Monday, March 17, 2014

Strawberry Scones

While visiting my family in South Florida during spring break, my mom and I had an excellent lunch at Farmer's Table in Boca.  On our way out, we noticed the little take-out cafe on the side had 3(!!!) vegan dessert options, including a fabulous blueberry scone.  The next day, I got the itch to bake.  Although we didn't have an blueberries at home, we did have some beautiful fresh Florida strawberries.  I did a quick Google search and found a recipe that I was able to vegan-ize quite easily.  The original recipe can be found here.


Strawberry Scones:
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance, cut into cubes and softened
  • 2/3 cup almond milk + 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 400.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Sprinkle strawberries with 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and set aside.  Combine 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in Earth Balance.  Stir in strawberries.  Then add almond milk mixture and vanilla.  Use a spatula to gently stir the dough until it comes together.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough gently, adding a little bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky.  Press the dough into a circle that's about 3/4 of an inch thick.  Cut the circle into 8 wedges.  Place the wedges on your prepared cookie sheet, about 1/2 an inch of space between each wedge.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle scones with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, then bake 5-10 more minutes until very lightly golden brown and the tops spring back when touched.  Do not over bake, because you do not want dry scones!

I enjoyed mine warm out of the oven with a cup of Earl Grey tea.  These would also be great with some vegan pastry cream on the side.  You could also sub other fruits for the strawberries.  Let me know what scone creations you make!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Deviled Potatoes

I found this recipe while browsing my favorite vegan websites one night.  Now, I don't think I ever actually ate a traditional deviled egg before I was vegan, as I don't really like mayonnaise or really hard boiled eggs that much.  But this recipe looked delicious and simple and perfect for vegan Easter.  It would also be an impressive item for any potluck or picnic.

I followed the recipe found here and added some garlic and onion powder.  Garnish with paprika and dill.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Italian Apple Cake with Pastry Cream

The Original
Do you all remember my post from last summer about the best meal I ever ate?  At a family owned Tuscan vineyard I had a delicious, five course lunch that ended with an outrageously good dessert: pear cake with pastry cream and macerated strawberries.  I've thought a lot about the meal but I never dreamed of veganizing it until a few weeks ago.  There's a new vegan company that makes "The Vegg" a vegan egg yolk product.  They sent me a package for free but I didn't know what I would do with it.  Fast forward last week to when I was watching the Barefoot Contessa at my parents house while on spring break.  She made strawberry tarts with pastry cream.  As she beat five egg yolks with sugar it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.  I can do that now!  I found a recipe for Italian apple cake that seemed very similar to the pear cake I add.  And then I spent yesterday bringing it all together.

The Vegan

Pastry Cream (adapted from Ina Garten):
  • 2 teaspoons of the vegg + 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups scalded almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1 tablespoon vegan coffee creamer (or more almond milk)
In a small blender blend the vegg with almond milk.  It will look and smell like real egg yolks almost instantly, it's crazy.  In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the yolks with sugar on medium high speed for 4 minutes, until thick.  Reduce to low speed and add the cornstarch.

Keep the mixer on low then add the scalded milk.  Pour all of the mixture back into a saucepan and cook on low heat.  Stir with a wooden spoon constantly, until it thickens.  This will take about 5 to 7 minutes.  When it appears to be almost boiling switch to a whisk and whisk vigorously for two minutes.  When the mixture is very thick, like a pudding, add the vanilla, butter, and creamer.  Pour the pastry cream into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and cool in the fridge.  Serve cold.


Apple Cake (original recipe here):
  • Earth Balance buttery spread + flour for dusting the pan
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 6 tablespoons water)
  • 1 Ener-G egg (1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg + 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread, melted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used granny smith)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting as a garnish
 Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter and flour an 8-inch spring form pan.

Combine the flax and Ener-G eggs with sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.  Beat for about 5 minutes, until thick.  Gradually add the flour, milk, and butter.  Scrape down the sides after adding each ingredient.  Increase speed to medium high and beat for 3 minutes.  Add the baking powder and vanilla, beating for an additional 2 minutes.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan.  Arrange the apple slices vertically, core side down.  Begin laying the apple slices at the outside of the pan, working to the center.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for ten minutes, then remove the sides of the pan.  Dust with powdered sugar and serve with pastry cream and fresh fruit.    

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Southwestern Style Pizza

I'm sorry about the hiatus but I'll spare you with my whining about how busy grad school makes me and get straight to this recipe.  I make pizza roughly once a week.  I usually make a BBQ tofu pizza (which eventually I'll post the recipe for that one too) but this past week I wanted something different.  I had a package of Daiya pepperjack style shreds instead of mozzarella, and that was the basis for my inspiration.  I poked around my pantry, freezer, fridge, and produce bowl and came up with this beauty.

Southwestern Pizza:
  • 1 recipe pizza dough (your favorite or pick it up from your local grocery store)
  • Tomato sauce (I think salsa would also be great)
  • Daiya pepperjack cheese
  • Nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels (canned or defrosted frozen)
  • 1/3 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced (red onion would also be good)
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
Preheat your oven to 450 (or whatever temperature is recommended for your pizza dough recipe).  Shape your dough on a pizza pan.  Spread your preferred amount of sauce.  Spread a thin amount of cheese.  Even spread corn, beans, onion, and cilantro.  Top with sliced avocado, then sprinkle a bit more cheese and nutritional yeast.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the crust is brown and the cheese is brown and bubbly.  Slice and serve.

If you're skeptical about baking avocado, I also think topping your cooked pizza with homemade guacamole would also be delicious.  Other potential toppings would be vegan chorizo, bell peppers, or jalapenos.  The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alfajores

For me, it just wouldn't be Christmas without alfajores.  Alfajores are a shortbread type of cookie, with dulce de leche in the middle.  My best friend's family is from Peru (and Bolivia) and she and her mom always make me alfajores for Christmas, as they are my all time favorite cookie.  Having recently gone vegan, they expressed their sadness that I would no longer be able to eat their alfajores.  I took this as a challenge.  And thankfully, I succeeded!  I will be bringing these to our Christmas Eve dinner, as I think they could fool any omni alfajor expert.

Alfajores:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar + more for dusting
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 11 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread, divided
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Combine coconut milk, 1 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread, and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. When almost boiling reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until thick like dulce de leche. Cool.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.  Combine flour, powdered sugar, and lime zest in a large mixing bowl.  Add the buttery spread and mix with an eletric hand mixer. Mix until a dough ball is formed. It's ok if it's slightly crumbly.  Roll out dough on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick.  Use a shot glass to cut out the cookies. Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper).  Bake for 5-7 until the edges are barely light brown. Cool.  Make cookie sandwiches by spreading the cooled dulce de leche inbetween two cookies.  Dust finished cookies with powdered sugar.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Party 2012

Last night I had a Christmas party for my new grad school friends.  They came over to help decorate my tree, watch Elf (best Christmas movie ever?), and share in some general Christmas cheer since the semester is finally over.  I provided them with a few snacks that everyone seemed to enjoy.  For the savory I had some celery and carrot sticks with hummus.  I also made a vegan goat cheese spread which was really delicious and served with triscuits.  The recipe for the cheese can be found here.  I also made the mushroom bruschetta from my friend's blog Vegan Pandamonium.  The only thing I changed was adding 1/4 cup or so of nutritional yeast.  A few of my friends felt it necessary to sample the mushrooms right out of the pan.  It's such a simple recipe but very impressive.  Definitely a crowd pleaser.

For the sweet I made the sugar cookies from Vegan Heartland.  I set up a decorating station with four different colors of frosting and some sprinkles.  Everyone had a lot of fun with this.  And you can send the guests home with their creations.


And a Christmas party wouldn't be complete without some hot chocolate.  I'm not sure which blog my friend found the recipe from but it was super simple and delicious.
Vegan Crockpot Hot Chocolate:
  • 4 cups original almond milk (soy would probably work well too)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Add all of the ingredients in your crockpot.  Whisk together until there are no lumps.  Put on the lid and turn your crockpot on low.  Cook for four hours, stirring occasionally.  I served it with a candy cane for stirring, giving it a nice peppermint flavor.  A friend also brought peppermint schnapps if you like even more peppermint. 




Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Waffles

Vegan Mofo is winding down but it feels like fall is finally starting here in Florida.  For brunch yesterday I made the pumpkin waffles from the Post Punk Kitchen.  They were amazing!  Delicious and tasting like fall.  I already had almost everything on hand and just did some simple substitutions for what I didn't have.  The recipe turned out perfect and it made a ton!  I now have breakfast for the rest of the week. 

Pumpkin Waffles from the PPK:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine almond milk and vinegar, let curdle.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk together.  Pour wet into dry and stir until combined.  Prepare waffles in your waffle iron.  Serve with Earth Balance and real maple syrup.

Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer and reheat in the toaster.