Classic Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding (vegan)

I know I have been away for a while now. I was taking a bit of a break from blogging because honestly, I wasn’t really feeling it. You know those phases in your life where you are damn confused and feeling uninspired and all you want to do is lay cozy in your bed, stuffing yourself with all kinds of junk possible. Well, let’s just say I was having one (or a few) of those days, coupled with a flu. However, I’m back and although I’m still struggling on the inspiration front, I’m sure it’s gonna pass. Moving on to happier topics, let’s talk butterscotch.

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Butterscotch pudding 2

Butterscotch and vegan don’t really go together in the same sentence, do they? This recipe has neither the butter, nor the scotch. How is it butterscotch, you ask? Traditionally a butterscotch pudding is made with dark brown sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. This one tastes just as good, or better even, with the added benefit of being dairy free. Woohoo! In all honesty, I was a bit skeptical about this, but I’m so glad I gave it a go nonetheless. I’m not a strict vegan but I do try to eliminate as much dairy as possible from my diet. Looking for easy vegan recipes is not easy, for there are so many ingredients that still aren’t readily available here in India. Also, the focus is easy here. No fancy stuff. This pudding is just that. It literally took me 5 mins to make this, start to end. I love how smooth it is with that depth of butterscotch flavor. To give it a little texture, I added crumbled biscuits at the base. The star that makes this pudding extra special are the butterscotch chips. OH MY GOD. If you haven’t tried them, I warn you. They are HELL addictive. I have used vegan butterscotch chips here which are available on amazon. If you are not vegan, you might find them at FoodHall or INA (if you’re from Delhi). Anyhow, I would just suggest to order them on Amazon. Coming back to the chips, yes. They add so much extra flavor to the pudding along with the much needed occasional crunch. So this pudding is creamy, smooth, occasionally crunchy, unbelievably easy and so ridiculously yum!

Why the bourbon? If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you would know I love working with alcohol. No, I’m not an alcoholic but I love the subtle depth of flavor they add to the desserts without being too overpowering. Bourbon here does the exact. It helps balance out the sweetness of the pudding and also adds a very subtle flavor. Plus butterscotch and bourbon are a match made in heaven! 😀 If you don’t want to add bourbon, you will have to reduce the sugar a bit but trust me, I wouldn’t recommend you skipping it. Using a good quality vanilla extract makes all the difference here. I’m a very strong believer of always using good quality ingredients because they are the real deal. I know they can be a bit expensive at times but they are definitely worth it! So go ahead and give it a go because you’re so not gonna regret it 😀

Butterscotch pudding top

Butterscotch pudding 4

Recipe adaptation: PeaceLoveQuinoa

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 8-10 crackers (I used oatmeal hobnobb cookies), roughly crumbled
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 110 gms dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp good quality pure vanilla extract *
  • 60 gms vegan butterscotch chips + extra for garnish
  • Grated dark chocolate, for garnish

Method 

  • Get everything together before starting since the pudding thickens very quickly.
  • Put the crumbled crackers into 4 medium glasses. Keep aside.
  • Meanwhile, mix cornflour, dark brown sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Add 50 ml of the coconut milk and place over low heat. Whisk continuously until the sugar has melted.
  • Add in the remaining coconut milk along with bourbon, stirring continuously so that no lumps form. The mixture will begin to thicken. Once the desired consistency has reached, remove from heat (approx 2-3 mins).
  • Stir in the vanilla. Let the pudding cool for a minute or two before folding in the butterscotch chips  or else they might melt into the pudding.
  • Pour into the prepared glasses and cover with cling film wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for the pudding to set. (I like to refrigerate mine overnight. It helps the flavour to develop better.)
  • Garnish with grated dark chocolate and more butterscotch chips if you wish. Serve cold. Enjoy!

 

 

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Baileys Salted Caramel (vegan)

If you have been reading my blog for a while now you would know my love for Caramel. Especially salted caramel, oh! There’s something VERY tempting about it. Maybe it’s about how luscious and rich it is. Not to forget, that beautiful color when you see the sugar melting. Sweet and salty is a great combination- there’s no denying that. Whoever thought of doing it with caramel must be a genius! Yeah, you would’ve probably guessed my love for it by now. Giving up dairy was both a choice and compulsion. I had to for medical reasons (I’m not lactose intolerant) plus I never liked what it did to my stomach. None the less, giving up dairy isn’t easy. I still struggle to completely eliminate it from my diet, but I’m getting there. Although it has given me some perspective on the kind of things we put in our stomachs since I have started checking the ingredients before buying anything. I must say, our bodies are pretty strong for all the crap we feed them. Anyhow, you’re not here to read about my rants on packaged foods. Getting to an exciting topic, salted caramel.

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Salted caramel is hands down my favourite accompaniment. It’s quick, easy, and tastes bloody amazing with everything! How many of you agree? This one is so luscious and rich. The best part, it’s obviously vegannn! I like to add a splash of baileys in my caramel because what can I say, I’m an alcoholic! 😛 Haha, I’m kidding. It just tastes so goooodd! I like to make a big jar and store it because it’s just one of those things that come so handy. This one is quite a spontaneous post. You can see I’m already ¾ down the jar and I thought it would be a good idea to share the recipe with you all. Make a big jar because trust me, it’s definitely gonna come handy for you too! Pour it over your ice cream, waffles, serve it along with cake or better just make some caramel popcorn. They are hell addictive!

Vegan caramel top shot.jpg

vegan-baileys-caramel

Makes: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 gms granulated sugar
  • 60 ml coconut cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Baileys

 

METHOD

  • In a medium saucepan, heat sugar on low heat and melt completely. It will form clumps and then melt to a dark amber colour. Stir continuously while the sugar is melting using a heat resistant spatula or a wooden spoon. This should take about 4-5 mins, however keep an eye on it as sugar burns very quickly.
  • Remove from heat. Add the coconut cream and mix rigorously to avoid forming clumps. The mixture will bubble as the cream is colder than the sugar. Once the cream is well incorporated, place it back on low heat and cook for a minute.
  • Add the vanilla extract and sea salt. Remove from heat. Lastly add the baileys and stir. Your caramel is ready!

 

Note:

  • You can store it in a jar and refrigerate for further use. It should last for a month or so.

 

 

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Brown Butter Lemon Thyme Pound Cake

To describe procrastination: this is it. I have been stuck on this draft for a week now. Lately I’ve been going through my ‘dry’ season in terms of writing. I just don’t get the flow to do it, and some odd day even if I do manage to get the flow going, it’s too short lived. That sucks right? Anyhow, here I am. I’ve just come back from a dinner, gobbled down a cup of green tea and I’m all set to finish this tonight. First of all, hi guys! I hope you all had a great week. ❤

So, pound cakes are quite versatile I feel. You can use the basic base for any flavour combination and it comes out great. I’m not a big fan of the regular pound cake as such but  pairing it with different flavours, yes please! A pound cake is basically a cake made of flour, sugar, eggs and butter with a pound of each ingredient or the same ratio for each of them. This one is for a friend who requested for something with lemon, blueberries and ‘not so healthy’, haha. Digressing from my usual ‘healthy’ track because it’s okay to indulge sometimes right? Especially when you have a burst of flavours like this. There are 3 flavours to look out for here. Brown butter, lemon and thyme. Brown butter adds the perfect nutty caramel notes to the cake, while thyme adds a very subtle earthy taste. You don’t wanna go overboard with thyme as it might taste  bitter. Adding it while browning the butter helps in infusing a lot of flavours because a) fat helps in better infusion and b) hotter the liquid/fat, better the infusion. Next is lemon. I have used both the zest and the juice here to add as much flavour.

lemon-loaf-cake

I personally never order a lemon cake because I’ve only had two types of lemon cake ever. 1) An unbelievably sweet cake with barely any hints of lemon because sugar obviously has overpowered everything. 2) An unbelievably zingy cake which leaves a sour taste afterwards because well, I ordered a lemon cake. This one is neither. It’s perfectly sweetened yet you have enough zing to give you that lemony kick. Quite easy to put together and so moist! Perfect for your evening tea snack or just have it plain, I won’t tell. 😛 Essentially a pound cake requires the butter and the sugar to be beaten together. So I like to freeze my brown butter for about an hour and then just sort of dip it in warm water to soften it. It’s a very versatile recipe to follow and you can play around with flavours if you’re feeling a bit adventurous in the kitchen. I hope you like it. Enjoy! ❤

lemon-thyme-cake

lemon-thyme-cake-1

Recipe adaptation: Purple Foodie

Makes: 1 large loaf cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 225 gms unsalted butter
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 200 gms castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 220 gms flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100 gms blueberries, fresh or frozen

METHOD

  • To prepare the brown butter, heat butter in a large saucepan on low-medium heat. Add the thyme sprigs. The butter will melt completely and begin to brown. This should take about 10 mins. Swirl occasionally to prevent the butter from burning. Once the butter has turned brown and starts to smell nutty, remove from heat and let it cool. (Keep an eye or it might burn) Discard the thyme sprigs. Freeze for about an hour or refrigerate until use.
  • Thaw the brown butter at room temperature to soften it or dip it slightly in warm water for a minute or two. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add the castor sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. It should take about 5-7 mins. This is a very important step as it keeps the cake moist and fluffy.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a loaf tin with butter and dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour. Keep aside.
  • Add eggs to the butter-sugar mixture one at a time and beat well in between each addition.
  • Add the flour and baking powder and mix well. Add the lemon juice and the zest and mix until incorporated properly. Fold in the blueberries.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-60 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. I like to rotate my tin midway for even baking. If the top is browning too much, loosely cover with a foil wrap. Serve warm with a cup of tea/coffee.

Note:

  • You can wrap it in cling film and store it at room temperature for 3-4 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.

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Chocolate Avocado Mousse

We all love chocolate mousse, don’t we? Well, what’s not to love? It’s rich, decadent, smooth and oh so chocolatey! But, what’s even better than chocolate mousse? A chocolate mousse minus the guilt! It’s only unfair to refrain from delicacies like chocolate mousse. Don’t you worry child, I have got you covered. Here’s this perfect recipe for a chocolate avocado mousse to keep that health and waistline in check. Yes, you heard it right! For all the non-avocado lovers, here’s a little solace for you guys. You cannot taste the avocado at all. It only lends creaminess to the mousse, and of course zillion other health benefits. Guess that makes everybody happy now 😀

Of late, I have been very drawn to eating healthy, clean food. I have been experimenting with developing healthier dessert recipes which are just as good as the regular versions. Surprisingly, I’m loving it! I always had a sad opinion about ‘healthy’ desserts because I had never had a good experience with them. Obviously, it makes hell load of a difference when you make them yourself. Here is my verdict: they can be just as yummy, sometimes even better! Hence, I’m gonna be focusing on creating healthier recipes from now on. You no more have to eat your guilt 😀

This is the easiest mousse you will ever find. It literally takes 5 mins to make and requires no chilling time. Just whisk everything in the blender and get your spoons ready to dig in! It’s that quick and easy. The best part is that this is quite a forgiving recipe. You can adjust literally anything according to your taste. Sounds great right? Let’s not be cruel and get started!

choco-mousse-2

choco-mousse-1

choco-mousse-top

Makes: 1 big bowl or 2 small bowls

INGREDIENTS

  • 75 gms avocado
  • 6-8 tbsp almond milk or soy milk*
  • 50 gms honey
  • 10 gms cacao powder
  • 120 gms good quality chocolate, chopped **

 

METHOD

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and melt completely over a bowl of simmering water (double boiler). Once completely melted, remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Blend avocado and almond milk in a food processor until smooth. Add in the honey, cacao powder and cooled chocolate and blend until smooth & no lumps remain. You can adjust the consistency according to your liking. Pour the mousse in a bowl and dig in! If you want to chill the mousse for a while, cover with cling film and refrigerate. Sprinkle some nuts or berries if you like. You can also top with coconut (or plain) whipped cream or chocolate sauce for extra goodness 😛

 

Note: 

*- Start with 6 tbsp of milk. You can adjust the consistency to your liking. If it’s too thick for you, add more milk. I added 8 tbsp. You can use plain milk as well.

**- You can use any good quality chocolate. I love dark chocolate and hence used 65% dark chocolate by Mason & Co. If you prefer milk chocolate, go ahead. You might have to cut back on the honey a bit.

Make ahead: Because it has avocado in it, it doesn’t stay for very long. It’s best eaten immediately or after an hour if you want to chill it for a while.

 

 

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Strawberry Chocolate Tartlets (Holiday Edition)

2 weeks to Christmas! Oh my god, are you excited yet? These pictures look so Christmasy, with loads of red and my failed attempt at creating snow haha. I’m gonna keep trying, nevertheless.

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Sharing my next recipe for this festive season are these gorgeous Strawberry-Chocolate Tartlets. Okay, in all honesty, I added a (generous) layer of my mulled wine cranberry compote as the base, and oh goodness! In my defence, I had a big jar lying in my refrigerator. It would only be unfair to not use it. 😛 I sort of made an assortment of tarts. Some with cranberry compote, and rest with strawberry preserve. I’m only sharing the recipe for pure strawberry tarts but if you like to take that indulgence a notch higher, you MUST try some with cranberry compote. They are ridiculously delicious! Dark chocolate and strawberries are amazing together. Dark chocolate, strawberries AND cranberries are even better! I have noticed that the flavour profile develops a bit more after refrigerating for overnight. They tasted even better the next morning. I’m yet to figure out why, but just a tip for you. 🙂

Let’s talk about the tarts. For the health freak that I am, it is only appropriate to make something that I actually enjoy eating. Hence, you can now dig in without the guilt. The shortcrust pastry is made with almond meal and multi grain flour, and uses coconut sugar. I have used coconut cream for the ganache, and it tastes SO good! The strawberries are lightly glazed to remove any bitter tartness and obviously that beautiful shine. Basically, you’re in for a treat! 😀

strawberry-tart

strawberry-tart-2

 

MAKES: 2 tartlets

INGREDIENTS

For the almond shortcrust pastry

  • 50 gms multigrain flour
  • 40 gms almond meal
  • 10 gms cocoa powder
  • 30 gms coconut sugar
  • 40 gms chilled salted butter
  • 1 egg yolk

 

For the ganache

  • 100 gms good quality dark chocolate, min. 55% cocoa solids
  • 80 gms coconut cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

For the filling and topping

  • 50 gms natural strawberry preserve
  • 50 gms mulled wine cranberry compote, optional
  • 200 gms sliced strawberries, to top
  • 40 gms simple syrup, to glaze

 

METHOD

For the almond shortcrust pastry

  • Mix butter, flour, sugar, cocoa powder and almond meal together in a food processor until the mixture roughly resembles fine crumbs. Add egg yolk and process until combined. Remove from the processor and knead lightly into a dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and flatten like a disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for minimum an hour. I refrigerate mine overnight. It makes it easier to work with the dough.
  • Roll out the dough on a flour dusted surface until it is 5 mm thick.
  • Grease your fluted tartlet tins with butter. Set aside. Cut out circles slightly bigger than your tartlets and transfer the circles to the fluted tartlet tins. Press pastry into tins and trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes or until well chilled. (Do not over work the pastry as almond meal makes the pastry softer and more easily breakable. A cold room is ideal.)
  • Preheat oven to 200 C. Place baking paper over the pastries and fill with beans or baking weights. Bake at 200 C for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and bake again for about 5 minutes.
  • Let the pastries cool and de-mould once cool. Store in an air tight container.

 

For the ganache

  • Pour the simple syrup over sliced strawberries and keep aside until you prepare everything else.
  • Roughly chop the dark chocolates and put it in a medium bowl.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat coconut cream until begins to boil. Do not boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate and let it stand for a minute or two before stirring. Stir properly until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir in vanilla extract.  Heat it over double boiler if some chunks are still there. Set aside.

 

Assembly

  • Spread a layer of strawberry preserve or cranberry compote on the base of the tart.
  • Cover the rest of the tart with chocolate ganache. Smoothen out the top with a knife. Top with sliced strawberries. Refrigerate until use. Happy eating! 😀

 

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