January 10, 2013

Sweets - no baking required!!

Tasty and yet easy and quick to make... Loads of creativity and improvising involved..
I'm talking about sweets that do not require oven and loads of cooking.
These little sweets and cakes are always big hit everywhere and in any occasion.
For ad hoc events, have some dark chocolate chunks, shredded coconut, roasted nuts and dry fruits and plain biscuits (Petit Beurre style) always at hand in your pantry!
That's almost all you'll need.
For some additional kick, it's always great to also have some natural flavours and liquors..




Here are recipes for the cakes from this photo*:


Coconut Coffee Salami
(roll from the middle of the photo)


Although amount of butter is pretty insignificant I have replaced it with milk in my second version, to reduce saturated fat. It really makes no difference in taste. I also added hazelnuts.

Original Salami recipe:



350 gr finely ground biscuits (lightly sweetened)
150 gr powder sugar
50 gr melted semisweet chocolate
2 dl brewed coffee (possibly espresso or any strong)

White fill:
100 gr coconut
120 gr unsalted butter
100 gr sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 dl milk


Mix together ground biscuits, 150 gr of sugar, melted chocolate and cooled coffee . Make a rectangle with a sides in proportion of 2:1,(one side two times bigger than the other), thick 1 cm (½ inch). This mass has to be soft, not crumbly, so it can be rolled into a roll (salami).
At the same time, in a small saucepan boil together coconut, butter, sugar and vanilla and milk and cool. Spread over a coffee rectangle and roll from a longer side towards the other, until its compact and completely rolled. Press around to get more compact mass and than roll in a plastic or parchment paper. Leave it in a fridge for at least five to six hours or over night.
Cut in a rolls 1 cm (½ inch) thick.

No butter version:

250 gr finely ground biscuits (lightly sweetened)
150 gr powder sugar
50 gr melted semisweet chocolate
100 gr ground ,roasted and skinned hazelnuts
2 dl brewed coffee (possibly espresso or any strong)

White fill:

150 gr unsweetened coconut
130 gr sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 dl milk


Bayadera/Nanaimo type bar
(layered squares from the photo)

White layer:
100 gr. butter

150 gr. sugar
200 ml. water
350 gr. ground nuts(any nuts of your preference)
350 gr. finely ground low sweetened biscuits (Petit Beurre type)

Dark layer:
250 ml of milk
150 g of sugar
100 grams of butter
200 grams of semi sweet chocolate melted
350 gr ground nuts
350 g ground biscuits


Glaze(optional)
200 grams of cooking chocolate
50 g margarine
some oil

Add water, sugar and butter to melt. Remove from heat and add nuts and biscuits. In the same way do it with the dark part, except that you add melted chocolate. Both compounds divided into two equal parts. Using plastic bags to develop the first part of the dark and put on a tray or baking dish (33 × 26), lay white part, dark etc, it depends on how much of the mass you prepared.
Melt chocolate in steam and evenly pour over your cake. Leave it in the fridge to get firm and cut into desired shapes.


Chestnut chocolate balls
(light balls from the photo)

200 g chestnut puree
50 g finely chopped roasted pistachios
50 g finely chopped roasted almond
50 g finely chopped roasted hazelnut
1/4 cup chopped sour cherries preserved in alcohol
50 g melted dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa)
100 g almond meal (ground almond)
3 tbsp cherry brandy
1 tbsp honey

For coating (optional):
dark cocoa powder or
grated coconut

Prepare chestnut: if you cook them, boil them for 1 hour and peel and mash them to get even mass or if you have preserved chestnut puree available in your stores, pick lightly sweetened. Mix with almond meal.
Add nuts of your choice, chocolate, and mix until you get even mass. Add vanilla and honey.
Form balls and coat in cocoa or coconut flakes if desired.



Chocolate lemonchino balls with chestnut filling
 (Dark balls from the photo)


1/4 cup almonds, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped

lemonchino
 1/4 cup dried prunes, pitted and chopped          
1/4 melted chocolate
1/4 ground almond
1/4 ground biscuits
2 teaspoons lemonchino brandy
1 tbsp lemon
1 tbsp lemon and orange grated zest

Filling:
50 g chestnut puree
50 g almond meal (ground almond)
1 tsp lemon zest

Combine fruits and nuts and all other ingredients in a bowl. Add some juice and brandy to get smooth mass not too firm but not soft to easily hold in hand without sticking. In the other bowl prepare chestnut filling.
Take about one tbsp of the nuts mass in palm and place tsp of chestnut filling in a center. Close and make a ball shape by rolling the mass between your palms.
Let the balls air-dry in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours, or until they are no longer sticky.
Serve them cold (from the fridge or at room temperature). Store in airtight container between wax paper or in mini muffin liners.



Fruits and nuts balls
(these are really great natural and wholesome energy bars replacements!!)


1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins                                        
1/4 cup dried prunes, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
hot water
2 teaspoons brandy, orange liqueur or orange juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

Topping

sesame seeds
unsweetened coconut
cocoa powder

Toast chopped nuts for about 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool a little. Soak the raisins in hot water for about 15 minutes, or until plump. Drain. Combine raisins, nuts and all other ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Add some water or orange juice (by the tablespoon) if the batter does not hold together. Shape little balls of about 1 inch diameter out of that mixture. Press the dough so the ingredients hold together. Roll each ball in the desired topping. Place the balls in small muffin liners. Let the balls air-dry in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours, or until they are no longer sticky.

Serve them cold (from the fridge or at room temperature). Store in airtight container.


*You have to adjust the amount of ingredients up to your taste and density of the mass you are making. Have always that in mind when making these types of sweets or any dish that doesn't involve baking.

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