Posts filed under ‘dessert’
Two yummy cakes I’ve made over the past few months:
Coconut cake with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting. Best cake I’ve ever made, hands down. This was the second year in a row I made it for my husband’s birthday, and it might just become a yearly tradition! If you want the recipe, just ask! The lemon curd is the real star. So tangy and refreshing! Luckily there is always some leftover to eat by itself.
Look at that. Two posts in one day! That’s some good making up for lost posts, man.
Saturday was my birthday. If you know me well, you’d know that I don’t usually ask for gifts, and if someone is insistent on giving me something, I’ll usually ask for it to be food related. This year all I wanted was an amazing dinner from Madeleine Bistro, my favorite fancy vegan restaurant in southern California.
When I saw they had a six course prix fixe meal available, I knew that would be the best gift my b-fri could give me, aside from driving the three hours to and from (you are the bestest!), and taking pictures of every course. It was very dark in there, so it’s amazing the pictures came out the way they did! Thanks to an excellent photographer and a big fancy camera.
There were six people there altogether, and to my surprise every single one of them got the six course meal, and every single course was DELICIOUS. Insanity!
Ok, ok, enough rambling on. Here are pictures and descriptions!
Soup course: Butternut squash bisque with spiced apple and fried sage leaves
(Other soup was french onion with croutons and “farmer’s cheese,” but I’d had that before so I didn’t get it this time)
Salad course: Tea-smoked tofu over mixed greens and sea lettuces – pardon the half-eaten-ness
(Other salads included Mixed greens with pomegranate and quinoa, and green papaya with ginger and peanuts)
Third course: Kaesespaetzle (German Mac ‘n’ Cheese with bacon bits) – this gets a special mention. I’ve never had vegan mac and cheese that tasted so close to the real thing. And no hint of nutritional yeast!! I will pay a million dollars to get the recipe. Soon as I win the lottery, of course.
Other third course: Artichoke and asparagus risotto with black kale
Fourth course: Gnocchi with creme sauce, black kale, sundried tomatoes, and olives
Fifth course: Red beet tartare with tofu cheese crouton – I’m convinced this is the best thing on earth, so even though I already posted a picture of this, I’m doing it again.
(Other fifth course not pictured was some out of this world grilled king oyster mushroom dish.)
Other fifth course: Chicken-fried seitan with mashed potatoes and gravy – best seitan ever.
Dessert course: Holiday pie trio with cinnamon ice cream – There was supposed to be apple pie on this plate, but some lucky customer had picked up a whole apple pie, so there are two pieces of pumpkin and one piece of pecan here.
Other dessert course: Chocolate souffle with raw vanilla ice cream – don’t ask me how he makes the souffle without eggs. It’s a miracle!
Alas, it will be a long time before I have a meal like this again. My food budget thanks me, as I’m sure my b-fri’s wallet does.
On another note, my lovely friend Elisa was there and got me a ravioli maker, some mini spatulas, and a few personal deep dish pizza pans as gifts, so expect an Italian themed post to match!
Since the last time I posted (VeganMofo ’09 fail) I’ve made a few pretty awesome meals, and gotten only one good picture from it all. I’ll tell you about the menus anyway!
Homemade “Asian” marinated seitan, pan-fried and served over brown rice with fresh broccoli and peanut sauce. Mango coconut milk smoothie. I think I had half a can of lite coconut milk during this meal. Hello fat!
Chestnut-lentil pate served with tart, thinly sliced apple, and ciabatta toasts,
Cauliflower and garlic stuffed mushrooms, adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance; basically replaced the seitan with cauliflower at Isa’s suggestion (picture follows, sorry for the blurriness!),
Roasted asparagus (olive oil, salt, and freshly cracked pepper),
Broccoli potato soup with fresh herbs, also from VCon. I used Fresh cilantro and parsley instead of dill and mint, and
Pumpkin cake (from VCon without the struesel topping) with Tofutti cream cheese frosting.
Last night’s dinner was:
Bruschetta (fresh tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper) with grilled french bread,
Roasted asparagus, and
A minestrone type soup. I went crazy with the pasta at the end though, so it was more like a pasta stew. Ingredients included:
1 large onion
2 large cloves garlic
1 small stalk celery
1 large roma tomato (no canned tomatoes in the house, otherwise I would have used them!)
2 or so pinches dried oregano, 1 pinch marjoram
Salt and pepper
6 cups veggie broth (made from my favorite no salt bouillon cubes)
Too much farfalle (bowtie, butterfly) pasta
I also received some amazing homemade granola bars for my birthday from my friend Sarah, who is starting Woodside Bakehouse. Everything she touches turns to edible gold! But, you know, like, in a tasty way.
Let’s face it: monkeys know their fruit. But unless there are snow monkeys that somehow store tropical bananas in the winter, monkeys don’t got it all, folks!
I’ve spoken before of how I love bananas with peanut butter on toast or in bread pudding, but never about how awesome they are frozen. Baking sweet things with thawed frozen bananas is kind of a lifesaver when you want something sweet and healthful in a pinch (thawing them makes them mega mushy and easy to mash). Or not healthful…for instance:
These chocolate chip banana pancakes from Vegan with a Vengeance are super fast and make an awesome brunch with a glass of cold soymilk. No syrup necessary!
This banana bread satisfied a craving of mine recently. I hadn’t eaten dessert for almost a month (after a total sugar overload during a visit to New York), and this was just a little stepping stone to getting back on the sugar horse, though I haven’t been eating it too often since. You can find great pictures and an alternate recipe here, though I pretty much stuck to the original.
1. I didn’t have any applesauce, so I used a bit more banana and a little soymilk.
2. Ok, I used a lot more banana. I like my banana bread almost pudding-y!
3. Used a bit less than the 1/2 cup of sugar since the bananas are so sweet already.
4. Used half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour.
Mm mm good. And don’t forget, frozen bananas can be blended with peanut butter and non-dairy milk to make an amazing protein shake, too.
It saddens me to imagine what life would be like if monkeys were strictly carnivorous, so I guess I’ll save my imagination for something else!
On a recent facebook quiz all about me, I asked if people knew what my favorite dessert was. I made the multiple choice easy for anyone who knew me by throwing in lots of un-vegan options, so the logical answer had to be Cherry Turnovers!
Now this may seem strange, but my favorite turnovers are accidentally vegan, and from a local grocery store called Keil’s. The filling isn’t too sweet, nor does it have an all too vibrant color most store bought fruit fillings have. The pastry around it is flaky and delicate and rich (not oily or greasy though), and definitely doesn’t taste healthy. So, after a lucky find at my local Whole Foods of a three ingredient (oil, flour salt) frozen puff pastry, I decided to make my own.
As you can see, I don’t know how to work with puff pastry. It didn’t exactly “puff” up as I was expecting, and I’m sure that’s no fault of the pastry itself…more my inexperience. For the filling I used frozen cherries, as at the time they were far from in season, and stirred them up with sugar and a bit of cornstarch. Normally I would use lemon juice to brighten up the flavors, but it was late and I didn’t have any, so I added almond extract instead. The extract worked well, and I would use it again, but it definitely needed the tartness of the lemon juice.
In the end they tasted good, but nowhere near as delicious as the store bought version. I guess I’ll keep visiting Keil’s when I get a craving for cherry turnovers and stick to desserts I can make better than a store!
Vegan snickerdoodles have been making the rounds on blogs and forums for some time now, so I decided to keep the chain going. I found this recipe here, and the cookies were absolutely perfect, at least the first time when I made a half batch. When I tried making them again, this time a full batch because they were so amazing, they didn’t turn out quite as good, but I blame my oven. Without further ado, here’s the porn:
I wish I had something food related to go with my post title…like pictures of homemade dried plums? Alas, it is only I who wrinkled in time, lacking motivation to blog even with plenty of delicious things to blog about! How about a list instead? After all, lists are fun and useful.
1. Seitan Gyros w/cashew tzatziki sauce – prepared lovingly by my sister for my birthday. I’m pretty sure the tzatziki had crack in it, because I could have eaten a bucket full without stopping.
2. Pumpkin cheesecake – using Fat Free Vegan‘s recipe. Paula made it for me the first time, and then I made it again to take to Napa for Thanksgiving (without the lemon layer). Both were successful and delicious, though the version I made didn’t have as tasty a crust…mostly because it burned. I was all, “pie crust, YA BURNT,” and the pie crust was all, “…”
4. Banana chocolate chip bread pudding from Veganomicon. Holy Moses was this good. Eat for breakfast or dessert!
3. Delicious seitan stew with biscuit topping. I’m not sure of all the stew ingredients, but the biscuit recipe is as follows (veganized from an Alton Brown recipe):
2 c flour (white is the best, but whole wheat pastry flour is good too)
4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
2 T margarine (I use Earth Balance)
2 T shortening (I use Earth Balance sticks)
1 c soy creamer + 1 t vinegar (to equate buttermilk)
Preheat oven to 450.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub margarine and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (the faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the soymilk + vinegar. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
Turn dough onto a floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1 in thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2 inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on a baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)
Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, about 12 minutes, depending on your oven.
For the stew, just put the biscuit dough on top and let it bake that way! Mm mm good.
More to come, but I figure I’m better off spreading things across multiple blog posts.
The good thing about not spending money on anything except food is that when you decide to use up what’s left in your fridge, you’re likely to find some pretty choice ingredients. Friday was such a night for me, and I managed to whip up quite a meal.
All I had to buy specifically for this were a couple of French rolls, which served us well!
First I piled on some sundried tomato bruschetta topping and Tuscan Italian Dressing from Trader Joe’s, then added Tofurkey, arugala and cherry tomatoes (cut in half). The “side” is just roasted green beans and more cherry tomatoes, and underneath that some thinly sliced yukon gold potatoes pan fried with olive oil and garlic.
I hate to admit I got the green beans and tomatoes idea from Rachel Ray, but alas it is true. Sometimes she has really good and easy side dishes, ok?!
As if that wasn’t enough for the night, my craving for dessert overpowered me. I had most of the ingredients needed for chocolate chip cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance, so I modified it slightly and made chocolate chip almond cookies instead. I think they might be the best cookies I’ve ever made, so I’ve deemed them evil (I ate 4 a day!) and will never make them again…except as gifts maybe. Or you know…if I want to. Recipe follows the picture:
Chocolate chip almond cookies (basically from VwaV)
1 cup margarine, at room temp (I used Earthbalance, which is salty already, so I didn’t add extra salt)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (didn’t have molasses)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
1-2 tablespoons soymilk (I added because my mixture seemed a bit dry without the molasses)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (My oven sucks, so I put it up to 375)
Cream the margarine and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and incorporate. Add the dry ingredients to this mixture and mix until a dough forms. Mix in soymilk if necessary. Fold the chocolate chips into the dough.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls or drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until mildly browned (again, because of my oven suckage, I baked for about 13 minutes and they came out perfectly). Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.
Eat with soymilk, they are even better dipped! The only change I might make next time would be adding less regular sugar, as they were a little on the sweet side. Obviously that didn’t matter much…the recipe makes 3 dozen cookies and they didn’t survive the weekend. Oy!
Ok, so the pie from Henry’s Market might not be as amazing as the cherry pie from Twin Peaks, but it is Vegan! Or at least some of it is. Unfortunately it’s not the “no sugar added” kind, but it still satisfies a craving in a pinch, which is exactly what I had last night. I wanted something fruity and sweet, but decided against making anything myself since I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before.
I’m not sure when Henry’s pies became vegan, but it must have been recently because I often check the packaging just in case. My guess is they’re cheaper to make without dairy or eggs…whatever works! Sadly the other way to make food cheaper is to add high fructose corn syrup, but when I really have a craving I don’t mind that so much. I’m not exactly vegan for health reasons, though I did refrain from buying the Soy Delicious ice cream that was on sale…2 for 1! I considered that a great feat.
On another note (though still health related in its own way), there’s a new game out for XBOX 360 called Fable II where you play an adventurer out to save the world (of course!). The easiest way to heal yourself from battle wounds is to eat food, and because of the purity rating your character has, the best things to eat are veggies! In fact, if you eat meat your purity rating lowers and your character can get really fat. Apparently the only way to lose the weight is to eat celery. According to the image below, you can become completely evil as well. Score 1 veganism?