I bought the highly-regarded The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau a while ago with the intention of regularly baking E some dairy-free, egg-free treats. I had visions of myself wearing a cute apron pulling steaming muffins out of the oven and presenting them to him, my grateful offspring. (After which I would go and sit on the couch in my dress and pearls and make small talk with Don Draper.)
The book covers a wide variety of baked goods and most recipes are accompanied by tasty-looking photographs, always a big plus in my eyes. Probably the biggest selling point of this book for me is it uses easy-to-find and rather inexpensive ingredients. Some vegan cookbooks call for a lot of exotic ingredients like coconut oil and specialty flours that are pricey and require at least a few trips to a specialty store to gather. Except for things like soy butter and non-dairy milk this book uses pretty standard baking ingredients which I really appreciate.
I used the book's recipe for chocolate cake to bake some cupcakes for N's birthday this last week. It's a variation of Wacky Cocoa Cake. They turned out well except they were a little underdone. I checked them at 15 minutes like the recipe said and ended up pulling them out at 20 minutes because I was afraid they were burning. They were really moist and pleasingly on the dense side.
The cupcakes didn't quite rise all the way (maybe I over-mixed?) but I just filled the little divots in the middle with frosting--ta da! Flavor-wise I think this is just as good as a normal chocolate cake mix cake. I'll probably make this recipe again and try and figure out how to fix the sunken tops.
Chocolate Cake Recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking
- 1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1/3 c canola oil
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 c cold water
Yield: one 9-inch cake of 8 cupcakes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 f
- Lightly oil a bundt pan, 9-inch sprinigform pan, or muffin tins
- Combine all dry ingrediants and mix
- Create a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients to it.
- Mix until just combined.
- Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes
- (For cupcakes, check for doneness after 15 minutes)
- Cool on wire rack and then run a sharp knife around the inside of pan to loosen the cake.
- Cool completely before frosting.
4 out of 5 stars. If you're interested in milk-free, egg-free baking for either health reasons or food allergies this should be one of the first books you get. It's covers a wide range of baked goods and most recipes use easy-to-find ingredients (I'm looking at you, Babycakes!).
Labels: cookbooks on trial, food, food allergies, recipes