Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Green Tea Bars (vegan, gluten-free)

Are you a brownie or blondie person? I only knew of the brownie as a child. Those ooey gooey chocolatey rich bars that were sold in every restaurant and came with ice cream if requested. But I was never really into the brownie, never really had that chocolate craving everyone spoke about, never grew up in a house hold where my parents bought boxes of Little Debbie's Brownies, nor did my parents ever buy me anything sweet. 

As I grew older I discovered the next of kin to the brownie, the blondie. I was totally about the blondie, it wasn't too chocolatey but still had that nice gooey chew to it and it chocolate chips. My inspiration for this green tea bar comes from the blondie. As much I love the blondie, I wanted to make it into something more close to home. Thus, I added in some matcha powder to the blondie recipe and made into what it is now.

These green tea bars are my all time favorite. They are vegan and gluten-free, free some soy and contains no nuts. Though you may add in whatever else you'd like to make your way. Below is a recipe for these vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free & no nuts green tea bars.

Serves ~8
1/4 cup warm non dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup natural cane sugar
2 tablepoons tapioca starch
2 tablespoons potato starch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Pre heat oven to 350F. Oil and line a 8x8 pan.

In a medium bowl stir together the wet ingredients. Then slowly stir in all your dry ingredients and fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into oiled and lined 8x8 pan and bake for 20 minutes rotating once after 10 minutes. Allow the green tea bars to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Bars will keep for up to 4 days in an air tight contain in the fridge.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Easy Vegan & Gluten-Free Pancakes (Sugar-Free)

Mornings should be easy going and simple. Breakfast should never be a hassle, even if you want a nice cooked one. 

I usually don't eat breakfast, only because I wake up in between breakfast and lunch (brunch). Even though I woke up during brunch, I had the bright idea of making pancakes. I also thought this would be a perfect time for recipe development. 

Now that I've graduated college and obtained my BA that been too long of a process. Anyways back to the pancakes. This is an easy vegan & gluten-free pancake recipe and the ingredients can be very versatile. Please feel free to substitute any ingredient that you don't have with another. I only used what was available to me in my pantry. Alright, here we go!! 

Make 3-4 medium sized pancakes

1/3 cup brown rice flour (or sub with sorghum)
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons swerve sugar (or regular sugar or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon coconut flour (or garbanzo flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/3 cup unsweetened rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)
3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce (or other unsweetened fruit puree)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl add in all the dry ingredients. Whisk ingredients together to fully incorporate. Then add in all wet ingredients. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix dry and wet ingredients together. The batter with be a bit thicker than regular pancake batter.

Pre heat a non stick skillet on low-medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil (your choice) to pan. This will prevent the pancake from sticking. Laddle or spoon pancake batter on to pan. Cook one side for about 3-4 minutes. This vegan and gluten-free pancake batter does not bubble like normal pancake batter, when it is ready to be flipped. So just to be safe, check the bottom side if it is ready before flipping. 

Continue these steps with the rest of the pancake batter. Enjoy your breakfast!

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Oil-Free Hemp Protein Muffins (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Eating protein shouldn't be a second thought. Protein is essential for building cells in our bodies and keeping homeostasis. I admit, I am not health professional, but from what I learned from my bio of human aging last quarter is the protein with the addition of many of substances such as antioxidants, low ldl foods and so forth help our body build good cells.

I know the new year is right around the corner, well just about a few days away and why not include more healthy essential foods to out diet? I mean why not? Thinking of ways to include healthy foods into my diet, I looked deep into my cupboard and threw some things together to make this healthy hemp protein muffin that is oil free! Can you believe that? Oil isn't necessary unhealthy. But I decided, why not make this an oil free muffin.

This is a very simple oil free hemp protein muffin that is great for breakfast, on the go snacking or maybe even a late night sweet tooth craving.

The ingredients that I used are very versatile and can be interchanged and still have the final product tasting yummy.

Aright hear we go! Here is the oil free hemp protein muffin recipe. 

1 cups oats
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup gogi berries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
2 Tablespoons Swerve Sweetener
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened rice milk (or any milk you prefer)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pre heat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients. Use a spatula or spoon to mix everything together. Add in all the wet ingredients and stir.

Line 6 cupcake tins. Scoop muffin batter into cupcake tins and slightly over fill the tins. Since these muffins do not rise.

Bake muffins for 30 minutes. Rotate muffins half way through baking. When muffins are finished baking, allow muffins to cool for 20 minutes & enjoy.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Home-Based Bakery Expectations vs. Reality

Hello Home Bakers, Cake Enthusiast & Readers,

As you all know my Adventures of Cake Girl blog documents recipes for Cake Girl the home-based bakery (baked to order vegan & gluten-free sweet delights). I began Cake Girl about 5 years ago. Cake Girl is still a work in progress, I haven't devoted my full attention on Cake Girl because I had been focusing on finally finishing college and obtaining my BA degree. Right after high school I was totally lost, I knew I loved cooking and baking. I took college courses on and off thinking that college is something everyone takes, just like elementary, junior high and high school. After attending community college on and off and realizing at the time that I wanted to pursue my passion, so I applied to Le Cordon Bleu for their pastry and baking program. This was the best decision I've ever made. 

During my pastry and baking program, I did my externship at Babycakes in 2010. It made sense for me to want to bake vegan sweets because I was a vegan at the time. Babycakes now called Erin McKenna's Bakery taught me that baking took patience and love. Baking vegan, gluten-free and even sugar-free was completely different from your everyday gluten based flour. 

When I was baking there, I didn't understand the process of coming up with recipes. How difficult it must be, especially when you are deriving recipes to focus on a small niche of people at the time were actually gluten intolerant. Although my presence at the bakery was short, my experience has taught me nothing is easy but working hard only means you are getting closer to a result.

After Babycakes, I decided on Cake Girl. I knew that even though there were a few vegan bakeries out there, there is still a large population that needed and wanted vegan & gluten-free sweets. Although my expectations far exceeded the actually reality. For one, thought I was ready for everything that was about to come to me. I didn't really plan out the logistics of pricing, delivery fees, contracts, a set menu, website, or ordering. I only had the name Cake Girl and an email. I did artwalk events and sold my products through small pop-ups. In the beginning my expectations was to do both days of artwalk and bake for the event the night before. The reality was that I was exhausting myself. I would bake and package everything the night before, sleep for 3 hours and sell for 8 hours at the Cake Girl pop-up.  And repeat the same routine for the next day. The only help was my boyfriend who assisted me. I didn't mind working hard and giving up sleep. But the reality was I lacked planning and time management. Though through these life experiences, I am able to build my business and give it a better foundation. I am always learning no matter how small the learning experience. The more I work out the kinks of my business and the more time I focus on mu business the closer I will be to my end result and what I consider reality.

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