Tag Archives: dessert

Chocolate Silk Pie with Cashew Crust and Tofu Whipped Cream

I was mad craving chocolate the other day (what else is new), and was casually browsing through the dessert section of my vegan cookbooks (aka salivating at the glorious professional photographs of food porn).  I stumbled upon this intriguing recipe, which I noticed had chocolate.  And cashews.  And tofu (the secret ingredient).  And vanilla extract and maple syrup.  And did I mention chocolate?

Came home from work today with a few hours to spare, something you always need when you’re deciding whether or not to bake, and decided to just go for it.  Twas a delightful endeavor, totes worth it.

Before I start, I should emphasize that you betta looooove chocolate if you’re planning to make this.  Because I have some crazy people that happen to be related to me that aren’t “chocolate fans” (I won’t name any names), and that was their complaint about this dessert.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For the crust:

  • 1/2 c raw whole cashews
  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1.5 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1.5 firm silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu from whole foods)
  • 3/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 container extra-firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c apple juice
  • 1 tbsp agar agar flakes (we’ll get to this later) (basically it’s a vegetarian gelatin that I didn’t use but should have: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agar)
  • pinch of salt

Start with the crust.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Lightly coat in 9-in pie dish with oil.  Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely ground (our food processor is mysteriously missing, so I had to use a mortar and pestle.  good times).  Stir the ground cashews and the flour in a large bowl to blend.  Whisk the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl to blend.  Stir the oil mixture into the cashew-flour mixture to blend.

Press the mixture into the prepared pie dish.  Bake until the crust is set and pale golden around the edges, about 20 minutes.  Then decrease the oven to 325

Filling: While the crust is baking, stir the chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 10-15 minutes.  Puree the tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a food processor until smooth.  Blend in the melted chocolate, making sure the mixture is well-blended (not too lumpy).  Pour the chocolate mixture into the prebaked pie crust.

Bake until the edges puff and dry but the rest of the filling is glossy, about 45 minutes.  Don’t worry if the edge of the crust looks a little crumbly (it will be but the rest of the crust is fine), and if the filling is still jiggling after baking.  Refrigerate the pie for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

While it’s refrigerating, you can start making the tofu whipped cream!

So usually I try and be crafty when I’m cooking/baking and purposely don’t include ingredients that I either don’t like or sound expensive and fancy.  Like agar agar flakes.  For some reason the sound of them reminded me of fish food.  No thanks.  Turns out they’re like super necessary to give the whipped cream the right consistency.  Of course you need the weird, exotic ingredient to make it work.   Of course.  So my whipped cream was basically watery tofu with some sugar, but it wasn’t bad.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do.  Blend the tofu, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor until creamy and smooth.  Then combine the juice, agar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the agar dissolves.  Immediately blend the hot agar mixture into the tofu mixture, and transfer to a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Chocolate silk pacman!

Okay, this might not win the aesthetic appeal award.  It may not look so good, but it is light and chocolatey and fantastic, trussst.

Whipped cream? More like tofu juice.

A slice of the moist pie with the tofu juice.  I mean, if that’s doesn’t sound appetizing to you, I don’t know what would be…

This treat also can be enjoyed with (vanilla) coconut milk!

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Need I say more?

Also, not to hop on the #whatshouldwecallme bandwagon, but I felt that this is appropriate given my last few recipe mishaps:

http://whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com/post/23577991188/cooking

These are quite excellent, by the way! And are basically the grown-up, vegan equivalent of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so they have definitely require a different kind of palate/appreciation for sweetness that isn’t derived from highly processed sugar.

  • 1/2 c Earth Balance butter
  • 3/4 c crunchy peanut butter (I also used Earth Balance, their stuff is delicious!)
  • 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 c granulated sweetener (I used cane sugar, she recommends maple)
  • 1 c grain-sweetened vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c soy, rice or nut milk

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the peanut butter, graham crackers, and sugar and mix well.  Remove the mixture from the heat, and put approximately 2 tbsp of the buttery mixture into the muffin cups.

Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan over low heat.  Stir just until the chocolate has melted , then spoon evenly over the peanut butter mixture.

Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

These are pretty fantastic, and are surprisingly buttery and moist.  My predicament was how to eat it (with a spoon? are fingers okay?) so I’ll leave that to you to figure out your method of consumption.  Enjoy with coffee or chai!

Jumble Cookies

Sorry sorry it’s been so long since my last update! I had a rough past week but I’m feeling emotionally and physically stable once more and ready to get back in the kitchen.

Theeese are the best vegan chocolate chip cookies I’ve had.  Suffice to say, the only that I remember having.  But they’re goooood.   According to Ann Gentry these cookies have a history, and a biscuit-like variation was used way back when people were emigrating from Europe to here on the Mayflower.   Older than sugar cookies, for sure.

Now that you’ve learnt a little somethin’, let’s get baking! This makes about 12-15 cookies… depending on how much batter you ingest (oops) #sorryimnotsorry

  • 1.25 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp sea salt
  • 6 oz vegan butter… which translates into 12 tbsp. yikes.
  • 1/2 c organic sugar
  • 1/2 c barley malt syrup (surprisingly good)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 c nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 325.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stir the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt all together in a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, on medium-high speed.  While that is blending, slowly beat in the vegan butter and maple syrup until it is fluffy, which should take 5-8 minutes.  You can do this by hand, by the way, but it will take significantly longer.
Mix in the barley malt, maple syrup, and vanilla, beating until fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Using an ice cream scoop, space 6 mounds of dough far apart from each other on the baking.  Bake for 20 minutes, until they puff and are golden-brown.
Okay.  So here’s where I interject and tell you how I messed up baking yet again.  Definitely no overconfidence this time, I was expecting some kind of mistake.  First of all, let me emphasize fluffy.   If it doesn’t look fluffy to you, keep mixing away! I didn’t do this, so my cookie flavor tasted awesome but the texture was meh.  Secondly… I was dumb again in terms of sizing the dough.  I put on way too much, and 9 cookies on the sheet instead of 6, and they ended up being ginormous and crowding each other.  Mine were not puffy, but crispy.  And they were a darker brown, not golden brown. I think I’ve learned my lesson.
All mistakes considered, this is still a fantastic vegan dessert.  Just as good if not better than its eggy, milky counterpart.
Enjoy with a nondairy milk! There’s almond, soy, rice, hemp, and oat milk, just to name a few!

 

 

 

Vanilla Cupcakes with Sweet Buttercream Frosting

Too good to be true, right? Vegan cupcakes are going to take over the world.  I can feel it.

These did not take long at all! With all this cooking under my belt I started feeling overconfident, and was all “5 minute preparation and 25 minute bake time? No problem.  Baking is so easy, why do people complain about it all the time?”

I found out why. My cupcakes ended up in monster proportions, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course.  I was unable to eat more than one without feeling sick, that’s all.

Well. Without further ado:

  • 2.5 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1.5 c organic cane sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 c plain almond milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c neutral cooking oil (I used canola)
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 0.5 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.  In another medium-sized bowl, mix together the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, oil, vanilla extract and almond extract.  Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just blended.

This is where I had my epiphany.  Normally there’s a little warning bell going off in my head every time I sneak my fingers into batter, because I could hear my parents saying: “there are uncooked eggs in there! You might get salmonella!” GUESS WHAT. Vegan = no eggs.  Aw yeah. Naturally, I went on to eat quite a bit of batter, feeling very self-congratulatory.

So you have your batter, now here’s where I messed up.  Divide the batter equally among the muffin tins… but be careful not to put in too much! Make sure the batter sits at least 0.5 inches below the top of the tin, ideally more.  My batter went right to the top of the tin, resulting in them puffing out over the edges when I took them out 25 minutes later.

Alright, so while the cupcakes are baking you are free to try out making the buttercream frosting.

  • 0.5 cup vegan butter
  • 0.5 c vegan shortening
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
This frosting tastes exactly what you’d expect it to taste like.  Butter and sugar.  Which is a little overwhelming to say the least.  Anyway, you go on to mix the butter and shortening on medium-high until just blended, then on a low setting slowly add in the sugar and vanilla extract. There’s your frosting.

After 25 minutes of baking, allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes.  You can either frost them with generic cupcake icing you can find at any grocery store or you can use the fancy, fatty frosting.

Here’s what they look like with generic icing:

And with the buttercream frosting:

Enjoy with iced coffee or soy milk