Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Corn Muffins - Gluten Free, Cheatin' Vegan

adapted from Babycakes : The Cookbook.

these muffins are fluffy, golden brown and just the right kind of sweet. adding pan roasted corn to the batter ups the sweetness and makes these even more toothsome. honey makes these acceptable for cheatin' vegans, but animal-friendly agave works just as well.

GF[V] Corn Muffins
makes 12 standard muffins

.75 C Bob's Red Mill GF Flour Blend
.5 C corn starch
.5 C corn meal (not coarse ground)
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t xanthan gum
1 t kosher salt

1 t apple cider vinegar
2/3 C non-dairy milk, measured over the apple cider vinegar
.5 C canola oil
1/3 C honey
1/3 C applesauce (unsweetened)
2 t vanilla extract

.75 C frozen corn, cooked in a hot, barely oiled, pan until a bit browned on every side

Preheat oven to 325 F. Oil a 12 cup standard muffin tin and set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients til homogenous. Stir the wet mixture into the dry, whisking til combined. If using, fold in roasted corn.

Portion batter into prepared pan and lightly brush or spray muffin tops with oil. Bake 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and/or the internal temperature is at or above 180 F. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Unmold and cool completely on wire rack.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Berry Filling - Vegan

An incredibly simple and delicious chocolate cake. Moist, light and soy-free if you say so.

chocolate cake with berry filling - vegan

Basic Chocolate Cake
makes one 8-inch round layer cake or 2 dozen standard cupcakes

2.25 C AP flour
.75 C cocoa powder (a blend of dutch and regular rocks)
1 T baking powder
.25 t ground cinnamon

.5 C canola oil
1 2/3 C sugar

.5 t apple cider vinegar
2 C non-dairy milk*, measured over the vinegar
1 T vanilla extract

*coconut milk works quite well, but a blend of soy and almond milks is fantastic

Preheat the oven to 350 and oil two 8-inch round pans or line pans for 2 dozen cupcakes.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, powder, cinnamon and pepper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the oil and sugar until lighter in color and texture, scraping the bowl once or twice. With the mixer running on low speed, incorporate the flour mixture; process until well combined, scraping the bowl once. Add the milk mixture and vanilla and mix on low, scraping the bowl once, until well integrated.

Portion into pans and bake 30-40 minutes for rounds, 22-26 minutes for cupcakes. The cakes are ready when they spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pans 15 minutes, cupcake pans 5 minutes, before unmolding. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Coating

5 oz semisweet chocolate, chips or finely chopped
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chips or finely chopped
6 fl oz non-dairy milk

1 t vanilla extract

Combine chocolates in a heatproof bowl.

Heat the milk to boiling in the microwave and pour over chocolate. Stir just to distribute the milk through the chocolate pieces and let stand, without stirring further, for 5 minutes. Starting in the center, stir the chocolate into the milk until the mixture begins to become cohesive. Increase stirring radius to homogenize the mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Let cool til slightly thickened but not set before using.

Assembling the cake

1 recipe basic chocolate cake, baked in 8-inch rounds, sliced to level as needed
(if you prepared as 2 rounds, split to make 4, prepared as 3 rounds, let them be)
.5-.75C raspberry-blackberry preserves (depending on number of layers)
1 recipe chocolate coating, cooled slightly

Place one layer of cake, cut side up, on serving platter. Spread .25C of preserves evenly over cake, stopping about .25-inch short of the edge all around. Place second layer on top of coated first. Repeat the application of preserves on this round once or twice more, depending on layer number, taking care to position the final layer cut side down. The final layer should not have preserves on top.

Pour the chocolate coating onto the center of the top layer, letting the chocolate distribute itself over the cake. Egg on as needed, but do not overwork the coating. Wipe excess coating from servign platter as desired.

If desired, let the leftover coating set further until it is pipable and use a paper cone to decorate the cake top.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kliene Apfelkuchen - Vegan, Wheat Free

A slightly sweet cake with a spiced sugar and apple topping. Both the conventional and wheat free varieties are easy as all get out to prepare. Consider subbing in pears for the apple, or chopping either fruit to a small dice and folding the pieces directly into the batter, as I've done for the GF cupcakes.

gluten free vegan apfelkuchen

Kliene Apfelkuchen
makes one 10" cake or a dozen cupcakes

for the cake
1 C AP flour
.5C white whole wheat flour
1.25 C oat flour
.25 C brown rice flour
1 T potato starch

2 t baking powder
.5 C non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
.5 C sugar
1/8t apple cider vinegar
.5 C non-dairy milk, measured over the vinegar
.5 C unsweetened applesauce

for the topping
2 medium baking apples (rome, cortland, empire, etc)
1 T lemon juice
.25 C light or dark brown sugar
.25 t coriander
.25 t cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350ºF for the wheat version, 325ºF for the wheat free. Oil pan(s) or line with paper cups.

Slice the apples to about 1/8" thickness and place in a microwave-safe bowl with lemon juice and water, turning to coat the pieces. Nuke on high 45-60 seconds. Remove from microwave and set aside. If making cupcakes, it is desireable at this point to chop the apple more finely to better fit the smaller cake.

Combine remaining topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream together the margarine and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Incorporate the milk and applesauce at low speed. Scrape the bowl down before sifting in the flours and baking powder. Mix at low speed just until combined.

Portion the batter into prepared pan or baking cups. Arrange apple slices on top of cake in concentric circles and spread topping evenly over the fruit. For the cupcakes, divide the apple pieces between cupcakes and top each with a tablespoon of topping. Alternatively, fold the diced small pieces into the batter, portion as above and top with brown sugar only.

Bake 30-40 minutes for the cake, 15-25 for the cupcakes. The kuchen are ready when the internal temperature exceeds 190ºF and/or a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans 10-15 minutes before unmolding. Let cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

vegan apfelkuchen

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cinnamon Buns & Banana-Walnut Cinnamon Buns - Vegan

Not-too sweet rolls with a cinnamon-rich brown sugar filling and a four-ingredient frosting - best breakfast around. Even more delicious is the Banana Walnut Filling, way down there at the bottom of the post.

cinnamon buns

Cinnamon Buns
makes an 8-inch round of 9 rolls

The recipe may seem complicated on first review, but you’ll find that the process itself is not highly demanding. Making the rolls the day or night before you intend to eat them (see the “overnight rolls” note) makes everything even easier.

the dough
1 C WWW flour
2 T sugar
1 t yeast
.5 C water, 110ºF

1.5 C AP flour
1 t salt
2 T canola oil
3 T water

water and AP flour as needed

the filling
2 T non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
4 T sugar
1 t molasses
.5 t brown rice syrup
pinch salt
2 t ground cinnamon

the topping
2 T non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
1 T non-dairy milk
.5 t vanilla extract
1-2 C confectioner’s sugar

the method
Combine .5 C water and the WWW flour with the yeast and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and let stand, covered, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Fit bowl into mixer and attach dough hook. Add remaining ingredients and mix on medium-low until combined, incorporating more water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed to create soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a springy, slightly tacky dough forms, about 10-15 minutes, adding more flour to the dough and surface as needed. Form dough into a round and turn to coat lightly in flour. Place the round on a clean plate or sheet pan and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

Meanwhile, oil an 8-inch round cake pan. Also, prepare the filling. Combine all of the filling ingredients except for the margarine in a small bowl. Use a fork or spoon to work the mixture into a uniform, slightly pasty, brown sugar. Set aside.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press evenly with knuckles to disrupt and evenly distribute air pockets. Use a rolling pin to form the dough into a rough rectangle of about 8”x16”, with the long side parallel to your body. Brush the melted margarine over the rectangle, leaving a .75” border on the long side farthest from you. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the margarine and pat down lightly. Roll the dough tightly away from you so that the edge without the margarine forms the outer seam of the roll; press this seam to seal. Cut the roll into thirds, and each third into thirds, forming a total of 9 pieces. Fit the buns into the prepared pan and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap.

Let rise 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls 30-50 minutes, until the internal temperature of the rolls reaches 180ºF and the tops of the rolls are golden brown*. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting. Use a fork to whisk together the margarine, milk and vanilla. Add as much confectioner’s sugar as is needed to form the correct consistency; a thicker frosting will sit higher on the top of the roll, which a thinner icing will seep into all the nooks and crannies.

Turn the round out onto a wire rack and then transfer, right side up, to a plate for serving. Pour or spread the frosting over the warm rolls and serve immediately.

Unfrosted rolls will keep a day or two, but frosted rolls will be a bit off after a couple of hours.

*depending on the thickness of the dough and the type of filling used, it may be necessary to cover the rolls with foil while they are baking to ensure they are cooked through without burning them. If the rolls seem to be browning too quickly, cover tightly with a sheet of foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking. Remove the foil in the last minute to avoid sogginess.

banana walnut rolls

Banana-Walnut Rolls
Throw some toasted chopped walnuts on the frosted rolls for style and crunch.

the filling
2 T non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
4 T sugar
1 t maple syrup
.5 t brown rice syrup
pinch salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1 banana, thinly sliced
.5 C walnuts, lightly toasted

Combine the sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, salt and cinnamon to form a pasty brown sugar. Spread three quarters of this mixture over the dough after you’ve spread the margarine as directed in the recipe. Evenly distribute the banana slices and walnuts over the covered dough before sprinkling the remaining sugar mixture over top. Proceed with the recipe.

With this filling in particular, it may be necessary to cover the rolls with foil during the final 10-15 mintues of baking to prevent burning. The overall baking time may also increase by up to 10 minutes. Be careful when taking the temperature of the dough not to hit the filling, as the banana may appear to be uncooked dough.

overnight rolls
After fitting the rolls to the pan and covering, place the pan in the refrigerator overnight, up to 24 hours. Remove the pan from the refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking time. Proceed with baking instructions.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lori's Zucchini Bread - Vegan

This bread has been in the family for quite some time now, and the end of summer seemed a good time for veganisation. That, and I was jonesing for the deliciously moist and sweet top crust.

Lori's zucchini bread - veganised

3 C AP flour
1.25 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon

2 C sugar
2/3 C oil
1 t salt

6 T flaxseed meal
.5 C water
1 T vanilla
.25 C non-dairy milk

2 C finely shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans (preferrably glass) with non-stick cooking spray.

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk together the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream together the oil, sugar and salt until lighter in color and somewhat fluffy. With mixer on low speed, beat in the flaxseed mixture, vanilla and milk. Add the dry ingredients and beat until combined. Add the zucchini and beat 1 minute on medium-low speed.

Divide mixture evenly between prepared pans and bake, 40-60 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lori's zucchini bread - veganised

The mixing method described above works just fine; however, I've been using another method I brought home from work. Once I determine the legality of sharing it, I shall.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Macrobiotic

rich and sweet, as cookies should be.

macrobiotic oatmeal raisin cookies

Macro Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
makes about one dozen cookies

.5 C brown rice syrup
.25 C canola oil
.25 C non-dairy milk
1 T flaxseed meal
.5 t salt

.5 C whole wheat or whole wheat white flour
.25 C almond meal
.5 t baking soda
.5 t cinnamon

2/3 C raisins
1.5 C old fashioned/rolled oats

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Combine the first set of ingredients in a large bowl, whisking til well combined. Add the second set of ingredients and stir to incorporate. Stir in the raisins and oats.

Scoop 2 T portions of dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheet and flatten to about .5-inch with the palm of your hand. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crisp around the edges. Cool 2 minutes on pan before removing (with paper) to wire rack to cool completely.

macrobiotic oatmeal raisin cookies

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cherry-Coconut-Oatmeal Cookies - Vegan

makes 10 large cookies

Hearty, soft and slightly cakey, these cookies have an mellow coconut flavor with a tart cherry counterpoint. With some dark or white chocolate chunks, these cookies could rule the world.

coconut cherry oatmeal cookies

Cherry-Coconut-Oatmeal Cookies
makes 8-10 large cookies

.25 C oil
.5 C sugar
.5 t blackstrap molasses
.25 t salt

6 T unsweetened coconut milk
1 t vanilla extract

.75 C flour
.5 t baking powder
.5 t ground cinnamon

1.5 C old fashioned or rolled oats
.5 C dried cherries, chopped
.5 C shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside. Toss the chopped cherries in 1 t of the flor mixture and set aside.

Cream together the oil, sugar, molasses and salt until lightened and fluffy. Scrape down the mixing bowl before incorporating the coconut milk and vanilla on medium-low speed. Scrape the bowl again.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture in two batches, mixing until just combined. Scrape the bowl before adding the oats, cherries and coconut with the mixer running on low just until they're incorporated.

Use a scoop or .25 C measure to portion out onto parchment-lined sheet pans. Press each cookie to flatten them to about .25-inch. Bake 14-18 minutes, rotating halfway through, until light golden brown and springy when lightly pressed. Let cool 2 minutes on pans before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

coconut cherry oatmeal cookies

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Coconut Cream Pie with Pecan Crust - Vegan

Makes one 9-inch or four 4-inch pies

Light coconut flavor, creamy custard, fluffy whipped cream, crispy nutty crust and just a bit of dark chocolate.

vegan coconut cream pie

Pecan-Wheat Germ Press-In Pie Crust

1.25 C pecans, ground
.5 C raw wheat germ
2 T sugar
2 T AP flour
1 T lightly toasted unsweetened coconut
.25 t salt
3 T non-hydrogenated margarine

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a food processor, process pecans to a medium grind – some larger and smaller pieces are fine. Be careful not to overprocess to nuts into a paste. Add the remaining ingredients except for chocolate and pulse until just combined.

Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate (four 4-inch mini-pie plates). Bake 20-25 (12-25) minutes or until light golden brown and slightly aromatic. Cool completely.

Melt the unsweetened chocolate and drizzle or brush over the bottom of the tart shell. Let set at least 15 minutes or chill in refrigerator for at least 5 minutes before filling.

Coconut Pastry Creme
modified from the vegan chef

.25 C unbleached AP flour
.25 C garbanzo bean flour
2 C coconut milk
.5 C sugar
pinch fine ground white pepper
pinch turmeric
pinch of salt
2 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla

In a small bowl, make a slurry of the flours and .5 C milk and set aside.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the remaining milk, sugar and salt. Whisk to incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid ingredients.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 4-6 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and continue cook and additional minute. Remove from heat and transfer crème to a clean bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper, pressing the cover to the top of the crème to prevent skin formation. Cool completely before using.


soy or rice whipped cream
baked, chocolate brushed pie shell
coconut pastry creme

Stir creme to loosen it up before folding in .5 C of whipped cream. Spread lightened creme into prepared shell. Decorate top of pie with remaining whipped cream (a simple starpoint pattern or wavy lines look lovely). Dust the top with cinnamon, drizzle with melted unsweetened chocolate or sprinkle on some toasted unsweetened shredded coconut. Chill for at least 15 minutes before serving. Cover with plastic wrap if reserving for a longer period, up to a day in the refrigerator.

vegan coconut cream pie

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brownie Development

brownie 2.0

The time has come to create my own vegan brownie recipe, fed up as I am with oily, fruity, over-moist concoctions lovingly called "fudgey brownies". So, I've consulted several sources, vegan and non, and noted their recipes and methods on a notebook page. From them I've gleaned a working recipe on which I can improve to create a moist, chewy, chocolately brownie that resisted the pitfalls of its vegan brethren.

I'm close, very close to the perfect chewy/fudgey brownie recipe. When it is complete, Cakey will be up next, along with the elusive and delicious Blondie bar.

The Method

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Oil a 8 x 8-inch pan. Lay a wide strip of parchment accross pan so that it covers the bottom of the pan as well as two opposing sides. Lightly oil the parchment and set the pan aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and pepper and set aside.

Chop the unsweeted chocolate well and combine with oil and cocoa powder in a medium, microwave safe bowl. Nuke at high power in 20 second intervals, stirring well after each with a spatula, until almost melted and stir until smooth - the carryover heat with resolve any lumps. Set aside to cool slightly

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, salt, milk and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour mixture in three batches, mixing until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 40 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool, in pan, 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.

The Recipes

Brownies 1.0
3T oil
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
.25 C cocoa powder
.5 C non-dairy milk
.25 t salt
1.5 C sugar
2 t vanilla
1 C flour
.25 t powder
pinch white pepper

brownie 1.0

rich, chocolately, not oily

cons: too dark and dense, not sweet enough, poor mouth-feel

resolve: decrease unsweetened chocolate, melt more carefully to prevent burning, increase sugar content.

Brownies 2.0
.25 C oil
3.5 oz unsweetened chocolate
.25 C cocoa
.25 t salt
1.75 C sugar
.5 C non-dairy milk
1 T vanilla
.5 C unbleached AP flour
.5 C whole wheat white flour (or AP flour)
.5 t baking powder
pinch white pepper

brownie 2.0

pros: rich, moist verging on fudgey, not oily, a good balance of dark chocolate and sweetness

cons: an odd bottom crust, slightly too moist center – increased sugar content = candylike composition as opposed to cakelike? used foil rather than parchment - wonked the temperature?
resolve: improve creaming method, decrease milk slightly, use parchment

Brownies 3.0
.25 C oil
3.5 oz unsweetened chocolate
.25 C cocoa
.25 t salt
1.75 C sugar
6 T non-dairy milk
1 T vanilla
.5 C unbleached AP flour
.5 C whole wheat white flour (or AP flour)
.5 t baking powder
pinch white pepper


Deep Dish Vegetable Tart

makes one 10-inch tart

veggie tart

The dough for this tart is simple to make and the tart itself is just as delicious flat out and free-form as it is seated in the pan. Naturally, the filling is a matter of personal preference, and great liberties can and should be taken. Once baked, serve the tart warm or at room temperature, indoors or out – it makes great picnic fare.

Soft Tart Dough
This dough can be made a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated, or frozen for up to a month (defrost over night in the refrigerator before using).

.5 C water, heated to 100-110ºF
.5 t active dry yeast
1/8 t sugar

1.5 C unbleached AP flour
.5 C white whole wheat flour or additional AP flour
1 t kosher salt
2T olive oil
2-4 T water

flour and cornmeal, for dusting

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let stand 5-10 minutes, until foamy.

Add flours, salt, oil and 1 T of water to the yeast mixer and mix on low speed until combined; add more water as needed to create a uniform, slightly tacky dough. Increase speed to medium-low and mix 5-8 minutes to develop a smooth dough. It may be necessary to add a little more flour now and then to prevent the dough from sticking.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly before rounding. Place in a medium, oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.

The dough is now ready to use.

The Filling

1 small head garlic
1 yellow onion
1 medium carrot
2 pattypan squash
.5 C fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well drained (about half a can)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Remove the papery outer skins and cut the tops from the garlic cloves. Place garlic in a medium square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until very tender, 30-40 minutes. Unwrap and let cool slightly before squeezing the cloves from the skins and mashing with a fork.

Meanwhile, halve and finely slice the onion crosswise. Peel and trim the carrot and slice thinly into rounds. Halve the squash and remove the seedy center. Cut crosswise into 1/8-1/4-inch slices. Toss squash with a little bit of salt and set aside.

Preheat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add carrot, spreading slices into a single layer, and cook a minute or so without disturbing. Give the pan a shake to unseat and flip the carrots. Add the onion and a sprinkling of salt and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and golden brown and the carrot is tender. Remove onion and carrot mixture to a bowl and return the pan to the heat.

Oil the pan very lightly. Arrange squash slices in pan in a single layer (two or three batches may be necessary). Cook, without disturbing, until the edged brown a bit. Flip slices and continue cooking until tender and nicely browned. Remove to a bowl or plate while preparing the remaining slices.

The Tart

Preheat oven to 450ºF

Lightly oil the sides of a 10-inch springform pan and dust the bottom with cornmeal.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 14-inch round. Fit the dough to the prepared pan, pressing the edges to the sides of the pan to create a lip about 1.5-inches tall all around.

Drizzle the center of the tart with about a tablespoon of olive oil and spread it around with a fork or your fingers. Spread the mashed roasted garlic evenly over dough. Arrange a single layer of squash slices over the garlic, and about half the diced tomatoes over that. Distribute half the onion-carrot mixture over the tart, followed by the remaining squash, the tomatoes, and the rest of the onions and carrots. Top it all off with some freshly ground black pepper.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until the edges are nicely browned. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.

veggie tart

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vanilla Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Dark Chocolate Ganache

Vanilla Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Dark Chocolate Ganache
“vegan kandy kake”

taskykake cake

The peanut-butter and chocolate flavor combination is indisputably delicious, and the addition of a light vanilla cake elevates this pairing from a sweet snack to a luscious dessert. Anyone who grew up in the Northeast United States should be familiar with the Tasty Baking Company’s classic snack cakes, KandyKakes – small rounds of vanilla cake with a peanut butter topping enrobed in milk chocolate. This is a vegan version of those sweet snacks, with a sliceable size that makes it much easier to share.

The Cake
Basic Vanilla Cake
makes two 8-inch rounds or two dozen cupcakes

3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
.5 C oil
1 2/3 C sugar
.5 t salt
2 C non-dairy milk
1 T vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly oil 2 8-inch round pans, line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and lightly oil parchment; set aside.

Sift together the flours and baking powder into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together oil and sugar with paddle attachment until lighter in color and texture, about 5-10 minutes. Scrape the bowl before incorporating the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in 1 C of the milk. Stop and scrape the bowl completely. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined; scrape the bowl before returning to low speed to just incorporate the remaining milk. Add the remaining flour mixture, beating on low until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape with a spatula to ensure homogeneity.

Portion batter into prepared pans and bake, 30-50 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes before inverting onto rack; right the cakes to cool completely before icing and assembling.

The Filling
Peanut Butter Frosting
makes about 1.5 C

.25 C non-hydrogenated margarine
2 T non-hydrogenated shortening
.5 C creamy natural peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t salt
1.25 C confectioner’s sugar
1-2 T non-dairy milk

In a medium bowl, beat together the margarine and shortening until well combined. Beat in the peanut butter, molasses, vanilla, and salt on high for several minutes until well combined. With mixer on low, beat in sugar gradually; once sugar is fully incorporated, raise speed to high and beat 5-7 minutes, until lighter in color and texture. Add milk and beat until fluffy.

Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 3 days. Allow frosting to come to room temperature and beat lightly before use.

The Coating
Basic Chocolate Ganache
makes 2 C

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces
.5-2/3 C non-dairy milk
1 t vanilla extract

Combine chocolates in a heatproof bowl. Scald milk over high heat and pour over chocolate, reserving a few tablespoons for adjustment. Let mixture stand about half a minute before stirring with a rubber spatula until well combined, adding the remaining milk as needed to create a smooth ganache. It may be necessary to briefly microwave the mixture to melt the chocolate completely – do so with caution as you do not want to overheat the chocolate. Heat the bowl in 10-15 second intervals, stirring well after each, just until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Use the ganache immediately.

The Assembly

Slice the domed tops from cooled cakes. Place one cake, cut side up, on a cake round. Spread Peanut Butter Frosting over top of cake only, leaving the sides clean. Place second cake, cut side down, on top of frosted cake. Pour warm ganache onto the cake and spread with an offset spatula to create a smooth, even coat. Let cool at room temperature until ganache is set. Store at room temperature for up to one day or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

taskykake cake

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cinnamon-Bun Ice Cream - Vegan

Vegan Cinnamon Ice Cream
Cinnamon-Bun Ice Cream
modified from Veganomicon
makes about 1.5 quarts

2 C plain, unsweetened soy milk
1 1/3 C raw sugar
1 half vanilla bean, scraped

12 oz silken tofu (1 pkg Nori-Mu brand)
1 C coconut cream (spooned from top of canned coconut milk)
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t pure vanilla extract
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger

2 T maple butter
1 t blackstrap molasses

Combine the milk and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stirr in vanilla bean scraping. Let cool until warm.

In blender, combine tofu, coconut cream, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and about 6 oz of milk mixture. Process until very smooth.

Place maple butter and molasses in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining milk mixture, making sure that all the butter and molasses are dissolved. Stir, do not whisk, in the blended mixture until color is uniform.

Chill at least 2 hours or overnight before freezing in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's unstructions.

Consume soft-serve just after churning or portion into containers and freeze 2 hours for scoopable ice cream.

JT Cookies - Vegan

Vegan JT Cookies with Orange and Pecan
JT Cookies
the best vegan chocolate chip cookies I've made yet.
makes nearly 2 dozen small cookies

.25 C flaxseed meal
6 T water
2/3 C oil
.25 C plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 C sugar
2 T molasses
1 t salt
1 T pure vanilla extract
3 C flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 C semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Creaming method. Incorporate the milk into the sugar along with the oil and molasses.

Bake at 350ºF on lined sheets until light golden brown, 12-14 minutes.

Whole Wheat
This recipes lends itself to whole wheat adaptation very easily. One can replace up to 2/3 of flour with whole wheat white flour without noticably affecting the flavor.

simply use a non-soy milk (plain, unsweetened almond is excellent) and allergen-free chocolate. Enjoy Life brand has some very tasty chocolate chips that are available at many mega-marts.

in progress

1 C chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 C chopped, lightly toasted pecans
1 T orange zest

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

BFD - Vegan

January Cookie of the Month
makes 18 large cookies

1.5 C whole wheat white or AP flour
1 t baking soda

.25 C ground flaxseed
6 T water

.5 C oil
1 t salt
1 C sugar
1 T molasses
1/3 C maple syrup

1 C chocolate chunks
1 C dried fruit
1 C nuts/seeds
.5 C medium-shred unsweetened coconut
1 C barley flakes
.5 C old fashioned oats

Use the Creaming Method with Oil.

Add mix-ins in two batches.

Creaming Method with Oil

Scoop onto parchment lined sheets, about 8 to a sheet when arranged creatively. Press with damp palm to flatten to between .25 and .5 -inch thick.


Bake at 350ºF for 12-14 minutes, until golden and just browning at the edges.

Mixing Methods - Cookies

In all formulas, it is essential that all ingredients be scaled/measured as accurately as possible and that they be at room temperature. Refrigerated items can be safely left out at room temperature for up to 2 hours to come to temperature.

Measure ingredients, prepare pans and being preheating oven before beginning mixing.

Creaming Method with Oil

Stir together flour and other dry ingredients, excluding salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed or commercial egg replacer and water; if using yogurt, leave aside; if using eggs, break into small bowl and whisk with a fork just to break yolks, set aside.

With a paddle attachment, beat together fat, sugars and salt in a large mixing bowl at medium-high speed until lighter in color and finer in texture, about 4-8 minutes; taste the mixture for doneness – it should be just a mite grainy and the sugar should crunch only slightly. If melted chocolate is being used, it may be added during this stage.

Creaming Method with Oil

Reduce mixer speed to low and add any liquid flavorings (extracts). With mixer running, slowly add flax/replacer mixture/yogurt/eggs. Mix until just combined. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl.

Creaming Method with Oil

With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, waiting until each is just combined before adding the next. Scrape bowl in between additions.

Creaming Method with Oil

If using, stir in mix-ins in one or two batches, according to recipe.

Creaming Method with Oil

Chill, if necessary, portion, bake and cool.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Frozen Dessert Factors and Ingredients


MILKS – the basis of most frozen desserts, vegan and conventional.

cow milk is the conventional base of most ice creams and produces a consistent product. It is widely available, inexpensive and comes in a variety of forms: heavy cream, ½ + ½ , whole, 2%, 1% and skim (nonfat). A number of yogurts are also widely available to the average consumer, including plain, flavored and Greek-style. Not acceptable for vegans or the lactose intolerant.

goat, sheep and waterbuffalo milks are available in limited varieties in many natural food stores and large supermarkets. The smaller selection of grades is largely irrelevant to ice cream production, as whole milk provides adequate fat for most recipes. Yogurts produced from these milks also make frozen yogurt a possibility. Not acceptable for vegans. Goat milk is acceptable for some lactose intolerant.

soy milk and soy creamer can be effectively combined to take the place of animal milk in many recipe conversions. While a “plain” flavor creamer is available, all are as yet sweetened, a factor that can be compensated for by reducing added sugar in converted recipes. The stabilizers in both soy milk and soy creamer mimic the thickness of animal milk well and produce a smooth mouth feel when churned correctly. Acceptable for vegans and the lactose intolerant.

almond, hemp, oat, and rice milks can be used in addition to other, higher fat milks to produce a smooth, rich ice cream. The combination is essential, as their individual qualities are generally thin. These milks generally have distinct flavors that can be used well to enhance the flavors of the complete recipe. Acceptable for vegans and the lactose intolerant.

coconut milk is usable in ice cream both on its own and in combination with other milks, dairy or non-dairy that have low fat content. To utilize the coconut fat best, refrigerate the milk in its can overnight. Skim the thick white milk from the top and use in ice cream batter; put the clear coconut water to other use. Coconut milk has a distinct flavor which works well on its own and in concert with other flavors in recipes. Acceptable for vegans and the lactose intolerant.

EMULSIFIERS – contribute to the richness and smoothness of ice cream products. Overuse of any emulsifier can result in an uncomfortable inhibition of melting in ice cream products.

eggs are a v basic emulsifier used in traditional European ice cream recipes. Yolks not only being batters together, but also contribute to richness and smoothness with their high fat content. Egg whites are sometimes used in gelatos and cooked ice creams, and contribute a lightness as well as a closeness of texture to the products their used in. Not acceptable for vegans.

plant gums (guar or agar), xanthan gum (produced from the dead husks of specific bacteria), and plant starches (tapioca, corn, potato, arrowroot) are excellent stand-ins for eggs in dairy or non-dairy ice creams. Soy Lecithin is also a good option, but is less widely avaible. These should be used in moderation, according to set ratios, as many are unaccustomed to their texture. Acceptable for vegans.

FAT CONTENT – contributes to richness, flavor. Too high a fat content can result in a displeasing grainy, globular texture in ice cream products; too low a fat content can result in a too-hard, thin-flavored product.

Whole milks, coconut milk, egg yolks can all be used to increase fat content in ice creams. Pure cocoa butter, used properly is also excellent for this purpose. Whole milk and egg yolks are not acceptable for vegans; coconut milk and pure, certified vegan cocoa butter are acceptable for vegans.

SWEETENERS – contribute to flavor and are a hallmark of frozen desserts.

Granulated sugar, evaporated cane juice and raw (demeraro) sugar are the most commonly used sweeteners and can be use interchangeable in recipes. The latter two contribute a richness of flavor due to their molasses content and are acceptable for vegans. The first (granulated sugar) has a light, unobtrusive flavor and is not acceptable for vegans. Similar to granulated sugar in flavor and sweetness is beet sugar, which is acceptable for vegans.

Agave Nectar – excellent in recipes designed to showcase its unique smoothness and flavor. Use in place of other liquid sweeteners. Acceptable for vegans.

Frozen Dessert Types and Qualities

Types of frozen desserts
as recipes/individual methods are posted, ice cream headings will be turned into links

Ice Cream – A frozen dessert consisting of milk and/or cream, sugar, flavorings and sometimes eggs. The unfrozen ice cream is called “batter” and is prepared and then chilled before churning and freezing. Ice creams are churned by machine or by hand and are served either soft (directly after churning) or hard (frozen for several hours after churning).

American Traditional/Philadelphia-Style Ice Cream – churned ice cream containing no eggs.

French Style Ice Cream – churned ice cream containing egg yolks, prepared in the manner of Crème Anglaise.

Ice – crushed ice that is drizzled with sweetened, flavored syrup or fruit juice.

Ice Milk – v. low fat churned ice cream made with whole or low-fat milk, containing no eggs or other additional fats.

Gelato – churned Italian ice cream made with whole milk, sometimes with egg whites and never with cream. characterized by a v. light, smooth texture and quick melting.

Granite – mixture of water, sugar, fruit juice or other flavoring that is frozen in shallow pans and occasionally agitated but not churned. characterized by the bright texture of large ice crystals.

Semifreddo – a light-textured semi-frozen dessert. includes ice cream cakes, frozen custards, some fruit tarts and ice cream sandwiches made brioche or pastry.

Sorbetto – a churned dessert of water, fruit/fruit juice and sugar. contains no milk, cream or eggs.

Sherbet – fruit ice cream.

Frozen Yogurt – low fat churned ice cream with yogurt in place of higher-fat dairy products.


smoothness – texture determined by ice crystal size.
small crystals = smooth texture, large crystals = coarse texture

ice creams are frozen rapidly while being constantly agitated (churned), creating small ice crystals. uniformly small crystal size maintained by proper storage at a consistent, sub-freezing degree.

granites are frozen slowly with occasional agitation, forming large crystals

overrun – during the churning process, air is incorporated into the freezing batter, resulting in an increase in volume. the difference in volume between the un-churned batter and the final product is expressed as a percentage of the original volume.

e.g. A batter that increases from 1 C unchurned to 1.5 C frozen product would be said to have 50% overrun.

In commercial production, ice creams run the gamut from 20% overrun (premium ice creams) to 100% overrun (lower grade or dietic ice creams).

mouth feel – the mouth feel of an ice cream product is described by its richness, speed of melting and smoothness. The primary factors in mouth feel of a product is the fat content, the inclusion of emulsifiers (eggs or plant gums) and the products overrun percentage. Generally, high fat products are heavier and richer in feel and melt slowly; low fat products are lighter and melt more quickly.

storage – ice cream products should be stored at a consistently sub-freezing temperature and not allowed to melt and refreeze, which causes large, uneven crystals to form.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Praline Popcorn - Vegan

praline popcorn

Praline Popcorn
makes about 9 cups
modified from Everyday Food October 2007 (MSLO)

.25 C non hydrogenated margarine, plus more for baking sheet
10 C popped popcorn , plain and unsalted (from a bit less than .5 C raw kernels)
1 C hazelnuts, pecans or a combination of the two, coarsely chopped
.5 C raw sugar
1 t molasses
1/8 t kosher salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with margarine, set aside. Place parchment paper or silpat in another large rimmed baking sheet, set aside. Place popcorn in a large bowl with hazelnuts and pecans.

praline popcorn

In a small saucepan, bring margarine, sugar, molasses, salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly just until sugar is dissolved. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss to homogenize the mixture.

praline popcorn

Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden and beginning to crisp, about 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The popcorn and nuts will retain individuality, rather than becoming a solid mass. Transfer hot popcorn to parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and let cool before consuming or packaging.

praline popcorn

Keep in airtight container up to 1 week.