A Chamorro Holiday

I will not see my grandma for Christmas this year, so I'm posting a holiday tribute for her!  Fortunately family and friends recently celebrated her 84th birthday this June, so I have pictures to share.
Flag of Guam. 
My grandma hails from Guam, a micronesian island located in the western Pacific Ocean.  Historically a Spanish colony, today Guam serves as a U.S. naval base and Japanese tourist hot-spot.  have never been to this sunny island, but I certainly enjoy the local cuisine.
Like all Mariana Islands, Guam has influence from its indigenous Chamorro people, from previous Spanish colonizers, and Filipino neighbors.  Though not paritcularly healthy, the food is a fabulous mix of island tastes.  My favorite is the signature Red Rice, which is soaked in the achotte seed to give it a brilliant orange hue.

 Latiya.  My favorite!  Basically layered vanilla custard sponge cake.
Merry Christmas Grandma!

Choco Sweet Potato Torte

My search for the perfect Dairy-free, Gluten-free Dessert...
Guest post from Utchima Sriprachya-anunt 
Dietetic Intern, Tufts Medical Center
Holiday Cheers! From the Tufts dietetic interns.
It has been four months since I moved to Boston for a dietetic internship.  Although the weather is getting colder and colder, it has been a warm Christmas season due to all the fun festivities with my lovely new friends and dietetic internship family!

A few weeks ago I got super excited when I heard about a Christmas party with my dietetic internship girls.  Aside from the fun Yankee swap game, and the excuse to drink a glass of wine, I was eager to bake and make something nice and delicious.  

I have been inspired by Ashley, a fellow dietetic intern, who eats gluten-free and dairy-free.  I knew she would be at the party, so I began to search for a dessert recipe that is gluten-free and dairy-free. I have never done this before, but I decided to take on the baking challenge.  Suddenly as I was flipping through a pile of Vegetarian Times magazines, I found it.  What would be more perfect than a combination of two of my favorite foods: chocolate and sweet potato! 

I have to admit that the recipe was not as easy as I thought.  But I guarantee that this will be one of your favorite recipes ever!
Chocolate Sweet Potato Torte
(Adapted from Vegetarian Times January 2010)

While making this recipe I learned that “torte” is not the same as tart.  (I don't know why I always thought the two of them are twins but turns out that they are not.)  Torte is a rich cake, often made with little or no flour. Instead, it uses ground nuts or breadcrumbs mixing with eggs, sugar, and some flavorings. This recipe calls for almond flour, which is a new adventure for me. But it turned out very well.  I really love the texture of this torte; surprisingly smooth and dense, just like flourless chocolate cake.  I'll warn you that one piece is not enough!

1 cup packed cooked, mashed orange-flesh sweet potato. (I used garnet in this recipe.)
1 ½ cup sugar, divided into 1 cup and ½ cup
1 cup almond flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate (I used 4 in here! Chocolate overload!)
2 Tbsp soymilk

1.     Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
2.     Blend sweet potato, 1 cup sugar, almond flour, cocoa, and salt in food blender until smooth.
3.     Separate 3 eggs, placing whites in a separate bowl. Add 3 yolks and remaining whole egg to sweet potato mixture; pulse to combine. Transfer sweet potato mixture to large bowl.
4.     Beat egg whites with electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining ½ cup sugar. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.
5.     Fold one-third egg white mixture into sweet potato mixture with spatula. Gently fold in remaining whites. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan or wire rack.
6.     Melt chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in soymilk. Spread chocolate mixture over top of cake. Let stand until chocolate set. Decorate!
Utchi is a first year dietetic intern at Tufts Medical Center, Frances Stern Nutrition Center.  She hails from Bangkok, Thailand—the food heaven! "That's why I love eating and cooking! My rule is that healthy  food should taste good as well.  I am a sweet tooth and I enjoy baking!"

Thanks for sharing Utchi.
I vouch that your torte was fantastically scrumptious!
Disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian yet. I provide nutrition information intended for the general public, not for the treatment of a specific medical condition. I try to use scientific research and reliable sources when forming my opinions and messages.
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