Everything Nutcracker

Power Through 'Nutcracker' with Jenelle Manzi's Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Energy Fudge and Maple Bars

Courtesy of Manzi

Ballet and baking have more in common than their first two letters. As in the studio, sometimes you attempt something new in the kitchen and it works out great.

And, sometimes, it fails spectacularly—an outcome that New York City Ballet corps member Jenelle Manzi is no stranger to in baking. "The first time I tried to make vanilla cupcakes with this strawberry rose frosting, I was using essential rose oil," she recalls, "I put two drops in an entire batch of icing and I realized I needed about a quarter of a drop. They tasted like perfume. They were completely inedible."

via Instagram


Manzi has since mastered her strawberry rose frosting's delicate flavor balance, as well as plenty of other recipes for healthy snacks and indulgent treats. She cut gluten out of her diet out of necessity, but she's a passionate proponent for conscious eating whether or not you have certain allergies or intolerances. Her recipes are full of wholesome, nutritious ingredients to power her busy life at NYCB, particularly during Nutcracker season (during which she runs the snow scene as many as four times in one day in rehearsal and performance!).

While you'll find plenty of picture-perfect recipes on her website and Instagram, Manzi shared two treats exclusively for Pointe readers: "Two delicious ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your energy levels during the busy Nutcracker season!"

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Energy Fudge spiked with Spirulina

Courtesy of Manzi

This recipe is inspired by the fond memories I have of getting peppermint hot chocolate before ballet class when I was younger. I've always loved the flavor combination of chocolate and mint, particularly around the holidays. These drinks unfortunately tend to be loaded with sugar, which is not always the best thing for a dancer's energy levels. With this fudge, I tried to lower the sugar content so that it still tastes decadent, but it does not give you the quick energy spike and dreaded crash afterwards. I also added a tablespoon of spirulina to give it a little extra nutritional boost!

Ingredients:
9-10 oz unsweetened good quality chocolate (Scharffen Berger is a good choice)

¾ cup nut butter (try cashew, almond, pumpkin etc.)

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup maple syrup

3 medjool dates

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp peppermint extract

¼ tsp sea salt

1 tbs spirulina powder

2 tbs arrowroot starch/flour

1 tbs cacao nibs for topping

Method:

  1. Line a 9x5 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using a double boiler or makeshift double boiler (bowl set on top of a pot) melt the chocolate and coconut oil until silky smooth.
  3. Next, add the nut butter, maple syrup, dates, vanilla, peppermint, salt, spirulina, and arrowroot into the food processor.
  4. Carefully pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix everything until smooth and thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
  5. If the mixture is too thick, simply thin with a touch more maple syrup or coconut oil.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Smooth out the top, and sprinkle with cacao nibs (optional).
  7. Place your fudge in the freezer for about 20 minutes to allow it to set. Cut into small even squares and either enjoy right away or store in the refrigerator for about 1 week. You can also store the fudge in the freezer for up to a month. The fudge is best enjoyed at room temperature!

Cranberry Macadamia Maple Bars

Courtesy of Manzi

These bars are naturally sweet, a touch salty, and reminiscent of my favorite cookie combination - white chocolate cranberry macadamia! While the search continues for dairy and refined sugar free white chocolate chips to add to the recipe, these bars combine healthy fats with an abundance of satisfying flavors that are perfect for a quick midday pick me up!

Ingredients:
1½ cups chopped macadamia nuts

½ cup chopped cashew

½ cup chopped pumpkin seeds

½ cup of puffed brown rice finely ground

1 cup puffed brown rice

1 tbs ground flaxseed

½ cup brown rice syrup

2 tbs coconut butter

1-2 tbs maple sugar

2 tbs lucuma (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp sea salt

⅓ cup dried cranberry

**If you're feeling more indulgent, you can add in some white chocolate chips

Method:

1. Set oven to 350°F

2. Prepare a square 9" glass baking dish lined with parchment paper

3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together (besides lucuma powder) in a large bowl.

4. Using a double boiler or saucepan, add in your brown rice syrup, coconut butter, lucuma, and vanilla - warm and stir until they are silky smooth.

5. Spoon the caramel-like mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with your hands until fully combined.

6. Split into two batches and press each batch as flat as possible into the baking dish.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

8. Let cool slightly and cut into rectangular bars.

Show Comments ()
Ballet Stars
Elisabeth Beyer. Photo Courtesy VAM Productions.

Congratulations to the 2018 YAGP winners! After months of semi-finals, 1,800 dancers from around the world were chosen to attend a week of finals in New York, competing for ballet scholarships and contracts. We've been following the action all week (you can catch up on our backstage coverage, here). The 2018 competition wrapped up on April 19 with the Stars of Today Meet The Stars of Tomorrow gala which featured performances from pros like American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston and New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck. Following today's awards ceremony, YAGP has just announced this year's winners (aka the dancers you're going to want make note of). Check out the full list and highlights from the competition below.

Senior Women

1st Place: Elisabeth Beyer (15), Ellison Ballet - Professional Training Program, NY, USA

2nd Place: Guo Wen Jin (16), Shanghai Dance School, China

3rd Place: Seon Mee Park (18), Korea National University of Arts, Korea

3rd Place: Basia Rhoden (15), Master Ballet Academy, AZ, USA


Guo Wen Jin; Courtesy VAM Productions

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Photo by Rob Becker, courtesy DePrince.

In January, a commercial for Chase's QuickPay Mobile App starring Michaela DePrince aired on national television. In March, it was announced that Madonna would be directing the movie version of DePrince's autobiography. And in April, she graced the cover of Harper's Bazarre Netherlands. With all the buzz, it's easy to forget that the Dutch National Ballet soloist has been sidelined since August 2017 with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Pointe checked in with DePrince to see how her recovery is going.

Last fall, you ruptured your Achilles tendon. How did that happen?

It was the first of August. I was in Sicily doing an event with Google. We had dinner at a temple and it was just absolutely incredible. I'm kind of clumsy outside of ballet, so I thought it would be safer if I took my shoes off. Then Lenny Kravitz starts to sing a song and he dedicates it to me. I got up and went to go sit next to him on the stage. When I got up from sitting, I stepped in the wrong place at the wrong time. I knew right away that I ruptured my Achilles. They brought me to an ambulance and took me to the hospital. I flew back to the Netherlands the next day and had an appointment with the doctors here in Amsterdam. They said, "Yeah, you ruptured three quarters of your Achilles." And then on August 14, I had surgery.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
From left: Jennifer Stahl, Lonnie Weeks and Sasha De Sola in rehearsal for Trey McIntyre's new work. Photo by Christian Peacock for Pointe.

Photography by Christian Peacock

Summer is always a lively time at San Francisco Ballet, as the dancers return from vacation and launch into rehearsals for the upcoming season. But last July through September felt absolutely electric with creativity as the company created 12 world premieres for Unbound: A Festival of New Works, a cutting-edge program that will run April 20–May 6 at the War Memorial Opera House.

Artistic director Helgi Tomasson invited a wish list of international choreographers to participate: David Dawson, Alonzo King, Edwaard Liang, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cathy Marston, Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, Arthur Pita, Dwight Rhoden, Myles Thatcher, Stanton Welch and Christopher Wheeldon. Each got about 12 dancers, three weeks' studio time and, aside from a few general guidelines, total artistic freedom.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Careers
Make sure you're comfortable slipping into pointe shoes for center. Photo by Jim Lafferty.

I was offered a company contract (my first!) starting this fall. What should I do in the meantime to make sure I'm as prepared as possible? —Melissa

Keep reading... Show less
News
Olga Smirnova. Photo by Quinn Wharton.

Several weeks ago, Youth America Grand Prix announced that the lineup for tonight's Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow gala at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater would include Bolshoi Ballet principal Olga Smirnova and first soloist Jacopo Tissi. But an article in Page Six published last night states that Smirnova and Tissi were denied visas to enter the US.

YAGP organizers "believe the Department of Homeland Security's decision may be motivated by the myriad tensions between the superpowers," says the piece, noting that "Smirnova is so revered in Moscow that her treatment could create a Russian backlash." The Mariinsky Ballet's Kimin Kim did receive a visa and was allowed to perform as scheduled.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Houston Ballet principal Connor Walsh getting early practice as a leading man. Photo courtesy Connor Walsh

It's that time of year again—recital season! And not so long ago, some of your favorite ballet dancers were having their own recital experiences: dancing, discovering, bowing, laughing, receiving after-show flowers, making memories, and, of course, having their pictures taken! For this week's #TBT, we gathered recital photos—and the stories behind them—from five of our favorite dancers.

Gillian Murphy, American Ballet Theatre

Murphy gets ready for her role as "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Photo courtesy Gillian Murphy.

"This photo was taken by my mom when I was 11, waiting in the dressing room (the band room of West Florence High School in South Carolina) before I went onstage as 'Mary' for a recital piece featuring 3-year-olds as little lambs.I had so much fun being the teacher's assistant in the baby ballet class each week, particularly because my little sister Tessa [pictured below] was one of the 3-year-olds. I remember feeling quite grown up at the time because I was dancing in the older kids' recital piece later in the program, but in this moment I was just looking forward to leading my little lambs onstage in their number."

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox

Sponsored

Win It!