Growing up in Italy, eating all the great food offered by the bountiful Italian farmland, I never even heard about the Vegan movement.
I always felt that the food I was selecting from my local produce store, butcher, baker, fish monger and deli store was naturally grown, raised and made with the respect of Mother Nature and dedication of the “old times”.
Times have changed. Since I moved to Canada, I became more and more aware of the mass-production and farming that is happening all around the world (Italy included), and I am finding myself more sensitive about our feeding matter.
Now I absolutely understand the whole vegan idea, even so I am not an active participant, this knowledge helps me in being meticulous when choosing what to eat.
Many people aren’t aware that it really doesn’t take much effort in reducing the consumption of the mass-produced and farmed food. Mostly in countries like Italy, where Mother Earth offer a great weather allowing a great non-animal products selection.
With this recipe, I offer a vegan twist to a classic dessert from my area in Italy.
7oz (200gr) good quality dark chocolate
1/2 cup (120gr) vegan graham crackers (I found a super good gluten-free vegan s’mores cookie at my local grocery store)
1/3 cup (100gr) almonds or cashews or walnuts
1/4 cup (60ml) almond or rice milk
2tbsp (30ml) spiced and/or dark rum
3tbsp (50ml) vegetable oil (canola or grapeseed preferred)
1tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
1tsp (5gr) ground cinnamon
Begin by chopping the chocolate and melt it in a double-boiler pot for best results. In the meantime, toast the nuts till golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool down and chop coarsely.
One the chocolate is melted transfer to a bowl and stir the milk, oil, rum, vanilla extract and the cinnamon. Then fold in the cookies till you have a well mixed dough. Let it cool down room temperature.
On a piece of plastic wrap, spray a bit of oil and spread the chocolate mixture leaving a bit of an edge, then roll it up giving a salami like shape of 2 inches diameter. Then cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Place it in the freezer for few hours to solidify.
Before serving it, let it defrost in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
I served it with a tangy blackberry sauce that really complemented the chocolate.