Leveraging toastiness can be a powerful tool for creating rich, complex flavors. Toastiness is often defined in dictionaries as “comfortably or cozily warm”. I think it’s pretty cool how this definition describes the actual food flavor so spot-on. When you combine toastiness with coconut, you’d better watch out; you’re in for a burst of rich toastiness with a lingering creamy coconut finish that can fade into maltiness. Perfect for kicking your vegan baking up a notch or three!
Why confine toasted coconut to coconut flour? By making coconut milk out of toasted coconut flour, we’re able to apply this rich, complex creamy toastiness to a much wider array of vegan baking applications. Ice creams, cakes, puddings, cream sauces, pancakes; any food that uses a large proportion of liquid can take advantage of toasted coconut milk in place of regular non-dairy milk. You can even put it in your breakfast oatmeal where it’ll add a rich, savory maltiness. But how does this flavor come to be?
Have you ever gone apple picking and brought back pounds of fresh apples with high aspirations only to watch helplessly as your prized stock slowly breaks down as you're just too busy to commit to making all the Apple Pies, Apple Turnovers, Apple Cider Doughnuts and Apple Strudel? This happened to me recently and as I was opening the compost bin of shame my friend Dan mentioned, "you know, my Mom uses the soft apples for apple sauce and it comes out awesome!" This sounded really interesting to me but I still didn't have time. So why not combine these soft apples with this lack of time and make a quick and easy applesauce?
Fruits become extra special when they're dehydrated. Many of their sugars slightly convert into acids during a subtle fermentation and their flavors become concentrated into a irresistible tartness with subtle sweetness accompanied by intense fruit flavor. This wildly complex cherry flavor is what I wanted to capture in this Raw Vegan Cherry Almond Bar recipe. Cherry notes are further enhanced by almond flour and agave syrup. Just a bit of lemon zest and salt to bring foundation to the whole flavor package. Finally, cacao nibs add a nice contrast featuring a slight bitterness and delectable crunch. Feel free to buy dehydrated cherries or dry your own if you have a food dehydrator. I recommend Bing cherries for these bars but you should be able to get great results with any other variety.
This Sprouted Wild Yeasted Whole Wheat Bread recipe is a nod to how the first breads probably got their start. Wheat berries were probably softened with water, ground and left out in the elements where they were then populated by airborne yeasts and bacteria, causing the dough to rise slightly. Placing this dough on hot rocks in or near a fire probably resulted in a fine vegan treat like nothing else available at the time.
Marzipan is almond meal that's been added to caramelized sugar which makes it similar to frosting in consistency. It's origins come from present day Iran or Spain according to theory but its true origins, as well as where the term 'marzipan' originated from are shrouded in mystery. It's extremely versatile, making a fantastic filling for cookies and pastries, a center for chocolates like Marzipan Truffles or rolled into stollen. It can be colored, flavored and formed into candies or used in cake decorating. You can even use other nuts besides almonds like macadamia nuts, cashews or brazil nuts. Marzipan can also be mixed with fruit and served in squares. In the vegan recipe below I didn't remove the skins of the almonds so it came out a light brown.
Apple butter varies from apple sauce in that apple sauce is just puréed apples with some spice and sweetener optionally added. Apple butter has a bit of a cult following because it more accurately captures the essence of the apple. It consists of a spiced apple sauce that's cooked down for several hours so the sugars caramelize, preserving the mixture in the process. Cooking the mixture also produces more complex flavor compounds, activates naturally occurring pectin so it gels and reduces it so it's more concentrated. The result is rich, creamy apple heaven. Fall apple perfection captured in a jar. You can make a large batch from this recipe and can it for future use or spread it immediately on toast, pancakes or use for anything where you would use fruit preserves.
Don't know what to do with all those pumpkin seeds from pumpkin carving? Take those little pepitas and dress them up in little spiced sugar costumes with this Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds recipe. They'll love it and you will too because this vegan recipe features barley malt syrup, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom to help push the savory pumpkin seed flavors forward.
This Vegan Blueberry Frozen Soy Yogurt recipe is super simple to make. It's just unsweetened vegan soy yogurt mixed in an ice cream maker with the fruit jam of your choice. I happened to have blueberry jam when I made this batch. Be sure to use quality soy yogurt. There are some brands out there that don't taste anything remotely like yogurt and they are to be avoided. It's also recommended using quality jam made with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Be sure to use unsweetened soy yogurt or else your frozen soy yogurt will come out too sweet. This recipe is already on the sweet side so the fruit comes through with intensity.
This Cherry Candied Almond recipe is an excuse for me to combine two of my most favorite flavor combinations: cherries and almonds. I used brown sugar and olive oil for a more complex sweetness profile and just the right amount of almond extract to bind the cherry and almond flavor in holy matrimony. Try these as a relatively guilt-free vegan snack, add them to salads or sprinkle them on your ice cream.
This Vegan Bourbon Baked Apple recipe is a great way to get that ridiculously good apple flavor without resorting to the time intensive sport of pie making. It's kind of like an apple pie but without all the crust drama. The core of the apple is removed and replaced with a delectable mixture of pecans or walnuts, raisins, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. The whole deal is then doused with bourbon and baked to perfection. I won't tell if you drink some of the bourbon to make sure it's okay.
A Thai classic, this Sweet Sticky Vegan Rice Pudding (Kao-Niew-Moon) recipe is simple to make and wonderfully creamy due to its use of coconut milk, sugar and a touch of salt. Topping this gluten-free vegan pudding with sliced mango is highly recommended.
This Vegan Buttermilk Biscuit recipe makes great vegan dinner rolls that pair well with American feast-style dinners on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. They feature just the right amount of tahini and lemon juice to accurately impart buttermilk flavors.These biscuits are also great served as a snack with a smear of margarine or almond butter. Serve them warm.
This Vegan Banana Walnut Cake recipe is a staple birthday cake in my family. Nutmeg, walnuts, and a touch of vanilla extract really brings out the banana. It pairs perfectly with Chocolate Frosting or Ganache.