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.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://cakemerchant.com/2015/01/13/vegan-almond-biscotti/

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.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://cakemerchant.com/2015/01/07/whole-wheat-vegan-chocolate-cake/

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.

2014 Recipe Favorites

Happy (almost) New Year! I hope 2014 was great for you. I say this every year, but I just can’t believe how fast it went by. It’s like time speeds up the older I get. I can’t wait to share more recipes with you this year, but before I do, let’s take a look back at our favorites from 2014.

Your favorite cake: Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake
This was the winner by a landslide! I’ll definitely be making more vegan cakes in 2015.

Vegan-Vanilla-Cake

My favorite cake: Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
The cake that happened by accident turned out to be my favorite! I love the combo of the chocolate frosting and whipped cream, and mini chocolate chips make everything better.

Chocolate Chip Cake

Your favorite cupcake: Nutella Bomb Cupcakes
What can I say? You have good taste. This one comes in a very very close second for me, too.

Nutella Cupcakes

My favorite cupcake: Spiced Apple Walnut Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting
Because goat cheese frosting always wins.

Apple Walnut Goat Cheese Cupcakes

Your favorite non-cake dessert: Vegan Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
Peanut butter whipped cream!!!

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

My favorite non-cake dessert: Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies with Sea Salt
Another vegan recipe. Just goes to show that you really don’t need eggs or dairy to make a great dessert.

Olive Oil Chocolate Cookies

Before I go, I just want to say thank you to all of you who have read this blog, made a recipe, left a comment, pinned on Pinterest, liked on Facebook, or followed on Instagram. It means the world. Here’s to a great 2015!