Vegan by Nature

inherent recipes from a passionate cook

Archive for tofu

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 🙂


Tofu-oyster mushroom burgers

It is beginning to get warm around here and after the end of my six day week I didn’t fancy making anything too elaborate.

These babies hit the spot. Flavoured with garlic, seasoning, cumin seeds and lime juice. With the addition of some sweet red onions.

I served this up with cabbage salad with creamy parsley dressing, orange-tomato relish, roasted red peppers and plain old avocado. Nourishing 🙂

And slice…


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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.


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


Making home made tofu

In my area it has become increasingly difficult to purchase silken tofu and I was getting very aware of not having had “cheese”cake in quite some time. My only options were to pay a fortune in the city or, of course, make my own.

So I began researching the process involved in making tofu and found further obstacles. Most recipes called for a product called ‘nigari’ (a natural coagulant) which I could only find online. Others used epsom salts which I found in my local pharmacy but after some research discovered that too much magnesium (the epsom salts) could be harmful to your health. Not keen to take that risk I opted for the less popular use of lemon juice which ‘tends to produce a more sour taste’. This time I only made a small batch due to the uncertainty of my results. But it came out so good I will definitely be making more, and my nigari is in the post.

Here’s a rough recipe with instructions below:

Scald 400ml soya milk
simmer for 5 mins
turn off the heat
add 150ml lemon juice
allow to sit for 15 mins
pour into cloth covered/pierced box
put weight on top
leave to drain for a while.


This produces a silken type tofu and is ideal for cheesecake or other cheeses.