Vegan by Nature

inherent recipes from a passionate cook

Archive for sweets

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):

EGGFREE MERINGUES

Servings: Makes 12- 15 small meringues

Ingredients

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

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

Method

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 🙂

Advertisements

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 http://www.noveleats.com/daringbakers/vegan-chocolate-eclairs/. 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.

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.

SDC10391

(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.

SDC10401

July and My Mallow Battle

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

This months challenge really proved to be a challenge. Vegan marshmallows are something which I have tried many times and have been developing a recipe for some time. However there is always something which isn’t quite right; the mallow doesn’t set, it all gloopy etc. This time I came extremely close but still my mallow was a bit soft. I think this could also be to do with the fact that I use fruit sugar in my cooking rather than traditional cane sugar so the properties of the foods are altered even further. But I gave it a good bash and hey it tasted delicious.

The mallow recipe:

5 tsps agar flakes
1/2 cup warm water (not quite boiling)
2 tsps arrowroot
3/4 cups fruit sugar
1tsp vanilla (or other flavouring)
5 tbsps soy protein isolate powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 cup water
3tsps ener-g with 4 tbsps of ice cold water, whisked together

1. Soak the agar in the warm water for around 30 mins. Dust a pan with some corn flour or other similar light flour.
2. Simmer in a saucepan until dissolved.
3. Add in fruit sugar and arrowroot stir until dissolved, continue simmering. Mixture will thicken so keep an eye on it. Add in vanilla.
4. Meanwhile, with an electric beater whisk up the soy powder with the water, this should resemble a butter cream consistency so add more water if necessary but don’t be too liberal.
5. Continue mixing and add in the cream of tartar and bicarb until stiff and fluffy. Then add in the ener-g mix.
6. If agar mix is now thick and gloopy, gradually poor into your fluffy mix while beating. Contine for another 10-15 mins. You want the mix to be as stiff as you can without the agar gelling together.
7. Pour mix into your pan, spread and dust with more flour. Leave to cool.

I made two different flavours:

Gooseberry and Blackcurrant, with vegan dark chocolate and mixed nuts

Spiced apricot and Redcurrant, with vegan milk chocolate and cinnamon.

Sunday Apple Galette

I have an affinity with all things French and indeed all forms of baking. So suitably I prepared this apple galette for breakfast. I put a light coating of oil around the pan before pouring in some orange juice. To this I added one apple, diced, covered with mixed spices and half a teaspoon of honey. On a medium heat, I browned these apple in the pan.

I then made a batter from gluten/wheat free flour, sweetened soy milk, pinch of salt, sprinkle of fruit sugar, baking powder to form a thin pancake like consistency. This was poured over the apples until the bubbles became stiff on the visible side. I popped it under the grill to finish the batter off with a nice golden colour.

This was the result (once flipped out):