It hasn’t escaped my notice that V-day is fast approaching and the blogosphere is practically squealing in delight for an excuse to break out the chocolate powder, sugar and smooches. Man-thing and I don’t celebrate it because he’s not into it and we both think it’s a waste of money, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all the food porn. Sometimes, though, I like to mix in some savoury with my sweet to make it a little less cloying or nap-inducing. Hummus is always a firm favourite in our little kingdom, so I figured a chocolate-y version to keep around to dip stuff in (seductively or not) would be rather spiffy.
I must admit this was all an excuse to make more beetroot chips, because I’m on a bit of a kick after updating my Recipes page and stumbling on an old favourite: cauliflower soup with beetroot chips. Their smoky, rich flavour always brings the party to my palate. These are painted with fruit syrup and splashed with spices for even more flavour. Served on a cracker atop the chocolate hummus it is just pure bliss for contrasting textures.
Ingredients (makes approx 1 cup of chocolate hummus and 1/2 cup baked beetroot crisps)
- 1 cup chickpeas/white beans
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup carob/chocolate powder
- 2 TBSP agave
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch cayenne
- 4 medium beetroot, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 TBSP fruit or sweet syrup of choice (I used a present of fig syrup)
- cinnamon and ginger splashes
- Optional: syrup for drizzling
- Crackers to serve (I used Wholehearted Eat’s amazing coastal crackers, but some chickpea herbed crackers as a GF option would work just as wonderfully)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Lay your sliced beetroot on a lined baking tray and paint one side in fruit/sweet syrup, then splash liberally with cinnamon and ginger. Bake your crackers alongside, depending on which recipe you used. I baked my crackers for their second jaunt at the same time.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then flip your beetroot, paint and splash and return for another 20 minutes. Keep an eye on your crackers, again depending on which recipe you choose.
- Meanwhile, blend your chickpeas, agave, carob/chocolate powder, agave, non-dairy milk, salt, cinnamon and cayenne until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. If you like add more non-dairy milk. Store in the fridge whilst your other stuff finishes baking.
- Once everything’s done smear your crackers with the chocolate hummus and top with crispy beetroot slices. Yum!
- I drizzled some extra fig syrup on top for indulgence, so if you have some extra date syrup or whatever use that.
For the crackers I defrosted half a loaf of amazing Coastal Crackers that I had made for the holidays. This is seriously one of my top 5 crackers ever, and even my finnicky family love them – these had dates and other goodies in, but honestly any combination works, especially when dried apricot is involved (next week’s project!). It’s own sweetness and crunchiness, thanks to the nuts and seeds, is pretty amazing with the smooth spread of hummus.
Honestly, I could eat each element purely by itself (and did). The chips, the hummus, the crackers…yum! I love simple dishes and snacks like these that you can splash out on the table and just have lazy conversations around it. I love cake, cookies, chocolates, but sometimes it can get a bit much. This glomp of goodies does contain such elements but luckily it can fall rather readily out of the dessert category and even into pre-workout fuel (there’s protein so it counts :p) This is my ideal snack, but Man-thing’s not so into beetroot so I sliced up some apples for him to dip into the chocolate hummus and all was right in the world again! It’s pretty easy to please everyone when chocolate is somewhere in the picture 😀
Anyhow, it’s back to work today, and yesterday and the day before was a blitz of social visits and fun times, interspersed with boring chores, hence the radio silence. Since Dirkie was adopted on Monday (and spent the whole car ride home asleep on her mistress’ lap!) we moved our darling mom and baby foster kittens to the official cat room, so they are having a blast exploring a new space and getting fresh air from the windows we meshed up.
It’s a long week ahead with all sorts of horrors that I’ve been putting off, like reading the guides for my upcoming diploma in library science, but I’ve also got two editing jobs lined up which should make my bank account happy, and therefore allocate funds for baking projects – another reason for the decreased posting. Alas, it’s not every day that one can afford go buy fresh and exotic ingredients to play around in!
Do you budget for your groceries per week/month, or go by mood?