Friday, August 17, 2012

venturing into vegan

This was the scene in my kitchen today:


Just a little chaotic, right?  I think Wildcat Guy even compared it to a tornado.  That's what happens when you're serving a dinner for 13 people that includes homemade loaves of bread and cupcakes for dessert.


My baking started with zucchini bread. I'd planned a large salad bar for the main meal, and zucchini bread sounded like a fun alternative to rolls, toast or other traditional bread.  It took some effort to track down a recipe (because somehow - ??? - none of my cookbooks had one), but I was excited about the one I found.


Because not only was it from a blogger whose recipes I've liked and used successfully in the past, but also it sounded simple enough to adapt into vegan.  Which is something I'm trying to learn more about in an effort to be inclusive and accommodating for one of my staff members who is a strict vegan.  (This webpage - and some conversations with Baker Blonder - were a helpful resource for me in figuring out a good egg substitute.)
  

It turned out delightfully!  From the moment it started baking, my apartment was filled with the scent of cinnamon; and that first bite was an enjoyable relief - enjoyable because of the smooth texture and yummy taste, relief because my first attempt at baking vegan turned out so well.  (And as a bonus, the staff ate it up!)


The second baking project was cupcakes.  For the past few years, I've been hearing a fair amount about the idea of avocados in chocolate desserts, but I'd never been brave enough to try it.  Today, though, I worked up the confidence to see just how good an idea this might be.


Earlier this year, I'd bookmarked a recipe for vegan chocolate avocado cupcakes in my newest cookbook, and this seemed like the perfect motivation to try it out.  As with the bread, the batter for the cupcakes was remarkably easy to put together.


So into the oven they went, after which I then whipped up the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting.  That was just as easy, and with only 5 ingredients.


A little while later, Wildcat Guy did a wonderful job spreading the frosting onto the cupcakes...


...and then we tasted one.  Because it would be impolite to serve cupcakes without knowing how they tasted.  Luckily for my staff, I have some self-restraint and am trying very hard to be smart about what I eat.  Otherwise, I may have considered eating the entire batch. They were absolutely delicious! The only thing that would give away the secret ingredient would be the small lumps of avocado that didn't get blended quite well enough...but I'm not sure anyone would notice that once they started eating this little handful of yumminess.

I was very thankful that both of my vegan baking efforts turned out well.  It is certainly not as difficult or taxing as I thought - especially from the baking perspective - and as a result of my positive experience today, I will certainly be more willing to try vegan baking recipes in the future.

Where I am: home
What I'm reading: the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine

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