It’s mid-October and we have officially crossed over into full blown fall (and borderline winter). Maple trees are shedding their canopies, leaves piling up around every corner and crevice of the yard. The orange, golden, and fire red hues of the neighborhood trees so rich and vibrant, the chill in the morning air so biting a scarf and coat are needed to hit morning yoga.
What isn’t pictured in this portrait of New England fall is pumpkin spice…anything.
At Steph in Thyme, I blog what CJ and I eat. And we really don’t eat pumpkin spice flavored treats or many indulgent baked goods. Our palates lean toward the savory and subtly sweet. (I would rather indulge in a bowl of risotto than a slice of pie).
Some people bake pies, sauce, and crisp with their weekend apple picking haul. I whip up a bowl of Shaved Fennel and Apple Fall Slaw. Some bake pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting. I bake gluten-free and vegan Chocolate Coconut Cardamom Beet Pudding.
Made with rich cocoa, light coconut milk, a touch of agave, and finished with a dusting of powdered sugar and cardamom, it’s a deliciously different kind of fall dessert.
This dish is inspired by the beet pudding CJ and I enjoyed at Shanti Taste of India’s Vegan Mondays Dinner over the summer. Chunky but creamy, rich but light. Silky, earthy, and luxurious all in one bite. Light enough for summer, but also hearty and spiced enough for fall. The dessert blew our minds, and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.
The abundance of beets from our farm share tasted lovely in this recent citrusy, crunchy tangy beet salad, but my mind kept going back to Shanti’s beet pudding. So much so that I used the latest haul of farm fresh beets for my take on this lovely dessert.
Until we get a juicer, all the fresh beets we receive end up getting peeled, cubed, and roasted in a foil packet in the oven until fork tender, stored in the fridge for salads and snacking.
I took one cup of these roasted, cooled beets and combined them with three other ingredients to create a heavenly dessert. So simple, but so flavorful.
In a food processor, the cooked beets, light coconut milk, and a touch of agave are puréed along with baking cocoa.
I adore Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa in particular, which is so rich and dreamy in both aroma and flavor.
This small batch dessert is chilled in the fridge for a half hour and then cooked in two ceramic ramekins for a half hour until thickened and the top is firm to touch.
This Chocolate Coconut Cardamom Beet Pudding is best served slightly warm with powdered sugar and ground cardamom lightly dusted over top.
Just a hint of cardamom goes such a long way and adds a subtle fall spice essence that creates a sense of longing. Subtle like the smell of a wood burning stove lingering in the air when you first walk out your front door in the fall. Subtle enough to notice, but so subtle that you breathe it in deep, yearning for more.
Cardamom always makes me yearn for more.
This isn’t the pudding found in the chilled aisle of your grocery store, the kind in portable cups for school lunches.
It’s almost as thick as a cake, but silky and creamy like a pudding.
The earthiness of the beets warms up the back of the throat, the rich flavor of cocoa hugging the tongue, a hint of coconut lingering in between. It’s chocolatey, but not super sweet. Rich, but not in the overindulgent dessert way.
It’s one of those dishes that captivates you at first spoonful, coaxing you to take another bite to figure out what flavor you enjoy most.
My only regret is that I didn’t make a double or triple batch. CJ and I finished this beet pudding off way to quickly, which we just don’t do with pumpkin spice.
But a dessert with beets? We cannot resist.
I would love to hear from you. Do you love beets, too? What is your favorite way to prepare them? What is your favorite fall dessert?
- 1 cup cooked beets
- ⅓ cup light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp baking cocoa (I love Rodelle)
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- Dusting of powdered sugar and ground cardamom for garnish
- Lightly grease two 5oz ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
- In a food processor, pulse the cooked beets, coconut milk, cocoa, and agave until a creamy purée forms. Divide the pudding "batter" between the two ramekins.
- Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F as the pudding chills and firms up.
- Place ramekins on the baking sheet in the center of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, until
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Garnish the top of each pudding with a light dusting of powdered sugar and ground cardamom. Serve warm.