A couple of years ago, I developed a short-lived obsession with decorating cookies. I bought a bunch of cookie decorating tools and they have been collecting dust in my cupboard ever since.
On a hot summer day, I can hear the ice cream truck driving around my neighbourhood. It takes every molecule in my body to resist the siren call. Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe in eating frozen treats on a hot day. It is one of life’s the purest pleasures. I resist the ice cream truck because I know that it is full of false promises. The ice cream bars and popsicles look so appealing in the photos but they rarely live up to the hype. Tired of being left out of the mid-day ice cream party, I decided to make my own ice cream sandwiches! Coincidentally, I learned that So Delicious was holding a Snackable Recipe Competition. Obviously, I had to enter!
After a long hiatus, I’m back in the kitchen. I temporarily lost my cooking mojo and I’ve been working to get it back. I had to spend some time thinking about what excites me. I occurred to met that I love experiments. There is something so fun about working with an unfamiliar ingredient and whipping it in to submission. In the case of this Vegan Pavlova, the whipping is literal. The food blog world has gone crazy for aquafaba. Aquafaba is the water you drain off of a can of chick peas. You can use it in place of egg-whites in recipes. It even whips up into stiff peaks and makes a meringue that is startlingly similar to eggs. Everyone who tasted these vegan pavlovas was shocked to hear they were made without eggs.
Some days, I’m content to cut up a bunch of fruit and make a fruit salad. That is the easy and sensible thing to do. Then, there are days when a regular old fruit salad won’t do. On those days, I make breakfast parfait! This parfait may look complicated, but it is very easy. All you have to do is layer some simple ingredients. You can use pre-made granola or try my homemade granola recipe.
Last week, I shared this Vegan Chocolate Panna Cotta recipe. It was very popular, but I’ve heard there are some people in this world that hate chocolate. To those people I say, “Chocolate is the best, your tastebuds are broken”. I’m a kind person and I don’t want these chocolate deprived people to feel left out of the Vegan Panna Cotta party. That is why I’m sharing this Vegan Coconut Mango Panna Cotta. It’s a mouthful.
Last week, I decided to play around with some kanten (a.k.a. agar-agar). Kanten is made from algae and it is a great substitute for gelatin in many recipes. Kanten comes in several forms. I used the granulated form. You can also buy flakes or sticks of it. For my first experiment, I created this vegan chocolate panna cotta with cashew milk and it was a success! It set up very well and held it’s shape when removed from the mold. Cashew milk is very creamy, so this panna cotta has a richness to it without being heavy. Not that I have a problem with heavy desserts, but sometimes you want something a little lighter. This panna cotta has notes of cinnamon and vanilla because I use my own homemade cashew milk recipe.
Yesterday was a good day. The photography gods were smiling on me. There are some days when I can’t get a decent photo of my food to save my life. It’s usually a combination of my own impatience and less than ideal lighting. I had 3 desserts to photograph and I managed to get them all photographed in less than 2 hours. It’s a miracle!
I celebrated my 1 year blogging anniversary this past March. If you forgot to get me a present, I forgive you. I didn’t make a big deal out of it.You can get me two presents next year. I was reflecting on the year by reviewing my statistics, because that is what blogger nerds do for fun. I wanted to see which recipes were the most popular over the past year. I’m not surprised that my vegan dessert recipes are top of the list. I have a major sweet tooth, so I put a lot of love in to my dessert recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I can make a great savoury meal…but desserts are my true love.
I can’t believe this is the first time I’m posting a sorbet recipe! What a colossal oversight on my part. One of the great joys of owning a quality blender is making quick and easy whole-fruit sorbets! It took me a few attempts at sorbet making to get my ratios of frozen fruit to liquid right. The good news is, if you mess up you will just end up with a smoothie.
I didn’t bake anything this week. There was no need to. I had two birthday parties to attend so there was plenty of cake. The next two months are going to be pretty weird around here. I’m not going to be doing much baking. Instead, I’ll be spending my “free time” reading books and writing articles for our new chocolate website.