Tag Archives: carob

Hawaiian Haupia Coconut Custard

11 May

It was tempting to make a Hawaiian-inspired dessert using pineapples… but as I mentioned to you originally, we were instructed by our Guruji to only make one dish with pineapple for the Hawaiian Vegetarian Festival a few weeks ago.

To be honest…  I liked the idea and the challenge, because as I have learned, Hawaiian cooking is much more than about the pineapple.  And just by adding pineapple to something, doesn’t make it Hawaiian, right??  This was a Hawaiian Festival, not a pineapple festival.

A typical Hawaiian dessert is haupia…  very similar to a Puerto Rican tembleque.  To make sure the locals didn’t confuse this Hawaiian dessert with its local “braddah”, as they say in the islands, we added a nice little twist, of lime rind that is and a drizzle of carob syrup.

 

Coconut Custard Dessert from Hawaii

HAWAIIAN HAUPIA COCONUT CUSTARD

2 cans of coconut milk or one 25oz can

1 cup of water

6 tbs cornstarch

2/3 cups brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 pieces of lime rind

 

  1. In a large saucepan or small pot at medium high heat, add the coconut milk.  Feel free to use a larger pot than you think you might need so you’ll have enough space to stir the mix.
  2. Add the sugar, salt and lime rinds and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add 1 cup of water to the cans to “wash them” from any leftover coconut milk.  Add the cornstarch to this water to create a slurry.  Mix well with a small whisk and add to the pot on the stove.
  4. Stir the mixture kinda constantly to avoid the cornstarch to fall to the bottom of the pot and create lumps.  When the mixture feels it’s starting to thicken, lower the heat so the bottom doesn’t scorch.  Continue stirring making a figure 8 until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and when you run your finger thru the coating the side do not come together again.
  5. Transfer individual plastic cups for individual servings.   Make sure you remove the lime rinds.
  6. Allow to slightly cool for about 20 minutes on top of the kitchen counter.  After that, transfer to the fridge to cool and set for about 2 hours.  The final product will set but still be “jiggly” when you shake the mold or cup.
  7. Garnish with a drizzle of carob syrup and a paper umbrella…

 

Recipe from KarmaFree Cooking

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If I had a Valentine… what would I cook for him?

15 Feb

I love going out to dinner to a nice, fancy restaurant as much as the next girl… especially, if someone special is inviting.  But experience has taught me that on Valentine’s Day or around that date, it’s the WORST TIME to go out to dinner.  There may be some exceptions, of course…  but usually during this time, restaurants are extremely crowded, putting extra pressure on all the staff.

To me,  it’s more romantic to plan something special at home.  Make something you know you’re extremely good at and that you know your partner will love – for the awesome flavors, but also for the effort and care you put into it. Besides, when you have dinner at home… dress code is optional. 😉

Unfortunately, this year, I am spending Valentine’s weekend with a nice construction crew who’s remodeling my tiny, little kitchen into a very chic and modern tiny, little kitchen. And to top it all…  no romantic Valentine for me this year.

But… let’s play pretend.  If I had a romantic Valentine to invite over for dinner, what would I cook for him to let him know how much I care?

This is my menu…

Vegetarian Valentine 2015

Start with a Spinach, Arugula, Figs and Blue Cheese salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette

Main course would be the exquisite Baked Pasta with 4 Cheeses,  that usually floors anyone who has it for the first time.

On the side, and because we’re in Puerto Rico, I need to have sweet plantains with vanilla and cinnamon.

And for dessert, I would make a batch of Carob Syrup to dip some strawberries in…  I would even add a pinch of cayenne to keep things interesting.

 

Do you like my menu??  What are your go-to dishes if you want to show someone you care?

Carob Syrup

2 May

For all you former chocolate lovers who had to put your love aside because of what caffeine does to you… let me introduce you to your new best friend – Carob Syrup.  It does not contain caffeine and it’s as delicious as that good ‘ol Hershey’s syrup of the hey days.

If you loved to decorate  your vanilla ice cream with some syrup … this carob syrup is for you.

If you loved to drizzle your sweet crepes with a little something dark and delicious syrup… this carob syrup is you.

If you had to leave those dark chocolaty milks and shakes in your past… then this carob syrup is definitely for you.

The possibilities are endless… give it a try!!!

 

Carob Syrup 4

 

CAROB SYRUP

1 cup carob powder
2/3 cup almond milk
½ cup maple syrup
6 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla powder

 

  1. Add all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.

 

CArob Syrup 1

 

You can store in your fridge for longer shelf-life.  I store it in a squeeze out bottle so I can pour it over whatever in small drizzles.

Carob Syrup - Spout

Macerated Strawberries

30 Apr

I used these strawberries inside my vegan gluten-free crepes for the latest International Vegetarian Festival we held at the Yoga Center recently.

These are super easy to make… I like to use frozen strawberries or berries of any kind because they tend to be consistently sweet whereas sometimes fresh strawberries can sometimes be very tart.

You can use this as a method to sweeten any frozen or fresh fruits to use in any dessert form. It can also be used as a way to preserve very ripe fruit for future use.

macerated strawberries inside vegan gluten-free crepes

 

MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

4 cups frozen strawberries, chopped
1 cup turbinado sugar

 

  1. Place chopped strawberries in a large bowl and add sugar. Mix together so the sugar covers most of the strawberry pieces.
  2. Mix them once in a while to ensure sugar is well dissolved in the juices created by the thawing, fruit juices and sugar. Let the fruits macerate for about 2 hours at room temperature to allow the fruit to thaw completely and for the sugar to infuse into the fruit.

Use immediately after the fruit is macerated or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use inside crepes, to top ice cream, to top a slice of pound cake or to flavor your favorite morning smoothie.

 

Vegan Gluten-Free Crepes

28 Apr

A few weeks ago, the Yoga Center celebrated an International Festival of Vegetarian Dishes.  I wanted to contribute by making something that is traditionally considered a “forbidden” food for vegetarians out there, but at the same time that it would be easy for me to make.

I have made crepes time and time again, but out of spelt flour, which is a cousin of wheat.  Most people with wheat-intolerance deal well with spelt, but many people at the Center are avoiding wheat and gluten altogether so if I wanted to make a dish everyone would enjoy, including our Master, I needed to make something gluten-free.

This was my contribution to the Festival…  vegan gluten-free crepes filled with macerated strawberries and decorated with a drizzle of carob syrup.  This was my homage to Didier and the delicious sweet and very popular crepes he would make for me at the Alliance Française a few years ago.

 

Egg-free crepes

VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CREPES

1 ½ cups gluten-free flour
4 tbs coconut oil
2 cups almond milk + 6 tbs
½ tsp salt
4 ½ tsp egg-replacer
More coconut oil to cook the crepes to oil the pans

 

  1. First, prepare the egg-replacer mixture in a small bowl mixing the egg-replacer and 6tbs of almond milk.  Whisk well together and set aside.
  2. In a blender, add the flour, 2 cups almond milk, salt and egg-replacer mix you prepared earlier. Blend well until all ingredients form a smooth batter mixture.
  3. Refrigerate the crepe batter for at least 2 hours.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.  I cannot stress this enough…  if the batter is not rested for at least 2 hours your crepes will be full of bubbles and they will cook uneven.
  4. When you’re ready to use the batter…  move it around and see if it has the consistency of a light pancake batter.  If it’s too thick, add ¼ cup of water or more almond milk to make it thinner.
  5. Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tbs coconut oil and spread out using a paper towel.
  6. Pour one ladleful of batter into skillet into skillet, turning and tilting skillet as you’re pouring the batter.  The idea is to coat the bottom of the skillet with a thin layer of batter.  Don’t be discouraged if the first few ones are not as you expect.  It took me a few tried to get the right rhythm of ladle and skillet.
  7. Loose the edges of the crepe using an off-set spatula.  You’ll see the crepe bubble a little, very similar to pancakes.  Loosen the crepe delicately from the pan using a silicone spatula.  When you can move the crepe loosely by just shaking the skillet, after about 1 minute of cooking, flip the crepe using the silicone spatula.
  8. Cook on the other side for about 30 more seconds.  Just slide the crepe out of the skillet onto a plate lined with wax paper.
  9. Repeat the process all over until you finish the crepe batter.  Pass the oiled paper towel once in awhile in between crepes, as needed.

In my belief, these crepes were a COMPLETE SUCCESS!!!!  But I will let the people who actually tasted them give their comments and tell you all about them in their own words.  People… I am counting on you!!!!

Vegan Gluten Free Crepes

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