Sugar Sunday – You do the hokey pokey

It’s the last long weekend of the summer and back to controlled sugar consumption. And the Vegetarian Food Festival is on next weekend so I have to save up my sugar points to indulge in the creative temptations that will be on offer. In the meantime, here is my recipe for a simply made and simply delicious chocolate treat that can also be enjoyed midweek.

Chocolate Mousse 

All you need is 1 cup of coconut cream, 5 medjool dates (softened after soaking in water), 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, a pinch of salt and splash of vanilla. Blend together and let sit in fridge to set.

Sponge toffee/hokey pokey 

In Canada I know it as sponge toffee but it is also called honeycomb. In New Zealand it’s called hokey pokey and perhaps even gets the accolade of New Zealand’s national flavour. It is also the filling contained within a Crunchie bar (or violet crumble bar in Australia). In saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons fairly traded cane sugar and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Let it boil and bubble away for a few minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and stir quickly until it foams. Pour immediately into lined pan. Leave to cool. It should harden right away. And when you put the two together, it makes magic! Velvety mousse with understated sweetness punctuated with crunchy sweet bits of maple sponge toffee honeycomb hokey pokey. You put your dessert spoon in, take your dessert spoon out, put your dessert spoon in, then you turn it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. And this is what it’s all about!

Sugar Sunday – because life is sweeter with a little bit of sugar in it. Indulge sensibly.

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Meatless Monday – On demand

After rave reviews on my Father’s Day strawberry cheesecake, I decided to share the recipe here. It is vegetarian but a straight substitution with a good quality vegan cheese, some agar agar in place of the egg, coconut oil instead of butter and vegan graham crackers should make it sufficiently vegan.

Serves two for a couple servings each but recipe can be doubled to serve a small crowd.

Ingredients 

  • 1 package (1 cup/200g) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL yoghurt
  • one-third/76g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup/40g graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon each of semolina flour and rolled oats
  • 2½ tablespooons/37g melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon/14g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • strawberry jam

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put cream cheese and egg on counter to warm slightly before mixing. Room temperature ingredients makes for a smoother batter.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the crust by melting the butter then mix it with graham crumbs, icing sugar, salt, semolina and oats. Press into slightly greased pan. A springform pan is ideal.
  4. In bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. When uniform, add egg and vanilla and continue stirring until smooth. Add in cornstarch and stir until blended in.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and place in oven to bake about 30 minutes.
  6. The centre will be slightly jiggly when done. Let cool to room temperature then place in fridge to cool further a minimum of 4 hours; overnight is best.
  7. When completely chilled, remove from pan and top with strawberry jam.
Photo by Kimberley (c)2017

December 18 is National “I Love Honey” Day — Foodimentary – National Food Holidays

National “I Love Honey” Day Five Food Finds about Honey Greeks and Roman referred to honey as a food fit for the gods. A honey wine was developed, and largely consumed by many. Its given name was mead. Honey was so in demand in the eleventh century that it was a stipulation for German peasants […]

via December 18 is National “I Love Honey” Day — Foodimentary – National Food Holidays

What a wonderful post to see! Thanks Foodimentary for giving me a reason to eat honey today! For the holiday season, why not try some pohutukawa honey from New Zealand. The pohutukawa is considered the New Zealand Christmas tree.

Other naturally sweet treats you can enjoy this holiday season are pomegranates (sweet and tart), persimmons (great made into jam) and oranges (clementines should be in season).

For some other easy to make sweet treats, try a spirited beverage. Mead is honey wine, a traditional drink at the Yuletide season. Mulled wine or cider is served warm and contains sweetness, spices and citrus. And of course eggnog and rum are a classic. There are many coconut and almond milk based versions theses with the main flavours being granulated sugar and nutmeg.

Not a fan of fruitcake? Perhaps fruitcake inspired oatmeal will change your mind. Gather together your favourite dried fruits and add to cooked oats.*

*A combination of steel-cut and rolled oats make  a palatable and more healthy mix.

When cooking the oats, mix with orange zest, spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger) and water. Or to be really decadent and true to the fruitcake and holiday spirit, cook in eggnog and rum! Top with spiced brown sugar or drizzle with maple syrup. Breakfast may never be the same again!

Happy Sugar Sunday everyone!