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. 

04/28/2014

Vegan Divas releases high-end jewelry line to benefit the Humane Society!  »

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Meatpacking necklace

Fernanda Capobianco, the founder and owner of NYC’s Vegan Divas bakery, has created a beautiful line of handmade jewelry. Bonus: the line is made with recycled materials. SUPER BONUS: the sales benefit Friends of Finn, an HSUS effort to stop puppy mills!

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Greenwich necklace

The Friends of Finn committee was started by Amanda Hearst in honor of her beloved dog, Finn. Not very aware of the puppy mill epidemic, Hearst purchased Finn from a NYC pet shop. The seller swore Finn was not from a puppy mill. Then Hearst became involved with HSUS and as she learned more about puppy mills, she couldn’t help but wonder about her pet shop dog. After some research, low and behold, Finn did in fact come from an awful puppy mill.

Thus Friends of Finn was born to help educate others about puppy mills and raise money to put an end to those torture factories. And I’ll tell you, we seriously do need to educated people about puppy mills, like, yesterday! TWO people I know (not super well, but) recently bought puppies. I can’t believe people still do that!image

Park earrings

The line is on the expensive side but like I said, it’s handmade and benefits charity. And of course, the line is vegan! That’s means you won’t find any leather backings that I see on other beaded jewelry lines. Also important: the jewelry is beautiful! I love the bold colors of many of the pieces but the necklace at the top is my favorite. Who needs blood diamonds when you’ve got a blanket of beads!  

Fernanda was inspired by her Brazilian roots:

"I was in my home town in Brazil last December and fell in love with these pieces and their designers. They meticulously pick their materials and have such intricate craftsmanship. Each piece has been carefully crafted with a crochet technique using metallic wire with a delicate gold finish,” says Capobianco “We just added some mixed metals and dark colored crystals to give the collection that New York edge.”

Quão incrível! You can purchase the jewelry at the Vegan Divas shop (1437 1st ave, between 74th and 75th) or online. Make sure you pick up some of those mini donuts too! They are healthy and yummy! I recommend the chocolate topped ones. Those are my favorite! Bring me some!

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!

10/03/2013

Vegan Divas releases cookbook, feeds me donuts!  »

Meave and I were invited to the Vegan Divas cookbook release party this week and boy did we have a nice evening. For one, I’m terribly fun and charming so of course Meave had a great time. Secondly, there were mini donuts! And mini cupcakes! I like mini desserts. Less commitment. 

Meave is new to Vegan Divas and I think she liked everything. The chocolate cupcakes were excellent, topped with their signature mousse I believe. Nice and bittersweet. I think that was Meave’s favorite. I had already had many of the items served but new to me were the little carrot cake cupcakes. Excellent vegan cream cheese frosting! Tasted perfect. I also still love the bitty donuts. Cinnamon is my favorite. Like I’ve said in the past, Vegan Divas is very health-conscious so the desserts aren’t crazy sweet or buttery but they are still yummy and I could have eaten four dozen of those bitty donuts! Plus Vegansaurus doesn’t have anything against healthy food, we just don’t harp on it because the vegan internet world already does a thorough job covering healthy food, no? But I like healthy food—especially when it’s dipped in chocolate!

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And at this event, I finally got to talk to the Vegan Diva herself, Fernanada Capobianco! Well, I must say, the apt word for her is “fabulous.” She had a floor-length, chevron sequin dress on and she was so nice to us. As I said, fabulous. If you go to the bakery on the upper east side, maybe she will be there! Say hi. 

We haven’t tested out the cookbook yet, but we looked through. I was concerned the recipes would be difficult because they are healthy…? I don’t know where I got that from but the recipes look very reasonable. The cookbook also talks about the various ingredients. Vegan Divas loves coconut oil! They say it’s super good for you. Coconuts, right? What can’t they do!

You can get the cookbook on Amazon, among other places. You can also purchase their goodies online, if you can’t make it to the bakery!

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08/15/2012

New York’s WABC channel 7 News spotlights Vegan Divas! Vegansaurs already know that Megan Rascal loves Vegan Divas and has attended two of their parties, which is no surprise because she is the vegan queen of the East Coast. But now regular news-bringers are talking about it! And loving it! The best part of this little piece is the end, when the field reporter, the two anchors, and that dude on the side (I don’t know your newspeople, New York) are enjoying the goods so much they can barely talk. Vegan desserts are the best!

08/03/2012

Vegan Divas: New vegan bakery in NYC!  »

If you recall, a few months ago I went to Vegan Divas dessert tasting and had a lovely time. Well guess what? They opened a bakery! Yes, the Upper East Side just got a vegan bakery. Yay richies! Get your vegan on.

They invited me to the opening, promising free desserts and champagne—do they understand me or what? Hint: they understand me. My absolute favorite thing was the baby chocolate cupcakes pictured above. Aren’t they darling (that’s Upper East Side talk!)? And very good. I actually would say their chocolate stuff is their best stuff. It’s always a nice, rich, semi-sweet chocolate that’s not too sugary. Love it. I also like the funny “sand cookies” that are pictured behind the cupcakes. They are funny and I’m not sure everyone would like them. I love them—they are a bit salty, that’s my favorite: salty+sweet. 

These donuts are good as well. But all their donuts are baked, not fried, so we’re not talking Ronald’s. Good though. Of course I recommend the chocolate! It’s not surprising their donuts are the baked kind, the whole place is very health-conscious. For those calorie counters, you’ll be excited to find that all the items on the menu include the calorie count next to them—and everything is pretty low. All the ingredients are natural and everything is kosher too. So everybody can eat this stuff! And the prices aren’t bad in my opinion, especially considering the quality of the ingredients. 

They don’t just have dessert, they will also be having quiche. I haven’t sampled it yet but I love quiche so I’m excited! And they have juices—see? Healthy stuff! I didn’t try the juice because I didn’t want it to interfere with my champagne intake, but I’m sure it’s good. If you like juice! And it came in cute little glasses. Baby glasses! 

Oh the other thing I tried were the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! They were party favors so I had them at home. I actually had two for breakfast this morning! Yeah, I’m all about health too. The cookies are nice and soft; I don’t like crunchy chocolate chip cookies so that’s perfect for me. They also had oatmeal raisin cookies but I’m allergic to cookies with raisins in them. Ok I’m not exactly allergic but still, raisins better stay away from my cookies.

All in all, a great bakery, especially for the health-conscious set. I’m glad we have another bakery in the city! For you non-NYCers, you can order lots of their products on their site. Bon Appétit! That’s more Upper East Side talk. I’m basically bilingual. Trilingual if you include Philadelphian.

04/30/2012

Vegan Cuts is having a sale on Vegan Divas desserts! I’ve had their stuff and it’s yummy AND healthy! So go ahead and get some, kids. Dessert time!

Vegan Cuts is having a sale on Vegan Divas desserts! I’ve had their stuff and it’s yummy AND healthy! So go ahead and get some, kids. Dessert time!

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.

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