‘Twelve Days’ day 11: mini choco-nog sponges
I had really enjoyed my chocolate yule log, it was so indulgent yet not at all heavy and sickly sweet (meaning I could eat a lot in one go). It was the combination of the light and airy fat-free swiss roll sponge combined with the luxurious (but healthy)
chocolate frosting that made such an amazing pairing and so it got me thinking….how else could I achieve that same effect?
Frosting is the obvious answer, so this time instead of going for the obvious cupcake and frosting scenario, I decided to make another tray of swiss roll sponge but this time instead of rolling it up, I cut out circles with a cookie cutter and frosted those instead. So then you have mini chocolate sponges. But the chocolate sponge needed something a little bit special and a little bit (ok, a lot bit) seasonal to top it.
I’ve already given you a number of cranberry and mincemeat inspired creations (and I haven’t quite finished with the cranberries yet!) so I didn’t really want to go down the fruit route again. This left the Christmas spiced combo up for grabs. Not that I mind…I love ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla- all warm and creamy dreamy. Mmmmm.
So egg nog anyone? Or maybe more accurately in this case, simply ‘nog’. Or even more appropriately… choco-nog mini sponges!
Ok, so now you’ll think I’m crazy…but…I have never actually tried egg nog. I’m not sure I’ve ever even come across it on the shelves (although often if you’re not looking for something you don’t realise it actually exists when its right in front of you face!) So, here I am making what I call a ‘nog’ frosting having never actually tried egg nog before! This may be nothing like real ‘nog’ but it’s a warm and creamy nutmeggy-vanillary frosting and to me that sounds like a noggy creation…or what I imagine one to be!
I’ve used banana in this recipe which does give a little bananary taste. If you would prefer a more neutral base to let the spices shout more loudly then feel free to reduce or omit the banana and substitute for more cashew (or other neutral) nut butter instead.
I know…I really must find some egg nog to try this Christmas, I’ve heard the vegan versions are pretty good so I just need to track some down! In the meantime whipping up a bit of this frosting with some almond milk and a dusting of nutmeg on the top may well just do the trick- I’d certainly recommend it and it's definitely the best way to clean up the remnants in your blender!
Recipe: mini choco-nog sponges
- ¾ cup cashew nut butter
- 4 dates
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp rum extract
- ¼- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ a frozen banana (or another ¼
- cup nut butter)
- ½ cup firm tofu (water pressed out)
- 3 tbs maple syrup/brown rice syrup/agave nectar
- Pinch of stevia powder (approx. 1/6 tsp or to taste)
- 3 tbs coconut butter melted- if you want a thicker frosting (omit for a soft whippy frosting)
- Makes approx. 1 ½ - 2 cups
- 10 1/2 oz. firm silken tofu
- 1/3 cup rapadura
- 1/3 cup agave syrup
- 1 tbs vinegar
- 1 tbs water
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 1 tbs ground flax mixed with 2tbs hot water
- 1 cup whole wheat spelt flour
- ¼ cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Makes approx. 20 mini sponges (depending on their size and shape)
Prepare frosting by adding all the ingredients to the food processor and blending together until smooth. If your blender is less powerful you may want to chop up the dates and soak them in a little hot water first. Once fully blended, the mixture will be thick but fairly runny. Set aside to use as a soft frosting or if you added the coconut butter for a thicker frosting, spoon into a bowl and allow to firm up in the fridge for an hour or two.
To make the mini sponges. Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Line a 10x15 inch pan with baking parchment.
In a food processor, mix tofu, rapadura, agave, vinegar, water, vanilla and flax mix (see note below). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the blended tofu mixture into flour mixture; stir together thoroughly.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top of the batter evenly and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Once the sponge is cool, lift out of the pan, place on a cutting board and using a circle (or any simple shape) cutter, cut rounds of sponge out of the slab. There will be a little wastage (or nibbles), so to avoid this you could cut the slab into squares.
Once the frosting is prepared, drizzle, spoon or pipe the nog frosting onto the individual sponges and serve immediately. The frosting and sponges can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored separately for last minute frosting.