Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups

These Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups are utterly delightful!  They are naturally vegan and are fairly simple to make.  I made the marzipan by blending blanched almonds, coconut sugar and almond extract with a little maca.   They have a perfectly balanced flavor with a subtle sweetness to them. The maca adds a wonderful lift to your energy while the hibiscus adds a tangy citrus quality that also provides antioxidants.

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups This has been a fantastic spring month of new beginnings thus far!  The rain has stopped, the flowers have sprung up and it was Robby’s and my two-year anniversary on the 18th.  On our anniversary day, we had a leisurely day around the house and then a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite restaurants “East End Gastropub”.  It was a perfectly simple evening!

Another great surprise that occurred this month was that one of our friends Antonia moved to Santa Cruz.  Antonia and Robby met each other as kids a couple years before I entered the scene.  We were a group of 8 that hung out together as teenagers.  This has been a wonderful gift from the universe for me.  While I do have some great girlfriends here, it is difficult to connect because they either live a little too far or they are busy with kids.  I have been asking the universe for a friend to spend some girl time with where we can inspire each other.  My prayers were literally answered.  I love it when that happens!

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups This month, I also started adding maca to my morning coffee and boy does it give me an extra boost.  I am loving it!  There are a few types of maca. There is black, red, yellow and gelatinized.  I have been hooked on the yellow maca, which is great for boosting energy and concentration while it also helps to balance hormones.

These cups will satisfy your sweet tooth while boosting your energy.  What’s not to love?

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups The delightful cups pair nicely with a dessert wine, port or a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups Maca Hibiscus Marzipan Cups Recipe:

20 cups

Marzipan
  • 2 1/2 Cup Raw Almonds – blanched – recipe below
  • 1 1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Yellow Maca Powder
Chocolate
  • 100 g or 1/2 Cup Grated Cacao Butter
  • 50 g or 1/4 Cup Grated Cacao Paste – divided
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Cacao or Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Yellow Maca Powder
Garnish
  • 3 Tablespoons Hibiscus Flowers – powdered
Blanched Almonds
Bring about 4 – 5 cups of filtered water to a boil.  Once boiling, add the almonds and put on a timer for 55 seconds.  Immediately dump into a colander and let cool.  Peel the skins off the almonds and place on a paper or kitchen towel to dry.  Do not overcook or they will become bitter.
Immediately dump into a colander and let cool.  Peel the skins off the almonds and place on a paper or kitchen towel to dry.  Do not overcook or they will become bitter.
Chocolate
In a small double boiler or a glass or ceramic bowl fit snug over a small saucepan of water, add the cacao butter, half of the cacao paste and maple syrup on medium-low heat until it is completely melted.  Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cacao paste until melted. Next, stir in the cacao powder,
Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cacao paste until melted. Next, stir in the cacao powder, maca and coconut sugar. (Make sure no water gets into the chocolate or it will seize up!)
Marzipan

Place the dry almonds in a food processor and pulse it a bunch of times to break them up evenly, then turn it on until it turns to a fine crumb.

 Add in the coconut sugar and maca, then turn the processor on and slowly add in the almond extract.  Make sure and scrape the sides and bottom.  Sometimes the extract will stay on the bottom.  Pulse until it starts to stick together.

 Scoop out the marzipan with a measuring tablespoon and firmly press it into the spoon while making it level.  Scoop it out of the measuring spoon with a spoon or your fingers.  Shape into 20 discs a little smaller than the molds or liners and set aside on a plate.

Assemble

First, grind the hibiscus flowers in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder.  Set aside

There are two ways you can do this.
*This way does take a little practice.  I use
I use plastic molds that are made for cups and a round pastry brush.
Swirl the pastry brush around the chocolate to load up the brush.  Swirl the chocolate around the cup molds starting on the bottom and swirling up the sides.  Put into the freezer.
 I do this one or two more times to make sure there are no thin spots.  The sides is the toughest part.
 Drop the marzipan discs into the bottom and press down.  Top with chocolate and smooth it out with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle on the hibiscus powder.
 Place back into the freezer until completely hard.  You can tell if they are ready by looking at the bottom to see if it is dark brown or if it has lifted.  It will be cloudy looking.  Turn them over and pop them out onto a plate.  You can either use kitchen shears to trim up the edges or carefuly use a pairing knife.
Or
Spread out 18 – 20 cup liners on a baking sheet.  Pour in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of chocolate into cupcake liners to cover the bottom and then spread the chocolate around with a spoon.
Drop the marzipan discs into the liners and making sure to leave room for the chocolate to spread around the edges of the marzipan.  Drizzle about a half teaspoon over the top of the marzipan or until it is covered.  Spread the chocolate around and sprinkle on the hibiscus powder.
Place back into the freezer until the chocolate completely hard.
 Health benefits:

Almonds reduce cholesterol, heart diseases and help to regulate blood pressure.  They also help keep the bones strong preventing osteoporosis. They have a high content of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and helps strengthen the immune system.  They are very high in protein. Almonds have important fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids that help reduce inflammation in the body. Almonds protect against diabetes by helping to reduce the rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals.  They are high in fiber helping to prevent constipation and colon cancer.  They help maintain brain help reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. They also improve the skin’s complexion and health.

Hibiscus Flowers is a simple way to increase your antioxidant intake due to the high vitamin C content.  The antioxidant properties can help reverse the inflammatory process in your body and has the ability to lower high blood pressure.  It protects against chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  It helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol from the body, therefore it helps protect against heart disease and blood vessels from damage.

Persimmon Rose Scones

The beauty of these Persimmon Rose Scones is that you can serve them for breakfast or dessert!  The scones themselves are lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and they are topped with a lovely rose cacao butter glaze with a sprinkle of rose petals. They are not only delicious, they are pretty to look at as well and they just so happen to be gluten-free.  Serve them with coffee or tea.

Persimmon Rose Scones It’s almost the end of 2016. Can you believe it?  I am not one to do New Year’s resolutions because I know myself better than that!  Instead of a resolution, Robby and I are all about clearing out the old and unused to make room for the new.  So, I am passing some of my vintage clothes along.  I have been carrying them around with me ever since I was 15 years old.  I didn’t have much money to spend on clothes when I was young but that all changed when I discover thrift store clothes and my closet became stuffed full of treasures.  At that time I could never have enough options.   I am now slowly refining my style and I am looking to thin out my wardrobe.

Persimmon Rose Scones On Thanksgiving, I did just that.  I have wanted to give my friend Alison some of my vintage clothes for some time now.  I finally had the opportunity.  Shortly after she arrived, we grabbed some wine and went into my room to sift through my closet.  I can’t even tell you how fun it was for both of us.  I could never just give my clothes to a thrift store or sell them. I wanted to find someone who would treasure them as much as I do.  Each piece I handed her was received with an “OMG, are you sure? This is so gorgeous!”  Yes, nothing will make me happier than to see my clothes being worn and not just wasting away in a closet.   Alison is in an all girls bluegrass band named “Sugar by the Pound” and she is always so stylish, so my treasured clothes have found a wonderful new home where they will be cherished.

Persimmon Rose Scones I enjoyed these scones with espresso and half & half but they are also wonderful with my hibiscus tea or a classic black tea.

Here are a few creative persimmon recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers.
Bruschetta with Persimmon Chutney – Food Fashion Party
Persimmon Mandarin Bundt Cake – Sabores y Momentos
*
Persimmon Rose Scones Persimmon Rose Scones Recipe:
6 – 8 servings
  • 1 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1 Cup Millet Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Tapioca Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (about 2) Persimmons – super ripe – pulp
  • 1 Chia Egg – 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds – ground – 3 Tablespoons Water
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter – unsalted – cold – cut into pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Half and Half
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean – with the tip of a knife cut a slit lengthwise and scrape out the seeds
Rose Glaze
  • 1/4 Cup (25 g) Cacao Butter – grated  – yields  2 tablespoons liquid
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosewater
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • Rose Petals – optional

* I adapted this recipe from Alana’s Roasted Banana Teff Scones from her wonderful cookbook “Alternative Baker

Instructions:
Scones
Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine oat flour, millet flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, and coconut sugar.
Whisk together well.  Add the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers to break up the butter into small pieces.  Set in refrigerator until needed.
Vigorously whisk the tablespoon of ground chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water to remove any lumps.  Let sit for a couple minutes to thicken.  Scoop out the persimmon pulp and measure.  Whisk the half & half into the chia egg and then the vanilla bean seeds, apple cider vinegar and persimmon pulp.
Remove the flour from the refrigerator and then gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with your hands.   It will be a slightly sticky wet dough but it will still hold together.  Knead together until it forms a ball.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Form a disc with your hands that’s about 1 inch tall and about a 6-inch circle.  Use a large knife to cut the circle into 6 to 8 even wedges.  Use a spatula to carefully transfer the scones onto a parchment lined baking sheet or cut right on the parchment lined baking sheet and carefully slide a spatula under and pull them back to let space in between each scone to let the sides cook.
Bake for 20-25 min, lightly golden. Let cool.
They are the ultimately the best when they are fresh. 
*Notes from Alana on tips for scone success.  Keep ingredients and dough cool to keep the butter from fully incorporating into the flour. Make sure your butter starts out cold, work fast and refrigerate your dough if your kitchen is hot.
She also suggests using two baking sheets on top of one another to prevent a thicker crust on the bottoms.
Glaze
When the scones are almost cool you can start the glaze recipe.
In a small double boiler or a glass bowl fit snug over a small saucepan of water, melt the cacao butter over medium-low heat until it is completely melted.  While it is melting add the powdered sugar into a small bowl and mix in the rosewater and salt and then add in the cacao butter and mix until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze onto each scone and top with rose petals while still soft.

Persimmon Rose Scones