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I essentially made her the cake I secretly hoped someone would make for me someday (but shh, it works here, too).
I made a half recipe of a cake I found online here, sliced it into 4 rectangles and sandwiched them with a full recipe of the Vegan Cupcakes take over the World chocolate mousse recipe, but with a bunch of wasabi and ginger added, yes!
Top it with some pretty kiwis and champagne grapes and white pearls and call it an ideal job. Just about exactly what I was aiming for – it’s elegant and spicy and rich. If I did it again I might add some cashew cream layers, or some strawberry jam, but really it’s perfect just the way it is right here. Roomie even professed to get a wasabi high off the mousse! Ha ha, couldn’t ask for more.
Black Sesame Cake
(from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert (veganized), via Dessert First)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup soy yogurt
3 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil*
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup soymilk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup toasted black sesame seeds
– Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cake tin and dust flour inside it. Set aside.
– Add the vinegar to the soymilk and set aside to curdle.
– Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
– In a large bowl, beat together the soygurt, sesame oil, vanilla, canola oil, and sugar until it’s smooth and caramell-y, about 2-3 minutes with a whisk.
– Add 1/3 of the flour to the liquid ingredients and stir to combine. Add half the curdled soymilk and stir. Add another 1/3 of the flour (stir), then the rest of the milk (stir), then the last of the flour (stir). Make sure not to overwork the batter, but it should be smooth and pourable.
– Pour into the greased cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is glossy, firm and golden, and a toothpick/knife inserted comes out clean. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack, then let it cool completely before frosting.
* the original recipe called for butter, and you would probably get spectacular results with Earth Balance, I just didn’t have enough this time. Follow the recipe the same, but cream the margarine with the sugar with an electric mixer until it’s really white and fluffy, before adding the other liquid ingredients.
Wasabi Ginger Chocolate Mousse
(adapted from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World)
12 oz. package of medium firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1 tbsp wasabi paste (or more ;)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ginger powder
8 oz. chocolate chips (or higher quality chocolate if you’d like)
pinch of salt
– Bring a pot of water to a boil, then gently add your tofu, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Drain carefully and let it cool.
– Once cooled, put the tofu, syrup, wasabi, vanilla and ginger in a blender and blend it until it’s completely smooth.
– Melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave then add it to the blender and whip everything together. Add salt if you like salt (I do), then stash it in the fridge for at least an hour to become firm enough to work with. Ice your cake!
Step 5: Keep it in the fridge as best as possible in this heat, then break it out and serve in big cool stylish overly delicious wedges. One of the best I’ve ever made, and I mean that flavour-wise, too! I was pretty glad to come by said friend’s house later the next day to help her eat it for breakfast, like that was such a painful thing to do (it wasn’t).
So if my blog tags are any indication at all (and amusingly, they often are), I’m more than a little mad for blueberries. Dunno why exactly… it could be the bursting qualities… or the way they’re so purple and freeze perfectly and are also called starberries? And when you stick them in things people go “oooooooh” without fail, it’s kind of funny!
2/3 cup blueberries
1/4 cup water + 1 tbsp
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh minced basil
cracked black pepper
4 oz. snap peas, strings removed
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup milk or cream
1 tsp melted buttery spread
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
– Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Blanche the snap peas for 30 seconds, then rinse in cold water. Do the same with the green peas, until they’re tender (2-3 minutes maybe).
– In a blender, combine the cooled peas with the milk, butter, and cornstarch, and blend until pretty smooth. Move to a mixing bowl.
– Sift in the dry ingredients and gently fold until totally incorporated (shouldn’t take much effort)
– Melt a bit of buttery spread in a nonstick and fry thin little 2″ pancakes until golden brown on both sides. Serve warm with a bit of blueberry sauce and some basil leaves on top.
1/2 cup soygurt
2/3 cup strongly brewed green tea with 10-12 fresh mint leaves in it (strained, of course)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tsp matcha soymilk powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
– Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8″ cake tin with nonstick spray and parchment paper.
– In a large mixing bowl combine the soygurt, tea, extracts, and oil
– Sift together the dry ingredients, then slowly add it to the wet bowl in installments, gently folding with a whisk until it’s smooth.
– Pour into cake pan and bake for 35-42 minutes (my oven is really slow, so take these times as approximations). A toothpick should come out clean, and the top should be glossy and flat.
– Let it cool almost completely before turning it onto a parchment lined cooling rack. Once cool, cut it carefully into 2 layers, and soak each layer (as you construct your moussey cake) with Mint Syrup.
2/3 cups strong Morrocan mint tea (made the same as before)
1/3 cup sugar
some extra mint leaves if you want
– Bring everything to a boil in a tiny saucepan over medium heat and let it bubble until it’s reduced slightly and thicked. Cool completely before spooning over your cake layers.
(it all tastes of exotic and meltaway sweet sand and herbs….. very very very – needless to say – delicious)
Oooh, and unfortunately there’s no slice picture, but I made a red velvet cake!! It was a bit of a talent exchange and I got a professional (shi-shi, layered and subtle!) haircut from a friend of mine who adores southern stuff. I even put mint on it, a la Paula Deen. Oh, and the recipe was of course from Vegan Cupcakes and OMG this frosting if you haven’t made it yet MAKE IT it’s all whippy like creamy and dangerously low-sweet and HIDE THE SPOONS. O_O!
Then for a while I was all in love with med-firm tofu and it’s magical ability to become some luxurious (yet low guilt) salad dressing at a moment’s notice. I played around with a few varieties – I tried the Vegan World Fusion Caesar (yum!), I made a kind of ranch, and my favourite was a curried apricot dressing that was very inspired by something from the Millenium cookbook, although I changed it entirely… I even found the notepad file I wrote the recipe on! So here it is —-
1/4 lb. med-firm tofu
1-2 dried apricots, soaked well and chopped
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp cardamom
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp canola oil
enough water to thin
Right, and finally, this is definitely the result of my new love affair with my wonderful freezer. Never could have concocted something so specific without being able to freeze tiny bits of things throughout my cooking. The whole door is filled with single cookies, 1/4 cups of icing, cake shavings, and other fun detritous I collect, mwahaha. For this little cake that I made for a dinner on friday, I started with a disc of leftover Brooklyn Brownie cupcake (the recipe really does make a LOT of extra batter). Then I made a base cheesecake cream in the blender, divided that into two and stuffed one with melted chocolate and the other with peanut butter. I layered and baked that at 350 for 45 minutes, then I made a quick chocolate agar-gel for the top and was really really pleased with myself for rocking agar finally. And then! Crushed-up peanut butter cookies for the sides. You know the awesome kind that are essentially just peanut butter and sugar? Yeah, those kind. And I almost forgot – star dollops of leftover chocolate cupcake frosting! PIMPED. OUT.
I’m inspired again!! It happened very suddenly, I think a warm breeze passed through my kitchen and the walls turned sunny-orange in a way I hadn’t seen in months, prompting a small whirlwind of culinary tinkering, and I haven’t stopped since. I made raviolis, even, which I’ve always wanted to do! They’re roasted beet with rosemary and toasted walnuts, made with wonton skins, so they’re not pasta exactly, but I prefer the chewy dumplingness of the skins, actually. Because that way I’m allowed to eat them with my hands. They also coincided with a small disaster that resulted in something wonderful …….
— my fridge has sucked for years. It’s been replaced 3 or 4 times since I’ve lived here, and each one has been more small, old, fragile and smelly than the last. Have you ever seen a fridge where the freezer was INSIDE the box, and there was only one door? That was mine, until last week when it started to leak freon and smell rather horrifyingly chemical. I tried eating an apple from the crisper and my mouth started to tingle… I didn’t repeat that. O_o
The building quickly replaced it, as usual, except that this time – it’s a real fridge, white and sizeable, with a real freezer door! It makes a very satisfying sound, and my smoothies taste like ice cream now because the ice is so cold. Amazing! Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because while I rescuing things from the old icebox I pulled out a huge bag of peas and was like, “uh… I should eat these somehow”, which led to a most delicious puree to go with my raviolis. I just threw the peas in a blender with some garlic, basil, mint, balsamic, oil, tamari and pepper and it was shmancy-perfect-face-stuffingly-delicious. woo!
I also made some sandwich bread last week, to celebrate the white flour purchase. I’d never made sandwich bread before! It’s so useful, and tasty. This one was whole wheat rye, made with a bit of molasses and caraway and I had no trouble eating it up, especially shmeared with spicy homemade apple butter, yum! It inspired me to make a real salad. And it inspired me to have reubens for lunch all last week – holy batman that’s a good sammich!
For the ‘meat’ part I made lentil patties with pickle juice and gluten flour, breaded them in breadcrumbs and baked for 30 minutes, flipping once. Then loaded on the sauerkraut and homemade 1000-island and munched happily away!
Finally – to celebrate the spring equinox, and in anticipation of finding good things in life, I baked a lemon poppy seed bread yesterday, studded with little treasures. Rings, crystals, little coins, it was so much fun to bring this to a potluck, cover it with fresh berries, and slice off little hunks with surprises inside! The bread itself is moist and more-ish, too – super citrusy, with a sparkly sugary crust, and soaked in a lemon syrup = win!
Springtime Lemon Poppyseed Bread
1 tablespoon lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water (could use milk)
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons raw sugar (for sprinkling on top)
optional: little metal trinkets
1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a loaf pan.
2. Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl, lemon zest through water.
3. Sift together the dry ingredients, then add that to the wet and stir just until combined.
4. Pour half the batter in the pan, dot the batter with metal trinkets (if using), then add the rest of the batter, sprinkle the top with raw sugar and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Don’t take it out of the pan yet though! While it’s still warm, make….
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1. Mix lemon juice and sugar together in a bowl, microwave on high for about 45 seconds, stir to dissolve into a syrup.
2. Poke a bunch of holes in your lemon bread with a skewer or a toothpick, then pour the syrup over top and let it soak in for about 20 minutes. Then take it out of the pan and let it cool. Slice, warn people not to break their teeth on anything, and bask in the party game + dessert combined. :)
I’m still alive, I swear! I blame a flu for holding me hostage and making me kind of hate my own kitchen – a flu that has lasted for a month and is STILL CAUSING WHEEZY DEPTHFUL COUGHINGS IN THE NIGHT. Argh I say. I’m only sort of (maybe) remembering what an appetite feels like.
Chocolate PB banana smoothies + popcorn for dinner much? Anyway.
I turned 25 recently! And this year I insisted that a cake be made for me, because ha ha I was hating the sight of baking tins. Me mum made an amazing spice cake that I really want the recipe for – it was like eating a ginger cookie, except in cake form, and with plum frosting (and the best decoration job this side of my sister’s taste level). Amazing, and I polished a good chunk of it off with actual soy ice cream, which I haven’t had since high school. Happy birthday to me!
Later at home in montreal I had a wee shindig on my actual birthday, and flexed my rusty pastry muscles to pull off… the mushiest cake EVAH. Haha, it was good, but completely not cooked in the middle. (my oven is also teh sux, but we take responsibility for our disasters, yes?). I used the banana split cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and probably trying to make a full cake out of it accounted for the mush (also I only had whole wheat pastry flour, which is good, but not THAT good, you know what I mean? Forgive me but I like 50% white flour in cakestuffs).
At any rate the company was the greatest in the world, and I got a japanese unicorn mug, a pineapple, a decoupage candle-glass, a drawing of fish, some chamomile and ylang-ylang oils, and uhhh… my own tupperware back! Huzzah.
I also treated myself to a 10 kg bag of good old emptily nutritive white flour this afternoon. Aw yeah. :)