|Black Forest Cake with Fluffy Vanilla Buttercrem|
Did I just forget I had this blog? Sometimes I wonder and marvel at the other oh-so-prolific bloggers. The past few weeks have been indeed busy — writing and filming episodes of Miyoko’s Kitchen, teaching two week-long vegan intensive courses, working on my vegan cheese book. And then suddenly, it’s been six weeks since the last post.
The intensives were fun and intense. Guess the name says it all. Not only I, but all of the students were tired at the end of each day. The first week was vegan baking. My approach is classic, so we made a lot of European-style pastries — Black Forest Cake, Tiramisu, Gateau des Crepes. The desserts were also made without any palm oil, which has become a vegan favorite these days, but a fat I prefer to avoid not only because it is highly saturated but because the jury is still out about the environmental impact of palm plantations. Liquid oils, or sometimes even no oil, can yield fabulous results that do not fall short in flavor or appearance. One of the biggest hits was the Fluffy Vanilla Buttercreme, the base for most of our icings, which has no powdered sugar or palm margarine. The students also got a sneak peak into my vegan cheesebook (slated for publication in March 2012) when they learned to make recipes like vegan mascarpone and cream cheese, from which we made tiramisu and a rich, dense cheesecake. Here are a few more pictures to tempt you…
But I think the star of the week was my flaxseed meringue, which is an omega-3 packed mound of white fluff that can be folded into mousses and terrines and piled on top of pies, just like the stuff made from eggwhites. This is just plain fun and amazing, sort of like a science experiment. Basically, flaxseeds are simmered for 20 – 30 minutes, strained, and the resulting goop chilled. Afterwards, it whips up just like meringue. Here’s a photo:
Light, fluffy, airy, and wonderful for lightening up tofu-based puddings. The only shortfall is that it doesn’t hold up to heat, so you can’t bake it. But I’m working on it! And just because I can’t hold back, here’s the recipe: