Tag Archives: baking

Next Day Brownies

Ah, the eternal quest for good vegan brownies continues.  JUST KIDDING IT’S OVER THEY’RE RIGHT HERE.

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I can’t understand why I didn’t make these before.  They’re Isa’s recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen, and clearly they are ace.  The perfect balance between fudgy and cakey brownies and a deep chocolate flavor make these epic.  The best part about them is that they get better the longer you let them sit!  Thus, I dub them “Next Day Brownies.”

(recipe courtesy of Isa)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 12 oz extra firm silken tofu (the vacuum packed kind, like Mori-Nu)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocloate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Droste)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder

Directions

  • In a blender puree the tofu, flour and water until smooth. Pour it into a sauce pan, and wisk constantly over low heat until it thickens (it should not boil, if it starts to turn the heat down). This takes about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips, salt, vanilla and sugar. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Set the mixture aside to cool completely.
  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • When mixture is cool enough mix in the oil. (It can take about 20-30 minutes to cool, give it a stir once in awhileand stick it in the fridge to make it cool faster).
  • Sift the 1 1/2 cups of flour, the cocoa and the baking powder together. Fold in the tofu mixture until well combined and smooth.
  • Spread evenly in a greased baking pan for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.


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I had a party and people kind of picked at them as they cooled, but it was the breakfast brownie the next morning that made my eyes roll back in my head.  What’s the deal!?  Something about sitting in the fridge overnight allowed the chocolate chips I added to the batter to harden and the flavors to mingle together in bliss.   I added 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1/4 C walnuts to the recipe for my own preference.  I’m now imagining all the add-ins that could make these even more incredible!   These brownies are bomb.  That’s all I can say.

So Christmas Happened

I was around for it.

So were these guys:

Gingerbread Fellas

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They weren’t too happy about their fate but that’s what you get for being delicious.

This stuff was around too:

Orange Cranberry Nut Bread

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I felt very Martha using the bakery mini-loaf sleeves and name tags.  When I set about to making these, I realized the only appropriate baking oil I had on hand was coconut oil, so I went for it.  There was definitely a coconutty flavor to the bread, but it worked!  Like a tropical holiday vacation in your mouth!

I’ve been making a lot of soup recently and doing a lot of roasted vegetables with different marinades.  One of these days I’ll catch up on my posts.  Well.  Probably not.

Kitchen Sink Muffins

It was early in the morning on a Tuesday.  The bananas weren’t feeling well.  They were sick and tired of hanging out on the kitchen counter, and they weren’t getting any younger.  Quite frankly, they were lookin’ bad.  The bleary eyed stranger who wandered into the kitchen on that fateful morning took one glance at the bananas.  She had once known them as green, naive, unspoiled by the harsh reality of life outside the grocer store.  Now, well past the prime of their lives, the bananas called out for mercy.

What?

So I have about two more months in this apartment before I roll out and let my lease cruise – peacing out to the east coast that big New York place.  I’m trying to use up everything I have in my cupboard that I can’t easily donate to a shelter.  Here come the muffins.

I made up the recipe and considering there’s no sugar or Earth Balance I wasn’t sure how they’d come out – therefore I titled them:

Ye of Little Faith Banana Kitchen Sink Muffins

2 bananas
1/4 C apple sauce
1/3 C unsweetened soy milk
1/4 C brown rice syrup
2 T maple syrup
1 t almond extract
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C white flour
1/2 t baking soda
handful of currants and raisins

I just really mashed up the wet ingredients and then mixed everything into the dry ingredients, poured them into a muffin tin, and called it a day.  Well, beside baking them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  I only made 8 because I didn’t trust them to rise very much.  The did actually rise beautifully, so it was a treat to have a real muffin top (without giving anyone the less preferred sort of muffin top – get it?  heaaallthyyy).

Also, how precious is this little guy?

A Daring Cheesecake Experiment

Yay yay yay, I finally get to post my Daring Bakers April Challenge!  Drop the cupcake confetti! Strike up the octogenarian marching band! Introducing:

Vegan Cheesecake Pops

Original Recipe from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) – Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

My Adjustments

First of all, I halved everything because as many wonderful friends that I have who humor my baking – I was afraid of having a freezer full of cheesecake pops haunting me day and night; tempting me with their charm as cheesecake pops are apt to do. Secondly, I replaced the (2.5) eggs with (3/4 C) firm silken tofu. For the heavy cream, I used Silk soy creamer combined with 3 T cornstarch – just in cake anything decided to get soggy. I shaped the bites into squares at first – no easy feat. Since I used a 9 inch cake pane, I decided to just slice the chilled cheesecake into squares after trying to shape the first four. I used semi-sweet vegan chocolate to dip and decided to forgo the use of shortening. Finally, I made a little mixture of confectioners sugar and water for a white decorative drizzle.

The Results

WOW. These were SO good. And precious. And POPULAR! In a coincidental turn of fate, my friend Dawn celebrated her birthday a few weekends ago and asked me to make – what else – cake lollipops for her Murder Mystery dinner. I couldn’t believe it when she asked me to turn on Martha Stewart because she was making lollipops out of cake. I was like, Martha Who? So already on top of it.

I really didn’t have much of a hard time with these at all. I was scared, since it was my first time making cheesecake AND my first Daring Bakers challenge. It probably went so well because I was extremely cautious and followed all the instructions carefully. Which is what I normally don’t do. Ever. Because I believe in anarchy and chaos and general rule breaking.

I walked these kids to Dawn’s party in an insulated case because I didn’t know how they’d hold up to the heat as I walked up the street (yay for having wonderful neighbors!). The party-goers, all dressed up as literary characters, gave these things a loving reception. Sure, people were getting murdered left and right, but that didn’t stop anyone from enjoying lollipops. Because that’s what life is really all about: Overcoming the bad stuff and eating good stuff.