Saturday, September 24, 2011
ALMOND CREAM WHIPPED TOPPING
For many years (like most vegans, I suspect) I tried to make a tofu whipped cream that I really liked. I finally came up with a version that was acceptable, but it was always evident that it was tofu. While developing recipes for my subscription newsletter, The Vegan Feast (it ran for 5 years but I am no longer producing it), I developed a delicious, light, clean-tasting, not-too-sweet whipped topping made mostly from almond milk, and it remains my favorite still. ( I prefer not to use whipped coconut milk, which feels too heavy for my taste and is full of saturated fat.)
I tried making it with commercial almond milk, but it just didn't have the fine taste and the body of that made with homemade almond milk. However, that's not really a deterrent because nut milk is really easy and relatively quick to make. In fact, the whipped topping is very easy to make, especially if you use a microwave to do the cooked part. (Scared of microwave ovens? No need to be-- here's some info I've collected and here's an article from The Sierra Club. And, in the book "Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen", author Kate Heyhoe tells us that microwaves can save up to 80% energy compared to doing the same tasks made on the stovetop or in a conventional oven-- so it makes sense to use it for little tasks like heating a cornstarch mixture.)
I'm sharing the recipe with you below (after some photos of the topping used on some yummy desserts), and I hope you'll enjoy it!
More desserts heaped with this delicious (and fairly low-fat) homemade vegan whipped topping:
On Scottish Trifle, from my book, World Vegan Feast.
|On a Blueberry Shortcake|
On Mango Trifle with Indian Spices, from my book, World Vegan Feast.
|In Tiramisu from World Vegan Feast|
|On a peach shortcake|
BRYANNA’S ALMOND CREAM WHIPPED TOPPING
Makes about 2 cups, GF (Recipe from my book, World Vegan Feast.)
This is my all-purpose whipped topping – rich, creamy, and light, with a lovely, subtle almond flavor. It can be the perfect shortcake topping when made with a little less agar powder (1/2 teaspoon) because traditionally, the cream for shortcakes is not whipped to stiff peaks, but left soft. PS: This topping is NOT stiff enough to use for a cake icing!
For best results, make the topping at least 4 to 6 hours before serving, but it can be made several days ahead of time. (The recipe is easily doubled.)
1 cup blanched, slivered raw almonds
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons unbleached organic sugar (light-colored)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (here's an organic one) or 3 tablespoons white rice flour
3/4 teaspoon agar powder (use 1/2 teaspoon for a softer cream) NOTE: Do not use agar flakes (Agar powder is actually cheaper than flakes if you compare by weight!)
1/4 cup firm silken tofu (NOTE: if you prefer to leave this out, use 1 tsp. agar powder)
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1.) To make the Almond Milk (this just takes a few minutes):
In a blender, combine the almonds and hot water and blend until very smooth. Be patient and let it run for several minutes. Strain the resulting almond milk through a cheesecloth-lined colander over a clean pot, measuring pitcher or bowl. Use 2 layers of fine cheesecloth from a fabric store (or use a nut milk bag). Gather the cheesecloth up to make a “bag” and twist and squeeze the “bag” to squeeze out as much of the almond milk as possible. You can use the almond meal for a facial scrub. NOTE: Do NOT substitute commercial almond milk beverage for the homemade almond milk-- the recipe will not work with the commercial stuff.
2.) In a small saucepan, mix 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the almond milk with the sugar, agar and cornstarch. Stir the mixture over medium heat until thickened and translucent. Or use the...
Microwave Option: Mix in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl (with room for the mixture to rise up) and cook 30 seconds on 100% power (default setting), whisk and repeat 3 more times or until thickened and translucent. (See note about microwave cooking in the text above the recipe.)
3.) In the blender, combine 1 cup more of the almond milk, the silken tofu, salt, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract, if using. Scrape the cooked mixture into the blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for about 1 hour, then beat the mixture briefly so that it is creamy. Chill again for at least 3 hours.
Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 133.4 calories; 58% calories from fat; 9.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 47.3mg sodium; 149.0mg potassium; 9.7g carbohydrates; 2.0g fiber; 4.2g sugar; 7.7g net carbs; 4.6g protein; 3.0 points.
Enjoy on your favorite desserts!