The Vegan Apron

The Vegan Apron
Burninatin' Your Tastebuds

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chocolate Truffles - When gluttony breeds with celebration...

So, one half of The Vegan Apron is turning 24 today - awwwww. In celebration of his birthday and steady decline into geekish antiquity, the female half of this Apron decided to make a no-holds-barred chocolate cake. And oho, did I! This cake will probably have you in a) a straightjacket or b) Weight Watchers for the next ten years.

So, the deets: this cake tooks aaaages to construct - I won't pretend it was some easy feat of culinary architecture combining both finesse and speed. Nope. Loads of finesse, no speed. The cake is a chocolate almond fudge, and it is topped with chocolate 'buttercream' and piped maroon chocolate rosettes. Then, in the centre, there is a pile of handmade chocolate truffles, dusted with icing powder, and topped with a delicate spiderweb of chocolate. I wrapped some decorative gold print paper around the sides for kicks, and the whole thing went to work with my husband today so his workmates could gorge themselves. This exchange occurred in g-chat after the cake had made a hoity-toity entrance at work:

Husband: hmm. how about that.
me: what?
Husband: the owner of a multi-million dollar, international software company just said "well done" to you on the cake.
me: 0_0
It all just goes to prove what Matt Ball of Vegan Outreach says: being a vegan isn't about deprivation. I have the waistline to prove it!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Republican Cupcake: Rich and Thick

The Republican
Aheheh...the name says it all. Rich + thick!
The actual cake turned out a little fluffier and lighter than we would have liked, but the the icing? Oh. Sweet. Zeus. Portwine coloured peanut butter whip drizzled with (vegan) semi-sweet dark chocolate.

Yeasty Goodness

Handmade Garlic 'Pull-Apart' Bread
Is there anything more fun than making fresh bread? It really is like regressing to child hood - sticky hands, kneading dough, and watching incredulously as something magically grows. This garlic pull-apart was super easy and was nommy when eaten warm in front of some escapist teevee.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

'Allo Duckie!

Your friends will be green with envy (yes I know, ha...ha...ha...) when they catch you ripping apart one of these zany duck-egg cupcakes. Marzipan = love.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rollin' with the Sushi

Not just healthy - hearty! Although it can be difficult to approximate the wonders of professionally made, store bought sushi, we think ours comes pretty damned close. The marinated, lightly fried tofu in the middle helps. So what should we call this - Tofushi?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lemony Snacket

These Lemony Snacket cupcakes are a thing of beauty, and utter self-indulgence. The cake is a soft banana cloud, and the icing is a whipped-to-hell concoction of tofutti 'cream cheese', fresh lemon juice and other goodies...

Be warned: they're more-ish. You'll find yourself at the gym afterwards!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pic Post!

Food, food, food...where would we be without it? (Err, probably a lot skinnier.) Still, here's some delish pics of what we've been devouring lately.

Vegan Brekkie Fry-Up

Complete with soy bacon (NOM-NOM-NOM), rocket, sauteed garlicky mushrooms, split English muffins and those good ol' rib-stickers - baked beans - this fry-up was a delight to consume.

Late-night Banana Bread
Not to be confused with banana cake, its sweeter cousin, this bread had a rather strange effect on the male half of The Vegan Apron - sudden and unexplained swooning. Could it be the moist crumbs or the rough crunchy exterior? Could it be the immensely comforting cuddling-by-a-fire smell that wafted out of the oven? The mystery remains unsolved.

Rose-water Ladies

These mouth-watering cupcakes are straight outta England - prim and proper and oh-so la-de-da. They're perfect for that brunch with hard-to-impress friends or for your doting mother who deserves a treat. Time-consuming? Yes. Completely effing worth it? You bet. This is partly based on Isa Chandra Moskowitz's vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Thanks for the inspiration, Isa!

Rose-water Ladies
Ingredients (for the cakes)
1 cup of soymilk
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1/2 cup of olive oil/vegetable oil
3/4 cup of raw sugar
1 tablespoon of cornflour
2 cups of self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of rose-pink food colouring
2 tablespoons of rose-water essence
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
(for the icing)
2.5 cups of soft, twice-sifted icing mixture
3 tablespoons of softened non-dairy margarine
1 tablespoon of softened copha (about 20 grams)
1/4 cup of soy milk
2 tablespoons of rose-water essence
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Green and rose-pink colouring
  • Preheat oven 180 degrees celcius. Line a 12 cake pan with muffin cases, or grease.
  • With a spoon, measure the vinegar into the soy-milk and stir. Sit for five minutes so it thickens.
  • Now, add oil, colouring, essences and sugar and beat until frothy.
  • Add dry ingredients and beat through until no clumps remain.
  • Pour evenly into muffin cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer comes out mostly clean.
  • DO NOT ICE UNTIL COMPLETELY COOL. Trust us on this one!

(for the icing)

  • Sift, sift, sift. You want your icing sugar to be as soft and light as possible.
  • Now, add copha and margarine and beat until it turns from a powder into a clotty paste. Stay with it. Sometimes it looks like it isn't going to happen but the longer you beat it, the better it will be.
  • Add soymilk and essences and beat until thick and creamy. It should hold shape well - if too solid, add a bit more soymilk.
  • Pipe onto cupcakes in swirls using a star nozzle.
  • For the roses and leaves - knead a couple of drops of colouring through a small, 2 cm knob of marzipan. Make a ball of pink and a ball of green. Make sure your hands are clean and damp before the next stage.
  • To make roses, flatten out a thin rectangle of marzipan, about 1 cm high and 2 cm wide. Curl up the marzipan, and pinch off the excess at the bottom. Make a couple of other "petals" and layer them around, flaring them slightly before pinching them off to give a blooming effect. When they are dry, use a pin to drop pink colouring inside the heart of each rose.
  • To make leaves, make a small oval of green marzipan and lightly pinch the top and bottom to create the shape. Then use a sharp knife dipped in water to score the middle and sides to create veins. When dry, use a clean paintbrush and paint over them with green colour - it will flow into the veins and make them appear more marked.

Enjoy with tea and lots of cheerful company!

Friday, February 1, 2008

cookies and cream chocolate cupcakes

Mmmm. These are too good to be true. The recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's 'Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World' and the topping idea is mine.

The cupcake itself is a tender, moist chocolate and the icing is whipped chocolate buttercream (with neither butter or cream) and smashed up oreos tumbled through (yep. vegan!).