Vegan Feast’s Janet Hudson is a BAKING MANIAC, she is a demonstrable baking maniac who enters competitions called Dessert Wars and makes obscene things like Double-Dipped Chocolate Chip Nutella Scooter Pies.
Did you want the recipe? Because she’ll give you the recipe. You might die of anticipatory gluttony just looking at her photos, but go on and read it. Oh goodness.
[send me your best-looking food photos, we love to share ‘em!]
[click here to send me your best vegan food photos!]
Janet Hudson of Vegan Feast (and Project Just Desserts!) spent a quiet Christmas with her husband and this great spread. From left: beetroot and kale; wasabi mashed potatoes; fried mushrooms; lavender Brussels sprouts with clementines; pumpkin pie tarts (behind the wine!); and Asian tempeh stuffing with cherries. Beautiful!
Happy Thanksgiving from Friend of Vegansaurus Janet Hudson! As familiar as we all are with her talent, her pomegranate mango salad with flowers and candied pecans still totally surprises us with how utterly beautiful it is. What a riot of color and texture!
Visit Janet at Vegan Feast for photos of the rest of her amazing, seven-course, two-dessert spread, where she’s also, as always!, taking recipe requests. Happy Thanksgiving, Janet!
Project Just Desserts just doesn’t stop! Our second episode guest chef, Janet Hudson of Vegan Feast, liked seventh episode guest chef Bianca’s lemon pies and salted caramel ice cream so much, she made her own version the same day we published it! More gorgeous, tiny lemon pies!
I went ahead and made those pies—I seriously have a weakness for lemon and since we have a tree…. I used my curd recipe and Bianca’s pastry and baked them instead of frying. The ice kreme is basically the same but I swirled in my vegan caramel after and tightened everything up with a good chill.
From the place past depressed we believe is called “giving up,” it’s your weekend events, and some links that aren’t too upsetting! »
[Adélie penguins at Half Moon Bay, Antarctica, via Google Street View]
Events and activities for you
Obviously you’ll be at VegFest XI sometime this weekend, but we’ve got a separate preview for that. Have you read it? Go read it.
Meanwhile on Saturday, MickaCoo Pigeon and Dove Rescue will hold a Feather Their Nests! fundraiser from noon to 4 p.m., which includes a silent auction, vegan snacks, and wine! Suggested donation is $20; see the invitation for location, directions, and details.
LGBT Compassion will protest the sale of live chickens and eggs at Heart of the City Farmers Market on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. The group will meet, as always, near the poultry vendor (who has a big trailer covered with blue tarps) in the northeast corner of the market, near the water fountains. More information available online.
A new SwapSF returns on Saturday, Oct. 16, which seems like forever away, but considering how popular and fun this event is, you should consider buying a $6 ticket now. What is SwapSF? What are you, new?
You might also want to register now for one of Animal Place’s chicken care classes. The next one will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Sacramento SPCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will cost $10 per person, which includes lunch.
A little light reading
How about some recipes! This one, for pickled green tomatoes, is already vegan. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but the spicy pickled crunch has a singular appeal. This is an easily veganizable recipe for panade from Tartine Bread, a book which I would most definitely like to own, oh yes. And these recipes from Project Just Desserts guest chef Janet Hudson for pumpkin moonshine and pumpkin moonshine cupcakes, are out of control. If the heat hasn’t put our hopes of pumpkins off until November, we are buying one this weekend and making our own bathtub pumpkgin (y/n?).
A pair of Australian scientists postulate that, based on historical record, up to one third of mammals considered extinct may still be living, and if we look hard enough, we’ll find them again. You guys I am holding out SO HARD for the ridiculous, peaceful flightless birds (despite their not being mammals, whatever) of New Zealand, you have no idea how sweet and innocent they were. Speaking of animal-crazy people, four of good ol’ Butterstick’s biggest fans recently spent a week volunteering at his new home at the Conservation Center in Sichuan Province. These ladies went to China exclusively to clean panda cages and feed pandas, which allowed them to touch ol’ Butterstick for the first time. It’s nuts, but it’s an adorable nuts, right?
Today in self-promotion, our raw food reporter Sarah E. Brown writes about spiritually motivated vegans; VegNews discusses vegan zines, like our pals Soyfucker and Susie Cagle, and naturally our own Laura and Jonas; and Laura tells the story of Dino Bike in The Bold Italic. And if you have the Cute Overload 2010 calendar, you may note that the photo for today, Friday Oct. 1, is of this dog with whom Meave presently lives. She calls him Bosie (as in Lord Alfred Douglas) and finds him incorrigible.
Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week two: VEGAN Margarita Bombe with a Lime Cookie, Tequila Mousse and Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée—three ways! »
Last week, Laura made an incredible-sounding vegan double-chocolate mousse torte to inaugurate Vegansaurus’ Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! For the second week, we are honored to welcome the proprietor of Vegan Feast Catering, a.k.a Wasabi Peas, a.k.a Janet Hudson to veganize the winner’s dessert, a "Margarita Bombe with a Lime Cookie, Tequila Mousse, and Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée." Sounds insane, right? The elimination challenge was to make a dessert “inspired by a cocktail,” and all their theme ingredients came from “behind the bar,” which is to say, liquor, juice, and garnishes.
In comparison to winner Erika Davis' recipe, Janet substituted agar agar for gelatin, MimicCreme and her famous nut cream for heavy cream, soft tofu for egg yolks, and ground flax seeds in water for eggs. That’s not a lot of substitution, right? Well, first you have to figure out what substitute vegan ingredient would be appropriate where; then you have to know how to manipulate them into behaving like the non-vegan items they’re replacing. Janet, however, is a talented vegan chef, and she came up with an incredible recipe that you could, if you dared, replicate at home! Oh man, you think you’re ready for these bombes—you’re not ready. Too late, here’s Janet!
Trio of Vegan Margarita Bombes, by Janet Hudson
This winning dessert has five components: a lime cookie base, luscious mousse, surprise custard filling, saucy tequila coulis, and fresh fruit topping with a salty kick. And this one is vegan. Top this, Top Chef.
Citrus Crème Brûlée
2 cups MimicCreme or soy creamer
1 cup soft tofu
¾ cup raw sugar
1 vanilla bean scraped
zests of ½ lemon; 1 lime; ½ orange
3 Tbsp agar agar, bloomed in ¼ cup warm soy creamer
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup raw sugar
½ cup vegetable margarine
flax seed to replace 2 eggs
zest of 1 lime
2 pinch salt
¾ cup each vanilla sauce ( ¼ cup each flavor)
4½ cups non-dairy whipped cream or nut cream (1½ cup each flavor)
6 tbsp agar agar, bloomed in warm fruit juice (2 Tbsp each flavor)
Tequila to taste
½ cup each: strawberry puree; orange juice; grated melon in Midori Melon Liqueur, to taste
1 cup lemonade
zests of ½ lime; ½ orange
3 Tbsp cornstarch
Trio of Vegan Margarita Bombes unsliced, by Janet Hudson
1. In a bowl mix sugar, tofu and zests. Bring MimicCreme/soy creamer and vanilla to a boil.
2. Temper hot and cold mixtures together and add agar agar. Bake at 325 degrees till set; this will take approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool down until very cold.
1. Mix sugar, butter, salt, and flax eggs until creamed. Add lime zest and flour, and mix until incorporated. Place in cooler for 15 minutes; then roll out to ¼-inch thick and cut with 3” round cutter. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
Prepare three bowls: melon, strawberry and traditional.
1. Whip nut cream to a soft medium peak. Warm the vanilla sauce with each flavor and add the agar agar. Allow to cool a bit and fold in cream. Refrigerate until cool.
2. Scoop the crème brulée with a small ice cream scoop. Pour a little mousse into individual round molds, place the crème brulée bomb in the middle, and cover with more mousse. Place in the freezer to set.
1. Bring the sugar, juices and zest to a low boil. Then tighten a little with cornstarch and add the tequila to taste.
2. Slice some thin lime wedges, strawberries and melon. Set aside.
Paint a plate with the coulis, place the lime cookie on the plate, and unmold the bombe in the center of the cookie. You may cut in half as you wish. Sprinkle with some lime zest and garnish with sliced fruit or lime wedge. Top it off with some coarse sea salt.
Yields six servings: melon, strawberry, and traditional, or a total of 18 bombes.
Trio of Vegan Margarita Bombes, by Janet Hudson
We cannot thank Janet enough for making these for us. The most unbelievable part is that she is this creative on a daily basis! Now ideally, we’d have been onsite to witness her genius in action, and then we’d have eaten them all up (perhaps with a mezcal cocktail), but sadly distance kept your Vegansaurus from devouring these brilliant little bombes immediately after plating. We’ll all just have to make our own, just like you. Let us know if you attempt this recipe, or Laura’s mousse torte, or any of the recipes to come! Tell us how well you did, send us photos! Play along!
Top Chef: Just Desserts, episode two airs tonight, and our second chef is revealed! »
The second episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight (10 Eastern/Pacific), which means that we’re ready to unveil our second guest chef (uh, the first guest chef was me even though I’m neither a guest or a chef! but check it out, I veganized a pretty rad dessert!) who will veganize the episode’s winning dessert! Have you been able to bear the suspense? We have, but just barely!
This week’s guest chef is the MOST AMAZING Janet Hudson of Vegan Feast Catering in San Diego! Janet updates her Tumblr multiple times a day (like us! high five!) and has a huge following on Flickr, because she is not only an accomplished chef, but a talented food photographer. She’s also very generous; although she’s already published one cookbook (buy it!) and is in the process of publishing another, she regularly shares her recipes and techniques with her readers. We’ve featured her amazing food a few times, and once she created a recipe just for us! We are the luckiest! And also, the pushiest!
Janet has been vegan for over 15 years, and has obviously picked up the skillz to pay the billz during that time. Seriously, if you ever want to stare compulsively at a computer screen for hours on end, you’ll tape a picture of my adorable mug to it. Awww…. BUT REALLY FOLKS, you’ll check out her Flickr stream—it’s as prolific as it is delicious! We’re all winners!
We’re honored to have Janet veganize tonight’s dessert, whatever insane concoction it might be. Hopefully it won’t involve some horrible combination like lard and licorice. But if it did (and it might! Top Chef is so crafty!), Janet could do it, she is amazing! Next Monday, we’ll reveal her dessert and the recipe so you can all go forth and conquer TV food in your own home. Ow!
AND FINALLY, here is a video of one of the contestants flipping out about something ridiculous. KILL YOUR TELEVISION. I kid, watch the show and play along!
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]
*Just like last week, no one is paying us to watch or promote this show. If someone decides to give us money to do this, we’ll let you know!
We’re huge fans of Norwichnuts around here. Her Flickr photos make me want to eat my screen and her recipes are easy, quick and always delicious. She created this custom recipe just for Vegansaurus because she is the greatest. Make it, eat it, send us thank-you notes and cash money, etc.
Shortbread Macaroons with Raspberries
by Janet Hudson
This is a light, delicious cookie-type dessert that is really easy and very elegant—don’t let the steps fool you. You will be glad you tried this.
Part 1. Vegan Shortbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup raw sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup chilled vegetable margarine
Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with vegetable margarine or line with parchment paper. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add ½ cup margarine and mix by hand until mixture resembles coarse meal. Using your hands, form the meal into ball and then flatten into disk. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a half-inch-thick rectangle and transfer to the cookie sheet. Press dough down evenly.
Part 2. Raspberry Filling
1 basket fresh raspberries, washed
½ cup raw sugar or agave syrup
1 tsp. spearmint extract
Mix the berries together and macerate with the extract and sugar. Spoon on top of the shortbread.
Part 3. Vegan Macaroons:
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
3 Tbsp. raw sugar
½ cup warm coconut milk
1 Tbsp. egg replacer
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sliced almonds
Mix coconut and sugar together. Whisk egg replacer into the coconut milk, then stir in the vanilla. Mix the coconut mixtures together. Fill a pastry bag and pipe the “dough” on top of the shortbread and berries as you like. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with sliced almonds around the last five minutes. Makes about a dozen “cookies”.
Cool and enjoy. The best part about these is that you can have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Idea! Why not change out the raspberries for blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or any of your favorite fruits!