Tag Archives: Dessert

Vegan Chocolate Pudding Pie

IMG_3668I have made this pie three times in the last couple of weeks and it has been universally loved by everyone from vegans to meat-eaters. Full disclosure: I actually don’t like chocolate. I know, I know. But even I had a small slice that I enjoyed. I won’t be revisiting chocolate again soon, probably, but I see the appeal… 🙂

This recipe is really, really fast and easy (especially if you buy a store-bought crust). Once you buy the ingredients the first time, you should have enough on hand (except for almond milk) to make several pies. I got the recipe from the lovely ladies at The Post Punk Kitchen, to whom I first turned when I started eating vegetarian about a decade ago.

This is the perfect thing to make this weekend if you want a little homemade something special for your valentine. And, really, it’s mostly almond milk — it’s practically health food! Since my Valentine has had this quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, tonight I’ll be dipping back into the archives and making what I made last year for V-Day — vegan coconut cream pie.

I took the photos the first time I made it and didn’t have any whipped cream or berries or anything on hand. It got good reviews on another night topped with strawberries.


•  1 9-inch cookie crust, store-bought or homemade (instructions below)
• 3 c. almond milk, divided
• 1/4 c. cornstarch
• 1/3 c. sugar
• 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
• pinch salt
• 3 Tbsp. dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Though they don’t always have the best ingredients, it turns out store-bought crusts happen to be vegan. I’ve used a chocolate cookie crust and a graham cracker crust, as well as made my own crust. You can use any type of cookie you like. (Side note: Did you know Oreos are vegan?)

To make your own crust, use 1 3/4 c. cookie crumbs, add 4 Tbsp. oil or melted vegan butter (my preferred is Earth Balance), 3 Tbsp. sugar and 1+ almond (or other non-dairy) milk until it’s just moist enough to press into the pie plate. Pop into the oven for the 10 minutes and proceed with the recipe!

2. In a small (2-quart) saucepan, combine 1 c. almond milk with cornstarch and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved — it doesn’t take long. Whisk in remaining milk, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. It’s OK if it’s a little clumpy at first. It will all work out eventually. At first it will have the color of chocolate milk.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Keep a close eye because once boiling you want to lower it to a slow rolling boil. If you have an electric stove, you may want to switch it to another burner you have on low or lift it off the burner for a minute as it cools so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Whisk consistently until the mixture is thickened and pudding like, 7 to 10 minutes.

IMG_3644_24. By the end it should be a darker, classic chocolate pudding shade of brown. Add chocolate chips and whisk to melt. Stir in vanilla. Pour the pudding into the pie shell and let cool for about 15 minutes on the counter, until it stops steaming like crazy.

5. To keep a skin from forming, place a circle of parchment paper over the filling. (I do this by inverting the pie plate before I start, or using the lid to the store-bought crust and tracing, then cutting). Refrigerate and let set for at least 3 hours. If you don’t have quite that much time, use a bigger pie plate/crust and it won’t be as thick and should set up a little faster.

Almond, Orange, Olive Oil Cake

At first glance, this cake looks simple and unassuming. And olive oil being one of the main ingredients is both intriguing and…worrisome. But, when A.E. brought it as her contribution to Cooking Club S01E02, I dove in when it came time for dessert. WOW.

This might be the best new dessert I have tried in a very, very, very long time. She got it off of the blog Orangette by Molly Wizenberg, who adapted the recipe from one she ate at a restaurant. A.E. claims to not necessarily be skilled in the culinary arts, but she nailed this. It was soooo delicious. I wish I had taken a picture. (I vow to not make that mistake again and can only pray that my Cooking Club cohorts don’t mind being featured every month when I share their recipes – the paparazzi will be there from now on).

Here’s the recipe (with description by Wizenberg):

1 small to medium orange
1 lemon
6 ounces raw almonds
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
4 large eggs
½ tsp. table salt
1 ½ c. sugar
2/3 c. olive oil
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

First, get to work on the citrus. Put the orange and the lemon in a saucepan, and cover with water. (They’ll want to float. Don’t worry about it.) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, and cool.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and set a rack in the middle position. Put the almonds on an ungreased sheet pan, and bake until they look golden and smell warm and toasty, 10 to 15 minutes. (I tend to get nervous about burning them, and consequently, I always try to pull them out of the oven too soon. Don’t do that. Let them really toast.) Set aside to cool completely. When the almonds are cool, pulse them in a food processor until finely ground, the texture of coarse sand. Set aside.

Set the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9-inch round springform pan.

When the citrus is cool, cut the lemon in half, and scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the orange in half, and discard the seeds. Put the lemon rind and orange halves in the food processor – there’s no need to wash it after grinding the almonds – and process to chop finely, almost to a coarse paste.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

Combine the eggs and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Fold in the flour mixture. Add the citrus, almonds, and olive oil, and beat on low speed to just incorporate (A.E. did this party by hand because she doesn’t have a mixer and said it worked just fine!). Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan. Before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Creamy Cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery in NY

This recipe comes from S.Y. who signed up for dessert for Season 1, Episode 1 of the cooking club recently. This cheesecake was SO good and was a little different from any cheesecake I’ve ever had. If you’re a cheesecake fan definitely try it!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie with Graham Cracker Crust (from “More from Magnolia”)

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. chopped toasted pecans (to toast, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned and fragrant…recipe says 15 min, but that was too long, started to burn…i’d say 10)
1/4 c. unpacked light brown sugar

1 lb (2 8 oz packages) cream cheese, softened
1 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint strawberries, sliced in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
CRUST: In a medium size bowl, combine the butter with the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, and sugar. Press firmly into lightly buttered 9 inch glass pie dish. Place an a baking rack and back for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
FILLING: In a large bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the sour cream and vanilla, and continue to beat on low speed until well combined.

Refrigerate the filling while the crust is cooling. When the crust is completely cooled, spread the filling evenly in the crust with a rubber spatula. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top in a decorative manner.

Refrigerate the pie for at least 8 hours or overnight to ensure that the filling sets.

and that’s it..easy as pie 🙂

Coffee Mug Chocolate Cake!

Ok, so this post is just for fun. Gooey, (not vegan) chocolate cake fun. A friend e-mailed this recipe to me and I knew it was something Claire would love.

Even though I told her Sally e-mailed me the directions, she said, “You should get a job cooking. You love cooking, right?” After she finally tasted the gooey mess, she said, “Now you really should get a job cooking.”

Step 1. Get a large mug and spray it with cooking spray.

Step 2. Measure 4 Tbsp. flour and 9 Tbsp. hot cocoa mix into mug

Step 3. Crack an egg into the mug and mix as best you can.

Step 4. Add 3 Tbsp. water and 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Mix thoroughly until all dry ingredients are wet. Be sure to scrape the bottom to get all the flour and cocoa!

(Here we added some marshmallows and mini chocolate chips, but they all melted during the “baking.” But, they were still melty and good.)

Step 5. Microwave on high for 3 minutes*. During microwaving, the cylinder of cake will rise out of the mug. As soon as the microwave stops, it will slink back into the cup.

* I looked at it and the top looked all sticky and wet so I thought it wasn’t done and put it in for another minute. Four minutes was fine/didn’t overcook it, but it still was wet looking after 4 minutes but was thoroughly cooked. I think 3 would have been fine.

Step 6. Turn over cup and tap until the cake falls out onto the plate. It will be extremely hot — look at the steam! (And the bits of flour I didn’t get quite mixed in.)

Step 7. Add any toppings, frosting, etc. you might like. We went for more marshmallows, chocolate chips and some chocolate sauce.

Step 8. Enjoy! Claire (and dad) tell me it was delicious.

Since I don’t like chocolate, I decided to make one out of my Ghiradelli white chocolate hot chocolate. Having never had white chocolate cake, I have nothing too compare it to, but it was a pretty good little treat!

Cakes and more cakes.

Vegans, I’m sorry. This blog just isn’t for you. It involves all the deliciousness that dairy can be.

This weekend I made desserts for my
mom’s birthday.

The first — the easy one, recipe wise — was a cigarette cake.

Weird? Yeah, I guess so. But my mom smoked for a really long time. And she finally put down her Marlboro’s on her 59th birthday in 2007. So I thought making it a year without smokes, deserved a little recognition.

I took a box of Betty Crocker Funfetti (or wait — is that Pillsbury?) anyway, funfetti cake mix, and made it according to directions in a 9×13 pan. Once it was cooled, I got it out of the pan the best I could (I had greased and floured the pan, which helped), and I used the entire length and about 2/3 of the width of the cake.

For the majority of the cake, I used plain vanilla Betty Crocker frosting. For the filter, I mixed in a ton of yellow, a bit of red and exactly one drop of green food coloring.

For the burning end, I used red food coloring to make a bright red frosting, then covered it in crushed Oreos to make the ashes.

And that’s about it! I could have done better, but I think for my first shot out of the gate, it’s not bad!

The “real” dessert I decided to make was a Key lime cheesecake. I’ve only made it once before and it was well received. So, when I learned my brother-in-law likes Key lime, I was in.

Even though I learned a new recipe for Key lime cheesecake with tropical fruit chutney while covering <a href="http://www.ci.farmington-hills.mi.us/Community/ParksandFacilities/Longacre/OverviewLongacre.asp
“>The Longacre House Cooking Show the other day that had coconut in the crust and was topped with this chutney of dried mango and raisins and cooked in sherry and all kinds of craziness, I decided to go with the old tried and true recipe I had used before. I have a hard time presenting a recipe to people when I’ve never tried it before…

Before I wrapped it up, I copied a handful of recipes from a cheesecake cookbook I bought my cousin, Leigh, a few years ago for Christmas and this was one of them. It’s really simple. This is how you make it:

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar

Mix and press into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

2 XL eggs, separated
2 Tbsp sugar
1 lb. (2 pkgs) cream cheese
1/4 c. Key lime juice
1 c. sugar

1. Beat egg whites until stiff, add 2 Tbsp sugar and beat for another few seconds
2. In a separate (your bigger) bow, beat yolks and cream cheese together until smooth
3. Add 1 c. sugar and lime juice to the cream cheese mixture
4. Fold whites into cream cheese mixture and fold by hand so it stays fluffy
5. Pour batter into crust and bake for 40-45 minutes. Be sure not to open the oven door at least for the first 35 minutes.
6. Once it passes the toothpick test (you prick it with a toothpick and it comes out clean) then you’re good to go.
7. Ideally, you’ll be able to let it cool completely and then refrigerate at least four hours before serving. But if not — who cares. It’s still going to taste freakin’ GOOD.