Prep time: 1 hour & 20 minutes
Grill time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour & 40 minutes
Thanksgiving family dinners bring up all kinds of feelings and emotions. Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you’ve had any (or ALL of the following thoughts): How do I dodge my grandma’s question about why I don’t have a boy/girlfriend? What if I have to sit beside Uncle Henry who spits when he talks? Is it acceptable to wear trackpants/flip flops? Is cousin Lorraine going to bring her parrot that bites? Ok, so maybe some of those thoughts are just thoughts that we have personally experienced, but we can all agree that talking about your family members’ current diets and dietary restrictions is a topic that everyone can weigh in on! Dietary restrictions and preferences is one of the most talked about topics in 2019 so give your family something to talk about this Thanksgiving by serving these Smoked Prune and Chocolate Roses. They’re vegan, low in calories, and filled with a decadent prune butter that is rich, earthy, and jam-like that you could eat it with a spoon!
¼ cup warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
4 cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground espresso powder
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 ¼ cup chocolate almond milk
California Prune butter:
2 cups dried California prunes, finely chopped
¼ cup vegan margarine
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ all spice
1 tbsp rose water
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp freshly grated ginger
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp chocolate almond milk
pinch of salt
*Optional: chopped pecans for garnish
1. Arrange your charcoal grill with the grill baskets along each outer edge – we’re going to grill these roses over indirect heat. Fill a chimney full of charcoal and allow to fully ignite. Place a chunk or two of pecan wood in the bottom of the charcoal baskets. Dump coals on top of wood and allow grill to preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease a 10-inch cast iron pan with vegetable shortening; set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine water with yeast and sugar. Allow to bloom for 8-10 minutes. In a medium sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Combine the vegetable shorting with the almond milk, and microwave until melted – 1 to 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before adding to the yeast mixture. Combine with dry ingredients and mix until you’ve reached a soft ball of dough. Knead dough for about five minutes. Set aside in a covered bowl that has been greased with vegetable oil for approximately an hour, until the dough has risen slightly.
4. Meanwhile, over direct heat, combine all ingredients for the prune butter in a foil pan. Allow the mixture to bubble away, stirring constantly for approximately 10-12 minutes, until you’ve reached a thick jam-like consistency. Allow to cool to room temperature.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until you’ve reached a large rectangle that is about a ¼ inch thick.
6. Spread prune butter in an even thin layer on the dough. Trim off any wonky bits. Starting at the longest edge, tightly roll the dough in a jelly-roll type fashion, until you reach the other end. Using a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. We like to cut it down the middle first, and then it becomes easier to see that each half needs 6 portions. Do NOT hesitate while cutting – you need to commit to the cut! Hesitating halfway though will just ooze all that delicious butter all over the cutting board, and who wants that?!
7. Arrange roses in the greased cast iron pan, and place in the centre of the grill. Close the lid and allow the roses to cook for approximately 25 minutes, until they’ve fluffed up a bit.
8. While the roses are cooling, combine the ingredients for the icing in a medium sized bowl. Wait until roses are fully cooled before generously drizzling on top. If using, sprinkle some toasted pecans on top.
M&K’s Pro Grill Tips:
1. Treat your grill just like you would an oven; when baking ALWAYS preheat your grill and try not to open the lid unless necessary. Remember that every time you lift the lid, all the heat is blasting away!
2. We LOVE the combination of pecan wood with prunes – they’re a match made in heaven! You can substitute other types of your favourite fruit wood, like peach, apple or sugar maple.
3. Don’t rush the coals – make sure to ONLY dump the coals when they’re fully lit. You’ll know when all the briquettes are grey and ashy looking.