Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

On the First Try! February 25, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 7:30 am
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So, I’ve realized that I haven’t provided you all with very many sweets lately.

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My sincere apologies, people.  Really.

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You have to understand that when you bake and make sweets for a living, you tend to want to get away from them at home.

You develop a desire to put salt, vinegar, or hot sauce on everything.

You eat packets of mustard.

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What?

Am I the only one who will eat a packet of mustard?

…I just love mustard…

=(

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Whatever, I hate you all.  So anywho, I got back into a little gluten-free experimental baking.  In the past I’ve had some successes, but also many failures.  It’s one thing when you’re doing strictly vegan or strictly gluten-free, but when you want to do BOTH in one recipe…  Woof.  Without eggs or gluten, you gotta work on your method of structure.  It’s like being an architect or construction worker.  And a chemist.  Well, damn, I didn’t know I was so versatile…

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I got lucky with this one.  I pondered for a bit on how to make a successful gluten-free, vegan banana bread that tastes awesome and is not flat and dopey-looking.  I’m familiar with amaranth and tapioca flours, and find them to work very well in various recipes.  Amaranth for its protein content and sweet, nutty taste, and tapioca for its elasticity and blank flavor (like a ninja…).  Then I researched a bit on baking powder and baking soda, since there would be no eggs to help the bread rise.  I took my usual banana bread recipe, made some adjustments, and voila.  Well kids, I guess this is (one reason) why I”m the Guru Rabbit…

Delicious Vegan, Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups amaranth flour

1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp guar gum

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp cinnamon

3 ripe bananas

1 cup sugar (brown, white, or a combination of both)

1/4 cup flax seed meal

1/2 cup vegan, gluten-free butter substitute*

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

1 tsp vinegar (white or apple cider variety)

2 tsp vanilla

Optional: a big handful (or two) of chocolate chunks, nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, dried coconut, whatever you want.  I added chocolate chunks and chopped pecans

*I used non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening, which is stored at room temperature, and is always soft.  If you use something like Earth Balance, which is refrigerated, make sure you let it soften, or melt it slightly.

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.  (If baked in a 9×5 inch pan, it may bake faster, but will look flatter.  It will still taste awesome though.)  In a small bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients (all the dry stuff, amaranth flour through cinnamon).  In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, flax seed meal, and faux butter.  And in a small cup, combine the milk with the vinegar and vanilla.

2) With an electric mixer, beat the banana and sugar mixture until it’s as smooth as possible.  It may look like vomit… Just sayin’…  Add the vinegared milk and mix well.  Then fold in the dry ingredients and your optional additions until well incorporated.

3) Spread into the prepared pan and smooth the top, allowing it a bit of a dome.  Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  I know, it’s a while, but it’s worth it.  Go watch a movie or something.  Test with a wooden skewer or toothpick to make sure it’s fairly dry inside (there may be a trace of moisture on the tester, but there shouldn’t be any batter).  Allow to cool until at least lukewarm before you cut into it.  This will keep just like regular banana bread– at room temperature, in the fridge, in the freezer– it all depends on how fast it’ll go.

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So here’s to tooting my own horn.

Toot. Tooot!

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Child’s Play November 25, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 10:25 am
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So I was going to post a recap of our Thanksgiving dinner.

But then someone requested demanded threatened my life threatened my cat’s life if I did not show you all how to make vegan banana vanilla ice cream.

I was given three days to make it happen.

When bro-face Steven told me to do this, my first thought was, “Really?  This ain’t my first rodeo, fool.”  (Shhh, I’ve never been to a rodeo…)  In fact, I’ve done this before.  Many moons ago.  And if you Google “one ingredient ice cream”, you’ll find it’s so stupidly simple.  It’s SO simple, I’ve never thought it necessary to post on here, because to me it’s like… duh.  That’s not condescending is it?

Anyway, I think Steven was just fishing for me to do this exact recipe because it’s healthy, but versatile and delicious.

Or maybe he was just looking for the food porn.

All you need is frozen bananas.  Sliced.

Then throw them in the food processor.  Blend. Blend.  Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula.

Blend some more.  Until…

Smooth and creamy.

Store in the freezer.  Obviously…

For this, I added a bit of vanilla bean paste.  You can add whatever you like– peanut butter, chocolate chips, nuts, other frozen fruits, etc.

Is this satisfactory, Steve-O?

Oh, wait.  Hang on…

Let me just get some maple syrup and cocoa…

Yep.  There we go.

 

As Time Goes On… November 11, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 4:17 pm
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… we will all start to freak out about how close Thanksgiving is.  Then we will freak out about Black Friday.  (Well, I won’t.)  Then Cyber Monday.  (Well, I won’t.)  Then Hanukkah.  (I kinda will, due to my status as an honorary Jew.)  Then Christmas.  Not Kwanzaa.  ::shrug::

Point is, the year is coming to an end faster than a banana ripens.

(Nice segue, eh?)

But I don’t freak out about bananas.  When they get ignored and too mushy to eat, I store them in the freezer.  Then they are at my immediate disposal for goodies like this.   And this.   And this, of course.

Unfortunately, they’re not pretty.

Save your jokes.

Or what the hell, go ahead in the comments.

I’m getting ready for the holiday insanity.  I’m making doughs and storing them in the freezer.  I’ve ordered my bulk chocolate and cocoa.  I’m making mini test pies (and self-inducing sugar comas).

I’m making Cranberry Orange Banana Bread.

For you?

For youuuuu! <3

Cranberry Orange Banana Bread

6 very ripe bananas (if frozen, allow to thaw)

2 cups sugar

1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening, vegan butter substitute, or butter, softened

zest of two large oranges

1 tsp orange extract

1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk, mixed with 2 tsp cider vinegar

4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two 8×4 loaf pans.  (You can use 9×5 but the loaves won’t be as high.)  In a large bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, shortening, orange zest and extract.  Beat everything together for a few minutes, until bananas are pureed and the mixture is uniform.  Mix in the soured milk.

2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Fold into the wet mix along with the cranberries.

3) Divide the batter among the loaf pans.  Bake for about an hour, or until a wooden skewer tests clean.


A subtle marriage of banana and orange, studded with tangy cranberries.

You can store these babies in the freezer until you want to serve or give them away as holiday gifts.  The recipe is easily halved if you only want to make one loaf.  A great finishing touch would be an orange glaze.  Just take some juice from the zested oranges and mix with powdered sugar until you having a nice drizzling consistency.

Lets hear it for easy, painless holiday goodies.

  ::tiny bunny applause::

P.S. Happy Veterans Day!

 

Brothers, Part II October 9, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 7:48 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Then there’s Steven.  He’s the one who got married earlier this year.  Steven’s the younger older brother.  (Yep, I’m the baby girl.)

Steven knows better than to eat a raw plantain… (lolz).  But he has his… quirks…  Tina, his wife/my sister(-in-law), can attest.  Using a fork to scrape peanut butter out of the jar, for example.  No one knows why.  Pretty sure Steven doesn’t know either.  It’s just always been like that.  Grab a banana.  Peel it.  Break it in half.  Scrape pb out of the jar with a fork and onto the banana.  Chomp, chew, repeat process.

Wherever Steven lives, there are fork tracks in the peanut butter.

So for his birthday this year, I thought to make him a cake comprising of a few of his mindless addictions…

A banana cake, made with vanilla bean paste to give it that wonderful, ethereal vanilla flavor.

Marshmallow frosting… because Steven loves sweets that are light and fluffy.

(Tina’s light, but not fluffy.  I would know, she’s sat on me before…  Hi Tina!)

And between each layer, peanut butter honey icing, sliced bananas,

and some of that marshmallow frosting.

I put a little jar of peanut butter on top.  And made sure it had fork tracks in it ;)

Oh.  And a marzipan fork.

Then there was a little party at Tina’s brother’s house.

The family puppies were there…

Steven swears Oliver likes being smothered like this.

Then there’s Goldie, the lighter, more sprightly counterpart to Oliver.

Okay, so they’re not puppies, chronologically.  But y’know.

Steven got spoiled.  All his favorite desserts.

And a My Little Pony card from me :D

Banana Fluffernutter Cake

Ingredients:

for cake (adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen)-

3 overly ripe bananas

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening, margarine, or butter (at room temperature)

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (depending on how much vanilla flavor you want)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk (almond, soy, dairy, whatever), mixed with 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

for the marshmallow frosting-

the recipe for this can be found here, since I’m lazy, and she presents it in such a special manner :)

for the peanut butter icing-

this is so easy, I’ll tell you after the cake.

1)  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease 2 6-inch round pans.  You can also use a single 8 or 9 inch round pan, a 8×8 square pan or 8×4 inch loaf pan.  Depends on how you’re serving this, since it doesn’t have to be assembled exactly as I did.

2)In a large bowl, with your mixer, beat up the bananas, getting them as smooth as you can.  Add in the sugar and shortening, and beat, again, until as smooth as you can get it.

3) Mix in your salt, vanilla, and the soured milk.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda, and fold into the banana mixture with a rubber spatula.

4) Scrape the batter into your pan(s). Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Using two smaller pans may result in faster baking time, so just keep an eye on your baby.

The peanut butter icing is kind of an ad-lib.  I just threw together some peanut butter, honey, powdered sugar, and non-hydrogenated shortening.  If you have a favorite peanut butter icing or frosting recipe, go for it.  For me, the point was to be able to pipe the decoration around the cake.  If you’re not worried about that, just some plain peanut butter and honey or maple syrup will do for the filling.

Once the cake is cooled, slice the tops and edges to flatten and smooth out the layers.  I sliced each cake into two, so as to have four layers.  That’s up to you.  You can just have two layers.  Between layers, spread some peanut butter icing/filling.  Top with thinly sliced banana, and make a thick ring around the edges with marshmallow frosting.  Frost the entire cake in marshmallow frosting.  Decorate as desired.  I don’t recommend the miniature jar of forked up peanut butter on top unless you also have a friend or family member who eats their peanut butter with a fork…

Right, Goldie?

Aaaw.  Pooped.

 

Oh, Dear… August 29, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 9:32 am
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At my old job we discovered an amazing recipe called Chocolate Orbit Cake from The Essence of Chocolate.  It was written by one of my favorites, David Lebovitz, so I knew it had to be good.  I was left to test it out.  Time after time.  I kept screwing it up during the baking process.  I either forgot the water bath, or the water got into the springform pan and drowned the cake, or I forgot to cover the pan with foil… gaaah.  Finally though, I figured out how to get it to bake perfectly (which I’ll get to later).  Freakin’ water baths, man…

This cake was the love of my life.  It was easy to make (after the first few times), it was wonderfully chocolatey, melted in your mouth, and required nothing more than a dusting of powdered sugar and maybe some whipped cream.  When a customer needed advice on which chocolate dessert to choose, there was but one direction to take.

Today, I bring you a new version of it: vegan, and depending on the chocolate used, lower in sugar.  Yet still ridiculous.  Trust me.  I’m gonna call it “Freakout Cake” because that’s what one would do after trying it.

The original recipe calls for only four ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar.  At the cafe, I always added a few splashes of brandy, Cointreau, whiskey, or whatever booze we had on hand.  It made life better.  My version uses ripe bananas and arrowroot starch to replace the eggs.  Why?  The bananas are naturally starchy, yet moist and creamy; in this particular case, they mimic well the silky and fudgy texture that the eggs would give.  Additionally, they blend well with the chocolate flavor.  The arrowroot smoothly binds and thickens as the cake bakes, to ensure this baby remains intact when you slice it– slice it like butter…

Vegan Chocolate Freakout Cake

Ingredients:

10 oz top-notch bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces (I used Lindt 90%, but I’m also crazy.  You can try 85% or 70%.  Unless you’re crazy too.)

7 oz (or 14 tbsp) vegan faux butter

3 very ripe medium bananas (or 2 large)

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp arrowroot starch

a splash of booze, if you’re so inclined (Kahlua, Amaretto, Irish cream, brandy, etc.)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.  If you’re fortunate enough to have a 9″ springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray.  If not, use a regular 9″ cake pan and line it with aluminum foil so that you can lift the cake out once it’s ready to serve (coat the foil with non-stick spray as well).

2) In a medium bowl, place the chocolate and butter.  Set the bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water (don’t let water into the bowl!), and allow the chocolate and butter to melt.  Stir occasionally until it is completely melted and combined.  Set aside and cool for a few minutes (but don’t put it in the fridge!).

3) Puree the bananas in a food processor.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and arrowroot.  Gradually add the sugar mixture to the bananas and puree (if you can slowly pour in the sugar while the processor runs, do that).  If you’re using booze, add it in here as well.

4) With a rubber spatula, gradually stir the banana-sugar puree into the melted chocolate (it’s okay if the chocolate is still warm).  As you stir it in, the mixture will thicken up, kinda like pudding.  Dark, delicious pudding…  Make sure the batter is well combined, and pour into the prepared pan.  Save a little batter for yourself, you’ll be glad you did.  Tightly cover the top of the pan with foil.  That step is very important.

5) Here’s the tricky part with the water bath.  If you’re using a regular pan (not springform), you can place it into a larger baking pan or dish and fill with water about a third or halfway up the 9″ pan.  If you’re using a springform, it’s going to need to go in an extra round pan before going into the water bath so that water doesn’t seep into the springform.  The waterbath helps the cake to come out nice and smooth.  However I did not even have a pan large enough for my 9″ to fit into, so I just put an extra pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven, and still had good results.  So there.

6) Bake for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.  I pulled my cake out after an hour, but if you use a real waterbath, it may take a little longer.  Regardless, you’ll know it’s done when the edges are set (maybe even a little puffed up), and the center still jiggles a bit when you shimmy the pan.  Allow the cake to cool, and refrigerate it overnight (your patience will be rewarded).  It will be solid enough to handle, but once you cut into it, you’ll see how smooth and melt-in-your-mouth crazy it is.  Room temperature is best to serve this cake so that the chocolate softens a bit.

To serve, you can: dust with powdered sugar, sprinkle with chopped candied nuts, drizzle with fruit puree, top with whipped cream or ice cream (vegan or otherwise), or, if you don’t have time for such nonsense, go naked…

YOU’RE my new boyfriend.

 

For Sale… July 10, 2011

Filed under: Random — rabbit @ 9:47 am
Tags: , , ,

Chocolate-Covered Banana Cheesecake

Having had leftover resources for cheesecake, I put them to use.  It starts with a chocolate-banana crust featuring banana chips, walnuts and cocoa.  On the bottom of the crust are slices of fresh banana, drenched in dark chocolate.  Then you have the vanilla cheesecake filling, topped off with more sliced banana and dark chocolate.  It’s a six-inch cake, so it’s easier to take on, even if you’re the only one who will eat it.  Top notch, fresh ingredients, no preservatives.  It’s not vegan, but it is gluten-free.  I’m charging $13.50, or the best offer to be left in the comment box by Monday night, 11:59pm.  We’ll figure out mode of delivery.  If no one claims it, well, I’ll just have to do something about it myself.

And just in case you’re curious, here’s a full ingredient list:

Cheesecake filling: cream cheese; unbleached sugar; sour cream; organic free range eggs;
arrowroot starch; lemon juice; vanilla extract.
Crust: banana chips (banana, sugar, coconut oil); walnuts; cocoa; unbleached sugar;
dried dates
Other: banana; bittersweet chocolate (chocolate, alkalized cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar,
bourbon vanilla beans); agave nectar; non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening

 

Now it’s up to you…

 

More Mango July 5, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 9:12 am
Tags: , ,

I can’t believe there was a time in my life when I did not like mangoes.  Granted, there was a time in my life when I didn’t like a lot of fruits and vegetables.  But then you grow up, you wise up, and you realize that mangoes are the shiz-nit.

And as if anyone needs more reason to eat mango besides the fact that it is indeed, the shiz-nit, you should know how awesome it is for you.  The industry doesn’t acknowledge it so much (probably because mangoes are not as profitable or something), but mangoes are “superfruits”.  They can help protect against leukemia, and cancers that affect the colon, breasts, and prostate.  They’re not only loaded with vitamin C, like many fruits, but also deliver a good punch of copper, potassium, and vitamins A, E, and B6.  Good stuff for your blood and skin.  Mangoes will help make you sexy.

Mangoes will also make a nice addition to cake.  Cupcakes, that be.

I adapted this recipe from regular banana cupcakes that I found on Crepes of Wrath.  Simply, I subbed mango for some of the banana.  And I veganized it.

Mango-Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

1/4 cup shortening (I use a non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening)

1/2 cup vegan butter substitute

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 tsp rum (or vanilla extract if you must…)

2 ripe bananas

1 cup fresh mango pulp

1/2 cup non-dairy milk, soured (just mix a couple teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar with the half-cup of milk)

1) Preheat your oven to 325°F.  Line your cupcake tins.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through Ener-G powder).  Set aside.

Snack on an apple while you work.

2) Measure out your other ingredients so that they’re ready to go.  Put the shortening and “butter” in a large bowl.

3) With an electric mixer, beat the shortening and butter until well-blended and creamy.  Beat in the sugar and rum.  Then add your bananas and mango pulp.  You’ll be able to puree them with the mixer.

4) Then you’re going to alternate adding the flour mixture and the soured milk.  Start with 1/3 of the dry mix, then half of the milk, the second third of flour, the rest of the milk, and the last of the flour.  After each addition, mix til just blended, and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.  After you add the second half of the milk, just stir in the rest of the flour by hand.

5) Batter is ready.  Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way.  Use an ice cream scoop if you have one, to make sure the tins are evenly filled.  This recipe makes 24 average-sized cupcakes.  If like me, you only have one cupcake tin that holds 12, you’ll have to bake in two rounds.  Bake them for 30-35 min, or until golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean (though a crumb or two is okay).  Once you’ve measure out all your batter, I highly recommend licking the bowl and spatula.  So.  Damn.  Good.

Now it’s up to you what you want to do with them.  I poked holes in them as soon as they came out of the oven and brushed them with more rum.

This is what we have at home.  And while Sailor Jerry is fantastic, I wish I had a mango-flavored rum.  But I’m poor.

The cupcakes taste mostly of banana, but the mango adds a fresh hint of something else.  I’m sure mango could replace the bananas in the recipe entirely, but since they’re more watery, there might have to be some other adjustments.  So not exactly the flavor I was aiming for, but delicious nonetheless.  I also decided to go with coconut frosting again.  I mean, I still had some leftover from the Lucuma Cupcakes

And then I took them to a partay.  And we totally partayed.