Vegan MoFo Day XIX : Free-Trade, Organic Deliciousness Giveaway

A few weeks ago, Guppy and I were reading one of my all-time favourite children’s books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Mr. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Store

It was so rewarding to snuggle with Guppy and read a chapter every night before bed, however, there was a down side.

Suddenly, I was constantly thinking about chocolate – just like poor Charlie!

Chocolate cravings don’t generally hit me (ever), but I found with each passing chapter I was day dreaming about the stuff.

So I gave in.

I thought I would try something new, so I went for these two flavours from my favourite free trade brand – citron noir and noir quinoa.  I thought they were both so fantastic that I would share them with you!  I must share them with someone, they are that good.

The citron noir is loaded with candied lemon zest – lemon and chocolate!  Brilliant.  If you’re not a big citrus/chocolate fan, then you’ll probably prefer the quinoa and dark chocolate bar.  Somewhat reminiscent of a crunchy type chocolate bar, this one was also a big hit with yours truly.  Both bars are also vegan, organic and fair-trade so you can indulge without guilt.

Would you like some chocolate?  Just leave a comment below and let me know which one you’d like – you’ve got until next Thursday, November 25th at midnight France standard time to enter.  Winners will be announced before the end of Vegan MoFo. Wee!

Vegan MoFo V: Easy Ganache and “High Moral Standards”

I know what you new vegans are thinking, “Ganache?  Authentic ganache cannot be vegan!”.  Maybe you weren’t thinking that, but believe me, when discussing “authentic” ganache with certified pastry chefs (or people who just think they are pastry chefs) the inevitable questions about the compatibility of veganism and pâtisseries or pastries, always rear their ugly head.  When I mention that I don’t use dairy crème liquide or even cow’s milk, accusations and name-calling usually ensue.  Seriously.

I realise that in France we have a certain fierté or pride, concerning our pastries and our culinary traditions.  This is understandable, given the international reputation our sweet treats have.  The general belief is that in order to cultivate  the authentic “frenchness” of our recipes, tradition must be respected.  Unfortunately, the cult of authenticity often attracts blind followers.

What does “authentic” mean to you?  For some people, it’s about following the recipe by the book and any derivation is heresy or blasphemy or even worse (is there worse?).  For me it’s about taste.  Taste, and ethics.  I don’t think it’s ethical to “grow” animals (sentient beings)  like plant crops (non-sentient beings), impregnate the females (rape anyone?) then pry their babies from them in order to sell their milk.  For me as a woman, a feminist and a mother, that is wrong on so many levels.

But you can have your ganache and your “high moral standards”* people!  Granted vegan ganache can hardly be called heathful, it’s at least less deleterious to the cows than its omni counterpart. Ganache is not an “everyday food” people – be sensible, please.

You’re going to need to have some ganache on had for some soon-to-be-posted recipes, so it’s only fitting I share my go-to recipe with you.  Try it, or make your own favourite ganache.  Don’t eat it all.  Trust me, you’ll need it!

Get your  soy milk and agave ready!

Easy Chocolate Ganache

200g (about 7 oz) dark chocolate, broken or cut into smallish chunks

1/2 non-dairy milk (I use soy)

1/4 cup agave syrup

Using a small sauce pan, heat the soy milk to boiling (don’t let it get crazy boiling or you’ll get a layer of soy-skin on top).  Turn off heat and add the chocolate chunks.  You can either leave this set for a few minutes (maybe wash a few dishes?), then stir, or just stir right away.  You’ll have a little more stirring to do if you decide not do let it set, but it’s ok.  When the chocolate is completely melted, add the agave and stir until combined.  You can either use immediately, or let it cool.  This hardens up to a nice fudge-like consistency if left at room temperature long enough, or refrigerated.

Don’t eat it all!  You’re going to need it for the next few recipes…

* “high moral standards” – that’s one of the comments, in an ironic, snarky tone, I’ve heard when sharing my ganache recipe.  Personally, I take it as a compliment!