Decadent Dragon Bakery » Vegan http://decadentdragonbakery.com desserts crafted with gourmet, local and unique ingredients. Tue, 28 May 2013 13:00:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Chocolate Banana Bonbons http://decadentdragonbakery.com/chocolate-banana-bonbons/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/chocolate-banana-bonbons/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 14:00:04 +0000 Beth @ Decadent Dragon http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1528 Chocolate Banana Bonbons Title

Health-conscious, vegan or even gluten-free? I’ve got the perfect dessert for you today. These elegant morsels are Chocolate Banana Bonbons, and you simply must try them.

Being a baker is dangerous. I no longer go out to eat dessert. I literally have everything on hand to make any dessert 24/7. And when I’m testing recipes, most of what I make is quickly consumed by me, my husband or close family. One way to avoid overeating is to have a healthy alternative on hand. And to send all the test goodies off to my husband’s poor coworkers.

These Chocolate Banana Bonbons fit the bill. They’re incredibly creamy and have that chocolatey shell crunch. To top it off, you can add nuts, toffee, sprinkles and other toppings to the chocolate. But if you use a good quality dark chocolate, most of the sugar comes from the banana.

Chocolate Banana BonbonsI topped some bonbons with mixed nuts. Roasted almonds would be amazing!Toffee Chocolate Banana BonbonsOther bonbons I topped with toffee and chocolate pieces.

Chocolate Banana Bonbons
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Freeze Time: 1 hour

10 oz / 285 g Chocolate (Dark or semi-sweet, good quality & chopped)
1-2 tbsp Coconut Oil (you can sub butter or another fat)
2 ripe Bananas
Toppings, optional (ideas: sprinkles, toffee, mixed nuts, toasted coconut…)

The key to a great chocolate banana bonbon is ripe bananas. Mine were very ripe but still had structure and were in good condition under their skins.

Ugly Bananas

Begin by placing your chopped chocolate and coconut oil into the bowl of a double boiler (or a glass bowl that you can set on top of a pot of water. Make sure the water does not tough the bottom of the bowl of chocolate. Heat the water on medium-low until steaming. Stir the chocolate continuously until melted. If needed, add additional coconut oil for your desired consistency.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone pad. Make sure you have enough room to place the baking sheet in your freezer.

Remove the banana peels and discard. Chop your bananas into even sections, about 1 to 1.5 inches in width.

Once the chocolate is fully melted, drop a section of banana into the chocolate and coat evenly. Using a toothpick or fork, remove the banana (ensuring it remains evenly coated) and gently place on baking sheet.

Repeat until you have coated the segments of 1 banana. Next, add your desired toppings. It if is taking a long while to coat each piece of banana, you may want to add your toppings sooner. Sprinkly and pat your toppings onto the cooling chocolate coating.

Once all banana pieces are coated and topped, place your tray into the freezer. Let freeze for at least 1 hour. When fully set, place the bonbons into a jar or tupperware. They should last 1-2 weeks.

Chocolate Banana Bonbons TrioChocolate Banana Bonbons Close up

The other thing about staying healthy is enjoying your desserts in moderation. Well, we’re still working on that one! Our two bananas’ worth of bonbons didn’t last the evening.

What do you all think? Going to give these a try? If you have an alternate version, I’d love to hear from you!

- Beth

 

 

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The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes http://decadentdragonbakery.com/the-best-vegan-chocolate-cupcakes/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/the-best-vegan-chocolate-cupcakes/#comments Sat, 12 Jan 2013 20:07:53 +0000 Beth @ Decadent Dragon http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1023 Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcake PassionfruitThese are moist, tender little cupcake morsels packed with chocolate flavor. Oh yes, and these happen to be vegan chocolate cupcakes! Pair them with your favorite vegan (or non-vegan) icing for a decidedly decadent treat.

I made these little cupcakes with a fair amount of trepidation. Cake without eggs? How unnatural! Would they be terribly dry? Would the cupcakes fail to rise and instead resemble brown hockey pucks? I took the plunge with my vegan neighbor coming to dinner. I was prepared to grab my car keys and run to Whole Foods for a vegan dessert if they were a flop.

Color me surprised when the cupcakes emerged from the oven looking just like…cupcakes. Disbelieving, I quickly grabbed one and pulled its steaming little body apart for a taste test. Tender, check; moist, check; fully-leavened, check.

In fact, I loved these cupcakes so much I barely managed a picture before we devoured them.

Chocolate Cocoa Cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Makes 18 Cupcakes
Oven Temp: 375 F | Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Adapted from Moosewood’s 6-Minute Cake [OK, so I'm slow!]

1 & 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder (Ghirardelli or other good quality cocoa is best)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Cold Water or Coffee (or use 1 tbsp instant espresso with water)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Prepare your pan with cupcake liners.

[Interesting side-note, Thomas Keller recommends pre-heating long enough for your oven to reach temperature and cycle on and off three (3) times or at least 45 minutes.]

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar in large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

In a measuring bowl, combine vegetable oil, water or coffee and vanilla extract. Add liquid mixture to your dry ingredients. Mix batter until smooth (around 1-2 minutes by hand).

Add the vinegar and stir quickly to combine. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed. You’ll see the vinegar reacting and forming bubbles with the baking soda. You don’t want to let too much of that leavening reaction escape.

Pour your batter into your cupcake tins. Bake 10-12 minutes. Test for doneness around 10 minutes with a toothpick – it will come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked. Let your cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Easy Vegan Icing
1/2 cup Vegan Margarine
1/2 cup Shortening
3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar (sifted if clumpy)
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 -3 tbsp cup Soy/Almond Milk (if needed for thinning)

Beat the vegan margarine and shortening together on medium speed with your mixer until fully combined and fluffy (around 3-5 minutes). Turn the mixer off and add 3.5 cups of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on low until the powdered sugar has been incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat until well combined (about 4 more minutes).  Add vanilla extract and milk, if needed. Mix another 2 minutes.

Tips: I like to beat the heck out of shortening based frosting as I find it improves the mouth-feel (less gritty/greasy). If you prefer your icing less sweet, you may want to add the sugar in stages until you reach your desired sweetness. Dissolving a little salt with the liquids can draw back the sweetness somewhat, too.

To Make Passionfruit Icing: Instead of vanilla extract, add 3-4 tbsp of passionfruit puree (I get mine from the frozen section of Mexican markets in the bay area). You will not need to add the milk as the puree will thin the icing. Optional: top the cupcake with Valrhona Dark Chocolate Pearls.

To Make Vanilla Bean Icing: Add ground vanilla beans or the contents of a vanilla bean pod to the icing. (I get my ground vanilla beans from Amazon.)

Enjoy!

Beth

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