A recent Kitchen Window article from NPR entitled Vegan Valentine has a trio of delicious-looking recipes, with the Chocolate Cake with Chocolate “Butter Cream” looking especially fantastic. Along the same vein, I recently ordered a book through the library, The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and I’m looking forward to receiving it. The website has a few sample recipes, including another chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Really, you can’t have too much of a good thing.
In any case, I’m excited to get the book, although it might be a while, since I’m ordering it through the library and it could take as long as a month. At least I’ve found some people online who give it the thumbs-up; The Joy of Vegan Baking has been endorsed by Eat Air – A Vegan Food Log, and the photos they have up of their concoctions look yum, especially the cookies shaped like squirrels and acorns. I want squirrel-shaped cookie cutters. It would be even cooler to have squirrel and blue jay cookie cutters, then I can have the cookies fight each other, like I’ve seen them do in real life. Really, I think the two species have arboreal turf wars; I saw a blue jay chase a squirrel away outside my window before.
Anyway, I’m not vegan, but I’m interested in vegan baking because I’ve known a few vegans, and it seems to me that one of the hardest things about being vegan is dealing with baked goods: Does it have eggs? Does it have milk? Honey? Gelatin?
In the past, I’ve done my own vegan experimentations with some successes, like my Cinnamon Vegan Banana-Blueberry Cake, but also some misses. A batch of biscuits I made with vegan butter came out ghastly, which I suspect may have been due to the softness of the vegan spread in comparison to real butter in the same temperature–and the soy flour may have had something to do with it as well. Also, I can’t help but be annoyed with some vegan substitute products which, upon close inspection, hardly seem like suitable substitutes. I was using Tofutti’s Sour Supreme sour cream substitute in the “Cinna-gan-nana-berry Cake” until I read the ingredients, which included partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Apparently, the company now makes a non-hydrogenated version, but good luck finding it at Publix. My question is: Why don’t they just make the regular version non-hydrogenated? Should vegans really have to choose between dairy and trans-fats?
Orlando actually has a couple of vegan-friendly spots with baked goods. Earlier this evening I was at Dandelion, and there were vegan cupcakes in the display case. There is also Ethos, which I have yet to go to, but I’ve heard they have vegan baked goods as well, which their menu confirms.
If you want to try your hand at vegan bakey-bakey, there are quite a few online resources that put me to shame in how little I’ve buggered with egg- and dairy-free baking. The BBC has an article on New ways of baking with, guess what, a recipe for a chocolate cake, although this particular recipe is raising an eyebrow with its “2 tbsp tahini.” Tahini? Moving on, the Post Punk Kitchen has more vegan baking tips and recipes. Chocolate cake? Check. If you’re looking for recipes and baking tips, ChooseVeg.com has some, although one ought to be aware of the graphic photos of animal abuse on its home page (Aaah! The chicken has no eyes!), so if you want to go straight to the recipes, click here. Chocolate cake recipe? Hell, they have a video on making theirs.
Should you be too intimidated to bake from scratch, or if you really want convenience short of a drive to Ethos or Dandelion, Goodbaker and Black Sheep Bakery sell baking mixes on their respective websites, though I can’t attest for how good these are, having not tried them (thoughts, anyone?). You can go a step further and order vegan baked goods online for delivery. Go ahead and Google it or use the Kanye West search engine (I’m serious, it really exists), or go to Etsy and check out their vegan section in “Plants and Edibles.” Some of the Etsy photos for these foodstuffs are nothing short of sexy.
And on Valentine’s Day, who doesn’t want sexy food?