Vegan Triple Vanilla Ice Cream

Triple Vanilla Ice Cream

I’m now 2 full weeks into being vegan, and the learning process continues. I suppose I already knew that you can be a really unhealthy vegan if you only eat carbs and processed foods, but I learned it the hard way when I did just that because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. I really learned the hard way after eating frozen “mock” chicken sliders for 3 meals in a row and then trying to exercise. Let’s just say I was barely functional for the rest of the day.

So after my run I took a 3 hour nap and barely dragged myself out of bed for dinner only because Aaron had suggested we try a vegan restaurant in town called The Spiral Diner. I’d had a bad experience there a few years ago with a Philly cheesesteak so I was reluctant to go back, but I’m glad we gave it another shot. We had chips and queso, which has been the only acceptable cheese alternative I’ve had so far, followed by a decent vegan BLT with the best spicy ranch sauce I’ve had (vegan or otherwise), and the most amazing chocolate and peanut butter milkshake. After I got some much needed fat into my system, I went from on the verge of quitting this whole non-dairy lifestyle to feeling reenergized and ready for the next couple of weeks.

I’ve done a better job about being prepared and planning out my meals this week so I haven’t felt quite as fatigued, but nothing has been able to take my mind off of that chocolate peanut butter milkshaaaaake! Which is part of the reason why I’m posting an ice cream recipe in the middle of winter. The other reason is that I had originally intended on posting a vegan vanilla ice cream recipe last summer, but I failed so many times at it that I put it on the back burner.

Triple Vanilla Ice Cream
Triple Vanilla Ice Cream
Triple Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a take on recipe I found on Serious Eats, and by far has the best texture of any vegan ice cream I’ve tried. The triple vanilla part comes from using a vanilla bean, vanilla extract, and vanilla sugar (you can learn how to make vanilla sugar here). This recipe uses corn syrup, which I know many people prefer not to use, but Wholesome Sweeteners makes an organic non-GMO variety. If you have a corn allergy, you can proabably use tapioca syrup, brown rice syrup, or golden syrup since they have a similar texture, but I haven’t tested them.

If you have difficulty scooping the ice cream right out of the freezer, let it sit outside for 5-10 minutes before serving. Not only is it easier to scoop, but the flavors of rock solid ice cream right out of the freezer are less pronounced, so letting it rest will actually help it taste better.

I was planning on posting a recipe for a chocolate peanut butter milkshake after this one, but I felt a little bit silly telling you to dump things in a blender and calling it a recipe, so here it is: 1 cup of ice cream + 1/2 cup non-dairy milk + 3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder (or natural or raw cacao if you prefer) + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter = Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshaaaaaake!

Vegan Triple Vanilla Ice Cream

Yield: one pint plus a little extra

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator for 24 hours
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Open the can of chilled coconut milk and scoop off the hardened coconut cream (you won't need the remaining coconut water).
  2. Combine the coconut cream, coconut milk, corn syrup, vanilla sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Scrape out the inside of the vanilla bean and add it to the mixture, stirring the mixture frequently. Set the vanilla bean pod aside for later.
  4. Once the mixture begins to simmer, use an immersion blender to blend the ice cream for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a blender and blend it that way.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract and place the vanilla bean pod in the mixture.
  6. Pour the hot mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until completely chilled.
  7. Remove the vanilla bean pod and freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
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Recipe adapted from Serious Eats
If you don’t have vanilla sugar, you can use regular unbleached granulated sugar.

Vegan Almond Biscotti

Vegan Almond Biscotti

So I’ve just completed my first full week of being vegan, and even though I didn’t think it would be too much of a stretch from my usual pescetarian diet, it’s been a learning experience. I’ve learned that I have to read the labels on errrything and I can no longer spoon Nutella into my mouth and call it dinner. Eating out is tricky and Thai food is my new best friend. Basically, I just have to put a lot more thought into my food and I’m shocked at how many things contain animal products.

I’ve had a few mishaps as well, such as eating honey mustard potato chips because I totally forgot that honey wasn’t vegan. It also occurred to me after I had finished drinking my favorite beer┬áthat milk stout probably isn’t vegan either. But mishaps and all, I’m still plugging along with my month long vegan experiment.

I’ve always believed that vegan baked goods were not lacking in any way, but these biscotti have me convinced. Who says biscotti need eggs? I tested several recipes before coming upon this one, and I knew it was blog worthy when I couldn’t pass by the kitchen without grabbing one. They were also deemed acceptable currency to pay Aaron (who formerly turned up his nose at biscotti) for his hand modeling skillz.

Vegan Almond Biscotti

This recipe makes a small batch, because clearly, I cannot be trusted around biscotti. However, it can easily be doubled. If you like (and why wouldn’t you?), you can drizzle the biscotti with bittersweet chocolate. Can I just say how happy I am that most of my favorite dark chocolate is vegan?

Vegan Almond Biscotti

Vegan Almond Biscotti

Yield: about 10 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated (unbleached) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • For the chocolate drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and line one cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the sugar, applesauce, oil, and both extracts.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir them together.
  5. When the ingredients are almost combined, add the toasted almonds and knead the mixture together with your hands until the ingredients are combined.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a large rectangle, about 3 inches wide and 3/4 of an inch thick.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove the oven, turn the temperature down to 300 degrees fahrenheit, and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti into one inch pieces.
  10. Return the pieces onto the cookie sheet and bake for additional 8-10 minutes on each side, depending on your desired crispness.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. If you want to drizzle the biscotti with chocolate, put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and microwave on medium in 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between each until the chocolate is melted.
  13. Put the melted chocolate in a plastic bag, snip a small amount off one corner, and drizzle over the biscotti.
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Biscotti recipe adapted from food.com

Whole Wheat Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake

I’ve decided to up my chances of keeping my New Year’s resolutions by making them easier this year. Let’s call them goals instead, shall we? I figured I could handle one short term goal and one long term goal.

Long term goal- phone detox. You know that moment when you find yourself on your phone, iPad, and computer all at the same time? Guilty. I’m going to start my detox by NOT looking at my phone first thing in the morning. Doesn’t sound like much, but baby steps, people. I may have to buy a real alarm clock.

Short term goal- Go vegan for a month. You can do anything for a month, right? It’s not too far of a stretch from my current diet. I wish I could say that I had a really good reason for doing it other than I’m just curious about life without cheese, but I just want to try it. Needless to say, you’ll be seeing more vegan recipes than usual on the blog, starting with this one.

And guess what? It’s a mini cake! I can’t help myself, they are just so cuuute! I healthified it a little bit by replacing half the oil with applesauce and using whole wheat pastry flour. You could also use a half and half mix of whole what pastry flour and all-purpose flour to make it less obviously whole wheat if you want to.

Vegan Chocolate CakeVegan Chocolate CakeVegan Chocolate Cake

During my vegan month, I’m going to explore other frostings outside of the margarine/shortening/so much powdered sugar your teeth hurt variety. I gather from comments and emails that most of my readers don’t like overly sweet frosting (I don’t either), but I have yet to find a good version of vegan swiss buttercream. However, I know there are other good vegan frostings out there and I can promise you that this one is not too sweet and very chocolaty. I added corn syrup to keep the frosting shiny and smooth (keep in mind that this is not HFCS) but you can sub golden syrup, maple syrup, or omit it all together.

Whole Wheat Vegan Chocolate Cake

Yield: One 3 layer 4-inch cake or 2 layer 5-inch cake

Ingredients

    For the Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake:
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder (I used Dutch-process but natural will work)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) non-dairy milk
  • 8 ounces (224 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee or espresso (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (optional)

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and line 3 4-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.
  3. Add the sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract and whisk until frothy.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.
  5. Divide the batter equally between the 3 pans and bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire racks for about 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the wire racks and cool completely.
  7. For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
  8. Place the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
  9. Heat the non-dairy milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil.
  10. Pour the non-dairy milk over the chocolate chips and let stand for about 5 minutes.
  11. Stir until smooth.
  12. Stir in the coffee and corn syrup until smooth.
  13. To make the ganache extra smooth, you can use an immersion blender to blend it.
  14. Put the ganache in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes or until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  15. To Assemble the Cake:
  16. Place on layer of cake on a 4-inch cake board or a plate.
  17. Spread about 2 tablespoons of ganache on top.
  18. Do the same with the 2nd layer and place the 3rd layer on top.
  19. Place the frosted layer in fridge for 5-10 minutes to set up. This will prevent the cake from sliding around when you frost the outside.
  20. Remove the cake from the fridge and place a large dollop of frosting on top of the cake.
  21. Using an offset spatula, work your way around the sides until the entire cake is covered with a thin layer of frosting.
  22. Let the crumb coat set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  23. Once the crumb coat has set, spread a thicker layer of frosting on the top and sides of the crumb coat to create a smooth finish.
  24. Top with fleur de sel or sprinkles.
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Notes:
Since these cakes are so small and I don’t want to lose any when I level the cake, I used Bake Even strips to keep the cakes flat. Using these may add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.

You may be wondering, “Who the hell has 3 4-inch cake pans?” I don’t, actually, and I had to wash out my 4-inch cake pan in between baking each layer. If you’re not as devoted to mini cakes as I am (by devoted I mean insane), you can make two 5-inch cakes, or one 7-inch cake. You might even be able to fit it into a 6×3 inch pan, but I haven’t tried it.