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I’ve got some pretty fantastic people in my life, case in point: my roommates who put up with me and my idiosyncrasies on a regular basis, and who are kind enough to chauffeur me around on occasion, including when my flight kept getting delayed and finally ended up getting in at around 2am. Similarly, my mom, who took it upon herself to make aforementioned roommates a ‘gratitude pillow’ for their efforts. I love my parents, but sometimes the things they do baffle/embarrass me a bit. The pillow, while a lovely gesture, has an embroidered square on the back denoting it as a gratitude pillow to them from my mom and the date which we got a bit of a chuckle out of.  Anyways, the next time I had a flight, I deemed it a perfect opportunity excuse to make cookies (although really, is there ever a bad time to make cookies!?)  which were then dubbed ‘gratitude cookies’ (my poor mother!).

I am still not incredibly confident with my skills at gluten free baking, so I adapted this recipe from the ever fantastic Karina over at The Gluten Free Goddess. They turned out pretty darn fantastic if I do say so myself, and they stayed nice and moist for several days post baking, which is a welcome surprise for gluten free baked goods.

1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil + 1/4 cup coconut spread + coconut milk (or 3/4 cup coconut oil) *See note*
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup coconut milk until frothy
1 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced dried tart cherries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients (sorghum flour through cinnamon) in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients (coconut oil through egg replacer) until fully combined.  Stir into dry ingredients. When fully combined, stir in oats, coconut, cherries, and chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout dough.
Scoop dough into tablespoon or so sized balls and place on silpat, or parchment lined baking sheet. Press down to flatten and bake for about 12 minutes, or until just golden around the edges, cooking for a few minutes longer if you prefer a crunchier cookie. Allow to cool on the sheet for a few minutes before removing to a baking rack or plate.
Enjoy or bestow upon others as a token of your appreciation (but don’t forget to test one a few before you send them off!  😉 )

*Note* I wanted to use unrefined coconut oil to impart a coconut flavour to the cookies, however I only had refined oil on hand, so I used a combination of oil and coconut spread (which I think was basically coconut butter-quite dry) mixed with a bit of coconut milk to make it smooth. If you have unrefined coconut oil, feel free to use just that.

I’m also submitting these to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday over at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Kathleen

I have a bit of a complex about feeding nonvegans vegan food if they know it is/I am vegan. I get all kinds of paranoid about how it’s my responsibility to show them that veganism isn’t all about eating lettuce and carrots and that it can be delicious and decadent and not at all restrictive. This usually winds up with me making some kind of dessert because really, who doesn’t like dessert/baked goods? Unfortunately that also usually means making something not so healthy, which doesn’t jive particularly well with my normal mode of baking where I try to sneak in as much good stuff as I can. I fear that I have ‘healthy’ tastebuds and even the baked goods that I think taste good (with flax seeds, spelt flour, etc.) won’t be sufficient for my vegan wowing aspirations. All that to say that I have an event on sunday which is causing me a bit of trauma in that department so if you have any veggie dish and dessert recommendations, let me know!

I baked this up to use up some of the colony of overripe bananas overtaking my kitchen counter and initially was thinking of going for a low sugar/stevia sweetened loaf but then remembered my sunday event and thought I could potentially bring this if I didn’t monkey with healthifying it. Alas, I think I need to get some groceries before truly beginning to embark on my amazing vegan recipe quest – currently the pantry houses no white sugar, a little bit of all-purpose flour (unbleached), and a smidge of brown sugar, no good! 😀

Anyways, those of you with fellow healthy tastebuds should be a-okay with this recipe, and really I don’t think it is that healthy tasting, but what do I know! 😉

Gingery Banana Bread

4 ripe bananas

1 cup brown sugar (or sucanat) not packed

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons minced ginger root

2 cups spelt flour

1/3 cups wheat germ

1/4 cup flax

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl, add brown sugar, oil, vanilla extract and ginger root. Mix.

Combine flour, wheatgerm, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a small bowl. Add to wet ingredients in batches stirring between each addition.

Pour into a loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Wait until the loaf cools to slice as it is quite delicate and will break (or just resign yourself to banana bread crumbles to top your oatmeal with the next morning! ;))

-K

Whew, VeganMofo is certainly a feast for the eyes! I have come across so many delicious looking things that I really want to remember, particularly with holiday goodies on my mind. I figured that a post of what I’m drooling over right now was in order (both for me and you- I always have a devil of a time trying to remember where I saw that delicious looking recipe)

First up, macarons!! How cute would chocolate macarons with pepperming filling be on a holiday tray? Or, peppermint and chocolate, chocolate and orange… (heh, do we sense a theme here with the chocolate?) I also think it would be fun to experiment with this recipe as a meringue; I was all exciting when I came up with the brilliant idea of a pumpking meringue pie, only to Google it and find out that alas, I am not quite the culinary trailblazer I had envisioned. Nevertheless, plenty of ideas about this one.

Cranberry Chocolate Tartelettes, yes please! How pretty and unique would these be on a holiday cookie tray, or baked up into a big tart for an end of meal showstopper?

Cranberry Gingerbread. Yum! I love fresh cranberries and this recipe is refined sweetener free and gluten-free!!

Chocolate Chestnut Tart. I love chestnuts and while I have never had them combined with chocolate, I am betting it’s a delicious marriage. Also, how pretty would this be sitting on the dessert table at a holiday meal? Or a slice of this while cozied up in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate/tea  and a good movie/company? Mmmm…

German Gingerbread Cookies, how adorable and the flavour combination sounds amazing!

 

Coconut Macaroons. I love me a good coconut recipe, and these look like the perfect way to try to replicate the non-vegan macaroons I used to love.

Not so vegan but on my list of things to veganize!!

Pomegranate White Chocolate Mousse. Sounds delectable! Love the stark contrast between white and red; I’m thinking making some mousse with just the white chocolate, and some pomegranate and swirling them in bowls/tartelettes.

Hope my American readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving with plenty of tasty food!

-K

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here; trees were put up on Sunday to the Nutcracker soundtrack and yesterday the city got a nice white covering so we are all set. Anyways, for those of you in the U.S. thanksgiving is just around the corner (those of us up North are already in full-blown Christmas mode) and you are probably more worried about the upcoming big (birdless) feast so I have compiled a list of thanksgiving appropriate recipes for you if you are still looking for ideas to cook up.

 

Baked Goods:

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

Orange Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread

Cranberry Tahini Cookies

Fall Harvest Cookies

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

Sugar-free, Gluten-free Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Gluten-free Cranberry Orange Poppyseed Muffins

Dutch Apple Cake

 

Main Dishes:

Moroccan Rice and Squash Pilaf

Sides:

Sweet Potato, Carrot Soup with Tempeh

Raw Sweet Potato, Pineapple and Apple Slaw

 

Menus:

2010 Thanksgiving

2009 Thanksgiving

Here’s to good food, friends and family and the start to a wonderful holiday season! 🙂
-K

 

My trip at the end of October took me out to visit relatives on my maternal side of the family. My uncle has an orchard and sent me back with a big bag of apples (among other veggies, I may or may not have had to acquire another bag in order to lug all of my foodstuffs on the plane! :D) that I have happily been munching through. However, I decided that such special fruit needed to be used for more exciting purposes than snacks and oatmeal add-ins, which is when I came up with the glorious plan of making apple caramel bars.

Think a peanut butter oatmeal crust topped with a delicious spiced caramel apple mixture. Oh it was a glorious fall treat in my minds eye, alas, in real life I had some issues. I made a peanut butter oatmeal cookie-like dough, pressed it into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan and cooked it up for about 20 minutes until it was browned. In the meantime I thinly sliced up three of the gifted apples, tossed them with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, and got to work on the caramel. I used the caramel recipe from Ricki’s Sweet Freedom cookbook . It was this step where I started to run into trouble. I don’t have a candy thermometer (well, that’s a lie, I found out post baking adventure that our household actually does have one, but for the purpose of the story, no candy thermometer) but figured I could go by her description of the consistency and the times listed just fine. Once my caramel got to that stage, I wanted to pour it over the apples that were spread on top of the crust, unfortunately my timing was poor and the crust wasn’t ready yet. When all parts were finally ready the caramel was past the pouring stage so I kind of spooned globs over the apples and hoped for the best, despite the fact that the bit I had nibbled off the spoon hardened in my mouth rather quickly. Fortunately after another stint in the oven, the caramel did soften up a bit more, though not enough to spread around and glue all the apples onto the crust. Anyways, after all that it was pretty darn tasty, although not the most photogenic (see below). I would like to give it another go because I think in theory it is quite a workable recipe, but I am giving it a bit of a rest for now. Let me know if any of you give it a try, or have a similar recipe. 🙂

-K

Vegan MofoIf you’re not Canadian, I think it might be a safe assumption that you’ve probably never heard of nanaimo bars. (correct me if I’m wrong!) If this is indeed true, don’t worry, I’m here to show you the light! 🙂

Nanaimo bars are a very rich, very Canadian dessert bar that originated from the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. They consist of three layers – the bottom, which is a dense chocolate/coconut/nut/crushed vanilla cookie affair, then a layer of vanilla custard-y icing, and finally a thin layer of chocolate. I grew up eating these (my mom’s recipe actually uses raw egg, yick!), and they were definitely something I was thrilled to have (very!) successfully veganized.

IMG_0961

Yes, I eat bars with forks. Don't you?

When I made these earlier this year, the pan was scraped clean at a truly embarrassing speed. Now, for the sad part: I didn’t write down the recipe! I’m really kicking myself for not having recorded what I did, because I know I went to great lengths to make these really delicious – even making my own cookie crumbs, etc.

I’m a big tease, please forgive me. At some point, I promise I’ll try my hand at them again – if you don’t beat me to it! 🙂

-Eve

Vegan Mofo

I love the idea of raw desserts. I love how rich and flavourful they can be, and I love how it is possible to create delicious treats with no baking whatsoever! However, what I don’t love is the ingredient requirements of most raw dessert recipes. 4 cups cashews? No thanks! 1 cup coconut oil? As if! 1/2 cup agave? Do I look like I’m made of money? And so on….

To compound the issue, most of the time I’m cooking for one, so there is no way I need a full size anything floating around the kitchen! Fortunately, raw desserts lend themselves well to being downsized. Here is my recipe for a totally delectable Raw Tropical Cheezecake for One:

IMG_1843

makes 4 small servings

Crust:

-1/8 cup almonds
-2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
-1 medjool date
-1/2 tbsp. agave
-1/4 tsp. vanilla

Combine in a food processor or blender, and grind until it forms a ball with no big chunks of almond. Grease a small container (I used a tupperware) with coconut oil and press the crust into the bottom.

IMG_1821

Cheezecake:

-1/2 cup cashews (soaking is probably a good plan if you aren’t using a high powered blender)
-5 chunks fresh pineapple, or about 1/4 cup packed
-2 tbsp. agave
-1/2 tbsp. coconut oil

Combine in a blender and process until totally smooth and custard-like. Pour onto the crust and smooth out the top. Cover and freeze (I left it in overnight), or until totally firm. It won’t freeze solid or feel frozen, so it is likely best served straight out the freezer. I ate mine with some fresh pineapple coulis. Enjoy! 🙂

IMG_1859

-Eve

This recipe is from my mom, who says she got it from the Dutch neighbours that lived next door in the tiny Quebec logging town she grew up in. Given that, I feel confident enough posting it here – but if you recognize it as your family recipe, let me know! This is reasonably simple to put together, but is fancy enough to make for guests. It’s also delicious – the running joke in my family was that we had no idea how well this lasted, since there were never leftovers past the next day’s breakfast.

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Dutch Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 425F and grease a pizza pan.
Prepare the apple slices first:
-Peel and core 4 large apples (I like Braeburn, but my mom always used McIntosh), and slice them into medium-thin slices. Each apple should yield around 14 slices. Toss with a dash of lemon juice and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine:
-1 ener-g egg replacer, prepared as per package instructions (1 1/2 tsp. powder whisked with 2 tbsp water)
-2/3 c. non-dairy milk
Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, measure:
-1 1/2 c. a.p. flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-pinch salt
Combine these, and then add:
-1/4 c. COLD non-dairy butter
With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until well combined – until it resembles sand, with no lumps of butter.
Quickly add the egg replacer/milk liquid to the flour/butter bowl, and stir until just combined- don’t overmix! It will be quite moist. Scoop the batter/dough onto the greased  pizza pan, and use floured hands to press it into the pan. Cover with the apple slices (start at the outside of the pan, and work in!) and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine:
-1/4 c. room temperature non-dairy butter
-1/2 c. brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
It will resemble a thick paste.

When the 25 minutes are up, remove pie and turn the oven down to 350F. Spoon the butter/sugar/spice paste over the hot pie, and spread it around so that everything is evenly glazed. Return to the 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the edges look like they might burn before everything else cooks, cover them with a tin foil edging.
This is wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla non-dairy ice cream, but I strongly encourage everyone to try at least a sliver of this, served cold, for breakfast the next day!

-E

Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread

Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread

 

Another festive goodie! I like this one because it’s actually pretty good for you, so eat guilt free! The texture is best on the day of baking so don’t leave it too long before eating. Feel free to substitute the flours with what you have.

Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread

5 tsp ground flaxseed

9 Tbsp water

1/2 cup silken tofu

1 tsp lemon juice

3 very ripe bananas

1/4 cup wheatgerm

1/4 cup each quinoa and whole wheat flour

2 cups spelt flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup each of brown and granulated sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9″ by 5″ loaf pan and set aside.

Combine flaxseed, water, tofu and lemon juice in blender. Mix until well combined. Add bananas one at a time, blending between each addition. How smooth you make it at this point depends on personal preference. I don’t like banana chunks in my bread so I made it completely smooth.

Combine wheatgerm, flours, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

Mix sugars, applesauce, vanilla and spices together and combine with blender mixture. Stir into flour mix in a few batches. Don’t overmix. Fold in walnuts and cranberries.

Pour into pan, smooth top and bake for 1 hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

K