Vegan by Nature

inherent recipes from a passionate cook

Archive for dessert

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (Vegan!)

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

My meringues did not go crispy as I’d hoped but I do think this is more to do with the fact that my oven doesn’t close very well and so the heat is very uneven and often baking can be unpredictable. However the result was very much edible, more chewy.

The mascarpone recipe (below) was very much my own creation and worked really well. All in all I was very satisfied with how this one turned out.

Another tough one for making the recipe Vegan, but I shall not be deterred. I used a meringue recipe provided here (Thanks to K.Anush):


Servings: Makes 12- 15 small meringues


1-1/4 tsp plus 1 tsp soya protein isolate powder (this should be at least 90% protein and preferably unflavoured)
2-1/2 tbsp water
6 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar, granulated sugar or icing (confectioner’s) sugar, mixed

3/8 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/8 tsp cream of tartar or 1 tsp cider vinegar

An electric mixer (it would be too difficult to whip by hand but a hand-held mixer will suffice, which is what I used)


Preheat the oven to 110°C/230°F. Grease a large baking tray adequately. Place the sugar in a small bowl and stir in the guar or xanthan gum and 1 tsp soya protein powder. Set aside. Place the water in a mixing bowl and sprinkle over the 1-1/4 tsp soya protein powder. Whip at the highest speed on the dial (i.e. not a ‘turbo’ setting) until mixture has increases in volume considerably and becomes a dense white foam that forms small, soft peaks when the whisk is lifted.

Usually, as you whip, the mixture foams and the bubbles increase in quantity, and become smaller and are closer to each other; the mixture grows white and fluffy. This takes about 10 minutes, sometimes longer, so be patient. (If you experience problems at this stage, you can add the cream of tartar or vinegar and a foam should soon form).

Now, add the cream of tartar or vinegar and whip at high speed until the mixture thickens and forms slightly stiffer peaks. I have known the mixture to reach a stage where the bowl can be turned upside down and it doesn’t fall out. However, don’t try this unless you are sure it’s safe!

With the mixer running on medium speed, add a tablespoon of the sugar mixture. When the foam stiffens, increase the speed and add the remaining sugar in three or four batches, working quickly. As soon as the sugar is incorporated, add the next batch. Then, whip for no more than a minute till the mixture is thick and glossy and forms fairly stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted. Now, you can turn the bowl upside down!

Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray, or pipe into swirls. Bake for 1½ – 2 hrs until meringues are hard to the touch. They should also come off the tray easily. Allow to cool before removing from the tray and serving. They will harden further on cooling.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (mascarpone):

110g block of tofu

4 tsps soy yogurt

juice of 1/2 lime (more if you like that tangyness)

2 tsps melted vegan margarine

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup + 1tbsp cocoa powder

I like to add vanilla seeds and on this occassion almond flavouring

If desired you may wish to add in some agave to make it sweeter, my sweet tooth isn’t huge.

Blend this altogether until deliciously smooth and leave in the fridge for at least three hours to set up nicely.

Then assemble as you please 🙂


Daring Baker’s Rose and Almond Profiteroles :)

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

This was some challenge. I tell you I broke into a sweat during the cooking process as I wanted so much for these little mamas to have a hole in the centre! I began with this recipe I found I had to add 1/2 tbsp more of ener-g and in the end could have incorporated a good deal more sweetness.

I also froze the pate a choux before baking to increase the space between the marg and the batter. I did get holes! A little more cakey than pastry but for a first time even I was impressed!

The cream filling was based on a lovely piping cream recipe from this old book I have to which I added almond flavouring to one and rosewater and raspberry puree to the other. I can share this recipe if you’d like. It’s fail safe.

Daring Bakers: Steamed Pudding!!

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

For my vegan, wheat free version of this pudding I took this recipe and made a few alterations.I omitted the hazelnuts, dates and date syrup. Instead I popped in some agave, fresh raspberries, spelt flour and cranberry jam in the centre.

The steaming contraption:

My puddings took slightly longer to cook than the recipe suggests but I think this is simple characteristic of my oven. That aside, it produced a lovely, fluffy pudding with just the right amount of cocoa to compliment the sharp raspberries. Do give it a go!

Un-cheese cake! Blackcurrant and cherry.

This is a big achievement for me and I finally feel like I have perfected the recipe without the use of fake cream cheese. Hooray!


Here goes:

1 avocado

1 packet of silken tofu approx 300g (I used homemade from 2litres of soy milk)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp barley malt syrup (could sub with maple or rice syrup here but if using maple increase arrowroot quantity)

juice of 1 lime

fresh vanilla or 2 tsp good vanilla extract

4 tbsps fructose (it is 3 times sweeter than ordinary sugar so adjust accordingly)

2 tbsps arrowroot

For the base:

I made a random graham cracker recipe with a basic biscuit recipe subbing some gram flour and wholemeal spelt for the ordinary flour. This one’s good

1/3 cup melted dairy free margarine

1/3 cup fructose

1 tbsp barley malt syrup

1. Once baked and cooled whizz the biscuits in a processor until it resembles sand.

2. Slowly pour in 1/3 melted dairy free marg followed by the fructose and then stop the processor. Add in the syrup, then back on until combined.

3. Press into a springform cake tin and refridgerate while making the filling.

4. Whizz all the ingredients together in a processor until thick creamy consistency. Pour on top of the base and cover with topping of your choice. I like blackcurrants and cherries myself.

5. Refridgerate overnight minimum, but if you can wait longer it’s soo worth it.


Sunday Sticky Apple and Spelt Cinnamon Buns

I was originally quite dubious about making these since I normally have bad experiences with yeast breads, but seriously these work a treat. They are also free from refined sugar, wheat and low in fat but super sweet! I used fructose and other various substitutions in my recipe but feel free to replace these with a sweetener of your choice.


(Makes approximately 6 rolls)

For the dough:

1 Tbsp dried yeast

1/2 tsp fructose

1/8 cup warm water

Mix these together in a bowl and allow to sit until nice and frothy, about 10 mins

1/4 cup dairy free milk

1 Tbsp fructose

3 Tbsp applesauce

Mix these into the yeast mix until well combined.

1 1/3 cups wholemeal spelt flour

3/4 tsp salt

Gradually mix in the flour and the salt until combined.

2 Tbsp dairy free margarine

2 Tbsp applesauce

Finally add the marg and the applesauce into the mix, ensuring the marg is all mixed in.

Dough will be pretty sticky. Turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead in more flour (about 1/2 cup) for about 8-10 mins. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dish cloth. Set aside to rise in a warm place for around 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.

For the Filling:

1/4 cup fructose

1 Tbsp Barley Malt (or 1/4 brown sugar)

1/2 cup your favourite nuts, I used pecans and almonds

1/2 cup raisins

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cloves

1 Tbsp Barley malt syrup + 2 Tbsp water or 1 Tbsp maple syrup

4 Tbsp melted dairy free margarine

1/2 tsp fresh vanilla bean

While the dough is rising make the filling. Mix all the ingredients above and set aside. Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a well floured surface, it will still be sticky so feel free to use flour as needed. Knead for about 4 mins. Cover with a cloth and allow to rest before rolling out.

Flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 30cm x 15, not too thin or the filling will escape!

1/2 cup chopped apples

Spread the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. Spread the chopped apples evenly over the filling and press gently into the dough.

It gets a bit messy here. Carefully fold over one of the 15cm edges and begin rolling the dough into a sausage.

Using a sharp knife cut into 6 equal sections and arrange onto a greased pan, all snug together. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest either in a warm place for arounf 2 hours/doubled in size or in the fridge overnight. I rest mine overnight. If doing this be sure to leave the buns out of the fridge for around 20 mins before baking.

Pre-heat to gas mark 5/375 f/200 c. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Food explosion

What better than to have a whole day to poduce some really good food. Here is what I came up with today.

The Entree: Chips and dips

1/2 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum (if possible)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fructose
1 1/2 cups water

Lightly grease a frying pan
Sift the dry ingredients together
Whisk in the water until well combined
Heat the pan on a medium heat
Do a test pancake by dropping some of the mix into the pan, it’s hot enough when the mix starts cooking right away

Pour a generous tbs of the mix into the pan and with the back of a metal spoon quickly swirl the mix around the whole base of the pan to get the thinnest possible pancake

Once the mix is no longer wet on top, flip it over and cook on the other side until slightly brown.


Tortilla chips:

corn pancakes

Cut some corn pancakes (previous post) into triangles.
Sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet and ensure both sides of the pancake are well covered with cornmeal
Spread them out
brush with oil
sprinkle on some seasoning (i used some paprika on some of mine)

Bake in a really hot oven until golden edges appear then turn the heat down to medium and bake for a further 20 mins or until the chips are nice and crisp.


1 tbs + 1 tsp tomato paste/puree
smoked paprika
1 tbs lime juice
salt and pepper
1/2 chopped red onion
2 baby onions
1 tbs water

Microwave the onions for about 4 mins until softened
Put these and the rest of the ingredients into a processor
Add more water if necessary
season to taste

Pea and Endamame Guacamole:

1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup endamame beans
1/4 cup water
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp olive oil
chopped corriander

Cook the peas and beans in the water until softened
Blend the peas, beans, lime juice, oil and salt together until smooth
Mix in the chopped corriander



The main:

Clean tasty roast veggies with edamame beans, blanched green beans and crispy soy tofu/meat-free hot dogs




The Dessert:


1/2 nectarine (de-stoned)
1 tsp lime juice
lime zest
grated nutmeg

Wrap in some foil and bake in a moderate oven until soft and sticky around 50 mins

Blackcurrant cream:

sweetened soya milk
blackcurrant jam

Mix until gloopy or to suit your preferred consistency



Some bread:

21/4 cups wholegrain spelt flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp fructose

100ml water
150ml sweetened soya milk
2 tsps vinegar
60ml or 1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to gas 4/180 C
Grease a 2lb loaf tin
Sift together the dry ingredients (I like to do this with a whisk to make things nice n light)
Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl
Gently mix the wet into the dry, careful not to over mix, just enough so that things are nicely combined
Pour batter into the loaf tin
Bake for 50 mins and then remove from the tin and bake for a further 10 mins


Monome Birthday Cake (Vanilla with Sour Cherry Buttercream/Frosting)

For my brother’s 23rd I decided to make a cake in the shape of a lovely device known as a monome. It is used in music making and more information about this can be found at his site

I can however bring you the other lovely details about how I made this cake:


Sponge recipe
2 cups flour (I used a gluten free mix if using ordinary flour add an extra 3/4 cup)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsps xanthan gum (if using gluten free)

1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer

2 Tbsp water

1 3/4 cups Non-dairy milk Milk

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup non-dairy margarine

1 cup fructose ( or 1 1/2 cups sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract + seeds of one vanilla pod

3/4 tsp almond extract

1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 375F/Gas 5

Grease two 8″ cake tins

Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the ener-G with 2 Tbsp water with a small whisk or a fork. Mix for 30 seconds to a minute, until smooth and creamy. Mix the ener-G mixture with almond milk and 1/4 cup water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. I like to use electric beaters for maximum air incorporation. Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and 1/4 cup water, beat until smooth and combined.

Add the flour and the almond milk to the margarine. Be sure to combine well if using gluten-free flour but with regular flour do not over mix as the cake may come out more chewy (unpleasant?!) In both cases fold the mixes together instead of beating them to ensure the cake stays light.

Pour 1/2 the mixture into each cake pan. Bake until the centers spring back noting that it may not brown much on top. Remove from oven and cool for about 2 minutes. Invert cake onto a rack. Cool completely before frosting, about 1 1/2 hours.

Sour Cherry Frosting

3 tbs non-dairy margarine

9 tbs soy protein isolate powder (found in most health food shops)

1/2 cup cherry jam

2 tbs lime juice

1 cup fructose (or 1 1/2 cups sugar)

Beat the margarine until it turns white and fluffy (electric beaters work best)

In small batches, beat in the soy powder until combined (your mix may be quite dry)

Add to this the jam and lime juice, beating some more.

Then add in your choice of sweetener.

Beat for around five minutes until well combined. If the mix is still quite dry add in some more jam (Jams will vary in water and fruit content) until it resembles a stiff but spreadable mix.