Thursday, June 22, 2023


Best Blog Tips



 These individual cakes usually have a soft center of chocolate fudge that erupts in a rich, dark puddle from the cakes.  This recipe is an easier version of the cake that some of you might have seen before, though it is not in any of my books or newsletters.  But I decided to try a caramelly hazelnut praline filling.  It was a big hit with my guests. 
Originally, lava cakes were flourless cakes with a batter based on eggs that formed a molten center when the cakes were baked.  More often than not these days, a rich cake batter containing flour is used and a frozen chocolate mixture is placed between layers of batter before baking.  This is the type that I started with to make a vegan version of this cake.  This batter has very little fat in it, yet is rich, moist, tender and chocolatey.  The hazelnut filling tastes rich enough that half a cake is plenty for a serving, along with a scoop of vegan vanilla "ice cream".

NOTE ON BAKING VESSELS: Use ramekins, bowls, little soufflé dishes, giant muffin tins, ceramic coffee cups-- anything that holds about 1 cup (8 oz.).  I prefer bowls with a rounded bottom, but have used a variety of vessels successfully.  They should be generously greased with vegan margarine and placed on two cookie sheets.

1/4 cup Earth Balance, or other good-tasting vegan margarine
7/8 cup hazelnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs soy creamer, such as Silk brand, or nut creme
2 Tbs. vegan white sugar


Wet Mix:
1 cup (8 ounces) firm SILKEN tofu OR medium-firm regular tofu
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups strong liquid coffee or espresso
2 Tbs. oil
4 tsp Ener-G or Orgran Egg Replacer powder
1 Tbs. vinegar
1 Tbs. vanilla OR chocolate, coffee or hazelnut liqueur

Dry Mix:
1 1/4 cups pastry flour (you can even use whole wheat pastry flour with the rough bran sifted out)
1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup Earth Balance, or other good-tasting vegan margarine
7/8 cup hazelnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs soy creamer, such as Silk brand, or nut creme
2 Tbs vegan white sugar

Place the Earth Balance in a medium microwave-safe bowl or pitcher and microwave until melted, about 2 minutes.  (Or melt in a medium saucepan over medium heart on the stovetop.)  

Add the remaining ingredients and microwave on full power (or boil n the stovetop) for 3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a flat baking pan lined with parchment and place in the freezer to cool until you can handle it like candy.  Divide into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.  Place, not touching, on the parchment and place in the freezer while you make the cake batter.


Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.

Have the 8 cups or ramekins for the cakes prepared as above under NOTE.

Mix the Wet mix ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. 
Whisk together the Dry Mix ingredients in a medium bowl.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk briefly to make a smooth batter.

Divide the half of the batter evenly into the prepared cups or ramekins.  

Gently place one of the hazelnut praline balls in the center of each and gently press down a tiny bit, and then top evenly with the remaining batter.  Place the filled cups (or whatever you are using) in a large baking pan or on a cookie sheet with a rim.

Bake in the center of the oven until the cakes are  puffy and set, about 35 minutes.  Test on the side of one of the cakes with a cake tester or toothpick.  

Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then loosen carefully and invert onto parchment-lined plates or pans.
Cut each cake in half.  Serve each half on a small dessert plate, still warm, with a scoop of vegan vanilla "ice cream", such as Soy Delicious, Soy Dream, or Tofutti.

NOTE: Leftovers can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic wrap, and then reheated, uncovered in the microwave for a minute, or in a 350°F oven, covered loosely with foil, for about 10 minutes.

Serves 16
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 330.4 calories; 34% calories from fat; 13.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 202.8mg sodium; 400.3mg potassium; 52.2g

Monday, February 13, 2023


Best Blog Tips

 I apologize for not blogging for SO long!  I hope to be back more often from now on!

I love mayonnaise, but I am trying to eat less fat. Not "no-fat", but pretty "low-fat".  I wanted to make an oil-free version of my older homemade vegan mayonnaise recipe. This is the first recipe I devised, and it turned out to be a winner! If you try the recipe, let me know what you think of it. PS: it's also very inexpensive!


(This recipe makes a bit over 2 cups & is only 12 calories per tablespoon. In contrast, standard mayonnaise contains 94 calories per tablespoon.)

Mix A:
1 cup plain soymilk
3 T. cider vinegar
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes and drained well.
OPTIONAL: add 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 cup + 2 T. cold water
1/2 tsp. agar powder (do NOT use agar agar flakes!)
4 T. cornstarch

Cooking instructions:

1.) Place all of the Mix A ingredients into a blender. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.

2.) Microwave option for Mix B (my preference):  Mix together the water and agar from Mix B in a 2-to-3 cup microwave-proof bowl, and let sit for a few of minutes. Add the cornstarch and whisk well. 

     Microwave the mixture on High for 30 seconds. Whisk briefly. (I  switch to a silicone spatula after 2 turns in the microwave). Repeat this about three times, or until thick and translucent-- even if this takes more than four 30-second intervals in your microwave. (The microwave method works well with starch mixtures.) 

3.) Stovetop instructions for Mix B: In a small saucepan, mix together the water and agar from Mix B, and let sit for a few of minutes. Add the cornstarch and whisk well. 

On the stovetop, stir the mixture constantly over high heat until thick and translucent-- not white (you might have to switch to a silicone spatula halfway through). 

To Finish: Add the cooked Mix B (either stovetop or microwave version) to the Mix A ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth and starting to thicken.  Scoop into a 3 cup jar and refrigerate. It will thicken up nicely in a few hours.