Tag Archives: edible containers

Daring Bakers: Edible Containers (Maple Mousse in Bacon Chocolate Chip Cups)

 The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Yes, more edible containers. What’s not to love about a container you can eat? Evelyne suggested making a maple mousse and a bacon cup to hold the mousse. I loved the idea so much, I decided to stick closely to the recipes suggested. I made the mousse (dairy-free, of course), refrigerated it, and got to making bacon cups. I molded bacon around the back side of a muffin tin, secured with toothpicks, and baked, but my bacon cups weren’t really cup-like – they shriveled and had holes too large to hold any mousse. Stumped on what to do instead, I questioned my husband. (Who was walking in and out of the kitchen this whole time, drawn to what I was doing by the aroma of bacon.) His suggestion? Let him eat the bacon. While this is a tasty solution, it doesn’t give me an edible container. (I did share some of the failed bacon cups with him though!)

After some time to think, I remembered that a year or two ago, bacon chocolate chip cookies were all the rage in the food blog world. Having never made them myself, I decided I would play with a chocolate chip cookie recipe, only instead making them in a cup form. I set off making dough and pressing the dough into muffin cups.

I did, however, forget that in spite of pressing the dough only around the edges of the muffin cup (like it was a pie crust), that the cookie dough would rise and fill in the cup entirely. Whoops. So what I ended up with was more like a bacon chocolate chip muffin. Undeterred, I grabbed my melon baller and scooped out a bit of the center, making it a cup once again. (And enjoying the bits of cookie I scooped out – the baker’s treat for sure!)

The rest was easy. Scoop in the maple mousse, top with bacon bits, and refrigerate. Voila – an edible container with a delicious mousse!

The verdict? I think if I try this again, I’ll modify the cookie/cup recipe somewhat. It was a bit dry and crumbly. The mousse, however, was amazing. I could sit down and eat tons of that by itself. As for the bacon-in-a-dessert thing? It’s not bad (it adds a lovely sweet-savory touch, but didn’t taste much like bacon), but it’s not my favorite combination. I could take it or leave it. I think I’d much prefer just to enjoy the mousse unadorned (or maybe with some dairy-free whipped cream).

This was definitely a fun challenge! A big thanks to Evelyne.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cups with Maple Mousse

For the cups:

1 ¾ c gluten-free flour blend (I used equal parts arrowroot starch, brown rice flour, and sorghum flour)

2 t ground chia seed meal

½ t baking soda

½ t kosher salt

1/3 c vegan buttery sticks or oil (I used bacon grease leftover from cooking the bacon plus vegan butter)

½ c coconut sugar

½ c coconut nectar

1 large egg

½ t vanilla extract

½ c finely chopped cooked bacon (about 8 strips), divided

2/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, chia seed meal, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add buttery sticks/oil, sugar, and coconut nectar and beat for about 3 minutes or until blended. Add egg and vanilla and mix on medium until incorporated. Stir in half of the bacon and all of the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for an hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin and divide into 8-9 of the muffin cups, pressing up against the sides. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until beginning to brown on the edges and set in the center. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from tin and place on cooling rack to cool completely.

With a melon baller or similarly sized spoon, scoop out the center of each chocolate chip cup. Fill with chilled maple mousse and garnish with remaining bacon.

For the mousse:

½ c grade B maple syrup

2 large egg yolks

½ envelope gelatin

¾ c coconut cream (scoop cream off of the top of a can of coconut milk)

Bring maple syrup to a boil and remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they won’t curdle).

Add eggs to maple syrup and whisk until well mixed.

Measure ¼ cup of the coconut cream and place in a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Place in microwave for 15 seconds and then stir, and microwave for 10 seconds more if needed to dissolve gelatin completely.

Whisk gelatin mixture into the maple syrup and set aside.

Whisk occasionally, leaving mixture out for about an hour, until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.

Whip the remaining coconut cream in a large bowl. Stir ¼ of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove from fridge, whisk, and scoop into bacon chocolate chip cups.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free

Daring Cooks: Edible Containers (Nori Bowls)

This month for the Daring Cooks challenge, the sky was the limit.  Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers. She provided lovely ideas and recipes (a pumpkin bowl filled with creamy shrimp, or a fried noodle bowl), but we could also use our creativity and come up with our own idea, as long as our containers were edible and had suitable content for it.

For me, this was exciting. Rather than having to modify a challenge recipe to fit my dietary needs, I could come up with something completely from scratch! How exciting! But then I started brainstorming, and couldn’t come up with much. I had a few ideas – dips inside of avocado halves, a twist on deviled eggs, or some sort of roll-up thing…but nothing ground-breaking. So I enlisted my sister to help. (She is the artist in our family) I sent her a text message, asking her to think of some sort of edible container, and that the sky was the limit. She sent a message back: what about making nori sheets into some sort of paper mache thing?

Wow. I was inspired. Immediately, I dismissed my other ideas and focused on this one. I wasn’t sure how I’d get it to work, but I knew I had to. It sounded like fun. I had a few days before I would have time to actually make the bowls, so I instead spent time working out the issue in my head. What I loved about this challenge is that unlike some others, I actually didn’t do any research. This was all going to be playing around and going with my gut.

It wouldn’t exactly be paper mache, I thought. Paper mache involves some paste-like substance, and when I think of edible paste, I think of corn starch and water. That didn’t sound appetizing in the least. But I needed something sticky. Brown rice syrup. I purchased some to make Amy’s Slow Cooker Ketchup, and I loved the thick, neutral, not-too-sweet stuff. (Side note: there’s still time to enter into my giveaway for a copy of her cookbook! Check it out here!) I knew I was going to use it – it seemed like the perfect solution. I also knew I’d have to use some sort of mold in order to make and keep a bowl shape until it dried. I already planned on using my dehydrator to speed up that drying process, but as for the minute details? Those would have to wait until I was in the throes of making the bowls.

As it turns out, all that advance mental preparation helped. Making these bowls was a snap. Okay, well, not exactly a snap, as a snap implies speed (at least, in my mind it does) and they did take a while to dry, but they were easy to put together. Just a little brushing of my sticky brown rice and tamari solution, some time in my “molds”, and some time in the dehydrator, and I had a cute little bowl, perfect for filling.

Filling with what? Well, honestly, I did not spend much time brainstorming about that part. But as I surveyed my pantry and refrigerator, I quickly realized that I had the ingredients for a version of jap chae, and those flavors would go perfectly with the nori. I whipped it together (which really is a snap – jap chae only takes a few minutes to make), and I had a perfectly delicious, vegan meal in a cute nori bowl.

This was an exciting challenge, and my hat goes off to Renata.

Nori Bowls

2 nori sheets per bowl

Olive oil

2 T brown rice syrup

1 T gluten-free soy sauce

small bowls

1 recipe Jap Chae

Using kitchen shears, cut slits into the nori sheet, making sure you make them only about halfway to the center of the sheet, leaving room for the bottom of the bowl. (I cut the first one with slits as shown here, but then realized I should cut only 4 slits, one on each corner, for the second sheet. Sorry, no pic on that one, but you get the idea.)

Cut the second sheet of nori with slits and lay over the first sheet, offsetting the slits slightly so that the whole area is covered with nori. Lightly brush the bowl with oil on the outside, and place the nori sheets on top.

In a small, separate bowl, whisk together the brown rice syrup and soy sauce. Brush mixture along the cut edges, and press together firmly, against the bowl, until all of the nori is “sealed” with the syrup mixture. Brush oil on the inside of your second molding bowl, and place on top of your nori. Press together.

Using your kitchen shears, cut around the edges of your mold to remove excess nori. Repeat with additional nori sheets and bowls as desired. Let the molds sit for about an hour.

Remove the interior molding bowl, and place in dehydrator, right side up. Allow to dehydrate for an additional hour at about 130 degrees. Once the nori starts to feel less “wet”, carefully remove the second molding bowl and place the nori bowl back into the dehydrator. Continue to dehydrate for another hour or two, or until the nori is hard and no longer the least bit tacky to the touch. Trim the edges with kitchen shears as needed to clean up the look of your bowl.

It is now ready to fill! Prepare your jap chae according to recipe (or make another filling for your bowl) and serve. You’ll find that after a while, when the filling has had a chance to sit in the bowl, it will soften a bit, and you might be able to fold the sides and eat your jap chae-filled nori bowl rolled up, burrito style.

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Vegetarian