Friday, December 18, 2015

Good and Lovely Christmas Ice Cream

Last night I had the great fortune of not only seeing The Good Lovelies in concert during their Christmas tour, but making dessert for the band. I wanted to make something holiday-ish to fit with the theme of the night and came up with this. The word is that the band loved the ice cream, hence the name.

The method for the ice cream is from Homemade Vegan Pantry, and the method for sugaring the chestnuts comes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The recipe works best with a high powered blender like a Vitamix. If you don't have one, just make sure your cashews are nice and soft before blending

INGREDENTS
Ice Cream
- 1 cup whole raw cashews
- boiling water
- 1.5 cups non-dairy milk of your choosing
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- large pinch of salt
- 1 can coconut milk (light, or regular)
- 2 tsp vanilla

Sugared Roasted Chestnuts
- 1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts (about 3/4 lb whole chestnuts)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt

METHOD
Ice Cream
1. Cover the chestnuts with boiling water. Let sit for 15 mins then drain.
2. Blend cashews and non-dairy milk on high in a blender until smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt and blend until dissolved.
3. Add coconut milk and vanilla and blend until smooth.
4. Place mixture in the fridge until cold.
5. When mixture is cold, make in your ice cream maker per the directions. Mix the sugared chestnuts in before transferring to the freezer.

Chestnuts
1. Roast the chestnuts: preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a slit through the shell of each chestnut (to let the steam escape). Place nuts, slit side up, on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 mins, until shell splits around the slit. Wrap in a towel and set aside to cool.
2. When chestnuts are cool, peel, and roughly chop. 
3. Place the rest of the ingredients in a cold pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until mixture bubbles. Keep stirring for 3 mins, until mixture is thick. 
4. Remove from heat, add chopped chestnuts and mix to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Transfer to the freezer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Savoury Stuffing Rolls

What?! A new post?! As I explained on ye olde Vegan Dad Facebook page, I have been battling Crohn's this entire year and that has very much dampened my enthusiasm for cooking and eating. I think I am finally getting it under control, so here's hoping! I have also spent the last three weeks on strike which was the inspiration for these buns. On the picket line we have been blessed by endless treats from supporters. I thought it would be nice to have a handheld savoury snack instead and these fit the bill. They are reminiscent of stuffing, hence the name. You could easily add some cranberries in with the apple, or raisins. Use this as a starting point and go nuts (maybe even add nuts?). Could be great for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 24 rolls
- 1 recipe everyday whole wheat bread (make with all white bread flour, if desired, as I did)
- 2 potatoes and 1 carrot, small dice (about 2 cups total)
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 leek, white and light green part, halved and thinly sliced
- olive oil
- 1 cooking apple, peeled, small dice
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- freshly ground pepper
- soy milk for brushing

METHOD
1. Make the dough per the recipe link above. While the starter is rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss the diced potato and carrot in a splash or two of olive oil and season lightly with sea salt. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment and bake for 20 mins, turning the veggies after ten to ensure and even roast.
3. Wrap the unpeeled garlic cloves in a piece of aluminum foil and roast along with the veggies for 20 mins.
4. Set veggies and garlic aside to cool.
5. Heat a splash of olive oil in a small frying pan over med-lo heat and saute leeks until softened (about 5-7 mins). Add apple and cook for a minute more. Skin and chop up roasted garlic and mix through. Remove from heat.
6. Continue making the dough but add the herbs in to the dry ingredients. Add the veggies and diced apple/leek mixture in during the final two minutes of kneading. I like to start this in the stand mixer with the dough hook, but finish on a lightly floured counter to make sure nothing gets too smushed up. Add more flour is the dough is too wet. It should be slightly tacky but not sticky.
7. Transfer dough to a oiled bowl and let rise for an hour, or until doubled.
8. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (or two smaller trays). Divide dough into 24 equal pieces and shape into rolls (a little tricky with all the veggies and apple, but be patient). Place on tray (in six rows of four), mist with oil, and cover with plastic wrap to let rise.
9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
10. When rolls have almost doubled and are touching one another, brush tops with plain soy milk and bake for 15 minutes, rotating tray half way through for an even bake. Cool but enjoy while still warm.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pressure Canner Chili


This is part two of my pressure canning recipe series (for more explanation of the canning process, see Part One). The recipe is Isa's Meat Beany Chili supersized to make seven large jars. Having chili in the pantry is great for those days when you want a chili dog, or a quick lunch for the kids.

INGREDIENTS
Makes seven 1 quart/litre jars
- 1.5 cups dry black beans
- 1.5 cups dry red kidney beans

- 1/4 cup oil
- 4 cups chopped onion
- 3 cups chopped green pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 1/4 cup oregano
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups brown lentils
- 1 48oz can tomato juice
- 2 28oz cans chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar

METHOD
1. Soak beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse the next day.
2. Get all of your canning apparatus ready (canner, jars, lids).
3. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic for 5-7 mins, or until translucent. Add spices and salt and sauté for a minute, until fragrant.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Increase heat to med-hi and bring to bubbling, stirring regularly.
5. Transfer chili to sterilised jars, making sure each one has the same ratio of solid to liquid. Put on the lids and tighten the rings finger tight.
6. Process in the pressure canner at 10lbs of pressure for 75 mins. Remove from heat and let pressure drop to zero. Remove jars from the canner and let completely cool.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Strawberry Tart

Full disclosure: I have posted this recipe, more or less, before. But this is the version without so much rat in it.

A friend surprised me today by dropping off a basket of freshly picked strawberries, and if a pie/tart is what you are after then I think this is the perfect way to enjoy strawberries in their prime. The only thing new this time around is the tart shell (I have posted a tart shell recipe before). I don't buy vegan cream cheese on a regular basis so I hope the use of aquafaba makes this recipe more accessible. I think it made for a better shell as well--crisp and durable, yet tender and so very delicious.

INGREDIENTS
Tart Shell (makes a 9" shell)
- 1 1/4 cup (200g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar
- pinch of salt (or 1/4 tsp is using salt-free margarine)
- 1/2 cup (125g) cold vegan butter (or margarine, or half margarine and half vegetable shortening)
- 2 tbsp aquafaba
- 1 tbsp light coconut milk

METHOD
1. Whisk together flour, icing sugar, and salt. Cut in fat with a pastry cutter.
2. Whisk together aquafaba and coconut milk, then add to flour mixture. Use a fork/your hands to bring together into ball.
3. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour.
4. Roll out dough on a floured surface into a circle large enough to overhang the sides of your tart pan. Trim any excess along the outside bottom of the pan, then fold the overhang to the inside the pan. Press the dough smoothly and evenly into the pan.
5. Place in the freezer for 30 mins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Blind bake the shell: line the shell with heavy duty aluminum foil. Fill with dried beans or baking weights. Bake for 15 mins (or until shell looks dry when you peel back the foil), then remove the beans and foil.
7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 8-10 mins, or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

Filling
- 6 cups fresh whole strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water

METHOD
1. Mash enough of the berries to measure 1 cup. Place remaining berries in a large bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then gradually whisk in water and then crushed berries.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
4. Cool for 10 mins, then pour over berries and gently turn to coat. Transfer to cooled tart shell and chill at least 3 hours or until set.


Terrible picture but great idea: a creamy topping is the perfect addition. This is rad whip from Vegan Pie in the Sky

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

Most of my forays into aquafaba have been failures, but these are a smashing success. I don't know why the magic bean juice acts just like an egg in this recipe and not in others, but it does. These are thin and crispy and yet still chewy--exactly like a chocolate chip cookie should be. The recipe is adapted from The Essentials of Baking.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 18-24 cookies
- 1 1/4 cups (200g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted margarine/butter)
- 1/2 cup (125g) margarine or butter
- 1/2 cup (105g) packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90g) white sugar
- 3 tbsp chickpea aquafaba
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or maple extract)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. 
1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Cream together margarine/butter with sugars in a medium bowl. Mix in aquafaba and extract. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
3. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts.
4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter on to the prepared baking sheets. Flatten a bit with your fingers.
5. Bake in batches until golden. Smaller cookies will bake in 10-13 minutes, larger cookies in 12-15 minutes. I like to bake for 10 mins, then give the pan a quick rap in the counter to flatten the cookies, the return the pan to the oven to finish baking.
6. Let cool on the pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack until cool.