Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yule Love This French Log

It's time to introduce this month's Daring Bakers Challenge!
This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.
They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand. 
This multi-layered frozen dessert features six elements:  Dacquoise Biscuit (Almond Cake), Mousse, Ganache, Praline (Crisp), Creme Brulee, and Icing.  We were given a lot of leeway in terms of flavours this time, and I have to say that my favorite part ended up being the mousse.

I chose to make a maple mousse, which was actually quite simple.  I used one box of mori-nu silken tofu and 1/2 cup maple syrup.  Blend in food processor for 2 minutes.  That's it!  It's so light and full of flavour, I wanted to eat it all on its own without adding it to the yule log but instead I resorted to licking the spatula ;)  It was well worth the wait though, because it is absolutely delightful once it's frozen.  I think this summer I might toss this in the ice cream maker and see how it fares as "ice cream".
 Also, since I've pretty much had enough chocolate over the holidays to last until next year, I went with a vanilla ganache.  My vegan creme brulee was more like a blanc mange (vanilla pudding) but at least I kept with the french theme?!  With all of the vanilla and maple layers it's hard to distinguish one layer from the next other than the almond cake and chocolate praline, but they each have their own flavour that blend harmoniously with the other layers.  It takes a bit of time to put this together but it really is a nice dessert to serve if you have guests over.  
You can find the original (non-vegan) recipe posted at Florilege Gourmand.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Two uses for Vitasoy Holly Nog, and a munchin in a Christmas Tree....

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays.  I haven't had too much time to catch up on everyone else's blogs to see all of the goodies that are being serving up, but I hope to check them out over the next few days.
In the meanwhile, how about some Rum and Holly Nog? with a little sprinkle of cinnamon.  This will warm you inside and out!
For Christmas morning breakfast I whipped up some corn bread from La Dolce Vegan and subbed in Holly Nog because, whoops, I forgot to buy my usual almond milk when I went shopping the other day.  Even my friend's dad who is very skeptical of any soy/tofu/alternative food liked it!

Well, it's time for some late snacks and a movie with the girls (and some more rum & Holly Nog!) so I'll catch up with you later!  Merry Christmas :) I'll leave you with one last photo, of our little munchkin.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Yummies

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever you prefer.  I wish all of you a joyous holiday season and may you be blessed all year with good friends, family and yummy FOOD!

I've had to miss a couple of days of work due to some bad weather.  In fact, my flight to be with my family for Christmas was cancelled, so I'm spending the holiday with friends and hoping that my rescheduled flight on Boxing Day doesn't get cancelled. 

On the bright side, being snowed in and stuck at home leaves lots of time to bake some old favorites for our guests. 

I made a batch of Almost Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies subbing in almond butter...

And I made some of Dreena's Chocolate Mint Melties.  These are soooo good.  If you've never made them, you must find any excuse to do so.

And I also made a carrot cake.  I had an abundance of carrots from my weekly produce bin (Green Earth Organics) so carrot cake was the perfect way to use some of them.  I used a recipe from Martha Stewart's website and made a few substitutions.  You can refer to the original recipe here, but I'll list it with my substitutions below:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup finely shredded packed (about 2 medium) carrots 
Quick Glaze, or confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil an 8 inch round baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk flax/water, sugars, almond milk, and oil until smooth. Gently mix wet mixture into dry ingredients until moistened; mix in carrots. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes (if browning too quickly, tent cake with aluminum foil). Cool in pan, 15 minutes. Turn out of pan, remove paper, and cool completely on a rack, right side up. Apply glaze, or dust with confectioners’ sugar. 

 Right now I've got a batch of Lavash baking, and I'll be making some lemon-dill hummus to go with it.