Happy weekend everyone! I hope you have exciting weekend plans ahead? We are still down the rabbit hole of DIY but I actually find it exciting as we are finally nearing completion. Today we received our TV sideboard, which Duncan has just finished assembling and it looks awesome, we are thrilled with it.
I patched up, caulked and painted almost half of the skirting boards in the living room and they scrubbed up well although in painting them I realised that we made a bit of a mistake and painted the fireplace and the door frame with the wrong paint!! We painted them both with the wall paint as opposed to the wood paint. In his DIY tiredness, Duncan opened the wrong tin and I did not question it, even though I was surprised to see how matte the finish was.
What we should have used on the woodwork was ‘estate eggshell’ but instead we used ‘estate emulsion’ and we did not realise until I finished painting the skirting next to the fireplace. Luckily they are both water-based paints and it’s not a massive area to go over again. I actually quite enjoy painting wood – I was the first one to put my hand up when my grandpa painted fences and the like in my family’s summer house – so I don’t mind so much, although I would like us to get out of this DIY purgatory at some point 😉 … Soon, I tell myself, soon…
So as it’s the weekend and we are likely to be stuck indoors again, I made something sweet to keep us going even though I should really stop – lockdown weight creep is real!! I made dainty little tarts filled with a deliciously creamy and indulgent vanilla speckled white chocolate filling and fresh raspberries as white chocolate and tart raspberries are such a delicious combination. If you don’t have raspberries, use other tart tasting seasonal fruit for that much needed flavour contrast. Think blackberries, passionfruit, kiwi or even roasted rhubarb.
The best thing about this dessert, other than the taste, is how quick and easy it is to make. Instead of pastry, which was my original intention, I went for super simple-to-make oat cases in a bid to make this dessert more accessible to all skill levels. If you fancy making proper pastry shells, here is the recipe I recommend. Ganache is as easy as melting stuff and stirring things together so I’m sure that everyone is able to pull these off. The finished product is way more impressive than the effort required. I hope you’ll make these for your next family or friends gathering. Enjoy!
- 180 g / 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free certified if needed)
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 45 ml / 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 25 g / 2 tbsp (scoopable but not melted) refined coconut oil
VEGAN WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 52 g / 1.85 oz cacao butter
- 15 g / 6 tsp cornflour / cornstarch*
- 60 ml / ¼ cup almond (or other plant) milk
- 100 g / ½ cup coconut cream**
- 60 ml / ¼ cup maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 28 fresh raspberries or blackberries (any sour fruit will do)
- Grind the oats in a power blender or a food processor until you obtain a coarse mixture.
- Place ground up oats and salt in a large bowl.
- Add maple syrup and melted coconut oil and work them into the oats with your fingers until evenly distributed and you get a ‘dough’ that is pliable, but not too wet or sticky. If it is too sticky, add a touch more oats. If it’s too dry, a little more oil.
- Preheat the oven to 175° C / 350° F and grab your pastry cases.
- Using your hands, line each pastry cake with the dough.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Once out of the oven, press the bottoms down as they will have likely bulged up a little. Allow the shells to cool down completely before removing and filling with the ganache.
VEGAN WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- Place cacao butter in a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water and allow it to melt fully.
- Mix cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl until smooth and lump free to create cornstarch slurry.
- Put almond milk, coconut cream and maple syrup in a medium sized pot and place on a low heat. Using a wire whisk, whisk cornstarch slurry into the mixture and keep on whisking until the mixture starts bubbling gently. Allow it to bubble for a few seconds to thicken, whisking the entire time. Take off the heat.
- Whisk in vanilla, salt and slowly drizzle in melted cacao butter, whisking just until uniform and smooth, but no more than that. If the mixture happens to split, try whisking vigorously, if that doesn’t help whisk a teaspoon or two (no more) of boiling water to bring it back.
- Pour or spoon into the shells immediately. Allow to cool down and then chill in the fridge until set – preferably overnight (8-10 hrs).
- Decorate with fresh raspberries and serve.
*My experience tells me that tapioca starch will also work well here, but I haven’t had the time to test it to double-check (will update the recipe once I have had the chance to). If using tapioca starch, I would use use 30 g / 4 tbsp (it’s 2 times less potent than cornstarch) and whisk it directly (no need to activate first) into the mixture at THE VERY END, once you’ve added cacao butter to the almond milk + coconut cream + maple syrup mixture.
**In one of my tests, I used full fat coconut milk (rather than just the thick cream that comes up to the top) and the results were great too, but as coconut milk composition varies so much across brands I’ve settled on a mixture of coconut cream and almond milk to make sure that your end result will definitely be as good as mine. If you would rather use coconut milk instead, be sure to use 180 ml / ¾ cup.