Sunday, July 5, 2015

Strawberry Tart

Full disclosure: I have posted this recipe, more or less, before. But this is the version without so much rat in it.

A friend surprised me today by dropping off a basket of freshly picked strawberries, and if a pie/tart is what you are after then I think this is the perfect way to enjoy strawberries in their prime. The only thing new this time around is the tart shell (I have posted a tart shell recipe before). I don't buy vegan cream cheese on a regular basis so I hope the use of aquafaba makes this recipe more accessible. I think it made for a better shell as well--crisp and durable, yet tender and so very delicious.

Tart Shell (makes a 9" shell)
- 1 1/4 cup (200g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar
- pinch of salt (or 1/4 tsp is using salt-free margarine)
- 1/2 cup (125g) cold vegan butter (or margarine, or half margarine and half vegetable shortening)
- 2 tbsp aquafaba
- 1 tbsp light coconut milk

1. Whisk together flour, icing sugar, and salt. Cut in fat with a pastry cutter.
2. Whisk together aquafaba and coconut milk, then add to flour mixture. Use a fork/your hands to bring together into ball.
3. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour.
4. Roll out dough on a floured surface into a circle large enough to overhang the sides of your tart pan. Trim any excess along the outside bottom of the pan, then fold the overhang to the inside the pan. Press the dough smoothly and evenly into the pan.
5. Place in the freezer for 30 mins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Blind bake the shell: line the shell with heavy duty aluminum foil. Fill with dried beans or baking weights. Bake for 15 mins (or until shell looks dry when you peel back the foil), then remove the beans and foil.
7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 8-10 mins, or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

- 6 cups fresh whole strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water

1. Mash enough of the berries to measure 1 cup. Place remaining berries in a large bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then gradually whisk in water and then crushed berries.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
4. Cool for 10 mins, then pour over berries and gently turn to coat. Transfer to cooled tart shell and chill at least 3 hours or until set.

Terrible picture but great idea: a creamy topping is the perfect addition. This is rad whip from Vegan Pie in the Sky

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

Most of my forays into aquafaba have been failures, but these are a smashing success. I don't know why the magic bean juice acts just like an egg in this recipe and not in others, but it does. These are thin and crispy and yet still chewy--exactly like a chocolate chip cookie should be. The recipe is adapted from The Essentials of Baking.

Makes 18-24 cookies
- 1 1/4 cups (200g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted margarine/butter)
- 1/2 cup (125g) margarine or butter
- 1/2 cup (105g) packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90g) white sugar
- 3 tbsp chickpea aquafaba
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or maple extract)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. 
1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Cream together margarine/butter with sugars in a medium bowl. Mix in aquafaba and extract. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
3. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts.
4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter on to the prepared baking sheets. Flatten a bit with your fingers.
5. Bake in batches until golden. Smaller cookies will bake in 10-13 minutes, larger cookies in 12-15 minutes. I like to bake for 10 mins, then give the pan a quick rap in the counter to flatten the cookies, the return the pan to the oven to finish baking.
6. Let cool on the pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack until cool.