Saturday, February 13, 2010

Superbowl food and the greatest idea for a cake EVER

Greetings, dear friends,

I figured it was time to blog about food I've prepared recently in order to avoid hitting you with a barrage of photos and text like I did in my last post. I know this month will be spent testing lots of recipes for the Happy Herbivore, and today I'll be making dinner for my lovely love for Valentine's Day, and Sunday my lovely love is taking me out to dinner for Valentine's Day (I think we love to eat more than we love Valentine's Day. Holidays, in essence, are an excuse to go all out with food, no?). Those three things will amount to lots of food in themselves, so I'll spare you (somewhat) the barrage and dive in to what I've prepared over the last little while.

Yet I still feel as though one cannot be forewarned enough when it comes to this beast:

It looks innocent enough, does it not?

Don't be fooled! Let that part of the cake that has cracked and sunk serve as the element of foreboding.... Trust your instincts and mistrust the sunken cake.

This is what this seemingly harmless beast turns into:

Cookie Cake Pie!!!!!

(Sheesh! Really, Blogger? That's the scariest font you've got? Well, I tried.)

All drama and magenta highlighting aside, let me provide you with a bit of background: one day, after a pleasant supper with Momma, Jess, and Matt, I decided to show Jess and Matt around (pure hilarity and absurdity). After holding back gags when viewing cupcakes topped with bacon (I'll spare you the links--the cupcakes are pretty gross), we happened upon this cake. It was called the Triple Threat Cookie Cake Pie, and it was pure genius and, like I said, pure absurdity, all in one cake. We went back to the maker's blog, one lovely Cake Spy, and checked out the process. Sure enough, it would be a piece of cake (har har) to veganize. It's composed of four layers: a pie crust, a layer of cookie dough, vanilla cake, and then vanilla frosting. We did, the three of us, agree that we'd have to make it one day. Nevertheless, I didn't think that it would be sooner rather than later.

Superbowl weekend rolled around, and my sister had planned a potluck with some of her lady friends. Although I was planning on making some brownies, my sister insisted that I make the cake.


To cut a long story short, as you have beheld, I made the cake. I ate 1.5 pieces and was in sugar heaven. I have the sweetest of sweet teeth, and although this cake was too rich to allow my sister to get through more than a few bites, I would have been happy to eat the rest of that half a piece (the only reason it was half a piece is because my mum couldn't get through the other half).

I promised myself that I would never make it again; as my best friend's parents put it, it really is a once-in-a-lifetime cake, because our bodies probably could not survive a second time. This cake was sugary proof that vegan does not always equal healthy! But vegan does equal delicious. And sometimes ridiculous. :-)

Now, for your viewing pleasure, vegan desserts and other foods served at the potluck.

Oh, and if for some crazy reason you'd like to replicate the vegan cookie cake pie, check out Cake Spy's blog, and you can get the recipes for each layer from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Joy of Vegan Baking. For the pie crust, I used the shortbread crust; for each recipe, I used mostly whole-wheat flour. Yeah, I attempted to put something healthful in all that decadence. And when I say decadence, I mean it! There's at least 1/2 cup of Earth Balance in each layer. I did blind-bake the crust for 5 minutes, and I let the entirety (that is, three layers) bake for about 50 minutes. The top was a bit hard, and as you can see, it sunk, but it was perfectly edible. I was just paranoid that all the layers wouldn't bake properly since, separately, they required different temperatures and baking times.

Without further ado, here are the photos.

I made mini vanilla cupcakes and whatever cookie dough was not eaten raw (aww yeah) was placed into the remaining mini-muffin spots. I must say that they were almost as much fun to eat as and less guilt-inducing than eating the cake.

I'd never thought of baking cookie dough in a muffin tin, and I'm happy that I gave it a shot. They look adorable! This guy kinda reminds me of Toad from Super Mario World :-)

Ok, I sigh just looking at this. But of course you end up with leftover batter! This thing could be made to be only so high--unless, of course, there's a pie pan made especially for obscene pies. If there is, well, I don't want to know about it.

Halfway through the beastliness

The nerdy beast herself (yes, I am wearing a Battlestar Galactica t-shirt emblazoned with the words "What the frakk?")

Ooooooh, heaven.

This is my sister's yummy gluten-free take on Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows (outside is chocolate; inside is peanut butter) in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Every year, my sister makes a football-shaped cake (in a football-shaped cake pan). Her good friend was just diagnosed with a sensitivity to gluten, so we did our best (well, minus my cake, unfortunately) to make gluten-free foods. This is a gluten-free banana cake that she whipped up after I did some research for her. We don't have any experience whatsoever with gluten-free baking, and we didn't know that you had to mix flours and add xanthan or guar gum to get the desired consistency. I did do some research for her and came upon this recipe by Gluten-Free Goddess after searching for "gluten-free vegan bundt cake" (thank you, Google). After a "GF CRISIS!!!1!1!" tweet on Twitter, the darling indiacarless came to my rescue, referring me to GonePie, a vegan gluten-free bakery. (Thank you!) My sister picked up all-purpose gluten-free flour, I had an unlabelled container of xanthan gum (at least we think that's what it is) at home that I've never used, and we were set! It had a consistency and taste that I wasn't used to, but we're just going to have to experiment some more with gluten-free baking.

My favourite muffins in the world: the top is crispy and can be ripped off, and the bottom is moist and oh-so-scrumptious. My best bud in the whole world made these, and I am eternally grateful that everyone at the party was too full from my cake to touch most of the other desserts (because, of course, that meant I got to keep these to myself).

My cousin Erica, whom I had not seen in over two years, brought over these vegan gems. Mmm, mmm!

Oh, hello, beauties. You come to make another appearance?

Oh, bless Michelle for having made this amazing dish of pad thai. I totally went for seconds and put some in a container to eat later before everyone finished it. This was definitely the dinner hit.

Last but certainly not least are the polenta fries, the recipe for which I got here, at the Vegan Lunch Box blog. I'd never had these before, and they were super easy to prepare. The polenta needs to be prepared a day in advance, though, but the rest of the process is super easy. And, like I did with the pad thai, my mum took some of these bad boys and stashed them in the fridge, though they are not nearly as good the next day, I must admit.

Before closing, I just want to point out that there were other foods that my sister's friends bought, like chili, salsa, and home-made chips, and though my sister was the one throwing the party, every single one of her friends made a point to make the foods vegan, because I was attending. How cool is that? I am so touched that her friends were that generous, conscientious, compassionate, and open-minded, and they did a delicious, excellent job on their dishes. Veganism is making great strides--people know that vegan food is great food. So thank you, Jess's friends!

So that's it for now. It's Valentine's Day weekend and about to become the Year of the Tiger (my year!). Remember what I said about holidays: they're a reason to cook and bake and, of course, share your food with loved ones.

All the best,

Vegan in Suburbia

P.S. I have tons of photos that I can't wait to share of recipes I have tested for Happy Herbivore Lindsay Nixon, so stay tuned! :-) And thanks for reading.


The Voracious Vegan said...

The most delicious vegan cake I've ever seen AND a BSG t-shirt!?!?! I think I'm in heaven. We NEED to be best buds right now. Come to Saudi to visit. Bring cake!

Veg is Sexy said...

First of all, I LOVE that crazy fat web site.

Second, this is the best food porniest of all food porn ever.

njosnavelin said...

I reiterate! That cake was absolutely crazy. It took me 2 days to finish the piece I took!!

Kris said...

Hahaha thanks, guys. I'm so glad you could share my extreme enthusiasm for that beast of a cake.

@Voracious Vegan, you are the coolest, and I think you're onto something. I'm not sure how the cake would fare on the plane, though... Oh, who am I kidding? That cake is still sitting on my hips, so surely it could survive a plan ride! (P.S. Are you watching Caprica? I haven't given it a shot yet.)

@Veg is Sexy, you are too kind :) Thank you. And yes, that site is... the source of way too many veganizable ideas--minus the bacon stuff. ;)

@njosnavelin: But you finished it! :D Haha. Did you bring it for show-and-tell after all?

Babette said...

Perhaps I should start watching the SuperBowl just so I could bake great desserts like yours. The cookie cake pie looks amazing, just like the rest of the food. I really like those peanut butter pillows from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

Ashlei said...

Wow all those cupcakes look delicious <3