Sunday, October 11, 2009


Marshmallows are becoming a strong contender for the biggest trend of 2009. They seem to pop everywhere and they are being made in many different flavors. There are many vegan marshmallows on the market, but they aren't always gluten free and thus out of range for us non wheat eaters. 

One might think that marshmallows are one of the few items that their allergies has prevented them from eating without too much sadness; but I think that might because you are thinking of those stylophone-y ones that you bought in a bag before a camping trip and were sickeningly sweet even to my tastes. Or, maybe not, and you genuinely don't like them. 

If that's the case, try out the recipe and throw it in a dish with some puffed rice cereal and make an incredible non-trendy, but possible better treat: Rice Crispy Squares

Note: You really need a mixer with a whisk attachment for this recipe.


4 envelopes of vegan gelatin (not as hard to find as I thought, most health food places have it)
1 1/2 cup water (or, for flavored marshmallows, use smooth fruit puree or juice)
1 tbs vanilla
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup corn syrup

gluten free powdered sugar


First, prepare your pan. Generously oil a 9x13 baking dish and set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer, put 3/4 cup water/juice, vanilla (if making vanilla flavored marshmallows) and sprinkle all of the gelatin over top. 

Meanwhile, in a pot bring the sugar, corn syrup and remaining 3/4 water to a boil. Using a candy thermometer allow the mixture to heat until the softball stage. 

Working quickly, pour the hot mixture into the gelatin mixture with the whisk attachment on a low speed. Be careful, as you don't want to splash yourself. Bring the mixer up to full speed and whip the mixture until it is nice and fluffy (ten minutes for me). Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and level out if you need to with a spatula that has been wiped with oil. 

Let the pan sit over night and then cut into squares, tossing each one in a light coating of icing sugar. Store in an airtight container!

Instead of vanilla, you could add peppermint oil to make a delicious minty treat (I'd also die them green, but that's just me!)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vegan Bake Off

Saturday, Oct. 3rd was the Second Annual Vegan Bake Off put together by the Canadian Vegetarian Society. I had seen the posters around my neighborhood and was excited to try my luck. It was a busy weekend for me (I start my first post grad school job on Monday, Markus' birthday dinner party at my place on Friday, and then a small get together with friends on Saturday night) but I was determined to make it work! 

As a surprise, Markus had made me little Mini Canteen business cards and he even invented a neat way to wrap each cookie.

I made the dough during the week and kept it in the freezer. I needed to make 50 cookies for sampling and 3 special ones for the celebrity judges. On Saturday morning I woke up early and baked away. I was worried about having enough, but ended up with over 100! Markus helped me fold and prepare each little packet. He even made cute little recipe cards to place beside my display! 
We were the first people to sign in at the event (I guess I was pretty excited!) and after I had set up my samples we had quite a bit of time before the sampling began. There were two rounds, one for cookies, bars, and raw foods and one for cupcakes, cakes, and professional bakers. See some great photos here.

Even though there were only supposed to be fifty samples, I was glad I had prepared extra because there ended up being closer to three hundred samplers lining up for the treats! I didn't get to try everything, but some of the treats were delicious! Especially the Nanaimo bars (which one a few prizes) and the Mini Cinnabons. A few hours later everyone sat on the floor of the gymnasium to hear the judge's picks for the various prizes. After I didn't win best cookie or runner up in my category, I was a bit bummed but was still having a good time cheering for the winners.

And then I won a prize! Out of all the contestants (forty in total) the judges picked my treat as most memorable! 

My prize pack included a subscription to Veg News, some chocolate from Boardwalk Chocolates, a cook book, a beautiful home made ribbon, and bragging rights! Then Markus won some cookies for answering a sports question correctly! 

It was so great to see everyone else's great treats and meet other bakers in my city. I wish I had more pictures of other people's offerings, but there is a facebook page if anyone is interested in seeing some of the other entries!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Kransekake is a genuinely wheat and dairy free cake. In the original recipe there is no flour, no dairy, and no ingredients that 'may contain traces of wheat and dairy.' It does however, contain egg whites and almonds. I replaced the egg whites with 3 egg replacer mixed with water, but I don't think you could get away with replacing the nuts if you're trying to avoid those. 

This cake is traditionally for celebrations, like weddings and New Years. My backyard party while hardly as significant as the joining of two people for life or the dawn of a new year was reason enough for me to undertake the project. 

If you are Scandinavian you might already have Kransekake pans, but I'm not and I didn't, so my cake was decidedly more free form than one baked in the proper pans. To make my ad-hoc version, start with the smallest ring and bake it alone. See how much the dough expands and then make the rest of the rings based on that assumption. Full Disclosure: the above picture is not my cake–it was eaten before I could take a picture. If you make the cake without the rings, each layer will be a little flatter, but the effect will be the same.


1 1/2 pounds ground almonds
1 1/2 pounds icing sugar
3/4 tbs baking powder
3 egg replacements mixed with water


I followed exactly what this man did on A Baker's Odyssey except without the pans. 


hot water
icing sugar


Mix ingredients together until you have a thick glaze that holds its shape. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a round hole and pipe onto kransekake. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blogger's Delight Granola

I absolutely never thought I'd be the type of person who makes my own cereal. Not only is it relatively inexpensive and widely available, it's just about the only thing I can safely buy at any number of country fairs I attend over the summer. If you get into this blogging business; however, you may find yourself (as I have) at the receiving end of free samples and thoughtful gifts sent to you by well meaning friends. While I am always eager to try something new, I regret to say that sometimes I end of serving myself something that truly deserves the name and bad connotations of 'health food.' Fortunately, I've found that if you combine many of these offending grains and cereals, coat them in oil and sugar and bake them until they are quite brown they (not surprisingly) taste amazing!

I like my granola in big clusters, perfect for snacking on, so I've invented a twice coated method that solicits large hunks rather than separated bits. 

Makes about 5 cups. 


5 cups of your choice dry ingredients. I suggest at least 2 cups being composed of oats. If you want to add chocolate chips or dried fruit, do so at the end after the baking. 
3/4 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons vegan margarine (or, if your cereals are salty, use canola or coconut oil)
2 tbs honey/agave nectar
3/4 brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs wheat free flour


In a saucepan, combine maple syrup, honey, sugar, and margarine. Heat over low heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add vanilla, stirring to combine. Pour two thirds of the sugar mixture over the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stir to coat. Spread this mixture on a lined baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for twenty minutes. The cereal should be nice and brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Gently reheat remaining liquid. Remove from heat and add flour. If you are adding dried fruit or chocolate, sprinkle ontop of the granola. Pour over granola. Allow to set for 1/2 hour before breaking apart and storing in an airtight container for upto a week. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Almost There Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been struggling with making the perfect chocolate chip cookie and these are pretty darn close. My only quibble is that they are a tad puffy rather than flat and Mrs. Fields like. Hopefully, with a bit more tinkering I can make them match the cookies of my pre-allergy memory. The taste, I have to say is, just about perfect. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know! I've been thinking of trying to use brown sugar and substitute some of the coconut oil with vegan margarine. 

Makes about 24 cookies.


1 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon molasses
pinch of salt (optional)
3/4 agave nectar
2 cups wheat free flour
1/2 cup ground up gluten free oats
1 1/2 tsp xantham gum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegan chocolate chips


In a bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, molasses, and agave nectar. Then, using a sieve, add the flour, xantham gum, salt, soda, cinnamon and oat flour. Sift this in and stir. Fold the chocolate chips in and mix until the dough is not shiny. Drop on a lined cookie sheet and spread the dough out a bit with an inverted spatula. Bake at 325 degrees for about nine minutes.

Store in an airtight container for upto 3 days. Refrigerate for longer life. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Great Fake Pound Cake

I made this cake to celebrate the completion of my Masters degree. I'm very excited if a bit jobless, so hopefully that will mean more time concocting recipes and less time writing papers. To celebrate, I baked a cake! After a week of no baking it was so satisfying to sift flour over creamed sugar; to pour batter into a tin; and bake a delicious, simple, wholesome treat. 

I wanted to make a pound cake. It has the depth and heftiness that a Masters degree seemed to require. Obvious restrictions were overcome and the result was a deeply vanilla-y cake with a dense crumb. 


1/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 cup white sugar
1 vanilla seed, scraped and deseeded
1 1/2 cup wheat free flour
1 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup rice milk or soy milk mixed with 1 tsp cider or white vinegar
1 egg replacement


In the bowl of a mixer, combine the apple sauce, mayonnaise, sugar, and vanilla seeds together until creamy and the vanilla seeds are evenly dispersed. In another bowl combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and powder. Add, alternating with the rice milk until combined. Finally, add the egg replacement prepared as per the instructions. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating half way through. Allow to cool mostly in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack. 


2 tbs vegan margarine
1 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp bird's custard powder
vanilla soy milk/rice milk
icing sugar


Beat the margarine, cocoa powder, and custard powder combined. Alternatively add icing sugar and soy milk until enough icing to cover the top of the cake is made. Spread on cooled cake. 

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gluten Free Tea for Two

When you are in the mood to decorate these little goodies are a great alternative to sugar cookies. There is no doubt, that in a crunch, a drop cookie is the way to go. But there is something that just can't be beat about rolling out a bunch of dough, pressing it into shapes, and later when it has cooled, slathering them in icing. 

These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy and don't need to be iced at all if you prefer a less rich cookie. Both ways, these are great for afternoon tea. 


1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg substitutes
3 cups wheat free flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa powder


In a mixer, beat the oils, apple sauce, and vanilla together. Add the sugar. Using a sieve, sift in the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Mix together. Add the prepared egg replacer. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to harden up in the fridge for a bit. 
Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thickness onto a floured surface. Cut into shapes and baked on a greased sheet for about 8 minutes. Cool before icing.