vegansaurus!

11/08/2013

Product Review: Eat Pastry gluten-free cookie dough!   »

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Hey everybody! Because I am such a selfless person, I ate vegan cookie dough for you! And let me tell you, purely scientifically speaking, Eat Pastry’s gluten-free, chocolate chip cookie dough (when baked) is absolutely scrumptious! I know gluten-free baked goods can sometimes be a little funky, with lingering odd tastes, but the geniuses behind Eat Pastry have figured out a formula that stands up to the rich and buttery Tollhouse* cookies of my former omni life. I’m a huge fan of this product! I also fed the cookies to my friend Britney and my roommate Dan, both to positive reactions. Dan is trying to cut gluten from his diet, and had bought some non-vegan chocolate chip cookie dough to bake for himself. He expressed disdain for the omni dough he bought and when fed one the Eat Pastry cookie his immediate response was “WHERE CAN I GET THOSE?”

The only thing, and I notice this when I make gluten-free pastries from scratch myself, is that gluten-free dough in it’s raw form is not so tasty. Unbaked, garbanzo bean flour really stands out. In my mind though, this is a good thing! This means that when it comes to raw cookie dough, there are cookies to bake after I open the container (as opposed to half of the raw dough sitting in my stomach like a brick).

When I bought the container of batter to try out, I wanted to do something really special with it. What goes with chocolate chip cookies better than anything? ICE CREAM AND CHOCOLATE SAUCE!

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The ingredients were gathered — it was time to have some fun. 

I decided to make an ice cream sandwich, with Luna and Larry’s Cappuccino coconut ice cream and home-made ganache!

HOW TO MAKE AN AMAZING VEGAN ICE CREAM SANDWICH:

COOKIES:

First I baked my cookies, and to be honest, I ran into a little trouble with the instructions on the Eat Pastry label. It read to heat the oven to 350 degrees and measure out teaspoons of dough onto a cookie sheet. I was unhappy with my first batch, as I thought the cookies were too thin, with the edges a very dark brown and raw centers. When I made my second batch, I measured out a tablespoon of dough and was much happier with the size and bake of my cookies. However in the future, I will probably only heat my oven up to 325 degrees, as the edges still got brown fast. A little bit of a disclaimer though: it is best to bake chocolate chip cookies when they are cold, because they tend to spread at room temperature. The label of Eat Pastry does say to bake them directly out of the fridge, and I had just taken my sweet time walking home from the grocery store, put the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, couldn’t wait any longer, and baked them.

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The finished product!

GANACHE:

I made my ganache by putting together a homemade double boiler and melting down 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 5 Tbls coconut milk (any non-dairy milk would suffice). I brought my pot of water to a boil, put my metal bowl of chips and milk atop, turned the heat down to medium-low, and let the steam melt down my ganache.

SANDWICH ASSEMBLY:

To make my ice cream sandwich, I waited until my cookies were completely cool, put a couple spoonfuls of ice cream on the bottom cookie and then a placed another cookie on top. I immediately dipped the sandwich in ganache, sprinkled it with mini chocolate chips, took some pictures and stuck it in the freezer. Britney got to eat the final product, as I had eaten most of the cookies I baked that afternoon and couldn’t take anymore dessert food. She was ecstatic and now you know how I make and keep friends.

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In conclusion: Ice cream sandwiches and garbanzo bean flours aside, I LOVED the gluten-free Eat Pastry chocolate chip cookie dough and will definitely be buying it again in the future!

*Easiest recipe to veganize. Sub Earth Balance and egg replacer—that’s it. Most semi-sweet chocolate chips are already vegan. I have used so many vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes that call for such odd and unnecessary ingredients and fortunately for me, those days are now over.

09/26/2013

Baking with Blue Balls Bakery: gluten-free, pumpkin spice, chocolate chip cookies!   »

Well everyone, fall has officially descended upon us. To tell you the truth, I’m still in denial and I’m not ready to think about squash soups, Halloween OR pumpkin lattes (especially not pumpkin lattes). I’m not ready to lose the glow of my sun-kissed skin for the almost transparent color I get in winter! I WANT IT TO STOP! 

Since I can’t stop the hands of time, denial it is. But wait, what’s this? A charming baking tutorial featuring gluten-free, pumpkin spice, chocolate chip cookies? Yep, and I love it! I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact it was created by my internet bestie and future vegan bakery co-owner (we love cats and mimosas, the building blocks to any solid friendship), Amber!

Amber, you’ve changed my mind about the arrival of pumpkin season! Okay fall, I’m in! San Francisco is pretty much fall year-round anyway, the sun just goes down at different times depending on the calendar month.

Not only is Amber an extremely talented vegan baker and decorator, she’s super funny and charismatic too! Watching this video, I feel like I’m in the kitchen with her, at least until I’m unable to try one of those delectable looking cookies. But that’s okay, because thanks to her guidance, I can now make my own cookies! Oh my gosh, don’t even get me started on the one-liners! (“Speaking of wet ingredients”, holds up a beer to drink.)

Fingers crossed that with popular demand (you) Amber will start making baking videos on the reg. I heard a rumor (received a text) that a mimosa cupcake tutorial may be in the works… I hope it’s true! 

You can follow Amber on Twitter and Instagram at MonkandMao, and be sure to subscribe to her Youtube channel “Blue Balls Bakery”. 

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!] 

11/16/2012

Babycakes NYC has a new app; Sally Draper makes gluten-free waffles!  »

Babycakes NYC has a new app out and it looks like a lot of fun. I love her recipe book; I actually use it to make the gluten-free snowballs at Source (Jenny-fied of course), so I’m really excited about this app.


[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansarus.com!]

It features all my favorite things: gluten-free, vegan baking, cute uniforms, hipster music, lipstick AND CELEBRITIES talking about vegan, gluten-free baked goods! The feature everyone seems to be the most jazzed about (including myself) is Mad Men’s own Kiernan Shipka making gluten-free waffles with Ms. Babycakes herself, Erin McKenna! Sally Draper has most definitely become my favorite character on that show, and remember — I haven’t yet seen Season 5 so no spoilers or I will find you, and I will gouge your eyes out. Just kidding! That wouldn’t be very vegan of me, now would it? (I’m not kidding.)

08/21/2012

Recipe: Broccoli baked with Nacheez!  »

Did you have broccoli with cheddar cheese sauce growing up? I did, and I miss it. So, I had the brilliant idea to bake broccoli with Nacheez! I used the spicy Nacheez sauce, but if I were making this for a crowd, I’d probably use mild. I made this dish twice in one week, I liked it so much!

This dish is super easy to make, and would make a great side, or meal (eaten over the sink at your parent’s house while watching cable, for example). First, I blanched my broccoli, which was about two small crowns. I used a small amount of broccoli, because I wanted each piece covered in as much Nacheez as possible. Oh yeah, and you can cut up your broccoli before or after you blanch it. Personally, I cut mine before. Next, you want to drain your broccoli! Really well, because extra water will make the cheese sauce thin and runny after you bake it. Put your broccoli and a jar of Nacheez in a baking pan, and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees! I added some pepper and garlic salt to mine. The second time I baked this, I also added some bacon bits and that really took this dish over the egde!

03/12/2012

Celebrate spring break with margarita cupcakes from The Sweetest Vegan! Look at that apron, too cute. 

I totally forgot about spring break. Man, those were the days! Actually, I never got too crazy. Maybe I should have. It’s not too late! OMG what if we plan a Vegansaurus class trip to Cancun and get vegan buck wild! We’ll charter a bus! And serve margarita cupcakes! AND LOTS AND LOTS OF BOOZE. It’s a plan. Get on the bus!

02/27/2012

Vegan Hacker on Tuesday night! Bake some vegan Twinkies!   »

Is anyone signed up for this event? It looks like fun, but I cannot go, as I am the self proclaimed Twinkie Queen of San Francisco—it simply would not be fair to the other hackers!

If you’ve never heard of Vegan Hacker, let me give you the lowdown: You reconfigure non-vegan recipes to make them vegan. Got it? And Tuesday night is all about vegan twinkies! This is the recipe you’ll be using, and the ingredients will be provided. However, you can bring whatever you want to spruce it up. Creativity is encouraged. LEMON twinkies with raspberry filling? Chocolate twinkies with mint filling? Pina Colada! Raspberry Mocha! Banana chocolate! The possibilities are endless.

If you need any help or baking tips, let me know in the comments! I do this five days a week at Source. Vegan twinkies are my livelihood!

Vegan Hacker: Twinkie Times is on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. at Noisebridge (2169 Mission St.). It’s FREE! Email to RSVP or ask questions.

12/01/2011

Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread: Put it on or in EVERYTHING  »

Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread. Oh, hell yes. Use it as sexual lube (commonly known as, “lube”), massage oil, in cupcakes, on toast, on a spoon, for high-temperature frying, or for high-temperature sexual relations. This shit does it all! There’s a reason this won product of the year at Vegnews, and your holiday baking just got a whole bunch more delicious. Plus, it’s all organic, so it doesn’t have any of that bad, shady palm oil in it (warning: shitty PDF). Seriously, if you love orangutans (and who doesn’t! They’re basically the muppet version of Jay Z and Bruce Vilanch’s love child), then only buy the organic Earth Balance DO IT. And since the organic regular Earth Balance is hella whipped, it’s not as good for baking, but now that shit doesn’t matter because this coconut spread is perfect for all your baking needs! Also, use it to get gum out of hair and to shine your silver! DO IT.

To further convince you of its glorious truth: Here’s a PDF from Earth Balance with tons of recipes, and coupons! Whole Foods also has a coupon — I wonder if you can combine to actually make money on this deal?? Learn the art of the pon, people. 

10/25/2011

In between doing very important things on my day off (watching Mad Men on Netflix, checking Facebook, napping) I came across Gluten Morgan’s video on the Whole Foods twitter feed.  GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN SPICE CUPCAKES. For real? Yes! Do it! Make them! I know I’m going to later this week. I bet they’d be incredible with cream cheese frosting.

Excuse me while I stalk check out her website and watch all of her videos on YouTube. It doesn’t look like all the recipes are vegan, but you could veganize them! And then send us the recipe!

10/10/2011

Melbourne, Australia has the best-looking bread in the world!  »


How ridiculously good does that sourdough look? And it’s not even from San Francisco, it’s from Iain Banfield of Fruition Bakery in freaking MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA. Hot damn, I’m moving! If you’re anywhere near Melbourne, you’d be a fool (a damn fool!) to not eat all of it.

Here’s a little about Fruition Bakery:

Organic flour, salt, water, and natural sourdough leaven; to many of us that is the definition of “bread,” but there are so few bakeries today that have the skill to make bread with just these base ingredients.

Iain uses a beautiful little two-arm mixer to craft his dough and massage in olives and selected fruits to produce a variety of breads, including focaccia and fruit bread. An Alan Scott wood-fired oven completes the baking process.


Also, read this excellent write-up on them and OMG PLEASE BUY ME A PLANE TICKET. Or, if not, can I at least stay with you once I’m on the run for killing someone to assume their identity/have a ticket to Melbourne? Thanks!

09/26/2011

Recipe: Oatmeal “honey” bread!  »


I’m really sorry you’re not me right now, because I’m eating this amazing bread AS I TYPE and you just get to look at a photo of it. And then make your own.

I’ve been on a bread-baking kick lately because I’m both cheap and domestic. It makes the house smell so good! And everyone is so impressed with you! Your friends and family will love you more and maybe not kick you out.

For today’s bread, I adapted a super-non-vegan recipe and you know what, fuck those guys, the vegan version rocks. It’s chewy, a little sweet, has a great texture, and in the hour since it’s cooled I’ve eaten half a loaf.

I am blessed with a KitchenAid mixer that I let do all the hard work for me, but you could make this without one, you’d just have to feel a bit more like a kitchen wench.

Oatmeal “honey” bread
makes 2ish loaves

Ingredients
5 to 6 1/2 cups flour (I used bread flour, but all-purpose would be fine)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tsp. salt
2 (1/4 oz.) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey substitute (I used Bee Free Honee made from apples, review of that product coming eventually but let me say it worked great in this bread)
1/2 cup Earth Balance
replacement for 2 eggs (I used 1 Tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 4 Tbsp. warm water; flax seeds and water would probably work great too)
1 Tbsp. soymilk
oat meal

Instructions
Mix 5 cups flour, oats, salt, and yeast in a bowl. In a small saucepan, combine water, honey-alternative, and Earth Balance. Heat to 120°F to 130°F (right when it starts getting steamy). Slowly add warm liquids to flour mixture, mixing for about 1 minute on speed 2 of your mixer, or until blended if you’re a sucker mixing by hand. Add egg substitute; mix an additional 1 minute.

Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook (spoon) and cleans sides of bowl, about 3 minutes. I only needed a little more flour for this. Knead for 7 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. 


Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a loaf by rolling it out flat on a cutting board with a rolling pin, then rolling it up into a cylinder like a jelly roll. Place each loaf into a greased bread pan (8.5” x 4.5” x 2.5”, or whatever you have really). Cover; let rise in warm place till doubled, about an hour.


Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush tops of loaves with soymilk. Sprinkle with oat meal. Bake 40 minutes, until browned and hollow-sounding when you rap on them.

Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. THEN EAT UNTIL YOU PUKE, OM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

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