Tuesday, October 11, 2011

VeganMoFo 2011 #11: 'The Joy of Vegan Baking'



The Joy of Vegan Baking
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Fair Winds Press, 2007

The Joy Of Vegan Baking


I had recently purchased a vegan baking cookbook, but I was not very happy with it. I will not be reviewing it this MoFo because I have not made much from it at all. However, almost as soon as I had realised that this book was not what I was after, I came across The Joy Of Vegan Baking. My prayers were answered! I ended up ordering this book from Amazon as a Christmas present from my mother (along with the book I will be reviewing tomorrow), and it arrived right on time. I was so excited. I have since come to know of Colleen as an amazing ambassador for compassion and the vegan way of life, as well as the author of wonderful cookbooks and inspiring tomes. However back at the time I got this cookbook, I just thought she was answering all my baking prayers!

So, the book. It's a paperback-type thing, and has many beautiful colour photos throughout. Chapters include The Whys and Wherefores of Choosing Vegan, The How-to's and What-nots of vegan baking, Rise and Shine (Muffins, Biscuits, and Scones), Cozy Comforts (Sweet and Savoury Quick Breads), Cause for Celebration (Cakes and Cupcakes), Timeless Temptations (Pies and Tarts), Familiar Favourites (Cookies, Brownies, and Bars), Bearing Fruit (Crumblers, Cobblers, Crisps, and Whole Fruit Desserts), Decadent Delicacies and Elegant Eats (Strudel, Crepes, Blintzes, and Pastries), Ancient Wonders (Yeast Breads and Rolls), Creamy Concoctions (Mousses and Puddings), Sweet Somethings (Confections and Candy), Frozen Treats (Sorbets, Shakes, and Smoothies), Fundamental Foundations (Crusts for Pies and Tarts), Restorative Refreshments (Hot and Cold Beverages), and Over the Top (Frostings, Sauces, Syrups, and Spreads). Phew! What a mouthful. That's what happens where you cram oodles of delicious recipes into one lovely book. There are also two appendicies: Stocking Your Vegan Pantry and Making Sense of it All (which includes terms, cake pan substitutions, yields and equivalents of common ingredients, reading and viewing suggestions). There are also three indices: General, Seasonal, and Celebrations and Occasions. This makes for an excellent and comprehensive resource. I especially love the baking pan substitution and also the yields of common ingredients - they will come in handy when you can't find your bundt pan or you need to know how heavy one cup of chocolate chips is so you can melt down cheaper block chocolate instead. The book is also filled with variations and suggestions for recipes, bits of food lore and helpful hints!

Okies, on to delicious, delicious fuds!

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

This is hands down my go to chocolate cake recipe. It takes minutes to mix up the batter, and cooks quickly. It is also made from basic ingredients that anyone who bakes will have in their pantry, even if they are not vegan. Not a drop of non-dairy milk or flax egg in sight. The cake itself is moist and delicious. Here it is topped with Chocolate Frosting, but most of the time I make it just plain and as is. I used it as the base chocolate cake for the peanut butter chocolate engagement cake I made. Colleen credits Jennifer Raymond and her cookbook The Peaceful Palate for this amazing cake. With this cake in your repertoire, you are always less than an hour away from delicious chocolate cake.

Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes

I love these. Partly because strawberry is one of my favourite flavours, and partly because they are so beautifully pink - my favourite colour! It doesn't come out too well in this picture, but I have actually tinted the buttercream frosting pink as well. Pureed strawberries are responsible for the beautiful colour and flavour here. These are high tea pretty.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie 2

This is a crappy photo of an incredibly rich and delicious pie. A jar of peanut butter mixes with silken tofu and melted chocolate to make an amazing sensation. It is super rich, so it will likely last a while as you work through small doses.

Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

Amazing cookies. They travel well and make a bunch, so will impress if you need to take something along to feed vegan or omnis. I did find the dough a little bit dry when I made them, but using slightly damp hands they are easy to form into balls. Nommies!

Banana Crumble

Banana Crumble

This is amazing and satisfying, especially on a cold winter night. The crumble topping is made with coconut and nutmeg to give it an extra yummy lift. If you are looking to fancy it up a bit, you can also mix some chocolate chips in with the bananas before baking. But I kind of like it just as it is. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is a must.

Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler

Oooooohhhhhh yeeeeeaaaahhh. Delicious blueberries topped with a biscuity dough. This is really great. I make this with frozen blueberries, because even in blueberry season the little things are still quite pricey, but it doesn't suffer for the frozen fruit. Some lemon zest mixed into the blueberry mixture gives a lovely little lift.

Chocolate Cherry Strudel

Chocolate Cherry Strudel 2

Anyone who knows me knows that I go made for the chocolate cherry combination. This is pretty great. The recipe calls for crushed graham crackers, but I just can't find graham crackers here in Australia. I made this with crushed up Nice biscuits (ninja vegan) in their place, and it was very yummy.


Some other five star recipes that I have no photos for:

Currant Scones
Lemon Bars
Chocolate Fudge Sauce
Cashew Cream

I have really enjoyed every recipe I have made from this wonderful book, and looking through it now I realise that I still have so much more baking to do. This book certainly lives up to its name - it makes baking a joy! If you love vegan baking, I definitely recommend getting this book.

What's your favourite thing to bake?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Back to my kitties! This is Dim Sim sleeping on her pink snuggy, taken a few weeks ago. You can see she has some shaved patches on her side. She was losing weight, with normal bloods, so she had to have an ultrasound of her tummy. Everything seemed OK on ultrasound, so we are doing a diet trial with her. But she was very cute with her little shaved tummy. Her fur has almost grown all back now!

8 comments:

  1. So much vegan baking!! Wow. I am really impressed, and also all of these look delicious! :-)

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  2. I've never made the strawberry cupcakes but my favourite waffles are in that cookbook.

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  3. This all looks fantastic! Your post has reminded me of how good this cookbook is. My favourite so far is the lemon bars.

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  4. Wow, you've really put that book to the test! I love the brownie recipe in there, and I also have fond memories of the german apple cake! But this inspires me to look in there more often!

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  5. Here I am drinking a green smoothie that is not very good and you are torturing me with these photos! I really need to get that book plus I really love the work CPG does for the animals.

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  6. I think I was meant to be given this book as a gift but somewhere along the way someone took it and I never got it :(

    I'd love to know how much fresh strawberries go into the cupcakes as I'm about to get a bucket load!

    My favourite thing to bake are cupcakes and cookies :)

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  7. I haven't got this book but I want it now after reading this post!

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  8. Ooh this looks like a good book to own. Would you say it's a must have? Looks like it! I'm loving your reviews! Thank you for doing all this work! xox

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