Tuesday, October 14, 2008
VeganMoFo: Baking Rulz.
A while ago on the PPK forums, there was a poll something along the lines of are you a cook or a baker. It's kind of tough, because they are both awesome. Some people chose cook because that is what they did more often. I immediately knew I had to tick the baker box. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore and worship cooking. I have to cook every day to make my dinner and my lunch, and it is always something I enjoy a lot. But deep down, I just love the baking.
I am musing on this today because lately I have gone through periods of not baking. I always will cook, because, you know, a girl's got to eat dinner. But lately I have had some sort of anti-baking mojo placed on me. If anyone knows anything about anyone who has cursed me with this terrible ailment, please bonk them over the head with a large pumpkin! My work colleagues would also make this request, because I am the bake and bring girl. And when I am out of the kitchen, they are out of tasty vegan baked goods to snack on. But today, I baked! Hurrah! This is what I made:
They are the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars from Vegan With A Vengeance. And they are very tasty!
So why baking over cooking? I find something magical about baking. Firstly, it is taken these raw, unappetising ingredients (I personally have never craved a cup of flour or 1/2 cup of canola oil... but if that's what floats your boat...) and then you mix them all together and out comes something completely different. It's like kitchen magic! Or, you know, the laws of chemistry... but whatever.
Also, there is something lovely about baking a big batch of cookies or a cake or some cupcakes... it is something special, not part of your usual daily meals. Unless of course it is, but that is a whole different issue then! Bringing a cake or cookies to work or to a party is a lovely way to brighten up someone elses day. Plus your own, as you can snack on them too!
I'm tired, and I'm not sure I've quite put into words why I love the baking so much. But I hope I've managed to give you the essence of what I am trying to say. Here are some pictures of some other baking I have done:
Chocolate Cake from the Joy Of Vegan Baking. This recipe is really quick and easy. But the Chocolate Frosting recipe makes enough to ice about three cakes! I actually made this cake because I had made a massive batch of 24 cupcakes and I still had icing left over!
Chocolate Cheesecake from The Joy Of Vegan Baking. This was my first attempt at making a soy cream cheese based cheesecake, and only my second cheesecake attempt overall (the first one I made was a tofu based chocolate and rum cheesecake from The Vegan Cookbook. It was awesome, but I only had OP rum available. Ummm.... strong! You could get drunk just by smelling it LOL). I ended up having to bake it about twice as long as the recipe said. It may be because I used Kinglands Cream Cheese instead of Toffuti, and they may have different consistencies and properties. It was tasty though!
Vanilla Pound Cake from Veganomicon. This cake was great. A basic cake, but so delicious and sweet. Is great with fresh fruit and extra yoghurt. Or ice cream. Or lightly toasted with some Nuttelex. Or on its own.
Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake from Vegan With A Vengeance. I made this for my mum's birthday last year, and it is amazing. I love a good carrot cake, but this really took it to the next level!