This might come as a surprise, but I have ALOT of vegan cookbooks. I know, I'm not exactly vegan but I find vegan recipes for vegetable dishes are far more inspired and flavourful than what most meat-eating cookbooks offer. However, one thing I have yet to conquer is a delicious vegan dessert.
All of these vegan cookbooks have dessert offerings, and to be honest - most leave you feeling disappointed. I even have strict rules about vegan baking. For example, ingredients must be natural, real and unprocessed. Any dessert featuring tofu, fake cheese, imitation whipped cream - those are all out. But no matter how hard I look, they all come out worse than their non-vegan counterparts.
Many recipes suffer from maple overload. They call for insane amounts of maple syrup in replace of sugar, honey or any other sweet item on the do-not-eat list. Many use bizarre flours which I can't actually find, or even when using normal ingredients, come out rock solid because they are missing a key non-vegan ingredient - glorious butter. Sorry earth balance.
So, for my next (and probably last) attempt - it's babycakes. The king of all vegan bakeries in NYC. I scored their classic cookbook for christmas, and will probably attempt doughnuts, a cookie recipe and a cake just to really test them. After that, I might be calling it quits on the vegan baked goods.
Last night I was craving something sweet and I was out of eggs, so it was a perfect opportunity for some vegan baking. I decided to try the Nilla Wafers recipe simply because I actually had all of the ingredients. I did make some slight adjustments because my applesauce had gone bad. My solution - I peeled an apple, steamed it, and sent it to an untimely end in my BlendTec. Instant applesauce. I also used spelt flour instead of oat flour simply because I don't stock it, rumour has it spoils very quickly.
Nevertheless, my version turned out like this:
Not too shabby. They tasted pretty good out of the oven, although they were a bit tacky. I also had to bake them for an extra 10 minutes because they were still raw. A proof point for the author Erin McKenna, that more time is needed for high altitude baking. Today, I'm happy to report that they are still moist, taste good, and have no maple syrup! I was pretty happy that the recipe called for so much vanilla. I have nearly a litre of vanilla extract after my friends and I went in on a bulk vanilla bean purchase last year.
Here's to the next babycakes adventure. I'll keep you posted.
[Thanks for reading]