Vegan Drinking Chocolate

There’s a place here in Vancouver called Mink. It’s not far from where I live, and it is all about the chocolate.

They sell chocolates of all different kinds and flavors, and you can do a fondue there, or have your own s’mores party.

They also sell drinking chocolate.

vegan-drinking-chocolate

Now, you might be wondering, what’s the difference between hot chocolate and drinking chocolate? Hot chocolate is mostly made with cocoa powder, while drinking chocolate is much thicker, and is made with actual melted chocolate. It’s much more intense, much richer, and all kinds of amazing.

Mink is surprisingly vegan friendly–you’ll find lots of different kinds of dark chocolate there that is vegan.

But this is a proper vegan drinking chocolate–and the base is cashews. It’s sweetened with maple syrup, and it’s thick and delicious and amazing. You could also use a shot of this in your morning coffee to take it up a notch.

Vegan Drinking Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • water
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Method

  1. Place the cashews in a large mason jar and cover them over with water, plus some extra. Screw on the top and allow to soak overnight.
  2. In the morning, drain the water off the cashews and then add them to your blender with the cocoa, the maple syrup, and 1 ½ cups of water.
  3. Blend for 1-2 minutes on high.
  4. Strain to remove any small bits of debris.
  5. Place the mixture in a small saucepan on the stove and heat until the mixture is almost boiling, is thickened and smooth.
  6. Serve immediately in mugs.

 

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Vegan Butter Tarts

Christmas is creeping up on us, and it’s time to start thinking about making batches of cookies to give away to family and friends.

This is something I’ve been doing for years, thought I’m not sure how it’s going to work this year, what with being so tied up in writing a cookbook and all.. I’m guessing I’ll wait until December and then just panic! 🙂

vegan butter tarts

One of my favorite recipes growing up, especially around Christmas, is of my mom baking. She was pretty amazing in the kitchen, and her pies and tarts were especially fantastic. At Christmas, my mom was a big fan of mincemeat tarts. They always had a place in our Christmas baking.

My mom also made butter tarts and butter tart squares. They really are one of those wonderful Canadian dishes we really can call our own. I like to make mine with maple syrup, to make them even more Canadian.

Veganizing this recipe is a bit of a challenge, as they call for both butter and egg yolks, which help to thicken them.

For me, the ideal butter tart still has a bit of ooze to it when you break into it. Sweet and gooey, with that maple flavor… it’s the best.

I subbed in vegan butter, and used corn starch to thicken, I think they turned out great!

If you like nuts, add a few pecans to the shells, then pour the hot butter syrup over top before baking. You also might want to think about adding raisins, or dark chocolate chips (I tried this and it was the bomb).

butter tarts vegan

Vegan Butter Tarts

(makes 9-12)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 recipe pie crust

Method:

  1. Make the pie crust. Roll it out between two sheets of wax paper, then cut circles approx 4″ in diameter. Lay each of these circles into a muffin tin, and tamp them down with your fingers.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then slide the muffin tin into the oven and allow to bake for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, melt together the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup until they are smooth. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
  4. Place the aquafaba and the cornstarch in a small mason jar and shake well until it’s smooth and all combined. Then slowly pour the slurry into the butter/sugar syrup. Continue to stir until it thickens slightly.
  5. If you are adding chocolate, raisins or nuts to your tarts, this is the time to do it.
  6. Carefully pour a few tablespoons of the hot butter/syrup into each of the tart shells, you don’t want to fill them all the way.
  7. Bake in the oven for an additional 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool on the counter for 1/2 an hour or so. Run a butter knife around the outside of each tart, pop them out, and allow to cool on wire racks.
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