Baking without eggs and dairy

I might not generally be a big fan of PETA (more on why some other time), but I have to admit they do a lot of good things as well. I found this handy infographic on replacing eggs and dairy in baking and I wanted to share it with you guys. It gives a good overview of some easy ways to replace eggs or dairy in your favorite non-vegan recipes. So no more excuses not to bake some vegan goodies!

infographicVeganBaking_PETA_REVISED72

Click the picture to see the bigger version, or for the PDF, click here.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes

After posting the cupcake-post some days ago I got inspired to bake, and remembered that I have the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (great book by the way!). I decided to try out some of the cupcake recipes from the book and fell for the Pumpkin chocolate chip and Toasted coconut. I was not so happy with the result of the coconut ones, so they need another try out before I post my version of the recipe, but the pumpkin ones turned out really great so I will share it with you guys.

The original recipe goes like this:

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soy milk and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Stir together with a fork – don’t use a handheld mixer, as it will make the batter gummy. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Fill liners two-thirds full. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool fully before icing.

pumpkin cupcake

Cinnamon icing

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 tablespoon soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the margarine, soy milk and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. The mixture should look opaque and honey brown. If it’s glistening a lot or looks to liquid, add a little extra confectioner’s sugar.

Pipe the icing on the cupcakes when it has had time to set for a little while and the cupcakes are completely cooled down. Have patience and don’t hurry, or you might end up with the same mess as me; half of the icing running off the cupcakes and ending up on the kitchen table.

I made some small changes:

  • Instead of canned pumpkin I used fresh one that I boiled and then blended until smooth. It might be that we do have canned pumpkin here in Finland, but I wouldn’t know where to look for it so this was the easier option, and if you can have fresh, why not go for it?
  • I added a little carrot juice into the batter, replacing part of the soy milk, just for the sake of giving the cupcake a more orange color. You can easily make this small amount of carrot juice without a juicer; just finely grate a carrot and squeeze out the juice.
  • Since I didn’t have vanilla extract, I used vanilla sugar, but added a little more than the amount vanilla extract the recipe says

Black bean brownies

brownies

I’ve stumbled upon different recipes of brownies based on black beans for some time now, and I’ve always thought it sounds interesting and worth trying out. I have my go-to brownie recipe (which you can find here), which I love – it’s sweet, chocolatey, fudgey and melts in the mouth – but it contains quite a lot of sugar and white flour so it’s nothing that I would like to eat too much of. So I tried one of the brownie recipes based on black beans with the hope that I could find a new, healthier, way to enjoy brownies.

This is the recipe I followed:

Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed in the result. The brownies did taste chocolate, they were soft and quite sweet. But the texture was not great; they didn’t feel fudgey enough and didn’t melt in the mouth. I didn’t enjoy them that much on their own, but together with a little peanut butter or vanilla ice cream they were actually really good.

Maybe there are better recipes for this type of brownies than the one I tried, I’m still up for other ones. Baked goods and sweets (especially things with chocolate) are really my weak side, I love making them (and I love eating them!), so finding healthier versions of these things would really be great.

Do you have a good recipe for healthier brownies or other baked goods? Please share with me!

Bread with carrot and apple

I’ve been on a baking spree lately. As a change from the sweet baked goods I decided to bake bread. We had some meat of carrot and apple left from juicing the day before, so I searched the mighty internet for a bread including these two ingredients. I found one in a Swedish blog that I decided to make (you can find it here), I will post it in English below.

bread with carrot and apple

Bread with carrot and apple

3 dl water
25 g yeast
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
5 tbsp flax seeds
2 dl shredded carrot
1 dl shredded apple
about 8 dl flour of your choice (I used a whole-wheat flour)

Heat the water to 37 degrees celsius. Break the yeast into a big bowl and pour over part of the water, mix until the yeast has dissolved. Add the rest of the water, oil, salt, sugar, flax seeds, shredded carrot and shredded apple. Add the flour little by little. Mix the dough well before leaving it to rise covered with a towel for 45 minutes.
Grease and flour a baking pan. Pour the dough into it and let it rise for another 25 minutes. Brush the bread with water and spread some flax seeds over. Bake the bread in the oven (preheated to 200 degrees celsius) for 40-45 minutes.

 

Cupcake tryouts

I had an unexpected day off today, so I decided to bake some cupcakes. I tried out a new basic recipe and improvised with part of the flavors out of that recipe; orange with same flavored frosting and chocolate with chocolate-coffee frosting.

The recipe that I used, along with a lot of other recipes and tips on vegan baking, can be found on kamomillankonditoria.com, a blog that I highly recommend for those of you who understand Finnish and like to learn more about vegan baking!

cupcakes

Baking frenzy

I don’t have that much inspiration or energy to write anything right now, but I’ve been baking a lot lately and I want to post some pictures.

vegan cream cake

For my fiancé’s birthday party yesterday I made my first ever cream cake. It turned out great, and I was quite surprised how easy it turned out to be to make it.

 

fastlagsbulle, laskiaispulla

Earlier this month we celebrated fastlagstidsdag/laskiaistiistai here in Finland, and this is the typical kind of sweet bun that we eat then, called fastlagsbulle or laskiaispulla. I hadn’t eaten these for a few years, since the ready-made ones you can buy in the store always have dairy cream on them and I’ve just been too busy, or too lazy, to make my own.

 

potato bread

Some time ago it also came into my mind to bake my own bread, and I’ve done that a few times now. I just love eating bread when it comes straight out of the oven. This one is called something like “Hungarian bread” (even though I have no idea if it actually is anything typically Hungarian about it), it has potatoes in it together with the flour, and it is really tasty when it is fresh.

If anyone is interested in the recipes, just tell me and I will post them.