Category Archives: Baking

Veganmofo 9: A little Thursday baking shwag

Gather ye knights around the Round Dish

Gather ye knights around the Round Dish

Nothing special to report, unless you’re a flour snob like me and can’t get enough of the King.

Well over a year ago Paula so wonderfully gave me a little bag of black cocoa from KA flour. Black cocoa being what it is, so intense and more of a flavoring than an ingredient, it lasted me through a year and beyond of cupcakes and holiday cookies. Until the summer that is. A plague of pantry moths spurred by the intense heat proceeded to decimate anything beany, nutty or floury in the cabinets, always before I could do anything about it. My precious bag of black cocoa went down with the best of them. Life goes on without making deeply dark Oreo-esque treats, but can we really call it living? Enough is enough already.

Blackest of the Black Cocoa, what started it all

Blackest of the Black Cocoa, what started it all


For some reason black cocoa in annoying elusive during my daily NYC travels. Isa of course had it magically stocked mere minutes away from her at the local Key Food or whatever in Brooklyn, but that’s Isa for you. For the rest of us there’s mail order and the joys of internet shopping.

Online shopping leaves me defenseless at times and I couldn’t resist picking up a few extra things. With the price of shipping being what it is might as well go bananas. Or in this case lemons. Lemon Powder claims to deliver maximum lemon flavor to baked goods beyond what fresh lemons can do. I also like the idea I can make things really lemony without upsetting the delicate liquid balance of the recipe.

Continuing the quest for flavor I threw in a bottle of baking emulsion, which apparently ain’t your mother’s baking extract. “Princess Cake” flavor, something citrus/vanilla/nutty, appealed to the six year old in me. Just opening up the bottle made my kitchen smell like a fantasy bakery owned and operated by both Strawberry Shortcake, Holly Hobby and My Little Pony. A little fake and intensely sweet but entirely yummy.

Along with the black cocoa I picked up some richly hued natural cocoa that has not been Dutch processes. Dutch processing is the most popular form of cocoa I find in stores here and usually the only kind. While Dutched cocoa has less natural acidity (and deeper color), its cocoa flavor somewhat mellowed unlike natural cocoa. I’m looking to make high voltage chocolate biscotti soon with a combo of both cocoas.

And what’s a kitchen splurge without a few gadgets? Not a gadget really, the huge stoneware deep dish pie plate was on-sale pie plate and screamed “buy me”! Just look at that baddass scene on it’s surface of King Arthur and his boys chillin’ by the Round Table. You just know they’re discussing import matters of the kingdom like the pros and cons of ground flax seeds vs. blended silken tofu.

The dough whisk, looking like modern art and reminding me of something I found flattened by the side of the road once, promises to be able to stir batters and dough of any strength. I use a rubber spatula to stir things 99.9% of the time, but I have to stay open minded. And if it fails to impress at least I hang it from the Xmas tree or beat a rug with.

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Veganmofo v.6: When She-Hulk Becomes a Cookie

Greener than you biscotti
Right here: Green Tea & Walnut Biscotti. Below: Dough so green it could even save the dollar. Photos by esme!

If She-Hulk was a cookie she’d be this biscotti. Unlike her male counterpart she’s not given to Tarzan speak or wearing tattered purple pants. Instead she’s a criminal defense lawyer and wears a bathing suit year round and has great hair. So of course her hot sophisticated butt could only be done due justice in the form of this delicate yet sturdy green tea and walnut biscotti, throbbing with super evil-thwarting vegan power.

This particularly magnificent green biscotti was crafted by the unstoppable esme, who is lending her awesome baking-testing-fu for Isa Chandra’s and my upcoming vegan cookie book next year. It’s gamma ray green hue is a little mysterious because the matcha tea powder she used has an origin story shrouded in secrets. Until we google the hell out of it that is.

Esme tells us that it was a gift from a friend and that the closest thing to a brand name she can find on the can is “Polaris”, which is also the name of another Marvel superhero lady who just happens to have green hair. Sometimes life is so creepy and amazing it scares me.

In a world teeming with villains I feel you could benefit from a little extra superpower right now, so here’s the recipe below. Make some soon, brew some fresh (green!) tea and feel the superpower of all those green tea antioxidants and walnut omega-3’s run through your tired veins. But I think you should reconsider punching down that building when with all that energy and finish law school instead.

Green Tea Walnut Biscotti

Fans of all things green tea will love this crunchy, nut biscotti with a Hulk-like hue. The grassy-bitter matcha green tea and deeply toasted walnuts serve up a grown-up pairing of subtle and sophisticated flavors. Made with a little whole-grain pastry flour and chock full of Omega-3 rich walnuts and canola oil this can be a healthful treat served up along side with what else, more green tea!

1/4 cup non dairy milk

4 teaspoons matcha green tea powder (use pure powdered match tea, not green tea flavored beverage mixes)

2 tablespoon ground flax seed

1/2 cup canola oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup AP flour + 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 oz walnuts halves (about 1 1/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Light grease or line with parchment paper a medium sized baking sheet.

In a large bowl pour non-dairy milk, add green tea powder and with a wire whisk beat till smooth and no lumps remain. Beat in ground flax seeds till smooth. Add canola oil, sugar and vanilla and beat till smooth.

Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Stir to form a smooth dough, then knead in walnut halves, pushing any nuts that pop out back into the dough.

Form a log about 10 inches long by 4 inches, using a rubber spatula to even edges and flatten end sides of log. Bake for 30 minutes until log is puffed and firm. Some cracking is okay. Place baking sheet on a wire cooling rack, turn off oven and allow log to cool for at least 45 minutes. If any edges of the log are too browned gently trim off with a sharp heavy knife.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Very carefully slide log off of baking sheet onto a cutting board. With a sharp, heavy knife slice log into 1/2 inch thick slices, using one quick and firm motion, pressing down into log. Very gently move slices to baking sheet, standing slices on bottom edge if possible. Bake slices for 30 minutes. Slices should appear dry and nuts should be lightly toasted. Allow to cool 10 minutes on baking sheet then carefully move to wire cooling racks to complete cooling (warm cookies may be fragile). Store in loosely covered container.

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