Desserts

Lemon Kanten

4 Servings

Ingredients:

2 cups apple juice
1 cup water
4 T agar agar flakes or 4 t agar powder
2 pinches sea salt
2 T maple syrup
2 T rice syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest from one lemon (about 1 T)

Directions:

  1. Combine apple juice, water and agar agar flakes in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add a pinch of sea salt and simmer until the agar agar flakes dissolve completely (approximately 5-7 minutes), stirring constantly.
  3. Add rice syrup and maple syrup, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add vanilla extract then simmer for another minute.
  5. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and the zest, and mix gently.
  6. Pour the mixture into a Pyrex glass container. Let cool at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator until firm*.
  7. Serve room temperature or chilled.

* If the consistency is too firm, blend the set kanten in a food processor to make a creamy pudding.

Azuki Mousse with Raspberry Kanten and Sesame Cream

Yields about 6 servings

Ingredients:

¾ c dry azuki beans, 3 c water, 1-by-1 inch piece of kombu
or 2 c cooked azuki beans
½ c rice syrup
3 T maple syrup
1-2 T almond butter – if you like to really taste the almond butter, use 2 T
1 tsp safflower oil
¼ tsp ume vinegar

Directions:

  1. If using dry azuki beans:Sort the beans. Wash them using a strainer so as not to lose any beans. In the pot you wish to cook the beans in the next day soak the washed beans in the water overnight. The next day, place the kombu in the pot and bring to a boil over a medium-high flame. Skim off any foam that rises to the top using an oil-skimmer. Cover with a lid, place a flame deflector under the pot, and simmer on a low flame for about 1.5 hours. When the beans are done, let them sit for five minutes before transferring to the food processor. You should have 2 c of cooked azuki beans. If you have extra beans, reserve these to use for garnish.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into individual dessert cups and let sit for at least three hours, but preferably overnight. This allows the dessert to have a firmer consistency and for the flavors to integrate more deeply.

Raspberry Kanten

Ingredients:

1 ¼ c raspberries
½ c rice syrup
⅛ t ume vinegar
1 ½ t agar agar powder

Directions:

  1. Puree 1 c of the raspberries, the rice syrup, and the ume vinegar in a blender until smooth. Set the extra raspberries aside to use for garnish.
  2. Place the mixture in a small pot and sprinkle in the agar powder. Be sure to sprinkle the agar powder in gradually and while stirring constantly with a whisk, otherwise the powder will lump together and won’t dissolve.
  3. Bring to a boil over a medium flame while stirring constantly. The bottom burns easily, so take care to stir. Simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Pour over the azuki mousse.

Sesame Cream

Ingredients:

1 ¼ c toasted sesame seeds
¾ c rice syrup
¼ t ume vinegar
1-2 T water

Directions:

  1. Wash the sesame seeds using a very fine-mesh strainer to drain them so as not to lose any seeds.
  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over a medium flame. The skillet it hot enough to toast the seeds when you sprinkle in water and hear a sizzle. At this point add the seeds. Stir them constantly and evenly with a wooden paddle. To test the seeds for doneness, dip a metal spoon into them and then pull it out. If the seeds fall off the spoon, they’re done; if they stick, continue toasting. Allow the seeds to cool completely before blending them otherwise you risk turning them into sesame butter.
  3. Blend 1 c of the sesame seeds first before adding your other ingredients. This ensures that the seeds will get finely ground up. Set the extra ¼ c of seeds aside to use for garnish.
  4. Add the rice syrup, ume vinegar, 1 T of water, and blend again. Add the extra water if the mixture seems too dry. Place in a container and set in the fridge to chill.
  5. Once the azuki mousse and the raspberry kanten have set, either serve the dessert with a dollop of sesame cream on top or place the sesame cream in a piping bag and pipe over the kanten layer. To garnish, place a fresh raspberry on top of the cream and sprinkle with sesame seeds. If you have extra azuki beans you can also arrange these decoratively. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Seed Pudding with Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups amazake
1 cup pumpkin seeds, ground fine, then blended with 1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of rice syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon of ume vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons of agar agar, soaked in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place agar agar with its soaking water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the agar agar is dissolved, approximately 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add amazake and ume vinegar and bring to a boil again.
  3. Add the blended pumpkin seeds and stir until everything becomes harmonized together.
  4. Place the pudding into serving glass, let it cool and refrigerate until the pudding sets. Serve with blueberry sauce.

Blueberry sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup blueberries
1 cup apple juice
1 T of rice syrup
1 T of kudzu, dissolved in 2 T of water
Pinch of sea salt
Dash of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place the blueberries, apple juice, rice syrup and a pinch of sea salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  2. Reduce the flame and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add dissolved kudzu and vanilla extract and continue to simmer until it thickens and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Sour Cherry Kanten with Pine Nut Cream

Yields about 8 servings

Ingredients:

¾ c sour dried cherries
2 c apple juice
2 c water
2 T agar agar flakes
½ c rice syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh mint for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place the cherries in a pot. Add the apple juice and water and soak the cherries for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over a medium-high flame. Cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes, until the cherries are tender.
  3. Strain the cherries, pouring the liquid into a measuring cup. Set the pot aside, as you will be using it again.
  4. Place 1 T of cherries in each of the 8 individual dessert cups you’re using. Set the extra cherries aside to use for garnish.
  5. Add the rice syrup to the remaining liquid. Depending on how long you’ve soaked the cherries, what pot you use, how high the flame is, and how long you simmer them for, the amount of liquid leftover varies. You should have 4 c of liquid total. If you have less, add the balance in half parts apple juice, half parts water.
  6. Place the liquid back in the pot, stir in the agar agar flakes with a whisk and let soak for 10 minutes. Soaking the flakes isn’t absolutely necessary, but it helps them dissolve more easily.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stirring prevents the flakes from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes if you’ve soaked the flakes, and 15 minutes if you haven’t soaked them, stirring occasionally. Stirring is important because it prevents the agar flakes from forming a film on the apple juice and helps the flakes dissolve. Be sure to simmer the flakes for the indicated amount of time. If not, the flakes won’t dissolve in the liquid and the kanten won’t set.
  9. Let the kanten set for 40 minutes inside of or 2 hours outside of the fridge.

Pine Nut Cream

Ingredients:

¾ c roasted pine nuts
¼ c rice syrup
2 – 4 T soymilk
¼ T chickpea miso

Directions:

  1. Wash the pine nuts using a very fine-mesh strainer to drain them so as not to lose any nuts.
  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over a low flame. Pine nuts burn very easily, so be careful to keep the flame low. The skillet is hot enough to toast the nuts when you sprinkle in water and hear a sizzle. At this point add the nuts. Stir them constantly and evenly with a wooden paddle. The pine nuts will start to release some of their oils and become shiny. Keep toasting them until they turn a light golden brown. This could take up to 10-20 minutes if you’re working with a low flame. Allow the nuts to cool completely before blending them otherwise you risk turning them into pine nut butter.
  3. Blend ½ c of the nuts first before adding your other ingredients. This ensures that the nuts will get finely ground up. Set the extra ¼ c of nuts aside to use for garnish.
  4. Add the rice syrup, chickpea miso, and soymilk, and blend again. Add small amount of soymilk until you achieve the desired consistency. Place the cream in a container and set in the fridge to chill.
  5. Once the kanten has set, either scoop some pine nut cream using a small ice-cream scooper or simply dollop some cream on top. The cream is very rich and sticky, so a small amount goes a long way. To garnish, place a sprig or a leaf of fresh mint on top of the cream and arrange the extra pine nuts decoratively. Enjoy.
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