28 Sep 2015

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Avocado is such a versatile vegetable/fruit. If you've been browsing the internet/Pinterest/Instagram at all lately, you already know about these avocado chocolate puddings/mousses, so let jump to something I didn't quite know about.

I've been using non-alkalized cocoa powder (e.g. Fazer's) ever since I realized there are two types of cocoa powders. I got to know about it a couple of years ago when I read about Red Velvet Cake: that the origin of the cake came from the fact that non-alkalized cocoa shifts the cake's colour to reddish brown in certain pH. I then tried it (didn't quite succeed in it, so had to revert to plan B: red food colouring...), but what I did discover then was that the taste in non-alkalized cocoa is much sweeter and moister, compared to that of alkalized (=Dutch processed).

Then I happily forgot about the two types, and this week I just took the one the shop had (they were selling only one kind of cocoa powder there). When I was making this pudding I had maybe 1 teaspoon left of Fazer's and when I opened the Dutch processed cocoa package, I saw immediately what a difference in colour there was. And the taste of the resulting pudding was somehow more deeper but also somehow more aggressive compared to the puuding made with non-alkalized cocoa. Of course it's good if the chocolate taste is strong, but... I still prefer the taste of Fazer's, at least on this kind of a pudding. Here it affcts only taste, but in baking it really matters which cocoa powder you choose. Have you ever even considered this?!


Avocado Chocolate Pudding

2 portions

1 avocado, chilled
1/2 big banana (or 1 small), frozen
1 tsp lemon or orange juice
2-4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 Tbsp milk (I've used regular and almond milk)
~1 tsp birch sugar/maple syrup/other sweetener, to taste
grated orange peel (optional)

Blend everything together. Add more cocoa if you want a stronger chocolate taste and more milk if the pudding is too thick to blend easily. Decorate with cocoa powder, almonds or berries.



1 avokado
1/2 iso banaani (tai 1 pieni), pakastettu
1 tl sitruuna- tai appelsiinimehua
2-4 rkl kaakaojauhetta
1-2 rkl (manteli)maitoa
~1 tl koivusokeria, vaahterasiirappia tai muuta makeutusta, maun mukaan
(raastettua appelsiinin kuorta)

Soseuta kaikki ainekset esim. sauvasekoittimella. Lisää tarvittaessa kaakaota jos haluat voimakkaamman suklaan maun ja maitoa, jos seos tuntuu liian paksulta. Koristele esim. kaakaojauheella, manteleilla tai marjoilla.

9 Sep 2015

抹茶ティラミス ・ Matcha Tiramisù

I love tiramisù and matcha, so when I bumped into a recipe combining these two, I just had to give it a try!! Matcha tiramisù (or matchamisu) is more suited to the warm summer months than the traditional take on tiramisù with coffee and cocoa with the more refreshing taste of the green tea. Actually this summer wasn't so warm in Finland (still waiting for Indian summer...), but I made this last year when it was so hot. So now you get to know that this post has been waiting for my photo-editing the whole year in the drafts section...*^^* Well, better late than never, right?

Matcha can be substituted for coffee in many recipes, as they both have a bitter intense taste and are high in caffeine. I used my go-to recipe for the tiramisu as a base for this. I don't even remember where I got the original tiramisù recipe many years ago (and of course I've made some minor adjustments to it). To make a proper tiramisù one needs real mascarpone cheese, egg yolks(!), real cream and liqueur. In the case of the traditional tiramisu, I'd use either marsala or amaretto, but for this I wanted to try Japanese sweet plum wine, umeshu. (Now I started craving for 梅酒ロック (umeshu rokku)... yum... :P )

Matcha Tiramisù

serves 2

8 Savoiardi biscuits (lady-fingers)

For soaking:
2-3 tsp matcha (+ more for dusting on top)
2 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp umeshu (or other sweet wine)
(1 Tbsp sugar)

Mascarpone cream:
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp caster sugar
125 g mascarpone
2 Tbsp umeshu (or other sweet wine)
50 ml whipping cream

Whisk matcha with hot (but not boiling) water until it is dissolved. (Optional, to sweeten, add 1 Tbsp sugar if you're not so used to the bitter taste of matcha).

Beat the egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale in color. Stir the mascarpone even and add it and umeshu to the beaten egg yolk mixture. Whisk the whipping cream until medium peaks are formed. Gently fold the whipped cream into the matcha mascarpone mixture.

Add umeshu to the cooled soaking liquid. Dip the lady fingers into the liquid very quickly, one at a time, just to soak them all over (don't let them get soggy). Drain off any excess liquid and arrange 2 biscuits on the bottom of each individual serving dish. Spread some mascarpone cream on top of the biscuits. Make another layer similarly. Smooth the surface. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Right before serving, dust the top with matcha powder.

Inspired by: http://blog.wagashi-net.de/2010/03/matcha-tiramisu/

If you want to try my other matcha recipes...
Matcha Truffles
Matcha Cookies
Matcha Yogurt Minibundts
Matcha Mochi Minicakes
Matcha-pehmis (in Finnish)

5 Sep 2015

Talkkunahyve - Blueberry Quark Dessert

As the berry picking season is still on (though not anymore for blueberries) I wanted to share this old-time favorite. Already quite early this summer I had a feeling this year would be a good blueberry year and so it was ^^). Though partly my happiness was shaded by the fact that blueberry forests are usually swarming with ticks here in coastal Finland. I've lost count how many ticks I've already taken from Foxtail's fur (luckily only five or so have been attached; this morning I found one on the floor :/ ). Maybe it's not very appetizing to talk about ticks here but just a warning...

A few words on talkkuna: it's roasted flour of usually mixed grains: oat, barley, rye, sometimes even  pea... The mixture depends on the area: in my home region the most traditional one is made of only oats (my choice too). Talkkuna gives this dish a nice nutty, roasted flavour and makes the texture more robust. You can find talkkuna e.g. in Finnish supermarkets. In addition to this dish, you can eat talkkuna in a variety of ways: mixed with yoghurt, milk, sourmilk, ice cream even... You could also make an instant porridge using a hot juice as talkkuna is precooked and roasted so it doesn't need any cooking time.

Mustikkahyve aka talkkunahyve - Blueberry Quark Dessert with Talkkuna Flour

Serves 3-4.

100 g blueberries, fresh or thawed
250 g quark
1-2 Tbsp sugar (or according to taste)
(1-2 Tbsp milk)
100 ml whipping cream
0,75-1 dl (35-50 g) talkkuna flour (roasted oat/barley/rye flour mix, sometimes with pea flour too. As I'm from Tavastia area, I'm using talkkuna made from pure oat)

Mix the berries with quark, sugar and talkkuna. (Add some milk, if the mixture seems too thick to be folded into the whipped cream.) Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in the quark mixture. Add more sugar if needed.

P.S. Despite the ticks, Foxtail is OK :)
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