Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bread Sticks

Vegan Daughter watched a movie at her friend's house last night and was intrigued with the bread sticks that came with their pizza order. She asked if I could make some for our pizza and movie night tonight. Vegan Son #3 is on a trip to Niagara Falls with his best friend this weekend, so I used his portion of pizza dough to make these. So, if you don't want to make six pizzas as my dough recipe  allows, consider making some bread sticks.

INGREDIENTS
- pizza dough
- 8 tsp onion powder
- 4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- melted margarine

METHOD
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
1. Make the dough per the recipe (a half recipe will make 14 bread sticks). When dough has risen, make 60g boules, then roll into 10" ropes. 
2. Place ropes an inch or so apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mist with oil, cover, and let rise until almost doubled. 
3. While dough is rising, pulse the onion powder, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast in a coffee grinder (or blender). 
4. When ready to bake, brush the the sticks with melted margarine. Top with the onion powder mixture (if you don't use it all, save the leftovers in a sealed container for next time).
5. Bake for 7 mins, liberally drizzle more melted margarine over the bread sticks, and bake for another 7 mins. 
6. Let cool on a wire rack, but eat while still warm. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Garbanzo Bread (or buns)

I developed this recipe to get rid of the many cans of beans I had sitting in my fridge, drained of their precious aquafaba. The beans up the protein content of the bread and enrich the dough, giving it a wonderfully soft texture and more delicate crumb. Although the sponge does smell rather "beany," the chickpeas are indistinguishable in the final loaf. I always make a double recipe (in two separate bowls) and bake four loaves, or two loaves and a dozen buns. (And I apologize for my idiosyncratic measurements. That's just how I roll.) 

INGREDIENTS
Makes 2 loaves or 12 buns
Sponge
- 1lb 1oz flour (see note 1 below*)
- heaping tbsp instant yeast
- 1/2 can unsalted chickpeas (see note 2 below*) + warm water to make 20oz

Dough
- all the sponge
- 11oz flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 3oz oil
- 2 1/4 tsp salt

METHOD
1. Make the Sponge: Whisk together flour and yeast. Place your blender container on your scale, add the chickpeas, then the water to make 20oz. Blend until very smooth. Add to the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until blended. It will take a little elbow grease. Cover and let sit for an hour.
2. Make the Dough: add the remaining ingredients to the sponge and bring into a dough. Knead for 5-7 mins, or until smooth.
3. Let rise in a lightly oiled bowl for an hour, or until doubled in size. 
4. Punch dough down. If Making Bread: divide into two, shape into loaves, and let rise in 1.5 lb loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 38-40 mins. If Making Buns: divide into 12 pieces and shape into boules. Flatten into pucks and let rise on a large baking sheet (or two) lined with parchment paper. Brush with soy milk and bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes. 

*NOTE 1: You can use hard baking flour, all purpose flour, or a mix of the two. All purpose flour gives the bread a "country loaf" feel and is perfect for hamburger and hotdog buns (and makes a great loaf too). When I use hard flour, I usually slash the tops of the loaves (and the hamburger buns) before baking (as you can see in the picture).  You can also use whole wheat flour but may have to add more water to the final dough.

*NOTE 2: I realize cans of chickpeas vary in size. Generally here they are around 12-15 oz. Half of any can will work, as long as your total liquid is 20 oz. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkin Tarts

This is the last of my pumpkin recipes for this fall. It's too late for Canadian Thanksgiving, but these could be a hit at your very own American Thanksgiving. The filling has lots of pumpkin flavour but has a lighter texture than usual pumpkin pie filling. The filling does not have to be baked so these tarts come together relatively quickly. 

INGREDIENTS
Makes 24 tarts
- 24 frozen tart shells, baked

- 1/3 cup unsalted chickpea aquafaba
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
- 3 tbsp sugar

- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup plain soy milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup cooked pumpkin (see note below*)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- large pinch allspice
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 tsp agar powder

- whipped topping

METHOD
1. Bake the tart shells per the instructions on the package. Cool.
2. Soak cashews in boiled water for 15 mins. Drain.
3. While cashews are soaking, add aquafaba and xanthan gum to a mixer bowl. Fix the mixer with a balloon whisk and whisk on med-hi speed until foamy. Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time, and blend until soft peaks form.
4. Put the soaked cashews and the remaining ingredients (but not the aquafaba mixture) in a blender. Blend until very smooth.
5. Pour the blender contents into a saucepan and cook on the stove or medium heat, stirring constantly. When bubbling, cook for two minutes.
6. Let mixture cool for 2 mins, stirring regularly to prevent a scum from forming. Fold in the aquafaba mixture completely.
7. Spoon mixture into the cooled tart shells (save any leftovers in the fridge and call it pumpkin custard). When they reach room temperature, transfer to the fridge to fully cool. I think these taste best the next day.
8. When ready to serve, top with the whipped cream of your choice (I use the recipe from Homemade Vegan Pantry, but you could use a commercial topping as well).

Friday, October 14, 2016

Pumpkin Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is a bit fussy but I thought I would post it anyway. The idea was to create a cheaper and easier brioche using margarine (instead of Earth Balance which I think has a weird taste, or homemade vegan butter). The problem is that margarine does not firm up in the fridge the way butter does, so the final dough is tricky to work with. Also, you need to keep the ingredients cold so the margarine does not melt. The xanthan gum gives the dough some structure, and flouring the dough before rolling helps as well. Don't worry if the rolls look a bit sloppy before they prove, as you can see from the pic it will all work out in the end. If this sounds like too much trouble, just use vegan butter and forget the xanthan gum. 

INGREDIENTS
Sponge
- 2.25 oz bread flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 4 oz lukewarm soy milk

Dough
- 8 oz very cold margarine
- 6 oz cooked pumpkin, cold (see note below*)
- 4 oz cold soy milk
- 16 oz bread flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

Filling
- 2 tbsp cooked pumpkin, cold
- 1 tbsp margarine
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice

Icing
- 2 tbsp soy milk (more if needed)
- 1 1/2 c icing sugar

METHOD
Sponge
1. Mix together sponge ingredients until four is well hydrated. Cover and let sit for 45 mins.

Dough
1. Measure out the margarine and place it in the freezer. 
2. Add pumpkin, soy milk, flour, salt to the sponge and bring together into a dough with the paddle attachment. Let the dough sit for 5 mins. 
3. Using the paddle attachment on a mixer, add in 1/4 of the butter at a time, waiting until the previous amount has been fully incorporated before adding more. The final dough will be smooth, satiny, and very soft.
4. Switch to the dough hook and knead in the xanthan gum. The dough should gather in a ball around the hook.
5. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 
6. On baking day: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll/pat the dough on a well-floured surface into a 18" x 14" rectangle. Flour the top of the dough if needed. 
7. Whisk pumpkin and margarine together. Mix in sugar and spice. Spread on to the dough, leaving a 1" space on the long side. 
8. Roll up along the ling edge, ending at the 1" space. Cut into 12 1.5" pieces, tuck the piece of dough with filling on it to the bottom and place on the baking sheet. 
9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a room temperature for about 2 hours, or until about doubled in size. 
10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 15-18 mins, until golden.
11. Make the icing. Mix together soy milk and icing sugar. It should be thick but able to be drizzled off the end of a spoon. Add more soy milk as needed. 
12. Let cool for 10 mins on the baking sheet, then drizzle the icing over the rolls. Let fully cool before eating. 

*NOTE: Microwaving is the way to go here. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a plate and microwave until flesh if soft and coming away from the skin. Allow to cool in the fridge before using, and keep the leftovers in a sealed container for other recipes. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The sudden proliferation of pie pumpkins in the grocery store has let to some experimentation in the kitchen. Accuse me of jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon if you must, but these cookies are irresistible with their perfect blend of chewy and crispy. 


INGREDIENTS
Makes at least 24 cookies
- 75g minute oats
- 150g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted margarine/butter)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 125g margarine or vegan butter
- 105g packed brown sugar
- 90g white sugar
- 3 tbsp cooked pumpkin (see note below)*
- 2 tbsp unsalted chickpea aquafaba
- 1 tsp vanilla extract- 1 cup raisins


METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Cream together margarine/butter with sugars in a separate medium bowl with an electric hand mixer. Add pumpkin and blend well. Add aquafaba and blend well, then blend in the vanilla. 
3. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Mix in raisins
.4. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter on to the prepared baking sheets. This is a very wet dough, so a cookie scoop is the way to go. I use the 3/4 oz scoop. 
5. Bake in batches until golden, about 16-18 minutes. NOTE: baking time will be less on a dark baking sheet.
6. Let cool on the pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack until cool.

*NOTE: Microwaving is the way to go here. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a plate and microwave until flesh if soft and coming away from the skin. Allow to cool before using, and keep the leftovers in a sealed container for other recipes. 



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Smoked Tofu

Smoked tofu is not hard to make but it takes some planning and time to make it right. This recipe is perfect for sandwiches, pizza, or anytime you need salty and smoky flavour.

INGREDIENTS
- double recipe of brine
- Two 1 lb blocks of firm/extra from tofu
- 4 cups smoking chips
- water
- aluminum foil

METHOD
1. Cut each block of tofu into four equal pieces. Submerge in the brine for two days, refrigerated. (I put everything in an old juice pitcher)
2. On cooking day, soak the smoking chips in water for 30 mins. Drain and put into a large foil package with many holes poked in the top. I make a large rectangle that fits the length of the burner, more or less.
3. Remove the grill from one half of the BBQ and begin heating one element/burner on high. After a few minutes, place the foil package on the coals or drip shield (depending on your BBQ). Once it begins smoking, reduce heat to med-lo. I use foil to cover up the holes in the lid that most BBQs have to attach a rotisserie, in order to keep more smoke in.
4. Place the tofu on the upper rack of the opposite side of the BBQ, as far away from the heat source as possible. Close the lid and smoke for 1.5 hours, or until the smoke stops. The temperature should be around 200 F for the entire time. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pizza Dough

Every Saturday we have pizza and watch a movie. Needless to say, I have made a lot of pizza dough in my day. For years I have made fairly wet doughs (Neapolitan, focaccia, New York, etc.) which produce thin and crispy crusts with some chewiness when baked on a hot stone. More recently the kids have been asking for a thicker crust and I was happy to oblige. I wasn't happy with recipes I found since they tended towards the dense and stodgy, so I made my own recipe. This crust is thicker (and can handle a truck load of toppings) but is still crispy and chewy. The cold ferment imparts great flavour which is the most important thing of all.

INGREDIENTS
Makes six 10" crusts
- 6.5 oz semolina flour
- 14 oz bread flour
- 13 oz all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 4 oz oil
- 13 fl oz cold water
- 6 fl oz cold soy milk

METHOD
1. Add all ingredients to a mixer bowl and bring together into a rough dough with a dough hook. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead with the dough hook for 5-7 minutes, or until dough is smooth and slightly tacky (but not sticky). Add more flour or water as needed.
2. Turn dough out onto an oiled baking sheet. Divided into six equal pieces and shape into balls.
3. Mist with oil, cover well with plastic wrap, and place sheet in the fridge over night.
4. On baking day, take the dough out of the fridge at least two hours before you want to start baking. Reshape the balls and leave to rise in a warm place, covered. The dough is ready to shape when it is warm and has risen.
5. Preheat your baking stone in a 450 degree oven.
6. Lightly spray six separate pieces of baking parchment with oil (you can reuse these from week to week). With your fingertips, spread the dough into a 10" circle, creating a ridge on the outside if you want. Let the dough rise, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.
7. Top with whatever suits you, and bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted (about 8-10 minutes), removing the parchment once the crust swells and begins to firm up.

NOTE: If you don't want to do the overnight ferment, use warm water and soy milk, then let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled. Shape into 6 balls and let rise, covered, on an oiled baking sheet. Shape into crusts per the instructions above in step 6. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Viennese Whirls


The Great British Bakeoff is back and all is well with the world. I had never heard of these biscuits/cookies before I saw them them in episode 2, but I knew immediately that I wanted to try them. What a bonus that the recipe is so easily veganized. I tried a version will all vegan butter but it did not come out as well as this version. I made a bunch of raspberry jelly this summer from our own berries, and it was absolutely perfect for this recipe. Use whatever jam you like, or check out the original recipe and make your own.

INGREDIENTS
Cookies
- 6 oz soft vegetable shortening
- 3 oz soft vegan butter
- 1¾ oz icing sugar
- 8 oz all purpose flour
- 1 oz corn starch
- large pinch of salt
- pinch of turmeric (optional)

Buttercream Filling
- 3½ oz soft vegetable shortening
- 7 oz icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract

- raspberry jam

METHOD
Cookies
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Move two racks to the centre positions. 
1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 2" round cutter as a guide to draw 12 circles on each sheet of paper. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks are underneath.
2. With an electric hand mixer, beat the shortening, vegan butter, and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
3. Add flour, corn starch, salt, and turmeric (if using) and mix well with a wooden spoon, until smooth.
4. Transfer mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle. Pipe 24 swirled rounds (not rosettes), inside the circles on the baking sheets.
5. Bake both trays for 6 minutes, then rotate pans (and switch racks) and bake for another 6-8 mins, until they are a pale golden-brown. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack.

Buttercream Filling
1. Beat all ingredients with an electric hand mixer until light and smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

TO MAKE THE COOKIES
Spoon jam onto the flat side of 12 of the biscuits. Pipe the buttercream over the jam and sandwich with the remaining biscuits. Dust with icing sugar to finish.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pretzel Buns

With the new school year ready to start in just over two weeks, it's time to get serious about baking for lunches. Of course, with two weeks of summer still left why not bake something that can also  help you get the most out of the waning BBQ season? These pretzel buns are perfect for a veggie burger, tofu salad, or my summertime favourite: tomato and cucumber. The dough recipe is more or less Peter Reinhart's but I have altered the method so the end product has that deep brown pretzel colour but it still soft enough to function as a bun.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 12 buns
Dough
- 31.5 oz (6 3/4 cups) white bread flour
- 16.5 g (generous 2 1/2 tsp) salt
- 5 g (1 1/2 tsp) instant yeast
- 18 fl. oz (2 1/4 cups) lukewarm water
- 1.5 oz (3 tbsp) oil

Poaching Liquid
- 16 fl. oz (2 cups) water
- 2 oz (8 tsp) baking soda

- aquafaba for brushing
- sesame seeds

METHOD
1. Combine the flour, salt, yeast, water, and oil in a bowl. Bring together into a rough ball and let sit for 5 minutes. Knead (either by hand or a machine) until dough is smooth but slightly tacky (about 5 mins).  Add water or flour as needed).
2. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch dough down, knead lightly for a minute, reshape into a ball and let rise in the covered bowl for another hour (or until doubled).
3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.
4. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shapes into boules.
5. Roll each boule into a rope about 12 to 14 inches long. Shape into buns per the pictures below.
a) Grab the rope with your left hand about 1/3 of the way up, with your right hand at the opposing end.
b) Use your right hand to make a knot in the dough where your left hand is positioned. Use the fingers of your left hand to keep the knot open. 
c) Tuck the end in your right hand under and through the hole (at 4:00 if the bun was a clock).
d) Tuck the end in your left hand over and through the hole (at 7:00) to the back of the bun. Use the end that was formerly in your right hand to close the hole.

6. Mist the top of the buns with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 30 mins, until swelled but not doubled.
7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
8. Prepare the poaching liquid: in a large pot bring the water to simmer. You want about 1.5 inches of water it the pot, so adjust the amount above as needed. Make sure to increase the baking soda the same amount. When water is simmering mix in the baking soda and stir to dissolve.
9. Poach the buns (working in batches as your pot will allow) for 30-60 seconds each side, placing the top side in first. Remove with a slotted spoon back to the prepared baking sheet.
10. Brush each bun lightly with aquafaba and top with sesame seeds.
11. Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point.
12. Let fully cool on a wire rack.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Blended Mocha Iced Coffee

Just a quick post to help beat the summer (spring?) heat. A good blender is a great investment, especially when you can churn out tasty drinks like this that aren't cheap at your local coffee place (and are really mostly ice anyway). Add whatever you want to this base recipe to customize it to your liking.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 2 servings
- 4 tsp instant coffee
- 4 tsp cocoa powder (I like Dutch process)
- 1 1/2 cups non dairy milk
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
- splash of vanilla extract
- 14 ice cubes (i.e. one tray)
- whipped topping (optional)

METHOD
1. Place all ingredients except the whipped topping in the blender and blend on high until smooth.
2. Top with whipped topping, if desired. I like the "Better than Whipping Cream" from Homemade Vegan Pantry. That stuff is some serious vegan voodoo.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Umami Burgers

These burgers came about from trying to use up the cans of chickpeas in my fridge from making batch after batch of Lemon Meringue Tarts. I first turned to my three go to sources of umami: tomatoes, soy sauce, and mushrooms. For texture, I used barley (like my Tourtière recipe). The end result is a durable (i.e. grillable) and non-mushy burger with plenty of flavour. These burgers freeze well (just thaw them before grilling) and when cooked keep well in the fridge. They taste good cold, or microwaved a few days later. The kids love them for lunch so I grill them up on Sunday and they take them to school throughout the week.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 12 burgers
- 1/2 cup pot barley, cooked (in veggie broth or beer) until soft (about 30 mins), cooled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 celery rib, minced
- 3 cups chopped cremini mushrooms (about 8 oz/227g)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice, ground
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup instant oatmeal
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup instant tapioca
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (i.e. day old bread ground up in a food processor)
- seasoned salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD
1. Cook the barley until tender, drain, then set aside to cool in a large bowl.
2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and celery for 5-7 mins, until soft and onion is translucent.
3. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 mins, until mushrooms have released their water and have cooked down a little.
4. Remove from heat and add to the barley. Mix well.
5. Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor. Be careful not to make them into a paste.
6. Add the pulsed chickpeas to the bowl, along with the tomato paste, soy sauce, spices, nutritional yeast, oatmeal, flour, and tapioca. Use a wooden spoon to mix well.
7. Add the fresh bread crumbs and mix well. Season to taste.
8. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.
9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a silicone spatula, press the mixture into a crumpet ring (or what have you) to make 12 burgers on the prepared baking sheet.
10. The burgers are more durable when they are cool. Slide the baking sheet into the freezer while you fire up the grill.
11. Grill on a med to med-lo grill (around 400-425 degrees) for about 5 mins per side (so keep the heat moderate so the outside does not burn before the inside cooks). Brush the grill and the burgers with oil to keep them from sticking. The burgers should be firm to the touch and not mushy when they are done.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sloppy Joes

I've done a few versions of Sloppy Joes but the kids never really liked any of them. This recipe is a nice compromise--some lentils, some mushrooms, some veggie ground round--that we all love.

INGREDIENTS
- 1/3 cup brown lentils, cooked
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 celery ribs, minced
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 3 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 pkg veggie ground round (340g)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 5.5oz can tomato paste
- 11 oz (i.e. 2 cans) water
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice, ground
- Tabasco sauce or Sriracha to taste
- salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD
1. Cook the lentils until soft but not mushy, about 25 mins.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery, garlic, and green pepper for 5-7 mins, until soft and onions are translucent.
3. Add mushrooms and oregano and cook for another 5-7 mins, until mushrooms have released their water cooked down a bit.
4. Add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 mins. If too runny for your liking, simmer with the lid off.
5. Serve on toasted buns (I like them open faced).

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lemon Meringue Pie

I know I am late to the aquafaba/vegan meringue party, but better late than never I suppose. The issue was that I was never able to get the aquafaba to beat into stiff peaks and so I stopped experimenting months ago. Even after endless whisking on high in the KitchenAid, very soft peaks was the best I could get. And then I recently happened upon recipes that use xanthan gum. Problem solved! Perfect peaks every time (and I wonder if you could cut it down to 1/4 tsp for this recipe). Lemon Meringue Pie is one of Vegan Mom's favourites (and we have not eaten it for over 10 years) so I was happy to be able to take her down culinary memory lane. The filling is tangy and sweet, and firm without being rubbery. The meringue is some serious vegan magic.

The filling calls for both corn starch (white) and corn flour (yellow). This may cause some confusion because what the Brits call corn flour, Americans/Canadians call corn starch.

This recipe makes one big 10" pie or, as I found out tonight in preparing for a departmental party, 45 tarts.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 10" pre-baked pie crust

Filling
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/4 cup corn flour
- generous 1/2 tsp agar powder
- 2 cups + 3 tbsp (17.5 oz) white sugar
- 1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (15 oz) water
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 cup soy milk

Meringue
- 3/4 cup salt free chickpea aquafaba
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 7.5 tbsp (5 oz) superfine white sugar

METHOD
Bake your shell per whatever recipe you are using. It is best if the crust is slightly underdone since you will be baking the assembled pie. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Whisk the corn starch, corn flour, agar, and sugar together in a saucepan. Whisk in water, lemon juice, and zest, then whisk in soy milk.
2. Bring to bubbling over medium high, stirring constantly. When bubbling, reduce heat to med-lo and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Immediately pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and set aside to start cooling. The filling will be a bit runny, but it will set in the fridge.
4. Make the meringue: whisk the xanthan gum into the aquafaba, then place in a stand mixer and whisk on high with a balloon whisk until stiff peak form.
5. Whisk in the 1 tbsp of lemon juice, then whisk in the sugar a bit at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly.
6. When the sugar is incorporated and the meringue is no longer gritty, gently spread the meringue over the pie filling. The filling will be wobbly, so be gentle (or pipe the meringue on).
7. Bake at 375 for 8 to 12 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned (or browned to your liking). I like to use convection for this step.
8. Let the pie cool for an hour, then transfer to the fridge. When pie is cool, put in a container in the fridge and completely cool (about 4 hours or up to overnight). If you are in a rush, place the cooled pie on ice packs in the fridge.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Yogurt


This recipe is a mashup of the two yogurt recipes Miyoko Schinner has given us in Artisan Vegan Cheese and Homemade Vegan Pantry. I like the thickness of the soy yogurt recipe, but I prefer the taste of almond milk so this recipe is the best of both worlds. A purely soy yogurt will set beautifully on its own without the aid of the cornstarch or agar, but I find it to be rather temperamental. If the yogurt gets too hot it will separate. Here, the starch and agar help set the almond milk whilst keeping the final product homogeneous. Perfectly thick yogurt every time.

NOTE 1: this recipe makes a lot (but with four kids it does not last long). Half the recipe if needed, but also note that it will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

NOTE 2: Start this recipe by using a commercially available yogurt as your starter (you can use a dried yogurt culture, but usually they contain skim milk powder). For the next time you make yogurt, save 6 tbsp of yogurt from this recipe. The first batch might taste a little weird (depending on the quality of the yogurt you bought--they are all pretty horrible around here) but by your second batch and beyond you won't taste it anymore.

INGREDIENTS
Makes about 6.5 cups
- 1 cup raw whole cashews, soaked for a few hours
- 2 cups almond milk
- 4 cups soy milk
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp agar powder
- 6 tbsp yogurt with live cultures

METHOD
1. Blend the soaked cashews with the 2 cups of the almond milk. If you have a super blender like a Vitamix, you don't need to soak the cashews. Blend until smooth.
2. Whisk the cornstarch and agar into the 4 cups of soy milk in a saucepan. Add the cashew mixture and place over medium heat.
3. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and glossy. You won't need to bring it to a boil (about 180 F), but it will be hot and steaming. You will notice the mixture getting glossier and sticking to the bottom of the pot a bit as you stir. It's going to take a good 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. When mixture is cooled, whisk in yogurt.
5. Pour boiling water into a large container with a lid to sterilize. Pour out water before adding yogurt. I use a massive 6 cup mason jar.
6. Pour yogurt into sterilized container and put on the lid. The trick now is to keep the jar warm (at around 110 degrees F) for the next 8-15 hours. I wrap my mason jars in a bunch of towels and leave it  near the heater. In the summer, I leave it out in the sun. The longer you leave the yogurt, the more it will set and the tangier it will get.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Brownies

I'm not sure why the perfect egg-free brownie has been so elusive--that perfect blend of fudginess and chewiness without being to dry or crumbly. As you can see from the ingredient list, the answer is not very complicated at all. This is pure, unadulterated, vegan dessert.

INGREDIENTS
- 2 cups all purpose flour (scooped and levelled)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla

METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Bring yogurt, and non-dairy milk to just bubbling over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Add oil and vanilla and mix until smooth.
3. Mix wet ingredients into dry with a wooden spoon. Mixture will be thick but spreadable. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
4. Bake for 25-28 mins. Cool and serve.