A healthy, vegan, sugar-free summer dessert that’s easy to whip up anytime.
Due to a crazy hot summer 2014, strawberries are still in season and abundant in my neck of the woods.
Like blackberries, blueberries and cherries, strawberries, too, are healthy, delicious little treasures – read the Berries, Berries, Berries! post to get the juicy facts.And while I don’t really mind cream desserts or pastry, when you walk past the plethora of gorgeous street cafés in Berlin and see all those baked, fruity delicacies and creamy, sugary goodness that you can’t enjoy due to your gluten-free and vegan diet (to say nothing of the evil that is glucose), cravings still start to rise their nasty heads.
Better to chop them right off with a dessert that’s yummy, simple, and “free from”!
The good thing about this recipe that we’ve whipped up this summer is that you have Three super-easy recipes in One:
1. is a gluten-free crumble cookie that goes really well with savoury dishes;
2. is a nice vegan vanilla cream;
3. and the actual strawberries and cream cookies recipe.
Part 1. Gluten-Free, Vegan Buttery Shortbread Cookies
Yield: 4 servings, approx. 12 cookies.
2 cups gluten-free flour (or rice flour with millet flour and a little addition of starch)
1 tablespoon vegan baking powder
1/2 cup coconut fat (or vegan margarine, suitable for baking)
3/4 cup coconut milk, or rice milk, or soy milk – whatever not too fatty plant milk you prefer, I like a blend of coconut and rice.
For a savoury recipe, you now only add
salt to taste,
But in this case we’re baking sweet cookies, so we’ll add 1-3 tablespoons of coconut sugar;
I also tend to add a tiny pinch of turmeric root powder/curcuma for a nicer colour and all the health benefits;
This recipe is adapted from this book I’ve reviewed last year.
Preheat the oven (190°C/375°F), line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Blend this shortcake-like dough to a homogenic mix that will remain a little crumbly, and form round cookies.
They will crumble on the sides, but that’s okay (as soon as they don’t fall apart completely, in that case the dough is not homogenic enough).
Gently, carefully press a teaspoon to give the cookies the appearance of flat baskets – this will help to hold the cream in place later.
If you want to have just the cookies, you omit this step and brush them with a little oil instead. Or do like I do and use applesauce for this: it creates a slightly caramel-like topping of a nice colour that you otherwise obtain by using an egg yolk.”
Part 2. Vegan Vanilla Cream
You will need 400g of a good quality vegan sour cream, do not pick a “processed” mix of stabilisers and preservatives, but an organically ripened product that contains actual cultures. My favourite is the 100% organic Soyana Soyananda vegan sour cream (<– this is, as usual, an affiliate-free link to the Veganz online store whether for you to shop at, or to get the info). You’ll need a product that has enough fatty acids, in fact, Soyananda has a great amount of Omega-3, and doesn’t taste too heavily of soy. It shouldn’t be too sour either.
Next, you let it sit in a metal sieve lined with a muslin cloth for a couple of minutes to get rid of excess liquid.
Spice it up with vanilla bean and a little coconut sugar (too much will cater for too caramel-like a flavour) and blend really well.