Web Feast Friday: Rawmageddon Begins


Friday the First can mean only one thing:  RAWMAGEDDON has begun!  Our first 30 Day Challenge went surprising well as we managed to post almost every day during January.  We missed a couple of days, but definitely feel pretty confident that we can continue our streak.  Now that February has begun, 30 Day Challenge #2 has begun in which we eat raw every meal, every day.  Day 1 is in the books with juices, smoothies, nuts, and salads dominating the menu.  We have some interesting recipes queued up for a few occasions and look forward to sharing some of these with our faithful readers.  In the meantime, we leave you with some great ideas for your Super Bowl Sunday festivities!

Anything that’s vegan AND fully loaded has to be good.  Right?

Sunday brunch idea to get primed for the big game!

CUPCAKES!!

For those of you taking on Rawmageddon with us, add this to your Big Game must-cook list.

I’ve ask myself this question so many times.  Now I have an answer.

If you haven’t liked any ideas thus far, here’s a whole list of ideas to help you write your Super Bowl menu.

Here’s the “big game” I’m really looking forward to this weekend.  J-Pow!!

I couldn’t help myself.  I had to end things with some more BTnH.

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Meadow & Bunny Bliss cupcakes…or Easter cupcakes (shout out to the Catholics!)


Frolicking demonstration.

Next to parades, frolicking in meadows is my all time favorite staged amusement that somehow feels both mandatory AND fun. There are two ways to do it right: if you are alone, just execute the “Sound of Music” twirl including reverent arms raised to the sky and a look of holy wonderment. If you are with a loved one, or there is a willing person near you, ensure you begin red-rover-style on opposing sides of the meadow then make slow-motion movements towards each other, including overcompensated facial expressions and awkward pouncing. Finish the move off by holding hands and spinning before making your getaway (seen in picture above.)

With meadow inspiration in mind, and the Easter holiday giving me a reason to cook for those I love, Meadow & Bunny Bliss cupcakes were born. Both cupcakes are a combination of ideas that I found during a blanket Google image search for ‘Easter Cupcakes’ – then I just chose some of my favorite flavas and vegan candy, and winged the crap out of the process.

LOW-FAT VANILLA MEADOW CUPCAKES *Gluten-Free 

Don't you just want to snuggle against the jellybean trees?

INGREDIENTS *based off of Sexy Vanilla Cupcakes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt *choose flavor if desired
  • 2/3 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with cupcake liners

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, applesauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake 22-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer our of pan and onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely prior to decorating. I recommend waiting to prepare the frosting until marzipan/fondant decorations are completed. Makes 12 cupcakes.


DECORATING INGREDIENTS & UTENSILS 

  • 3-5 oz of marzipan or fondant
  • Petal shaped mini fondant cutter
  • Round gum paste tool
  • toothpicks
  • desired food coloring for flowers and grass (I prefer Chefmaster gel color)
  • approx. 36 jellybeans
  • half batch of Buttercream frosting
  • wilton decorating tip #233
  • coupler attached to piping bag

Take a small chunk of white marzipan/fondant and make 12 small, round balls – this will be used for center of flower. Roll the remaining into a ball, poke a hole halfway into the ball, add the food coloring and knead until color is desirable, then roll about until about 1/4 inch thick. Use the small petal-shaped cutter, cutting out 60 petals for 12 cupcakes. Use 5 petals per flower, moving clockwise while layering petals on top of one another while pressing together, then take white ball and press into center of flower. Using gum-paste tool, shape the petals to desirable look.

This tool helps add texture to tips.

Prepare piping bags by attaching coupler with tip, then put the bag tip down into a large glass and fold over the bag, this makes for easy filling. Once the buttercream frosting is complete, color frosting to desired color of green (I used about 3/4 tsp) and use a spatula to put into bag. Be sure not to overfill, you should have about 4-6 inches of additional bag to twist and secure. Hold bag at 90 degrees, squeezing while pulling the bag towards you to get grass look. Practice makes perfect, so always practice on parchment paper first, and you will just get better and better as you go! Once the grass is complete, place the flower and, spear jellybeans onto the toothpicks, placing them next to the flower. YEAH!!!

CHOCOLATE BUNNY BLISS CUPCAKES *gluten-free 

Do you think I could juice that lil carrot?

INGREDIENTS (*also based off of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World):

  •  1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, dutch-processed
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with liners.

Whisk together milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to ‘curdle’ for a few minutes. In a large bowl, add sugar, oil, and extracts then add curdled milk, then beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In two batches, add dry ingredients to wet and beat until no large lumps remain.

Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes (rotate if necessary) until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer onto a cooling rack until completely cook to decorate. Makes 12 cupcakes.

DECORATING INGREDIENTS:

  • half batch of vegan Buttercream frosting
  • brown gel food coloring (I use Chef master gel color)
  • Newman-O’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter cookies (or Oreo version – either is good! I used about 6 cookies)
  • 12 orange Starbursts
  • Edible Easter grass OR green Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers
  • toothpick

I recommend making the carrots and crunching up the Oreo ‘dirt’ prior to making frosting. To make carrots, roll a Starburst in your hand until it takes the shape of a carrot, then use a toothpick to hollow out the center of the mini-carrot. If you are struggling to soften the Starburst (I was literally breaking a sweat at one point), try rolling them a little with a rolling pin, then folding in half before rolling between your hands. Cut either the grass or Twizzler’s into 1-2″, varying strips and put into hollow hole in carrot, then lightly pinch the top together the secure. Finally, use the side of a toothpick to press horizontal indentations into carrot to give an authentic look.

A carrot - minus all the nutrition and Vitamin C.

Smash cookies in a small bowl until there are no chunks, but not to the point of dust (I used a slap-chop…oh yeah, we own one!) Prepare frosting and add gel coloring to desired color, I used about 1/2 tsp. Spread a moderate layer of frosting on cooled cupcake, then roll cupcake in ‘dirt’ until covered. Finally, place your carrot inside the dirt…and share with no one! These babies are delicious. 🙂

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Vegan & Gluten-free red velvet cake makes you sexy.


What better way to add the sex to what sounds like a cake stripped of all it’s fun then literally saying it will make you sexy?  Sex sells ya know, and I want to sell you on how this cake will A. Make you more interesting at parties, B. Bring you pure joy by getting sandbox-style dirty in the kitchen and playing with colors, and C. Make in an overall better person in every way.  I would TOTALLY hit that.

So hear’s the deal…Evan the Vegan Birthday Boy  and Sarah the Celiac Pregnant Friend would be attending the mini-holiday weekend where a cake would be eaten, and I was bring the cake.  The challenge is that every GF/V cake I have eaten has the compactness of weaponry and tastes like putting your tongue on a sugary sponge.  Challenge accepted.

*Thanks to Epicurean Vegan  for the core recipe magic

Express your love through cake. It works 60% of the time, all the time.

VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE RED VELVET CAKE

1 cup vanilla rice milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 cups Gluten-free baking mix (see below)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 1/2 cups cane sugar

1/2 cup palm oil (or vegetable) shortening

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup + 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1 oz red food color (or any color if you want to get sassy)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

1 recipe fluffy buttercream frosting (see below)

Gluten-free baking mix

3 3/4 cup garbanzo fava bean flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

2 1/4 cup potato starch

1 1/2 cup tapioca flour

Buttercream frosting

*make sure shortening and margarine are at room temperature

 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (I use Earth Balance)

3 1/2 cups confectioner’s/powdered sugar (sifted if clumpy)

1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup soy creamer (non-dairy milk can be used, the creamer just makes a more robust frosting)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the baking mix first, using a whisk to mix them well then put in an airtight container or zip-lock bag and shake for 1 minute to combine. This mix should last for 3 months and makes about 7 cups of flour.

Grease 2 9″ cake pans then line the bottoms with parchment paper (I use coconut oil to grease the pans and use the cake pan to draw a stencil on the parchment to line the pans.) Set aside.

In a measuring cup, combine the milk and vinegar to create the ‘buttermilk’ and set aside to curdle.

In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the baking mix, salt, and xanthan gum.  In a medium bowl or stand mixer bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening.  Add the applesauce, food coloring (1 oz is the whole bottle), and vanilla and mix everything until the mixture is light and creamy.  Add the cocoa powder and mix well.

Alternating, add the dry ingredients and the ‘buttermilk’ mixture to the wet ingredients, ensure you begin and end with dry ingredients. Pour the white vinegar into a small cup and add the baking soda over it. Immediately pour the fizzing mixture into the batter and mix thoroughly.  Evenly divide the batter into two cake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes on the center rack or until a toothpick comes out clean, turning halfway if your oven bakes unevenly. If both pans won’t fit on the same rack, ensure the are staggered so one is not on top of the other and switch racks halfway through baking. Let cakes cool completely on rack before turning them out of pans to avoid sticking.

One cooled, turn over the pans and remove the parchment paper. Take a large plate and place it upside down on the bottom of one of the cakes. Flip over so the cake is face down on the plate.

*When layering cakes, I recommend using a one wire cake cutter to trim down the bottom cake for easy, professional looking stacking. Again, this is all about looking better then you actually are. 

To make frosting

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.  Add the vanilla and creamer, beat another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.  Add more extract if accomodate flavor and beat longer or less time to accommodate texture appropriate for decorating.

IF FROSTING CAKE: Once the bottom cake is trimmed, frost the top and sides of the bottom cake pretty thick, especially on top. Carefully  stack the second cake then put a light layer of frosting on cake at let set (this will lock in all the crumbs and leave a professional finished when frosted). Once set, frost around the entire cake and DONE!

IF USING FONDANT: Prepare cake with a light layer of frosting all around (should still see cake color. Soften icing with the bread hook for the mixer for 1 minute or by kneading for 1-2 minutes until malleable.  Dust your work surface with confectioner’s sugar to prevent sticking. Use a rolling pin to roll out fondant to cover cake (approx 18″x 18″) ensuring you prevent sicking by picking up fondant. Gently lift fondant onto rolling pin and position onto cake.

Shape fondant to sides of cake with smoother. You can use your hands to smooth, but this may leave indents or your sweatiness from all this work may melt the icing. Beginning in the middle of the cake top, move the smoother outward and down the sides to smooth and shape fondant to the cake and remove air bubbles. If an air bubble appears, insert a pin on an angle, release air and smooth the area again. Use the straight edge of the smoother to mark fondant at the base of cake. Trim off excess fondant using a spatula or sharp knife.

Baking well is a like an exercise for the mind. Visualize every step and how you want the finished product to look. This helps in preparing what you need ahead of time (and preventing multiple trips to the store).

*NOTE: I have learned that the thinner the fondant, the better the cake. The icing shouldn’t overpower the cake flavor, which is the star of the show. I use Satin Ice fondant and gel edible coloring for the best flavor and colors. When coloring fondant, roll into a ball, use a toothpick to make stripes of color around ball, then knead color until blended. If you need any help in this, I LOVE youtube and it’s wonderful instructor’s. Just Google it:) 

Favorite vegan fondant and gel color.

Decorating:  

PIPING: If you can make friends with a kitchen or baking store, do so..and fast. Most supplies can be found there, but the basics I keep around are my box o’ tips that includes a coupler (the thing that holds the tip in place), piping bags, basic shapes and number/letter cookie cutters, and a long rolling pin.  With every tip and design there is a technique, but instead of spending hours online watching youtube videos (still helpful, but seriously, you have shit to do), I recommend buying cheap frosting that is expired or post-holiday, getting an apron and some parchment paper, and practicing away. It’s really fun to do with kids…I’m assuming this, I have none but who wouldn’t love getting messy and making cool, edible designs?

For this cake (see picture below):

I made the flowers using tip 2D – Hold piping bag at a 90 degree angle with firm frosting. Twist your wrist as you squeeze the bag.

The leafs were tip 352 – Hold piping bag at 45 degree angle with thin frosting. Squeeze hard to build up base, then slowly raise tip as you relax pressure and pull away from point.

The border was tip 10 – Hold piping bag at 45 degree angle with medium frosting. Squeeze hard with tip slightly above the surface, then let icing fan out as you relax pressure and pull tip towards surface to form a point. Start the next bead 1/4 inch away from tail of previous bead.

It's like a double rainbow. At least that feeling of experiencing one, it's THAT fun.

BE CREATIVE!  I love to look at pictures online of other peoples creations and make them.  Oh, and one last bit of advice: Wear gloves and try not to slice your finger on the dryer the day before.  (I promise there was minimal blood in the cake.)

I had a job interview this day. Hot. Mess.

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