Sunday, March 25, 2012

"grilled cheese" for dessert and root vegetable sorbet

This exchange was about healthy foods. And it was my turn to make desserts.  I immediately thought about a grilled cheese sandwich for dessert.  I wanted to include chocolate and vegetables.  Chocolate zuchinni bread came to my mind first..but now I needed the "cheese".  How am I going to create that without using cheese?  Ah ha - sweet potatoes!  I played with colors.  Check out this super delicious easy to make decadent grilled cheese for dessert.  Now we all know every grilled cheese sandwich isn't complete without ketchup.  My next challenge was to mimic ketchup somehow for this dessert.  What vegetable (and yes, I wanted use vegetables over fruit) do I use? Beets!  But my taste buds had always rejected beets, doesn't matter what shape or form they were in.  Check out the evolution of beet pudding to beet sorbet below.

You might argue that the "chocolate zuchinni bread isnt healthy, but the beet pudding or sorbet sure are.  Aren't we all about a balanced diet anyways? :)

Chocalate zuchini bread:

  • About 2 cups shredded raw zucchini
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ up white sugar
  • ½  brown sugar
  • ½  cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½  cup unsweetened or Dutch cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda and baking powder
  • Dash of cinnamon, ground allspice, vanilla or almond extract (even though it’s a dash, I think they make sucha difference)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
1) Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan, place aside
2) in a mixing bowl, combine flour + cocoa powder+ baking soda + baking powder + cinnamon + ground allspice + vanilla or almond extract 
3) in a separate mixing bowl, thoroughly blend sugars + eggs + oil
4) first fold in the mixture from step 2 and then bring in the shredded zuchinni; mix well
5) add chocolate chips to the mixture right before pouring into the pan
6) pour into pan and bake for a good 35-45 minutes until the bread has risen; use the toothpick trick to test

Once the bread has risen, let it cool or dig in right away!  For the grilled cheese, we cut out squares and split into two pieces.  

Sweet potato "cheese" (there's really no cheese in here)
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • butter
  • Indian chai (tea) masala (spice) mix (dry mixture of cardomum, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorn, mace, nutmeg, and dry ginger powder - you can get this at most supermarkets these days or Indian grocery store or online.  You can also skip this alltogether and use simply cinnamon + nutmeg + ginger powder
1) thinly slice skinned sweet potato, lightly coat with butter and season with chai spice mix (use as little or as much as you want)
2) bake in 350 degree oven until completely tender

These taste delicious on their own.  For the "grilled cheese sandwiches", we placed 1-2 slices of sweet potato between 2 pieces of chocolate zuchinni bread.  Voila!  Next time, I'll be throwing the sweet potato slices into a blender to make more of a "sweet potato spread", that'll make it creamier.

Beet pudding:
  • 3-4 beets
  • cocoa powder
1) bake beets with skin on until completely tender in 350 degree oven
2) remove from oven, de-skin
3) thrown into a blender, baked beets + cocoa powder

You'll get a pretty silky deep red pudding consistency out of the blender.  If you love beets or remotely like them, you might enjoy this.  Let it cool in refrigerator completely.  super healthy.  I thought I could eat this up, especially paired as my "ketchup" for the grilled cheese...but nope.  And since I couldn't eat it, I couldnt bring it for the exchange girls either.  What do we do now?

Beet sorbet:
  • Lots of ice
  • Beet pudding
  • 1/2 blood red orange
  • 3 tablespoons of raw sugar
1) In a high power blender, I prefer the Vita-mix, add in 3 cups of ice + 3-4 tablespoons of beet pudding + 1/4 - 1/2 blood red orange + 3 tablespoons raw sugar
2) blend to get a firm sorbet like consistency...if its not firm enough, it will melt easily and turn into a beet slushy which might not be so bad either

It was delicious, and I've finally figured out a way to eat beets.  

Enjoy!  Let us know how you make out and which one you enjoy - beet pudding or sorbet.

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