Hot chocolate

Feeling depressed this winter? A very vegan chocolate dinner will give you a kick inside!

1. Evergreen chocolate delight

Pine, the symbol of light. Rosemary, a fire starter for the body. Both can dance a tango with chocolate. Make this recipe with one of these two spicy evergreens, spike it with some rum and feel the magical and tingling effect of this special Fairtrade chocolate milk.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

Evergreen syrup
300 g Fairtrade & organic raw cane sugar
300 ml water
a little piece of pine branch (with needles) or a few branches or rosemary

Chocolate milk
400 ml oat or soy milk
3 tsp Fairtrade cacao powder
1 vanilla pod, marrow scraped out
1 tsp cornstarch, stirred with some cold oat milk
4 cubes of vegan Fairtrade dark chocolate
vegan whipping cream, whipped up or an aerosol can from, for example, Soyatoo
a dash of rum or whisky, optional

Extra
some vegan Fairtrade chocolate or cocao powder

INSTRUCTIONS

Evergreen syrup
Put sugar and water in a pan together with pine branch or rosemary. Bring mixture to a boil so that sugar dissolves completely.Leave to simmer for about 20 min on low heat. Put mixture (with branches) in a clean pot or bottle. Allow to cool.

Chocolate milk
Put plant milk, cacao powder, vanilla marrow and loosened cornstarch in a pan together and mix. Add 2 tbsp of pine or rosemary syrup. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Cook briefly and turn off the heat. Melt the chocolate cubes in the milk and stir until they are completely melted. Put the chocolate milk in beautiful cups or heat resistant glasses. For an extra kick you can add a dash of rum or whisky. Serve with a generous amount of vegan whipped cream and garnish with some grated chocolate or a pinch of cacao powder.

2. A garden moonwalk

This is just a heavenly dish to celebrate the holidays. The ingredients may seem a little odd, but once you’ve made it and start to eat, everything will fall into a cosmic place.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Beets
8 medium to small different kinds of beetroots, like chioggia, yellow and red beets
(recycled) aluminum foil

Lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
150 g dried black lentils (not from a can)
300 ml (1 1/3 cup) water
5 sage leafs
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
salt and black pepper

Puree of celeriac, rye bread and cacao
100 g celeriac, peeled, cleaned and diced in small cubes
150 ml (2/3 cup) water
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp sea salt
125 g Dutch style rye bread
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce/shoyu
1 tsp Fairtrade cacao

Salted chocolate-balsamic fudge dressing
75 ml (1/3 cup) balsamic vinegar
50 ml (1/4 cup) beetroot juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 sage leafs
15 g dark vegan Fairtrade chocolate, chopped in small pieces
pinch of sea salt

Sage crisps
12 sage leafs
olive oil

Extra
sea salt
freshly cracked red peppercorns
fleshly grounded black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Beets
Preheat oven to 200 C/390 F.
Clean beetroots, leave peel on. Wrap them in aluminum foil. Pop them in the oven for ca. 1 hour. Get them out of the foil and peel skin off (with the aid of a little knife, or by squeezing it gently so skin comes off). Cut in half or quarters (depending on size of beets).

Lentils
Fry onion in olive oil until translucent. Add lentils and water, bring to a boil. Add sage leafs, cinnamon stick and garlic. All liquid should be absorbed after ca. 30 min. Season to taste at end of cooking time with salt and black pepper.

Puree of celeriac, rye bread and cacao
Bring water in a pan to a boil with celeriac, garlic and salt. Turn heat low as soon as it starts to boil, keep lid on. Let cubes simmer for 10-15 min until fully cooked. Then crumble in rye bread and cook along for a few minutes. Add olive oil, soy sauce and cacao. Puree with a stick blender or with the aid of a food processor into a smooth puree.

Salted chocolate-balsamic fudge dressing
Put balsamic vinegar, beetroot juice, garlic and sage leafs in a sauce pan and place on medium heat. Reduce liquid by half. Turn heat off and add chocolate. Mix with whisker until melted. Add a pinch of salt.

Sage crisps
Heat shallow layer of oil in frying pan. Add sage leafs and fry until crispy. Be careful not to burn the leafs. Put them on kitchen towels so excess oil can absorb.

To serve
Scoop some puree on (preferably preheated) plates. Put beets in puree, as were it a little vegetable garden. Also arrange lentils in your garden, and drizzle with some dressing. Garnish with crispy sage leafs, sea salt, red peppercorns and black pepper.

3. Gold dust choco cake

Let’s get a little bit tipsy by making this festive chocolate cake with home made heart warming golden advocaat (sort of a Dutch egg nog)!

For 1 large cake!

INGREDIENTS

Cake

350 g (2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour

125 g (1 cup) Fairtrade cacao powder

250 g (1 cup) Fairtrade raw cane sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

20 g (4 levelled tsp) baking powder

150 ml strong coffee

175 ml rice oil

375 ml rice milk

Golden milk advocaat

400 ml Fairtrade coconut milk

1 cm fresh turmeric, sliced (or 1/4 tsp turmeric powder)

2 cm fresh ginger, sliced

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

3 cardamom pods, crushed

zest of 1/2 organic orange

1 vanilla pod, marrow scraped out

40 g (1/3 cup) cornstarch, plus some cold water

25 g (2 tbsp) sugar

75 ml (1/3) cup rum

Whipped cream

250 ml vegan whipping cream

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

Ganache

100 g Fairtrade vegan dark chocolate

150 ml Fairtrade coconut milk

Decoration

edible gold powder or luster dust

edible golden glitter

INSTRUCTIONS

Cake

Preheat oven to 175 C/350 F. Prepare 3 shallow cake molds (ca. 23 cm diameter), with baking parchment, or grease them with some plant based butter. Mix dry ingredients in big bowl. Mix all wet ones in another bowl or jar. Add wet ingredients to dry ones and fold in with spatula. Don’t over mix. Divide batter over 3 molds and bake in 25 min or until a skewer poked in the center comes out clean.

Golden milk advocaat

Put coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, zest and vanilla (seeds and pod) in sauce pan and bring a the boil. Turn heat low and let simmer for ca. 15 min, lid on. You don’t want the milk to evaporate. Sieve milk and put back in pan. Dissolve cornstarch in some cold water with sugar. Add to milk in the pan whilst stirring. The mixture will start to thicken now. Cook on low heat for a few minutes whilst constantly stirring. Let mixture cool down. When cooled down, add rum. Puree with a stick blender into a smooth substance.

Whipped cream

Whip whipping cream with sugar and lemon juice to stiff peaks.

Ganache

Chop chocolate in small pieces and put in heat proof bowl. Bring coconut milk to a boil on low heat and pour over chocolate. Stir every now and then until chocolate has melted into the milk. Let cool down a bit so it gets a bit thicker, but don’t let it cool down completely because it gets too stiff to spread.

To serve

Remove cakes from molds and place one cake on a beautiful plate. Spread with 1/2 part of golden milk advocaat. Add half of the whipped cream. Cover with another layer of cake and repeat steps. Cover with last layer of cake and spread ganache on top. Decorate with luster dust, dusted with the aid of a small sieve and add some glitter too.

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This post is also available in: Dutch