Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vegan Pops

A good friend of mine is vegan and usually when I bake she misses out so last weekends project was vegan friendly goodies. The thing I love about these pops is that there is no actual baking involved, just assembly.

The filling is an Oreo truffle and it's then coated in vegan chocolate. Believe it or not Oreos are vegan and to combine the Oreos I used Tofutti which is a dairy free cream cheese that’s tastes no different to low fat cream cheese, I swear!

Crush up the Oreos as fine or as chunky as you like. Personally I like a bit of crunch so I just put them in a zip lock bag and crushed them with a rolling pin. In terms of proportions I used about 220g of Oreos and ¾ tub of Tofutti. There is really no hard and fast rule for the proportions; as long as your mixture can be rolled into a ball without crumbling you’re good. It also helps to use the cream cheese at room tempreture, alot easier to combine. Alternatively you can use a food processor, blend until you have the texture you want and add the cream cheese straight into the food processor.

Once you’ve got all the balls made up refrigerate until they are firm. In the mean time vegan chocolate! Now this is a little tricky. After much research I found this recipe on Gentle World:

1/4 cup cacao butter (optional)
1/2 cup coconut butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa (sifted)
1/4 cup agave
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

I couldn’t find cacao butter so I just substituted it for coconut butter as the website suggests and it turned out fine. The tricky bit is getting it to the consistency where you can use it. When you combine the ingredients the oils and the solids separate and the mixture is runny so to combine them you need to chill the mixture but don’t refrigerate! On my first attempt I thought I’d be a bit time efficient and refrigerate and microwave to soften, big mistake! It hardens too quickly in the fridge and then when you soften it, it burns. Instead, this is how the website suggests you do it, place the bowl of mixture in a shallow pan with water and a couple of ice cubes. Stir the mixture until it combines into a nice creamy chocolaty consistent. If it does get too hard repeat the same process but wit hot water.

Its best to coincide the finished chocolate with when the balls are hard so you can secure the sticks in the balls with the chocolate; dip the end of the stick into chocolate and push it just under half way into the balls. Give them a couple of minutes to harden and you’re ready to coat. My chocolate was slightly firmer than dipping consistency so I used a butterknife to smooth on the chocolate. This gave the truffles a slightly more rustic finish but I like it. To add an extra touch I put mini Oreos on half the batch and dusted the others with Oreo cookie crumbs.

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