This past week there was torrential rainfall in the Midwest and we happened to be affected by it. We live in an older house that I love, but the previous owners decided to finish most of the basement. This usually isn’t a problem: we have extra space for entertaining and a whole extra room to display some of my husband’s Marvel action figures.
Until it floods.
And yes, he collects action figures. Our bathroom is actually Simpsons themed. You can totally tell we’re adults who grew up in the 90s. My husband had taken a few days off between Christmas and New Years, and spent most of that time on his hands and knees tearing up laminate. This week, we have people installing a sump pump (I didn’t even know what that was) in our basement. These nice guys actually went through the effort of hauling away all of our basement flooring, so I decided to make these cinnamon rolls for them.
Little did I know, one was on a diet, so after I shared with the other guy, I ate four. So it goes.
I made these turtles as a present for my family last year on Christmas and they requested I make them again this year. And by requested, I mean demanded. But I was happy to oblige because these are delicious and I get to opportunity to taste test them before the big day.
I’m a huge fan of rich, chewy caramel, but it’s hard to find a vegan version that compares to the non-vegan kind. Cocomels are the only ones I’m aware of, although there could be more. I used this same caramel recipe in my birthday dacquoise, but it’s originally from Fork and Beans. If you’ve never made homemade caramel before, here’s a disclaimer: it’s easy to screw up. Trust me, I’ve screwed it up multiple times and I have made this recipe a LOT.
A few tips for your success include:
- low and slow is the way to go. Don’t try to heat it too fast, because it will burn to the bottom of your pan and ruin it forever. Not like I’ve had experience with that.
- use parchment paper in the pan. Aluminum foil and wax paper will not work. You’ll end up peeling them off the caramel while trying to salvage any bits of caramel and it’s just really messy. Seriously, I haven’t done this a few times either.
- don’t try to use an immersion blender if the emulsion breaks. Caramel is hot. Like over boiling temperature hot. If you stick a blender in it, it’s going to splash onto your arm and burn you. Definitely don’t try this. See the first tip on how to avoid the emulsion breaking.
- don’t expect it to be as firm as non-vegan caramel. Unless you have a candy thermometer, it might get firmer. I haven’t been able to successfully get it that firm. Let me know if you do.
Rich, creamy, luscious, thick cheesecake. On top of a salty pretzel crust and drizzled with blueberry sauce.
Another one of those recipes that I have never even attempted before going vegan, yet worked out perfectly. I’ve been intrigued with New York style cheesecake for a while now, but most recipes call for a massive amount of eggs to set the texture. Before now, I would have never been able to replicate them. But yet again, VeganEgg to the rescue! Since VeganEgg sets at higher heats, it works perfectly in this custard-style application.
This recipe is so ridiculously easy that I’m considering making another cheesecake tomorrow. Two cheesecakes is not a problem, right? Not in this household.
When I first discovered aquafaba, I made several attempts at creating a perfect brownie. 5 to be exact, within the span of a week. Unfortunately, aquafaba doesn’t set like eggs do in baking, so it wasn’t a perfect replacer. I did find adding a little tofu to set worked pretty well and ended up with dense gooey brownies, but I knew I could improve.
And then came the VeganEgg. That’s right, this recipe is going to require a hard to find ingredient. In fact, you may have to order it online (Amazon and Vegan Essentials carry it.) Sorry about that, but I promise you it’s worth finding! The VeganEgg will perform that crucial task of ‘setting’ during baking, while aquafaba helps create that desirable shiny, crispy crust. You can read my review of VeganEgg here.
One of the keys to brownie perfection is cooling time before cutting. You can even speed this up by tossing them in the freezer. If you cut them too early, that nice crackly crust will tear, leaving you with jagged edges and crumbles. If that doesn’t matter to you, feel free to eat them up while they’re still hot.
Inspiration comes in the strangest places sometimes. I saw this recipe for vegan tiramisu last week and though it was gorgeous, and immediately wanted to make tiramisu macarons. Like most things in my life, it took about 3 days before I was actually able to make the attempt. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to infuse coffee liqueur into the shells, so I would suggest eating these with a shot of Kahlua.
Since today is World Vegan Day, it seemed like a good day to share the recipe. I’m actually going to be bringing these to a work potluck later, and I’m sure they’re going to be well received! Who can resist chocolate, coffee, and buttercream!?
As always, I have Charis at Floral Frosting, to thank for the macaron recipe. You also should take a look at the Vegan Meringue Facebook group for more amazing recipes. If you have trouble with the directions, try reading my troubleshooting guide for a little more in depth description.
Today is my husband’s birthday and one of his usual requests is something with chocolate. I knew I needed to use up these bananas from my freezer, so chocolate chip banana muffins were a great way to satisfy both his sweet tooth and my desire to declutter.
Aquafaba makes a great egg replacer in these muffins and no one would even be able to tell they’re egg and dairy free. I actually brought them in to share with his coworkers and they gobbled them up.
I’m going to be completely honest in writing the post. I actually screwed up this recipe in my own impatience, resulting in seized chocolate in my mousse. However, the recipe itself should work if you have more patience than I.
My advice to you is to stir slowly and add your chocolate to your meringue a little bit at a time. Also, definitely wait for it to be at room temperature. If you happen to screw it up like I did, just pour some more chocolate on top. Your husband won’t notice unless he’s a French chef.
And in that case, why isn’t he making you dinner?
P.S. Check our the Vegan Meringue Facebook group for more great aquafaba recipes!
What does one do when one has leftover cake?
Well, if you’re me, you bake it into an entirely new cake! I have gotten such a positive response on my birthday cake macarons, I wanted to make a birthday cake flavored dacquoise. I didn’t feel that hazelnut would go well with this flavor, so I chose to only use almonds to keep the flavor mild.
Be sure to check out my other dacquoise recipes!
Hazelnut Almond Dacquoise with Espresso Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache
Strawberry Buttercream and Lemon Curd Dacquoise
Be sure to also check out the vegan meringue Facebook group for more amazing aquafaba recipes and Aquafaba.com for frequently asked questions.
On a similar theme as my galaxy macarons, I wanted to create a galaxy cake. The cake portion is simply a no egg, no dairy chocolate cake. The recipe is available in the Vegan Meringue Facebook group recipe files: it’s the chocolate midnight cake by Rebecca August.
The frosting is a vegan buttercream. I originally made about 2.5 cups, but realized with the petal technique I was going to need quite a bit more. I made another 1.5 cups of icing and it ended up being just enough. I highly recommend using Earth Balance butter for frosting recipes. We normally wouldn’t eat a lot of artificial color like this; I usually pawn most of my baking off on coworkers and friends!
I topped the cake with these galaxy meringues, which were made with 1/3 cup reduced aquafaba and 1/2 cup sugar. I dripped gel color down the inside of the piping bag to achieve the galaxy effect. I also crumbled one of the meringues, sprinkled on a little powdered sugar, and used pearl sprinkles for the stars and moons.
The petal technique is extremely easy. Pipe a blob of frosting with a piping bag fitted with a round tip, and spread it to the right with a spoon or spatula. Continue piping and spreading all the way around.
The cake itself is moist and delicious and we’ve been slowly enjoying it over the past few days.
Hope you enjoyed the photos!