Somehow it happened yet again this year: Thanksgiving is only one day away!
I saved the sweetest for last: this simple crisp with a twist in the form of the Chai spices in the streusel.
It goes together in a snap and disappears even faster.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
My all-time favorite cake now as vegan ice cream!
So, move over Duff Goldman and Blue Bunny brand…there’s a new Red Velvet Ice Cream in town!
Red Velvet is the signature cake of my Aunt Bessie of Dallas, TX. She honestly makes one like no other. It was, in fact, the recipe used for the groom’s cake at Joe’s and my wedding.
After veganizing Aunt Bessie’s recipe so that I could still partake, I have gone on to create recipes for vegan Red Velvet Pancakes, whoopie pies, shortbread cookies, and more, but never ice cream. Never, that is, until now!
Several years ago, Ben and Jerry’s was running a competition for the next great ice cream flavor and I decided to enter with Red Velvet. Contestants had to submit a video, so a friend came over and shot it, but then she encountered technical difficulties and, alas, I was unable to submit it. Since then, Red Velvet ice cream has been made available commercially, but not in a vegan version, at least not where we live. Recently, I got a powerful craving for it and set out to recreate that inimitable cake flavor in an ice cream.
And, oh my goodness, my recipe really does taste like the cake! My secret? Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese as a substitution for the buttermilk in my aunt’s recipe–tangy but with the kind of body one wants in an ice cream. And, are you ready? Vinegar! My aunt’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of white vinegar that lends to the cake its signature flavor. And the same is true for the ice cream. I add it while churning so as not to curdle the custard.
This beautiful concoction really does take the cake!
Thanks to Tofutti for posting it on their website! Just click HERE for the quick and easy recipe.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
A perfect ending to a perfect party!
Every year for the last four, my husband and I have hosted our annual Julia Child Birthday Bash on the Saturday night nearest to her birthday. This year, the party was on August 10.
At around 7:30 each year, 10 or so of our foodie friends gather for a potluck celebration like no other!
This year, while I toyed with a birthday cake in honor of the ‘ole gal, I opted for this Provençal-inspired ice cream instead. And I think everyone was glad I did!
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (thickens without crystallization)
1 cup unsweeteened soymilk
2 cups soy creamer
1/2 cup natural sugar
Pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon dried organic lavender buds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Creme de Cacao
Garnish: fresh fig halves
In a small cup or bowl, whisk together arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup soymilk. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine remaining 3/4 cup soymilk, soy creamer, sugar, salt, and lavender, and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Remove it from the heat and immediately whisk in arrowroot mixture causing the mixture to thicken considerably. Stir in vanilla and Creme de Cacao. Pour into a medium bowl, straining if desired (I don’t). Cool the custard to room temperature, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours. Freeze in an electric ice cream maker (mine is a Cuisinart) according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a covered freezer-safe carton, and freeze until stiffened. Serve garnished, if desired, with fresh fig halves.
Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes
These may possibly be the moistest cupcakes you will ever put in your mouth!
A pint of fresh figs from a local farm market that needed used fairly quickly resulted in these beautiful confections. The lemon in the buttercream frosting provides a subtle but bright contrast to the cinnamon-scented fig cupcakes, while the brandy flavoring (use real brandy if you have it–my husband forbids me, jokingly–sort of–to use his) accents their ripe, earthy fruitiness for the perfect summer wedding of flavors.
Vegan Fresh Fig Cupcakes
1 cup soymilk (unsweetened or plain)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I have used rice wine vinegar in a pinch and it works just fine)
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (this is what I keep on-hand, but unbleached all purpose is fine)
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup walnut oil or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
18 to 20 small-medium fresh figs, stemmed, and pureed in a food processor
Vegan Lemon-Brandy Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: 12 fresh fig halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together soymilk and vinegar to make a vegan “buttermilk.” When it curdles, whisk again and set the mixture aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the soymilk mixture, oil, and vanilla extract. Stir just until all ingredients are well combined and no lumps remain. Stir in the fig puree until completely combined. Fill muffin cups no more than 3/4 full and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack, and then remove cupcakes from tin. Place frosting in a pastry bag (mine came from the Dollar Tree!) fitted with a star-type tip, and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes in concentric circles, spiraling high. Top with a fresh fig half just before serving.
Vegan Lemon-Brandy Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup vegan butter
4 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 tablespoons soymilk (unsweetened or plain)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon brandy flavoring
Zest of 1/2 large lemon
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together shortening and vegan butter. With mixer on low, beat in half of powdered sugar and half of soymilk. Repeat. Beat in vanilla, brandy flavoring, and lemon zest, and then turn mixer to high and whip until creamy-fluffy.
At your farm market this morning, be sure to pick up a pint of raspberries for this luscious treat that is super simple to prepare.
Made with Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, it boasts the perfect sweet-tart balance with a consistency I describe as (vegan) butter, wrapped in (vegan) cream, wrapped in silk!
Team Tofutti loved it so much, they posted the recipe on their site, and you can quickly access it by clicking HERE.
Happy Summer Saturday!
Honestly? You absolutely can’t believe how delicious the marriage of chocolate and the deep, fruity flavor of plums is in this quick and easy four-ingredient mousse (which can be served as a tart by spooning it into a pre-baked shell).
This is a four-seasons treat since it is made with plum butter instead of fresh plums. (Incidentally, fruit butters are misnomers, as they contain no dairy.) But, since it is mid-summer, you might garnish it with fresh plum slices along with the mint, whipped topping, and hazelnuts.
That is, if you don’t consume it all before it makes it into the glasses!
10 ounces vegan dark chocolate, melted (I used chocolate chips and melted them in two 1-minute increments in the microwave, whisking after each)
1/4 box extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
1/2 cup vegan soy creamer (I used French Vanilla)
1/2 cup plum butter (I used Bauman’s brand–which may be ordered online–made in small batches in Pennsylvania Dutch country from only plums, sugar or white grape juice, lemons, oranges and cinnamon)
Optional garnish: your favorite vegan whipped topping and/or chopped nuts (I like hazelnuts for this dessert) + mint sprigs
In a food processor, combine all ingredients, processing until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. After about a minute, the mousse will be light and fluffy. After about another minute it will become somewhat denser and darker, yet still silken and fluffy. Choose our preference. Divide the mixture among 4 stemmed glasses or small ramekins and enjoy immediately or chill until serving time.
Note: For individual baked crustless tarts, divide mixture among 4 ramekins coated lightly with non-stick spray and bake in the center of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until set, but still glossy. Check after 15 minutes, as tops should not be dry and starting to crack. Allow to cool before serving, or cover and place in refrigerator until serving time. Serve chilled. Garnish if desired.
Down here visiting my family in muggy Mississippi, all thoughts turn to ice cream. So I remembered that this was another new recipe that I hadn’t posted before I left home. If you come home from your farm market trip with fresh peaches, you are just two ingredients away from having all you need to make this beautiful treat!
This tart, refreshing ice cream is bridal peachy-pink and just as fresh and appealing. Made with just three simple ingredients, it is most delicious when peaches are at their peak of juicy and flavorful freshness.
2 large peaches, pitted, quartered, and cut into chunks (I leave the skin on for gorgeous color and nutrition)
1-12 ounce can frozen pink lemonade (I am not averse to the occasional ingestion of high fructose corn syrup but, if you are, look for an organic brand which will be HFC-free.)
2 cups vegan soy creamer (I used French vanilla, but if you use plain, add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
In the bowl of a food processor, process peaches and frozen lemonade until smooth with no chunks of peach remaining. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in soy creamer. (If you try to blend all three ingredients together in most food processors, your cup will runneth over!) Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until very cold. Freeze in an electric ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Because this custard isn’t terribly thick, I freeze it about 15 minutes longer than recommended, or about 45 minutes, and it is still the consistency of a thick milk shake. Though I could easily down the whole recipe like that, I resist and freeze it, covered, for several hours or overnight to stiffen-up to a scoopable consistency. Even frozen, it remains on the softer side, which I love. And, as you can tell from the photo, it still scoops beautifully.
I have SO many recipes to post, but we had a dog drama with Huff the Dorito Dog on Wedensday (he is going to be fine), and yesterday, I was travelling to visit my family in MS. When I opened the fridge today, I saw TONS of fresh blueberries that my (85 year old) father and sister had picked at a good friend’s house, so I thought I would start with this refreshing treat!
This deliciously different ice cream was born of fresh blueberries from the farmer’s market, a healthy crop of basil growing in a pot just outside our door, and some of Bryanna Clark Grogan’s ingenious Vegan Lemon Curd leftover from a cookie baking session.
Complex, but not muddy in flavor, this ice cream epitomizes summer with the floral notes of the basil, the earthy sweetness of the blueberries and the subtle citrus undertones of the lemon curd. Not as tangy as a pure lemon ice cream, if it’s that tartness you seek, I highly recommend that you top the ice cream with a splash of lemonade for a refreshing and zippy cooler.
And, if you think the basil seems odd, feel free to leave it out, but I think it adds a very special quality. With or without the basil, please enjoy!
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (thickens witout crystallization)
1 cup unsweeteened soymilk
2 cups soy creamer
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup Bryanna’s Lemon Curd
1/3 cup natural sugar
Pinch sea salt
2-6 to 8 inch stems basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small cup or bowl, whisk together arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup soymilk. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine remaining 3/4 cup soymilk and soycreamer, and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Remove it from the heat and immediately whisk in arrowroot cream causing the mixture to thicken considerably. Pour into a medium bowl, add stems of basil, cool the custard to room temperature and then remove basil, using your fingers to scrape off the custard clinging to the basil. Process blueberries, lemon curd, sugar, and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor until smooth; flecks of blueberry skin will remain. Whisk into custard, along with vanilla, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours. Freeze in an electric ice cream maker (mine is a Cuisinart) according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately or freeze, covered, to allow ice cream to stiffen.
For each serving, place 2 scoops of ice cream in a stemmed glass, pour about 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemonade over the top(I use a reduced calorie variety), garnish the side of the glass with a lemon slice, and serve with a straw and long-handled spoon.
Okay, don’t even try to convince me that every once in a while you aren’t dying for a tiny taste of something sinful, and wish you could make a miniature little confection that is quick, easy, and not a killer in the calorie department.
Well, now you can!
NPR was where I first heard about these microwaved brownies-in-a-mug, so I certainly didn’t invent them. But I do think I have perfected a recipe that needed a little somethin’-somethin’. I heard the program weeks ago, but I was having a powerful craving last night, so I did a little internet research and gave it a whirl.
I inadvertently overcooked my brownie a little–it keeps cooking for a bit even after you remove it from the microwave–so go easy. But, even so, I wasn’t 100% sold, despite the fact that the recipe I tried had something like 5,000 “likes.”
I sent the recipe to my sister, Ginny, and she made one for our brownie-loving Papa, but he thought it was a little too rich in the chocolate department. So, back to my kitchen I went this evening, this time armed with some ideas for how to improve the brownie’s taste and texture, along with some So Delicious Almond Milk Ice Cream (vegan) and a fresh strawberry to perch on top.
YUM! A winner! All I needed was a name. My dear friend Sonya Harmon calls our “little” Great Dane (she’s smaller than her mate, Huff!) “Minnikins,” and I think that is the cutest name for our little gal. So, since these “mini” brownies are almost as cute, I thought they should be called “Brownikins.” Thank you, Sonya-kins!
Whatever you call them, you will love them!
And, by the way, you can certainly bake them in a mug as intended, but this recipe doesn’t begin to fill the mug, and I don’t like the brownie batter smeared on the sides after whisking the ingredients together. So, I whisk it up in a small cup and then transfer into a mini-ramekin (about 1/3 cup) for the cutest presentation ever with a melon ball size scoop of ice cream and baby strawberry. What’s one more mug to wash?
1 tablespoon canola oil or vegan butter melted
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)
2 tablespoons natural sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon or less sea salt (I love that little crunch of salt with the sugar. You won’t need much if you use salted vegan butter, but don’t omit, as it is needed for flavor.)
Accompaniments: vegan ice cream, a fresh strawberry, plus optional vegan chocolate sauce and vegan whipped topping
In a small cup (microwave safe if you plan to cook the brownie in the cup), whisk together melted butter or oil, water, and vanilla. Then whisk in all remaining dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth. If desired, transfer to a ceramic mini-ramekin and cook in a microwave oven on full power for 45 seconds or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or ever-so-slightly moist. Let sit for a couple of minutes before garnishing and serving.
Photo Note: Sorry about the quality of the photo. I was so excited with my creation, that I just snapped it with my phone sitting on the kitchen counter at 8 p.m.: no waiting for optimum lighting conditions!