I love, love, love beet halwa -- so I was already thinking of making some from the beets we got from our CSA this week, but when I saw that the latest PPK Chopped/Vegan was a dessert challenge demanding beets as one of the four ingredients . . . I took it as a sign.
The mystery ingredients were mango, red beets, dried unsweetened coconut, and crisp rice cereal. I'm a sucker for a scoop of ice cream on top of warm beet halwa, so I made a mango lassi ice cream for the top and a crispy rice and coconut laddu for the bottom. Here it is:
Not the prettiest picture -- the ice cream was starting to melt from the heat even before I scooped it onto the still-warm halwa -- but I'm just happy to have any picture with my broken camera.
The bottom layer is a coconut and crisp rice laddu. I know that laddu with puffed rice are delicious, so I subbed crisp rice cereal for the challenge. The laddu were made from crisp rice cereal and shredded coconut (two of the mystery ingredients), plus ginger, cardamom, cloves, coconut milk, vanilla, and agave nectar. First you make a syrup over low heat with the milk, agave nectar, and spices -- then remove from the heat and mix in the dried coconut and rice cereal. Normally you would then roll the laddu into balls, but I flattened them out into a disc-shape so that they would be a better base for the rest of the sundae.
The middle layer is the beet halwa, made basically the same way as my recipe posted here -- except that I used coconut milk instead of s'milk, left out the cashews, added ginger, and used ground cardamom. I also toasted a little of the shredded coconut to add to the beet halwa while it was simmering.
The melting top layer is the mango lassi ice cream. I've been making crazy amounts of ice cream lately, but here's what's in the mango lassi ice cream: mango*, soy creamer, coconut milk, vanilla soy yogurt, tapioca starch, and sugar. Some of the mango is pureed and mixed in with the rest of the ice cream base, and some is chopped up and mixed into the ice cream for nice little chunks.
In the end, the result was a crispy-crunchy layer, a warm-gooey layer, and a cold-melty-fruity layer. In addition to the four mystery ingredients, I used the following ingredients: coconut milk, agave nectar, vanilla extract, canola oil, soy creamer, vanilla soy yogurt, tapioca starch, sugar, ground ginger, ground cloves, and ground cardamom.
After taking a few pictures with my broken camera (and hoping that my ice cream sundae would even be in one of them), I suddenly remembered that I was going to get to eat this thing -- how exciting! Even though I'd been tasting all the parts separately, the combination was somehow different from any of the individual parts -- and in a totally good way. I managed to secretly eat almost half of it before my daughter caught me and ate the rest. Ah well. At least she liked it!