14 November 2012

Pumpkin Custard Layered Spice Cake... in a glass.

I admit. The title is nothing more than a poor (and poorly disguised) attempt at not calling this recipe a parfait.
As I was preparing to write, I looked back over the last two recipes, and despite the fact that this one is truly more of a parfait than the previous two could ever hope to be, I've definitely got a recipe theme1 running here: Pudding/Custard treats layered in a glass with some sort of crust/crumble/cookie/cake.

I did write up the Dragon Coconut recipe as a pie... yeah, in a glass, but still. Looking back, I really don't know why I called the Sunbutter Cup recipe a parfait; architecturally, it's much more similar to a pie: crust, filling, chocolatey shell topping. Now I feel like I've used my allotment of the word parfait, and I shouldn't be following parfait recipe with parfait recipe.2 Instead of maybe saving it to post later, after a couple more recipes have nudged the Cucina Libera parfait idea out of recent consciousness,3 I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to rename the recipe.4
It's too bad because this recipe is an honest-to-goodness parfait. It's even layered with cake and everything!

We all know that as soon as Autumn rolls around, pumpkin-anything is ubiquitous, and I'm certainly not immune to the charms of the globular, orange gourd.5 So, I present (another) pumpkin recipe, just in time for the holidays.think this is a neat/fancy alternative to the old pumpkin pie standard.6 In fact, I will be making these for our holiday celebration, as requested by my brother, who exclaimed that "they taste just like pumpkin pie with whipped cream!"7

I made somewhat larger ones for the "dress rehearsal", but I think I'm going to use tall shot glasses for the "performance".
For a LOWER SUGARS option, sub out the dates for 30-40 drops of Liquid Stevia; the custard may be a little "looser" but just as delicious.

Pumpkin Custard Layered Spice Cake... in a glass
(Serves 6-8)

For the Spice Cake:
  • 240g (2 Cups) Gluten Free All Purpose Flour OR 60g (1/2 Cup) Buckwheat Flour + 60g (1/2 Cup) Sorghum Flour + 120g (1 Cup) Tapioca Flour
  • 60g (6 Tbsp) Coconut Palm Sugar (feel free to sub Turbinado, Sucanat, etc...)
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Chia Eggs (2T ground chia + 6T filtered water)
  • 45g (3 Tbsp) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 60g (1/4 Cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk (I used So Delicious®; other nut/hemp/oat milks will also work - rice will not)
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar 
For the Pumpkin Custard:
  • 30oz Pumpkin Puree - home-prepared or canned (I found Trader Joe's Organic Pumpkin to be most similar - in consistency/taste - to home-prepared pumpkin puree)
  • 6 Pitted Dates (soaked and peeled/skinned)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk (brought to room temp - again, I used So Delicious®, and again, other "mylks" will also work fine.)
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or combine 3/4tsp Cinnamon, 1/2tsp Nutmeg, 1/2tsp Ground Ginger, 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves, Pinch of Allspice)
  • 1 Tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil (warmed to liquid)
For the "Whipped Cream":
  • 2 cans of Full Fat Coconut Milk (chilled in the fridge overnight) 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 30 drops Liquid Stevia
Oven: 325F/160C
Bake Time: 25-30 min
Chill Time: At least 2 hours, or overnight.

**In order for the coconut cream to separate well, the fat content should be 12g or higher per serving; I've found Thai Kitchen brand to work well. 

Lightly oil two 8" round cake pans with coconut oil. Set aside (away from the oven).

[Prepare the Spice Cake]
1) Prepare the chia egg, and set aside.

2) In a mixing bowl, combine all of the dry Spice Cake ingredients. Mix well.

3) In a separate glass, stir the ACV into the coconut milk, until the mixture begins to coagulate.

4) Add the chia eggs, ACV/coconut milk mixture, and the remaining wet ingredients to the dry mixture. Mix well.

5) Distribute the batter evenly between the two cake pans, and use a spoon or spatula to spread it evenly to the edges. The pans should end up being approximately 1/3 of the way full - we want a thin layer cake.

6) Bake at 325F/160C for 25-27 minutes. The goal is to  very (very) slightly overbake the cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pans, when ready.

While the cake is baking...
[Prepare the Pumpkin Custard]

7) Make sure all ingredients are room temp before starting; this is important! Combine all the custard ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Once the cake is ready and cooling...
[Prepare the Coconut Whipped Creme]

8) Carefully scoop the solid coconut cream, leaving the clear liquid behind.

9) Add the coconut cream, vanilla, and stevia to a (preferably glass, chilled) mixing bowl. Whip together, using an electric had mixer, until the mixture becomes fluffy and whipped-cream-like.


I used a biscuit cutter, appropriately-sized to fit my glasses, to cut even disks out of the cakes. Any circular cutter will work.
Sprinkle a bit of coconut sugar at the bottom of each glass (this is optional), then begin layering the parfait:
Cake|Custard|Coconut Cream [repeat].
I wanted my top layer to be Pumpkin Custard, but you can certainly choose to have a top layer of Coconut Cream. Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, a dollop of Coconut Cream, or both!

Chill the parfaits for at least 2 hours or overnight.


1. Albeit unintentional. Honestly!
2. Weirdo.
3. Or just saying, "Screw it; it's my blog. Here, have another an actual parfait recipe."
4. See #2 above.
5. I can't resist creating a recipe... at least one..., like the Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe I shared last year at this time.
6. Before anyone takes offense, I have absolutely nothing against pumpkin pie. I'm really quite fond of it.
7. Yes, he's been recruited as a taste-tester/test subject. "Gooble Gobble...!"
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03 November 2012

Sunbutter Cup Parfait

"Sunbutter", yes... as in sunflower seed butter. Again, yes. I know; I'm not supposed to have sunflower seeds, as dictated by my most recent IgG/IgA/IgE panel, but you know what?
Well, I'll tell you.
I have been careful about avoiding them for the most part, and I don't feel at all poorly afterwards, if I do slip up and eat a few. Therefore, I feel I can rotate them in on occasion with no ill effects. It's also been proven throughout my periodic food panel testing1 that just as sure as new sensitivities might appear2 other foods that previously registered a reaction no longer do so.

I do believe food rotation is important, although it's hardly something I'm good about practicing, which is why I rarely/never discuss it.3 I notice that when some food suddenly show a mild antibody reaction, it's usually something that I've been eating consistently and often.
Now, here's a little story I'd like to tell... My very first test showed an antibody against bananas.4 I thought that was the weirdest thing ever. I mean, seriously; I was eating bananas every day. I never felt bad or broke out in hives or anything. I really liked bananas too, so I was pretty bummed about not being able to eat them anymore. I cut them out for years.

When I finally got fed up over rigidly avoiding every single thing on my "reactive" list, the first things I let up on were the foods with lower reactive scores. I didn't go back to eating bananas everyday, I just stopped going out of my way to avoid them, and if I wanted one, I'd have one. Bananas have never again registered on any subsequent food sensitivity panel.
The End.

I won't waste time apologizing for the ramblings,5 because well, you're all used to this by now, right? And it's all related to the post/recipe but not because there are any bananas to be found in this recipe.

This creation was inspired in part by peanut (or almond or sunflower seed) butter cup candies and in other part by the peanut butter parfait at Native Foods Cafe. Native Foods is a vegan restaurant that makes me happy; they clearly indicate gluten-free menu items, offer quinoa, and allow for any substitutions. Their parfait is a peanut butter mousse consisting of peanut butter (obviously), silken tofu, and sweetened (a bit heavy-handedly6) with agave, layered between their crumbled Boogie Bar (a kind of chocolate-chippy, and not GF, banana bread), a topping of chocolate chips. As yummy as it sounds, the entire dessert would be a disaster for me... even more so as my system has had some recent disagreements with silken tofu.7

I dreamt up a non-disastrous, unrefined/unprocessed alternative with a chocolate shell topping that's fun to crack open, and gives it a little more of the candy cup feel. I chose to use one of my sunflower seed "special occasion passes" on this. Definitely feel free to sub other nut or seed butters, if your diet permits.

Sunbutter Cup Parfait
(serves two)

For the Mousse:
  • Flesh of 2 young coconuts - room temp (save the water!)
  • 3 Tbsp (48g) Sunflower Seed Butter (I like MaraNatha: only sunflower seeds and salt!)
  • 15-20 drops of Liquid Stevia (not into stevia? sub 5-6 (40g) Pitted Dates - soaked)
  • Scant 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
For the Chocolate Shell Topping:
  • 2 Tbsp (10g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 15 drops of Liquid Stevia (or sub 2T (10g) of Coconut Sugar dissolved in 1tsp of boiling water)
  • 1/4 Cup (55g) Virgin Coconut Oil (warmed to liquid)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Sea Salt
For the Crumble:
*For a quick, no-bake crumble, combine 1/2 Cup of finely shredded coconut, 2 pitted dates, 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a food processor or mini-blender. Process until the mixture is uniform and crumbly, and lightly press into serving bowl(s).

1. Prepare the Coconut Cream Shortbread Cookies as directed, and set aside to cool, OR prepare the quick, no-bake crumble option.

2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the Chocolate Shell Topping. Set aside. Do not allow the mixture to chill or solidify.

3. In a high-powered blender begin to process the young coconut meat, until it reaches a smooth, pudding-like consistency. This requires some patience.  If the coconut meat is firmer, gradually add some of the coconut water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the coconut begins to blend. If coconut water is needed, it's important to add the least amount possible to get the coconut meat to blend; too much will lead to a loose/runny mousse.

4. Once the coconut meat is blended and smooth, add the sunflower seed butter, stevia (or dates), and sea salt. Blend until smooth and well combined.

5. Assemble the Parfaits by crumbling the Coconut Cream Shortbread Cookies (or lightly press the no-bake crumble) into two serving bowls/ramekins/baking dishes (I used two 2-Cup Pyrex bowls). Evenly divide the sunflower seed butter mousse between the bowls, layered over the crumbles. Then pour the chocolate topping evenly over the mousse, so that it covers the entire top of each bowl.

6. Allow the parfaits to chill/set in the refrigerator for at least one hour or over night.

7. Enjoy!!

1. Fine. I've had three done in the last 18 or so years, but that counts as periodic.
2. You know, like sunflower seeds.
3. This will
4. Amongst SO MANY other things.
5. Although, I think I just did.
6. Yes; I did sneak a taste of the BFFs
7. There's a footnote re: my dietary approach to soy on the About Me page, if you're interested.

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