Holiday Spice Maple Panna Cotta

The flavors for this Panna Cotta remind me of the holiday season.

Infuse: In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup cream with the maple syrup and stir to dissolve. Add cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, and nutmeg. Turn off heat and leave spices to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Strain, and return the cream to a saucepan.
Soften the gelatin: In a small, wide bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 1/4 cup cold milk and let stand about 5 minutes, until softened.
Dissolve the gelatin: Reheat the strained cream and whisk in the softened gelatin and milk until completely dissolved. Turn off heat and let mixture rest until room temperature.
Combine base ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together creme fraiche with the remaining 1/2 cup cream and 3/4 cup milk until smooth.
Add the melted gelatin: Whisk the cooled gelatin-milk mixture into the base mixture.
Strain: Pour the panna cotta mixture through a triple-mesh, sieve into a large glass measuring cup with a pour spout. Then divide into ramekins, dessert glasses, or molds.
Set the gelatin: Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.
Serve: To serve, unmold onto dessert plates or present in ramekins or dessert glasses. Serve with drizzle of maple syrup on top.

Berry Custard Clafoutis

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s … Super Custard? I was a bit skeptical before making my first clafoutis (“claw-foo-tee”). Ignoring the strange name, we decided to give it a try. This dessert has now launched itself into our family’s recipe book Hall of Fame. The custard base, combined with delicious fruit — and the easiest assembly ever! — prove that this isn’t any ordinary recipe. Warning: I recommend making a double batch.

Heat oven to 325*F. While oven warms, place butter in 8×8 dish to melt. (Double bonus - it greases your pan!)
In a medium bowl, beat eggs, honey, milk, vanilla, flour, and salt together.
Remove 8×8 dish from oven. Stir in melted butter to batter.
Dump (yes, dump!) fruit into 8×8 dish, spreading evenly.
Pour batter over fruit. Note: Fruit will gradually fruit to the top as it cooks.
Bake for 45 minutes until set and golden.
Serve warm or chilled.
HINT: Makes for a great breakfast the next morning!
HINT: Experiment with fruit combinations. You can’t go wrong! Add as much (or as little) fruit as you like.

Chilled Chocolate Strawberry Tapioca Pudding

I find tapioca pudding to be so versatile and adaptable to whatever you are in the mood for! I especially love it cold, with roasted, unsweetened cacao nibs stirred in for some crunch, and extra fruit for additional sweetness. This version only has a bit of sucanat, so it doesn’t have to be only dessert! Feel free to add more sweetener to taste for a more indulgent pudding.

Briefly pulse tapioca in a blender or coffee grinder until broken in smaller pieces (optional). Soak tapioca in hot water for a few minutes while you chop the strawberries and assemble ingredients. Add strawberries, sucanat, cocoa powder, salt and milk to the pan with the tapioca and bring to a boil over medium heat. Separate eggs, slowly add in a bit of the hot tapioca to the egg yolks to temper, then add back to the pan, turning off heat. Whip egg whites until glossy, then fold into tapioca with stevia and vanilla. Let cool completely before transferring to refrigerator to set.
Serve with berries or bananas, cacao nibs or chocolate chips, whipped cream, nuts, etc. The toppings are endless! Or enjoy plain 🙂

Maple Coconut Tapioca Pudding ~ A Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Dessert

This deliciously creamy, rich, decadent treat, free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar can be eaten warm or chilled. I suggest freezing leftovers in individual servings. Tuck them into packed lunches and by the time you’re ready to enjoy your meal, it will be thawed just enough for it to have a frozen custard effect.

In a large sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Turn off heat, add tapioca pearls, stir, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
While tapioca soaks, separate eggs. Beat egg whites with maple syrup and beat yolks in a separate bowl. Start measuring other ingredients while you wait for the tapioca to finish soaking.
Add milk and salt to soaked tapioca and whisk in egg yolks. Whisk constantly over medium heat until it thickens and is brought to a boil. It’s important to use a whisk to separate any tapioca clumps. Reduce heat and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slowly pour 2 cups hot tapioca into the egg white mixture as you whisk vigorously. Now whisk in egg white mixture with the rest off the tapioca. Whisk 3 more minutes over low heat. Add vanilla. Serve warm or chilled. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top of each serving if desired.

Sprouted or Sourdough Bread Pudding

If you make whole grain bread, you know how it is. The heels of the bread are marvelous when the bread is very fresh, but after that, no one wants to eat them. So, they sit in the bread bag until the bread ends up in the refrigerator so it won’t get moldy. Of course, the stale bread makes marvelous toast at that point, but only the most intrepid will willingly choose the stale heels of bread. So, they sit there, making one feel guilty. To compost or what? Here is my solution. I’ve been making “Bread Pudding” since our children were all young and still living at home. It is delicious, warm with milk or cream, or even after it’s been chilled, it is still good. It can be re-heated, of course.

Butter an 8 inch square glass baking dish.
Break the bread into little pieces into the dish.
Sprinkle the raisins over the bread and stir down into the bread pieces with your fingers.
In a blender, combine the milk, vanilla, sucanat, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Blend together thoroughly.
Pour the milk mixture over the bread and raisins.
Start preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. after the pudding is all in the dish.
When the oven is pre-heated, place the dish of pudding into a larger dish and pour enough water into the outer dish to come up halfway on the inner dish. (See pictures on my blog.)
Place in the oven, and bake until when you insert a sharp knife in the middle, it comes out clean.
Start checking after 30 minutes.
Serve warm with cold milk or cream, or serve cold!

Velvety Tapioca Pudding

Served warm or chilled, tapioca pudding is a wonderful comfort food for any occasion. This version uses sucanat in place of white sugar.

Begin the process for tapioca pudding the night before. Start with 2 cups small pearl tapioca in a large bowl; cover with 8 cups of filtered water and allow to soak overnight. When you’re ready to begin cooking the next day, drain and discard the water.
Using a double boiler, heat 10 cups of milk until it’s just warm. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can just use two nested large pots. You could also use a metal or glass bowl over a pot of water.
Add in the soaked tapioca and stir to ensure it’s not clumping up. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of salt. Continue cooking over medium heat until tiny bubbles begin forming at the edge of the pan, just before it begins to simmer.
Put the cover on, turn the heat to a very low setting, and let it cook for about an hour.
After an hour, separate the yolks from the eggs, reserving the whites. In a medium bowl, beat the yolks a bit to loosen them up, and then add the 2 cups of sucanat. Beat these together until well-incorporated, and the sucanat begins to dissolve.
Next, we need to temper the egg and sucanat mixture so it doesn’t clump when we add it to the hot milk. Take a ladle full of the hot milk and drizzle it into the egg mixture, stirring continuously to distribute the heat. Add another ladle of milk in the same manner. Typically, for this volume, I add three to four ladles to bring the eggs and sucanat up to temperature.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot milk, stirring continuously with a whisk until everything is mixed together well. Continuing over medium heat, cook the pudding until it’s quite thick; this could be anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
While it’s cooking, beat the egg whites until they form medium-stiff peaks. When the pudding is thick, slowly fold the whites into the pudding until well-incorporated. What’s a medium-stiff peak? Peaks and valleys should hold their shapes initially, but begin to droop shortly.
Stir in the 2 -3 tablespoons ofvanilla extract. Voila!
You can serve this either warm or chilled, and it’ll be freaking amazing either way. Optionally top with chia seeds, sliced almonds, a touch of cream – anything you like!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3′s. Just one tablespoon contains 2,375mg’s (ALA not EPA/DHA). They are a complete protein as they contain all the essential amino acids in appropriate balance. Chia seeds contain 11g’s of fiber, 4g’s protein, and 27 nutrients.

Food process milk, chia seeds, cacao and sucanat for 3-5 minutes in your Vitamix or food processor until a thick pudding consistency.
If using a food processor, you may need to process longer.
Serve with whipped cream.
Read more about chia seeds here: Health Benefits of Chia Seeds.

Butterscotch Pudding

This pudding is simple to make and absolutely to die for! You will love it!

Beat the eggs very well in a small bowl, set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the eggs, and whisk together. Then, on low heat, cook the pudding, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat. Mix 1/4 cup of the pudding into the eggs very well and then pour it back into the pan of pudding and whisk it in well.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving or store it in your refrigerator.

Breakfast Rice Custard

This is a dreamy, smooth, pudding-like custard that is delicious for breakfast, yet decadent enough for dessert! It tastes wonderful when served warm topped with raw milk and raisins, or cold with strawberries!

Grease a 9×13 pan, and place inside an 11×15 pan. Fill up the bigger pan halfway with water, and set the whole thing aside.
Whisk all ingredients except rice and pecans together in a large glass bowl, and place over a pan of simmering water. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Place rice and pecans in the greased 9×13 pan and pour custard mixture over. Place the whole thing in the oven and bake at 325 for about 45 minutes, until set. Enjoy warm or cold!
This is also a wonderful way to use up raw milk that has gone sour, as you can’t even taste it in the recipe!

Fluffy Maple Tapioca Pudding Recipe

If you’ve never had tapioca pudding, you are in for a treat! I used to make it a lot when our children were little, but had sort of “forgotten” about it until the other day… Here is my favorite recipe.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg white until it forms soft peaks.
Combine the milk, maple syrup, egg yolk, salt and tapioca in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and whisk together well.
On medium/high heat and, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat. Be care not to scorch the milk.
Quickly whisk in the beaten egg white and then stir in the vanilla extract.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Or, you can cover the pudding and refrigerate it.

Date Sweetened Chocolate Mousse

One word: YUM. I made this recipe up on a whim the other day. I like to take my kids to the park each Friday and we always bring a snack. On this day, I decided to be a really cool mom and make them a treat for the park. It is usually hardboiled eggs and carrot sticks. They loved this and so did I. The texture is perfectly creamy and you can never go wrong with chocolate!

In a blender, combine ingredients and puree until smooth. If your dates are hard, you may want to soak them in water for about 30 minutes to soften them. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour and then serve up in glasses, sprinkle with a dash of salt (if desired), and enjoy! This can also be served immediately but I like it most when well chilled.
*Feel free to substitute with another natural sweetener, such as raw honey or maple syrup, if needed.