Tuesday, November 2, 2010
tricks and treats...well, just the treats really.
I had hoped to post this by Halloween, but we had a whirlwind of a weekend so I am a bit late, which seems to be my m.o lately, but oh well. We've been baking all sorts of yummy autumn-inspired foods the past few weeks, including our family favs, pumpkin bread, sweet potato and mushroom lasagne, and apple crisp. For Halloween we decided to bake another of our all-time favorites, with a slight twist. I've been a vegetarian for more than twenty years, and have tried to go vegan several times with less than stellar results. But the more I read and learn about the dairy industry, the less compelled I feel to eat their products. So I decided that this time around I would give up dairy in small increments, and really commit myself to finding substitutes that I can fully enjoy, especially in baking, because I truly believe that life is too short to live without chocolate chip cookies and macaroni and cheese! Finding yummy alternatives to cheese and baked goods has been a challenge for me in the past, but I'm finding that I'm having greater success this time around. There is so much information out there on the blogosphere now, which I never had in my past vegan endeavours.
My favorite vegan blog thus far is veganyumyum.com. Her recipes are delicious, fun, and quirky, but not so weird that I have to go on a specialty-store scavenger hunt to find the ingredients. She has a post for vegan gingerbread cake with "cream cheese" frosting, but I decided to go with my favorite gingerbread recipe and make some vegan adjustments. It is definitely inspired by vegan yum yum's recipe, however. I used her recipe for vegan cream cheese frosting and it was delicious. I definitely recommend checking out her blog for tasty veg-inspired recipes.
Here is the recipe for vegan gingerbread cake, adapted from "Deceptively Delicious"
Earth Balance vegan margarine
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Ener-G egg replacer, pre-mixed
1 cup pureed carrot (I'm not going to even suggest that I steamed and pureed my own carrots. I used jarred baby food, organic, of course)
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup molasses
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. grated orange zest (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8x8 baking dishes with Earth Balance margarine and line the bottom with parchment paper. Flour the pans.
Mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, oil, and pre-mixed egg replacer until smooth. Beat in the carrot puree, soy yogurt, molasses, vanilla, and optional orange zest. Add the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top. bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Once cool, frost one cake with vegan cream cheese frosting, and stack the other cake on top, then frost the top of the other cake. You can keep it whole or cut it into small squares.
Here is the recipe for vegan cream cheese frosting from veganyumyum.com:
8oz. tofutti cream cheese
1/4 Earth Balance margarine
1 lb. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat all the ingredients with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Enjoy!