Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies

Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies

I heard of vegan key lime pies a while ago and I have wanted to try them out for ages. I finally got around to it last week and I was so pleased with the results! I used pecans in the base because they make me think of American desserts, which the traditional key lime pie is. I added spinach and avocado to the filling to give it a green hue. And I wanted a creamy topping to compliment the zesty filling, so I used some whipped coconut milk. These mini key lime pies are 100% vegan and therefore dairy free, and they are also refined sugar free and gluten free.

To make the base I used my nutribullet to whizz up 150g almonds, 150g pecans and 160g dates.

I melted 90g coconut oil and mixed it into the nuts, then pressed the mixture into mini tart tins lined with cling film. I then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

 

To make the filling I again used my nutribullet to whizz up 200g cashews (that had been soaked overnight), 1 avocado, 6 tbsp maple syrup, the juice of 7 limes, 70g melted coconut oil and a handful of spinach. I was perfectly smooth and creamy.

I poured the filling into the tart cases, then put it back in the fridge for 1 hour to set.

I again used my nutribullet to whizz up two tins of coconut milk (it had been in the fridge and I only used the solid white milk at the top of the tin) along with 2 tsp vanilla extract and 4 tbsp maple syrup. I piped it onto the mini pies in rosettes and sprinkled some lime zest in the middle.

These pies taste so good! The flavour is the perfect balance between zesty lime flavour and creamy sweetness. They would make a great dessert at a dinner party. I love eating vegan desserts as they always taste so sinful, but really they are full of goodness!

I’m linking these mini pies up with Treat Petite hosted by myself this month.

Also linking up to Cook Blog Share hosted this month by Recipes Made Easy, and Free From Fridays hosted by Free From Farmhouse.

5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies


Servings 8
Author thebakingexplorer

Ingredients

  • 150 g Almonds
  • 150 g Pecans
  • 160 g Dates
  • 160 g Coconut Oil melted
  • 200 g Cashews soaked in water overnight
  • 1 Avocado
  • 10 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 7 Limes zested and juiced
  • 1 Handful Fresh spinach
  • 2 tins tins of Coconut milk stored in the fridge overnight

Instructions

  1. To make the base use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the almonds, pecans and dates

  2. Mix in 90g of the melted coconut oil, then press the mixture into mini tart tins lined with cling film. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to set
  3. To make the filling use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the cashews, avocado, 6 tbsp of the maple syrup, the juice of the limes, 70g of the melted coconut oil and the spinach until it was perfectly smooth and creamy
  4. Pour the filling into the tart cases, then put them back in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set
  5. Use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the solid white coconut milk from the top of the tins along with the vanilla extract and 4 tbsp of the maple syrup. Pipe or spread it onto the mini pies, then sprinkle some lime zest in the middle
  6. Store in the fridge until serving
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Maple Pecan Squares

Maple Pecan Squares

I am so obsessed with maple syrup. I absolutely adore the stuff. I mean obviously it’s sweet and delicious, but it’s origin also fascinates me. I mean, it comes out of a tree! Maple syrup is primarily produced in Quebec, Canada and all they do is drain the sap from the tree then reduce it to a syrup, so it involves very little processing to create the gorgeous golden liquid. Maple syrup is a type of sugar, but is much better for you than refined sugars as it is a natural product, has higher levels of antioxidants than other sugars and contains more minerals too like zinc and manganese. I mean, I don’t need an excuse to eat maple syrup, but it’s good to know! These squares combine it with buttery shortbread and pecans, and they are so easy to make.

I started by making the shortbread base, I mixed 125g plain flour with 70g golden caster sugar.

I then added 115g butter and mixed it in to make a soft dough. I pressed it into a lined square baking tin, pricked it all over with a fork and baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

For the topping I mixed together 1 egg, 70g maple sugar, 3 tbsp maple syrup and 60g chopped pecans.

I used maple sugar and maple syrup that my dad and stepmum brought me back from Canada recently. Maple syrup is easily obtained from supermarkets (make sure you buy maple syrup and not maple flavoured syrup), I’ve not seen maple sugar before in the shops so if you can’t find it just use light brown sugar instead.

I poured the topping over the cooked base and put it back in the over for 15 minutes.

I let it cool fully before removing from the tin and cutting into squares.

The squares were melt in the mouth, flavoured with delicious maple sweetness, and had a gentle crunch of pecans. I could easily have gobbled up several of these and I also enjoyed having one with vanilla ice cream (try it, you won’t regret it). I need to make another batch soon!

I’m linking these up with Treat Petite hosted by me! And Cakeyboi on alternate months.

And to The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen for National Nut Day on 22nd October.

And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

And Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

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Maple Pecan Squares

Ingredients

  • 125 g Plain flour
  • 70 g Golden caster sugar
  • 115 g Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 70 g Maple sugar
  • 3 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 60 g Chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. To make the shortbread base mix the plain flour with the golden caster sugar
  2. Add the butter and mix to make a soft dough. Press it into a lined square baking tin, prick it all over with a fork and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes
  3. For the topping mix together the egg, maple sugar, maple syrup and chopped pecans
  4. Pour the topping over the cooked base and put it back in the over for 15 minutes
  5. Let it cool fully before removing from the tin and cutting into squares
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Chocolate & Pecan Brownies

Chocolate & Pecan Brownies
I am all about using up ingredients at the moment as I’m moving flats this month. The less boxes full of baking ingredients I have to carry, the better! I also made a pavlova over Easter for my family and I had some fresh egg yolks to use up. I hate wasting egg yolks so much that I have written a post called Things To Do With Egg Yolks. I’m always searching for new ones too and I found this awesome brownie recipe over at Buttercream & Chantilly Factory. It uses only egg yolks to create delicious gooey brownies. I halved her recipe, but you could easily double up if you have more egg yolks to use.

I started by chopping up 120g pecans. Luckily this was exactly how much I had left in my cupboard!

I melted 170g dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of water and once fully melted I mixed in 100g caster sugar and 90g dark brown sugar. It didn’t look that great at this point!

I whisked up my 5 leftover egg yolks with 40ml double cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

I poured the egg mixture into the chocolate and mixed until combined. It mixed in well and looked a lot more tasty!

Finally I added 95g plain flour, the pecans and a pinch of salt and mixed well.

I poured the mixture into a lined 8×8 tin.

I baked on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

The brownies were so deliciously rich and chocolatey. Somehow they tasted even better the next day!

I am entering this into this month’s Alphabakes, hosted by Caroline Makes… and The More Than Occasional Baker. This month’s letter is ‘B’ – for brownies in my case!

I am also entering these brownies into this month’s Tea Time Treats, hosted by Lavender & Lovage and The Hedgecombers. This month’s theme is chocolate.

And also into Simply Eggcellent hosted by Belleau Kitchen. They only use the yolks, but hopefully that’s good enough! The theme this month is chocolate.

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Chocolate & Pecan Brownies

Ingredients

  • 120 g Pecans chopped
  • 170 g Dark chocolate
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 90 g Dark brown sugar
  • 5 Egg yolks
  • 40 ml Double cream
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 95 g Plain flour
  • A pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of water and once fully melted, mix in the caster sugar and dark brown sugar
  2. Whisk up the egg yolks, double cream and vanilla extract
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate and mix until combined
  4. Add the plain flour, pecans and salt and mix well
  5. Pour the mixture into a lined 8x8 tin
  6. Bake on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Once cool, slice into squares
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Salted Caramel & Pecan Baklava: GBBO Week #9

Salted Caramel & Pecan Baklava: GBBO Week #9
Can you believe it was the semi finals of The Great British Bake Off last week already?! As usual it’s gone so quickly. The theme for episode nine was patisserie, although there wasn’t much pastry being made… it was more to do with layered desserts. The first challenge was the only challenge that involved making pastry. The judges asked for two different types of Baklava, a Turkish pastry made with layers of filo and filled, usually, with pistachios and walnuts. Syrup is drizzled over the Baklava after baking. The bakers were allowed to flavour and shape the Baklava any way they liked.

Richard stayed traditional with a Pistachio & Rose Baklava, and a Walnut & Almond Baklava. While Chetna experimented with a Chocolate Orange Baklava, and a Masala Chai Baklava. I was intruigued to see how they all shaped their Baklavas differently. Only Nancy made the traditional square shaped ones. Everyone also had their own way of pronouncing this pastry dessert’s name!

The bakers all made their own filo, which has to be stretched out into a giant thin layer. As Chetna said, it’s impossible to get it as thin as the store bought kind, because that is done by a machine. However, the bakers filos all looked pretty good! Luis flower shaped Baklava’s were criticised by the judges as they were not ‘proper’ Baklava. Nancy also shoved aside tradition by filling her Baklava’s with muesli, and got great results.

The technical challenge this week was a ‘Schichttorte’, which is simpler horizontally layered version of the German cake Baumkuchen. The cake the bakers were given to bake had 20 layers and each one was cooked under the grill. This challenge was to test the bakers consistency as the recipe itself was fairly simple, it was the technique that was the hard part. The layers of batter were extremely thin which left the bakers quite
confused as it just didn’t look like enough batter. Some of them ended
up with less than 20 layers (of course Paul counted them during judging…).

They weren’t provided with a grill temperature or a time to grill for, some bakers timed the layers and some just judged it by eye. I thought that all this grilling would make the cake quite dry and on Extra Slice they confirmed that it was a very dry cake. The enternal Bake Off problem of not having enough time for things to cool caused problems with the chocolate glazes. Why can’t they give them enough time?! I cry every time I watch the show. Luis came first, Richard second, Nancy third and Chetna fourth.

The bakers were really tested this week with the showstopper challenge. They were asked to make two different types of Entremets, 12 of each. Entremets are the small fancy cakes you see in the window of high end patisseries. Mary wanted to see polished works of art, and Paul wanted precision, beauty and elegance in miniature form.

The bakers layered sponges, mousses, creams and jellys to make these tiny treats. Some of the bakers left their layers visible like Richard with his Hazlenut Mocha Entremets, whereas Nancy covered her Raspberry Nonnettes in a chocolate glaze so that the layers were revealed on cutting. She did very well in judging for flavour, but was marked down for apperance.

Chetna’s Chocolate, Orange and Nut Entremets looked stunning, but the judges though they lacked in orange flavour, they also thought her Cappucino ones were untidy and the coffee was too strong. Paul called Richard’s entremets “extremely good”. Luis also did very well.

Chetna left us this week. It was very sad to see her go as she is an amazing baker, but based on this week’s bakes I think it was the right decision. Richard smashed his own record and received Star Baker again!! Next week it’s the final! I personally cannot wait.

I had thoughts of making an Entremet this week, but the whole idea of it made me quite stressed! And being stressed before I bake something is not what I want. I bake for enjoyment and I need to be excited about what I’m making. I am not a fan of traditional Baklava so I decided to changed the flavours to things I do like!

I started the night before by making the syrup as it needs to cool overnight in the fridge and thicken up. If you can’t do it the night before, make sure it has at least 2 hours cooling time in the fridge before using. On a low heat in a pan I heated 45g brown sugar, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 235ml water and 170g honey (you can replace the honey with golden syrup if you like). Once the sugar is dissolved, let it boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into a bowl and cool in the fridge.

For the filling I roughly chopped up 150g pecans.

I added the pecans, 45g light brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp salt into a food processor and pulsed them until they looked like a coarse crumb.

Before layering the Baklava I melted 200g butter in a pan and stirred in 45g light brown sugar until it dissolved.

In a deep sided baking tray I starting layering up the filo sheets, brushing butter between each layer. I did 10 sheets of filo per layer. I didn’t make my own filo, I bought 2 packs of Jus Roll. I have made filo before, if you’d like to make your own (or have a nosey at how I got on!) you can check out my Fruit Strudel post.

After doing 10 filo layers, I added a layer of the pecan filling. Then I did 10 more filo layers again brushing butter in between, then another layer of pecan filling, then 10 more filo layers. Reserve some of the filling for topping the Baklava after baking, about 2 tbsp should do.

I sliced the baklava up into pieces before baking.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes. It was quite golden brown by then so I covered it in foil to avoid it catching. I turned the heat down to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 and baked for another 25 minutes. When it was done I immediately poured the syrup all over, then sprinkled the remaining filling in the centre of each square along with a sprinkle of sea salt.

The pastry was beautifully crispy and made a great sound when I bit into it. The syrup made it sticky and sweet. I loved the contrast between the saltyness and the sweetness, much better than the traditional Baklava I reckon. My boyfriend demanded that ‘not all of these are being taken into your work!’ So they must have been good!

I am linking up again to Supergolden Bakes GBBO Bake Along.

Recipe from Phyllo.com
 
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Salted Caramel & Pecan Baklava

Ingredients

  • 135 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 235 ml Water
  • 170 g Honey
  • 150 g Pecans
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 200 g Butter

Instructions

  1. Start by making the syrup. In a pan on a low heat melt 45g of the brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of the sea salt, the water and honey. Once the sugar is dissolved, let it boil for 10 minutes while stirring constantly. Pour into a bowl and cool in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours

  2. For the filling chop up the pecans, add them along with 45g of the light brown sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of the salt into a food processor and pulse them until they look like a coarse crumb
  3. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat and stir in 45g of the light brown sugar until it dissolves
  4. In a deep sided baking tray layer up the filo sheets, brushing butter between each layer. Start with 10 sheets of filo, then a layer of the pecan filling, then 10 more filo sheets, another layer of the filling, then a final layer of 10 filo sheets. Reserve a small amount of the filling for topping the Baklava after baking, about 2 tbsp
  5. Slice the baklava in the tin, into the pieces desired before baking. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes. Cover with foil if browning too much and turn the heat down to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 and bake for another 25 minutes. When it is done, immediately pour the syrup all over, then sprinkle the remaining filling in the centre of each square along with a sprinkle of sea salt

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