Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Down and Dirty and Gluten Free...Edible Dirt

   The reason my posts have been a bit sporadic of late is I have been working for the CocoaPlanet people who are opening their new chocolate factory and Bistro here in Sonoma. A few months back they hired me to help develop gluten free items for their menu. This bistro is going to be totally and completely Gluten Free. Because the owners and their family are gluten free, their chocolate is gluten free. Because their factory is on the premises, the restaurant and tasting room attached will also be a completely gluten free facility. They're not messing around. Finally there will be an absolutely gluten free restaurant here in Sonoma.
   One of the things I like best about it is we're not trying to make things just plain gluten free, I'm used to working with a large variety of flours, and the things I'm making are naturally gluten free...in other words that's how they're made anyway, they just happen to be gluten free. No twists and turns, no jumping through hoops.
   One of the things that they are going to have on the menu are these charming little desserts. Deep Dark Truffle pots de creme topped with "edible dirt". Ever since I made edible dirt for a piece in Honest Cooking Magazine a few years back I've loved the concept. When we started talking about turning it from a savory to a sweet it just seemed like a natural fit. The base is a rich chocolaty mousse, the topping gluten free. The process super easy.

Edible Dirt

Here's What You Need:
8 chocolate shortbread gluten free cookies. (These  can also be made vegan. The dough for these cookies is very easy to make and stores well in the fridge or freezer. I usually have a roll of it on hand for cookie emergencies.)
3 discs of Cocoa Planet Deep Dark Truffle Chocolate
1/2 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds

Here's What to do:
Place the shortbread cookies in a food processor and pulse until it has the appearance of rough soil.

Set it aside in a mixing bowl.

Dry roast 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in a cast iron skillet until they're lightly toasted.
Take the pumpkin seeds and place them in the food processor with the chocolate discs.

Pulse them until they also resemble soil.

Mix the ground up pumpkin seeds and chocolate with the ground up shortbread cookies and you have some pretty convincing looking dirt.

Now for the fun part.
Take your containers of chocolate mousse or pudding. (I used small heat resistant glass flowerpot shaped votive holders that I found on Amazon for about 11 bucks a dozen and filled them with delicious chocolate mousse.)
Add a few edible flowers. Our entire garden is organic so I went out and cut a few mini roses for decor.

Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of edible dirt on top of the chocolate mousse just before serving.

Stick a flower in it and bingo! Dessert!

Easy, fun, gluten free, and both the mousse and the cookies can be made vegan. Yes, this has been done with Oreos etc....but homemade is so much better!  Coming up next...we've just planted our vegetables for this season so more vegetarian Indian delights, and big news for beans. We're also introducing a new product The Chaunk Rubs and Flavors just in time for Summer grilling season.

Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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