Monday, July 26, 2010

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made these last night after dinner. They're rich and moist and really easy to make: sososo good. I was hoping to have some left over for this morning but my family ate them all:[

Serves: 12
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
1 tablespoon ground flax meal + 3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and oil muffin tins.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and water for about 2-3 minutes and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugar, margarine, soymilk, and flax mixture. Add the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill each cup about three-quarters full. Bake on the center rack for 25 minutes. Let cool in tins for about 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

*Don't use ground espresso; they aren't the same! Instant espresso is available in most grocery stores and will work much better.*

**There isn't a strong coffee flavor to these muffins, so if you want more just add more powder to taste.**

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Butterbeer" Cupcake

If there is anything that you should know about me, it's that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. Like. Borderline obsessed if not there already. And so, in light of all of the Harry potter events [Harry Potter being constantly played the movie channels, The Wizarding World in Florida, HP7 commercial which I will share with you, and HP7 part 1 coming out in November] I decided to create a Harry Potter inspired "Butterbeer" cupcake:D
I looked up a bunch of butterbeer recipes and it's basically a butterscotch drink. So I made a butterscotch cupcake. And the best part? It's totally vegan. :D

serves: 12
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch whisked in 2 tablespoons water
2/3 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup vegan margarine, melted
2 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon whiskey
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease muffin tins.
Whisk together the cornstarch/water mixture, sugar, coconut milk, melted margarine, corn syrup, and vanilla until well combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix. Pour batter into tins and bake on the center rack for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely.

In a saucepan, melt the vegan margarine. Stir in the sugar and mix until well incorporated, then add the vanilla, soy milk, and whiskey. Stir until mixture comes to a boil, and then take off heat. Let the mixture cool until lukewarm, then add the confectioners sugar.

*If you don't have dark brown sugar, use light brown and add two tablespoons fancy molasses to the cupcake batter.*

Moroccan Lentils

We had way too many lentils just sitting around at my house and it was driving me crazy. I found this recipe in Vegan With a Vengeance [<3] and I absolutely love it. It originally had raisins in it, though, so I took them out. Because that seemed a little sketchy. I have a foolproof couscous recipe that's good with it, too[: I'll post it after.

Serves: 6-8
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 medium onions, quartered and sliced thin
1 cup carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced, to taste
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups vegetable stock
3 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
several dashes of black pepper
1 cup dried lentils, washed
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup green beans cut into 1 inch pieces [I cheated and just drained a can of less salt cut green beans]
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon salt
about 4 cups spinach torn into pieces
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped mint
lemon wedges to serve

In a stockpot, saute the onions in the oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and chile and saute 3 minutes more. Add the garlic and ginger; saute for 2 minutes. Add the cumin, tumeric, and coriander, and mix. Add the stock, water, tomato paste, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, black pepper, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Add the veggies [except the spinach] and salt, simmer for 15 more minutes. Add the spinach, cilantro, and mint; stir well. When the spinach has wilted, about 1 minute, turn the heat off. Let the stew sit for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Serve over couscous with plenty of lemon wedges to squeeze in. :D

3 cups couscous
4 1/2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil (optional)

Add the salt and oil to boiling water. Spread couscous evenly in the bottom of a large casserole so that it is in as thin a layer as possible. Add the water and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Wait until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes), then fluff with a fork. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

caramel macchiato cupcake

I've been on a sort of coffee-kick this week, so of course it's only natural that I add coffee to my baking. I had some trouble with these, though. They were reallly good when I first made them, but then I made the mistake of sitting them in the fridge without any cover-whatsoever. Poor things. DON'T EVER DO THAT. After that they ended up being really dry and crumbly. It was so sad. If you don't do what I did, they'll be moist and wonderful. [:

serves: 24
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso
1 cup coconut oil (or any other oil you have)
1 1/3 cups agave nectar
3/4 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup hot coffee

Isa Chandra's "Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting" - Vegan cupcakes Take Over the World. It's the best ever. Really.
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup vegan margarine
3 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup plain soy milk

1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/4 cup soy creamer (Silk makes one)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line cupcake tins with liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder baking soda, salt, and instant espresso. Add the oil agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla, hot water, and coffee to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
Pour 1/3 cup batter into the prepared cups, almost filling them. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 15 minutes.
Let the cupcakes stand in tins for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Beat together the shortening and margarine until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. See? That wasn't so hard. [:

Caramel Topping-
In a saucepan over medium heat bring the brown sugar, margarine, and creamer to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.


*Once again, don't just place these in the fridge all willy-nilly. Put them in an airtight container to store them.*

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pan Bagna

Yes, a Pan Bagna is a sandwich. And it's sososo good. You don't know this yet, but you looked at this blog for this recipe. In fact, your parents had you so you could one day try this sandwich. The good news is: It's incredibly easy to make.

You can use any kind of spread on this and it would probably be good. I made some sandwiches with Olive Tapenade, and some with Sun-dried Tomato and White Bean spread.

Olive Tapenade:
15 pitted calamata olives (or any nice black olive)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic

Sun-dried Tomato and White Bean spread:
1 1/2 tablespoons crushed garlic
10 sun dried tomatoes in oil
1 can (15-16 ounces) white beans
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt to taste

1 long, narrow, crispy loaf of bread (like cibatta bread:D )
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 vine-ripe or plum tomatoes
1 roasted red/yellow pepper (you can get these jarred or canned at any grocery store)
1 small bunch of arugula (well washed)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Olive Tapenade- Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until somewhat smooth (it shouldn't look like paste) and you're done. Easy. [:

Tomato spread- Separate the sun-dried tomatoes from their oil. Put them into a food processor with the garlic and blend. Add the white beans and lemon juice and blend. Add salt to taste. It should look sort of like hummus.

Sandwich- Slice the bread the long way, and spread [whatever you made] on the bottom slice. Layer the following, in this order: red onion, tomatoes, salt and pepper, red/yellow pepper, arugula, and basil. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top of the vegetables and then the oil on the underside of the other slice of bread. Put the sandwich together. Eat. [:

*You can also wrap the sandwich up tightly with cling-wrap after you've made it, set it in the fridge, and let the flavors marinate. If you do this, though, you might want to toast your bread so it wont be soggy.*

**Pesto would be good on this, too.**

When you're finished- If you made the Sun-dried Tomato and White Bean Spread you can save it and use it as a dip[:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Crepes Suzette

I was feeling adventurous today, so I decided to make Crepes Suzette. You may be thinking, "Come on, that's not very adventurous at all." I know this. But for me, someone who has never ever made a crepe before (I mean, I can barely get pancakes right), they're slightly intimidating. Even the name sounds fancy. It took a while to get the plain crepes right; I tried using my hands (though I don’t have hot hands, so that didn’t last long), but then settled on the hold-your-breath-and-hope-you-don’t-break-it spatula method. Surprisingly it worked, and overall I only ruined two crepes[:
After that everything went smoothly. The sauce was really easy to make. I didn't add the alcohol like a traditional Crepe Suzette 1.) because I don't have any Grand Marnier and 2.) because I was a little scared to flambe. Maybe I'll try it some other time. When other people are around, so that I don't end up killing myself.

OH also, a little fun fact: Like most good things, this dish was actually a huge accident. In 1895, fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Charpentier was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales -the future King Edward VII of England- and his "girlfriend", and mistakenly caught the liquor on fire. Panicked, he tasted it and to his surprise it was really good. So he served it to the prince and called it "Crepes Princesse". The Prince loved it, but made the waiter change the name to Crepes Suzette, after his girlfriend.

Anyway, on with the recipe.

Serves: 6-8
3 tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup soymilk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Vegan margarine for the pan (I used Smart Balance Light, like always)

1/4 cup vegan margarine
3 tablespoons sugar
juice and zest from 1 orange
orange slices for garnish
powdered sugar for dusting

In a food processor, whip the egg replacer and water together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the soymilk, oil, and vanilla and blend until thoroughly combined. Add the flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt and mix for about 1 minute. Pour the batter into a medium-sized bowl.
Melt a small amount(enough to coat the bottom but not so much that it pools) of margarine in a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. As you pour the batter, lift the pan from the heat and twirl it around so that the batter spreads evenly and coats the entire bottom of the pan (If you have too little batter, just pour in some extra to fill the gaps). Return the pan to the heat and let it cook. Once the edges start to look crispy, loosen them with a spatula and turn it over. Cook the other side until golden, and slide it onto a plate. Fold it over and cover with wax paper, then continue the above steps until you run out of batter.
Melt the margarine in a large saute pan. When it starts to foam, add the sugar and stir until it's dissolved. Add the orange juice and zest, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Turn the heat to low.
Add 1 crepe to the pan, making sure to coat it completely with the yummy, syrupy sauce. Carefully fold it in half, then in half again. Repeat this with your remaining crepes all around the pan, working quickly enough so that the first crepe doesn't absorb all of the sauce.
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and orange slices. [:

*Wait to dust with powdered sugar until ready to be eaten, or else it will dissolve and you'll have to keep adding it. And that could be gross.*

**Don't stress if your first crepes don't turn out. Just sprinkle with powdered sugar, eat them, and carry on.**

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carrot Cupcakes[:

I absolutely love carrot cake. 'Nough said.

Serves: 24
Carrot Cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
3 cups shredded carrots
1 1/2 shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 raisins
1 tub Pillsbury Cream Cheese frosting (which is conveniently vegan)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the oil, agave nectar, soy milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until a thick batter is formed. Add the water and continue mixing the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the carrots, coconut, and raisins until evenly distributed.
Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 25 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 14 minutes. The finished cupcakes will bounce back slightly when pressed, and your tester should come out clean.
Let the cupcakes stand in the tins for 20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Spread about 1 tablespoon frosting over each cupcake.

Diablo Cake (not vegan)

This was the first layered cake I've ever made. And the first decorated. <3 I made it for Easter and took it over to my aunt's Easter-party thing. They all said it was good, so I'm counting on their feedback:D It took foreverrrrr, so I'm just going to post the standard 8-inch round layered cake.

Serves: I'm not sure. However many people it takes to eat a whole cake.
Diablo Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot brewed coffee
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and dust them with cocoa powder.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the hot coffee and cocoa powder together. set aside.
Using a standing mixer, cream the butter on low speed for about one minute. Add the sugars and beat on low speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. With the mixewr running, add the eggs one at a time. Then add the buttermilk and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the chocolate-coffee mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. When the mixture is almost combined, turn off the mi9xture and finish mixing by hand (to avoid overbeating). Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean. Cool the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack.

Vanilla Whipped Buttercream:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Cream the butter on medium speed, 3 to 5 minutes, in a standing mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the milk, the flour, and the vanilla and whisk until there are no lumps. Over medium heat, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup milk, whisking constantly, and cook until the mixture comes to a low boil. Then, reduce heat to low and keep whisking for a few minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat, but keep stirring. If necessary, place the pan over a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and allow the mixture to cool.
Once the mixture has thickened, stick it in the freezer to cool (take it out when it is room temperature. Make sure it isn't warm otherwise it won't set.)
With the mixture on low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the butter-sugar mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add whatever food coloring you want.
Frost your cake. [:

*For an amazing filling, dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon of instant espresso in 1 tablespoon boiling water and combine with the butter-sugar mixture. It works beautifully with this cake.*

**Make sure to really cream the butter and sugar together, don't hold back.**

Mamaw's Birthday

I made German Chocolate cake. It wasn't vegan, and I don't have the recipe anymore.. But I wanted to post this anyway haha. The picture isn't very good because it was dark and my dad took it on his phone.. but..yeah.

Mamaw's on the right.
I look overly excited.


Now that I've made these, I am never going to eat another chocolate chip cookie again. It just wouldn't be the same. They're really hard to explain, which is good. They sort of remind me of these mini-muffins my old baby-sitter, Mimi (my pseudo-grandma), used to give us. I would have sat and ate the whole box of those babies if I was able to, they were so good. But these? 10 x better. And just so you know I'm not just bragging, when I made these I had to follow up with three extra batches to satisfy the demand of my family. Haha. They're these charming, fluffy, mini love cakes that you could make for any occasion. Love them.

Serves: 36
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup arrowroot
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup applesauce (Granny Smith works best)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (I swear by Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and lightly grease three 12-cup mini-muffin tins with oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, arrowroot, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the 1/2 cup oil and the applesauce, vanilla, and hot water and stir until the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
Using a melon baller, scoop the batter into each prepared mini-muffin cup. Bake the blondies on the center rack for 9 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 5 minutes. They should turn out a golden-brown.
Let blondies stand in the tins for 10 minutes, and keep there until ready to serve to maintain freshness. Otherwise cover with plastic wrap and store for up to three days.

*If you don't have any arrowroot, you can substitute if with cornstarch.*

**Best served warm[: **