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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

My valentine is crazy for chocolate--any kind, any time, any place, and in any way I serve to him. He doesn't even care if I just buy him a plain old chocolate bar. But this Valentine's Day I wanted to really go the limit with a chocolate dessert that's not too much trouble. What can you suggest?


Howdy there Leslie,

Well, darlin', that's mighty nice yer wantin' to make yer sweetheart his favorite kind o' dessert. Mos' folks don't know this, but chocolate kin make a man feel taller in his boots. An' that chocolate kin bring out the romance hidin' inside--you'll see, darlin'.

Down yonder is a mighty speshul dessert that's so easy it's almost magik. Yer gonna make that spechul man mighty happy. I jes' knows it.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

A decadent teaser, this ultimate chocolate truffle leaves 'em wanting more every time. You can't miss with the intense flavor of divinely rich, dark chocolate whipped up into a sweet, light, creamy dessert and sauced with its perfect mate--raspberries morphed into a delicious sauce. This dessert has everything going for it including its easy, make-ahead convenience.


Yield: 6 servings

    2 cups (480 ml) soymilk
    3/4 cup (180 ml) plus 2 tablespoons organic sugar

    8 ounces (225g) unsweetened chocolate

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine the soymilk and organic sugar in a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan and stir over medium-high heat about 1 or 2 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chocolate. Stir continuously for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely dissolved. Cool slightly and add the vanilla extract.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on high speed until the chocolate develops a thick, creamy, satin-like texture.
  4. Spoon the chocolate into 6 small dessert cups or long-stem wine glasses, leaving at least 1/2-inch (1 cm) of space at the top. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to make it firm.
  5. At dessert time, serve the Blue Ribbon Chocolate Truffle with the Raspberry Sauce on the side.

Raspberry Sauce

    1 1-pound 4-ounce box (565g) frozen raspberries, thawed
    5 tablespoons (75 ml) organic sugar
    1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Combine the raspberries, organic sugar, and lemon juice in the blender. Blend on low speed until the sauce becomes thick and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 3 cups (720 ml).

Note: If you simply adore your chocolate warm and creamy, serve the chocolate truffle as a creamy mousse immediately after preparing it. And it's just as delicious with the Raspberry Sauce spooned over the top.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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