Desserting Palm Oil

Life’s not worth living without pudding right? Or is that just me? Anyhoo…

Christmas prompted a fabulous new party food addition from Tesco and if they stop making this I might cry!

20151231_204106000_iOS.jpgThe crunchy shelled doughnut fingers were so easy to cook, the chocolate hazelnut filling delicious and they’re so moreish I definitely ate too many at once!

I was using Swedish Glace Vanilla Frozen Dessert as ice cream before Orangutanuary, but it is made with palm oil and some unspecified emulsifiers, so that’s a no no from now on. Instead I tried making my own, and no ice cream maker required!

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This was a bowl of chocolate nicecream. It was made by blending frozen banana chunks and soya milk in my Nutribullet. Just add more/less liquid depending on how thick you like it. I added some chocolate soya protein powder from MyProtein and sprinkled on cacao nibs, crushed nuts and dates. I was excited by how good this tastes, and how good it is for you. Honestly, I don’t really get the cacao nib thing – they worked well in a muffin recipe recently but they’re just a bit crunchy and bland like this! But, ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner from now on then! If you need any nicecream inspiration just type the hashtag into Instagram or Twitter. Mind blown!

This weekend I had my first attempts at vegan meringues. Now I’m not certain any of them were a success really, not enough to put before omnivore critics, but they have shown me it’s definitely possible with some perseverance and longer cooking times. The photos look good but they all went soggy and sticky once out of the oven. Unfortunately I’m impatient, so waiting three hours for something to cook is a bit out of my comfort zone of ‘feed me now!’ 🙂

My first attempt was aquafaba (liquid from a tin of chickpeas) and icing sugar. I was sceptical but so impressed when it did actually whip and peak like egg whites. Mind you, I only ever made egg-based meringue twice so I didn’t really know what I was looking for. I split the mix in half, some piped as small rounds, and half spread to make a large rectangle base for (potentially) a pavlova.

You can see I’m no piping expert!! Can you tell which side I started? 🙂

I gave the rounds an hour at 100c but this was the unimpressive result:20160109_125510000_iOS

Completely hollow! Oven too hot apparently, and all the moisture evaporated too quickly.

The pavlova base got two hours, and another hour left in the oven to cool, but when I tried to remove it from the baking tray it was stuck firm and just shattered. 20160109_173857000_iOSThis actually tastes awesome and has that crispy outside, chewy middle. It could easily have life as an Eton Mess style dessert.

Round two was a recipe of aquafaba, cream of tartar and caster sugar. This whipped beautifully. I turned the oven down to 75c and gave the rounds an hour in the oven and an hour to cool. They looked so good, but tasted tangy, maybe too much cream of tartar, and they were still sticky on the outside. Little E still approved though.

A second attempt at the pavlova flat with this mix also fared better in baking, and did come out whole, after two hours baking and leaving for hours in the oven to cool. But as soon as I added whipped coconut cream and fruit it completely sunk! Arrgggh!

So I haven’t cracked the eggless meringue, yet. But this is exciting in its potential!

20160105_171513691_iOSWhy did no one tell me pancakes were so easy? These are great for breakfast or dessert. Definitely toddler approved! These are made with spelt flour, flaxseed, pureed banana, coconut sugar and soya milk using a recipe I found from @theplantbasedeatery on Instagram. Recipes abound online though so I’ll not claim to be a chef and regurgitate theirs.

Alpro deserts are an easy vegan and palm oil free option. The custard is a lovely vanilla flavour, although thinner than a dairy custard as I remember. I chucked in some fresh fruit. The dessert pots come in Silky Smooth Chocolate, Simply Vanilla and Creamy Caramel. All tasty.

What eludes me, dessert-wise, is pastry. There’s no palm oil free spread in the UK so to make pastry means making my own butter first. I have a recipe for a vegan butter substitute, from Forks and Beans here, but have yet to attempt it. If I do, then lemon meringue pie is on the menu!

What are your favourite vegan and palm oil free desserts? Send me ideas to satisfy my sweet tooth!

 

 

 

 

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