It is that time once again, Mardi Gras season. It is time to break out the beads, the gumbo and the King Cake. Every year our special friends throw a huge party to celebrate Mardi Gras. They go all out with the decorations and the food. We have been going to their party for years. The first time we attended their Mardi Gras party served a King Cake they bought from a local bakery. I love to bake and anytime I see something that is appealing, I want to bake it myself.
From that point on, I brought the King Cake every year. When I first started making King Cakes, I was vegetarian and I used an Emril Lagasse recipe. The original recipe had eggs in it.
So I have updated the recipe over the years to make it what it is today. Including making it vegan. King Cake is not very difficult to make, but it does take time. It is called cake, but it is actually bread. There is yeast in the dough and it needs to rise a couple of times so it takes approximately four hours. It is definitely worth the wait.
Vegan King Cake
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
5 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened/ Plain Coconut Milk, warm
1/2 package (8 oz.) firm tofu
1 can apple pie filling
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Purple, green and gold sugar crystals
Combine warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for 10 minutes.
Combine 4 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon rind, warm almond milk, tofu and yeast mixture. Using a stand mixer, beat on low until smooth. Add more flour if necessary to get a consistency that is not overly sticky. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead enough additional flour into the dough until dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl. Turn once so oiled side is on top. Cover dough and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch the dough down and place on lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a rectangle approximately 8″X30″. Place filling along the long edge and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll like a jelly roll and press to seal the edge. Take each end and bring together into a circle. Join the ends by pinching and rolling. Try to get the dough into a circular shape as much as possible. Place on a buttered (using vegan margarine) baking pan. Adjust the shape if necessary to get an even circle.
At this point, if you have a plastic baby to hide place it into the dough so that it is not too close to the bottom. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. After rising, preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
For glaze, combine all ingredients. Drizzle the cake with glaze and then sprinkle with sugar.
Have you heard of the Virtual Vegan Potluck? Well, it is a fun way to share recipes. Everyone participating is linked together. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.
Beets in a dessert? Yes! Beets are not only good for you, they create a very moist cake. And since beets add color too, they are perfect for a red velvet cake. It was difficult to convince the hubby to eat a cake with beets in it. He would not believe me when I told him that the cake would not taste like beets.
Once the hubby tried the cake, he realized how good it was. He actually liked it and even wanted more. I only wish I could have made the cake when he was not home. Then it would not have taken so long yo convince him to try it. If I could have snuck the beets in there somehow, I definitely would have done that.
I hope you enjoy this contribution to the potluck. You really can’t taste the beets!
Vegan Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream a Cheese Glaze
1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk (or your favorite vegan milk)
1 cup beets, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups unbleached cake flour (I like King Arthur)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsps. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
4 oz. Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread (or your favorite. Tofutti is good too)
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3 Tbs. So delicious Unsweetened Milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray.
To make Cake: Purée milk, beet, and vinegar in blender until smooth. Transfer to bowl; stir in sugar, canola oil, and vanilla extract.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Fold into milk mixture. Transfer batter to prepared bundt pan. Bake 1 hour, or until top is firm and tip of knife inserted in center of Cake comes out clean.
Transfer cake to a wire rack. When cool enough to handle, unmold onto wire rack to cool completely.
To make Icing:
Sift confectioners’ sugar into bowl. Stir in vegan cream cheese and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add milk, a tablespoon at a time until a smooth consistency.
Leave Cake on wire rack, and place in or over sink or large rimmed baking sheet to catch Icing overflow. Fill small resealable plastic bag with icing, and snip hole in one corner of bag. Drizzle icing over cake. Let icing set before serving.
Aunt Pat took us out for a wonderful dinner at Simon and Seafort’s in downtown Anchorage. The view from this restaurant is incredible. The view is of the Cook Inlet and Mount Susitna.
This restaurant is known for its great seafood and steaks. So I was a little skeptical in finding anything but a salas. To my surprise, the hubby told the waiter that I was vegan and asked if there was anything that could be prepared for me. The chef came to our table and offered to make a vegetable curry.
The curry was spectacular. There was a variety of squash and the curry sauce was phenomenal. I could taste the spiciness from the curry as well as coconut flavor. There was a hint of peanut flavor so I am assuming there was peanut butter in the sauce. It was garnished with cilantro and bean sprouts.
This was a nice ending to a great vacation. We hope to go back to Anchorage soon. We have visited in all of the seasons and this by far is the prettiest time of year. The Fall colors are spectacular and there is approximately 11 hours of daylight. But they are losing 5 minutes of daylight per day.
The hubby and I ran the Oktoberfest Run for the Beans 5K this morning. It was a well organized run and the weather was great. The run is along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. After the 5K run, we needed to refuel. We chose the Snow City Cafe because it has great reviews. They serve breakfast all day, but had a long wait to be seated so we had lunch instead. The wait was totally worth it. They accept reservations so that is the way to go.
I chose the Veggie Sandwich with a side salad. The sandwich had hummus, avocado and an assortment of veggies all on a delicious wheat bread. This sandwich was one of the best veggie sandwiches I have had. The ingredients were very fresh.
After the run, we rested and then roamed downtown. We stopped and had a brew at Humpy’s. The hubby needed to get his football fix, since he had not seen a game since we arrived in Alaska. For dinner, I prepared Gardein Ultimate Meatless Burgers with all the fixings. It is quite easy to find vegan products here. There is a grocery store here which is affiliated with Safeway and there is also a store named the Natural Pantry. The Natural Pantry has a great selection of vegan products. They are even building a larger store.
Today we drove to Matanuska Glacier. We took a lot of pictures along the way. Luckily, we did have something to snack on while we were driving. When we first arrived, we stopped at a local grocery store which has an assortment of nuts. I guess you would call it a nut bar. There were so many different varieties of nuts and flavors from spicy to sweet. We were gratefull to have that snack with us.
On the way back from the glacier, we stopped at a little cafe in downtown Palmer. We were hungry because we had not had a meal since breakfast.
We stopped at Vagabond Blues in Palmer on our way back to Anchorage. This small cafe in the center of town has many vegan options. They have wonderful bread and a good assortment of vegan and gluten free cookies. I had the spinach salad. Everything about the salad was delicious. The salad dressing was full of flavor. If you are ever in Palmer, Vagabond Blues should be a place to stop.