Although I’m partial to making desserts, my other specialty is breakfast. This is the a sort of benedict-like tofu dish, but mostly just in looks. English muffins topped with seasoned, grilled tofu and tomatoes. Instead of hollandaise sauce, they’re covered in a creamy polenta cooked with onions and lots of garlic. I’m still going to have to experiment with some vegan hollandaise recipes but this was delicious in a whole different way.
Today started with some pumpkin spice cupcakes. These are probably the first cupcakes I ever made, and they’re still one of my favorites. Though I usually just go with the plain white frosting, I had a bit of fun decorating these for a friend’s birthday. Also, learned a lesson today: it is a lot more difficult to transport on a bicycle than you might think.
For dinner tonight I made lentil loaf with mashed potatoes and nutritional yeast gravy. My boyfriend has been working very hard lately so I’ve been trying to make some special dinners in the past week, including penne a la vodka and bubble and squeak. I have to say that the gravy turned out super good. I’ve made lentil loaf before and while this was still really good, I think my lentil cooking skills this time were not quite there. Overall though, delicious dinner, with lots of leftovers. Yum.
Another really exciting thing for me is that I got some yarn that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time now. Turns out to be perfect timing, because it’s just the time of year to really get knitting.
Here are some mini lemon bundt cakes I made just a few weeks ago. I veganized a recipe that I’ve attempted many times in the past but pretty much gave up on until this time. They’ve never come out looking so good. They were a lot more cakey than I expected but delicious with such a sweet lemon icing on top. I bought this mini bundt cake pan specifically to make these guys but I find it makes a lot of regular recipes more fun. Like banana bread. Somehow things are just more exciting when they’re in single servings.I’ve actually been baking up a storm lately. Trying to get in some good practice although this sweltering weather is probably not the best for hanging out in the hot kitchen. Of course I don’t have photos of all the treats I’ve made lately. Tonight’s project was oatmeal cookies. So yummy.
Hopefully I’ll get some brownies in this week and come up with some other ideas. Also really looking forward to making some vegan ice cream since it’s so hot. Even after the disaster that was my last attempt (okay it wasn’t a disaster, it was just um, crunchy).
Went to a vegan baking class on Sunday hosted Spork Foods which was really exciting and inspiring. There will definitely be some yummy surprises in the future…
I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked cheesecake. I only started eating cheesecake when I became vegan because it’s one of the most common vegan desserts around oddly enough. So I have grown to like it over the years, but quite often there is something a little off about vegan cheesecake. That is not to say I haven’t had a few that have been quite delicious. In any case, I decided to try my hand at it. I have to say the results were fantastic. I combined a couple recipes I found to come up with a lemon cheesecake that was light and fluffy with just a hint of lemon. I will admit that I used a store-bought crust. Next time I’ll try my own.
I want to be posting a picture of the lemon bars I made this week but they were so good they were eaten immediately. So good. You would have no idea that they were vegan. This is not something I would usually say about my desserts since it makes vegan sound like a bad thing. In this instance though, the crust was just so flakey and the consistency of the lemon filling was just unlike anything I’ve had. Let me just say again…so good. It was possibly the best dessert I’ve made so far.
Instead here is a simple chai tea cupcake. This batch came out okay, but I desperately need a new oven! I’m also not as big a fan of cupcakes that use soy yogurt in the recipe. Perhaps it was just the uneven baking of the cupcakes this time though.
I was so excited about this contest I can’t even tell you. I bake all the time, but one thing I tend to sit back and just follow recipes. Coming up with the recipe for these cupcakes was a challenge for me in the best of ways.
So for the chili challenge I decided to go with one of the hottest peppers out there: habaneros. I wanted to compliment it with light flavors instead of covering it up. Up until recently, I was not a fan of spicy food, but I’ve become completely addicted. I went with a simple flavorful mango cupcake and topped it off with habanero ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate.
I have to say that these cupcakes were very good and unlike anything I’ve ever had. The mango cupcake was sweet with a little bit of tartness. The ice cream cut down the heat of the habanero which kind of sneaks up on you. It has a warm cinnamon flavor that is almost like an aftertaste to the whole cupcake. The combination of the sweetness of the ice cream and the chocolate and the light fluffy fruitiness of the cupcake was, well, awesome.
Oh yeah, and in case you haven’t read this blog before…it was all vegan.
So here are the recipes:
8 0z Mango, pureed
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup soy milk
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Puree the mango (about 1 1/2 fresh mangoes) in a blender or food processor. Add the oil, vinegar, vanilla and soy milk to the mango and blend until mixed. Mix the flour, baking soda, sugar and corn starch in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to dry and stir until just mixed. Pour into cupcake liners and bake for about 24 minutes.
Habanero Ice Cream
2 habanero peppers
2 cups soy creamer
1 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
Mix the arrowroot with 1/4 cup of the soy milk to dissolve. Put the remaining soy milk, soy creamer and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the soy milk and arrowroot mixture until it thickens a bit. Let the mixture cool completely. Cut the habaneros in half and remove the seeds. Chop the habaneros in a food processor until they are in tiny pieces. Put in the freezer while waiting for the soy milk mixture to cool. Once cool add both to your ice cream maker according the machine directions. Let freeze a bit more in freezer after the ice cream is thickened in the machine.
Note: wash your hands after touching the chopped habaneros!
Ok so I didn’t really measure this part…so bear with me.
about 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
about 1/4 cup soy milk
about 2 Tbsp sugar
Set up a double boiler and add ingredients. Stir until melted.
To put the cupcakes together, cut a small cone out of the top of each cupcake. Carefully take a tablespoon or melon baller to scoop a bit of the ice cream on top. Making sure the chocolate topping is no longer hot, drizzle a little on top. Dip a small habanero in chocolate for garnish.
All right everyone, don’t forget to vote at no one puts a cupcake in a corner after August 29th