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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

For the finishing touch to a special Valentine meal, you can't beat a romantic sweet treat like a chocolaty mousse. This one is enhanced with a touch of coffee to give it a delicious spark and then it's topped with a fresh fruity sauce to make the heart flutter with sweet romance. After all, it's Valentine's Day.

Cappuccino Mousse


Yield: 4 servings

    1 (12.3-ounce/350g)) box extra firm silken tofu
    1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    3 tablespoons organic sugar
    1 tablespoon instant regular, decaffeinated coffee crystals, or coffee substitute *
    1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    4 fresh strawberries, raspberries, or cranberries
    4 tiny sprigs of mint

  1. Combine all the ingredients except garnishes in the blender and process to a smooth creamy consistency. You may have to stop the machine several times to scrape down the sides and redistribute the ingredients to incorporate them thoroughly.
  2. Spoon into small dessert dishes and chill for at least 2 hours or longer. Just before serving, garnish each serving with a fresh strawberry and mint.

*Natural coffee substitutes like Caffix and Roma are available in natural food markets. The regular coffee, rather than decaffeinated, offers a more definitive coffee flavor.

Consider adding a tasty sauce to turn a simple mousse into a spectacular dessert. Here are some fun toppings for the mousse:

Strawberry or Raspberry Sauce

    2 cups (480 ml) quartered fresh strawberries or raspberries, mashed
    1/4 cup (60 ml) organic sugar
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 tablespoon water

  1. Combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl or cup and mix until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the bubbling berries, stirring constantly for about 1 minute until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool.
  3. Spoon enough sauce over the mousse to form a 1/2-inch (12.7 cm) layer and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Cranberry Topping

    1 cup (240 ml) fresh cranberries
    3 tablespoons organic sugar
    2 tablespoons water
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a 1-quart (1 liter) saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring frequently for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until most of the cranberries have popped open and the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
  2. Dividing the cranberry mixture evenly, spoon over the prepared mousse and chill until ready to serve.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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