Sweet rice pudding (kheer)

Tonight’s dinner was roast chicken with leftover rice (there’s sort of a trend this week). So dessert took center stage – the ultimate British or Indian comfort food, warm and sweet and milky.

Ours is a variation, not the thick traditional rice pudding that’s like oatmeal. Think more like hot cereal with milk.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. rice
  • 1 qt. milk (may need more if the rice is very absorbent)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 fresh bay leaf

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
  • Put all ingredients in a casserole dish, uncovered
  • Bake for 2 – 3 hours, depending on the rice

We made ours with purple rice from Thailand, which gave it the natural colour.

Bon appétit!

Mile high lemon meringue pie

The mile high lemon meringue really is mile high when you make it from Cook’s Magazine, a great magazine that not only tests recipes but details what they tried and the results.

You’ll need 1 (9-inch) pie shell, fully baked and cooled.

Lemon Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup of lemon juice (from 6 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 large egg yolks (reserve 4 whites for meringue later)
  • 2 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

Meringue Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Filling directions:

  1. Whisk sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch and salt together in a large non-reactive saucepan until cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally until mixture is translucent and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in yolks until combined. Stir in zest and butter. Bring to a simmer and stir constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.
  3. Strain through fine mesh strainer into the baked and cooled pie shell and scrape off filling from the bottom of strainer. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate until set and well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Meringue:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine water and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a vigorous boil over medium high heat. Once syrup comes to a rolling boil, cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside while beating egg whites.
  4. With electric mixer beat whites in large bowl at medium low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add salt and cream of tartar and beat gradually increasing speed to medium high, until whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes.
  5. With mixer running, slowly pour hot syrup into the whites. Add vanilla and beat until meringue has cooled and becomes shiny and thick, 5-9 minutes.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, mound meringue over filling making sure meringue touches the edges of the crust.
  7. Use spatula to create peaks all over the pie.
  8. Bake until peaks turn golden brown about 6 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature and serve.

Recipe copied from http://www.recipelink.com/mf/0/85775.

Vegan coconut chocolate cupcakes

I’m always hesitant to tell people when my baked goods are vegan, because they tend to shy away. But I’ve made these cupcakes a few times now and they are fabulous. They’ll stand up to any cupcake, vegan or otherwise.

My friend and I made this recently with an interesting “textured” frosting – due to our lack of powdered sugar we used granulated. It was quite nice although next time I’d add some powdered sugar too. 🙂

The cupcake recipe comes from the Babycakes book and was shared via Gwyneth Paltrow’s site, http://goop.com/newsletter/49/en/. I didn’t use their frosting recipe, but instead did one more like a traditional buttercream frosting sans butter.

Cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 cup garbanzo and fava bean flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • Frosting for serving

Cupcake directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line one, standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
  3. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla, and hot water directly to the dry ingredients. Stir until the batter is smooth.
  4. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into each prepared cup. This portion will almost fill the cup up entirely.
  5. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the tray 180 degrees after 15 minutes. The cupcakes will bounce back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Remove from the oven.
  6. Let the cupcakes stand for 20 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack right side up and cool completely.

Coconut vanilla frosting ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (or 2 cups powdered and 2 cups superfine)
  • 1 cup coconut oil

Frosting directions:

  1. Gently warm the coconut oil in a sauce pan or on low heat in the microwave
  2. Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon or in a mixer.
  3. When the cupcakes are cool, slice the top off and spread frosting in the middle. This allows for easier eating but does require you to open the cupcake holders slightly.

Enjoy!

Chocolate hazelnut drops

In my quest for delicious cookies, I’ve found that eggs are often present. While I salute the egg cookies, I wanted a naturally egg-free recipe. As opposed to one where I’d wrangled with the cookie until it wearily submitted a less tasty version of itself.

Imagine my delight to open the pages of Homemade by Clodagh McKenna to find an egg free cookie. The first opportunity to make these arrived today. The ingredients seem pretty similar to scones.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup good-quality dark chocolate drops
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cream together butter and sugar until pale and paste-like.
  2. Mix in flour and baking powder.
  3. Add nuts and chocolate, and mix to form dough.
  4. If the dough is too crumbly, add a tablespoon of milk.
  5. Form cookies on a cookie sheet and cook for 13-15 minutes until browned on top.

Next time I would try to skip the milk and deal with the crumble factor, but these tasted great and I will be making them again soon.

Poached rhubarb and nectarines

It’s summer time once again, and that means all the fruit is here. I’m a big fan of quickly pulled together cobblers for dessert now that I can no longer have eggs or cow’s milk. I love combining rhubarb with nectarines or peaches, which are less sweet and traditional than strawberries.

You can eat the poached fruit directly, use it in oatmeal or put a very thin pastry of flour, oats, butter and sugar on top and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white wine (use dessert wine if you want it on the sweeter side)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
  • 3 stems of fresh rhubarb, 1-inch across, chopped (if the rhubarb is not chopped into same size pieces, smaller pieces will be more mushy, but still tasty)
  • 2-3 ripe nectarines or peaches, sliced

Directions:

  1. Mix wine and sugar over low heat
  2. If the nectarines are not fully ripe, add them first and cook for 3 minutes
  3. Add rhubarb and drizzle with honey or syrup
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the fruit is soft (if you’re going to make cobbler, cook for only 10 minutes so it finishes in the oven)
  5. Remove fruit with a slotted spoon (or a potato masher if that’s what you have on hand)
  6. Turn up heat to medium-low and cook for 5-10 more minutes longer to thicken
  7. Strain the remaining liquid and set aside to mix in drinks, yogurt, etc.

I must admit that it’s difficult to do step #7. I end up drinking it straight.

Salut!

Frozen lemon or chocolate waffle cookies

A dessert made with only 3 ingredients? And just as few steps? This recipe for frozen lemon cookie bites looked so good, I knew I had to try it.

First, I made my own lemon curd and substituted the eggs since I can’t eat them anymore. Second, I bought only cookies that did not contain eggs. Third, my significant other pretty much only likes chocolate sweets, I decided to make part of the batch with chocolate instead of lemon.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you could just make one or two cookies. Thicker waffle cookies hold up to the freezer well, the thinner almond crisps tasted great but were a little soft.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 boxes of waffle cookies (depending on how much filling you want, you need between 10-14 cookies)
  • 4 oz goat cheese (I used a Spanish mittica that had much less tang than most goat cheeses, it’s pretty close to cream cheese)
  • 6 oz lemon curd or 4 oz melted chocolate
    • I use E. Guittard because they retain their milky flavor but still melt extremely well

Ingredients for egg-free lemon curd:

  • 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice + zest (5 large lemons, preferrably Meyer lemons)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 3 egg yolks or egg substitute (I used 1 teaspoon xantham gum)

Lemon curd directions:

  1. Place chevre on the counter to soften
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in the microwave on low for 1 1/2 minutes
  3. Zest and then juice lemons
  4. Mix sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum
  5. Add melted butter and lemon jest to the sugar, mix
  6. Slowly stir in lemon juice
  7. Microwave for 30-60 second increments, whisking frequently
  8. Add the second 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum only if needed – too much and it will become gummy
  9. Wait for lemon curd to cool

Cookie directions:

  1. Mix the lemon curd or melted chocolate with the cheese
  2. Put mixture in the microwave for 5 seconds to warm if it won’t cream together
  3. Spread evenly in the center of a cookie, then gently press the second cookie on top (which will squish the filling evenly)
  4. Optional: place fresh, ripe raspberries on top of the mixture before topping with the second cookie
  5. Store in a freezer-proof container and freeze for at least 2-3 hours or until frozen

When you serve, cut into smaller pieces unless your guests want big cookies. Lasts about a week in the freezer if well-wrapped.

Salut!