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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Coconut Tapioca April 28, 2015

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Coconut Tapioca which is located on page 382 in Baking Chez Moi. I actually made this last week because I knew I would forget about the overnight soak time and be screwed for posting on time.  Of course, I should have taken my picture before now but I am glad that I waited because the strawberry in the picture makes it look so much better. 

The only changed two things in the recipe: I used almond milk instead of whole milk so that the recipe would be vegan, and I used small tapioca pearls because I couldn’t find large.  Everything actually turned out great.  I really liked the flavor of the tapioca and Maureen asked for a bit and declared it to be “Tasty.” 



Tuesdays WIth Dorie: Tropical Napoleons and Scallop and Pesto Purses May 20, 2014

Huh, I just wrote half of my entry and I saw WordPress auto saving and then some thing went wrong when I tried to add a picture and now my original post is nowhere to be seen.  Not very happy that I am spending my time trying to write this again, but I guess it happens.  It is really annoying since this is my only time to write when my youngest is taking a nap and my oldest is actually being quite.

Lets try this again.

This week I am going to be writing about last times recipe, Scallop and Pesto Purses, and this weeks recipe, Tropical Napoleons.  As usual, I made the Scallops on time but life and procrastination got in the way.

Now it is time to play catch-up.

The recipe for the week of May 6th was Scallop and Pesto Purses which is located on page 435 in Baking With Julia.  I almost missed doing this recipe, but I happened to be at the grocery store picking up ingredients so that I could make tea marinated shrimp. I proceeded to call Mike to get him to give me the run down on the recipe so that I could get everything that I needed. The entire time I was repeating the additional items that I needed to pick up, but the frozen food distracted me. Well lets be honest, the frozen desserts and ICE CREAM distracted me and I ended up not picking up the Phyllo and missed the scallions earlier in my trip. 


I realized all of this when I got home, so I set out to wing it.  I had some puff pastry and homemade pesto in the freezer.  The initial ideas was the make purses with the puff pastry and fill them with the scallop, pesto and parmesan cheese. Well that idea got slightly changed when I realized how big the scallops were.  They were HUGE, incidentally I only bought 4 because they were expensive. I ended up making pockets instead of purses.  I baked them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes until the pastry puffed and browned. We ended up having this for dinner along with the tea marinated shrimp.  It was the perfect amount of food.  I am pretty sure we had some vegetables too, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.

ImageThis weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe was Tropical Napoleons, which is located on pages 393-394 in Baking With Julia.  I also made some slight modifications to the recipe so that I didn’t have to make a trip to the grocery store. We use fresh Strawberries that we had picked up at the Farmers Market, instead of a mix. I used shredded sweetened coconut instead of flaked. Finally, I didn’t have any heavy cream in the house, but I did have cans of coconut milk.  I remembered in all of the vegan baking that I have done that I had come across a recipe for Vegan Whipped Cream using chilled coconut milk.  The key to the whipped cream is to make sure you are NOT using lite coconut milk, then you place the can in the refrigerator for 6 hours or more.  You do this so that the milk separates, and you spoon out the solids (coconut cream) that rises to the top.  Take the coconut cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, and just beat it together like you would normally when making whipped cream. It ends up whipping to a medium soft peak, and can be used immediately in a recipe. It does firm up a little more after it is refrigerated, so I placed my in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

For the wafers/meringues in the recipe, I only made 1/3 of a recipe because I was afraid it would take too long to make a whole recipe worth and I didn’t have the time.  Hindsight, I should have made a full recipe because my 3 year old LOVED them and kept trying to steal them as snacks while I was making everything. She was actually looking for them this morning and then asked me if I ate them all. Surprisingly, I didn’t and they were just on top of the fridge where she couldn’t see them.  The Napoleons tasted very good and they are a nice light dessert for the summer.





Vegan Coconut Yogurt and Granola September 24, 2013

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:02 am
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My first shot at making Yogurt in our dehydrator and I am making Vegan Coconut Milk Yogurt. The process was actually very simple and I used multiple sources (Waking Up Vegan, Vegan Guinea Pig, Vegan Cookbook Aficionado, and Excalibur Dehydrator – NOT VEGAN, used to figure out how to use dehydrator) to come up with a recipe.

For the Coconut Milk in the recipe I ended up using the big carton in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, well it worked but it had no flavor. So I advise you to use the canned coconut milk that has the least amount of ingredients added to it. You will get a better flavor. Also, I might have to experiment with the amount of Agar Powder because I used 1.5 tsp and it was WAY too much. It thickened just a little too much, more like the consistence of a jello. I think next time I will use 1 tsp and see what happens.

The Granola recipe is actually one of my favorites and it is from Alton Brown. It is very simple, happens to be Vegan, and is VERY tasty.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

32 oz Coconut Milk (4 cups)
1.5 tsp agar powder (should have used 1 tsp)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup coconut milk yogurt w/ active cultures

Sterilize jars and lids that you will be storing the yogurt in.

In a large pot whisk the agar powder into 2 cups of coconut milk until dissolved.
Heat the pot of coconut milk over low to medium heat until the temperature reaches 180 to 190 F. Remove from the heat and cool to 115 F/46 C.
Add in 1 cup of yogurt and sugar to cooled milk.
Pour mixture into containers and cover. Incubate in the dehydrator at 115 F/46 C for 5 hours.
Do not disturb, bump, open door or move while yogurt is incubating. When finished, refrigerate. Before serving, add flavors or fresh fruit.

Source: Good Eats: The Early Years by Alton Brown, page 264

10 oz Rolled Oats
4.5 oz Slivered almonds
5 oz Raw Cashews
1.5 oz Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
3 oz Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
3 oz Maple Syrup
2 oz Vegetable Oil (I used Coconut Oil – melted)
4 oz Raisins or other dried fruit (I omitted these)

1) Heat oven to 250 F.
2) Combine the oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
3) Measure the syrup and oil into a plunger cup. Add to the dry mixture and stir to combine.
4) Transfer the mixture to a half sheet pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
5) Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl and cool for 30 minutes. Add the raisins and mix until evenly distributed. Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.


Vegan Banana Toffee Pudding Pie with Rad Whip September 23, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Pie,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 2:02 pm
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I have been making a lot of Vegan meals and desserts this past week. I just haven’t had the time to post about it.

I am going to start off with the sweet stuff first because who doesn’t want to eat dessert before dinner 🙂

I decided to make the Banana Toffee Pudding Pie (Banoffee Pie) topped with Rad Whip. These recipes can be found in Vegan Pie In The Sky on pages 114 and 199, respectively. This pie just intrigued me by the picture because it looked so good. Then came the “unicorn tear magic” of the Rad Whip.

For the recipe of the pie, the pre-baked crust was really straight forward using non-hydrogenated shortening as the fat. Which turned out a nice flakey crust with no weird aftertaste, which sometimes accompanies a crust made with Vegan Butter. The filling was also very easy. You cook down coconut milk and brown sugar until a dark caramel like consistency and then you add your thickening agent let thicken, and then your flavorings. You then layer your bananas and the toffee pudding, let cool, and top with Rad Whip.

Now the Rad Whip can be the tricky part. I didn’t have any problems until I had to whip it up the final time. I guess the “unicorn tear magic” wasn’t working for me that day, but let me start at the beginning of my Rad Whip adventure. First thing first, I would like to thank my husband for the AMAZING Vitamix blender he got me. This thing is crazy, to grind up the soaked cashews with coconut milk it only took 30-60 seconds and it wasn’t gritty at all. Yay, for not having to wait 5 minutes. Everything went very smoothly (pun intended). I streamed in the Almond Milk/Agar mixture, added flavorings, placed it COLD metal bowl in freezer and waited 30 minutes. When I took it out of the freezer it reminded me of a very firm set Jello or rubber. I knew it was going to take a bit for the first whipping, so I wasn’t too worried. It did come together but it didn’t beat up as much as I thought it would, but into the fridge it went to sit overnight. The next day I brought it out for the final whip. I started to whip it up and just noticed it wasn’t coming together, it started to look almost grainy but it wasn’t at all. I whipped it as much as a could, placed it in the fridge, and did some research.

I guess others have had problems with it not whipping up correctly. The advice was to check date on Agar powder, which I was good on because it was brand new. Next advice was maybe it wasn’t cold enough and to put back in fridge and try again, if that doesn’t work stream in another tablespoon of coconut oil and that should bring it together and help it whip up. I tried one more time to whip it up and it still looked almost like it was separating. I decided that I needed to re-emulsify the mixture, so in it went into the blender and it came together and emulsified again. Yay, no more grainy looking Rad Whip. Since the mixture wasn’t cold anymore, I placed it in the fridge for 2 hours to rest. I finally took it out to whip up and it worked for the most part. I decided to top the pie and be done with it.

The tasting has to have been the best part. I cut out a piece, sat down, and thoroughly enjoyed this pie. Mike also sat down and had a piece with me and also liked it. The next morning Emma gets up and asks for a piece of pie and proceeds to poke at it in the fridge. I didn’t think pie was a good idea for breakfast for her….for me it was a fantastic idea but I wasn’t about to eat pie in front of her. We eat our sweets when the girls are asleep 🙂

After Emma finished her breakfast, and then right before lunch she got a piece of pie. She proceeded to eat the Rad Whip off the top and say, “yum, yum.” She left half of the filling and crust and when I proceeded to finish her pie she asked for a few bites and the requested more. Which I couldn’t allow and just made her lunch. She proceeded to forget about the pie until the next day, which I didn’t cave in. It was the third day and last slice of pie is when I caved, and made Mike share his last piece of pie with Emma 🙂