Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cook out with a dear friend :)

The first time I met Virginie was by chance when I was coming back from work. She was on her maiden visit to Singapore to visit her bf who I know through the VSS. We clicked really well even though it was a short chat and since then we had been emailing each other and keeping in touch. Virginie has an amazing blog on veganism and she is truly and inspiration for me. She's innovative, daring and makes really good food. So when she was back visiting in Singapore, we just knew that we had to spend some time in my kitchen cooking away :)

So we did a sharing of cuisines, and I made some Indian dishes like Sambar, dosai with tomato chutney and a sweet potato porridge. Virginie made a veg tart, zucchini pasta, stuffed eggplants with brown rice and also brought some watermelon juice and chopped figs which was to be made into a sorbet but unfortunately, the weather was unbearably hot that it did not freeze sufficiently. 

She also had some vegan meringue powder so we made our first vegan meringue. of course it did not taste anything like meringue but it was more like a crispy candy! But the possibilities are endless :)

The Overall Meal

Yummy Brown Rice Stuffed Eggplant 

Healthy and Delicious Vegetable Tart

Thosai with tomato Chutney

Zucchini Pasta - Two thumbs up!

Vegan Meringue

Watermelon 'Sorbet' with Figs... Super delish!

Vegan Mocha Cake

I made this special mocha cake for a dear friend of mine who was visiting Singapore. As this was not a birthday cake, I was at a lost on how to decorate it. So I decided to 'draw' some flowers on it using mocha cream. I also sprinkled crushed Vietnamese coffee beans in between the layers to enhance the coffee flavour. I liked the way the cake looked... simple but elegant :) I'm glad to say that she liked the cake!

Banana Split Cupcakes...

Yet another strawberry cake and mango cake :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vegan Mango Chocolate Cake

This was a cake I did for a dear friend of mine, R. It was a belated birthday cake for her mother and she wanted me to make something different for her. So, she decided on a mango and chocolate cake. Fortunately, fresh mangoes were going for a song and I decided to make a chocolate cake and layer it with fresh mango. I wanted to make something spectacular with chocolate for her but two things were working against me. For one, I have never tempered chocolate on my own, so I was a little worried about getting it right. Secondly, R informed me that the cake will be kept in the car (without shelter) for a few hours before consumption. I didn't want to take the risk of the chocolate melting, so I settled for something simple. After I took this picture, I made some modifications which I forgot to capture in my camera afterwards. 

Fortunately, her mum who had never had a vegan cake before liked it, so I'm happy :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

VSS turns 10! (belatedly that is)

VSS turned TEN on the 28th of March 2009 and yours truly was tasked with the catering. VSS is very special to me because I really believe in the vegetarian cause and the people there are amazing. Thanks to VSS, I have made some awesome friends who continue to inspire me to be better vegetarian, i.e., be more environmentally friendly, and hopefully to be vegan one day! 

So, I wanted to make the best possible cake for VSS and hence I started experimenting with vegan fondant, after doing extensive research over the net. Somehow, I managed to get some vegan fondant by substituting agar with gelatine but though the batch was workable, I think there needs to be more tweaking to make it pliable. However, it was good enough to work with and I decided to use it. I decided on a garden theme and spent two days making bees, flowers, butterflies, snails and ladybird bugs for the cake. 

I also decided on a two layer cake, so after gleaning information from youtube, I learnt how to make a two tier cake stable. Even though I initially wanted to cover the entire cake in fondant, I decided against it because I know most people will dislike the sweetness of it and also it will end up being wasted. So, I did a cream cake and added fondant figurines on it. I felt that it was one of the best cakes I've made (I'm sure the experts in fondant making will disagree) and even though I laboured over it for days, it was all worth it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Potato Salad Sandwich

Since it is nearing the end of my semester, I have been just so busy juggling school and baking. Particularly, this month has been difficult as I have been 'blessed' with a lecturer who is fickle minded to say the least. So, my research proposal has been through some difficult times and I'm glad that it is finally over. 

Anyway, I was looking up some recipes online to make vegan sandwich without using mock meat and I chanced upon a potato salad sandwich. It is an awesome idea and I remembered how much I loved potato salads during my uni days. So this time round, I just
whipped it up with some vegan mayo. It was really good and we enjoyed it tremendously. Remember to refrigerate uneaten potato salad as it goes bad pretty fast in Singapore's humid weather. 

Recipe for Potato Salad Sandwich (Makes a lot - 1/2 if necessary but seriously?)

700g boiling potatoes (like Russet) 
3 cloves of garlic, peeled (or more, if u r a garlic lover)
1/2 an onion diced (or less if you don't like raw onions)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp pepper to taste
70 -80g of vegan mayo (I didn't use much as my bro does not like to much mayo, but feel free to adjust accordingly)
1/2 to 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast (really optional)
Vegan margarine
Some tomato slices
Some lettuce
Some bread (wholemeal/white etc)

1) Peel, cube and boil potatoes and garlic with some salt. Once the potatoes are tender, drain the liquid, reserving some, and mash it up to desired consistency. I prefer it a little chunky. 
2) Add onions, pepper, vegan mayo and nutritional yeast. Mix well. If needed, add more vegan mayo or reserved liquid to achieve a creamier consistency.
3) Spread bread with vegan margarine (optional). Add a scoop of potato salad and top it off with tomato and lettuce. 
4) Eat! 

Note: You can consider making an open top sandwich by placing a slice of cheese on top and grilling it. Also, if using garlic powder, add it together with other seasoning.