Sunday, 3 August 2014

Almond 3 ways dessert

A vegan desert using homemade almond milk and the 'waste' meal together.
time. Makes about 6 small servings. It will take a day and a half to make from scratch, or about 2 hours if you use store bought milk and meal.


1 cup whole almonds (Or 1 cup almond milk plus 1/2 cup almond meal and 12 whole almonds)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons shredded coconut
Vanilla essence

Special equipment required

Food processor or good blender

Muslin cloth or coffee strainer (muslin works better)

step 1) Making almond milk

First you need to soak the almonds. Rinse 1 cup of almonds and then cover with water and place in the fridge for approx. 24 hours. (anytime between 12 to 48 hours is ok, the longer you leave them the creamier the milk).

After the almonds are soaked remove a few soaked almonds and set aside. These are now technically activated almonds (these will be for putting on tops of your desserts so 2 per person is good).

Put the rest of the almonds in the blender with 2 cups of water and blend until the almonds are all diced up into a fine meal.

Line a strainer with either a couple of layers muslin cloth or a coffee strainer paper and put the wet meal on top (you can also use a very fine sieve). The milk should start to drip out through the cloth. If you are using muslin you can squeeze the milk out.

You should get between 1 and 2 cups of milk back (depending on how good you are at squeezing the water out). Remember to keep the wet almond meal as we will be using that later.

Step 2) Making the pudding

Going to be working with 1 cup of almond milk (as you should be able to get that amount easily from the almonds).

Put in a saucepan over high heat and add a couple of drops of vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons of sugar to the milk. Stir with whisk until all the sugar has dissolved.

When the milk is hot and the sugar is dissolved (but before it gets to a boil) add the cornstarch. Add 2 teaspoons very slowly and whisk in.

Bring to boil while whisking. Boil for about 20 seconds. Custard should thicken.

Spoon custard into serving bowls/ glasses and put in the fridge to set.

Step 3) Dried almond meal topping

Take approx. ½ cup of the wet almond meal. Mix in 1 tablespoon of sugar and 4 Tablespoons of shredded coconut. (If you are using store bought dry meal you will need to add a couple of tablespoons of water to wet it to help it come together).

Gently spread out over some baking paper and put into a warm oven (about 160deg Celsius or 300deg Fahrenheit). How long it will take depends on how much milk you managed to get out of the meal and how evenly thinly you spread them out on the dish. Check on them every few minutes and remove from oven when they are starting to turn golden around the edges and dry (about 5-15minutes).
Using a spoon move the meal around on the baking paper to stop it sticking then put aside until ready to put desert together.

Step 4) Putting together

After about 2 hours your custard will have set.

Put a spoon of the dried almond meal topping and a couple of activated almonds (the soaked almonds) on top and serve.

This is best put together right before serving to keep the meal crunchy.

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