vegansaurus!

09/29/2014

Pizza Cake has taken over and now it’s time for us all to make the vegan version. Thanks to the geniuses at Maximum Salad, we have a way. God is good. Let us do this. (If we are dead tomorrow via Vegan Pizza Cake, let people know it was worth it.)

05/12/2014

Hot Cakes Totally Vegan salted caramel sauce is Totally delicious!  »

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I’ve been on a caramel kick recently so when I came across Hot Cakes and saw they have a vegan sauce, I had to try it! They sent me a free jar and the rest is chemistry. 

I wanted to make something apple-based to try the sauce but I was also feeling super lazy. AS PER USUAL. Luckily, I opened my handy dandy Vegan Divas Cookbook and it has this INCREDIBLY easy applesauce cake recipe. 

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Big shout out to the cake recipe* as this cake was moist and delicious and seriously took like 5 minutes to mix up. But when topped with the Hot Cakes caramel sauce? GET OUT OF HERE! It’s a show-stopper! Guys, if you had people coming over, make them this cake and top with a little heated Hot Cakes sauce and you will be THE COOLEST host ever. Plus, I heated the caramel sauce in the microwave right in the jar (metal lid off, of course)! So easy.

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As I said, the Hot Cakes Totally Vegan caramel sauce is salted, but it’s very slight. Just so it’s not too sweet. Hot Cakes makes their caramel sauces in small batches, “the oldschool way.” It’s gluten-free, soy-free, and “mostly organic,” which is all good news. And it has hemp milk in it!:

We use only the finest organic coconut milk and hemp milk—the combination creates a flavor our customers rave about. We then add just the right amount of salt to balance the sweetness and enhance the deep smoky notes. The texture of this sauce is like silk—so smooth and creamy you won’t believe it doesn’t have cream or butter in it. 

It really is delicious! And doesn’t hemp milk have Omega 3s in it? BONUS! At $12 a jar, it’s pricey. But I think a jar will last a while. One spoonful went a long way on my cake. I want to try it on their vegan dark chocolate jar cakes!!!! I like chocolate and caramel and baking things in jars just seems like the funnest, right? The funnest.

You can buy the sauce online or in a bunch of stores (including Vegansaurus faves Bi-Rite Creamery in SF, Nooch in Denver, and Food Fight in Portland!).

*Sorry pals, you got to get the book to get the recipe! The Vegan Divas Cookbook is available on their website, among other places. 

12/16/2013

Vegan Divas brings you a vegan bûche de Noël!  »

Vegan Divas, your favorite health-conscious vegan bakery, has created this decadent bûche de Noël! Or Yule Log, to us local folk. It’s a chocolate sponge cake, layered with chocolate mousse and caramel filling. And if you don’t know, Vegan Divas’ chocolate mousse is their signature dish. It’s so chocolatey and smooth!

The bûche de Noël is $59 and serves 10-12 people. You can pick one up at the store in Manhattan or they are delivering to the NYC metro area. I don’t know how far they’ll delivery otherwise but they do say you can contact them for Connecticut or other areas. I want one! They are so pretty!

08/09/2012

Product Review: Wholesome Chow gluten-free chocolate cake mix!  »


Last weekend, I baked with Wholesome Chow’s chocolate bake mix and that’s it; I’m throwing in the towel on ever making my own mix from scratch again. There’s no point! This Wholesome Chow mix amazing. I can’t even tell it’s gluten-free! Love, love love!

As with the last time, I followed the instructions on the back, adding a non-dairy milk and oil. I used full-fat canned coconut milk, which I find gives my cakes and extra degree of moistness and also makes the baking process a little more forgiving. You see, I’m prone to over-baking. It’s a curse! But luckily, coconut milk and I have found each other, so all is well over here.

I don’t have much more to say—this is an exceptional product. I’ve actually bought out every SF store that stocks the chocolate mix. So, there’s that. Actions speak louder than words, and I’ve snatched all the convenience away from you, city-dwellers. But you can buy the mixes online! Then they’ll come straight to your doorstep! Win win! Also, because I bought Rainbow and Other Avenues out, I had the opportunity to try the lavender chocolate mix, which is also very tasty. Much like the vanilla lavender, there is only a hint of lavender flavor, which adds a fruitiness as a opposed to a potpourri-ness.


I made my frosting from scratch again, this time adding some instant espresso powder (instant coffee works too) to it. For the border and flowers, which are chocolate frosting, I added unsweetened cocoa powder. You can find my vanilla frosting recipe here!

06/08/2012


Check out this cake! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s the vegan carrot cake that Pink bought to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday! Vegan baked goods, for the win! That is some beautiful handiwork, from Jamaica’s Cakes in Los Angeles.

Join our team, Pink! You know I’ve been saving you a seat for awhile now, starting with when you called Kayne out, not once, but twice, for being a total fucking idiot.

04/09/2012

Oh dang, yous guys! Vegan Butterscotch Krimpets from the Tolerant Vegan! This is a dream come true for any Philadelphian vegan. I had Tastykake butterscotch krimpets like all the time as a kid, they were my favorite! And people from out of town thought I was crazy when I told them about the cakes because who eats butterscotch anymore? But I don’t think they really taste like classic butterscotch, they just taste like awesome! And childhood—They taste like awesome childhood. 
Who is so excited for these?!

Oh dang, yous guys! Vegan Butterscotch Krimpets from the Tolerant Vegan! This is a dream come true for any Philadelphian vegan. I had Tastykake butterscotch krimpets like all the time as a kid, they were my favorite! And people from out of town thought I was crazy when I told them about the cakes because who eats butterscotch anymore? But I don’t think they really taste like classic butterscotch, they just taste like awesome! And childhood—They taste like awesome childhood. 

Who is so excited for these?!

03/29/2012

HELLOOOO NURSE! Stop being so pretty, carrot cake! This Spring Carrot Cake is from Fragrant Vanilla Cake (it’s a blog, not a cake!), and she’s too pretty! Like, I can’t take it. 
I never make carrot cake, there’s so many ingredients that I get tired just reading the list of them. In reality, it probably adds like 20 seconds per ingredient but it seems like more! I guess that’s why god invented pumpkin pie spice, right?

HELLOOOO NURSE! Stop being so pretty, carrot cake! This Spring Carrot Cake is from Fragrant Vanilla Cake (it’s a blog, not a cake!), and she’s too pretty! Like, I can’t take it. 

I never make carrot cake, there’s so many ingredients that I get tired just reading the list of them. In reality, it probably adds like 20 seconds per ingredient but it seems like more! I guess that’s why god invented pumpkin pie spice, right?

03/22/2012

A Page in Vegan History: The Depression Cake!  »

I don’t think this is the oldest vegan cake recipe ever, but it’s HELLA old! Just like my grandpa! My grandpa turned 93 last week and so my mom made him his traditional birthday cake: The Depression Cake. This eggless, butter-less, milk-less recipe comes to us all the way from, you guessed it, the depression. And it’s all vegan! It’s funny that my grandpa’s favorite bday cake is vegan because he thinks veganism is for yuppies. But! Butter and eggs were expensive! Still are. Leave them for the yuppies, gramps! Join the vegan team.

Here is my grandpa, back in the day and now: 

He really was a rocket scientist. Also an expert gardener and woodcarver! And lover of Depression Cake. 

Here is the recipe from my mama, a slight variation on my Great Grandma Helen’s recipe!:

Depression Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup hot water
2 cups raisins (I used raisins, currants, & golden raisins)
1/3 cup shortening (I used earth balance)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves

Instructions:
Cook above for 5 minutes, cool.

Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 cup
chopped nuts.

Bake in 9x12 inch pan at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Grandpa Art likes chocolate fudge frosting on this. I just picked a
random vegan choc fudge frosting recipe from the Internet.

I also left some with just a dusting of powdered sugar.

There you go, guys! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Happy birthday, grandpa!

02/13/2012

Vegan Divas makes yummy vegan desserts in NYC!  »

Guys, your friend Megan is super fancy. Or at least I kind of was on Thursday! I went to a fancy dessert tasting in Manhattan thrown by Vegan Divas (heads up: the homepage has music. But it’s kind of the greatest song ever). They are an upscale vegan dessert company in New York and I got to try a wide array of their offerings. 

Vegan Divas is very much focused on health so their desserts are preservative free, their cookies are fortified with fiber and they substitute spelt flour in place of regular flour. However, they do this without sacrificing taste and presentation. Look how pretty:

Fernanda Capobianco, the owner of Vegan Divas and a vegan of fifteen years, was at the party, as was her husband François Payard, renown pastry chef. François made a pretty funny speech with zingers interjected by Fernanda. An interesting thing François said was that he’s learned that you can better taste the flavor of food when it’s made without butter. He said butter coats your mouth and without it, there is no barrier between you and the food. Interesting! Fernanda then said her piece about the many health benefits of a vegan diet. I was like, OK, but do the desserts taste good?! Well let me tell you, they do! 

The chocolate cake pictured above was rich and delicious. In fact, everything chocolate was really good. If you like chocolate mousse, you have to try theirs. It’s made with tofu and I think it’s a signature dish. I thought it was great and I’m not even that into mousse! I am into donuts though and I really liked these chocolate-topped baked donuts (get out of my way, coconut donuts!):

Since the donuts are baked and not fried, we are not talking Ronald’s, but they were good. And you can’t tell from the picture but these are mini donuts! Like mini-mini donuts. Very tiny. I love very tiny food!

My very favorite thing was the carrot cake! I haven’t had a good carrot cake in a while and this really hit the spot. Very moist and yummy but not too sweet:

Another highlight were these wacky “sand” cookies:

I love them! They were salty and reminded me of these wheat biscuit/crackers Carr’s used to make. 

Now I will introduce you to my favorite party guest, Hanly!:


OMG Hanly rules, he’s a Seeing Eye dog! And a party animal. Plus, he has his own wine label! Well, his owner does. But his picture is on the label! Alex Elman supplied the delicious wine for the party. I got a chance to speak with her and she said her wines are all vegan and organic. And they were sure tasty! I definitely recommend this wine and it seems to be widely available. You can check for it near you.

Back to Vegan Divas, you can buy their products at a number of places in New York. They also do catering! For those outside of New York, they do say they ship to the continental US (sorry my out of country friends! Now you have to visit me!). My official recommendations are the carrot cake and anything chocolate. And if you are gluten-free or have any other allergies, I think this is the company for you. Order Vegan Divas and have your own fancy dessert tasting! You know what would make it even fancier? Invite me! I light up a room.

01/18/2012

Product Review: Rodelle Chocolate Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste! Plus, Chocolate Cake with Banana Frosting!  »

This is not totally about vegan stuff, but as we vegans are a baking people, I could not refuse a free sample of Rodelle chocolate extract and vanilla bean paste! The great thing about this stuff is it’s organic, which is always nice, plus their facility is wind-powered AND a portion of the profits go toward environmental and reforestation efforts by Trees, Water and People. They also support sustainable farming and fund great programs in Uganda and Madagascar, where they get their vanilla. So you can feel good while you are making yummy food! 

I was very excited to try the chocolate extract, as I didn’t know it existed. I feel like chocolate cakes that just have chocolate cocoa in them are never chocolatey enough! So my hope was that chocolate extract would give it that chocolatey oomph I’ve been looking for. I had never used vanilla paste either; the difference between vanilla paste and vanilla extract is while vanilla extract is made by infusing alcohol with vanilla, vanilla paste is made by scraping vanilla beans into a sugar mixture. So vanilla paste is sweet! This would have been great when I was little and always wanted to eat a bit of vanilla extract because it smelled so good—bad idea! Some people say vanilla paste is great for making vanilla ice cream because you get those little black specs of vanilla. I will have to try that!

I’d been waiting for the right opportunity to try my Rodelle stuff when along came my sis-in-law’s birthday! My brother asked me to get a cake. He wanted me to buy it! Ha! Silly guy. I decided I’d make one, adoy. He wanted something with banana. I looked around and found this recipe for vegan chocolate cake with banana frosting from Sarah Fit; As that sounds super awesome, I decided to go for it. Chocolate cake with banana frosting? DANG, SON!

"A" for Alejandra, my sis-in-law! Not the most beautiful cake I’ve ever made but it sure was tasty!

I substituted chocolate extract for the almond extract and the vanilla paste for the vanilla extract and got to work. So how did the cake turn out? Chocolatey delicious! No joke! I think the chocolate extract really did it’s job. I swear, it had that moist chocolate flavor that I’ve only found in stupid box cake mixes. I love this stuff! I want to use it in everything. Rodelle says you can use it in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract. Of course in this recipe I used both the vanilla paste and chocolate extract so it was a double whammy. I REALLY want to try the chocolate extract in whipped cream—chocolate whipped cream! Genius!

Here’s the interior. Yummy like I said! I have to highly recommend Rodelle and also this super recipe from Sarah Fit. All the omnis liked it. Oh, omnis! You guys are adorbs. 

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