vegansaurus!

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. 

04/23/2014

We totally heart Cocomels: delicious coconut-milk vegan caramels!  »

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Guys, I’m happily OBSESSED with Cocomels vegan coconut milk caramels. Like, completely OBSESSED. JJ’s Sweets sent me a bunch of free stuff to try and as usual, I shared these goodies with my coworkers. Everyone absolutely loved them and multiple coworkers said these are the best things I’ve ever made them try. 

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I was never much into caramels but I thought I’d give these a try anyway and boy am I glad I did! They are nothing short of awesome. And totally addictive. 

As they are made with coconut milk, some of them have a bit of a coconut flavor. People were comparing the vanilla Cocomels to Samoas Girl Scout cookies. I’ve never had those but that’s what everyone said they tasted like.

The coffee and sea salt have less of a coconut flavor. The coffee is my most very favorite of all the flavors! It tastes like rich coffee, like when you get coffee ice cream—not a subtle cappuccino flavor. The sea salt was my second favorite as you know I love the salty and sweet combo. 

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Now, don’t die! They also sent me a few of their chocolate-covered varieties!* I gave my mom the chocolate-covered vanilla ones and she pretty much died. These were all good but I actually prefer the straight up caramels. The chocolate seemed a little minty almost? Maybe I’m being cray but that’s what it tasted like to me. Loved the sea salt one of course! Here’s a picture of the chocolate-covered sea salt Cocomel, in all its glory:

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Jeez, don’t drool on the computer! OK you can because it’s your computer and you can do whatever you want. Unless you are at the library (NERD), in which case do not drool on your computer and keep it down over there. 

Other exciting bits of info:

-I love the packaging design! (Reminds me of the sidewalks in Rio. Why yes, I am fancy. Thanks for noticing.)

-Cocomels are made in copper kettles, all old-school like!

-They are gluten free, organic, non-GMO and corn syrup-free!

-The boxes are made with wind power for freaks sake!

-The chocolate they use is fair trade!

I know, it’s all so exciting! You can buy Cocomels online at their siteFood Fight Grocery, and Abe’s Market. You can also get them at Whole Foods Market stores in the NorCal, SoCal, CO, NM, UT,  NY, CT, NJ, TX, LA, AR, OK, KS, NV;  Select Sprouts in AZ and CA, Vitamin Cottage, The Fresh Market, New Leaf, and numerous smaller chains, COOPs and independent grocers. I cannot recommend these enough! I want more!

*UPDATE!: Several people have found the chocolate-covered caramels are sold-out on the Cocomels site! JJ’s Sweets just put this note on our FB:

The Chocolate-Covered Cocomels are available in a two pack only in a few select locations right now, but you will be able to order the larger bags of them on the site in the next few days…. making a fresh batch now! 

01/03/2014

It is SO COLD in New York, there are icicles INSIDE my apartment. I wish I was kidding. So how great would these bakes apples with apple cider and sea salt caramel be right about now? A million times great. Maybe Veggies and Gin will have me over and gimme all the apples!!!

It is SO COLD in New York, there are icicles INSIDE my apartment. I wish I was kidding. So how great would these bakes apples with apple cider and sea salt caramel be right about now? A million times great. Maybe Veggies and Gin will have me over and gimme all the apples!!!

11/04/2013

Lagusta’s Luscious croissant-infused caramels and more!  »

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Did you eat enough candy last week? Me neither! Which works out perfectly because I went totally cray on the Lugusta’s Luscious website the other day and got all kinds of stuff. But rewind: did you see that title? I’m not even kidding! Croissant-infused chocolate-covered caramels!  And let me tell you, they are so totally the new jam. And I let my coworkers try them because I am so nice and everyone agreed they are the new jam. So good. Nice and salty-sweet. 

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I also got these peppermint patty type things above. They are creamier than peppermint patties but they are very good. The chocolate is not very sweet, that is how I like it. 

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I also got this butterfinger type candy bar. This is the only thing I ordered that I’m not super into. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very yummy, it’s just missing something real butterfingers have. It’s not as crunchy or something. I don’t know. But it’s still peanut buttery-good. 

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This is the last thing I got, Matzo Toffee! It’s some kind of craziness! It’s like caramelized matzo with salty dark chocolate drizzled on top. Maybe I’m weird but I’ve always loved matzo. I would totally trade my snacks for matzo in elementary school. I also ate white flour. That’s enough about me for today.

In conclusion: YUM!

10/30/2012

OCD Sweets (our favorite!) needs help naming this delicious insanity! Got an idea? Go to their Facebook page and let your creative muse fly, you candy mastermind, you!
Also, dude: BUY ALL THE VEGAN TWIX THINGS THEY LOOK TO BE THE BOMB.
OCD Sweets, if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Or skinny. 

OCD Sweets (our favorite!) needs help naming this delicious insanity! Got an idea? Go to their Facebook page and let your creative muse fly, you candy mastermind, you!

Also, dude: BUY ALL THE VEGAN TWIX THINGS THEY LOOK TO BE THE BOMB.

OCD Sweets, if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Or skinny. 

11/27/2011

This is the dessert from Early Thanksgiving at VegNews! It’s vanilla bean ice cream made by the delightful Jenn Chen (from a BitterSweet recipe! I’m pretty sure it’s this one! But I am not positive!) and OCD Sweets vanilla bean caramel sauce! We paired it with holiday pies from Side Saddle Kitchen (we love them because damn, they make some delicious raw treats) and ate until we literally held our stomachs and cried. LITERALLY CRIED. I have nothing else to say because I’m still so freaking full. SO FULL.

This is the dessert from Early Thanksgiving at VegNews! It’s vanilla bean ice cream made by the delightful Jenn Chen (from a BitterSweet recipe! I’m pretty sure it’s this one! But I am not positive!) and OCD Sweets vanilla bean caramel sauce! We paired it with holiday pies from Side Saddle Kitchen (we love them because damn, they make some delicious raw treats) and ate until we literally held our stomachs and cried. LITERALLY CRIED. I have nothing else to say because I’m still so freaking full. SO FULL.

11/09/2011

Eat this immediately: Gourmellows! They’re what’s for every meal if you’re not an idiot!  »

You guys, you really really really really really have to try these gourmellows from Desiderio Chocolates. Yes, gourmellow — it’s GOURMET and MARSHMALLOW made into one awkward word, but who cares, the taste is nothing short of legendary. Legendary, I say! I found them while browsing the vegan section of the adorable Abe’s Market instead of working (it’s one of the many things I do that don’t involve working), and BAM: Gourmellows:

They’re half-fudge, half-marshmallow (roughly the same composition as yours truly) and then covered in the smoothest dark chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s almost milk chocolaty. I mean, HOT DAMN! It tastes like nothing I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten pretty much everything. If you don’t believe me, I’ll send pictures.

Man, I love Gourmellows so much. I’ve gotten into the adorable habit of g-chatting my boyfriend simply, “GOURMELLOW DOWN!” because it makes him sad that he’s at stupid work without delicious gourmellows and I’m living the dream!

Get at them, either via Abe’s ($14 for six, or $12.60 if you give them three friends’ email addresses, YOU ASSHOLE) or Desiderio Chocolates’ Etsy store ($6 for three). Also, their sea salt caramels are UNSANE. You like nougat? Oh, they’ve got your nougat! Oh fuck it, just get a sampler snack pack and go to town, fatty. FUCK, I see that they’ve got ROCKY ROAD, TOO. Goddammit!

Here’s the sea salt caramel:

Here’s my hand-model hand and a Gourmellow EXTREME CLOSE-UP:

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