This is the autumn dessert for The Illuminati Ball. Creamy chocolate cashew cream is layered with spiced red wine plum jam and topped with toasted almonds. If you are interested in reading about the entire eight course vegan tasting menu and seeing pictures of this sumptuous event follow this link! If you want the recipe, scroll down!
SPICED PLUM AND CHOCOLATE CASHEW CREAM PARFAIT
MAKES 10 parfaits
For the Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla pod
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours and preferably more like 8 hours. It’s a good idea to go ahead and make the spiced plum jam with red wine before continuing with the cashew cream, since it will need time to cool before you finish the parfaits.
- Drain the cashews. Process or blend the drained cashews with the maple syrup, water and coconut oil until smooth & creamy. Add the vanilla seeds and cocoa powder and process until the mixture is combined.
For the Spiced Plum Jam with Red Wine (Adapted from The Italian Country Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
- 1/2 cup Barolo or Zinfandel
- 1/3 cup sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds (or one star anise pod)
- 2 bay leaves, broken
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon
- 12 oz ripe plums (I used Italian Prune Plums but Queen Rosa and Casselman are also recommended)
- Bruise the peppercorns and anise in a mortar and pestle or smash them with something else heavy.
- In a large pot combine the wine, all of the spices, sugar and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes syrupy. Turn the heat off and let it steep for 20 minutes.
- While the wine and spices are steeping, pit the plums and cut them into sixths.
- Strain the syrup through a fine sieve and return it to the pot.
- Set the syrup over high heat and bring to a boil.
- When the syrup boils add the plums and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer gently, stirring frequently until the plums soften and break down.
- Turn the heat to high and cook stirring frequently until it forms large bubbles. You can tell it is done by dragging a wooden spatula through the jam; it should leave a path that stays cleared. Do not caramelize the syrup as it will lose its fruity flavour.
- Let the jam cool before making the parfait.
For the Topping
- 3/4 cup toasted almonds (chopped, slivered or sliced would all work)
- Scoop a ½ T of cashew cream into the bottom of a cordial glass, followed by a tablespoon 1T of plum jam, 1T of cashew cream, 1 T of jam. Top with almonds. Freeze for 2 hours or more.
- 15-30 minutes before serving, take the parfait out of the freezer.
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