Eating Vegan Is Easy When Dessert Is This Amazing

Being vegan doesn’t mean having to give up delicious desserts.

File under: Yes, Please. This mouthwatering recipe from a new book, Vegan Secret Supper by chef Mérida Anderson, has me ready to skip dinner tonight and go straight to dessert.

Truffle Pie with Sea Salt

Makes 8–12 servings.

•⅓ cup (80 mL) coconut oil

•4 oz (115 g) chopped chocolate

•1 cup (250 mL) raw cashews, soaked in 2 cups water overnight and drained

•1 14-oz (398-mL) can coconut milk

•⅔ cup (160 mL) cocoa powder

•¾ cup (185 mL) maple syrup

•3 tbsp coconut flour

•1 tsp vanilla extract

•¼ tsp ground cinnamon

•⅛ tsp ground cloves

•¼–½ tsp ancho or cayenne pepper, to taste

•½ tsp salt

•1 recipe Nut Crust; use chocolate and walnuts

In a double boiler on medium heat, melt coconut oil and chocolate, and set aside. In a food processor or blender, blend remainder of filling ingredients until smooth.While blender is running, slowly pour in melted oil-chocolate mixture and blend until smooth. Pour into 10-in (25-cm) springform pan with pre-baked Nut Crust (recipe below) and chill overnight.

Nut Crust

Makes 1 10-in (25-cm) crust.

•1 cup (250 mL) nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts), ground

•¾ cup (185 mL) spelt flour (for gluten-free: ¾ cup rice flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or corn starch)

•1 tsp cocoa powder (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon, or 1 tsp fine ground coffee + 1 tsp vanilla extract)

•½ tsp salt

•2 tbsp grapeseed oil

•2 tbsp brown rice syrup

•½ tsp apple cider vinegar

•½ tsp flavored extract, optional (almond, vanilla, orange, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). In a bowl, combine nuts with dry ingredients and make a well. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until combined. Use your hands, as needed, at the end to combine ingredients. Press into a pie plate or 10-in (25-cm) springform pan.

Butternut Squash Walnut Ice Cream

Makes 3 cups (750 mL).

•1 cup (250 mL) peeled and cubed butternut squash

•¼ cup (60 mL) toasted walnuts

•1 14-oz (398-mL) can coconut milk

•½ cup (125 mL) maple syrup

•½ tsp vanilla extract

•1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

•⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

In a pot, place a 6-in (15-cm) vegetable steamer. Add at least 1-in (2.5-cm) water, place squash in steamer, and cover pot. Steam squash on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until squash is tender. Set aside to cool. In a blender or food processor, blend squash with remainder of ingredients until smooth. Chill in a covered bowl or container in the refrigerator overnight.

So, how do you make perfect ice cream without an ice cream maker?

From the book: “Take two metal bowls that nest together well. Fill one up with water and place the other one on top. (You may want to do this in the sink, as adjusting the water levels can be messy.) Weigh the top bowl down with a bag of frozen peas, until the bowls are nesting with an even layer of water between them. Place the stacked bowls in the freezer for two hours, until water is frozen solid. Remove bag of peas. Pour the well-chilled ingredients into your frozen bowl and stir it. It will start freezing to the bowl as you scrape the sides. Stir for at least five minutes before taking a break. You can put the bowl back in the freezer for about ten minutes to harden the ice cream slightly and keep the bowl frozen, then remove it and stiragain, until ice cream reaches the desired consistency.Transfer ice cream to a sealed container and keep in the freezer for up to two weeks. The base in most of these recipes is coconut milk. You can substitute other milks, but coconut milk will result in a smoother and creamier ice cream, especially when turning by hand, because of its higher fat content.”

Learn more about the book here.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest