Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rock Me Amadeus!

We are lovers of all things Austrian. When KT was a mere 5 years old, we packed up everything, promised her a kitten on our return, and flew across the Atlantic to live there. While there we fell in love. Yes, we loved the culture, but we really loved the desserts.
We also fell in love with a certain Austrian composer...and his balls. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest composers of all time, inspired another important Austrian tradition - Mozartkugeln (Mozart Balls, in English). These bonbons consist of a ball of pistachio marzipan, covered in hazelnut nougat, dipped in creamy dark chocolate. They might be the best candy of all time, but unfortunately they are not vegan! So what do we do? Make our own version...Veg-Berger style!
Musical Mozartkugeln Cupcakes
Inspired by Salzburg, Candy, and the greatest Composer of the Classical Era
For the Hazelnut Cupcake:
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Hazelnuts, very finely ground
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2/3 cup Hazelnut Milk
1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseeds
1/3 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp Hazelnut Extract
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips or Chunks

1. Line cupcake pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the hazelnut milk and ground flaxseeds. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add in the finely ground hazelnuts and stir.
4. To the milk mixture, add the canola oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, hazelnut extract, and vanilla extract. Beat well with a mixer to incorporate.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in two additions.
6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
7. Spoon into liners, bake for 22-24 minutes, and let cool while preparing the filling!
For the Pistachio Cream Filling:
1/4 cup Vegan Margarine, softened
2 Tbsp Shortening
1/3 cup Pistachio Butter
1 and 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 and 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp Rice Milk or other Non-dairy Milk

1. With an electric mixer, cream together the margarine and shortening until smooth.
2. Add pistachio butter and vanilla, beat until smooth.
3. Beat in powdered sugar and milk until mixture is a good frosting consistency. Put the mixture into a piping bag and fill the cupcakes once they are cooled.

For the Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 cup Non-dairy Milk
1/2 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Immediately remove it from the heat, adding the chocolate chips and maple syrup. Whisk gently until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth.
2. Let cool slightly, then spread over the cupcakes. Garnish with chopped pistachios or hazelnuts!
3. Put on Don Giovanni, Fugue in G Minor, or even Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and enjoy a taste of Osterreich!

We really do love our Austrian treats. From Almdudler (seen above), to Strudel, to Pombears -- these things are all near and dear to our hearts. You may even remember our Sachertorte Cupcakes back in May! Who knows, next we might veganize Schnitzel!!

Peace, Love, and Balls,
Pam and KT

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nifty Pizza #9 - Florida

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...STATE!Our All-American journey continues with our special Floridian honor of the Sunshine State! Home to beautiful beaches, the magical world of Disney, and old people! But don't worry. This pizza doesn't taste like any of those things. It tastes like pure sunshine, thanks to juicy orange wedges and sun-dried tomatoes. This pie also has a "fish-y" twist, brought to you by crispy tofu-filets!

Nifty Pizza #9 - Florida

For the Filets o' Tofu:
1 and 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose Flour
1/2 cup coarse Cornmeal (polenta)
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp ground Pepper
1 cup Non-dairy Milk
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 package Extra Firm Tofu
Canola Oil (for frying)

1. Heat Canola oil in a pan. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and mustard.
2. Drain and slightly press the tofu, but don't suck out ALL the moisture. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and then cut into triangles (this size is perfect for tofu sandwiches or tofu and chips! We love leftovers). Cut each triangle into 3 mini triangles.
3. Dip the triangles into the milk mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Add tofu pieces to hot oil and brown on each side.

For the Sunny Pizza:
Pizza Dough for one crust
1/2 Cup of Pizza Sauce mixed with a few red pepper flakes for some sunny heat!
Mini Tofu Filets
Artichoke Hearts
Sun-dried Tomatoes
Orange slices
Vegan Parmesean "Cheese"
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Arugula (For garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spread sauce over the pizza dough. Top with mini tofu filets, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and orange slices. Sprikle generously with vegan parmesean, and scatter with about 1/2 tsp of fresh chopped thyme.
3. Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack and 10 minutes on the bottom rack.
4. Slice, plate, and garnish with fresh arugula. LET THE SUNSHINE my belly.
We hope you're enjoying the Nifty Pizza Project so far! This is our second seafood inspired pie, our first being the Crabby Delaware Pizza !

Peace, Love, and SPF,
Pam and KT

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Comfort Pie

Everyone needs a good helping of comfort food now and then. Especially when your best friend has moved 12 hours away to go be an actress. Yes, we're mother and daughter, but we're also besties. The littlest Veg-Berger has flown the nest to go work at a theatre company (but don't worry, the blog is clearly alive and kickin'!!).
Therefore, Pam needed some serious comfort food to help with the separation anxiety. And nothing says comfort like Chicken Pot Pie...VEGANIZED, of course! Pam got creative and topped the pot pies with a biscuit topping as opposed to the traditional piecrust. Now we just need to figure out how to ship them....
Comfort Pie -- For when you're feeling a bit BLUE
For the filling:
1 package (6 ounces) of Lightlife Chick'n Style Strips
1 medium Onion, diced
1-2 Celery stalks, diced
1 clove of Garlic, grated or finely minced
1 large or 2 small White Potatoes, diced
1 small Sweet Potato, diced
1 cup of frozen Mixed Vegetables
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
2/3 cup White Wine
1 and 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Mustard Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Sage
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray 4-6 individual ramekins or a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat a large skillet or soup pot over medium-high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Cut the Chik'n strips into smaller pieces and saute them until lightly browned. Remove from skillet.
3. Add another 2 Tbsp of oil and heat to medium. Saute the onion and celery until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and potatoes and stir. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Scoot the veggies to the side of the pan, add one more Tbsp of oil and stir in the chickpea flour. Stir until it turns a mustardy color. Pour in the white wine and stir. Cook for 2 minutes to reduce.
5. Pour in half of the vegetable broth, add the mixed veggies, thyme, mustard powder, and sage. Stir in the remaining broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few more minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
For the Biscuit Topping:
1 and 2/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Non-dairy Milk
1/3 cup Canola Oil
1. Place flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir together. Pour in non-dairy milk and canola oil and stir just until dry ingredients are moist. The dough should be sticky and slightly lumpy.
To Assemble the Pies:
1. Spoon the filling into ramekins or casserole dish.
2. Drop the dough by spoonfuls over the filling, carefully spreading it with the back of your spoon for maximum coverage.
3. Bake at 425 degrees until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. This should take about 15 to 18 minutes.
As sad or blue as you may be feeling before digging in, eating one of these pies will fill you with happiness and warmth. They will leave your belly full and your mouth smiling. Comfort, accomplished.
(If you prefer sweets when eating your feelings, try our Holy Trinity Pie!!)
Peace, Love, and Taters,
Pam and KT

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Springtime Citrus Cream Cheese Spread

Spring is a season of transitions. We're shaking off the winter blues and watching with wonder as the new green leaves peek through. Daffodils are beginning to bloom, the weather is getting warmer, and our palates are starting to crave something other than the tastes of winter. As much as it pains us to put away the pumpkin until next year, it is inevitably time to move on to berries and leafy greens.
To celebrate the changing of the seasons, we created a delectable cream cheese spread that marries the wintery tartness of cranberries with the summery zing of orange. A taste of what has passed, and a taste of what's to come! Enjoy!
Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Spread
1 Container Vegan Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/3 cup dried Cranberries
1 Tbsp Orange Zest
1. Toast the Walnuts, set aside to cool, then chop.
2. Mix together all ingredients. Could it get any easier?

Top your favorite bagel, bread, or crackers with this springy spread!
(If you're looking for a more savory spread with your morning bagel, try our Olive-Nut Cream Cheese!! It's equally delicious!)
Peace, Love, and Bunnies
Pam and KT