Monday, May 11, 2009

Vegan Carrot Cake

carrot cakes and candied weed

Another one of our off-the-hook desserts. Thanks for sharing, Ella!

Vegan Carrot Cake

2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup grated carrot (about 1 large carrot)
(I prefer to use freshly ground spices whenever possible, because they give a stronger, fresher flavor.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease and flour a 9” round cake pan.
3. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Sift all together.
4. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and warm water. Stir until dissolved.
5. Mix the oil and applesauce into the cornstarch mixture.
6. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined making sure not to over stir.
7. Using a rubber spatula, fold the carrots and walnuts into the mixture.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
9. Bake for 50 minute until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
10. Cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.
11. When cool, slice and enjoy!

Photos: Yasmin

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Recipe: Vegan Challah

raw braided challah

Here's the Vegan Challah Recipe Ella made for the Spring Dinner. For vegan Challah fanatics like me, what a treat!
Ella adapted the recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen. She tried other vegan challah recipes and this one was the best one that she came across.

the baker and her baby
1 1/2 Tbsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water ("wrist" temperature)
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted Earth Balance
1 overripe (mostly black) bananas
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup cold water
sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or sea salt to top

1. In one small bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water, put to the side to stand for 5-10 minutes. The yeast should start to bubble and smell “yeasty.”
2. Mash bananas in other small bowl.
3. In large bowl mix: Earth Balance, sugar, salt, and boiling water, stirring so it's all mostly dissolved and the Earth Balance is melted.
4. Add the cold water to the large bowl (the mix should be warmish now but not hot). Stir in yeast mix. Do not stir the hot water directly into the yeast mixture, because the heat will kill some of the yeast.
5. Add bananas.
6. Add flour, one cup at a time.
7. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for 5-10 min, dough should be smooth, not too stiff or too runny.
8. Lightly coat the large mixing bowl in oil, turn the dough in it to just coat it with oil, place a towel over the dough in the bowl and let it rise for about 1 hr, till double in volume.
9. Punch dough down, turn out and knead again 2-3 min. Divide dough into 3 sections, roll each section into long ropes and make a braid. Preheat the oven to 350.
10. Let the braid rise 45 min. Just before putting braids in the oven, brush them with a small amount of oil, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or sea salt.

Bake 30 min. You'll know they're done when you tap them on the bottom and they sound hollow. Let cool on a drying rack for 10 min before slicing. Enjoy!

photos by Yasmin