Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts

So today was the bake-off at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. I’m not one to develop my own recipes, but for the fun of it thought I’d go ahead and enter something. Since my last doughnut experience was good, I thought I’d work out the mini doughnut pan and try to see if I could come up with chocolate doughnuts. But I’m always looking for an excuse to mix chilies and chocolate, so I thought Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts!

My mini doughnut pan came with a chocolate doughnut recipe so I started with that, subbed the animal bits and tossed in some cinnamon. For the ganache, I used the recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and tossed in some chili powder. I felt like the doughnuts were a little bit denser, heavier than I would like. I think next time I try them I will half the egg replacer and try something else like maybe souring the soy milk with vinegar. But no matter what I thought, the little guys won Most Creative Recipe! Yay! I got a medal and an apron and a cook book as prizes. Yipee! I was really surprised, but after I tasted the other entries I was even more surprised. There were no “losers” there. Everything was super nummy. Hooray for vegans!

mexican chocolate doughnuts

Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts

for doughnuts
1 ½ cups flour
⅓ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons EnergE Egg Replacer, whisked with 4 tablespoons of warm water
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup plain soymilk
2 tablespoons Earth Balance, melted

for ganache
⅛ cup soy milk
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon chili powder (ground chilies, not the spice mix)

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Lightly spray mini doughnut pan with cooking spray. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix egg replacer mixture, sugar, vanilla, soy milk and Earth Balance until well mixed. Add flour mixture to wet mixture a little at a time until mixed. Fill each doughnut mold about 2/3 full. You may need to spread with your finger to even out. Bake for 8 minutes. If you’re using a full sized doughnut pan you will need to bake longer. Cool slightly. Remove carefully and continue cooling on a rack.

When doughnuts are cool, make Chili Chocolate Ganache. Bring soy milk to a boil in a small pan. Remove from heat and add chili powder, chocolate and maple syrup. Mix with a spatula until melted and smooth. Drizzle over tops of doughnuts with a spoon.

2007 vegan bakeoff medal

Fennel Gratin

Since fennel is in season and reasonably priced, I thought I’d try something that takes a lot of it. Fennel Gratin out of Vegan Italiano it is! The capers and lemon juice gave it a nice sharp flavor. I wonder what the nutritional value of fennel is? Google says, it’s high in vitamin C, fiber and potassium among other things. Yay!

Just out of the oven

fennel gratin

Dressed in fennel leaves and olives

fennel gratin dressed

On my plate…ignore the big black hair….

fennel gratin plate

Lazy Indian food

Remember how I said I haven’t been to the store? Well, I lied. Sunday evening I went to the Taj Mahal market just before I gorged on Ethiopian food. I bought some odds and ends, beans and spices, plus some ready-to-eat box food. They have quite a few varieties that are vegan, so I usually stock up on them when I go by there.

They came in handy because tonight I needed food. And still haven’t bought real groceries. So I pulled down a ravi dosa mix I already had on hand, a box of sambar (spicy soup) and a box of dal palak (beans & spinach). I know dal isn’t what you normally put inside dosa, but it ate up fine, so there.

Cooking the dosa

ravi dosa cooking

Sambar heating up. Really other than making a bunch of dirty dishes, this was stupid easy.

sambar cooking

Dosa ready for eatin’, one not yet wrapped so you can see the dal inside.

ravi dosa finished

The dosa mix was literally “just add water.” I couldn’t believe how easily and quickly they cooked up. Next time maybe I’ll make a proper batch of Indian potatoes to stuff inside. Or a sambar. Or even coconut chutney which is the only thing I missed this evening.

Oh yeah, and everyone wave to the dust on my camera sensor. “hi dust!”

Everyone loves cube food

I have many pieces and parts of food around but no planned meals. I know a lot of people roll that way every day, but it’s very unlike me. I plan out what I’m going to eat for a week, go to the store and get ingredients, and repeat in a week. But Thanksgiving threw things off. I haven’t quite recovered from braving the DeKalb Farmer’s Market pre-holiday crowds. Noobs.

So time to improvise. Here’s what I came up with:

Seitan O’ Greatness Hash

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 cm cubes (yeah, I used metric, sue me)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup Seitan O’ Greatness, cut into 1 cm cubes
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat up oil over medium high heat in a saute pan. Add onions and fry for a minute or so. Add potatoes and turn heat down to medium. Cook stirring from time to time until potatoes are almost done. Add garlic, bell pepper, seitan, salt and pepper and continue cooking until potatoes are done. Note, I didn’t need any pepper because I used the higher amount when making the Seitan O’ Greatness. Also, the seitan is totally optional. Makes 2 big portions. I ate mine with a big pile of green beans.

Seitan O' Greatness Hash

Anyway, that’s about as close to a recipe as you’re going to get out of me. Well, unless I veganize the chocolate doughnut recipe that came with my pan for the Holiday Bake Off at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

See, some people had a huge meal Thanksgiving Day. Other people, like me, ate normal amounts on T-day and use the extra time off to cook some of those time consuming items that don’t fit well into our daily lives when what we really should be doing is cleaning the house. Anyway, today’s decadence was the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk issue #2.

I think the last cinnamon roll I had was a couple of years ago when I was in Washington D.C. and made multiple trips to Sticky Fingers Bakery.  These were worth the long wait. And the prep time. I even held off on the morning coffee just so I could have the two together. The only problem I had is one that I always  have…the rising. I’m not sure if I’m looking for something more dramatic than is going to happen or what, but whenever recipes say something is going to double in bulk, I just don’t see it. Judging from pics from other bloggers who have made these, I think I am short a little bit of rising, but they didn’t seem to turn out dense, so I think they’re fine. The pumpkin flavor was really subtle and seemed to add color more than flavor. Hmm…now that I’ve put down 3, I should work them off by cleaning the house.

Before glaze

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

After glaze

pumpkin cinnnamon rolls glazed