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Veganuary: Five Vegan Desserts That This Plant-Based Chef Swears By

Here’s a list of five not-so-complicated vegan desserts you can try this month.

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Veganuary: Five Vegan Desserts That This Plant-Based Chef Swears By
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No eggs, no milk, no butter. Well, how does one whip up a dessert without ingredients that form a substantial part of the recipe?

I’ve often come across this question in my career as a plant-based chef. Especially, while baking desserts.

When I looked at the complexity of the work of the famous Chef Tony Rodrigues from Barcelona, I was sure if it’s possible to develop molecular gastronomy around desserts, I can sure whip up some wholesome vegan and conscious dessert recipes that I would love to bake once a while.

And did I mention how guilt-free these sweet treats are? All the desserts are made with whole grains and unrefined sweeteners that help keep your blood sugars under control while nourishing your gut with dietary fiber.

As Veganuary is all about giving the non-dairy and plant-based lifestyle a shot, here’s a list of five not-so-complicated vegan desserts you can try this month.

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Recipe #1: Key Lime Strawberry Cheesecake

Key Lime Strawberry Cheesecake

(Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 8

Base:

  • 30 grams rolled oats

  • 30 grams almonds

  • 30 grams desiccated coconut

  • 60 grams dates

  • 2 tsp lime zest

  • A pinch of salt

Cheese layer:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews

  • 1 cup soaked pumpkin seeds

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • ½ cup date syrup

Top layer:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews

  • 1 ½ cups strawberries

  • 1 tbsp lime

  • 3 tbsp date syrup

In a food processor, add the ingredients for the base and pulse until a dough like consistency is achieved. Transfer to a 9-inch mould lined with parchment and spread the base evenly. It should be about a centimeter thick. Freeze the mould and get on to the next layer.

In a blender, add the cheese layer ingredients and blend until completely smooth. This should take at least three minutes or more depending on the blender. Add the mix to the base, use a spatula, and tap to even the surface. Freeze again.

In the same blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer it to the mould and freeze again. Let it freeze for a couple of hours and then slice into 8 equal pieces.

While serving, take a slice out of the freezer, let it sit for at least 20 minutes at room temperature to thaw, and then garnish with fresh strawberries.

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Recipe #2: The Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The Avocado Chocolate Mousse

(Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 8

Base:

  • 40 grams dates

  • 20 grams oats

  • 7.5 grams cashews

  • 15 grams sunflower seeds

  • 4 grams cacao

  • 3.5 grams flax meal

  • 12 grams pumpkin seeds

  • 45 grams desiccated coconut

  • 1.5 grams coffee powder

  • 1 gram vanilla essence

  • A pinch of salt

Mousse layer:

  • 140 grams avocado flesh

  • 400 grams melted dark chocolate

  • 120 ml coconut milk

  • 1 gram salt

  • 12 grams vanilla essence

  • 2 tsp agar agar

In a food processor, pulse all the base ingredients together until the oil from the desiccated coconut starts to release and all the ingredients have combined in a coarse consistency.

Line a 9 inch cake mould with parchment paper and spread the base evenly.

On a gas stove, prepare a double boiler to melt the dark chocolate with coconut milk. Set aside.

Transfer the melted chocolate to a blender and add the remaining ingredients, the avocado, salt, and vanilla, and blend until smooth.

Bring the mix to a boil and stir in the agar agar powder vigorously until it boils.

Let it cool and transfer to the base and spread evenly. Garnish with some chopped almonds, desiccated coconut or any other toppings of your choice.
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Recipe #3: Oil-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

Oil Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

(Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup peanut or soy yogurt

  • ½ cup powdered jaggery

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • ¼ cup soy milk powder

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • ½ cup coconut milk

Whisk the jaggery with the yogurt until properly dissolved.

Sieve flour into the mix. Add the remaining sugar, vanilla, soy milk powder, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda, and whisk properly.

Slowly add coconut milk, incorporate into the mix until it turns into a smooth cake batter. Line a bread mould with parchment. Transfer the batter in it. Bake at 180C for around 35 minutes.

Check with a toothpick to make sure it’s properly cooked. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the mould as it’s still cooking.

Once cool, top with cashew cream frosting or a simple chocolate ganache.

I still can’t believe this cake tastes just like a regular chocolate sponge cake, yet it’s oil free.
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Recipe #4: Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie

(Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12

Dry ingredients:

  • 170 grams ragi

  • 2.5 grams baking powder

  • 0.6 grams baking soda

  • 120 grams jaggery powder

Wet ingredients:

  • 60 grams coconut oil

  • 60 grams tahini (I prefer Al Ameera’s)

  • 55 grams water

  • 5 grams vanilla essence

  • 120 grams dark chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients. Now, mix the wet with the dry until smooth. Add chocolate chunks and mix well to combine.

Cover with a cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Shape into 50 grams of flat cookies and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 minutes turning halfway.

Once the bottom is golden brown, transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

Store in an airtight box for seven days in the fridge.
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Recipe #5: Banana Walnut Muffins

Banana Walnut Muffins

(Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed powder with 2 tbsp water)

  • 1/2 cup mashed banana

  • 1/2 cup apple sauce

  • 1/2 cup plant yogurt

  • 2 tbsp date syrup

  • 1 cup oat flour

  • 3 tbsp millet flour

  • 4 tbsp jaggery powder

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • A pinch of salt

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl – the oat flour, cinnamon, jaggery, nutmeg, salt, millet flour, and baking powder.

To the dry mix, add mashed banana, peanut yoghurt, vanilla, flax egg, and date syrup. Whisk properly until fully incorporated.

Add the chopped walnuts and save some for garnish.

Line the parchment on the muffin mold and divide the mix into six equal parts.

Bake at 175C in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the insides are cooked. Check using a toothpick.

Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the mould. Enjoy with some berry drizzle or just with a warm cup of coffee.

(Chef Varun, a plant-based chef, is the founder of Bodhi Trees (an organic café) and the consultant chef at Humane Society International/India.)

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Topics:  Recipes   vegan desserts   Veganuary 

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