Chai Coconut Mascarpone Cups

This week-end I was craving desserts, in particular yogurt parfaits where you place fruit over yogurt and add nuts, granola or other toppings. I have been experimenting with vegan yogurt, but so far the results have not been to my liking. Yet, I yearned for this rich cream consistency. So, I gathered a few things that I thought would work out and created this!

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Amazingly smooth, rich and thick, this cream is reminiscent of a simple yogurt or mascarpone cheese. I had to add a little bit of excitement to it (even though I was so happy to have cream, I was pretty much already dancing in my kitchen), and so I decided to add some Chai spices: cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper and cloves. This really makes this cream unique and quite spectacular and it reminds me of mascarpone cheese.

Here is what you need for the cream:

  • 250mL of coconut milk
  • 4 tbs of almond powder
  • 4 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 cm piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of black pepper corns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Topping ideas: Fresh berries, coconut flakes, crushed almonds, shopped dates, chocolate chips, granola, grilled nuts: use your imagination!

Here is what you do for the cream:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk, oil and sweetener on medium heat.
  2. Crush the cardamon pods in your mortar (or use the back of a spoon). Set aside.
  3. Add the almond powder in the pan and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken up (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add the spices and vanilla extract and let them infuse for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick to your liking.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain to remove the spices.
  6. Let the cream set and firm up in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving with your favourite toppings.
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I used some fresh raspberries, coconut flakes and sweet samosas.

I used some of the fruit leather to make sweet samosas (how-to tomorrow). It’s fun and easy! And that cream! So much flavours and the consistency is just smooth and thick and wonderful. Of course, you could avoid using the spices for a mellower flavour. This is a great substitution for yogurt and makes for an easy dessert. Let me know if you try it out and if you like it!

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

As an early Christmas present I received the amazing recipe book by the Happy Herbivore. This book is amazing! It has many recipes that are all vegan and low-fat. What is really amazing with this book is that gluten-free recipes are identified. It also contains a very complete appendix filled with tricks and substitution ideas.

These were delicious! Not too sweet and full of flavour!

These were delicious! Not too sweet and full of flavour!

Looking for a desert for Christmas Eve, I came across the Carrot Cake Cupcakes (you can also find this recipe on the Happy Herbivore’s website) which looked yummy!

I changed it a bit so that it was gluten-free, and also compatible with what was in my fridge.

Here is what you’ll need for 12 muffins:

– 1 cup brown rice flour
– 1/4 cup coconut flour
– 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 mashed banana
– 2 shredded carrots
– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 cups almond milk

Here is what you will do:
– Preheat oven at 350 F.
– In a large bowl, mix all the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
– In a smaller bowl, mix the banana, carrots and vanilla extract until well combined.
– Add in the carrot mixture to the flour mixture. This will be very dry.
– Add the almond milk 1/2 cup at a time until the batter is more liquid and smooth. I used the entire 1 1/2 cups.
– Line you muffin pan with paper liner or grease it.
– Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
– Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
– Let cool on a wire rack.

These cupcakes were a great success on Christmas Eve. The carrot gave a really nice texture and the dough was soft and very flavorful. A total success! I decorated them with some coconut whipped cream and little sugar stars to make them more festive.

Cute cakes!

Cute cakes!

Let me know if you try this recipe out! Happy Holidays again!