Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Beginning to a Birthday Extravaganza

As I mentioned previously, my friends and family have a lot of birthdays during this time of the year.  (My younger brother has one today, actually.)  Two of my best friends have birthdays within a week and a half of each other, and I usually bake them something while I am at home during Thanksgiving break.  Last year I actually made two different sets of cupcakes, but this year I said that I would make one big cake if they could agree on the flavor.  Tiramisu was requested, and here is what I came up with.

Is that enough of a close up for you? I took the cupcake idea from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and ran with it. I apologize of the poor qualities of the photos. It was nighttime when I took the pictures, and my camera was about to die.  (I really need to look into getting a new camera...)  The one below was also taken after I had delivered the cake, hence the plastic wrap, random booze bottle, and star wars lego in the background.

Basically, I followed the recipe for the cake exactly. The middle layer is actually the dark chocolate Chocoreale that I still had left from my stay in Germany.  For the coffee/Kalua soaking, first I lightly cut off a thin layer from the top of the cake so that it could soak up the mixture better. (This also gave me an excuse to try the cake before delivering it.)  Because I used the Chocoreale to keep the layers together, I only needed one batch of the cream cheese frosting, which was good.  The cake was very well received (as can be seen since only half is left), and a few of my friends could not believe that it was vegan.

Coming soon will be what I made for my family for Thanksgiving.  (Sadly, they insisted on cooking their own dead carcass, but one can only do so much.)  I am also being rather lazy this year and am not going to make my own main dish.  (I'll save the fancy stuff for Christmas, I suppose.)  However, all of the sides and desserts will be vegan.  This morning, I did make banana walnut pancakes and scrambled tofu with Trader Joe's soy chorizo mixed in. Hopefully I'll be able to snap a picture of the leftovers tomorrow. Other pictures to come will be a crustless pumpkin pie, multigrain rolls (yes, from scratch), and the veganized version of my dad's mashed "party" potatoes.

And what about birthday cakes? Well, my brother has requested Coconut Lime Cupcakes (but I'm not sure when I'll be baking them if we are taking a mini vacation tomorrow.)  A good friend of mine from University has a birthday this next week as well, so I shall be baking her something next weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Failing at VeganMoFo

Yes, so my apologies for dropping out of VeganMoFo as it was reaching the final stretch.  School and life just started to get way too crazy, so I didn't have much time to cook awesome meals (only simple things).  With the end of the school semester approaching, things are liable to get just as crazy, but I'll probably be doing lots of baking to help de-stress.  Plus, holiday foods will be coming. To make up for my lack of activity, here are two pictures.
This falafel and tahini sauce was made sometime during VeganMoFo, but I never had time to blog about it. (The picture is actually taken from a reheated meal. *gasp*) Needless to say, I almost considered using this recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance as my meal on Thanksgiving.

This is a double layer cake of red velvet with cream cheese frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, naturally. I made it for the birthday of one of my roommate's, who was quite obviously turning 22. I was actually going to write happy birthday, but I ran out of time and was going to be late for work. The writing was made of quick melty ganache and set up quite nicely after being in the fridge.

That recipe is absolutely amazing, so, if you haven't tried it, you better get to it soon. So good. It took a lot of control for me to let the birthday girl have the final piece when it got to that point.