It’s not exactly a secret that I love to bake. I love math, and the precision of baking. I’m not a scientist or anything, but I think the chemistry behind baking is fascinating.
I also loved baked goods (these hips don’t lie). Most times when I visit a new city, in addition to a list of must visit restaurants, I usually have at least one bakery I have to go to.
Anyhoo, my mom and I were discussing my career path the other week, and I have always said I want to bake. We were discussing some kind of niche for me, and both agreed that we find most kosher baking to be sub-par. Most of the parve baked goods we have tried have only been meh. We realized that maybe it was better off to have vegan baked goods, than parve ones (parve has eggs), and thought it might be fun to experiment. We picked up this little gem, which has totally changed my view on vegan baked goods:
We also hit up Wegman’s and picked up all kinds of fun goodies to bake with that I have never tried before. Things like garbanzo bean flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, potato starch, brown rice flour, and xantham gum (which really does make such a difference in smoothies!)
Obviously the first thing I made were cupcakes. I tried out the carrot cake cupcakes with the vanilla frosting, and almost declared the whole book a fail. I just didn’t like these, and neither did anyone who tried them. The frosting was so strongly coconutty and the cake was dry. I emailed the shop (Babycakes NYC), and got some answers that will hopefully make the cupcakes much better next time I try them. I didn’t even bother with pictures.
Next up I gave the zucchini muffins a try. Total success! You know these were good when Solomon had one for breakfast most mornings after they were baked. Yes, Solomon ate vegan muffins for breakfast. By choice! A little bit on the crumbly side, but so yummy!
Afterwards came the cornbread. I actually didn’t have rice milk or corn flour on hand, so I just used extra cornmeal and coconut milk. Solomon was a big fan, but it was a little too coconutty for me, and that made it kind of heavy I guess. I ended up getting corn flour after, so I will try this again. I think the actual recipe has a lot of potential. Next on the list was the agave sweetened lemonade. I’ve been craving lemonade like crazy lately, and I am really picky about what kinds of like. Obviously nothing with artificial sweetener, and I hate the mouth puckering sweet taste. This was nice and subtly tart, with a good sweetness. Rather than drinking it, I dug something out from the closet to have fun.
Yes, I made lemonade pops. Such a mom thing of me. Next thing you know, I’ll be cutting up orange slices for soccer games (that one was for my friend Dana-another Mama to be). But in all seriousness, what is better than an ice pop when it gets warm out? Not that it’s exactly warm here, but whatever!
Finally, I decided to make up some blondies (BTW, I didn’t do this all in one day or anything. I’m not that hungry). These are more like little blondie bites, and they are so good! Nice vanilla flavor, but not too much. I used carob chips since I didn’t have vegan chocolate chips on hand. What’s great is that these guys are little, so I don’t feel so guilty just grabbing one as a quick nibble.
They puffed up quite a bit, which I didn’t expect at all. Maybe I put in too much batter (even though I halved the recipe and got slightly more than what half called for). Who knows? I’ll have to play around with these, but I don’t want to change the taste too much! These look like puffy little cookies actually. Not beautiful.
This has been so fun to experiment with, and I can’t wait to try more from the cookbook, and try to modify these recipes a bit. I’ve learned not to be afraid of ingredients I’ve never tried, and that vegan baking requires a lot of coconut oil (though a lot of vegan recipes called for silken tofu thought nothing in this book does).
Hopefully this week I’ll get to visit Babycakes. I’m totally in Jersey right now, you guys didn’t know that! I needed some fam time!
Do you like to visit bakeries when you travel? Do you ever make baked goods?
Filed under: Live, Love, Eat and Play | Tagged: agave lemonade, Babycakes NYC, carrot cake cupcakes, coconut flour, coconut oil, cornbread, garbanzo bean flour, lemonade pops, mini blondies, zucchini muffins |