Tag Archives: cake

Cinnamon ‘Cheesecake’

4 Jul

I had every plan to spend the day cleaning the house and working on my thesis – but then I started thinking about cheesecake and it was all about these little babies:

Of course there are many, many wonderful vegan cheesecake recipes out there, including this no-bake Lemon Cheesecake from Animal Liberation Victoria‘s Vegan Easy.  But this is my baked cinnamon ‘cheesecake’ which is S approved.

I use the same pastry as I use for everything.  The recipe is here.  When using the pastry for sweet things, feel free to add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, or a few teaspoons of sugar.  I don’t because I don’t really have too much of a sweet tooth.  As you can see, I used a muffin pan to make individual serve ‘cheesecake’s, but you can easily use this to make a pie-sized cake.  Whichever you decide, blind bake the pie cases (either 6 individual or 1 full-sized) until almost golden brown.  While the case is in the oven prepare the filling.  Keep the oven on at about 180 C.

For the filling, you’ll need:

  • 150g of silken firm tofu
  • 200g of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

In a food processor, blend up the Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese and the tofu, until you have a very smooth mixture.  Add the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and continue blending – add more spice if you like.  Some tofus naturally make a sweeter mixture than others so add sugar only if you think the mix needs it.  Blend again.

Once the case(s) come out of the oven, spoon the mixture in and pop back in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the top is slightly browned.  When first out of the oven, the cheesecake will seem a little too wet – but it will firm up as it cools down.

Serve alone, or with a spoonful of a dairy-free vanilla icecream.

My special occasion variation on this is making the pie casing out of gingerbread instead of pastry: delicious!

On another note, I’m halfway through a Green Peas and Potato Masala (as I spoke about over here.)  It’s been kind of an experiment, so hopefully it works out well.  When the kinks are worked out, I’ll post the finished recipe.

Cupcakes Great and Small

27 Jun

Seriously: who doesn’t love cupcakes?!?  The truly wonderful thing about cupcakes is the simple fact that you can do so much with them!  I don’t really want to say too much about cupcakes in general, especially as a vegan chef recent won Cupcake Wars (on the Food Network in the US).  The winner, Chloe Coscarelli, also has a bunch of amazing looking recipes on her blog – including some of the winning cupcake recipes.

My personal cupcake procedure includes making a huge batch of vanilla cake batter, then changing the batter after each pan of 6 cupcakes:  the first are always vanilla, and then cookies, or chocolate, or nuts or other flavours and colours get added to each pan.  Depending how detailed you want to get it requires a bit of organisation: otherwise you end up with a delicious rhubarb and apple muffin batter when you really wanted to make a pan of chocolate next.

Yesterday, I was pretty boring, honestly.  I made vanilla, vanilla and raspberry and chocolate.  The vanilla and chocolate cuppies were iced with a vanilla and crushed-Oreo ‘butter’cream icing.

The base vanilla recipe:

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rice milk (or soy/almond/oat/etc.)
  • 2/3 cups of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly oil cupcake pans, or line with cases.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt. Create a well in the center and add milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.
Pour mix into cake pan and place in oven. Bake about 35-40 minutes. When the cake pulls away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, it’s ready.
Let cake cool about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen cakes from the side. Invert the cakes onto a plate and re-invert onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely.
Will make aprox. 16 cupcakes or 12 muffins

The raspberry bites are so easy, and work especially well in tiny cupcake pans.  I have only recently started eating raspberry, and I’m not really sure why because it’s so good!  This uses the plain vanilla mix, fill the mini pans half full, put in a big raspberry and fill up the rest of the pan.  Hey presto: a tiny delicious snack that makes you feel as though you’re eating something healthy.  The raspberries should rise slightly during the cooking, and just break though the top.

Birthday Extravaganza!

12 May

So, finally, here is the menu from my birthday extravaganza!

Cake: this was Chocolate Beetroot Cake, with Raspberry Icing (this is the same as the recipe below, with fresh raspberries whipped into the icing.)  The cakes are in three sizes: mini-bite sized cupcakes, regular cup-cakes and the four-slice cake.

Other than cake (which, lets face it, is the obvious birthday treat), we had almond cream, Paprika bread sticks and Dukkah bread sticks, beetroot marmalade triangles, Bean ‘sausage’ rolls (these were the definite hit of the night!), chocolate-chip cookies (my secret recipe), and vegan hot-dog pastry wraps.

To begin with, the almond cream, because this is super easy! The thing you have to be most careful of is not adding the water too quickly when wizzing the almonds up, otherwise you’ll end up with a kind of chunky almond soup.  By the by, you can do this with any nuts.  Cashews are my other favorite.  So, start by soaking your nuts over night.  About a cup of nuts, with about a cup and a half of water.  When they are nice and wet, pop them into the food processor, and start to wizz them up on a very low speed.  Extremely slowly, start adding water into them.  By the end you’ll want to have added about a cup of water.  You can also add sugar, but this will depend on what you want to use the mix for.  I suggest adding sugar if you’re going to use it as a substitute for whipped cream, like with cake!  You’ll know when you get a consistency you like, but keep turning up the speed and adding water, and eventually you will have beautiful almond cream!

The best dish of the night was – without a doubt – these bean rolls:

Here’s what you need:

  • A few sheets of Borgs Pastry (or whatever pastry you use, or you can make your own)
  • A cup each of borlotti beans, lima beans and red kidney beans (you can really use whatever beans you like, though, and this would probably go well with chickpeas too)
  • 1/2 a leek
  • 2 small onions
  • 1/2 each of a small green and red capsicum (or 1 whole of either)
  • a clove of garlic
  • basil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Start by cooking your beans up.  They will need to be a little bit on the smushy side, but not overcooked.  While they are boiling away, very finely chop up the leek, onion, and capsicums, and smash up the garlic.  Sautee off the leek and onion, but not to brown, before adding in the garlic, and then the capsicum.  Right at the end, throw in some well chopped up basil.

Drain off your cooked beans, then either lightly mash or wizz them up lightly.  You don’t want whole beans, but it should still be chunky.  Stir through the onion-leek mix (if you wanted to, you could throw in all kinds of other veges, but I like the simple and classic mix personally).

Cut your pastry sheets in half length ways, and on the edge of each sheet, scoop out a line of the bean mix – then roll them over.  Cut into whatever size you like – personally I make them into four little ones.

Bake in an oven at about 180, until they are golden and crisp, rotating once.  Make sure to place them seam-side down initially, otherwise the seams might burst open.

Serve immediately.  These can also be microwaved for lunches etc. but will turn out a little bit soggier than fresh.

All in all – a totally delicious birthday!

Tomato Soup and What Not To Do To Carrot Cake

23 Mar

Last night I made the tomato soup from the Veganomicon (although I have been meaning to buy the Veganomicon for a long time I’ve never had enough room in the budget but last week S finally bullied me into it.)  It was possibly the best tomato soup I have ever had in my life!  I know, that’s a pretty big call, but – there you go.  It’s the ‘tomato plus sun-dried tomato’ and the potato that are the real winners here.

We had it with some fresh homemade crusty white bread, which was perfect!

After dinner I thought I would make some carrot cup-cakes for S to take for snacks and a mini-cake for me to take with me to morning-tea today.  Like many people, I’m happy to play around with recipes, and if I’m missing an ingredient I’ll happily substitute away.  Most of the time, it works really well.

This time, not so much.  So, unfortunately the amazing carrot-cake recipe that I was planning on posting today after my magnificent triumph will not be so.  But, here is my carrot-cake substitution tip:  Maple Syrup and Carrot Cake are not best friends.

Instead, I thought I would leave you with my almost-world-famous Chocolate Beetroot Cake:

What you need

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 -3 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rice milk (or soy/almond/oat/etc.)
  • 2/3 cup of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 250 grams roasted beetroot (or, 225g canned pickled beetroot, but minus the vinegar)

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly oil deep 8 inch or 10 inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Create a well in the center and add milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.  Blend the beetroot until a smooth paste and fold gently into cake mix.
Pour mix into cake pan and place in oven. Bake about 35-40 minutes. When the cake pulls away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, it’s ready.
Let cake cool about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen cake from the side. Invert the cake onto a plate and re-invert onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely.
To make a two layer cake, prepare 2 8 inch pans and divide evenly between the pans.
Will make aprox. 16 cupcakes or 12 muffins

Buttercream Icing:

  • 1/2 cup nondiary butter (I use Nuttelex)
  • 3 cups icing sugar (make sure you use pure icing sugar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons rice milk
  • Assorted food colours (optional)

With an electric mixer, cream butter until it is smooth and begins to fluff. With the mixer on a low speed, add icing sugar and fluff for another few minutes. Add vanilla, milk and food colouring (if using). Once all ingredients are well-combined, beat on high until icing is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of rice milk if needed to achieve the right consistency.
Use right away or cover with glad wrap to prevent drying out until ready to use. Briefly re-whip before use.