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Mocha Pudding Parfait #Vegan

If there was ever a girl that love coffee and chocolate together, it’s this one.

Coffee is the cornerstone of my world. I am an unapologetic addict. And chocolate… well, let’s just say there are very few days that don’t end with a piece of really good quality, dark chocolate.

Mocha Pudding Parfait

A few weeks back, I was in the Okanagan, and spent an afternoon exploring some of the wineries on the Naramata Bench. I have been a big fan of Legend Distilling for a few months now (remember the Smoked Rosemary Gin?), so I was really excited to visit their distillery in person.

It’s totes adorbs. We were there in March, and the weather was miserable, but I’d love to go back in the summer and hang on their patio and drink G&Ts.

While we were there, we did a tasting of a few of their different spirits, and the one that got my full attention was the Blasted Brew. It’s a coffee liquor. I’m still working on cocktail ideas to make with it, but in the mean time, I’ve been incorporating it into desserts; cakes, brownies, and yes, this vegan mocha pudding.

legend distilling blasted brew

Maybe I can’t even call this “mocha?” I mean mocha implies a mixture of coffee and chocolate and this pudding has two distinct layers; one chocolate and one coffee. It’s crowned with a sweetened cloud of whipped aquafaba, and it’s oh so awesome.

So if you like your desserts a little sweet, a little bitter and a lot chocolate and coffee (like me!), this one is for you.

vegan mocha puddingMocha Pudding Parfait #Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (divided)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp Blasted Brew or strong espresso
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Method

  1. The night before, place the cashews in a 500-ml mason jar, and fill with water. Screw on the top and allow to sit overnight to soak on the counter.
  2. The next day, drain the water off of the cashews, then add them to your blender along with 2 cups of fresh water. Blend well on highest speed for about 1-2 minutes. Strain into a pitcher.
  3. On the stove, place 1 cup cashew milk, 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp cacao powder along with a pinch of salt. Whisk well, then turn on the heat to medium-low. Bring up to a boil, but don’t allow to boil. The pudding will thicken. Divide the pudding between two glass containers: you could use wide-mouthed 250 ml mason jars, glasses or martini glasses. Place in the fridge and allow to set up for about an hour.
  4. On the stove, place 1 cup cashew milk, 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp blasted brew or espresso. Whisk well, then turn on the heat to medium-low. Bring up to a boil, but don’t allow to boil. The pudding will thicken. Pour pudding over the set chocolate layer, cover, and return to the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. In the bowl of your mixer, place the aquafaba, 2 tbsp sugar and the cream of tartar. Whip at highest speed for about 6-10 minutes until soft peaks form. Garnish puddings with a dollop of whipped aquafaba and chocolate covered coffee beans or grated dark chocolate.

Rosemary Truffle Popcorn

Decadence.

That’s what truffles mean to me.

Wait. Let’s get one thing straight, here. We’re talking about the fungus truffles, not the chocolate version, though, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t kick them out of bed for eating crackers, either.

Truffle is one of those flavors that really divides people; most folks I know either love it or hate it. It’s earthy, intense. It smells like bad socks, but in the best possible way. And they are very, very rare and expensive.

truffle popcorn

I’m unsure if the truffle’s hype is partly because of that…. because, as human beings, we tend to romanticise anything that is rare and expensive. Maybe.

Scientists have discovered that the truffle smell and taste comes from a molecule called androstenone (source: The Sporkful). Turns out this molecule is also found in human sweat and urine. I’ll not comment on that. You can read into it what you will.

However you slice it (very, very thin, in the case of truffles), truffles are sought-after and decadent.

It’s difficult to get truffles here in North America. You may pay through the nose for a few shavings over your pasta at a fine-dining restaurant, but for the rest of us, we get our fix through truffle-infused oils and salts.

I have a box of the Amola Truffle Salt I’ve been rationing out on my eggs, popcorn and pasta for the last year or two, but I recently also acquired a bottle of white truffle oil.

I was recently traveling in the Okanagan. Let’s just say with the book, teaching, The Wellness Show, etc, things have been a little stressful in my life. So I took a few days off for R&R. That involved lots of wine tasting, good food, and foodie adventures, including locally-made cheeses. And then we stumbled over this place in Pentiction called Olivia’s Oils and Vinegars.

olivia's oil and vinegar

Olivia’s is a bulk oil- and vinegar-store. There are a few of them in BC, all independently-owned (I’ve put together a list at the end of this post), and whenever I find one, I’m like a kid in a candy store. I go around and taste everything, try different combinations, and generally spend a lot of time and a lot of money.

One of the oils I came home with was the white truffle olive oil. White truffles, as it turns out, are even more rare than black truffles, and I know I probably shouldn’t waste this expensive product on something so plebeian as popcorn, but there’s a kind of poetry to it, y’know? Taking something so common and every-day, and dressing it up in finery.

Plus, y’know. Truffles.

So, here you go. A little something to fancy up your Friday night. Even if you eat it in your PJs while watching something trashy on Netflix. Everyday decadence.

Rosemary Truffle Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp butter, butter substitute or butter-flavored olive oil (Olivia’s sells that, too)
  • 2 tbsp truffle-infused olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp truffle salt
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, place the butter (whichever version you are using) and the truffle oil, as well as the sprig of rosemary. Heat gently, just until warmed, don’t allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary.
  2. Pop popcorn using whatever method you like. I like to do mine in a brown paper bag in the microwave.
  3. Pour popped popcorn into a large bowl and drizzle over the butter/truffle oil. Sprinkle with truffle salt, toss, and shove into your face in large handfuls.

Where to find Oil- and Vinegar- Dispensaries in BC

(please comment below any I’ve missed)

Vancouver: Vancouver Olive Oil Company, 2571 W Broadway

Victoria: Olive the Senses, 9–1701 Douglas St

Gibsons: Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co, 305 – 287 Gower Point Rd.

Okanagan: Olivia’s Oils & Vinegars, Kelowna – Orchard Park Mall & Guisachan Village, Penticton – Riverside Drive

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