Monday, November 21, 2011

Cooking for a Cure 2011

Every year for the last few years I host a Girl's Night In for the Cancer Council, to raise money for women's cancer research and support. Though mine is more of a Girl's Day In. One Sunday afternoon each year, the ladies from the clinic all come around to my house for afternoon tea, and I provide lots of vegan goodies for them to eat. This year was a smaller group - a lot of people were away, but I still tried to make a good spread. Here's what we ate.

Blueberry Orange Bundt Cake

Blueberry Orange Bundt Cake

(From Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau)
Bundt cakes make me excited, and this lovely citrus blueberry cake was beautiful. I suspect my bundt pan may be a bit deeper than the US bundt pans, as I often have to bake my bundt cakes for about 15-20 minutes longer, and they come out looking taller than the ones in the book sometimes. Also, if you are using silicon, make sure to wait until it is completely cooled before sliding out. This was a big hit, one of the girls took some home for her partner, who I believe said it was the best cake he'd had all year.

Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes

Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes

(From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)
There were adorable in the end, but did give me some stress when doing. The recipe says if you are coordinated enough, you can pour the vanilla and chocolate batters in side by side to the liner. I started this, but the vanilla batter was thicker than the chocolate and did not pour well. I ended up doing the other option, alternately dropping spoonfuls of each side by side. I marbled them using a toothpick, but I wonder if using a knife would get a better pattern, as they did not marble much. I also used these cute little cupcake liners, which you can see above. The recipe calls for filling to the top, so I only got 10 cupcakes using these. In these liners they did come out looking a bit funny on top, I think because they don't allow the normal shape of a cupcake to form, maybe? Next time if using these liners I would split the batter between the full 12. For the frosting I made the buttercream frosting from the book, and blended half of it with Dutch cocoa powder. I then firmed each frosting up in the fridge in separate bowls before marbling them together, put in the fridge again, then just dolloped onto the top. They ended up looking adorable, I think. And they tasted yummy. They also seemed to improve in taste as they sat in the fridge, so consider making these in advance. Here ends the essay!

The following pictures all appeared during my MoFo posts, so you may recognise them and some of the comments if you read my posts during that time. Still, they are pretty to look at again. :)

Deluxe Cocoa Brownies

Deluxe Cocoa Brownies

(From Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)
I think that brownies are a pretty sure bet for any sort of social gathering. Rich, moist and chocolatey.

Cranberry Almond Cookies

Cranberry Almond Cookies

(From The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur by Kelly Peloza)
These are large, comforting cookies. They would be great with a glass of plant-based milk of your choosing! One of the girls took home all the leftovers and her partner apparently ate them all before his bike ride the next morning! Carbing up, I assume.

Mango Cashew Balls

Mango-Cashew Balls

(From 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson)
This recipe was a last minute addition to the menu. You know how you suddenly panic and worry that you won't have enough food (even though you have more than enough)? I am so glad I did. This is a variation of Apricot Walnut Balls, and I chose it because it sounded like a delightful tropical mix. They are heavenly!

Of course, there needs to be some savoury snacks as well.

Hummamole

Hummamole

(From Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson)
What happens with hummus and guacamole love each other very much. Delicious. Also, even though it has avocado in it, it didn't go brown over several hours. This was gobbled up with lots of fresh vegetable sticks - carrots, celery and green beans.

Red Bean-Chipotle Dip

Red Bean-Chipotle Dip

(From Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson)
This stuff takes less than five minutes, and is seriously delicious. I only used one chipotle, which gave it a nice smoky kick. I think if you left out the water in this recipe, it would make a great almost-instant refried-bean style tasting filling for tacos and burritos. Served with tortilla chips.

Cheezy Cashew-Roasted Red Pepper Toasts

Cheezy Cashew-Roasted Red Pepper Toasts

(From 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson)
Another of those last minute additions. I am so glad I added it, because it ended up being the star of the show! This is the only way capsicum should be eaten - roasted and blended up into a cheezy sauce. There it just adds a depth of flavour, and does not give me indigestion. Yay! Instead of making toast and cutting it into small shapes, I bought some mini melba toasts. This is one of my favourite things ever.

Here are some photos of the table, with all the food set out.

Girl's Day In

The dips with all their dippy friends.

Girl's Day In

Tiered serving stands always make everything extra adorable.

Girl's Day In

You can just see here the watermelon I also cut up and served. I like to serve some fruit at these things. The watermelon was perfect as well.

So, that is done for another year. It is a great way to showcase delicious vegan food, have a good time with friends and colleagues and raise money for a great cause. I'm already thinking about what I shall make next year!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Possum

Possum chilling out on the carpet, like the total stud he is. Look at his little toes!

1 comment:

inhergrace said...

I LOVE your tea cake stand. It's so beautiful. *coverts* You're so generous. And despite Matt Moran being an idiot, Aria looks lovely! Glad you had a wonderful birthday.

Much much love! xox