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Posts Tagged ‘vegan baking’

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted this already! Alan’s birthday was last week and I wanted to bake him a cake. This is not something I’ve ever done before. In the past, I would order a cake for him, usually carrot because that’s his favorite. Since becoming vegan, though, I really didn’t want to purchase anything made with animal products. And even if I did go ahead and buy it, well, I couldn’t eat any.  If there is cake in my house I want to be able to eat some. So I decided to bake one myself.

Now I’m sure for you bakers out there, this is not big deal. But if you read this blog, you know that I have made one other cake in my life, so this was a serious undertaking. At least this time I had a proper cake pan!

I found a recipe in the Native Foods Cookbook that looked pretty easy. In fact, the only hard part was figuring out how to grate carrots when the smallest blade on my food processor says ‘shredder.’ I did have some problems with the icing. It just wasn’t thick enough, even after chilling it (and I’ll admit it, adding powdered sugar in the hopes of thickening it up). It was sweet in any case.

This cake was fabulous! Even if I do say so myself. I am sure that my husband will concur. It was light, it tasted great, it was damn near perfect. I don’t even like carrot cake and I loved it. And even with the thin frosting, it was beautiful, too. Tanya’s recipe tells you to use little carrot-shaped slices of carrot with a little sprig of parsley for decoration, which made it look so cute!

Yep, it was a winner!

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After I went vegan, a little over a year ago, I dramatically cut down on my sweet intake, mostly because it was a lot more difficult to find cookies, cakes, and other dessert-type items that weren’t made with eggs and milk. In recent months, I have been expanding my baking horizons. I purchased Kelly Peloza’s Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and had a great time trying out the recipes.

For Easter, though, even though there were only three of us, Alan, myself, and my son, David, I felt that we needed something a little more than cookies, something more special.

Did I plan for this? No, I did not. I decided on Easter Sunday, at lunch time, that it would be nice to have something for dessert. What to do?

I don’t have a lot of vegan cookbooks. I have Tanya’s cookbook, of course, Native Foods being our only vegan restaurant in the desert I had to show support. I also have Viva Vegan and Vegan with a Vengeance on my Ipad. I skimmed through the desserts in those books, my main requirement being that I needed to have the ingredients (or at least most of them) on hand.

I finally found the recipe I wanted in the American Vegan Kitchen, “Pineapple Upside Down Cake.” I had all the important ingredients, like flour, baking powder, and well, pineapple. I substituted the flaxseed with EnerG Egg Replacer, the dried cherries with raisins, and the soy milk with almond milk, and added pecans to the topping. All reasonable substitutions. My big problem was when the instructions said, “using an 8″ round cake pan.”

Uh oh. The last time I baked a cake, well, I’d guess Ronald Reagan was president. Even though I have many older items in my kitchen (I just recently replaced my original, mustard colored crock pot), there was no cake pan to be found. My choices were few, but I settled on a 8″ish glass baking dish. Not too different, right?

Well, the directions said to bake for a half hour. At that time, I slid a knife into the cake to check if it was done. Nope. Actually, it was so gooey I worried that the outside would burn before the inside was cooked through. It ended up taking about 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, my cake looked ready.

I'm proud!

Now, all you cake bakers may scoff at my results. The texture wasn’t perfect, the outside was just a little overcooked, and it wasn’t as pretty as it should have been, but, well, it tasted pretty damn good. My husband and son loved it. And that was good enough for me.

Looks satisfied, doesn't he?

I was inspired by my success. A few days later, I purchased both a round and a square cake pan. I’m ready for the next holiday!

Now I'm ready!

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