Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Raspberry Filling

Great for filling a cake and serving on top.

This is great to fill or top chocolate cake! Also great for ice cream topping. You can keep it in the freezer.

6 c. raspberries, frozen or fresh
2 c. sugar
1 c. apple juice

Two methods: cook or prepare fresh. We like it both ways. You can experiment with the juice - it doesn't have to be apple. You could even just leave out the juice, I imagine. : )

     Puree raspberries with apple juice and sugar. Heat and thicken with cornstarch- use 1 T. cornstarch for 1 c. puree.

To thicken with cornstarch: heat berry puree. In separate container, mix cornstarch with equal amount water to form a paste. When puree is hot, pour a bit into the cornstarch mixture, stirring. Then pour and stir cornstarch mixture into entire pan of puree. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and translucent.

Puree berries/sugar/juice. Thicken with instant clear jel(modified cornstarch) to desired consistency. For 3 c. puree, I added about 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup clear jel.

To thicken with instant clear jel(modified cornstarch): Mix clear jel in separate container, with equal amount sugar. The sugar helps the jel to blend in mixture with fewer lumps. Pour instant jel/sugar mixture in steady stream while constantly stirring, to avoid lumps. I actually keep my puree in the blender and add jel in a stream while blending on low. Probably works to just pour it in blender and then immediately blend, I've just feared lumping so haven't tried. : )

Fudgy Frosting

Ever had chocolate boiled milk frosting? I love it. I'm so happy I can make it dairy free!

To celebrate my husband's birthday, we had chocolate cake, with fudgy frosting and raspberry filling. I used my sister's Chocolate Boiled Frosting recipe, and replaced the dairy milk called for with coconut milk. The recipe called for 3 sticks of butter(for a yield of 4 cups frosting), and I tried it without any at all, and then with a bit of Smart Balance buttery spread added. It was good both ways. The buttery spread did add a nice rich dimension, but I don't think I would have liked the full amount called for in the recipe. I think I used about 1/3 c. of spread, for a half batch. (2 c. yield).  I'll post the original recipe, and then what I substituted, marked with --. You can experiment using the original recipe to make various kinds of dairy free cooked frosting!

Boiled Milk Frosting

1 1/2 c. sugar (dark brown sugar for Caramel Frosting)
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. whole milk -- use coconut milk or coconut cream
2 tsp. vanilla
3 sticks butter, cut into Tbsp-sized pieces -- use dairy free product. Full amount not needed.
     I used Smart Balance buttery spread* and added to taste. It was much less the amount than called       for here. If you use coconut cream, probably want to use even less butter.

In a small saucepan, stir together sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly stir in the milk. Bring to boil over medium heat, cook and stir until very thick, about 5-7 min. Cover and cool to room temperature. Add vanilla, then beat in butter, 1 piece at a time. [Note I just added a spoon full of spread at a time and beat it in]. If frosting's a little too soft, let stand at room temperature for 1 hr. to firm up. If storing until later, refrigerate, the let sit on counter 2 hrs or until softened. Beat 1 min. to re-fluff. Makes 4 cups.

Chocolate Boiled Frosting: Add 1/4 c. cocoa and 2-4 oz melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate to the hot cooked milk mix. [ I didn't have diary free chocolate in the house as usual, so I just added 1-2 T. extra cocoa instead. No problem. Frosting was delicious! Perfect to compliment our chocolate cake and raspberry sauce! ]

*Check for casein and whey in Smart Balance, most types have either one or both. The fully diary free one presently is the light version, but it can change.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Deliciously Wholesome Oat-Lentil Waffles

1 cup dry lentils                               
3 cups rolled oats                           
3 t. baking powder    
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. salt                     

4 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In blender, grind lentils to make flour.* Add oats, baking powder, sugar,  and salt, and blend until fine flour mixture. Add water and oil. Blend until well mixed. Mixture will thicken as it sits. If desired, let sit for a few minutes then  blend again. Add water if necessary for consistency. Pour into oiled and heated waffle iron.
*Blender must be completely dry- so lentils pulverize into a powder. Note that this recipe is large for a regular blender. Try making 1/2 of the recipe if you are not using a powerful blender such as Vitamix.

Split peas, lentils, and white beans all make great waffles. Substitute  any of these; lentils grind well in regular blenders; white beans are harder to grind, but powerful blender(ie Vitamix) or coffee grinder do satisfactory.The original recipe these waffles evolved from uses garbanzo bean flour. See post "Garbanzo-Oat Waffles."

Garbanzo beans give the  creamiest and lightest texture of the bean-oat combos  I've tried. But home-grinding  lentils is so much more economical and practical for me, and  I do like the nutty-like flavor of the lentils. I also like the wholesome texture.

We enjoy waffles several times a week. This is probably the most utilized recipe I have! I make a big batch at a time and place waffles on a cooling rack as they're done. After breakfast, I put extra waffles into a gallon-size freezer bag and freeze. During the week, I can just gently microwave the waffles to reheat them(it takes just a few seconds). You can also place them directly into a toaster.

Fruit puree is great on top(applesauce, nectarine, pear sauce, strawberry, prune puree). These fruit purees may be made when the fruits are peak season and on sale, then stored in the freezer. Just blend  fruit, add liquid if needed to puree, and thicken with fruit jel(modified cornstarch) if desired. Some fruits need an acid added to prevent from browning. Orange juice or lemon juice goes great with peach puree.

Fruit puree is extra special when topped with fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, and coconut. 
Apple juice syrup is another topping we enjoy. Simply drizzling the waffles with honey is another thing we often do, especially for waffles on the go(for lunch away from home).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fruit Juice Knox Blox

I'm sensitive to food colors and flavorings, so I have experimented a bit with fruit juice jigglers. This is a treat the girls and I enjoy without worry of artificial stuff.

Here is a good classic recipe to use, with room for all kinds of fruit juice variations. It is paraphrased from a Knox Blox gelatin package.

Fruit Juice Knox Blox

2 T. unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold fruit juice
1 1/2 cups fruit juice, heated to boiling
1 t. sugar or honey(opt)

Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice. Let stand one minute. Add hot juice and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar. Pour into 8 X 8 pan. Refrigerate about 3 hrs, until firm. Cut into squares or let kids use cookie cutters for fun shapes!

This month I made a variation that we really liked. I used Ocean Spray Cran-Blueberry juice, added a touch of raspberry oil, and added about 1 T. strawberry preserves. The strawberry preserve really added a nice flavor, even with so little used.

Share a variation that you enjoy!