Happy United Cheesecake Holiday!

Yes it’s been a while. That whole Vegan Month of Food thing had me blogging way more than was comfortable. So I became a bad blogger for the month of Dec. Oh well, you can’t expect much from a chocolatier this time of the year.

And what time of year it is? Well… it’s United Cheesecake Holiday! Yes, this is really the only holiday we need to celebrate in December. From the 20 – 27th it’s all about the cheesecake. Even non-vegan cheesecake. (That’s where the UNITED part comes in.) Gifts are frowned upon but homemade or food related are permitted. And… that’s about it. No trees, no candles, no weird dudes in weird suits, no angels… it’s just about the cheesecake. You don’t have to feel bad if you are alone on United Cheesecake Day (December 25) because just as long as you have a piece of delectable cheesecake in front of you you are NOT alone.

This cheesecake recipe is from my new book. Which is apparently out after 3 years. I started writing the thing in 2003, just after the first book was done. You wanna talk broken heart from an inanimate object? Well what happened with this book in all those years has crushed me and dulled my interest in my own creation. It’s a story that tires me out telling it, so you won’t be reading it here… although it would for sure make a teary eyed entry (I’m exaggerating a little here 😉 )

Double Decker Chocolate Mint Cheezecake

Yield: 8 or 9-inch pie

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tub vegan cream
cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup firm tofu
3/4 cup soy yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 tablespoons
crushed candy cane
1/4 teaspoon mint
extract
chocolate cookie  crust (see below)
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Melt chocolate in a double boiler
(or a smaller pot on top of a larger pot of simmering water.)
2. Blend all ingredients except candy cane, mint extract and chocolate.
3. Take out 1/3 of this mix. Add the melted chocolate to the 2/3 still in the
blender and blend well.
4. Pour the chocolate into the pie crust. Mix the candy cane and mint
extract into the remaining 1/3 mixture and pour this on top of the chocolate. Bake for 50 min.

chocolate cookie
crust:
1 1/4 cups chocolate
cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons oil
Mix together, press into pie pan.

Hopin’ you like that lovelies…

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #22: If you are alone during these kinds of holidays it is imperative that you either find people to spend it with, or construct a plan to make the day really interesting, weird, or just pamper yourself. Holidays can break your heart, but you have an enough in your arsenal to fight against it. After all – it’s all in your head. All the pressure to have a partner or family during this time of year is mere construction of outside forces. You can be happy being alone. You are awesome!

Broken Heart Song #22

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December 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . dessert. 7 comments.

Oh My It’s Pie!

I’ve never been much of a pie eater because I’m not much of a crust eater.  I much prefer the insides to the outsides.

But pie has been playing a major role in my dessert life recently. There’s been a pie cooling on the side table every week for the past two months. Pies are a great way to get your mind off your broken heart because you can make a boat load of crust and freeze or refrigerate the dough when you need it. It’s easy to defrost, roll out and put some tasty sweet goop in the middle. And the insides you choose are endless. It’s a nice thing to think about – all these different kinds of middles available to you.

I haven’t gone for anything too interesting or bizarre… but my pie making time is not over yet!

So far I’ve made:

Sweet Potato  (from Lickin’ the Beaters: Low Fat Vegan Desserts cookbook)

Apple

Apple Crumble

Pumpkin

and the surprisingly not overly sweet Chocolate Marshmallow

The pie crust recipe is from the old book you can see in the back of a couple of the pictures. Every time I purge my cookbook collection I set it aside to give away, but the cover is just such a lovely thing I can’t do it! The Chocolate Marshmallow recipe comes from this book.

Chocolate Marshmallow Pie

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 c soy/rice/almond milk

8 Sweet & Sara Marshmallows

1 1/2 c Mimiccreme whipped creme or any other vegan whipped topping

1 prebaked 8″ pie shell (I used a graham cracker crust)

1/2 c toasted chopped almonds

1. Put chocolate, soy milk and marshmallows in a double boiler (or one pot on top another with simmer water on the bottom). Melt it all. It’ll take a while. Those Sweet & Sara’s are dense little mofos! Cool, stirring frequently.

2. Fold in whipped creme and pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with almonds. Chill.


Broken Heart Vegan Tip #21: I really think that helping others  can make your own troubles melt like soy butter. Maybe it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or going over to a new vegan’s house to help them cook. Hell, maybe it’s doing some Animal Liberation Front work or helping a fellow cyclist who’s been doored. It’s really endless the way you can give a little bit of yourself just to make the world a better, friendlier and compassionate place. And the funny thing is, it ALWAYS comes back to you in some way.

Broken Heart Song #21

November 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . dessert. 2 comments.

…still baking…

I have a couple friends, and this probably goes for a lot of people out there, who think that getting broken hearted is just part of the cycle of love and they would rather have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.

I suppose it would be responsible for me to encourage this kind of thinking, but frankly I don’t believe it. At least it doesn’t work for me.

For me, the broken hearts hurt so bad I don’t want the love anymore.

I guess I should halt all this right now and make sure that everyone knows I am a 37 year old woman. Sometimes I re-read my writing and get a little twinge – the twinge that I get when I read heartbroken posts from 18 year old girls. They are in such pain, but I know the pain will go and they will find peace and happiness again – because they are young. Well, I can’t be fit into that category. I have enough “wisdom” by now to know what’s what and who I am.

Anyway, for a few months I have seen flyers on light polls advertising hypnotherapy. I started wondering if I could get hypnotized not to need love. I’m supposing it is possible, but that ethically a hypnotherapist would never do it. It’s probably extremely unethical… and yet  for some of us it would do a world of good.

Now on t the sweet stuff. Baking away. And I LOVE cookies. So of course when Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar finally came to my end of the world I hungrily snatched it up.

There are so many to try (although a lot would probably make me gag. I was never a fan of Pepperidge Farms and that sort of “middle class” lacking – flavour – cookie. And off topic even more – why perpetuate the “Lazy Samoa” racist cookie name? Even the Girl Scouts have at least officially taken the “lazy” part out.) Where to start?

I’ve made three so far: key lime shortbread, Mexican chocolate snickerdoodles and peanut butter blondies. I’ve loved blondies ever since I moved to Toronto. I have this vague memory of a blondie that use to knock my socks off -but I can’t remember what it was. It could have been Glenny’s – but I know their blondies are no longer vegan.

I definitely wasn’t disappointed with the peanut butter added to the blondies. The richness goes through the roof.  For the key lime shortbread I used my authentic key lime juice I got in Key West (although it disturbs me to no end wondering if it really came from Florida or somewhere else!) – tangy little suckers they are!


Peanut Butter Blondies and Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Key Lime Shortbread Rounds

1/2 c vegetable shortening

1/3 c margarine

1 c plus 2 tb powdered sugar, sifted (aka icing sugar)

1/4 c lime juice

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 rounded teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 2 limes)

2 c all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl use electric beaters and cream together the shortening and margarine until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar. Add lime juice, vanilla, zest and beat about 30 seconds to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

2. In a medium bow, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of this to the other bowl and beat to moisten. Add remaining flour and beat about 1 minute until soft ball of dough forms.

3. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a separate large sheet of wax paper. Roll each into a 7 to 8 inch long by 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inch thick log. Wrap each tightly in wax paper and chill for about an hour until very firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp thin knife cut the logs into 1/2 inch slices. Place on baking sheet 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake 10 to 12 min until slightly puffed and edges are turning golden. Cool for 5 min before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #17: Be honest. Just be honest.

Broken Heart Song #17

November 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . dessert. 3 comments.

Baking the Blues Away

There’s nothing like the smell of cinnamon or chocolate coming from your kitchen. It’s especially useful if you are suffering from a broken heart. You’re feeling useless and pitiful but you have the strength to be amazing despite your blues! Get out your favourite vegan baking book and go buy the best baking ingredients you can find. If you live in Toronto I recommend Panacea Eco Shop. Organic and fair trade ingredients galore. And it’s Toronto’s only all vegan grocery store!

Here’s two recipes to get you started.

Cinnamon Chocolate Sour Creem Cake

Yield: 10 – 12-inch bundt pan

This cake is really nice. The cinnamon adds a little surprise to people just expecting regular chocolate cake.

Sour Creem:

1 cup firm silken tofu

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup oil

dash of salt

Cake:

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup oil

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 10” or 12” tube (bundt) pan.

2. In a large bowl cream the margarine, oil and sugar until fluffy. Add the flax/water mixture and vanilla, mixing well.

3. In another large bowl sift and mix the dry ingredients.

4. Add the dry mix to the wet bowl, alternately with the sour creem and beating after each addition.

5. Pour into pan and bake approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wrack for cooling completely.

Next is something savory, because you shouldn’t eat too much sugar when you have a broken heart. This is a healthy yet really scrumptious and feel good way to get some protein and veggies:

Broccoli, Ham and Cheeze Buns

1 pack yeast

1 c warm water

1/4 c sugar

1 tsp salt

3 c all purpose flour (sift before measure)

1/4 c olive or sunflower oil

1 c steamed broccoli pieces

1/2 c daiya or other cheeze

1/2 c soy ham pieces, fried

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar and salt.

2.  Add oil and half of the flour. Beat until very smooth

3. Add remaining flour to mixture and blend well.

4. Add the broccoli, cheeze and soy ham.

5. Let dough rise in a greased bowl, with a damp towel on top. Rise until about double in bulk, about 30 min.

6. Drop dough into greased muffin tins, filling each half way. Let rise again for 30 min. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

7. Bake for 15 min.

Broccoli, Ham, Cheeze Dough

Just make sure you choose a bigger bowl to fit your dough that I did. OOPS! I was making a crap load for anti-G20 eaters… so that’s my excuse. 🙂

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #16: Write your thoughts down, diary style. You don’t ever need to show anyone if you don’t want. It’ll help get your emotions out, if you are the kind that tends to hide them, and it’ll help you figure things out, if you are confused. You can look back months later and gather info that will make you get a better idea of who you are, or just look at your emotional progress.

Broken Heart Song #16 (This one is for all those who read the last post and wish I had written about girls breaking hearts)

September 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . snax. 3 comments.