vegansaurus!

09/20/2010

Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week one: VEGAN Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce!   »

Last week Meave wrote about a super-secret project that we’re unleashing on the world, and THIS IS IT: we’re veganizing the winning dessert recipe from each week of Top Chef: Just Desserts. FOR SERIOUS. And not just us—we’re getting famous vegan chefs and bloggers to do it, too! All your favorites, making you brand-spanking-new vegan dessert recipes, inspired by television! If this isn’t the American Dream, I don’t know what is.

So, tune in (ha!) to Vegansaurus each Monday, when we present the veganized version of last week’s winning dessert, with a recipe you can all try at home! SO HOT.

Since week one is for chumps, I did it. I mean, who cares who won or got kicked off in the beginning? Nobody, that’s who. Especially when the Boy Raised Vegan was blowing edible glitter (“disco dust!!!!!!!”) all over his dessert, and one of the judges was basically one of us, except that we know that “It was like a party in my mouth!” is not something you say to people who make food, if you ever want them to take you seriously. Also, we are not 33-year-olds still in our teenage Rockabilly phase, with a website full of pictures of ourselves posing with our sexxxxxy tattoos and our shiny pompadours, all pouty and smouldering. I don’t know what says “genius pastry chef” more than a muscle tee and a wallet chain, really. But even though I’m not a for-real pastry chef, I do my fair share of at home baking shenanigans AND I am the WebMistress for VegWeb.com, so I should (I said SHOULD) know SOMETHING. 

The first week’s winning dessert was a Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce. So we’re off to an easy start WHAT NO WE’RE NOT. Bravo published the original recipe online, so thankfully, I have that to start with, unlike winner Heather Hurlbert. But then, look at that recipe. HELLO CONFUSING. Damn, why are people so fancy? Why couldn’t the winning recipe be Oreo Sundae (that is simply a sundae topped with Oreos. BAM!). Oh, well…here goes!


[image courtesy bravotv.com]

VEGAN Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce! (the exclamation point means I made it!)

WHAT IT DO:
Sable Cookie Base

1 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose white flour

Chocolate Shavings
Dude, just shave a dark chocolate bar. No need to get crazy.

Dark Chocolate Mousse (adapted from Mori Nu recipe)
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup amaretto (liquor! yes!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 packages Silken Lite Firm Tofu

White Chocolate Mousse (straight stolen from Bitter Sweet)
3 ounces White Chocolate
1 10.14-ounce Container Whippable Soy (or Oat) Cream (divided)
3/4 teaspoon Agar Agar Powder

Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut creamer (or you can use soy! whatevs!)
1 cup chocolate chips
Zest of one orange
1/4 cup Grand Marnier

HOW IT DO:
1. Make the shortbread. This is quite easy as you can use your favorite recipe. YOU’RE DONE! If you don’t have a favorite, I’ll start mine. SO: preheat your oven to 350 F, and lightly grease a baking sheet.  

2. Cream margarine and powdered sugar until combined. Add vanilla and salt, then slowly fold in flour and combine until it’s a big ball of dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then roll out onto your greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, and let cool. 

3. Start dark chocolate mousse. This recipe is hella easy. Melt chocolate chips in microwave oven with 2 Tbsp. of water. Thoroughly blend tofu in a blender or a food processor. Add melted chocolate, amaretto, and vanilla to the tofu and blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. 

4. Make white chocolate mousse. Since this is Bitter Sweet's EXCELLLLLLENT recipe, I’ll make you go over there to use it. You can make the white chocolate per Hannah’s instructions, or you can buy some!

5. Make Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce: Make a dry caramel with the sugar, deglaze with the coconut creamer, pour over chocolate chips, melt that down, add zest, put in the Grand Marnier. DONE! This veganized especially well.

6. PUT THIS BITCH TOGETHER: Cut off a chunk of short bread and plate it. Put some dark chocolate mousse on top of it, then top that with some white chocolate mousse. Pour the Grand Marnier sauce over that and, if you want, shave a chocolate bar on top of that and add some orange slices. INSANITY.

THE VERDICT:
This was mighty, mighty tasty. Something that would surely impress any omni-crowd, and make vegans start naming babies and buildings and cities after you. No joke. Because my plating was terrible messiness, I don’t have pictures of my creation and I KNOW that’s a huge no-no, so I will be making it again (the things I do for you people!) and adding photos later on in the week. The dessert actually wasn’t as intimidating as it seemed at first glance; it’s just two types of mousse over a shortbread cookie, with a delightful, boozy sauce. Pretty easy, and pretty impressive. I’ll make it again, at least once, as I need some damn pics. Until then, a Google drawing of my masterpiece:

Now, stay tuned (ha! again!) for next week, when a REAL FAMOUS VEGAN CHEF or BLOGGER takes the stage, ready to take on Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Ow!

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