Vegan Easter candy round-up! »
Hey pals! Easter is coming up! How about a vegan Easter round-up? Don’t mind if I do!
“Speckles” Chocolate Rice Crispy Bunny and Flavored Solid Vegan Eggs from Allison’s Gourmet. This bun is too cute! And I love crispies in my chocolate. These chocolates are also gluten-free and made with fair-trade cocoa.
White Rabbit Ostara Hare Easter Bunny Vegan White Chocolate from Realist Mermaid on Etsy. These are also gluten-free! Who likes white chocolate? Not me! But I know some people do and this actually sounds really good. It’s flavored with organic Tahitian vanilla bean. Yum!
Vegan Easter assortment from No Whey Candies on Etsy! This collection looks AHMAYZING.
And don’t forget your vegan creme eggs from Queen Balch! You know we love vegan creme eggs up in this piece.
Look at this little guy! This Sjaak’s chocolate bunny is filled with almond butter! My mom loves her some almond butter. And this is great for kids with peanut allergies! A special treat. And you know Sjaak’s uses fair-trade and organic ingredients.
For those not that into chocolate (you crazy bastards), Vegan Essentials has these cute sugar chicks and bunnies!
Vegan large Easter bunny girl from Chocolate Decadence! Such a pretty lady! This 12” chocolate statue stands up. Good lord! That’s a big bunny.
For you Peeps fans, Sweet and Sara’s Easter Skippers and Sunnys! These are so cute!
Vegan marshmallow chicks covered in chocolate! Dang, son! These look yums.
From Rose City Chocolatier, a super cute hat box filled with Easter chocolate! This is adorbs. Any kid would die if you got them this!
For another basket, Indie Candy has this great pack of Easter goodies! I love the carrot lollipops, so cute.
There you go guys, I hope you have a happy Easter if having a happy Easter is something you want!
Vegansaurus giveaway: Allison’s Gourmet! Yes!! »
Do you love amazing sweet treats? Are you obsessed with chocolates, caramels, peanut brittles, toffees, truffles, brownies, and everything delicious? If you did not answer yes to all of that then GET OFF THIS SITE! You should know, above all, that we love to eat, and that vegan sweets genius Allison’s Gourmet understands that need, and excels at execution! If you haven’t indulged in Allison’s treats, you’re really missing out. Not only will they kick the shit out of any omnivore treat in taste and appearance, all of Allison’s treats are fair-trade, vegan, and organic. I MEAN COME ON. Plus, her packaging is pretty enough that you don’t even have to wrap it. You’ll save millions of dollars on wrapping, for real.
Now, what are my personal favorites, you ask? SOPHIE’S CHOICE! But also, I cannot get enough of the mind-blowing Chocolate-Almond Toffee, the absolutely ridiculous Salted Chocolate Caramels, the perfectly sweet and rich Peppermint Bark, and the beautiful and extremely tasty truffles. Oh, and the peppermint drinking chocolate! Holy crap! So good! If anyone ever enrolls me in the brownie, cookie, or fudge of the month clubs, I promise to have all your babies or never have a baby with you, whichever you prefer.
Now that you want to eat all of that, you might as well start with some freebies! The lovely Allison has generously offered a $20 Allison’s Gourmet gift certificate to one lucky Vegansaurus reader! For your chance to win, just tell me what your dream Allison’s Gourmet confection would be. Let your imagination run wild, you little vegan piggy. It can be mayonnaise peony, or peanut butter marshmallow sriracha for all we care! Actually, that second one might be pretty good, right? The winner will be chosen randomly next Friday, Dec. 16. Yay Allison’s Gourmet, we love you!!!
Food Empowerment Project’s fair trade chocolate list! »
You know how most conventional chocolate is flavored with children’s tears? Actually, it’s much, much worse than that but I can’t bring myself to write about it because if I did, I’d have to hit the streets afterwards and start punching Whatchamacallits out of people’s idiot faces.
Lucky for us, we can happily eat everything on the Food Empowerment Project’s list, which includes companies like Sjaaks (we want all the Eli Earth bars SO BAD) and Allison’s Gourmet (looooove, look at those insane pb cups)! Check out the whole list, which includes ice cream companies who use chocolate, too! Vegan ice cream can be evil!? Sadness. Support these companies and not the others because seriously, chocolate that’s not fair trade is FUCKED.
Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week 10: VEGAN Coconut Milk Cake with Pineapple-Lime Spiced Rum Filling and Salted Caramel Glaze »
Welcome to our final Project Just Desserts guest chef veganized recipe, by Allison Rivers Samson! Like last week’s super-fantastico bundt cake by Terry Hope Romero, this beautiful coconut milk cake is a personalized amalgamation of a couple of winning recipes! It looks absolutely amazing, simple and elegant and totally delicious, and we are so, so sad we can’t have any ourselves. Allison, you creative genius, the floor is yours.
Being invited to participate in Vegansaurus’ Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! was a huge honor for me. Although we’re in the midst of gearing up for the holidays here at Allison’s Gourmet, I enjoyed the diversion and was excited by the challenge. We live out in the sticks in Nevada City, Calif., and choose not to have cable. Yeah, we’re like that. However, on a recent trip, I got to see my first episode of the show and immediately fell in love with Yigit. So, although I haven’t watched all the episodes, I did have a favorite chef. Of course I was thrilled when I learned that he was the winner (he’s adorable, gay, and loves Madonna—the only thing missing is a declaration of veganism!). Plus, the “Tasting Menu” theme was just perfect for me since I often describe myself as more of a taster than an eater. The winning dessert itself wasn’t terrifically inspiring to me, so I chose to take several components from the various winning desserts and rearrange them into something more exciting to my palate, even if there was no chocolate to be found. Uh-oh, I know I uttered a negative there, but please stay with me so I can win you back with the caramel part.
Laura spoke so passionately about our vegan caramels, and they’re one of my beloveds, so I knew they just had to show up in my dessert. Pssst…hey Laura…we just unveiled our newest offering: salted caramels! Mmm-hmm!
One of the winning cakes, Muscovado Braised Pineapple & Coconut Cake, was described as “sticky,” which doesn’t sound so good to me when we’re talking cake. Sticky caramels, I get; sticky rice, check; but sticky cake, uh, no thanks. Coconut is always at the top of my list (just below chocolate and caramel) so I made a rich Coconut Milk cake topped with a Salted Caramel Glaze (I told you there would be caramel here!) and a Pineapple-Lime Filling with Spiced Rum. I know how much those Vegansauri like their booze! Oops, did I assume too much? Well, even if I did, make this and take a bite (or 10) anyway. You’ll be glad you did.
Coconut Milk Cake with Pineapple-Lime Spiced Rum Filling and Salted Caramel Glaze
Coconut Milk Cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup coconut milk creamer (original)
½ cup sunflower or safflower oil
¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened
1 Tbsp. real vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
½ tsp. sea salt
3½ cups unbleached spelt flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Pineapple-Lime Spiced Rum Filling
2 cups crushed pineapple, strained, juice reserved
1 cup reserved pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. spiced rum
2 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
Salted Caramel Glaze
3 Tbsp. coconut milk
4 oz. vegan caramels
1 tsp. salt flakes, reserved for garnish
Make sure you have an oven thermometer—this is crucial to good baking results.
Place a baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides so that the cake won’t stick.
In a large bowl, whisk sugar, water, creamer, oil, applesauce, vanilla, vinegar, lime juice and salt.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and soda. Add to the large bowl with wet mixture and whisk to combine. Do not over-whisk or your cake will be tough.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.
Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool for at least an hour before frosting.
Pineapple-Lime Spiced Rum Filling
In a small saucepan, combine the pineapple and remaining juice, brown rice syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Set aside to cool. Then stir in spiced rum and lime juice.
Salted Caramel Glaze
In a small, heavy saucepan on low heat, add caramels and coconut milk. Stir regularly. Once the caramels have completely melted, drizzle over the top of the cake.
Use a serrated knife to level the top of the cake. Cut cake in half horizontally to make two layers. Spoon Pineapple Filling on the bottom half and cover with another layer of cake. Glaze the top layer with Caramel Sauce and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of salt flakes. Serve with tannic, fruity Mango Ceylon Tea.
(Let’s have sexual relations, Vegan Battleship Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sour Cherry Compote by Terry Hope Romero from last week’s Top Chef: Just Dessertschallenge.)
The tenth AND FINAL (!!!) episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight (10 Eastern/Pacific), which means that we’re ready to unveil our 10th AND FINAL guest chef who will veganize the episode’s winning dessert! See the first nine here: Chocolate mousse! Chocolate cake with sour cherry compote! Margarita bombes! Toffee brownies! Chocolate cake! Fried pie and ice cream! White chocolate mousse! Cheesecakes! Panna cotta! Rice Krispy bars coated with chocolate and hazelnut butter! Mini cinnamon almond cakes! DO IT. Our next chef makes my absolute favorite candy in all the world and I adore her so here goes:
Allison Rivers Samson is a genius, and that’s about it. Her handmade caramels are IT. They are IT. There is nothing better in this whole entire world. They are the caramel which all caramels, vegan or not, aspire to be. Other caramels spend their entire life in TRAINING to MAYBE one day be a Allison’s Gourmet caramel but they WILL NEVER BE THE REAL DEAL! I might be/am a little drunk but really, GODDAMN. Give them to everyone (read: me) this holiday season and I will ROCK YOUR WORLD. You know how people are haunted by the things they’ve done for a Klondike Bar? That’s me with these caramels. I can’t. So good. Also, everything she sells via Allison’s Gourmet is pretty much the best in its category. I’m talking fudge, toffee, cocoa, brownies, cookies, brittle, I can’t keep talking about this, I’m driving myself crazy with desire! Oh, and in addition to running this amazing vegan bakery and candy shop, she’ the lady behind the excellent Veganize It! column in VegNews, and perhaps even more importantly, the veganizer of my favorite mac and cheese recipe ever. Make it for your friends and family this holiday season and be prepared to have gifts showered upon your face.
As you can see, Allison is more than qualified to veganize the crap out of whatever wackiness Top Chef throws our way. Until then, please enjoy the final three psychos talking various degrees of crazy. Enjoy!