Friday, May 9, 2008

when in doubt, make midget cake

I had the worst day yesterday -- looks like I'm stuck paying for a course on ancient Aegean culture and whatnot, even if I drop it. They said it was art history, the trolls! It's about freaking architecture. Well, I *did* learn what a 'lentil' is... (not the food kind, but the kind that holds up treasuries and apollonian temples). I'm going to drop it and go to the lectures anyway because it's interesting but I have an average to think about.

So yeah, that brought on a severe chocolate cake craving. And not one of those shrink-wrapped Skinni Mini vegan squishy fudgey squares they sell at the grocery store check-outs EVERYWHERE here, no I wanted a wedge, a slice, a piece of cake.

Luckily I find fractioning recipes therapeutic in the extreme.

I also recently made some cashew & agar cheese, or at least attempted to achieve that grate-able holy grail of yeasty goodness.

Not so pretty, and alas...

...not so firm.

Absolutely, 100% scrumptious though - maybe even better than that aged cheddar crock-cheese my mom used to eat while I wrinkled my nose. This also marks my first vegan melty-cheese experience and it did bring on giddy stupid munching, I will not lie. I had a griller with tomatoes and pickles just like I used to survive off of, glee!!

EDIT: due to popular interest, more talk about cheese! I adapted a recipe from this site here.

What I ended up doing:

3/4 cup water
2 1/2 tbsp agar flakes
1/4 cup raw cashew pieces
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp tahini
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt

"Place the water and agar-agar flakes in a small
saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and
simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Place in a
blender with the remaining ingredients, and process
until completely smooth.

Pour immediately into a lightly oiled, 3-cup [1 cup, really]
rectangular mold, loaf or other rectangular container.
Cover and chill for several hours or overnight. To
serve, turn out of the mold and slice. Store leftovers
in the refrigerator."

Next time I'll probably make a full recipe (I went through this block fast!) and add another tablespoon or 2 of agar flakes. Also, I would suspect that the moistness of the tomatoes played a crucial role in the meltyness.

And speaking of lunchables, I must tip my hat to Amy of a A Stranger in the Alps for her cardamom-vanilla-pear muffin recipe. If a muffin were a person, this one would wear cotton gloves and ride a skinny black bicycle through moors and stuff (okay, I've been reading Virginia Woolf's Orlando and I've got immortal british elegance on the brain, but THEY WERE SO AWESOME). The carrot soup was good, but a victim of my blended soup kitchen-sink philosophy and a bit too much curry powder. Anyway...

I also feasted last week on crispy crunchy stuffed tofu (from Cake Maker to the Stars), and sweet & sour green beans (from the More Than Twigs & Berries zine), and holy novelty tofu batman! I think I was channeling kitchen genius fairies cause I don't know why down-home sweet potato tofu chews got made with chinese-ish beans, but they went together like a dream, like sweet and gooey with crunchy and nutty... yeah. Quite good.

So in conclusion I am bad at memorizing dates and couldn't tell a Kore from a Kouros if you paid me, but hey, I can make up for those things. With tofu. Rarrr!


Ruby Red Vegan said...

ahh, i want some crispy crunchy stuffed tofu too! it looks wonderful.

i'm glad to hear that your melty cheesy experience was a success. and i think we should all follow your example and call grilled cheese sandwiches "grillers" instead. then there's no need for the dairy cheese/vegan cheese/cheez confusion! (but pickles? haha, that's interesting.)

p.s. i love fractioning recipes too!

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, I'm sorry about your bad day :0( But I'd say that that cake and "cheese" definitely made up for it! :0)

romina said...

Yuck, I hate being stuck in a class that I know I'm going to fail at / hate. I was stuck in 3 courses like that because I was too lazy to switch out and it ended up hurting my GPA. Arg.

Mini cake?? Yes please!!

That cheese looks good to me, hehe. As long as it tastes good!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Do you have a recipe for that cashew & agar cheese? because I would love to give it a try! It looks great!

And the tiny cake is adorable :-). It sure made your day better!

Cyn said...

Where's the cashew cheese recipe from? It looks goood! (Actually, it all looks super good.)

b36Kitchen said...

a mini cake is a great idea for those stressful days.

the other day i made an asian seitan with a tex-mex bean salad. it went perfect together even though it "shouldn't" have.

Hannah said...

Sorry about your crappy day... The food looks really good though! I'm so curious about your "cheese", I've never heard of any homemade versions being able to melt! What recipe did you use?

Rural Vegan said...

Aww, the littlest cake ever!

Tell me more about this homemade cheese! It sounds fun to play with, even if it doesn't firm up like you'd hope. Got a recipe?

Ashasarala said...

Oh, god. The thought of school makes me cringe. Don't get me wrong- I love to learn. I love taking different kinds of classes. but I hate school. Deadlines, stress, rules, boredom... ::shudder::

A cake is a great way to shrug off those poopy class blues. The mini-ness is utterly adorable and, of course, scrumptious-looking, indeed!

Oh, and I'll have some of that cheese. Thaaaanks.

sarchan said...

And it melts...?! ::gasp:: I'm trying to clean out my pantry in preparation for moving in a few months, and I just happen to have raw cashews...hmmm....

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

oh my gosh, fractioning a cake recipe?! What a GENIUS idea! Why didn’t I think of that?! I never want to make a whole big cake and then be forced to eat it all myself or throw it out (I detest throwing out perfectly-good food). Your food always looks so delicious. Rawr indeed! (Maybe if you offered them some of your cake, they’d give you your money back. But then again, that cake looks too good to share!)

DJ said...

Wow - you have been busy! And you're right, mini cakes make everything better!

Jes said...

Cute cute cake! And f--- that'd administration. Isn't it ridiculous when they stick you with classes you can't get out of? And yet hilarious that a lentil is both a food item and a pillar (or something). I hope the class isn't as bad as it sounds! But if it is, at least you'll have more excuses to make cake!

Mihl said...

I am sorry about your bad course, especially if you have to pay for it.
If they described it the wrong way I wouldn't think it's your fault.

The cake looks wonderful and all the other food does, too. How I love pumpkin seeds!

I have made that Swizz Cheese so may times, I really love it. I usually use agar powder which works really well and it melts too!

Theresa said...

Love the little cake! And the cheez... I may just have to give that recipe a try....

Honey said...

Ooh, the griller looks great! I make cashew cheese quite often. I always use agar powder, so I don't know if tha tmakes a difference, but it always firms up for me. Also I blend the cashews first into a powder and then blend those with the other ing. before adding the agar mixture, to make sure they are really blended up. That helps with smoothness and firmness as well. Make sure the agar mixture is still hot when you add it to the rest of the ingredients.

Carrie said...

Wow, good job on the fractioning of a cake recipe!

That cheese looks awesome! I've been wanting to try to make some "un"cheese but I can't find agar here, booo.

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aTxVegn said...

Love the mini cake! What did you bake it in?

I'll have to try the cheez recipe because your sammies look so good!

Emmie said...

Oh my, mini cake! That looks delicious. I hate wasting good cake but I don't want to overeat either, that's perfect.

tofufreak said...

CAKE!!!! it's so cute!!! the tofu looks yummy too btw. ^_^

Happy Herbivore! said...

all the food! woah. BUT that little cake has my attention first and foremost!

I also wanted to tell you I have a bachelors in the Classics if you need help with your class.

Rural Vegan said...

If you are considering buying the pie plate, I highly recommend it! It's totally worth the money.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

True, you may not have PF Changs… but you have Belsoy puddings, so it comes out even ;o)

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Wow everything looks amazing!

bazu said...

You should come to me with all your Kore/Kouros needs! Oh, and your food is friggin' gorgeous. Mini-cakes are where it's at, clearly.