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So I’m sitting here with my internet connection flicking ON and OFF and trying almost-and-mostly valiantly to resist running to make Vichyssoise at such an hour of the night that I should be working. But then I remember that brownies (or Ginger-browdnies as they might better be called) require nothing like reliable wi-fi to enjoy at all. They don’t even require that much to talk about. So fire up the notepad I do, and here they are.
*insert yumptuous picture of chocolate-drizzled “I procrastinated so hard with these I had time to make them look ultra-fine” squares*
I think I wrote down the recipe for these, but then I deleted it, so I’ll write this down now with the clear warning that A: this is from memory and based on something I made last Thursday. and B: I wanted them to be brownies *after* I pulled them out of the oven, so in theory they could be fudgier by a loooong shot to legitimately be called brownies, but they definitely weren’t cake.
RECIPEE! for Gingerbrowdnies.
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of clove
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl
3. Whisk together the wet and add to the dry, stir just to mix, pour into pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Or maybe more. I did not measure the time and everyone likes their browdnie a lil different.
OKAY UPON CLOSER INSPECTION THEY ARE CAKES. LITTLE, SPICY CAKES. Ah well, maybe next time I’ll remember in enough to time double the fat and sugar in the recipe and roll around maniacally in the lushness that ensues. Until then, these are healthy enough to …. eat them upon waking for a lovely chocolatey zing next to coffee. And then maybe another square with lunch. And by that I mean no, they have like, negligible nutritional content but also nothing glaringly obese.
Oh right, and if you melt some chocolate with a splosh of oil in the microwave and then drizzle it over in neat-o checker patterns they get way prettier and if you put them in the freezer to set the chocolate really quickly be careful about smushing the tops of them in the process and if you do *that* are you brave enough eat the messy ones in a heroic move thus preventing any innocent eyes from even suspecting that non-perfect Browdnies exist? Wellll?? okay good.
Oh yeah, and in other news, I got a job as the weekend cook at an organic vegan cafe, with free reign of a tiny kitchen and some wild ideas for upcoming brunch specials. Oh the freedom, oh the power, I’m not to touch the hummous recipe but my boss pretty much asked me to go wild with the rest of the menu. Can you believe that? And I get to make a couple baked things every day, too, anything I want.
Seriously, I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart all a-flutter, realizing while I usually drunkenly lament while roaming the city at night is that there is no good vegan reuben anywhere in Montreal (travesty!) I could actually do something about that if I just remember to order rye bread before the next weekend. O_O Amazing.
I replaced the egg with some flaxseed and added chopped thai chili and diced red onions, and they came out just barely sweet and nutty tasting! This isn’t a big-ol sopping up chili with a hunk of hefty corncake kinda cornbread, but light and refined kind of puff of mais-muffin that’ got a crisp crust and is pretty low fat too. Almost alarmingly charming. ^.^
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!
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)
Unrelated to photo above, but that’s what scrolling is for ———— the beautiful red and white salad next to it all was from the Tropical Vegan Kitchen and ab-solutely scrumptious. I’m going to post the recipe, too, because I just saw a great video concerning appropriation and culture (and breakbeats) and I figured heck why not, share the love, share the coconut dressing —
Thai-Style Romaine Salad with Creamy Coconut Tamari Dressing
This might be the most delicious soup I’ve ever made. I don’t even usually like creamy soups, but this one has ocean in every bite, and the tofu bits get all soaked with the richness and get buttery, and the veggies are… in giant chunks! Which is fun! I have to thank the Sexy Vegan in huge part for a lot of the tasty tricks involved (nori seaweed! cashew cream!), but here’s my specific take on the method. So so so so good.
I usually feel funny posting about salads, since it’s like, well, vegetables. With oil and salt and things. But this one was like a bomb of happy went off in my mouth, so here it is. I think there was berries, daikon, carrot, goji, ume vinegar and mirin involved, maybe some tamari. Good stuff!! I think this is when I began to taste spring, a little bit.
And if I wasn’t careful, Satchmo was gonna taste my peanut butter banana oat muffins!! These are soooo perfect if you don’t want anything even remotely evil in a baked good, and I really didn’t at the time. It’s just every ingredient listed in the title, plus some baking powder, cinnamon, and raisins for sweetness and that’s it. I mean, admittedly I added some salt and allspice, but that’s still earnest. And they made perfect desserts for anything, since I made them mini I could celebrate putting my clothes in the dryer with a muffin if I wanted. Oh yeah! And gluten free, too! Like the loaf, completely subconscious on my part, but neat. Oh, and recipe is from aTxVegan!
And I ought to open Vegan Fire & Spice WAY more often, because it’s just crammed full of launching-pads for creative dinners. I was way too lazy to cook up brown rice one night, so I riffed off the Persian Orange Rice with Pistachios, using couscous and walnuts instead. Really good!!! Totally orangey and warmly spiced and great with zataar-spiced vegetables to mix into it (especially zucchinis!)
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. :)