In the past couple weeks, I’ve had a lot more time than I usually do, so I made a couple desserts. (And now that the 2010-2011 school year is over, I’ve got oodles of time!)
Ever since I heard of baking with lavender, I’ve been intrigued. I picked up some dried lavender blossoms from a natural foods store last year, and then pretty much forgot about them.
But then I found this recipe from the blog Cream Puffs in Venice for lavender cupcakes.
I found that I didn’t really enjoy them. One reason for this is the lack of presence of the lavender. A description for these cupcakes reads: “The fragrant taste of the lavender flowers gives the cupcakes an elusive hint that you can’t quite put your finger on.” On the contrary, I wanted to be able to recognize the lavender!
Another problem could be the age of the lavender flowers. I bought them quite a while ago, so the flavor has faded.
And, of course, the fact that I forgot to add baking soda and salt to the mix—to fairly evaluate this recipe, I should really make it again the right way, but I’m not sure it would make a difference.
This it the third from-scratch cupcake recipe I’ve baked, and honestly, my cupcakes never seem to turn out quite right. Let’s not mention those vanilla cupcakes I made for Ray’s birthday.
And then there were the rootbeer cupcakes from My Sweet Vegan—the chocolate ganache and frosting with vanilla bean paste were divine—but the rootbeer flavor was not very pronounced.
Panna Cotta with Cherry Syrup
Underneath the cherry syrup is the dairy equivalent of JELL-O.
Finding myself with three cups of half-and-half and a bag of cherries in the fridge, I decided to make Panna Cotta from the blog Ezra Pound Cake. This was my first time making “cooked cream,” the literal translation of panna cotta. I used cherries instead of blackberries—I like to make use of my super-cool cherry pitter.
However, the end result just didn’t do it for me. In this case, I don’t blame my ingredients or cooking (as could be said for the lavender cupcakes), but perhaps I was just in the mood for some chocolate instead.
The recipe I used is based on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip/Pudding from Chocolate-Covered Katie. It’s pudding made with silken tofu instead of traditional thickeners, and in this case, [vegan] cream cheese. When I made it, I added 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips—an obvious alteration found in the related Tofu Chocolate Mousse. One can also melt chocolate before blending it with the other ingredients.
This method of quickly preparing healthy chocolate pudding is quite common—in cookbooks, I’ve found “Chocolate Tofu Crème” in Baking with Agave Nectar, as well as “Decadent Chocolate Pudding” in The Healthy Southwest Table.
If you have chocolate in any form (cocoa powder, unsweetened squares, etc.), silken tofu, sweetener (sugar, agave nectar, stevia), and vanilla extract, you can make enjoy this dessert!
If you enjoyed this post, please