Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gluten Free Coconut Cashew Truffles

We have been talking at work about truffles lately.  We already have a chocolate truffle.  But admittedly,  it is one of the previous baker's recipes and is really not good or tasty.  (It is also not allergy friendly because it contains soy, chocolate, gluten and nuts.)  But, if there is one thing I have learned since being in this position,  it is that our customers do not like current items changed.  We tried to change the tiramisu (the old baker used stale muffins as the base, lemon tofu creme, then drizzled the entire thing with chocolate - does this sound like tiramisu?  God no!),  and all the customers rebelled and freaked out.  So we are back to the lemon creme tiramisu, although not with the stale muffins because we have more class than that! 

Anyway, we've decided not to change the truffle recipe, but I definitely want to do a white truffle.  White chocolate would obviously be the best thing ever, but it is extremely difficult to find a vegan white chocolate and very very expensive.  So, beautiful idea, but not realistic.  Moving on.  Then I came up with the idea of using cashew and coconut.  A cashew coconut truffle?  Interesting sounding, but would it be tasty?  Hmm - onto the testing.  It took me a good 3 tries to get the consistency right, but in the end it worked out and is so delicious!  One batch made 70 and I brought out as I was walking out the door.  When I came in the next morning, I couldn't find them anywhere and was convinced that someone had dropped the tray on the floor and thrown them away.  After asking around, I discovered they all sold within 3 hours - 70 truffles in 3 hours!  Yes, they're that damn good!

Coconut Cashew Truffles:

Melt on Your Tongue Delicious!

Yields 30 mini truffles

1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked
3/4 cup young coconut flesh, chopped
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons agave
1 1/2 cups coconut oil, melted (refined is best)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean, deseeded

1.  Drain the water from the cashews and discard.  Make sure all the ingredients are room temperature or warmer.  If anything is cold, it will cause the coconut oil to solidify and this mixture will not blend at all. 
2.  Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until completely smooth and silky.  It will be very glossy looking and a little stretchy from the coconut. 
3.  Place in a rectangular container, cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. 
4.  The following day when you want to portion these out, allow the mixture to sit out for about 5-10 minutes to soften slightly - it will be impossible to start scooping them out right away.  Use a mini ice cream scoop/portion scoop and scoop them onto a plate lined with shredded coconut.  Once you have scooped a good amount, use your hands to roll them into uniform shaped balls and roll in the coconut right away. 
5.  Once you have finished portioning and rolling all the truffle balls, place them in the refrigerator and store them there. But, first you have to pop a whole one in your mouth and sigh in bliss!  So amazing!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gluten Free Arepa and Dominican-Style Hot Chocolate

My husband doesn't cook a lot, but when he is really in the mood to do so, look out!  I love it when he comes up with ideas from his home in the Dominican Republic and recreates them using the ingredients I would prefer we use.  The recipe he made for the arepa ended up making a huge 9x13" pan, and for only two people, we were eating it for over a week, but we didn't complain at all!  It was crazy delicious!  Now, arepa is a dish that is traditionally prepared over an open fire and eaten for breakfast, so it is not super sweet, which makes me happy.  I am not into the overly sweet dishes.  Now, admittedly, watching my husband in the kitchen is a little painful sometimes, seeing how he uses my expensive knives and pots, or chooses to use a tool that is not super efficient, but I keep my mouth closed and end up smiling in the end when I see how happy he is and how amazing and delicious the food turns out. 

Unfortunately, I do not have a recipe for this at the moment, because my hubby  never ever measures anything and thinks I am hilarious for measuring everything.  Next time, I will stand over his shoulder and estimate everything he puts in there.  It is the exact same way I learned to make Dominican beans from his cousin Wady, who barely speaks a word of English, and my Spanish is certainly nothing to get excited about.  Wady taught me how to make the beans speaking Spanish, which I could understand maybe every other word, and also didn't measure anything, so I stood over under his shoulder, seeing as he is 6'5" tall, and estimated the amounts of everything he was adding.  And damned if it didn't turn out so so close when I made it by myself the next time.  So, to make a short story long, next time Hubbs makes this, I'll write it down and post it.  I will write up a list of the ingredients I can remember that he put in there, but I will come back with a tasty recipe soon.  The recipe for the Dominican-Style hot chocolate is below.

Dominican-Style Hot Chocolate and Arepa

Dominican-Style Hot Chocolate:

8 ounces non-dairy milk or water (definitely better with the milk!)
pinch cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons organic sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

1.  Place the non-dairy milk or water in a small pot and bring to a simmer.
2.  Place the cinnamon, sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine, making sure there are no lumps.
3.  Add the cocoa mixture to the simmering milk/water and whisk very well to combine.
4.  Allow the hot cocoa to cool for a couple minutes before enjoying.

The Amazing gf Arepa

Ingredients for Arepa (that I can remember):

corn meal
organic sugar
whole cinnamon sticks
fresh nutmeg, grated
whole cloves
pinch sea salt
Michigan cherries (sent to us by my mum!)
coconut milk
almond milk/ soy milk (I can't remember which one)

Until I can figure out the recipe from him!