Artisan Vegan Caramels from Allison’s Gourmet
Are you familiar with Allison’s Gourmet? You should be. Allison, maven of mmmm, is all about chocolate. Award-winning, artisan, organic, dairy-free, fair-trade chocolate. Oh, and it’s out of this world delicious too. Do yourself a favour and get acquainted. May I suggest the pure vanilla caramels? I’m a fan. Take a look at Allison’s site and feast your eyes. You can’t go wrong with any of the choices there—with cookies, brownies, toffee, brittle, fudge, chocolates, caramels, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate—there are endless gift-giving possibilities. Why not include yourself s a recipient?
A longtime admirer, I had the pleasure of meeting Allison in person at last summer’s VVC in Portland–so when she recently asked if she could interview me for the Friday With Friends series on her blog, I was chuffed. Check it out here, blush. It’s short and sweet and focuses on my enthusiasm for vegan baking and my massive sweet tooth.
*photo used with permission from Allison’s Gourmet
chocolate cherry ice cream with cacao nibs
Chocolate and cherry can do no wrong together in my world, which makes this probably my favourite homemade ice cream. It’s delicious. It’s easy, and pssst, you don’t even need an ice cream maker: I made this using the food processor in under ten minutes. I start with a couple of frozen bananas, to which I add about a half bag of frozen cherries (which amounts to about 1 1/2 cups or so – there’s no right or wrong – I do it to taste). Throw the cherries and bananas in the food processor along with (up to) 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (again, this is a to taste thing – I like a lot of cocoa, but you might want to start with 2 Tbsp to start), add between 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk of your choice to facilitate blending (I favour unsweetened almond milk at present, but soy milk works grand too), and blend just until smooth. Enjoy as is if desired, or add some more cherries and cacao nibs and pulse just enough to distribute them – but not so much as to break them up. Even if you don’t add extra cherries, I highly recommend adding the cacao nibs – they add an amazing crunch while evoking the spirit of chocolate chips in a much healthier way. If you really want to, you could put this mixture through your ice cream maker to make it firmer (before adding the extra cherries and cacao nibs at the end of the cycle), but it’s truly not necessary: as you can see in the photo, the frozen cherry component adds a lot of firmness all by itself. Plus, who wants to wait half an hour to eat ice cream when you could be enjoying it in less than ten minutes? Enjoy.
peach pie with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend, Canada! To celebrate, I made this peach pie using Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking: If you don’t have it in your baking repertoire, you should – it’s truly fabulous. Everything I’ve ever made using this book has been a winner, and this pie was no exception. The note of nutmeg was unexpectedly delightful. Now it’s gone. Sniff. With the rush to get out the door and to our dinner (that leaf-laden top took a lot longer than I thought it would), I was lucky to have snapped this pic as my husband carried the pie to the table.