Vegan MoFo Yellow Week – Lemon Desserts!

MF5

I originally intended for this to be a post about yellow dessert foods, and only as I was finishing up did I realize that all of these desserts utilize lemons! I guess I just really love lemons. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Here are some of my favorite desserts made from this lovely yellow fruit.

Lemon Yogurt Cake 002

First I give you¬†Lemonade Parfait with Fresh Summer¬†Berries¬†from Happy. Healthy. Life. (click for recipe). ¬†Sorry for the kinda dark picture…this was a late night treat. ūüôā

Lemonade Parfait with Mango

This is a homemade lemon pudding layered with fruit and “crunchies.” ¬†Instead of the berries Kathy used in her original creation, I used chopped mango and bananas. ¬†For crunch I used a vanilla almond granola I scooped from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. ¬†There are tons of possibilities with this recipe and it’s a pretty healthy way to treat yourself. ¬†My sister M (who is lactose-intolerant) was visiting when I made these and she seemed to enjoy it. ¬†H said he liked his too. I’m not sure if he knew there was tofu in it though (surprise, honey!).

Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting from Chloe’s Vegan Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli.

Unfrosted:
Banana Cupcakes 2

Frosted:
Banana Cupcake with Lemon Frosting

Believe it or not, I don’t usually salivate over my own photographs while I’m posting them after the fact, but these cupcake pictures are having that effect, just remembering how good they tasted. ¬†I don’t even know what to say about these cupcakes without being a huge food bloggie cliche. ¬†Heavenly? ¬†Divine? ¬†Whatever, they’re¬†GOOD. ¬†Make them. ¬†I found the recipe reprinted online here.

And finally, the big kahuna, Lemon Yogurt Cake.

Lemon Yogurt Cake 008

The original egg- and dairy-filled recipe by Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa) has been one of my family’s favorite things around the holidays for years now. ¬†It is a complex and impressive dessert (and high-calorie!), making it a perfect special occasion recipe. ¬†I decided to veganize it for MoFo, because it’s yellow, and because, well, it’s about damn time.

Lemon Yogurt Cake, adapted/veganized from this recipe.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plain coconut milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water.  Combine and set aside for 15 minutes until it thickens up.)
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
2 tsp grated lemon zest (~2 lemons)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Then grease and flour the pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. ¬†In a separate large bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the flax eggs, banana, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. ¬†With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. ¬†Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup of lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.  Set aside.

When the cake is done baking, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove it from the pan.  While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.  Let the cake cool completely (this is the hardest part!).

Once the cake is cooled, make the glaze by combining the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. ¬†Pour glaze over the cake (I usually go back 3-4 times to collect the glaze from around the edges and re-pour it over the cake.).

Slice and enjoy!

Ready to go into the oven:
Lemon Yogurt Cake 004

Fresh baked:
Lemon Yogurt Cake 005

Soaking in the lemon “syrup”:
Lemon Yogurt Cake 006

Glazed:
Lemon Yogurt Cake 007

Sliced and finally ready to eat!
Lemon Yogurt Cake 010

I was pretty pleased with how this adapted version of the cake came out. ¬†It looks different than the original with the little flecks of flax seeds peeking through. ¬†It’s also denser and slightly less sweet, but it is still moist and lemony and has the delicious “crust” of lemon glaze on the outside that is so delightful to bite into.

I initially wrestled with what to do to replace the 3 eggs that the original recipe calls for and settled on 2 flax + 1 banana “egg.” ¬†I think 3 flax eggs is too much for any recipe, but I thought 1 flax + 2 banana, or even 1 flax + 1 banana + 1 applesauce “egg,” might have been too wet. ¬†If I did it again, I might experiment with 1 flax + 1 banana + 1 silken tofu “egg.” ¬†If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see this handy dandy guide to replacing eggs in vegan baking, courtesy of the ever-awesome Post Punk Kitchen.

If anyone tries this recipe with a different “egg” combo, let me know how it turns out!!

Summer Bummer

It is June 11th, and my one-year blog anniversary was June 2nd, which I somehow missed, and that is sad.¬† ūüė¶¬†¬†Also, I managed to lose another digital camera to a bad fall last weekend, which doesn’t really help me in the blogging department, and is depressing because now that school has ended I’ve been doing alot of cooking and baking.¬† Tomorrow¬†a big group of my friends is going down to Cape Cod to spend the weekend there, and I have this whole long summery menu of things to cook up for them while we’re there, which I’m really excited about because I love cooking in the summertime!¬† Of course, it is currently 56 degrees in Boston so maybe not so much.

Alright, enough bad humor.¬† Until my camera is fixed (or¬†I bite the bullet and¬†buy my third one in the last 13 months)¬†I have a few pictures in my Photobucket that I can post for the sake of keeping up the blog…

First up is a series of photos of Dad and me making Happy Herbivore’s Chickpea Piccata.¬†


Here we have the patties, getting ready to go into the oven.


And there is the sauce, simmering away.


Some steamed spinach for a side dish.


The finished chickpea patties.


The finished sauce.

Overall, I enjoyed this recipe but we had to modify it a little.¬† The chickpea mixture that forms the patties was very dry (maybe because we used dried beans that had been soaked and cooked rather than canned?), and we had¬†such a hard time keeping the mixture together that we ended up using an ice cream scoop to form the patties (as seen above), as well as putting lots (probably too much) of flour on them so they didn’t stick to our hands or the scoop. We did not flatten them before baking¬†(as the recipe directs) for fear they would fall apart.¬† We also added a significant amount of olive oil (not HH’s style, certainly) to try to moisten the mixture and keep it together.¬† Also, I thought the sauce was pretty good¬†but Dad thought it was slightly too acidic¬†(with the bulk of the liquid being¬†white wine and the lemon juice), and so next time we decided we’d use a little more water (in addition to that used for the cornstarch) and maybe even a dash of soymilk to even out the pH a little (while avoiding making it too creamy).¬†

This second pic is an old one, from last fall I believe, and it is Pumpkin Seed Crusted Tofu. 


Served up with brown rice and a plate of pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus

I can’t for the life of me remember where I got this tofu recipe.¬† If anyone has seen it before, can you please leave a comment or email me so I can give the author proper credit?¬† Thanks!¬† I usually wouldn’t post something if I didn’t know where it came from (since that is kind of the point of this blog) but they’re really pretty pictures and I’m kinda short on material at the moment. Overall this was a¬†pretty yummy spread, nothing exceptional though.¬† Looking at the picture now, of course, I’m chiding myself on serving too much rice and no actual vegetables!

To wrap up, I just want to say that now that the semester has ended, I feel like a real person again, and not only am I thrilled to be back into the kitchen and back into my healthy eating and exercise habits, but I am thrilled to once again have the time to catch up on all of your wonderful blogs, from which I have been long absent. I’ll be back to commenting soon!!