Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Fruit Cakes

3/4 cup softened Earth Balance vegan butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup non dairy milk
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup good quality brandy
1/4 cup chopped medjool dates
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried plums
1/8 cup chopped candied ginger
1 tablespoons orange zest

Cream together the Earth Balance vegan butter and the sugars till light and creamy. 

Whisk together the non dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, flax seed, water and vanilla and let sit 5 minutes to thicken up. 

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. 

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, add the brandy, dried fruits, candied ginger, and zest. Heat just till warm. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit 5 minutes. 

Add the flax/milk mixture and the brandy/dried fruits mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix to combine. Add in the flour mixture and stir just till combined. 

Pour into buttered and floured bundt pans. This can make 1 large sized bundt cake. I used 6 small bundt pans. For a large cake, bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 325 degrees F. For the small ones, I baked them for about 55 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes and remove from bundt pans. Cool completely before icing. 

For the royal icing, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 4 teaspoons non dairy milk, 2 teaspoons organic corn syrup, and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Whisk till smooth. Drizzle over the tops of the cakes. I garnished mine with a cranberry and mint leaves cut to look like holly. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Vegan Latkes

For the latkes you will need 1 pound starchy potatoes, 1/2 cup grated onion, 1 tablespoon ground flax, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil for frying. 

Combine ground flax, water, and flour. Let sit. (Traditionally, latkes aren't made with flour but with these vegan ones, you really need the flour to hold it all together. Otherwise it just sorta falls apart in the pan. You can use gluten free flour if you need to as well!) Peel and grate the potatoes. Place grated potatoes in a large bowl full of cold water. Let potatoes sit for 3 minutes. Remove potatoes from water and place on a large dish towel. Wrap up and squeeze the potatoes in the towel to remove as much water as possible. Place back in a large bowl and toss with the onion, flax mixture, and salt. Heat about 1/2 to 1 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet and heat over medium high. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture and form into a flat round with your hands. Place in the oil and cook on each side for a couple of minutes till golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Continue until all of the potato mixture has been cooked.

For the apple sauce, I grated 3 apples with the skins left on. Cook in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons raw sugar and 1/3 cup water over medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Mash with a spoon.

For the aioli, combine 1/2 cup Veganaise with the juice and zest from 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon chopped dill. 

Serve the latkes topped with the applesauce and lemon dill aioli!! This recipe makes 12 to 18 latkes depending on size!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Shortbread Rudolph Cookies

2 tablespoons ground flax seed
4 tablespoons water 
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine flax seed and water. Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
Cream together the Earth Balance vegan butter and the sugar till creamy. Add in vanilla and flax mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again. Add in the flour mixture and mix till dough forms. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using cookie cutters of your choice, but our shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. They should seem slightly underdone coming right out of he oven. Once they cool they will be perfect. These can very crunchy when over cooked. Still good, especially with coffee or tea! But if you want a softer cookie, make sure to under bake them. 

For the royal icing, combine 1 1/2 cups, powdered sugar, 3 to 5 teaspoons of non diary milk, 2 to 3 teaspoons non high fructose corn syrup and a splash of vanilla. Combine in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat till smooth. 

Using a piping bag fitting with a small round top, outline the cookies and then fill in the middle with icing. Coat the antlers with raw turbinado sugar and the rest with clear sugar. Finish off with a pomegranate Rudolph nose!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vegan Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cupcakes

For the gingerbread:
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons ground flax
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
3/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 12 cup muffin tins. Combine boiling water, molasses and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam up. Set aside and let cool. 
Combine ground flax with the 4 tablespoons water. Set aside to thicken up.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. 
Cream together the Earth Balance vegan butter and the brown sugar till creamy. Add in the flax egg and mix to combine. Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix. Add in half of the molasses. Mix. Another third of flour, last of the molasses and then last of the four. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again. Divide batter among the greased muffin tin, filling each one about 3/4 full. This batter doesn't rise very much so you can be heavy handed. Bake for 35 to 35 minutes till set in the middle. Let cool. 
For the buttercream:
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
Make sure the butter and shortening are at room temperature. Cream the butter and shortening together. Add in the powdered sugar, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Using a piping bag and large star tip, top each cupcake with frosting and then dip the frosting into the shredded coconut for a snowy look. 

For the trees:
1 10-ounce package vegan marshmallows 
3 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter 
6 cups puffed cereal of your choice (rice, millet, etc.)
All natural food coloring (I get mine at Whole Foods)
I find that the vegan marshmallows soften and melt up best in the microwave. Trying to do it over the stove takes a really long time. I start them off in the microwave and then finish melting the marshmallows with the vegan butter in a pan over the stove. Once melted, add in you food coloring and puffed cereal. Mix well. I waited till it was just cool enough to handle and used my hands to mix! Then form into little tree shapes the size that you want and decorate with sprinkles. Top each cupcake with a tree! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Vegan Gingerbread Latte

Vegan Gingerbread Latte with a mini vegan gingerbread man and coconut ginger whipped cream. I brewed a strong black tea and added in some steamed almond milk, molasses, fresh grated ginger, cinnamon, and clove

Vegan Minestrone Soup

A hearty vegan minestrone soup with pasta, kale, spinach, oven roasted tomatoes, and three different kinds of beans.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups oven roasted tomatoes, crushed (375 degrees F. 20 to 25 minutes)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 cup fresh kale, chopped
1 15-ounce can of beans, rinsed and drained (I used a tri-blend) 
1 cup pasta
2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
2 to 3 dashes hot sauce (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Saute carrots, celery, and onion till soft and lightly golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Add in garlic, bay leaf, and oregano. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add in tomatoes, vegetable broth, and potatoes. Cover and simmer on low for 1 to 4 hours. 30 minutes before serving, add in spinach, kale, beans, and pasta. Cover and simmer till pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes, you may want to add in the maple syrup. And if you like a little heat, add in the hot sauce!