Candy, fruit, Gluten Free, Petit Four, Recipes, Vegan

Coconut & Pomegranate Mochi [Vegan, Gluten Free]

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Mochi is a treat that I loved as a kid, and still love to this day. For those of you who haven’t experienced this Japanese delight, mochi is a slightly sweet, sticky dessert snack made from Mochiko, or glutinous rice flour.

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As I strolled about the market the other day, I saw a basket full of fresh pomegranates, and I knew I wanted to cook with them. I love pomegranate seeds not only for their taste, but also their look; they look like shiny, precious gemstones, and what girl doesn’t love a little sparkle?

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The batter before being cooked. I have been dying to make something with coconut lately, and I knew this would be a match made in heaven!

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Coming out of the oven. This recipe is by NO means anything close to the traditional method of making mochi, which for years has been made by pounding glutinous rice over and over again in a large mortar-and-pestle type of tool, but homie ain’t got time to play games! This recipe is infinitely easier; you literally just need a whisk and a bowl, and you’re good to go!

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Cutting into the sticky stuff! Make sure you use a clean, sharp knife before cutting into these babies, otherwise you’ll have to deal with the mochi sticking to your knife and a not-so-pretty mess on your hands.

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The finished product. The mochi itself is creamy, chewy, and soft, and the pomegranate seeds add a crunch and a tart pop of flavor when you bite into them. For the mochi I used a blend of both coconut water and coconut milk, to keep it from being overly rich. I also tossed the mochi in some coconut flour instead of the traditional rice flour, giving it a nice nutty flavor as well.

Coconut & Pomegranate Mochi

makes 28 (1×1″) pieces or 7 (1×4″) logs (as pictured)

311 g Mochiko (sweet rice flour)

324 g granulated white sugar

224 g coconut water

254 g coconut milk

65 g fresh pomegranate seeds, carefully patted dry

coconut flour, as needed

Preheat your oven to 350F. Liberally grease a 9×9″ square pan. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your Mochiko and sugar until combined. Whisk in coconut water and coconut milk, stirring just until there are no more lumps. Gently fold in your pomegranate seeds, and pour batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until the edges of your mochi are lightly golden brown and the mochi jiggles just slightly in the center if shaken. Cool completely. Run a knife around the edge of your pan, and turn over onto a cutting board covered with parchment (to keep it from sticking as you cut it). Using a clean, SHARP knife, trim off your edges (they’re too tough to serve) and then cut mochi into 1×1″ cubes (or 1×4″ logs like I did, but keep in mind that this is a large portion!), and then gently toss in coconut flour just to cover all sides. Garnish with more fresh pomegranate seeds if desired, and enjoy!

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Cookies, fruit, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan

[Vegan & Gluten Free] Chestnut & Cherry Pillows

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I absolutely love chestnuts in winter. They’re perfect in both sweet and savoury foods, and are synonymous with the holidays. Yesterday I paired them with a quick cherry jam, and they made just a perfectly sweet, tart, and tender cookie sandwich.

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I love this recipe because it’s incredibly simple and it’s just the perfect little holiday bite. The cherry filling also has a bit of vanilla bean and Grand Marnier, which gives it a bit more depth of flavour.

[Vegan & Gluten Free] Chestnut & Cherry Pillows

makes about 15 sandwiches

For chestnut cookies:

245 g chestnut paste

95 g almond flour

4 g xanthan gum

2 g salt

10 g granulated sugar, plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients and blitz just until all ingredients come together to form a paste. Scrape out dough onto a piece of parchment paper, then roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment until dough is 1/8th of an inch thick. At this point you can refrigerate the dough until it is firm, or if you’re impatient like me, just carefully peel the top piece of parchment off and cut dough into 1″ squares.

Place cookies onto a parchment-lined sheet pan about an inch apart, then sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool completely before filling.

For quick cherry “jam”:

260 g dried cherries

1 ea. vanilla bean, scraped

60 g Grand Marnier

60 g water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat; be careful that the Grand Marnier doesn’t flame up (this happened the first time I made these haha). Discard vanilla bean and strain out excess liquid. Place cherries in the bowl of a food processor, and blitz until it forms a smooth paste. Cool completely. Spread or pipe filling onto half of the cookies and sandwich with the other half.

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Chocolate, Cookies, Gluten Free, Petit Four, Recipes

[Gluten-Free] Faux Milanos

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Milanos were one of my favorite cookies as I was growing up. I mean, crisp and light wafers with chocolate sandwiched in between? Where can you go wrong? Pepperidge Farm definitely knew how to hook me in as a kid (and sometimes still as an adult!).

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With a little extra time on my hands, I decided I wanted to make a gluten-free version of these babies, and I’ll admit that I indulged in quite a few of them before deciding to give the rest to the neighbors (sigh..). They are best enjoyed the day of baking, as they will stay crispier.

[Gluten-free] Milano Cookies

Makes 32 sandwiches

205 g almond flour

2 g salt

9 g baking powder

135 g butter

130 g sugar

75 g egg whites

3 g vanilla extract

For ganache filling:

150 g dark chocolate, chopped very finely

80 g heavy cream

2 g orange zest

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together almond flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl until it is lump-free, then set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until mixture is light and airy (2-3 minutes). Scrape bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula and with mixer running on medium speed, slowly stream in egg whites and vanilla extract until all liquid is absorbed by the butter and mixture is completely  emulsified.

Scrape bowl again, then with mixer running on low speed, slowly add almond mixture and mix just until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Using a piping bag with a medium tip, pipe batter into 1-inch logs on a sheet pan lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper, keeping cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart, as they will spread quite a bit. Bake at 350F for 9 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown around edges but still slightly pale in center. Let cool completely on sheet pan before removing.

For ganache: Bring cream to a boil, then pour over dark chocolate. Whisk together until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth and glossy. Whisk in orange zest.

When cookies are cooled, match cookies together by size and shape, then spread a thin layer of ganache on one side and sandwich with the other. Cookies are best enjoyed the day of baking.

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Breakfast, Cake, Custard, fruit, Gluten Free, Recipes

Gluten Free Loquat and Almond Clafoutis

It’s springtime, which means stone fruit are well in season. The loquat tree in Robert’s backyard is lookin’ pretty good nowadays, so I wanted to make something with the fruit while it lasted.

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Loquats are very tender, sweet and slightly tart fruits, almost like apricots. The texture and color are comparable to cantaloup.

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The finished clafoutis. A clafoutis is a french baked dessert that traditionally has cherries, and is almost like a cross between a custard and a pancake.

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Some of the ingredients.

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Dry ingredients. Since I only had sliced almonds instead of almond flour, I pulsed the almonds, salt, and granulated sugar together until it became a fine powder.

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After adding the wet ingredients. The batter should look thin, almost like crepe batter.

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After baking.

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A slice for me ­čÖé Over all, this recipe was really easy and produced some good results. The almonds added a subtle sweetness, and the loquats were perfectly ripe, and not overly tart or sweet.

Gluten Free Loquat and Almond Clafoutis

for 1 (10″) baking dish

recipe adapted from GourmandInTheKitchen

6 ripe loquats, peeled, pitted, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced thinly

1 cup coconut milk

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon brandy or cognac

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup almond flour (or you can pulse some almonds like I did)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup sliced almonds

powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat your oven to 375F, and grease a 10″ ceramic baking dish.

Using a blender, pulse together almond flour, salt, and sugar until there are no lumps. Add your coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, and brandy, then blend until smooth. the batter should be really thin.

Arrange your slices of fruit neatly on your baking dish, then slowly pour batter over the fruit. Be careful, as it may displace some of your arrangement.

Carefully place dish in oven, then bake 35-40 minutes or until top of clafoutis looks golden brown. Let sit at room temp for 10-15 minutes, then dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

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