Friday, November 30, 2012

Fabulous Fudge



I am in love with the recipes from the Toronto Vegetarian Association bake off!  I think I should try each and every one as they truly are winners.  I made this one exactly as written and it turned out beautifully.  They hold up well even at room temperature for about an hour or so (well that is the case in my kitchen as it is fall/winter here on the prairies and it is snowing lightly as I write) and the taste is reminiscent and superior to that of traditional peanut butter chocolate bars. Even my niece Cristina, who normally does not like chocolate, loved these and said she plans to make them for her office annual Christmas cookie exchange. Here is the recipe as posted by TVA. I used my favorite Camino baking chocolate and my favorite creamy peanut butter (the one with the two bears on it)! Key to best flavor is a neutral tasting margarine (I opted for vegan Becel).




Dashing Dan’s Fabulous Fudge
Dan Pitman
Winner Vegan and Gluten-Free - TFVBO 2010
Recipe from “Peanut Butter Planet” by Robin Robertson (now out of print). Used with permission. Check out Robin’s website: www.globalvegankitchen.com or blog: http://veganplanet.blogspot.com.

Ingredients
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margerine
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.  Place the chocolate, peanut butter, and margarine in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.Turn off the heat and whisk in the sugar and vanilla until smooth and well-blended.Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and cool until firm.  Cut into squares, Keep refrigerated.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Rachel's Birthday Cupcakes GF





I was so excited with how beautiful these cupcakes turned despite not being made from traditional white flour that I had to post them here for you all to see.  The taste was really delicious and I hope I can replicate them again!  I don't always do everything exactly the same each time - the only way to get the best results is by look and feel.  Even remaking my own recipes the measurements don't always work out. I believe it really does depend on the humidity in the air, brand of flour, type of sugar and heavens knows what other factors.  So learn to trust your own eye when deciding whether to add another tablespoon or two of flour if batter looks too runny or another tablespoon or two of liquid if it looks too dry.

The revision was based on this previous post dated 9/17/2011.  When making GF I tend to add more batter per cupcake than what is traditionally called for as due to being vegan and gluten free you're not going to get the same rising power.  I was really pleased with the height of these - exceeded my expectations. Lucky day, right humidity etc. I started with 1/2 cup organic brown rice flour, 1/4 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup of potato starch but ended up adding a couple of more tablespoons of each as my batter was much too runny. I used soy milk (silk original). I did not have vanilla pods or maple extract so only used 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract.

The caramel burns very fast  so do heed her warnings and for one dozen cupcakes I think 1/2 the recipe is totally sufficient.  I had lots left over - not a big problem as it does taste like yummy homemade toffee once it hardens! If you like to have super high frosting I suggest doubling recipe below and do use electric beaters (makes it much creamier and thereby significantly improves the taste)! Personally, I prefer vegan Becel for frosting instead of Earth Balance spread. It has a lighter taste and feel in your mouth.  For baking though I love the convenience and flavor of Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks! I used my beautiful, retro Glo-Hill cake server to display my cupcakes and used nutella wafers ( that my niece Cristina bought back from Italy for me this fall) as dividers between them.

Here is the original recipe: by Sherry Vanstone.(Winner Vegan Cupcakes and Best in Show - TFVBO 2010).


Vanilla Cake Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
(mix dry ingredients in one bowl)
1 cup soy or almond milk
(almond milk will separate- don’t sweat it, it turns out fine)
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract + the seeds of one whole vanilla pod
1/2 tsp maple extract
1 tsp vinegar

(mix wet ingredients together, then add to dry)
Pour batter into cupcake liners in a muffin tin.  Bake at 350 for 18-20
minutes. Take out as soon as the risen centre springs back.

Frosting
1/3 cup Earth Balance Margarine
2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp soy creamer
1 tsp vanilla extract and more vanilla seeds
Whip on high until fluffy.
Once you have your cupcakes frosted- then make the caramel.   The caramel needs to be warm to drizzle.

Caramel
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp Earth Balance Margarine
1/4 cup soy creamer
Using the stove top, melt the sugar on medium heat in a heavy pan.  Stir constantly.  It burns FAST!  When completely melted, take off heat and immediately add your Earth Balance.  Use a metal whisk to incorporate completely and work out any lumps.  Work quickly.  Pour in all the soy creamer and whisk (it will bubble up a lot).  Keep whisking until it’s smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cupcakes and add a few grains of sea salt.