Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baked vegan donuts test

So many of you know that I plan on opening my own bakery someday (someday meaning in 47 years at the rate I'm going), but what a lot of people don't know is that it's not going to be any normal bakery. The whole menu is going to be based on alternative baking; i.e. gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, low calorie, low fat, etc. etc. Baked goodies are just too yummy to be missed out on just because you have an intolerance to gluten, or choose to not eat meat and animal products. Having become vegetarian myself about a month ago, I'm beginning to understand the need for this kind of baking. And the last thing I want to do if I have special dietary needs is go into a store and pick up prepackaged, preservative-laden, flash frozen pastries because that's the only thing available to me...VOMIT! So that's why this is part of my dream - I want to provide fresh and delicious baked goods to people who care enough about themselves to monitor what they do and do not put into their bodies.

That being said, here is a recipe I tested for my menu: vegan baked donuts! I first saw the recipe on Domestic Goddess' blog (can't find it now for some reason - help me out!). There is one ingredient that I couldn't track down: Ener-G Egg Replacer. I didn't have time to go to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods or Market of Choice (where they probably have them), so I decided to research vegan egg replacers online. I found this great website that talked about why free-range eggs are not even good in terms of animal cruelty. They provided a list of healthy vegan alternatives to eggs in recipes, and even which substitutes work best in each type of recipe (breads, pancakes, quiches, puddings)!!! In the words of Paris Hilton: "LOVES IT!"

So I decided to test two different substitutes with the donut recipe: a flour mixture with oil and baking powder, and a mashed banana.

For both recipes, I topped the donuts with three different things: 1. A soy milk/powdered sugar glaze
2. The glaze + sprinkles (vegan!)
3. Dipped in vegan butter and rolled in cinnamon/sugar mixture

Now you may be asking, why do these "donuts" look like cupcakes? Well, let me tell you! The recipe said to use a donut pan - basically a pan with indented with donut-shaped holes. I couldn't find one anywhere! I know I could get it online if I wanted to, but I didn't want to a) spend the money, and b) wait 5 to 10 business days. Lol SO, I settled on a donut cutter from kitchen kaboodle for $1.67. EXCEPT, when I made the batter, it was too thin for the donut cutter so I settled on pouring the batter into a cupcake pan.

Which recipe turned out better? The flour mixture for sure. Take a look at these babies:

My favorite topping was the glaze. The donut was really cakey, like the hostess ones you can buy at the store. Next time I try this recipe I'm going to dip them in a chocolate coating...they'll be perfect!

Did I like the banana ones? Yes, they were very good as well (especially the cinnamon/sugar topped ones). But I was going for vegan baked donuts, not vegan banana bread. I only used 1/2 of a banana for the recipe, but it was definitely the main flavor when I tasted them. At least I have another recipe to add to the menu now too!!!

Next vegan adventure food for my cupcake menu: vegan chocolate cupcakes! Wish me luck!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Here are a couple of pictures from the last few weeks:

My travel companion Ashley and absolutely loved the meringues we had in Paris, and when I got home I recreated them as soon as I could. I also tried some new flavors: cocoa and maple! The original flavor meringues turned out pretty well, and I liked how they dried up so they weren't gooey on the inside. Low calorie/low-fat? Definitely a recipe for the bakery!

For the holidays I made two types of cupcakes. The first is my favorite vanilla vanilla that I make all the time, but I added white sprinkles and a fondant snowflake to make it all winterish. The second is chocolate peppermint cupcakes...I hated them! Blech, they tasted like toothpaste! I guess I'm really not a mint and chocolate kind of girl (or mint anything unless it's gum or toothpaste). I love holiday baking, but boy am I glad it's over!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Grandpa's Femmy Birthday Cake

Hey all, I'm back as promised! My Papa's birthday was on Tuesday, so I spent most of the day on Monday and Tuesday making it (and tearing apart my uncle's kitchen, who I was housesitting for at the time). I decided to do a two-tiered cake, one 12" and one 8". Little did I know that it serves 110 people! Considering there were only 35 people at his party, it was a big "whoops" on my part. The bottom layer is devil's food cake filled with whipped chocolate ganache (almost like a mousse texture) and frosted with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. The top layer is a brown sugar caramel cake filled and frosted with caramel swiss meringue buttercream. I only got a few pictures of it with my crappy phone, so sorry about the quality :(

Funny story about the top of the cake. My original idea was to write "Happy Birthday Dwaine" on the top, and I tried to...but it failed miserably. So first I tried to blot the letters to make it a sponge go. Next I tried to make fondant roses and cover it up that way...again, failure. Finally I settled on just covering it all up with fondant blossoms. It made the cake pretty feminine, but luckily no one cared. Everyone at the party thought the cake was a hat box. lol compliment? Not so sure...but it's finished!

More updates to come!