Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Almond Chocolate Chip Tart with Chocolate Almond Sauce

This was dessert at my house last night. A bit of a throw-together-some-things-and-see-what-turns-out sort of dessert, and it was very good!
The tart part needs a little more work before I am going to share the recipe but the sauce was lovely and lucious straight out of the gate so I will share that with you now. Just in case you have any ideas about how you could use a Chocolate Almond Sauce....

Chocolate Almond Sauce
Makes just over ½ cup

If you’re a sauce (or chocolate) lover you may want to double this recipe. The sauce keeps well and reheats fine over medium heat in a saucepan. I like this best at room temperature, but it is also nice either hot or cold.
If not using the sauce immediately cover with a layer of tinfoil touching the top of the sauce to avoid a skin forming as the sauce sits.

2 tablespoons vegan Margarine
¼ cup Granulated Sugar

2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder

¼ cup vegan Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

¾ cup Chocolate Almond Milk

¼ teaspoon Almond Extract

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt together the margarine and sugar, stirring frequently.
Once melted, stir in the flour and cocoa powder. Stir constantly to thicken and cook in with the margarine and sugar for about 1 minute.
Add the chocolate chips and stir in – they will melt very quickly.
Add the milk ¼ cup at a time and stir constantly so this absorbs into the mixture and thickens it. Ensure the mixture has thickened prior to adding the next measure of milk. You are making the sauce with the same method used to make a roux.
The mixture will be smooth, with no lumps. If you do get lumps whisk the mixture for a few seconds with a wire whisk to remove them.
Once all the milk is added, remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the extract.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Ice-cream Cone Cupcakes

Ice-cream Cone Cupcakes, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Aren't these cool!
I used my mini-muffin pan to hold the cones up, as the indents in the pan were exactly the right size with no pfaffing about with foil to hold the cones steady.
I put some chocolate chips in the bottom of the cones to be a treat at the end of the cake, and filled the cones about 3/4 of the way with the Vanilla Cake mix from the Lamington recipe in VBS. They baked up lovely and rounded and didn't split the cones or anything!
I used the Buttercream, More or Less (again VBS) as the "ice-cream" part - half were Vanilla Bean and half Chocolate.
There was one snag with these. I made a batch yesterday and overnight the cone got soft and yucky so I had to re-make this morning. Hate it when that happens. Note to self for the future - this is a same day cupcake project!!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Pesto, Potato and Shiitakes

Pesto, Potato and Shiitakes, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Lunch Yesterday.
Leftover Baked Potato, quickly pan fried with some shiitake mushrooms and garlic, then smothered in a Cilantro and Basil Lime Sunflower Seed Pesto.
OK, so maybe not the prettiest of lunches, but very tasty, and very quick!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Sugar free Date and Banana Rolls

A combination - remarkably attractive love child even - of the Walnut and Banana Cinnamon Rolls (page 220 of Vegan Bake Sale) and the Date Pinwheels (page 200)these soft and sugar free rolls were super yummy!

I used ground Almonds in the dough and filling in place of walnuts. Thought about omitting nuts all together but I have some to use up. I have no sugar in the house so got creative!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Mini Loaves

Oh, what to do with very ripe bananas? Apart from peeling and freezing, or using in smoothies, that is! I had some the other day and whipped up these lovely mini loaves with the help of R who loves the mashing part!
When I say mini loaves I mean the pan which is like a muffin pan but has 8 rectangular indentations instead of 12 round ones, not the stand alone 4-inch loaf pans. You could also make these as muffins (12).

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Mini Loaves
Makes 8

3 very ripe Bananas, about 1 ½ cups mashed
¼ cup vegan Margarine
¾ cup Granulated Sugar

½ cup plain Soy Milk
1 teaspoon Banana or Vanilla Extract

¾ cup All Purpose Flour
¾ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 ½ tablespoons Cornstarch
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
Pinch Salt

¾ cup vegan Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375°F, and prepare your tin by spraying with a little non-stick spray.
In a large bowl cream the banana, margarine, and sugar until very well combined. You won’t get super light and fluffy due to the moisture in the banana. If creaming by hand I like to use a whisk.
Add the soy milk and extract, and combine well.
Sift the flour through salt into this bowl and gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet until completely damp and mostly smooth.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared tin, and bake for about 25 minutes until tests done, with a lovely golden color.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes prior to completing cooling on a rack.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Birthday Cake!

Birthday Cake!, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Made using the Vanilla Cupcake recipe in Q&E Vegan Bake Sale - the textured variation, but with a little more ground almonds, and some almond extract added too.
I made a square cake, and a round cake, then carved the round cake for the ball, leaving the square cake to be the field.
Theme was chosen by M&R for their Dad's birthday. Happy Bithday H - pity you have to be at work today!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Rainy Summer Day

Mixing., originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

What to do?? Make cookies of course!

Another one!?! I hear you say. (and after such a long time too - but you don't want my excuses you just want the cookies!) Now, depending on what I have in the cupboard at any time depends on how I make chocolate chip cookies! Here’s a recipe I made with my younger daughter one rainy day.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 16 to 18

If you cream the fats well enough the dough will form nicely. If necessary add non-dairy milk by the teaspoon to bring the dough together.

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes
Cooking Time – 10 Minutes

1 tablespoon Coconut Oil, at room temperature, so soft but not liquid
2 tablespoons Vegetable Shortening
3 tablespoons vegan Margarine

1 ½ tablespoons Fancy Molasses
¼ cup granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

¾ cup All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
½ teaspoon Baking Powder

½ cup Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 350°F, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cream the oil, shortening, and margarine until well combined.
Add the molasses, sugar, and vanilla. Continue to cream until very light and fluffy.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into this bowl and mix until wel combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a tablespoon sized measuring spoon or cookie scoop drop dough onto the sheets. Flatten to a 2-inch diameter with the back of a measuring cup.
Bake for 10 minutes until puffy looking and golden at the edges.
Cool on sheets for 5 minutes prior to transferring to a rack to complete cooling.

and once thy're made - the taste test...

and after they pass that test, they get to be shared!