A Vegan Browniebabe?


Who doesn’t like brownies, let alone chocolate?
Myriam over at Once Upon A Tart is certainly onto something. Everyone loves brownies, one simply can’t have too many recipes for them. Honestly, it’s one of those desserts that go from after school snack to decadent dessert.

I am enjoying the patio and the start of summer. The task before me is to create a fantastic, humble, vegan brownie. All brownies are good but there are certain things that make a brownie great. Chocolate is of the utmost importance, giving the brownie it’s characteristic richness. Next is the texture; fudgy, not cakey. I suppose that’s just my personal opinion, but if you wanted such, you should just bake a cake.

After three attempts, I found my childhood, then I went searching for some grown-up summer decadence. A brownie is just a brownie, even if it has peanut butter, cherries, cream cheese, caramels, or nuts but a mere spoonful of ice cream, creates a dessert.

For your next summer soirée, take that afternoon chocolate rush to a new high. It takes a bit of time and construction but it’s well worth it. Brownies, caramel, pecans and ice cream all sealed in a perfect chocolate package.
All vegan, of course.

 

VEGAN FUDGE BROWNIES

1/2 Package Medium Tofu
1/2 Cup Vegan Margarine
1/2 Cup Cocoa
1/2 Cup Granulated Fruit Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 – 3 Tablespoons Broken Pecans
4 -5 Tablespoons Vegan Caramel

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Prepare a 9″x 9″ pan with a light misting of spray oil and line the bottom with a square of parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, whip the tofu until smooth.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine ad add the sugar. Stir in the cocoa and whisk until smooth.
Meanwhile, add the brown sugar, salt and vanilla to the tofu. Blend well.
Combine the cocoa mixture with the tofu and sugar until it is well incorporated.
Remove the blade from the food processor and fold in the flour.
Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle the top with the pecan pieces.
Bake for approximately 20 -25 minutes, until the the top appears set and shiny.
Drizzle over the caramel, and allow brownies to cool completely.

ARCTIC AVALANCHE BROWNIES

To construct these brownies you will need:
1 Package of semi-sweet chocolate chips, look for a sweetened pure chocolate.
Read the label to avoid all milk ingredients.
1 Pint Soy Good Vanilla (or Butterscotch Swirl)
2 Tablespoons Margarine

Once the Vegan Fudge Brownies have cooled completely, remove them from the pan and trim the edges by about 1/4″.
Let the ice cream sit for about 10 – 15 minutes to soften. Once you are able, place the entire contents in to the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix the ice cream on low to make it smooth but don’t allow it to melt.
Wash and reline the brownie pan with two sheets of parchment which will run up the sides, over hanging slightly on each edge.
Add more caramel, if desired.
Spoon the ice cream over the brownie and smooth to the edge with spatula.
Place the pan into the freezer to reset the ice cream. (About one hour.)
While you are waiting place a glass bowl over a simmering saucepan of water. Melt the margarine in the bowl then add half of the chocolate chips. Stir occasionally to smoothly melt, then add the remaining chips.
Fit cooling rack with a cookie sheet beneath it.
Once the ice cream has set, remove the brownie from the pan by pulling up from the parchment.
Run a chefs knife under hot water and quickly cut the brownies into approximately 2 1/2 ” x 4″ pieces.
Transfer the brownies to the cooling rack.
Using a ladle, quickly and evenly spoon the melted chocolate over the center of the ice cream/brownie square.
Return everything to the freezer until set and ready to serve.

Serves 6

First runner up didn’t come without parting gifts. How flattered was I when I was notified of these kind words from the “food porn” site Chocolate Chipped:

“This animal-friendly brownie dessert is the creation of Dayna at Vegan Visitor, and she has totally blown my mind. Although free of the usual things we think of going into a brownie (eggs, milk, butter, etc), she has managed to bake one of the yummiest looking brownie desserts (vegan or otherwise!) that I’ve come across in some time.”

Vegan Caramel


A super treat perfect with so many things especially vegan brownies, Caramel Walnut Tarts and coffee.

VEGAN CARAMEL

1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegan Butter, like Earth Balance
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
Pinch of Salt

Make sure to have everything ready… mise en place, as they say.
Melt the sugar in a large saucepan over medium, heat.
Remove the sugar from the heat once it has liquified and has become a light amber colour.
Note that it may take a bit to get things melting, but once it gets going, keep a keen eye on it as the sugar will go from ligt to amber to burnt quickly.
Add the margarine, whisking while it melts.
Sprinkle over the pinch of sugar.
Finally, add the soy milk. Take caution as it will spatter and bubble. (Sugar is much hotter than water when it boils.)

Whisk the caramel until it’s smooth. Transfer it to a heat resistant container like a mason jar or a Pyrex measuring cup. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Refrigerate until you are ready to use. Warm briefly prior to serving to liquify.
It will keep for up to two weeks.

Yield 1 Cup.

Everyone’s Favourite Banana Cake


In honor of Mother’s Day it’s all about all things sweet.

… and not to mention comforting. With banana cake here’s certainly both.

Call it banana bread or call it cake, I don’t know any mom who hasn’t cut out a slice after the need has arisen to use up some over ripened bananas.

So perfect for a Mother’s Day luncheon, especially if your Mother in Law happens to be vegan, as is mine.

There is certainly no reason to deprive any woman on her big day!

As most moms will tell you this is the best way of using up those bananas. In our house we’re pretty particular over the colour yellow so once bananas are streaked with brown they’re destined for the freezer where they keep wonderfully until something delicious is ready for them.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

EGGLESS BANANA CAKE

3 Ripe Bananas
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Salt
Replacer equal to one egg (+ water to package direction)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup Soft Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Pieces
1/2 Cup Broken, Toasted Pecans (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large mixer, cream the bananas with the oil, sugar and vanilla.

Prepare the egg replacer as to the package directions and add it and the salt to the banana mixture.

Once well combined, add the baking powder and soda, followed by the flour, adding it in batches.

Stir in chocolate pieces and nuts, if using.

Oil and dust a 8″ round pan with flour. Pour in the batter and bake on the centre rack for about 40 -45 minutes.

Check bounce at the centre of the cake or insert and remove a toothpick. The cake is moist but it should come out fairly clean.

Allow to cool slightly and dust with confectioners sugar.

This recipe will also make a great loaf (55 – 65 minutes), 12 muffins(18-20 minutes) or 24 mini muffins (about 13 – 15 minutes).

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup


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VEGAN CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

2 Tbsp oil
1 Onion diced (red if you can)
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 C Dried porcini or shitake mushrooms
4 C Sliced mushrooms – white, porcini, portabello, shitaki approx. 2 medium portabellos and 6 cremini. (the earthier the mushroom the richer the flavor)
3T Cognac (optional)
1 Potato (peeled and cubed)
2T Flour
1 Sprig of fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
2T Large leaf parsley (finely chopped)
10 C Water
1 C Soy milk
2T Arrowroot powder

Method

In a large bowl cover the dried mushrooms with 6 cups of boiling water. Allow the mushrooms to re-hydrate for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms with cheesecloth or a clean tea towel to reserve the liquid. Set the mushrooms and the liquid aside.

Prepare the onion and garlic and heat the oil in a large stock pot. Sauté the onions and garlic until they are soft and translucent (about 2 minutes), add the cognac and cook the alcohol down for about 1 minute. Add the raw mushrooms and in batches if necessary not to overcrowd the pot for about another 2 minutes. Listen for a persistent sizzle, stirring occasionally to cook evenly.
Add the re-hydrated mushrooms, salt, pepper and rosemary.
Toss the mushrooms with the flour, stir to coat.
Add the reserved liquid from the mushrooms and the remaining 4 cups of water, scraping any “bits” from the bottom of the pan. Add the potatoes and bring the soup to a rolling simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once the potato is soft, remove and discard the rosemary sprig and reserve about 1 cup of the mushrooms, stir in chopped parsley and set aside.

Purée the soup using a immersion blender or in batches with a food processor.
Dissolve the arrowroot powder in the cold soy milk and drizzle mixture into the hot soup.
Adjust seasoning.

Serve garnished with reserved mushrooms and brushed garlic crustini.