Daarvoor nam ik wel een reep met minstens 77% cacao.

Cakevormpjes

Hearts for a friend

Het mooie was dat ik meteen mijn nieuwe hartvormpjes kon uitproberen (gekocht bij de Hema). En eigenlijk zijn die nog het beste gelukt! Nu is het zo dat je de siliconenvorm de eerste keer moet invetten en daarna niet meer. Argwanend als ik ben, wil ik dus eerst een tweede proefsessie uitvoeren voordat ik op grote schaal siliconenvormen ga inslaan. Maar bij een nieuw succes ga ik dat dus zeker doen.

De andere cakejes heb ik nu met gewone metalen muffinvormen gemaakt, maar daarin wel papieren cakevormpjes gezet. Dat scheelt afwas, we hebben namelijk geen afwasmachine! En het staat ook leuker – deze cups zijn wederom van de Hema, daar hebben ze nu eenmaal schattig spul (kawaii! in het Japans).

Zwarte kontjes

Wel, de cakejes waren heerlijk! Mooi donker van alle kanten en niet aangebrand, wat de titel misschien doet vermoeden ;)

Ik heb een deel ingevroren (als ik alles ineens zou moeten opeten dan kregen we hier Amerikaanse taferelen qua taille-omvang), en ik ben benieuwd of die na ontdooien nog net zo goed smaken. Maar ik heb daar goede hoop op want ze waren de volgende dag misschien wel lekkerder dan toen ze warm uit de oven kwamen..!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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