You know the look- the wide twinkling eyes, the glowing smile, the body language indicating complete involvement and excitement… The FOOD SPARKLE. While at a dinner last friday at my culinary school naturalgourmet, a fellow classmate and friend Linda coined this term during a long discussion about all of the incredible dishes we have been cooking at school. Those with the food sparkle easily see others of their kind: if one gets excited about topics like how rich and velvety sweet potato cream soup can be or the importance of NOT stirring the mushrooms during browning for the ragu. These are the things that make my face light up with excitement, things I could talk about for hours. How incredible that I have a platform to share my food sparkle with all you good people out there!? Ahhhh…Life is good.
It doesn’t have to just be about food, it’s about the passion. Anders gets the sparkle when he talks about the structure of things and psychology, while my friends get it when discussing film and or space travel. What’s YOUR sparkle?
This week I wanted to make a quick and easy, but still super delicious and healthy dessert. I’ve always loved coconut (although I’m pretty sure I used to be allergic when I was little), and the combo of coconut and chocolate is to this day, one of my favorite pairings. Not to mention, orange and cardamom- these two flavors were meant for each other. I’ve been on a bit of a cardamom kick since my hubby is Swedish and the Swedes are all about their cardamom (ps those Swedish cardamom buns are our of this world, look for a dairy & refined sugar free version coming soon!). I’ve been putting it in drinks, cookies, breads, overnight oats just to name a few.
So what does cardamom actually taste like? Serious Eats describes it as “part nostril-widening menthol, part dew-drenched flower, part honeyed syrup”. Pretty right on. What I love most about the flavor is its ability to pair with such a wide array of both savory and sweet dishes. Pairing it with orange creates an aromatic and bold flavor- if you aren’t a huge lover of the flavor of orange, you can use half of the orange zest the recipe calls for.
- 2 cups shredded coconut*
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Tbls orange zest
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
- juice of half orange
- 1 Tbls maple syrup
- *Note: I used a very finely shredded coconut. If using coconut that’s not as fine, you can put the flakes in a food processor, and process until fine. This will also make the coconut more sticky and less likely to crumble when baked.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Combine the coconut, flour, zest, coconut, cardamom, chocolate chips and baking powder until well mixed.
- Stir in the wet ingredients and mix very well. Work the dough with your hands so that the mixture becomes very sticky. Add more orange juice if it’s too dry.
- Form the dough into small macaroons/ball shapes (approx 2-3 inches)
- Bake is oven for 15 or until tops are golden brown.