Blueberry Maple Pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky.
H wanted to bring in doughnuts to thank the staff for perfect December numbers. I was like, no, you’re married to a wannabe baker; you’ll bring cupcakes.
Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting
Chocolate cake with mocha frosting
Chocolate seltzer cupcakes with chocolate ganache, banana frosting and caramelized bananas (a Cupcake Wars winning recipe)
Unfortunately, H takes a somewhat hilly, pothole-filled road to get to one of the hospitals. We learned that ganache is not as steady of a surface as cake and caramelized bananas can be a little heavy; by the time got to the hospital, some of the frosting was sliding off the side. If I do make these again, I will wait to add the frosting and bananas until I get to the site.
To celebrate Mardi Gras this year, I made red beans and rice and tempeh étouffée. The red beans and rice was from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin; it was easy and pretty tasty. Apparently, quasi-vegan talk show host Ellen DeGeneres really likes it and she is from New Orleans, so I considered that a good endorsement. My only complaint was the sausage; it’s not my favorite way to eat Field Roast sausages. I’d rather have more beans. Fortunately, the étouffée came out well, because the roux was labor intensive. I veganized a fancy Saveur crawfish étouffée recipe. Not a diet dish even if I cut down the margarine (12 tablespoons of butter!). I subbed two packages of tempeh, steamed and soaked in a broth all day (the broth was salty, so I cut out the salt in the recipe), margarine and vegan chick’n broth for the three non-vegan ingredients.
Sadly no king cake this year, but I did make Mardi Gras sugar cookies.
Happy New Year! It’s the year of the snake.
Tahini Noodles from Vegan Yum Yum
Sweet Chili Lime Tofu from Vegan Yum Yum
Baby Bok Choy with black bean and garlic chili sauce
Spring Rolls with peanut sauce
Vegetable dumplings from the Fresh Market
Traditional Chinese Sugar Cookies
Snake sugar cookies from Sticky Finger Sweets!
I’m not going to lie; these are a little creepy to eat.
There was a lot of talk about the Harbaugh brothers before the game, but there was another family rivalry surrounding Superbowl XLVII. My sister and brother-in-law live in San Fransisco, so of course they were rooting for the 49ers. H lived in Baltimore for four years where he became a huge fan* of the Ravens. Hopefully our next family gathering won’t be too awkward.
I brought a Hostess Cupcake-inspired football cake to the Superbowl party we attended: chocolate cake from Sticky Fingers Sweets with cream filling, chocolate ganache and royal icing from Vegan with a Vengeance’s Fauxtess cupcakes.
*and by “huge fan” I mean, he was aware of the existence of an NFL team in his city.
My second entry into the Earth Balance baking contest.
Chocolate cupcakes filled with coconut peanut butter frosting and covered with ganache.
3/4 cup Earth Balance Soymilk
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coffee extract
1/2 cup sweetened cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Coconut Peanut Butter filling
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Shortening
1/2 cup Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter (creamy or follow directions below)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons Earth Balance Soymilk
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance Shortening
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup Shredded coconut (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan.
2. Whisk together Earth Balance soymilk, sugar, oil, and vanilla and coffee extracts.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make an indention in the middle of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.
4. When ingredients are just combined, add apple cider vinegar. Barely combine vinegar; you want there to be streaks throughout the batter.
5. Fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. For the coconut peanut butter filling: Add coconut peanut butter to a food processor and blend until creamy. It must be perfectly creamy or else that one little nut will find its way to the tip of your pastry bag.
7. In an electric mixer, combine shortening, buttery sticks and creamy coconut peanut butter. Add confectioners sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of soymilk at a time. Mix on high for a couple of minutes.
8. When cupcakes are completely cooled, poke a hole in the center of each cupcake (I use the end of a chopstick). Fill a pastry bag with the peanut butter frosting, and fill cupcakes with as much as you can get in.
9. For the ganache: in a microwave safe dish, melt chocolate for 1 minute. Remove and stir until it is all melted, add shortening. Depending on how bitter your chocolate is, add 2-4 tablespoons of maple syrup until you get the desired sweetness. Cover each cupcake with ganache. Sprinkle shredded coconut, if desired.
This is the first of two recipes I entered in the Earth Balance baking contest.
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup Earth Balance Soynog
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Spiked Eggnog Frosting
1/4 cup Earth Balance Shortening
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Earth Balance Soynog
1 tablespoon rum
12 cinnamon sticks
- Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- In an electric mixer, cream together 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery stick and sugar (brown & white). Add soynog and vanilla extract.
- In two batches, add flour to butter mixture until just combined.
- Fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
- For the frosting: In an electric mixer, combine shortening and buttery sticks until fluffy. Add two cups of confectioners sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of soynog. Add remaining confectioners sugar, remaining soynog and rum. Mix on high for several minute until light and fluffy.
- When cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe frosting and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Christmas cake pops!
The cake pops are chocolate cake from Sticky Finger Sweets mixed with icing and covered in chocolate – semi-sweet and white. For the white chocolate, I made the recipe from Bittersweet, and I doubled it, but it still didn’t make that much. I only had enough white chocolate for 8 cake pops! This worked much better than the disastrous snowmen cake pops of 2010. I will buy cocoa butter in bulk and make a huge batch of white chocolate the next time I make colored cake pops.
The menu included spinach artichoke dip, hummus, black bean salsa, lentil salad, tabbouleh, spinach artichoke dip quiche*, and a seitan roast.
The quiche recipe is from Save the Kales.
*I have been to three potlucks at Kathy & Collin’s house and every time there is a similar dish. The first time I brought scalloped potatoes and someone else made scalloped potatoes; last time I made lasagna and there was another lasagna. This time I made a spinach artichoke dip quiche and there was spinach artichoke dip.
Molly and her Mohawk in a Christmas dress.
Band of Outsiders posted my cookies on its website. Check it out.
Band of Outsiders.