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Hey everyone!  This weekend was really fun in terms of cooking!  So here is what I cooked/baked this past weekend.  After looking at so many blogs especially Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust, I was really craving some cake.  These two amazing foodies are so fun to read, they go to various vegan restaurants and blog about them.  I spent so much time reading these blogs as I am obsessed about going to Candle Cafe.  Hopefully I can go this month!  I really want to go there and Erica of Sweet Eats and Nicole of Another One Bites the Crust both went to Candle and write countless posts about Candle and many more vegan restaurants!  They have posted so much cake that they eaten so I decided to make a cake of my own.  I saw that they had eaten a Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake which looked really good.  I set out to make my own version which sadly I didn’t complete more on that later. 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
I doubled the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World chocolate cupcake recipe and made two round cakes.  I then also used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes to make a tasty Peanut  Buttercream Frosting which was really good!  I baked my cakes for about 23 minutes and I took them out when the knife came out clean.  I let them cool and then when I lifted them they were so fragile!  This has never happened to me and I blame myself for not baking them a couple minutes more.  It was slightly under-baked so this stopped me from completing my mission for creating an amazing cake that I had seen on those two amazing blogs!  I just frosted my cake with the Peanut Buttercream and wasn’t in the mood to make the Ganche.  The cake was so fragile in fact one of it fell apart but lucky I was able to fix it with frosting.  The cake was also lacking in the flavor dept.  which I think is because of my cocoa powder.  I bought a big bag of Hershey’s Cocoa powder from Restaurant Depot and it has been living in my freezer for one year and has not been producing quality chocolate desserts.  The flavor does come out strong, I think it has went stale.  The best part of the cake was the frosting!  It was so Peanut Buttery and Awesome!  Hopefully one day I will be able to create that amazing cake from Vegan Treats that was featured on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust. 

Moving on to Saturday.  On Saturday my dad’s cousin came so I wanted to make some brunch!  I made her some Banana-Nut Waffles from Veganomicon.
Banana Nut Waffles
I have been eating a lot of waffles this best month which I think is awesome because I love them so much!  These waffles were sweet and tasty and very banana tasting, it was like eating dessert because I decided to add some brown sugar along with the recipe’s maple syrup.  I tasted the batter and the first waffle and it didn’t seem sweet so I just added the brown sugar but I think it was two much.  Next time I will add the brown sugar and leave out the maple syrup.  I had these waffles with just some maple syrup, these waffles really didn’t need any syrup since I already made them sweet enough.  I also served them with some blueberries and bananas and put a nice healthy shake of powdered sugar!  These were amazing!

Seitan Picatta
That same day I was craving seitan!  Thanksgiving was the last time I had seitan!  I don’t know how I lived so long without seitan!  I had an extreme craving for seitan where I though about it for about half a period in school!  After looking at so many pictures of seitan on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust I had to make it again!  Me and Seitan have had a couple of bumpy roads but we are finally learning to accept each other!  Sometimes I make seitan and it comes out rubbery, one time I made it and it was so so so chewy!  I had a couple of nice times with seitan but Saturday was the best experience  that I had with seitan!  I used the Veganiomicon recipe for the Simple Seitan.  My only addition was chickpea flour.  I find that chickpea flour makes seitan nice and tender.  I divided the seitan dough into two equal pieces.  I then set up the broth and put the raw seitan in there.  I made sure to stay right there and make sure it didn’t boil.  As soon as it started to boil I turned the heat to simmer.  I simmered it for one hour and the result was amazing.  The texture and flavor was the best yet.  It was slightly chewy, tender, dense in the middle and very meatlike.  I looked at a lot of Candle Cafe pictures and I really like how they cut their seitan.  It looks really nice to the eye.  So I took the two even pieces and cut them into slightly thin slices.  It was as close as I get to Candle Cafe.  I have been wanting to make Picatta for so long so I made it from the recipe from V’con.  The recipe was really tasty but I though it had a too many shallots.  The only changes I did was use a non alcoholic wine in place of the wine and I finished the sauce with some Earth Balance and lemon slices.  I also made some awesome mashed potatoes with lots of Earth Balance of course and some awesome Kale!  The sauteed kale came out really good better than ever.  I did this my accident but I let my pan get really hot and added the oil.  When I put the kale in it charred slighty at the bottom so I kept turning it so it wouldn’t burn.  The result was some delicious Kale with a nice slightly charred taste. I really felt like I was eating at some fancy restaurant it was so good!  The seitan flavor was the best that I have ever had yet.  I really want to get more experimental with seitan and try to create some interesting recipes!

Lastly after looking at another amazing blog, Vegan Yum Yum I saw the pancakes that she blogged about a while back. 
Pancakes
These pancakes looked so good so I gave the recipe a shot.  I normally use the VWAV recipe which is very similar.  The Vegan Yum Yum just has one teaspoon less baking powder which made flatter pancakes.  These pancakes were really good! I was really bad at making pancakes but now I am getting the hang of them.  I really want to get a griddle so I can get perfect browned pancakes like on the boxes that you see.   Does anyone know if a griddle will get the job done?  What do you use for your pancakes? 

Alright everyone, I guess that’s it.

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This week I made some really tasty things!!  The inspiration for this week’s dinner came from Isa’s Blog.  For the House of Dreams benefit dinner, Isa made Temeph over Kale, with mushroom ragout, and stuffed acorn squash. I really wish I was in Portland so I could have went to this dinner.  I decided to recreate what Isa made myself based on that photo.   I made the best tempeh I ever tasted!  It was so tasty.  I made a simple marinade to marinade the tempeh in and I boiled it in a soy sauce and water mixture which I think really helped the flavor.  I then panfried it until nice and golden!  I served the tempeh was a mushroom ragout which really complemented the tempeh.  I also had spinach under the tempeh.  Here’s the recipe for the tempeh and mushroom ragout below.

Pan Fried Tempeh, Mushroom Ragout, Stuffed Acorn Squash and Garlicky Spianch

Pan Fried Tempeh, Mushroom Ragout, Stuffed Acorn Squash and Garlicky Spianch

Panfried Tempeh
Serves about 4

Ingredients:
For the marinade
3/4 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce plus 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
half a lemon squeezed
2 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

2 packages of tempeh
Olive Oil for frying

Cut each block of tempeh in to 4 triangles. First cut it across in the middle then cut the two squares diagonally, into triangles.
Bring a pot of water to boil and add some soy sauce to it about 2-3 tablespoons to the water. Add the tempeh and boil on medium for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all the other ingredients for the marinade.
After 10 minutes add the tempeh to the marinate and marinate for about an hour or more if you want.
After it has marinated, heat a pan over medium high heat with olive oil for pan-frying.
Pan Fry the tempeh until golden about 2-3 minutes per side.

Mushroom Ragout
Ingredients
1 pound of cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
About half a cup of white wine or vegetable broth
1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2-3 medium Shallots minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
A pinch of dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Heat a pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about 5-8 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the herbs and tomato paste. Then add the mushrooms and wine or vegetable broth and saute for about 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced. If it seems a little dry add more wine/vegetable broth. Season with Salt and Pepper.

For my acorn squash, I used Isa’s recipe for Cornbread Stuffing with Pears and Pecans and just substituted some ingredients based on what I had.  For example I use rosemary instead of thyme, apples instead of pears, and shallots instead of onions.  I also added some carrots and celery and omitted the celery seed.  Oh and I halved the recipe.  I really suggest Isa’s recipe for cornbread stuffing, it was so tasty!  I will defiantly make this stuffing for Thanksgiving!  Now let’s talk about the acorn squash itself.  It was my first time having acorn squash.  I was very surprised with the taste, it tasted so different from the other squashes.  It was good but I think next time I will roast it with earth balance and maple syrup for extra goodness!

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I also made some awesome baked goods this week.  I made a really awesome bundt cake from Veganomicon.  I made the Coconut- Lemon Bundt cake.  This bundt cake was so moist and full of lemony and coconut flavor!  I think it was the most moist cake when I have ever had.  I will defiantly make this again! 

Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake

Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake

 

I made my very first apple pie! It came out really good!   I even made a lattice crust for it.  The only thing I will probaly do next time is reduce the spices I used in the apple filling.  I need to work a bit more on my crust though.  This apple pie went really fast.  I only had a slice and I wanted more!!  I can’t wait to make this again for Thanksgiving. 

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Hey everyone!  For a couple of weeks I have been working on perfecting my rice pudding recipe.  It has never turned out to the creamy texture I like until today.  Usually the rice still has a bite to it and it isn’t creamy enough.  Today I got awesome results.  I found that the key to creamy rice pudding is pre-soaking the rice for about an hour.  The soaking ensures that the rice pudding will be super creamy and the rice will be really tender. The rice also cooks really fast since you pre-soak it.  I think today’s recipe was really good, it turned out just the way I like it.  Here’s the recipe. 

Rice Pudding

rice pudding

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1.5 cups soy milk plus 1 1/4 cup soy milk
1 1/4 cups of rice (long grain or medium grain, or even risotto rice)
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Rinse the rice under water. Then fill a bowl with water and add the rice. Soak it for about 1 hour. After the rice is soaked drain it. In a sauce pan heat the 1.5 cups of soy milk and the water. Add the Cinnamon stick. Add the rice. Cook for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Add the sugar, soy milk, lemon zest maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix the rice pudding. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it and keep mixing. If it looks a bit too thick add some more soy milk. Divide it into bowls. This makes about 4 servings. Cool and then store in the fridge. Serve it nice and cold. Enjoy!

This is my first year of VeganMofo! I am so exicted. This month I will have a lot for you guys. Today I have a ton of things to share!!   I previouly had a blog on blogspot called Vegan Teen Chef.   Now this is my new home!!

I just got my Canon Rebel DSLR on Saturday! I am loving how my pictures are coming out. So last weekend I made some Ratatouille with Chickpeas. Ratatouille is one of my favorite dishes, its like one of the first things I made. The Ratatouille was really good. I just love vegetable stews. I make them at least once a week. With the leftovers I just cook some pasta and heat up the vegetable stew and mix up and you’ve got yourself a whole different meal!!
Ratatouille with Chickpeas

Ratatouille cooking on the stove!!

ratatouille pasta

Leftover Ratatouille with Whole Wheat Pasta

Next up is Chickpeas Romesco and Saffron Rice from V’con!! I served it with some salad! I enjoyed this but I just wish that I would have cooked the chickpeas just little longer to make them really tender. This is tonight’s dinner and I can’t wait to eat after I finish blogging that is!

Chickpeas Romesco

Chickpeas Romesco

Yesterday, today, and tommoraw Eid.  Eid is a Muslim holiday that I celebrate.  It is so fun! I love making desserts to celebrate Eid!!! And today I will share my awesome recipe for Bakalava which everyone loved!!!! I also made some Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry cake using the VCTOTW recipes. The cake was really good. When I was making the frosting, I doubled it and added the double amount the soymilk. The frosting turned out runny and it was so hard to frost the cake.  The cake is a 4 layer chocolate and vanilla cake with strawberry preserves in the middle.  Topped of with chocolate ganche and strawberries!  It was really good!!

chocolate vanilla strawberry cake

Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry Cake

My Recipe for Baklava

This recipe is so good.  I created it myself after having my mom’s cousin’s baklava.  It was so good.  The secret was coconut which I never though I would add to baklava.  I added it and it worked.  Everyone is so amazed at this baklava!!  Try this recipe and be prepared for rave reviews!!

1 package phylo dough
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup canola oil

For the filling
2.5 cups walnuts
1 1/4 cups almonds
1/4 cups of breadcrumbs
3 cups coconut (The secret ingredient that will have people begging for more)
1/2 t  cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
4T sugar
1/4 cups melted vegan maragine (like Earth balance)

In a food processer grind the walnuts and almonds until they are crumbs with some small bit of walnuts. Melt the 3/4 cups of Earth balance and then set aside. Mix the ingredients together then add 1/4 cup of the melted Earth Balance

Take the 1/2 cups of melted earth balance and mix it with the canola oil.

Now it is time to get into the most fun part!! Forming the triangles. Now Preheat the oven to 375. Brush the baking sheet with rimmed edges with oil. Take two sheets of dough and brush one layer just a bit and then place the layer for the first layer and brush with the melted earth balance and oil mixture. Depending on your sheets of dough you might have to cut the sheets in half. Now take about 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture and put it to the end nearest you. Grab the corner of the dough, fold it so forms a triangle, fold it again and again till you reach the end. Place on the baking pan with rimmed edges and brush with the oil mixture. And now you just repeat it until your dough is done. I got about 34 pieces of Baklava!! Bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn. It should be golden brown.

The syrup
2 cups of sugar
3 cups water
1/4 t vanilla
1 lemon squeezed

Heat up a sauce pan on medium heat. Then put the sugar and melt it just a little. Make sure to keep stirring. Then add the water and vanilla. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 20-25 minutes until it is a little bit thick. When its done add the lemon.

When the baklava is baked. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Drizzle the syrup and cover it like 3/4 of the way up. Don’t worry it will absorb all the syrup. Then let it cool and store it in the fridge. Enjoy. People will be suprised at this Baklava. Everyone that tried it liked it!!!

baklava 3

The Ulimate Baklava!!!

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