vegansaurus!

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!

08/02/2012

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

Wholesome Chow sent me a box of their gluten-free, organic, vegan cake mixes to bake and review. Being a professional vegan baker myself, I was so excited to play with their product! Gluten-free baking is not an easy venture.

Jeffery and Veronica sent me their seven-mix variety pack, which includes lavender, chocolate, vanilla, and chai spice cake mixes, an all-purpose baking mix, and a vanilla frosting mix. Being surrounded by baked goods all day at work, I don’t bake too much at home, so I decided to review each one for you as I make them.

I started with the lavender cake mix, because that is the one I was most iffy about. I usually don’t like lavender baked goods; they tend to taste like soap. However, Wholesome Chow has figured out the perfect vanilla-to-lavender taste ratio! The lavender gave the cake a fruitier flavor, as opposed to soap. Of course I had two of my trusty, non-vegan taste-testers with me, Britney and Dan. Neither of them were turned off by the lavender taste either!

Even though I bake for a living, I get really nervous to bake at home sometimes. What if my oven temperature is off? What if I overfill the cupcake tins? WHAT IF I BURN IT, THUS RENDERING MY REVIEW USELESS?! Happily, I can say that Wholesome Chow is Jenny-proof and Jenny-approved. All you have to do is add a non-dairy milk, vinegar, and oil. Then you mix, let sit for a few minutes, and bake!


I was extremely happy with the cupcakes I made. They baked beautifully and tasted amazing! I’m not a gluten-free connoisseur, and I felt as though these passed the non-Celiac sufferer test. I would eat and bake these again, not because they are gluten-free, but because they were easy to make and tasted delicious! I cannot wait to bake with their other products (chocolate cake, you are next).

Now for a little about my process. I turned on the oven, and while it was heating, I mixed my batter. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, I cannot stress the importance of buying one. Home ovens tend to be waaaaay off, and how will you know? Luckily ours is on point, which I would not have know if not for our trusty thermometer! As for the “milk” in my cupcakes, I used straight-up coconut milk. I think it adds a moistness that many vegan baked goods lack. Not the light stuff, either: the full-fat, canned coconut milk. I also used apple cider vinegar.

As for the frosting, I made mine from scratch. Earlier in the day, my social media friend Jen suggested I make blueberry frosting. I had made a blueberry pie the previous day and had filling leftover. PERFECT. Half of the lavender cupcakes got with blueberry frosting, and half got vanilla.

Buttercream frosting
Ingredients

1 cups organic vegetable shortening
1/2 Earth Balance buttery spread
3 - 4 very full cups organic powdered sugar (start with 3, mix, taste, add more)
1 very generous splash of vanilla extract (the higher the quality, the better your frosting will taste)
1 pinch of salt

Instructions
I mixed mine  with a hand mixer no more than 10 minutes, until obtaining desired fluffiness. If you have a stand mixer (I envy you very much), let it go for 20 to 30 minutes (with the paddle attachment) and you will have the lightest, fluffiest frosting than you ever thought possible. Add flavorings as desired. I added some blueberry filling, mixed, tasted, and added more until I got the flavor I wanted.

Wholesome Chow is available at a variety of retailers, and online. Check here to see if it’s at a location near you!

06/12/2012

Vegan lemon meringue pie from Mister Nice Guy Cupcakes in Melbourne, Australia! Even though only one of these adorable bakers has an Australian accent, which I found totally disappointing. We love Australians!

They are both exceedingly adorable, however, and I 100 percent want to make this pie now. Who doesn’t love a lemon meringue pie? Suckers, that’s who, and now there’s a vegan version, we can all be winners with our fancy fluffy pies. Hooray!

Watch more vegan how-to videos at Mister Nice Guy’s YouTube page, and check out their main site. Or, if you’re anywhere near Melbourne, go visit!

Disclosure: This is part of the delightful VegNews TV, and while Vegansaurus and VegNews are BFF, Mister Nice Guy contacted us independent of the fine people of VegNews! OK!

06/05/2012

All I want in this life is to try all the delicious fancy vegan donuts the world has to offer. So far, I’ve only ever had Pepple’s. I love Pepple’s! But I want more! These are donuts from Dun-Well, pictured here to make you really hungry and because The Awl has a lovely interview with Dun-Well founder Christopher Hollowell.
We love Dun-Well so much! And we fully support the start of a Dun-Well vegan donut empire. Just make sure you come to the Bay Area before hitting L.A., those guys get all the good stuff.
[photo by watashiwani via Flickr]

All I want in this life is to try all the delicious fancy vegan donuts the world has to offer. So far, I’ve only ever had Pepple’s. I love Pepple’s! But I want more! These are donuts from Dun-Well, pictured here to make you really hungry and because The Awl has a lovely interview with Dun-Well founder Christopher Hollowell.

We love Dun-Well so much! And we fully support the start of a Dun-Well vegan donut empire. Just make sure you come to the Bay Area before hitting L.A., those guys get all the good stuff.

[photo by watashiwani via Flickr]

04/11/2012

Coming soon: the next SF Vegan Bakesale! And they need volunteers! Contact the organizers to sign up to bake! Follow them on Twitter to keep up with news! Or just be at VegNews HQ, 3505 20th St. (at Mission) on Sunday, April 22, between noon and 4 p.m. to buy tons of vegan treats. Sales benefit the House Rabbit Society and you know we love us some bunnies. This site might as well be sponsored by bunnies. And pit bulls. And crippling depression. And big-ass cookies. 

Coming soon: the next SF Vegan Bakesale! And they need volunteers! Contact the organizers to sign up to bake! Follow them on Twitter to keep up with news! Or just be at VegNews HQ, 3505 20th St. (at Mission) on Sunday, April 22, between noon and 4 p.m. to buy tons of vegan treats. Sales benefit the House Rabbit Society and you know we love us some bunnies. This site might as well be sponsored by bunnies. And pit bulls. And crippling depression. And big-ass cookies

03/23/2012

Vegan cupcake ATM, what the what?
Kathy (Lunchbox Bunch, Finding Vegan, your entire internet) at Babble did the research and, yes, the red velvet cupcake at the Sprinkles 24-hour cupcake ATM in Beverly Hills is 100 percent vegan and 100 percent delicious. Leading us to ask for the billionth time, Why does L.A. get all the good stuff? Come ON, Bay Area, spoil us! You know we’ll actually digest those cupcakes, no “eating with all the senses except taste” or “chewing and spitting” nonsense, we’re not actors, no one needs to think we’re pretty. GIVE US CUPCAKES AT 2 IN THE MORNING.
[image by Kathy Freston for Babble]

Vegan cupcake ATM, what the what?

Kathy (Lunchbox Bunch, Finding Vegan, your entire internet) at Babble did the research and, yes, the red velvet cupcake at the Sprinkles 24-hour cupcake ATM in Beverly Hills is 100 percent vegan and 100 percent delicious. Leading us to ask for the billionth time, Why does L.A. get all the good stuff? Come ON, Bay Area, spoil us! You know we’ll actually digest those cupcakes, no “eating with all the senses except taste” or “chewing and spitting” nonsense, we’re not actors, no one needs to think we’re pretty. GIVE US CUPCAKES AT 2 IN THE MORNING.

[image by Kathy Freston for Babble]

03/20/2012

Vegan cake pops from Les Pops Sweets! Elizabeth sent them to me for review, a perfect little box of six Noah’s Chocolate Mudslide hearts, which are chocolatey cakes dipped in chocolate, then drizzled in chocolate. They taste fantastic, you guys! Soft and rich, with a deep chocolate flavor that’s right on the line between sweetly milky and pure, bitter cacao.

Les Pops Sweets make seven flavors of cake pops, six of which they can make vegan, and all of which they can make gluten-free. I loved mine, and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants fancy little desserts without having to make fancy little desserts, which is tedious as all get-out. Like, I could almost always eat a cupcake, but doing the frosting is so much work. And a little heart-shaped cake, dipped and drizzled in chocolate? Even more work! Just get some cake pops from Les Pops Sweets and enjoy Elizabeth’s hard work instead.

You can follow Les Pops Sweets on tumblr, and like them on Facebook, if you’re so inclined.

03/14/2012

Rainbow donuts, why you so fresh?? I’m so gay for these gay donuts! And then they had to go and PUT SPRINKLES ON THEM? Mitt Romney is rolling over in his grave. (I WISH) (JK, I DON’T WANT MITT ROMNEY TO DIE) (I JUST WANT HIM NOT TO EXIST)

Rainbow donuts, why you so fresh?? I’m so gay for these gay donuts! And then they had to go and PUT SPRINKLES ON THEM? Mitt Romney is rolling over in his grave. (I WISH) (JK, I DON’T WANT MITT ROMNEY TO DIE) (I JUST WANT HIM NOT TO EXIST)

12/20/2011

Cookbook review: Vegan Pie in the Sky makes pie vegan, delicious, easy to make  »

Here are a few things to like about Vegan Pie In The Sky:

1. It’s the latest cookbook by awesome vegan mavens Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Instant cred!

2. It comes in an adorable square shape.

3. It proves that your pies can have flaky crusts, delicious fillings, and be gorgeous baked goods without animal ingredients like butter or eggs.

Those are all pretty good selling points, I think, and plenty of reason why you should pick up VPITS, or perhaps give it to your favorite baker as a holiday gift. The book looks small, but it’s 75 (!) recipes that covers everything from making the perfect pie crust to filling said crust with deliciousness—including 18 chocolate pies!—to topping it off perfectly. As a bonus, many of the fillings are gluten-free, and you can always experiment to make the crusts gluten-free as well by using your favorite flour sub.

Look, what I’m saying is that I don’t even really like pie, and I still want to make all of these. If I haven’t convinced you yet, check out the four sample recipes on the Post Punk Kitchen site.

Terri Coles lives in Toronto, where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues. We edit out all her extra vowels.

11/17/2011

It’s your daily Thanksgiving preview! This was reader Paige’s sweet potato cake (recipe courtesy VegNews!), and I think it looks as gorgeous today as it did a year ago! Man! Where is my sweet potato cake, already?

It’s your daily Thanksgiving preview! This was reader Paige’s sweet potato cake (recipe courtesy VegNews!), and I think it looks as gorgeous today as it did a year ago! Man! Where is my sweet potato cake, already?

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