‘52 weeks of baking’ Category

  1. peppermint bark

    December 31, 2012 by Angie

    I did it! I baked my way through the whole year. The final challenge for Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is peppermint. I couldn’t come up with a truly baked food that involves peppermint, or even one that would be improved by the addition of peppermint, so I went the sorta cheater route and made this peppermint bark. I put some peppermint sticks in a sandwich bag and beat the hell out of them with the end of my rolling pin. Then I melted a 3 oz bar of 70% cacao chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. I poured the chocolate into a pan covered with parchment paper and quickly sprinkled the smaller peppermint pieces onto the chocolate. Let it cool for a few hours in the fridge and it’s peppermint bark o’clock. The dark chocolate and peppermint go really well together. Robbie gives it his picky sweets eater seal of approval.

    peppermint bark


  2. Bavarian apple torte

    December 27, 2012 by Angie

    The challenge for Week 51 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge was to bake a traditional Christmas dessert from another country. I chose this Bavarian apple torte. I’m not sure how authentic it is but this recipe, and similar variations, are quite popular online so I went for it. I followed the recipe except I used just two apples instead of four. Frankly, I was tired of peeling and slicing apples. I had enough to cover the top completely with a pretty thick layer so I think I got the desired effect.

    I made it at my parents’ house and, between the four of us, we ate the whole thing in two days. I thought it tasted awesome and it looks very fancy for the amount of time and effort I put into it. I would definitely make it again.


  3. chocolate cake with chocolate ganache

    December 17, 2012 by Angie

    Week 50 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is plating. Only two challenges left! I made a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache for my mom’s birthday. I used the reliably delicious recipe for basic chocolate cupcakes and the chocolate ganache used for lots of things from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I had never made it as a cake before but found it was just the same except I didn’t need to bake it for quite as long as the instructions said – it started to smell like something might be burning at about 28 minutes.

    I baked it in a springform pan, took the edges of the pan off, then spread the ganache on the top and sides, and decorated with m&ms. The cake and ganache are vegan but the m&ms are not so you could decorate with fruit instead to keep it dairy-free. For added “plating” effect, and to get it across the state without a chocolate mishap, I put it in my fancy cake carrier. Mom and Dad report they like the cake. They seemed particularly impressed with the chocolate ganache topping.


  4. vegan fudge

    December 3, 2012 by Angie

    Week 49 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is fudge. I made this vegan chocolate cashew fudge from The Joy of Vegan Baking. It’s delicious and very similar to “real” fudge. It’s rich, sweet, creamy and has that smooth “mouthfeel” just like butter and evaporated milk fudge.

    It makes a lot!

    So much fudge.

    The recipe is easy to make even with my makeshift double boiler situation. The hardest part was slicing the very cold fudge into manageable pieces straight out of the refrigerator.

    A fudge chunk.


  5. drop sugar cookies

    December 1, 2012 by Angie

    Week 48 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is pulled/poured sugar. I had never heard of this before so I looked into it. It requires equipment I don’t own like a candy thermometer and kitchen gloves. I don’t particularly want to own those things but I didn’t want to skip the week either so I compromised/cheated with drop sugar cookies rolled in sugar. Rolled sugar is going to have to work – sorry!

    I veganized the cookies by substituting Earth Balance margarine for the better and using a flax “egg”. A flax egg is 1 tablespoon ground flax seed combined with 3 tablespoons water. Mix it together and let it sit for about ten minutes then add it the recipe just like a regular egg. The cookies came out great. They’re soft and pretty too. I like them a lot better than the rollout sugar cookies I made for the Halloween challenge. I also like that my kitchen wasn’t destroyed in the process.


  6. Louisiana-style sweet potato casserole

    November 22, 2012 by Angie

    Week 47’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is sweet potatoes. My mom makes the best sweet potato casserole! I already made a vegan sweet potato casserole earlier this year for the gluten-free challenge. It really doesn’t compare to the Southern version my mom makes for Thanksgiving every year so I cheated a little by submitting hers for the challenge. I cooked/baked a lot of other stuff for today and I’m bringing an amazing recipe to people’s lives so I don’t feel too bad about it. I do, however, regret not eating more sweet potato casserole.

     

    Mmmm, brown sugar topping.

    Mom uses a recipe from a cookbook of New Orleans dishes called La Bonne Cuisine. Here it is!

    Ingredients

    1 (2 pound 14 ounce) can sweet potatoes
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup margarine
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/3 cup evaporated milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    TOPPING:
    1/3 cup margarine
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    1/2  cup flour
    1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

    Directions

    In a saucepan over low heat stir the sweet potatoes until thoroughly heated.  Remove from heat and cream well.  In a bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and add the mixture to the potatoes.  Pour the mixture into a pie pan.  In a small saucepan melt the margarine and add the remaining topping ingredients.  Pour the topping over the potatoes.  Bake the casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Serves 4-6.

    There it is hanging out by the cranberry sauce.

  7. blueberry halava

    November 19, 2012 by Angie

    This week’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is Asian desserts. I am lucky to be a member of the Gator Nation (“Go cure cancer!”) and as such I frequently enjoyed the extremely delicious and inexpensive Krishna Lunch offered every weekday at the Plaza of the Americas on the University of Florida campus. My favorite dessert the Hare Krishnas make is their halava. They make a few varieties but always with some chunks of fruit inside. I made my very favorite one for this challenge: blueberry halava.

    I followed this recipe I found online. I halved it which might be part of the problem. I also suspect I burned some of the semolina. All in all, mine is good but it would have to be at least twice as sweet and buttery to rival Krishna Lunch greatness. I need to attempt to make their spaghetti and kofta balls next, mmmmmm.


  8. mocha chip muffins

    November 7, 2012 by Angie

    Week 45 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is chocolate. I’ve made a lot of chocolatey things this year but I’m always happy to make another. I baked these mocha chip muffins from the Post Punk Kitchen website.

    The taste is great. They remind me of the beloved chocolate chocolate chip muffins my friend and I used to get at the little cafe inside the Vero Beach Book Center 10+ years ago. We had friends over for a small elections results watching party last night (Woooooo! Go Obama!) and there are only three of the twelve muffins left so I’ll take that as a good sign.

    I’d had my eye on this recipe for a while but plain soy yogurt is difficult to come by in my neck of the woods. The recipe is very simple and doesn’t require a hand mixer or food processor so the cleanup isn’t bad either. Win-win all around.


  9. sugar cookies

    October 31, 2012 by Angie

    Happy Halloween! Week 44’s challenge of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is Halloween. I bought these adorable Halloween cookie cutters on sale last year and have been wanting to try them out. The best thing for cookie cutters is, of course, sugar cookies.

    I used this recipe from VeganBaking.net. This was the only vegan recipe I could find that didn’t call for vegetable shortening. The cookies have a great taste. They are buttery and slightly sweet. They’re very sturdy and would make a good foundation for some serious decorating, if you’re into that sort of thing. I did some lame decorating on a few of the ghosts then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the rest of them.

    They’re great little cookies but they made a gigantic mess of my kitchen! The powdered sugar explosion I had to clean up rivaled even the Great Chocolate Milk Spill of 2003. I then made another mess during the rolling and cutting phase. Sugar cookies are a lot work compared to drop cookies and, while they’re tasty and allow for fancy decorating, I personally much prefer their chocolate chip drop cookie cousins.

    Dough rolling & cookie cutting fiasco

    Cookies ready for the oven. I got 47 cookies from this recipe!

    The brown flecks are ground flax meal. That makes these healthy, right?

    Here are some of the cookies cooling after baking.

    I decorated a few of the ghosts with decorating gel I had leftover from Robbie’s birthday. I’m not big on decorating, can you tell?


  10. dark chocolate pistachio sea salt bark

    October 25, 2012 by Angie

    The challenge for Week 43 (can you believe there are only 9 weeks left in 2012?!) of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is candy. Ever since I made those awesome cashew turtles with salty agave nectar “caramel”, I’ve been really into the combination of chocolate and salt. I was searching for vegan chocolate bark recipes when I found this one for dark chocolate bark with pistachios and sea salt. Delicious.

    It’s incredibly simple to make this. I already had a bag of pre-shelled pistachios so I coarsely chopped a 1/4 cup of those. I bought two 3.5 ounce 70% cacao dark chocolate bars at the grocery store. I broke the bars up along their scored lines into a microwave-safe bowl. I nuked the dark chocolate for 25 second intervals, stirring each time. Once it was a smooth liquid I poured it into a square glass pan lined with parchment paper. It didn’t cover the entire bottom of the pan, but I was okay with that. Next, I sprinkled the chopped pistachios onto the melted chocolate and repeated with tiny handfuls of sea salt.

    I put it in the fridge for about an hour then cracked the bark into pieces with my hands. So good!