Raw White Chocolate Marzipan Fudge

I spotted this book, Raw Chocolate by Matthew Kenney and Meredith Baird, while shopping at the Whole Foods in Santa Rosa and had to have it.  Making chocolate treats at home is really fun because you can experiment with crazy flavors.

Thus far, I tried recipes for rocher (chocolate hazelnut truffles), peppermint creme bonbons, milk chocolate chai fudge, and maple walnut fudge.  Everything was easy to make and tasted delicious.

Today, I decided to try something different and made one of the white chocolate recipes.  Seeking instant gratification, a batch of fudge was in order as it’s prepared by quickly melting cocoa butter then combining all the ingredients in the blender before setting in the freezer for an hour.  The white chocolate marzipan fudge turned out sweet and creamy with just a hint of almond flavor.

I highly recommend picking up this book if you are a chocolate lover!

Advertisements

Mint Ice Cream Double-Take

Mint is an herb that wears many hats.  I love it in sweets like candies and ice cream, but it also adds great flavor to savory soups and sauces.  Last night, I made a couple batches of coconut milk-based ice cream to show off the versatility of mint.  One is a classic mint chocolate chunk that delivers a strong blast of peppermint flavor.  The other is a virgin mojito flavor that marries the tartness of lime zest and subtleness of muddled fresh mint leaves.

Mint Chocolate Chunk and Mojito Ice Cream
Adapted from Chef Chloe’s Red Velvet Ice Cream Base
Yields 1 pint of each flavor

1 14-oz can coconut milk (full-fat)
1 1/2 c So Delicious Coconut Unsweetened Beverage
3/4 c agave nectar (or you can make simple syrup for a cheaper alternative)
1/4 c raw coconut oil, melted if necessary
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
3/4 tsp guar gum
3 tbsp peppermint flavor
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
Zest of 3 limes
Handful of fresh mint leaves (I used both peppermint and spearmint)

Blend first 7 ingredients until smooth, pour half of mixture into separate container.

For the mint chocolate chip ice cream:

Add peppermint flavor the second container and stir.  Chill in refrigerator for a couple hours.
Freeze ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to a freezer-safe container and stir in chocolate chunks. Place in freezer to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

For the mojito ice cream:

Rub mint leaves in your hands for a few seconds to release oils and add to blender mixture with lime zest.  Blend until mint leaves are finely chopped.  Chill in refrigerator for a couple hours.
Freeze ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to a freezer-safe container and place in freezer to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

Baklava!!!

I don’t have many vices but I think baklava is one of them.  I have never been satisfied with a piece or two, I always have to devour it until there is nothing left.  To avoid gaining back the 40 pounds I worked so hard to lose, I have learned to only make it only when there will be other people to help me consume.

This recipe is similar to the one my mom always uses and is a bit unconventional.  I usually can’t stand the taste of whiskey, but it is the secret ingredient in the syrup that makes it taste amazing.  I provided measurements for all the ingredients below, but you can adjust everything to your taste.

Please leave a comment if you try this recipe, I would love to hear what you think of it.

Enjoy!

Vegan Baklava Recipe

Syrup:

2 cups vegan sugar
1 1/3 cup water
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp whiskey (or a little more vanilla extract, if you prefer)

Boil all ingredients in a medium saucepan until thick, about 15 minutes (it should reduce down to about 2 cups).

Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the pastry.

Pastry:

1 package phyllo dough (mine was 1 lb., 20 sheets), thawed
2 cups walnuts, or pistachios
2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons Earth Balance
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Pulse nuts and cinnamon in a food processor until coarsely ground.

Heat Earth Balance with almond milk until melted.

Line a large baking pan with foil (heavy duty is best). The pan needs to fit the larger dimension of your phyllo sheets and needs to have raised sides because you will pouring the syrup in it. I use a 17″ x 11.5″ x 1″ pan. Brush the foil with melted EB.

Unroll phyllo onto a clean and dry work surface in a “landscape” orientation.  Take care when working with phyllo as it is prone to tear.  Using a pastry brush, apply a light coating of EB to the top phyllo sheet.

Use a spoon to make a narrow row of nuts along the lower edge of the phyllo.

Loosen the lower edge of the top 2 sheets of dough and roll phyllo into a long log.  Place in prepared baking pan.  Continue this process until the rest of the phyllo is used.

Brush the tops of the baklava rolls with EB and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden.

Promptly remove pastry from oven and pour syrup in pan.  Allow baklava to soak for at least 1 hour.  Remove the ends and cut baklava into 3″-4″ segments and serve.  If you have any leftover nuts, you can sprinkle them on top.