Friday, January 29, 2010

Dairy Free Oreo Truffles

If you read food blogs, you’ve probably seen these before. These Oreo truffles have been a favorite for many for the holidays or any special occasion. Why? Well, why not? Oreos are America’s favorite cookie for a reason.

Whoever thought this up is probably a genius. You can not go wrong with Oreos dipped in chocolate. Of course, I did feel bad that Gary wouldn’t be able to eat it if I made it with cream cheese like the original recipe called for. I could’ve used the Tofutti, but the truffles would still need refrigeration afterwards.

I don’t remember where I heard it from, but someone recommended using sweetened condensed milk instead of cream cheese so it wouldn’t require refrigeration. Another genius! I made a batch of dairy free sweetened condensed milk to make these truffles.

I originally wanted to make a few of these for Gary’s coworkers since he would no longer be working with them. I wanted to keep the rest for the superbowl, but after rolling  a few, and attempting to make them into football shapes, I decided to just roll them all into balls and think of something else for the superbowl.

I found working with homemade condensed milk was a bit sticky and the crumbs didn't fully combine. While I was rolling, the Oreo mixture got a little hard and chewy. It was probably because of the homemade milk and I was mixing with a spatula. If I try this next time, I will probably use a mixer to combine the mixture more evenly. With that said, I didn't use up the whole mixture because it was basically crumbs at the bottom of the bowl and it didn't form into balls very well. I did get almost 3 dozen truffles though (half of which Gary probably ate himself). I didn't get quite as much as the original recipe called for because I pressed the mixture into a cookie scoop and formed balls from there.

Dairy Free Oreo Truffles
adapted from: Kraft
printable recipe

1 package (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies
14 oz dairy free sweetened condensed soymilk
12 squares (1 1/2 package) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted (plus more as needed)

In a food processor, grind up whole cookies into crumbs.

Mix the cookie crumbs and the condensed milk until well blended. Press mixture into a TBSP sized scoop, and form into balls. Place on a wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze for at least 15 minutes to firm up.

Melt chocolate as directed in 30 second spurts in a microwave.

Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs or other decorations if desired.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container. This does not require refrigeration.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen truffles.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dairy Free Sweetened Condensed Milk

I thought sweetened condensed milk would be one of those ingredients that I would not be able to find a dairy free substitute for, until I found this.

I found this recipe for a dairy free sweetened condensed milk from Go Dairy Free. It is a bit stickier than regular condensed milk, but it’s a great alternative for the real thing.

I’ve used this previously to make the black sesame ice cream and it worked very well. One batch makes an equivalent to a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk. If you don’t have the soy milk powder, there are other variations mentioned on the site. I’m pretty sure you can use regular nonfat milk powder instead of the soy milk powder to make a regular sweetened condensed milk.


Dairy Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
adapted from: Go Dairy Free
printable recipe

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup plus 2 TBSP soy milk powder

Combine sugar, water and soy milk powder in a nonstick saucepan (otherwise you’ll have a tough time cleaning your pan afterwards) and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and cook until thick, about 15-20 minutes. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.

Milk will thicken more as it cools. Store in refrigerator if not being used immediately.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Banana Pancakes

After watching the blueberry pancake throw down on Food Network this past week, I had a craving for pancakes. The norm would be blueberry pancakes, but I didn’t have any blueberries. I looked for a buttermilk pancake recipe that would strike my interest. I saw these banana pancakes that were just too adorable to pass up.

I had everything on hand, except for the buttermilk, so I used a mix of soymilk plus 1 tsp vinegar to equal 1 cup of buttermilk. I also halved the original recipe to feed 2 adults. While I thought the amount was sufficient and enough for 2, Gary thought otherwise. He thought it was enough to feed 2 kids.

banana pancakes

Banana Pancakes
adapted from: Baking Bites
printable recipe

1 cups all purpose flour
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk (I used a mix of soymilk plus 1 TBSP vinegar)
1/2 a banana, mashed

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Whisk in eggs, buttermilk and mashed banana until batter just comes together and no large streaks of flour remain. If your batter is too thick (different sized bananas will cause the batter to vary in thickness), or you prefer your pancakes to be on the thinner side, add an extra 1/4 cup of milk or buttermilk into the mix to thin it slightly.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat until a drop of water placed on it skitters around the surface. If it instantly evaporates, turn down the temperature slightly.

Ladle batter by 1/4 cupfuls for large pancakes onto the preheated pan and cook until golden on both sides, turning once. Flip when the top has started to bubble.

Serve immediately with maple syrup.

Makes approx. 8 pancakes, serves 1-2

Friday, January 8, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

I've searched for a while for a chocolate ice cream Gary would like. His most requested flavor of ice cream is chocolate. He used to like different flavors, but as he got older, his palette has changed to more simple flavors. Chocolate and vanilla is his favorite. When I suggest cookies n cream or a fruit sorbet, he agrees, but never really asked for it.

I haven’t found a perfect vanilla recipe yet, but I have found this chocolate recipe that he loves. I've tried my hand at chocolate ice cream before, but it wasn't as good as this one. This one is creamier and has a better mouth feel than the one previously made. I also discovered a new vegan creme, Mimic Creme, that is thicker and looks more like heavy cream. I use the unsweetened version to control the amount of sugar I use and add my own thickeners. However, you can also get the sweetened and omit the sugar and arrowroot the recipe calls for. I've used all coconut milk for this recipe as well and it’s turned out well. Since coconut milk has more fat in it, the result is a creamier ice cream vs. using soymilk.

vegan ice cream

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
adapted from: The Vegan Scoop
printable recipe

1 cup coconut milk
2 TBSP arrowroot powder
2 cups Mimic Creme (or more coconut milk - I use 2 14oz cans of coconut milk total)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 TBSP vanilla extract

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup milk and arrowroot to create a slurry. Set aside.

In a small saucepan on low heat, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Stir frequently until boiling.

Remove from heat then immediately add arrowroot mixture. This will cause the liquid to thicken to a pudding like consistency. Add vanilla extract.

Chill mixture in fridge for 2-3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Café Mocha Tarts

A few weeks ago, phyllo shells and dough were on sale. I decided to buy them, but I didn’t have anything in mind as to what to make with them. I have been wanting to make baklava for a while, but I’ve been procrastinating.

I started looking through the Athens website for ideas. There were a few interesting dessert ideas that caught my eye. One of them was this café mocha tart recipe.

This simple recipe called for ingredients I had on hand, except for the Kahlua, which I used brewed espresso for.

The only problem I had was with the chocolate coffee mixture. Once it cooled, it gelled and did not incorporate well with the cream. The little bits also made it difficult to pipe through the star decorating tip, so I spooned the mixture into the shells. It definitely did not look like the the one pictured on the site. I’m guessing that the temperature in my house was kind of cool, therefore the mixture got too cold. Next time, I will try to time it better so the coffee mixture ends up room temperature, not cool/cold.

mocha tarts

Café Mocha Tarts
adapted from: Athens Foods
printable recipe

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon Kahlua (I used brewed espresso)
1/2 teaspoon plain gelatin
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
15 Athens® Mini Fillo Shells (1 box)
2 tablespoons shredded coconut, for garnish

In a small chilled bowl, whip heavy cream to full volume. Chill for 1 hour.

In a small pan, combine water, Kahlua and gelatin and let stand for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar, instant coffee and chocolate chips. Over low heat stir until chocolate chips are melted. Bring to room temperature. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Chill for 1 hour.

Spoon or pipe 2 teaspoons of filling into each phyllo shell. Garnish with shredded coconut. Serve immediately.

mocha tarts 2