This Chocolate’s On a Diet

blueberry

Unit 23: Chocolate started by going over chocolate from the beginning with the cacao tree and how cacao beans are processed, the basics of cocoa powder, dutching, and cocoa butter in addition to how chocolate is processed into varieties of dark, milk, and white chocolate. More…

Unit 23: Chocolate started by going over chocolate from the beginning with the cacao tree and how cacao beans are processed, the basics of cocoa powder, dutching, and cocoa butter in addition to how chocolate is processed into varieties of dark, milk, and white chocolate.

The graded assignment assessed the ability to prepare a special-diet-friendly chocolate torte that was dairy, egg, and gluten-free along with also being raw. While the base of the assignment was to make the torte, the final submission was to be a composed plate. I came up with the following: Chocolate Ganache Torte with Raspberry Sorbet, Glazed Blueberry, & Candied Pine Nut.

chocolate

My dairy, egg, and gluten-free chocolate ganache torte took about 15 minutes to prepare, but looked like it took hours to prep. The ganache filling was firm yet silky smooth and not overly sweet, which given the amount of raspberry sorbet I used in my plating, was perfect. After the torte was set, I dusted the plate with some cocoa and used round cutters to get the shape I wanted from my square pan of torte (I still don’t have a torte pan) and placed the torte rounds on the serving plate. I chose to use a cutter that matched the size of a scoop I then used to place the sorbet nicely on top. I then added the lightly glazed blueberries and candied some pine nuts to top the dish to finish. I was very happy with the results as were all that tasted it. It was a hit!

No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This

pie

I am not a vegetarian, but I did spend quite a few years without eating meat. I still ate fish. I am not sure why I made the distinction there, but it doesn’t really matter now. Eventually, I just found that I was unable to find enough variety in my meals to continue and my protein intake was probably too low as well. I was a picky veg-head. I would not eat beans, cheese, most eggs–it just didn’t work. More…

I am not a vegetarian, but I did spend quite a few years without eating meat. I still ate fish. I am not sure why I made the distinction there, but it doesn’t really matter now. Eventually, I just found that I was unable to find enough variety in my meals to continue and my protein intake was probably too low as well. I was a picky veg-head. I would not eat beans, cheese, most eggs–it just didn’t work.

But now, I have broadened my culinary horizons and think I could successfully become a vegetarian, and maybe even a vegan. I think about it sometimes…but then I get a whiff of some bacon or nibble on some crispy chicken skin, and realize that it probably wouldn’t work. However, I do think that cutting back on meat is a great way to go; almost like a treat now and again. And if I was not convinced that I could go to a mostly plant-based diet, Unit 26: Plant Based Alternatives provided the final puzzle piece. The fact is, with bacon being a caveat, you can eat plant-based menus–enjoy satisfying meals and health–without feeling deprived. The graded assignment alone was to-die-for. Just take a look for yourself…

This tofu chocolate cream pie may have been the silkiest cream pie I have ever had. Its creaminess and decadence were complimented by fresh raspberries and some vegan cream made from coconut cream that I whipped up. The pie was wonderful the first day and perfection the second day. The coconut whipped cream even held its form and the pie’s crust and filling had firmed up brilliantly.

pie

I can see using the filling as pudding or in a over-the-top trifle. The chocolate pudding might also lend itself to a filling layer in a cake or in a cream puff. The crust would be a great base for bar cookies or cheese cake. I know that cheese cake is not vegan, but the crust is very tasty regardless of its status of being vegan. It might also lend itself to topping fish or scallops.