Gothic Granola

Category Archives: Dessert

Chocolate Cake (Variation) and Chocolate Ganache

Lastly (are you tired yet?  It’s past my bed time):
come to the dark side…we have cake.

I used this recipe.  My modifications are: 9” round cake pan, 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes and cornstarch.  At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes near to 40 minutes to bake a 9” round, though the time may be the result of the horrible oven I am using at school (at least I have a thermometer).  I didn’t have any vanilla; instead, I added a teaspoon of cinnamon (I put cinnamon in most everything I eat, and that is only a slight exaggeration).  I didn’t add chocolate chips since I made a chocolate ganache for topping.  Ganachetise it when it’s cool.

Quick Melty Ganache
Adapted for the dorm from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, via this website.

3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (make sure they’re vegan and GF)

Place ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with waxed paper.  Microwave for 45 seconds then remove and stir with a spatula until the chocolate chips are completely melted.  Cool.  It will set up after a few hours; microwave it for 5-10 seconds to make it spreadable when your cake is ready.  Only frost a completely cooled cake!

This is what happens when you frost a still-warm cake:


Ganache defies gravity:

I made this batch of ganache in my dorm using coconut milk. The coconut milk precipitated out in the form of white fatty spots while the ganache set overnight in the fridge. Weird!

I think that’s enough for now.  I had my senior portrait today and my hair was in the ‘hawk.  I’m developing dreads after a week of hawkage.  After a while, and I don’t know if anyone can relate, my deathhawk morphs into a bihawk (double mohawk, FYI) as I re-tease it every morning.  I look like I have horns, which is cool, but for some reason, that centre section of hair just doesn’t want to stay up.  No matter.  Ah, good, the rotation has returned us to Rob Zombie.

Rock on,

P.S. I appeared on this blog recently.  There ya go.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

(Not My) Grandmother’s Spice Cake

I’m not going to tell you how to make oatmeal.  This was today’s breakfast when I assembled it on Wednesday night.  I like to make my oatmeal ahead of time and eat it all cold and stuff the next morning.  I used a little too much water, as you can see, and it almost flooded the bowl.  I was urging my oatmeal (and pear, flaxseed, and peanut butter) to absorb more water, yelling—SUCK IT!  SUCK IT UP!

Yesterday, I made cake for work.

Grandmother’s Spice Cake (modified from Vegan Vittles, by Joanne Stepaniak, p. 152)

1 1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ginger
(alternately, use 2 teaspoons King Arthur Flour’s Apple Pie Spice instead of the spices)

1 cup raisins or craisins
1 cup walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease an 8×8” glass baking dish or 9” round pie plate.  Place walnuts on a piece of foil and toast in the preheating oven for about 8 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.

Combine wet ingredients in a large measuring cup.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Break up the toasted walnut halves.  Add wet to dry and fold in the chunks.  Transfer to the baking dish.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test, the center springs back when touched, it’s cracked near the edges, and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool completely in the pan before cutting.  Store in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap.  This freezes very well.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Correlation is Not Causation: Spelt-less Olive Oil Cake

Dear ones,

Gee, we need to open on a positive note.  I made some excellent cake and a delightful pasta pie a few days ago.  I also have not been able to get Evanescence’s “Lithium” out of my head.  Before you make me hand over my Goth card to shred it, let me just say that I only began listening to Evanescence about a month ago during Irene when I uploaded a bunch of my aunt and uncle’s compact disks to my computer.  I’d heard of Evanescence, so I figured I’d give them a shot.  This song is particularly mind-sticky.

I could be a proper student and fight through the sudden dearth of ink cartridges at cluster printers, but I’m going to call it a night soon anyway.  I’ll print the rest of my readings tomorrow.  I confess to the almighty blog that I did not do any academic work today.  Oh well.  School isn’t my life, nor should it be.  It’s only temporary…like everything.  Man, I love taking Buddhism classes because that weekly brush with the ultimate perspective is something I find extremely refreshing.  I’ll finish stapling my readings (archivists gasp, oh, the horror!  The horror!) then return with some recipes and pictures.

Regarding the title, I also wanted to correct—or amend—or report a change—from an earlier post.  I said I “don’t like to go out.”  That’s not true anymore.  I don’t like to stay up late, sure, but I do like to go out and do things.  I’m content to stay at home, but that doesn’t mean I am so rigid as to refuse to leave my dwelling place (of course, when I finally snap and become a renunciate in the woods somewhere, I’m sure my tune will change).

Few days later…

I return to composing this post.  Composting.  Wish we could do that here, us independent students.  Now I have Rammstein’s “Pussy” stuck in my head, especially the line, “I can’t get laid in Germany!”  No reason that it’s stuck in my head, just that it’s a catchy song.

Alrighty, you came here for recipes, so here are some recipes. 

Thank my dear brother for inspiring me to veganise and de-glutenise this receta.

Spelt-less Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate
Modified from The Amateur Gourmet. (updated by Q 01/13/2013)
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup KAF ancient
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (1 bar; about 70 percent cacao or Green & Black’s
Maya Gold, which is no longer vegan; I used chipotle chocolate)

4 teaspoons chia seeds
3/4 cup boiling water
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup organic sugar (1/2 cup coconut sugar, 1/4 cup regular sugar)
2/3 cup applesauce (I used Q-made pear puree)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (unsweetened almond or original rice)

zest of 2 clementines or 1 orange (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut a circle from waxed paper or parchment and fit it in the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan.  Grease the pan again.  Alternatively, line a 9*13-inch pan with parchment and grease the parchment.

In a small measuring cup, mix the flax and water and set aside.

Process the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor until some of it is powdery and the rest of it is in chunks smaller than mini chocolate chips (GF batter does not support large chunks).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the oil, applesauce, sugar, non-dairy milk, and flaxseed mixture.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Bake for about 40-45 (35-40 for 9*13-inch) minutes or until the top is golden brown, it passes the toothpick test, the center is not wet and springs back when touched, it has begun to crack a little, and the edge has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool on a rack in the pan until the cake is completely cool.  Seriously, leave it in the pan until it is completely cool; it’ll be fine.  Store it in the fridge covered in plastic.  It may fall a little when it is out of the pan and that is okeydokey.

With the 9*13-inch option, cool it in the pan for five minutes then remove it by the parchment flags and let cool on a rack for another five minutes before slicing. 
And devouring.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

A Hard Day’s Work: Pecan pie

I’m back at school.  My room is double the square footage of last year’s 87-square-foot closet.   The kitchen is in the same building, which is convenient.  The oven in this kitchen does not have a timer.  Tell me that’s not a safety hazard in a dorm of absent-minded undergraduates.  Go on, tell me people are responsible.

Cynicism as a side dish, here’s a recipe I made last week at home.  My dad took my car to get fixed (long story), and so I made his favourite dessert to say thanks, pecan pie.  I am enormously proud of my pies that I’ve veganized and gluten-free-ized, and thus I was happy to add another notch to my fuselage with this recipe.  I shouldn’t take too much credit, though, lest I become conceited and forget that I found this recipe in a cookbook.  The flour substitution is the only factor I changed.  This is Yankee pecan pie because it uses maple syrup instead of corn syrup in the filling.

 Picture of the finished product, so as to encourage you that, yes, it exists!  It existed, anyway.

Pecan Pie (modified from Robertson, Robin.  1,000 Vegan Recipes.  462-3.)
Makes 1 9-inch pie.

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsalted pecan halves or pieces (or 1 cup pecans and 1 cup walnuts)

For the crust:  In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar.  Use a pastry cutter, fork, or two butter knives to cut in the margarine until the mixture forms pea-sized clumps.  Add the water one tablespoon at a time and blend thoroughly after each addition.  Stop mixing just as the dough comes together.  Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. (I mean it.  Chill it.  It’ll be fine if you don’t chill it for exactly 30 minutes, but thirty minutes is the bare minimum.  In hot, humid New Jersey summer weather, that chilling time is important, even though I was at home in the sticks, and it’s relatively cooler up north.  Doesn’t matter.  Chill that sucker.)

Filling: After the crust has chilled for 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit while you make the filling.  In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and ¼ cup water and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ¾ cup water, maple syrup, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for five minutes.  Then stir in the salt and cornstarch mixture.  Cook, stirring until the mixture thickens and becomes shiny and the bubbles break open on the surface.  Remove from heat and stir in the margarine and vanilla.  Once the margarine is melted, stir in the pecans (or other nuts).

Spray a 9-inch glass pie plate with nonstick spray.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured (with brown rice flour) work surface to about 10 inches in diameter.  Transfer the dough to the pie plate and neaten up the edges (if you’re Q, that means just making sure the edges are about even all the way around, nothing fancy).  Prick holes in the bottom of the dough with a fork (this is a serious step and should not be taken lightly.  Poke those holes!).  Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust and spread evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes or until edge of crust is golden and filling is set and a little bit darker.  Cool on rack for 1 hour then chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Tastes extra nice with rice or soy whip.

Today as I was walking to the student lot to my car, a young man said, “Nice Dresden Codak t-shirt.”  He recognised my “I will do science to it” little Kim t-shirt from Codak’s comic Hob.

The above picture shows a little bit of gluten-caused rash, rashes which I kept getting as I detoxed from gluten.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Hurricane Chocolate Pie

We survived hurricane Irene.  I’d like to think this pie had something to do with our survival, but that would be an egotistical fiction since we did not lose power for more than two or three hours on Saturday night.  Nevertheless, this chocolate pie improved my aunt and uncle’s and my morale once they returned from golf on Saturday afternoon.  I baked this on Friday after work because I figured pie would be tastier than unbaked piecrust and straight up silken tofu if we lost power.

Chocolate Pie
makes one 9-inch pie, regular depth (about 2 inches)

1 pound silken tofu (firm or soft)
4 ounces plain soy yoghurt
4 ounces vegan cream cheeze
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2-3/4  cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Grease a 9-inch diameter glass pie plate.

On a piece of waxed paper sprinkled with a spoonful of brown rice flour, roll out piecrust to about ¼ inch thickness, and flip into pie plate.  Fix it up to seal any gaps and crimp the edges (if you care about that sort of thing).

In a blender, whiz the tofu, yoghurt, and cream cheeze until blended.  Add the powdery ingredients (cocoa and cornstarch) and poke them down into the tofu.  Puree that for a minute, then add the liquid ingredients and puree completely.  Pour filling into piecrust (not all the way to the top—there will be some extra filling), place pie plate on foil-lined pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the filling cracks around the edges and the crust is brown.  Cool in the oven with the door partway open for 30 minutes.  Cool completely before refrigerating.  Chill for two hours or overnight before serving.  Serve with rice whip or whipped cream for that Minnie’s pie vibe.

Uses for extra filling: chill and eat it straight up.  Bake it in a ramekin.  Freeze it to make fudge pops.  Make tiramisu with whatever cookies or cupcakes or pancakes you have handy; layer coffee-dipped cookies, filling, and some cocoa powder and cinnamon, until the filling is all gone.  Chill before serving.

I watched The Shining on Saturday afternoon while the rain knocked on the house.  I was clutching my Totoro doll during the tense moments.   When Jack is locked in the food pantry, I had to rewind it because I wanted to hear the dialogue again, and watching Jack Nicholson’s facial expressions in reverse is just as convincing as watching them forwards.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Blueberry Pie

Then for dessert on that epic Saturday (actually, Sunday won the title of epic day of that weekend, but that’s another story), I made a blueberry pie. My aunt asked me if I could make a vegan, gluten-free blueberry pie since blueberries were on sale, and I said, “Sure!  I can figure it out.”

Yarrr, blueberry hands!

Blueberry Pie

Makes 1 nine-inch diameter, two-crust pie

A mash-up of recipes from Allergy-Free Desserts, page 144, by Elizabeth Gordon and Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book, pages 62-63, by Jennifer Katzinger.

(Make two quantities of the crust; the measurements below produce one crust, and doubling the measurements could wreak havoc on the flour ratios.  Trust me, collapse happened when I tried to up-size a GF cake.)

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour blend
1 cup brown rice flour
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

5 tablespoons shortening, chilled
1 ½ tablespoons vegan margarine, chilled
7-9 tablespoons ice water

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  With a pastry cutter, two butter knives held in one hand, or a large fork, cut the shortening and margarine into the flour until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.  Cut in the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough sticks together and can be formed into a ball.  Ball it up, place it on plastic wrap, flatten it to a disc, wrap it, and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Repeat for another round of crust.

While those are chilling, mix the filling.

5 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and de-stemmed
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2/3-3/4 cup organic sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until the blueberries are well-coated.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and move one of the racks to the lowest level.  Cover a baking sheet in foil and grease a 9-inch round glass pie plate.

On a clean section of counter space, put down a sheet of waxed paper and sprinkle about a tablespoon of rice flour on top.  Remove one crust from the fridge and place it on this prepared surface.  Sprinkle a little more rice flour on top of the crust.  Place another piece of waxed paper over the crust and roll it out between the sheets of waxed paper.  Roll the crust to about ¼-inch thick (or however big it needs to be in order to line the bottom and sides of the pie plate).  Transfer to the plate and fit it into the curves of the plate.  Patch up any cracks with overhanging pieces of crust.  Roll out the other crust in the same manner.

Pour the blueberries into the crust and top with the second crust.  Crimp together the edges of the crusts by pinching them between thumb and first two fingers.  Slash some vents in the top crust to let the steam escape (simple lines or complicated designs are fine).

Place the pie on the baking sheet and place the whole assembly into the lower rack of the oven.  Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for 35 minutes or until the top crust is browned.  The juices will run over.  This is OK.  All will still be wonderful.  If the crust browns too quickly (id est, before you have to turn the oven down), tent the pie with foil (take a big piece of foil, pinch it into a peak, and pitch it over the pie).  I did not have to tent, but the oven I was using is nice and accurate.

Aw yeah.

Bonus piecrust cookies from extra crust: roll out any extra huge bits of crust, cover with cinnamon sugar, roll up, and bake on a piece of foil along with the pie.  They will be done in about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on ‘em.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.


Here is a brownie recipe I made and brought to work this week; it is a mash-up of several recipes since I couldn’t find one to make what I wanted: moist brownies, not fudge, not sheet cake.

The above picture is actually of zucchini brownies, but the base recipes are the same.

Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-Free) Why does everyone think brownies need a modifier?  These are on the cakey side but still quite moist.

1 1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with three tablespoons water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
generous 1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
generous 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried fruit (chopped if large)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9-by-13 inch baking pan.
Mix flaxseed and water and set aside.  Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk wet ingredients and flax mixture in a large measuring cup.  Add wet to dry.  Fold in chunks.  Transfer to pan and smooth out.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool in the pan.  Store in the refrigerator.

These are best eaten when completely cool because the chickpea flour in the Bob’s blend has a noticeable, sort of unpleasant taste when the brownies are warm.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.