This retro recipe is inspired by a few things for me. I wanted to pick a recipe that reminded me of my grandparents. I picked halva because it is one of my grandpa's favorite treats and I always thought it was weird as a kid (and it's also a totally ancient recipe...now that's retro!). The only memory I have of it is seeing it in the Joyva package while thinking, "What is that?". Only till I became vegan and discovered all the wonderful things you could do with tahini did I realize that sweetening it was genius.
Tahini is just the sesame seed version of peanut butter, right? ;)
So, deciding that I wanted to make a tahini confection, I decided on grain-free cookies. I took inspiration from a traditional pignoli cookie recipe which is just almond meal, egg and sugar. When she first started eating a gluten-free diet, my mom requested these cookies at Christmas time. She isn't a big fan of sweets, so this came as a surprise to me. Pignoli cookies have a different character than a regular cookie, though. They are crispy, chewy, light but full of flavor. They're moist too! Moisture without butter or oil...what a wonder!
I decided that in order for my cookie to taste like tahini first and foremost, it must be grain-free. I added some things to the cookie dough for texture and sweetness, but not overly so. I think this cookie is wonderful as a snack because it satisfies a sweet craving but also offers some nutrition without a ton of processed fats included. The only fats in this recipe are from seeds (flax and sesame), so it is suitable for those who are allergic to nuts!
I added in a pop of acidity and flavor with chopped dried apricots and apricot jam in the icing. There's also a candied apricot on top because, why not? ;D
Apricot Halva Cookies
Yield: Approx 15 cookies
Free of: Nuts, Gluten, Refined Sugar (excluding icing)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
So, with some free time on my hands, some spare cans of chickpeas in my pantry, and a big craving for chocolate left me no choice but to make some delicious ice cream mousse.
I made a homemade ice cream cake around this time last year. The result was sweet, creamy, dense and satisfying. There is something to be said for that type of ice cream and usually it's "mmmmm!". But, today, I wanted to try something different. I wanted to create a light, fluffy yet richly flavored ice cream that would stand up to any dairy-filled gelato or frozen custard. I turned once again to my new-found friend aquafaba!
I recently made a sponge cake using aquafaba (chickpea brine) and I was quite pleased with the results. I wasn't quite prepared, however, to witness how wonderful aquafaba is on its own.
This time, instead of making my vegan meringue in the food processor, I used my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer! I absolutely love my mixer. It was my grandmother's first and now it's mine. It helps me make sweet and beautiful creations that I otherwise wouldn't on my own. I was so surprised to see how quickly the meringue whipped up and also how stiff (!) it got with the whip attachment! It behaved just like a traditional egg white meringue would. It also didn't deflate on me! ;)
I ended up with an entire batch of meringue that I didn't have a use for. So, in order to test its pipe-a-bility (?) I made little meringue cookies with my pastry bag. I've also never, even with eggs, attempted to make meringue cookies. They were never something I actually liked, so I never felt compelled to make them. My grandma loves meringue so I'm hoping I can make these for her one day and just not tell her that they're vegan. ;D
I was pleased with the meringue's consistency and its ability to hold up to piping. I made well-defined rosettes with ease and they never collapsed, even after baking them. I think I may have over-baked my cookies a tad, but they seemed to have the correct consistency inside. I still don't think I think them though...too sweet for me. ^_^' At least they look cute!
Here is the recipe for my meringue. It's absolutely amazing if done in a mixer with a whip attachment. I can't vouch for any other method except the food processor one, and I wouldn't recommend that method for this recipe.
Yield: about 4-5 cups of finished meringue
Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream
Adapted from: Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream from Vegan Chocolate by Chef Fran Costigan
Yield: a little more than a pint
Soy, Dairy, Gluten, and Nut free!
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.