Monday, 1 September 2014

SUMA: Rocket & Roses Tatar Bean and Vegetable Summer Stew (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Maroon 5 ~ V Album

For me there is something beautiful about a skillet filled with summer veggies and herbs bubbling away. And every time you lift the lid to give them a stir the smell that invades your senses is a moment of bliss. Sometimes the most simple of dishes are often the best and most enjoyable. As we are drawing to the end of this years summer and there is a nip in the air...eating a bowl of a summer stew is most welcome. 

I created this recipe for my Suma Bloggers Network post. Whilst making my selection for my order this time I found some dried beans I had never heard of before...Tatar Beans. Visually the dried beans are quite stunning and I was quite taken with the deep purple bean with its white swirl. I decided to cook them off and then taste test them before I started to create the recipe around them. I soaked them overnight and they doubled in size so after a good rinse and addition of fresh water I put them on the stove to cook. Thankfully they don't have a distinctive smell when boiling however they do scum up a lot and I found myself dredging the scum off quite a lot. But it is a rather impressive purple scum..lol. My beans were perfectly cooked in just over an hour. Sadly they lost some of their distinctive pattern in the cooking process but that didn't bother me too much. I cooked off 1 cup of dried beans and that yielded enough for this recipe and a good portion to go into the freezer. They are rather like a butter/lima bean in texture and shape and quite nutty in flavour. I instantly adored them. 

I was craving a meal that was simple in both making and flavours and a light stew came to mind. Not a heavy, rich in sauce based stew but a light, herby and savoury stew crammed with fresh veggies and beans. Selecting the veggies was easy and having my friend there to help me chop was a blessing as I'm not back up to full kitchen duties just yet. Both of our mouths watered at the intense aroma at every stir. When the stew was cooked and we taste tested a small sample I knew this was a winner. The vegetables were perfectly cooked and individually bursting with flavour. The herbs lifted the natural flavours and the light sauce to another level and the added texture and flavour from the Tatar beans made this stew for me...comforting, satisfying and foodie heaven. Yes, you do need to cook off the beans first but it's not hard work...just have them simmering away whilst you do something else. Believe me..they are worth it. 

Thank you to Suma for asking me to be part of the Suma Bloggers Network and I hope you take some time to check out their website. I hope you enjoy this recipe...we did! lol. 


Rocket & Roses Tatar Bean and Vegetable Summer Stew


Rocket & Roses Tatar Bean and Vegetable Summer Stew       Serves 2-3
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tsp sunflower oil
1 med onion, sliced
3 small carrots, peeled and chunked
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup swede, small dice
1 small fennel, trimmed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 fl oz low sodium veggie stock
1/2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup cashew pieces
6 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces, tips separated from stems
1 1/2 cups of cooked Tatar beans 
Freshly cracked black pepper
Himalayan salt to season to taste (optional)

Over a gentle heat, saute the onions, celery, carrots, swede in the oil until beginning to soften. Add in the fennel and garlic and stir well. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add in the tom paste and dried herbs and stir well. Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes. 

Stir in the asparagus stems and cashew nuts and cook, covered, until the stems are tender crisp. Stir in the Tatar beans and asparagus tips and cook until the beans are heated through..approx 3-4 minutes. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt. Serve...

Enjoy! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is a great one. We are preparing to set off on our road trip around Scotland..woo! Cannot wait..

~Red~

NB: This is my creation and I have no problem with you using this recipe or sharing it. I just ask that you give credit where it's due as I always try to...Thanks. Namaste ~R~  

Friday, 29 August 2014

Rocket & Roses Plumingranate Tart (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Melissa Etheridge ~ Enough Of Me
Chely Wright ~ Object Of Your Rejection
Natalie Imbrugia ~ Butterflies
Bing Crosby ~ Please
Joan Jett ~ Back It Up
Fun Lovin' Criminals ~ Swashbucklin' In Brooklyn
Missy Higgins ~ Katie
Skin ~ Don't Call It Love 
The Puppini Sisters ~ Jave Jive
Roy Orbison ~ It's Over
Alannah Myles ~ Rock This Joint
Dolly Parton ~ Heartbreaker
The Gossip ~ Dark Lines
Boccherini: Cello Concerto in B Flat - 1 Moderato 

I'm back folks! I thank you for all your emails of concern and well wishes you have sent me over the last month. My little procedure took a lot out of me and I'd not stepped near my kitchen until yesterday. Thank you for coming back to my humble blog and visiting old posts that I have written. Although I'm not back on two stable legs just yet...yesterday I managed to come up with three new dishes with the help of a great friend, Ann. She kept me going yesterday afternoon and I wouldn't be back today without her. I can't promise to post new recipes every day like before, especially as we are heading off on a road trip around Scotland very soon...but on Monday I will be back with my Suma Sponsored recipe which Ann and I enjoyed for our evening meal last night. Right...back to today's recipe...

Plumigranates! Have you ever heard of them? Nope, neither had I until a couple of weeks ago and now I am addicted. They look like a regular plum but when you cut into them they ooze the beautiful deep purple juice of a pomingranate along with its sweetness. Everyone who has stepped over my doorstep since has been given one to try and so far everyone has loved them. Somehow I ended up with a stash of them and decided to try and use the natural sweetness of the flesh in a tart. I wanted to use as little unrefined sugar as possible and use only healthy fats too. 

We stood at the kitchen worktop with just the plumigranates in front of us and from there I just threw things into a bowl and Ann got busy chopping the fruit. I decided to use some recently purchased buckwheat flakes and ground almond meal as the base for my tart crust. My sweetener of choice was a very small amount of coconut blossom sugar and to provide some extra sweetness and the oil for the base, I used a small amount of melted coconut oil. I didn't want a pastry crust but a 'oaty' wholesome one. The star of this tart was always going to be the Plumigranates and so I cooked down some with 1/2 tsp coconut blossom sugar and a little water. I was left with a delicious little saucepan of jam. As I wanted simple slices of the fruit to cover the tart I decided against making a horribly sweet creamy layer. I decided to make a very basic cashew cream...no added sugar but just a little fresh lemon juice. 

After the brief baking of the crust and cooling time..the layers were added and then the tart was stored in the fridge to chill. I would like to say the next part was a chore but it would be a lie. A slice was cut and then Ann and I attacked it with our dessert forks..lol. Thankfully I can report everything worked even better than I had hoped it would. The crust was wholesome, the fruit layers deliciously sweet and the cashew cream balanced it all out perfectly. Phew..I was worried I may have lost my mojo...lol Well it's been a while...

I now look forward to Plumigranate season with great excitement and hope to try out the many other recipes I have floating around my noggin. Food of the goddess..for sure..

Rocket & Roses Plumingranate Tart ( vegan and gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Plumingranate Tart                    Makes 1 8" tart
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

For the crust:
1 cup buckwheat flakes 
1 cup of ground almonds (almond meal)
1 tbsp psyllium husks
1 1/2 tbsp coconut blossom sugar
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
3 tbsp water

For the jammy layer;
3 Plumigranates, finely chopped
1/2 tsp coconut blossom sugar
1 tbsp water

For the creamy layer:
3/4 cup soaked (for 1 hour) cashew pieces
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water

For the topping:
3 Plumingranates, washed, stoned and thinly sliced

Line the bottom of an 8" tart pan with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 325'F/170'C/GM 3. 

In a medium sized bowl place the buckwheat flakes, ground almonds, husks, sugar and stir well to combine. Pour in the melted oil and rub together until they begin to lump together. Pour in the water and keep kneading until the base is one large dough. Press into the lined pan and make sure the edge is even all round. Flatten out the base until its as smooth as possible. Place in the middle of the heated oven and bake until the very edges are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set to one side to cool. 

In a very small pan add the chopped Plumingranates, sugar and water and over a gentle heat cook until they are an almost smooth sauce. Stirring frequently to avoid scorching or burning. Remove from the heat and cool quickly in a cold area of your kitchen (or in front of a fan..ahem. lol) 

Drain off the liquid that the cashews have been soaking in and add the cashews to a mini blender. Add in the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of fresh water and blitz until thick and smooth. Set to one side. 

To assemble: 

Smooth the cooled jam evenly over the cooled tart crust. Then dollop the cashew cream on top and then spread it out over the jam. Decorate the top with the sliced plumingranates in whatever design you desire. Place in the fridge to chill for a minimum of an hour. Then devour..lol 

Gratuitous foodie shot...look at that slice. We enjoyed every mouthful...lol


Enjoy! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend is a very splendid one...

~Red~ 

NB: This is my creation and I have no problem with you using the recipe or sharing it. I simply ask that you give credit where its due. As I always try to...~R~

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Quick update and I'll be back soon...



Hello folks...just quickly stopping by to apologise for not being here as much as I would like in the past week. Sadly this week is going to be worse as I am at the hosptial tomorrow *vagueness alert* for a thing and then will need a week to recover if all goes well. I hope your week is amazing and filled with smiles and laughter....and great vegan food! 

Thanks for stopping by...

~Red~

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Rocket & Roses Smokey White Aubergine/Eggpant Stacks (vegan and gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Cyndi Lauper ~ All Through The Night
The Kinks ~ All Day And All Through The Night
Nirvana ~ Polly (MTV Unplugged Session)
Keaton Heston ~ You
Buckcherry ~ Highway Star
Bryan Adams ~ There Will Never Be Another Tonight
Vivaldi: Flute Concerto "La Tempesta Di Mare"
VAST ~ Pretty When You Cry
Rob Thomas ~ Falling To Pieces
Chris Cornell ~ Disappearing One
Thunder ~ It Could Be Tonight
Bach: Cello Suite #6 in D
REM ~ Everybody Hurts
Jack Johnson ~ Staple It Together 

It has certainly been a very busy week so far...how about you? Mine has been predominantly medical based and therefore it has been a little stressful at times. It also means I haven't been able to spend much time, if any, in the kitchen. I find this frustrating especially when I have fresh ingredients sat waiting to be used. During a recent market shopping trip I found white aubergines...I know, right? I thought these little beauties were a foodie myth..but no! I bought three of the little devils and had great plans for them. However it has taken me far longer to get some time to use them...such is life for me right now. 

I wanted a strong flavour to go with my white aubergines and I needed a smokey hit too. I had some leftover thai red cargo rice from a previous meal and a bag of cooked Beluga lentils. My time in the kitchen needed to be brief so I was happy to cut corners where I needed to. I enjoyed making these stacks and I served them on a bed of lightly steamed finely cut runner beans. The finished dish was a delight...succulent aubergine that melted into the layer of smokey rice and lentils and the runner beans added a fresh green layer. And they looked great too...phew! 

Rocket & Roses Smokey White Aubergine/Eggplant Stacks on Runnerbean Bed
 

Rocket & Roses Smokey White Aubergine/Eggplant Stacks   Serves 4
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

3 white aubergines, trimmed and sliced into 1.5" slices 
small bowl of garlic infused olive oil

1 tsp olive oil
1 lg red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lg red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste 
6 fl oz boiling water
250g cooked Beluga black lentils
1 heaped tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped 
3/4 tsp smoked paprika 
6 tbsp cooked Thai red cargo rice (or rice of your choice)
freshly ground black pepper and Himaylanian salt to season

fresh runner beans, finely sliced 

Brush each slice of aubergine with the garlic oil on both sides. Heat a griddle pan and then place the aubergine slices onto it. Press down to score each side and cook, flipping occasionally, until the slices are succulent and cooked through. 

Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the red onions for 4 minutes or until softened. Add in the garlic and red pepper. Stir well, cover and cook over a low heat until the red pepper has mulched into the onion and garlic. Dissolve the tomato paste into the boiling water and add that to the pan along with the lentils. Stir in the fresh thyme and paprika and stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

Steam the finely cut runner beans and ready the serving plate. 

Add the cooked rice into the lentil mix, heat through and cook until the rice is heated thoroughly. Season with generous amounts of freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.

Spread the runner beans over the serving dish and place the bottom layer of aubergine over the top. Spoon a layer of the lentil mix over each aubergine slice. Press on a second layer of aubergine and repeat with a second layer of the lentils mix. Top each stack with a final layer of aubergine and then top each stack with a little bundle of runner beans. And serve...

Gratuitous foodie close up...check out those scorches...

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great week...I'll be back as and when I can...

~Red~ 

NB: This is my creation. I have no problem with you using the recipe or sharing it. I simply ask that you give credit where it is due as I always try to. Many thanks...Namaste ~R~    

 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Robin's Fettuccine and Broccoli with Almond-Herb Sauce (vegan and gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Orianthi ~ Shut Up And Kiss Me 
Texas ~ Guitar Song
VAST ~ Candle
The Rolling Stones ~ Miss You
Jack Johnson ~ Drink The Water
Sound City Sessions ~ You Can't Fix This
Susan Tedeschi ~ It Hurt So Bad
Buble ~ The Dock Of The Bay
Maroon 5 ~ Through With You
Rival Sons ~ Pressure And Time
Train ~ Feels Good At First
Buckcherry ~ King Of Kings (acoustic)
Republica ~ Drop Dead Gorgeous
Lissie ~ Pursuit Of Happiness

I finally got around to making another dish from my holiday cook book. Usually I pick up a new cookbook and take it away with me and spend the week testing and devouring a few of the recipes from it. But the holiday I bought it for, really wasn't that kind of a holiday. There simply wasn't the kitchen time required and more people with a higher priority for using the kitchen. For some people cooking is a chore...and not a holiday activity. But for me it's exactly the opposite...I relax when in the kitchen. I can switch off the pain and focus on the prep, cooking and then eating of the food cooked. Cooking for me is so much more than daily chore...it's a form of meditation and without I get cranky. lol. I should be resting right now but the hour I spent in the kitchen this morning with my little niece Layla to 'help'...maybe was exhausting but mentally it was uplifting and just a pure but tiring joy! 

The cook book of choice was a copy of Robin Robertson's One Dish Vegan. I had been reading several reviews of Robin's cookbook for a while and decided to give it a go. I made the Provencal Vegetables with Israeli Cous Cous (using maize cous, cous) which I enjoyed very much with all the natural flavours of the veggies used but I had a lasting thought that it needed a little something extra and I plan to play around with it at a later date. I also made a batch of the Chickpea Noodle Soup (using brown rice noodles) and I devoured a bowl of it each day. Yum! The reason I chose today's recipe was because I had recently purchased some mung bean fettuccine which is gluten-free. In all honesty I couldn't wait to try it..I love mung beans and fettuccine so what was there to lose? Robin's recipe for the sauce intrigued me and the use of all those fresh herbs sealed the deal. A pasta sauce that wasn't cheese or tomato based...marvellous. 

There was only one thing I would do differently next time...I would steam my broccoli florets and not boil them in with my pasta. But I do realise this would be using more than one dish therefore making Robin's recipe a two dish meal! I simply don't enjoy boiled veggies. The making of the sauce was simple and I loved the use of beans, fresh herbs, white wine, and broth. I really wasn't sure if I would like the almond butter element though but I did. The mung bean fettuccine cooked to perfection in 7 minutes. The entire cooking time was 15 minutes...from chopping board to placemat. The bowl of pasta looked spectacular and the comfort from eating a bowl of fettuccine with a rich, creamy sauce was a pleasure indeed. The sauce clings perfectly to the pasta and is rich in it's creaminess but delicate in flavour. The beans and almonds sit in the background whilst the herbs combine to give your tastebuds a treat. It makes a large amount of sauce so I have enough to have some for meal later in the week and to try freezing some for much later days. A fabulous meal and chock full of goodness too.

Robin's Fettuccine and Broccoli with Almond-Herb Sauce

Fettuccine and Broccoli with Almond-Herb Sauce   Makes 1 3/4 cups of sauce
(Recipe from One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson)

8 - 12 oz unccoked fettuccine of your choice
2-3 cups small broccoli florets

1 tbsp olive oil or 1/4 cup water
1 sm onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked cannellini beans or 1 15oz tin cannellini beans, 
rinsed and drained
2-3 tbsp almond butter (I used 2)
2 tbsp dry white wine (optional)
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of hot vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp chopped fresh italian parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tsp minced fresh thyme or savour
2 tbsp sliced toasted almonds, for garnish

Cook the fettuccine in a large pan of salted boiling water, stirring occassionally, until it is tender. At about 5 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli. Drain the cooked pasta and broccoli well and return to the pan. 

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil or water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occassionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans, almond butter, wine (if using), salt, and pepper to taste, and stir to blend the flavours. Transfer the the mixture to a food processor or high-speed blender. Add the hot broth and HALF of the herbs, and puree until smooth and creamy. 

Add the sauce to the pot with the pasta and broccoli. Add the remaining fresh herbs and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately, garnished with the almonds and while basil leaves. 

Enjoy! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week has started well...

~Red~ 

NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for its creation. It is the hard work and creation of Robin Robertson's and Robin's alone. I send thanks for a great cook book. ~R~

 

 
 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

I'm back and with olives dishes....

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey ~ Going Back Home album

Hello folks..wow what a beautifully long weekend away, so good that I am struggling to get back into the swing of things here. Windsor was just as you would expect...packed with international and national tourists. But we were staying at a hotel close by, so we were able to get there very early and thankfully miss most of the busy, busy moments. The castle really is like something lifted straight out of a fairytale. Strange to visit a castle that isn't a ruin. We did do the double decker bus tour of Windsor. We sat at the back of the bus...big mistake..although a very funny one. It had rained the night before and so every tree we passed...and there were many...we got showered with water, leaves, seeds and bugs. However we just went with it and were collasped in laughter almost all of the way round the tour. A treasured memory made. 

Our accomodation, The Grovefield House Hotel, was really nice despite having no air-conditioning...we had to resort to having all windows wide open and two fans blowing all the time because we had ridiculously hot humid weather day and night. I know those of you who live with this kind of heat all the time will be shaking your heads at this...but we Brits just ain't up to it! lol. Oh hush! The hotel was part of a small chain of hotels and for that, it thankfully hadn't lost its character. We even had a very Manuel/Fawlty Towers waiter at breakfast...well if Manuel had been 20 years older and Italian. He rocked. We took trips out to Henley-on-Thames, Marlow and Upper Wycombe and tried to spend as much time near the water. But before we knew it we were slinging our bags back into the car and heading home. The only downside to the break was eating...it was a nightmare to find good vegan and gluten-free food. I mainly lived on salad sandwiches...not great. It was a relief to get back home and start plotting foods that I had missed whilst gone. All in all though it was a really relaxing and visually satifsying weekend. 

On our way back to the hotel on one of the days we saw a sign for a cafe that was part of Dorney Court Tudor Mansion. Our interest was piqued and we made our way down the dusty and very bumpy trail...to find an oasis of lush greenage in a plant nursery that surrounded the most wholesome and unpretentious cafe ever. It had many vegan offerings on its menu boards but I had already eaten so had to make do with a pot of green tea. They had a little shop attached to it and in there I found the most beautiful pottery olive bowls. My holiday treasure was purchased and stashed in the boot of our car along with some rather stinky aromatic smoked garlic bulbs. Mental note: no matter how well wrapped smoked garlic bulbs are...do not leave them in your car overnight!

How could I not buy these? For an olive addict it was was impossible to resist.

Sadly I have come back to overwhelming hosptial stuff so it's going to be an intense couple of weeks ahead. But I will be back as often as I can with recipes for you all. I also found some elusive white aubergine/eggplants yesterday so I can't wait to get creative with them. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this week is being kind to you all...

~Red~





Friday, 11 July 2014

Weekend Indulgence Time: Vegan Chocolates (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Joan Jett ~ I Hate Myself For Loving You
Clare Teal ~ Get Happy
Kaiser Chiefs ~ Everyday I Love You Less And Less
Audioslave ~ What You Are
Black Stone Cherry ~ Peace Is Free
Missy Higgins ~ Steer
Ray Charles ~ Sherry
Thunder ~ Honey
Garbage ~ Not My Idea
Lenny Kravitz ~ Lady
Brandi Carlile ~ My Story
Lee Ann Womack ~ I Hope You Dance
Janiva Magness ~ Homewrecker
KORN ~ Predictable

We are escaping for the weekend folks! This afternoon we will throw our bags in the car and set pff to a place near Windsor. We have no set plans once we get there except for resting, recharging and maybe a little exploring. ML is taking Monday off to spend time with family once more before they all jet off home to South Africa. And I'm taking a day to myself and shall be found lunching, shopping, relaxing and slowly pootling around a beautiful place for the day...body permitting..in that case I may be having a marathon movie day. lol. We travel back up early Tuesday morning and then I am spending the day with the lovely Ann...so I will be back with you all Wednesday. To keep you going until then I have a bonus recipe posting for you. An indulgence posting..filled with vegan chocolates. So let's get on with it, eh? 

I was recently gifted a bunch of vegan chocolate bars which was lovely but as I have had to eliminate most sugars from my foods, it was a little lost on me. The little bars of chocolate was left sat on a shelf for a rainy day. Oddly the rainy days came and went and I still hadn't been anywhere near them. I know some of you will be ashamed of me for this...but in all honesty I'm not a chocoholic. During my recent week of recipe testing I was inspired to spend a morning melting down the chocolate bars and adding various fillings to them, much to the great happiness of the biggest chocoholic I know...my lovely pal Ann..who had come over to help me in the kitchen that day. We ended up covered in various chocolates and fillings..a fun morning. lol. 

Indulgence Time ~ Vegan Chocolates

Now a roll call moment for the bars of chocolate that I used:

Wasn't sure about this one at first


Vegan milk chocolate? Hmmm

Vegan white chocolate

And...a couple of large bars of vegan dark chocolate...extremely dark. Enough to make you shudder...lol. So armed with glass bowls for melting, two silicone chocolate/jelly moulds and various ingredients for the fillings....we got started. Now there are the two ways of melting your chocolate pieces...traditionally in a glass bowl over gently boiling water or using a microwave. As I was testing, the latter was the method I used. But your melting methods are entirely your call folks.

Vegan White Chocolate & Almond Chocs

Vegan White Chocolate & Almond Chocs

1 bar of vegan white chocolate 
handful of chopped almonds 

Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces and then toss them into a glass bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 sec blasts at a time. Using a small whisk break down the chocolate in between blasts and when it has almost entirely melted down, stop the melting process. Take over to your kitchen counter with awaiting mould and chopped almonds. 

Using a small spoon almost fill each moulding with the melted white chocolate...stopping just before the rim. Gently push in a cluster of almonds down into the centre of each chocolate and then add a very small amount of chocolate over the top to seal. Leave to set in a cool dry area of the kitchen. When cooled enough, place into the fridge to finish the setting process. When done...release each chocolate from the mould and then store in a airtight container in a cool space. Or devour! 

Notes: The feedback on these chocs was good. I didn't try them personally as I don't like white chocolate but didn't have to look far for testers. lol. The white chocolate worked well with the almonds and they wasn't as sweet as you would've expected them to be.

Vegan Green Tea & Lemon Chocs with Fresh Lemon

Vegan Green Tea & Lemon Chocs with Fresh Lemons   Makes 4-6 chocs

1 Ombar Green Tea and Lemon chocolate bar
fresh lemon segments, pith & pips removed, chopped down 

Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces and then toss them into a glass bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 sec blasts at a time. Using a small whisk break down the chocolate in between blasts and when it has almost entirely melted down, stop the melting process. Take over to your kitchen counter with awaiting mould and lemon segments.

Using a small spoon almost fill each moulding with the melted green tea and lemon chocolate...stopping just before the rim. Gently push in 1/2 tsp lemon segment down into the centre of each chocolate and then add a very small amount of chocolate over the top to seal. Leave to set in a cool dry area of the kitchen. When cooled enough, place into the fridge to finish the setting process. When done...release each chocolate from the mould and then store in a airtight container in a cool space. Or devour!

Notes: WOW! I admit I wasn't entirely sure if I would like this chocolate but it's flavourings intrigued me. As a stand alone chocolate bar it was amazingly tasty. This is a chocolate bar I could become addicted to. Thanks goodness they come in small bars and have a luxury price tag! lol. When melted down and with the added fresh lemon segments...well we were stunned..blissed out...and in confectionery heaven. So, so, so, so good!  

Vegan Milk Chocolate with Brazil Nuts Chocs
 
 Vegan Milk Chocolate with Brazil Nut Chocs   Makes 4-6 chocs

1 Ombar Milk Chocolate and Coconut Sweetened Chocolate bar
chopped brazil nuts

Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces and then toss them into a glass bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 sec blasts at a time. Using a small whisk break down the chocolate in between blasts and when it has almost entirely melted down, stop the melting process. Take over to your kitchen counter with awaiting mould and brazil nuts.

Using a small spoon almost fill each moulding with the melted milk chocolate...stopping just before the rim. Gently push in a cluster of brazil nut pieces down into the centre of each chocolate and then add a very small amount of chocolate over the top to seal. Leave to set in a cool dry area of the kitchen. When cooled enough, place into the fridge to finish the setting process. When done...release each chocolate from the mould and then store in a airtight container in a cool space. Or devour!

Notes: Wasn't sure what to expect from a chocolate bar sweetened with coconut but we wasn't disappointed. I only tasted a small piece of one of the chocolates but enjoyed the choc/brazil flavour greatly. Ann ate hers with a huge smile on her face and then enjoyed scrapping every last bit of chocolate left in the bowl...nodding with approval at the same time. So yep...vegan milk chocolate sweetened with coconut works..lol 

Vegan Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Chocs

 Vegan Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Chocs   Makes 12 chocs

1 large bar of darkest chocolate 
handful of raw hazelnuts, whole

Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces and then toss them into a glass bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 sec blasts at a time. Using a small whisk break down the chocolate in between blasts and when it has almost entirely melted down, stop the melting process. Take over to your kitchen counter with awaiting mould and hazelnuts.

Press a single hazelnut down into the bottom of each chocolate mould. Pour in the melted chocolate over the top and fill each individual moulding. Leave to set in a cool dry area of the kitchen. When cooled enough, place into the fridge to finish the setting process. When done...release each chocolate from the mould and then store in a airtight container in a cool space. Or devour!

Notes: Dark chocolate and hazelnuts...what is there not to love about this combination? I loved the resulting look of the chocs with the hazelnut showing clearly at the top. Success...as yes this is what I what I was hoping for. Phew! And yes...delicious. 


Vegan Dark Chocolate with Fresh Rhubarb Centred Chocs
  
 Vegan Dark Chocolate with Fresh Rhubarb Centred Chocs    Makes 12 chocs

1 large bar of darkest chocolate 
12 tsps of sugar-free rhubarb puree (for my recipe)

Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces and then toss them into a glass bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 sec blasts at a time. Using a small whisk break down the chocolate in between blasts and when it has almost entirely melted down, stop the melting process. Take over to your kitchen counter with awaiting mould and rhubarb puree.

Using a small spoon almost fill each moulding with the melted dark chocolate...stopping just before the rim. Gently push in a tsp of thubarb puree down into the centre of each chocolate and then add a very small amount of chocolate over the top to seal. Leave to set in a cool dry area of the kitchen. When cooled enough, place into the fridge to finish the setting process. When done...release each chocolate from the mould and then store in a airtight container in a cool space. Or devour! 

Notes: This was the second WOW moment for me. The bitterness of the dark chocolate combined with the fresh tart sweetness of the rhubarb puree was a flavour sensation. But they are rich so a little goes a long way. Stored in the fridge they keep for 3-4 days...if you can make them last that long. Challenge accepted? huh? lol Yum. 


Vegan Dark Chocolate with Fresh Lemon & Ginger Chocs
 
Vegan Dark Chocolate with Fresh Lemon & Ginger Chocs   Makes 12 chocs

1 large darkest chocolate bar 
1" piece of fresh ginger, micro-grated 
3 segments of fresh lemon, pith & pips removed, chopped

Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces and then toss them into a glass bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 sec blasts at a time. Using a small whisk break down the chocolate in between blasts and when it has almost entirely melted down, stop the melting process. Take over to your kitchen counter with awaiting mould, ginger and lemon.

Add the lemon and ginger to the melted chocolate and get whisking very quickly. The chocolate changes texture quite speedily. Spoon the chocolate mix into each mould and then press down and fill with remaining chocolate. Smooth over the top of each chocolate. Leave to set in a cool dry area of the kitchen. When cooled enough, place into the fridge to finish the setting process. When done...release each chocolate from the mould and then store in a airtight container in a cool space. Or devour! 

Notes: Now we were a little surprised by these chocs. They were a last minute experiment after a thought of fresh lemon and gingered flavoured chocs popped into my mind after having to drink a steaming hot mug of lemon and ginger tea. The darkness of the chocolate overwhelmed the not usually subtle flavouts of the lemon and ginger. They provided a warmth to the chocolates. But the most intriging thing about these was the fudgy texture to them. The addition of the lemon segs and minced ginger somehow gave the melted chocolate a chemical reaction...not a bad reaction at all. It was a pleasant surprise.  However they are not the most attractive of chocolates so they stay in my 'work in progress' file.   

And just for indulgent fun....

Dark Chocolate Dipped Fresh Cherries


Dark Chocolate Dipped Fresh Cherries

fresh cherries with stalks tidied 
melted dark chocolate

Take a sheet of baking parchment and set to the side of your bowl of melted chocolate. Take one cherry at a time and roll the bottom of each one around in the melted chocolate and then gently place on the parchment paper. Continue until you run out of chocolate or cherries. Leave to set on the parchment paper...when they lift off of the paper without the chocolate pulling apart they are set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Notes: We had leftover dark chocolate and a bag of fresh cherries that needed to be eaten before I went away. A perfect dessert in my opinion...a little dark chocolate bitterness with fresh succulent cherries..mouthwatering happiness. 

Well indulgence a plenty...and great for those special occasions...or much needed chocolate moments. Now I know how easy it is to make these lovelies I don't think I'll be buying many in the future. Thanks to Ann for the devouring of the test subjects and scraping the many bowls used. And for distributing the chocs afterwards. You rock! 

I hope you have enjoyed this luxury High Days and Holidays posting. I am away for my break away. We are taking no computers and are therefore going OFFLINE for the next 5 days. Yikes! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend is beautiful and your week starts well...

~Red~ 

NB: The chocolate bar images are not mine and were found online. The recipe for the chocolate bars themselves are not mine but the recipe of Ombar etc. However the addition of fillings and making them into chocs are my creation. I have no problem with you using the recipes or sharing them. I simply ask that you give credit where it's due as I always try to. Many thanks...Namaste. ~R~