Monday, November 7, 2016

Vegan Month of Food - Day 7 "Home Town, Home State or Home Country"

There were so many options for today's prompt! I decided to go with a nod to my paternal grandparent's home country which is Italy, mostly because Italian food is my favorite, and this way I can showcase my favorite dessert of all time, tiramisu.  During last year's MoFo I veganized a Cuban sandwich for you, so we can skip that part of my heritage, and also as far as my hometown and home State, the LAST thing I want to eat is what's popular up there (also covered during last year's MoFo, veganize a childhood favorite; mine was fried pork roll or fried bologna, absolutely SHAMEFUL).

My grandfather was a cook, we've talked about this before. Today he'd be called a chef, back then "just" a cook. He worked in fine restaurants in NYC, and then places in NJ closer to home. I wonder what it would have been like for me to cook for him, and for me to have the benefit of his knowledge and support. That was not meant to be, but I think of him a lot when I'm in the kitchen.

I have not provided the recipe and with very good reason. This recipe takes 3 days to make, you serve on the 4th day. First a day is taken to make the vegan cream, vegan sour cream, and vegan cream cheese (disclaimer, I used premade vegan cream cheese for this video), those 3 components take 24 hours to set, minimum. The next day I combine those components with the rest of the creamy ingredients, and then give it at least another 24 hours to set. That same day I usually make the cake, but in this video, you'll see I used vegan lady fingers from a contributor on the vegan aquafaba site. I made several versions of them, the flavor is really great, but the rising was a problem for me. I do not fault author of the recipe, as I live super tropical, baking down here is always interesting with the year round humidity and heat. The cookies seemed to almost disintegrate in the dessert instead of absorbing the espresso, but the flavor was still perfect. I was going to buy some lady finger molds and work on the recipe some more, but for now I've decided against that. I make this recipe probably once every 2-3 YEARS. And, then the 3rd day I assemble the components into the actual tray, and allow it to set another 24 hours. Then day 4, you enjoy the fruits of your labor. If I make it that infrequently, imagine how you would feel... even less inspired. I'm a big fan of not spending events in the kitchen. I like simple things so my time can be spent with my friends when I'm entertaining. This recipe is NOT for the faint of heart, so just kinda go with me on the non-publication of this (I'm a little paranoid not sharing the recipe, last time I shared a picture on a social media site of one of mom's old recipes that I had veganized perfectly, I was shredded for not sharing, it got so bad I actually deleted my post!)

For your information, my creams are not nut based. Everything I use is typically made with soy, however I have also done the components using coconut milk with success. My thoughts are that far too many "cream" recipes are nut based (ie: cashews), again I'm NOT against nuts, but to rely on them too heavily is not the best idea for me. So many people that come to our place here have sensitivities, so I have a lot of excuses and reasons to experiment with vegan recipes that are allergen free, including gluten free, nut free, wheat free, soy free, and so forth. Always remember to have FUN in the kitchen, don't be so afraid to take a chance!

I find it a bit strange that tiramisu is not on more vegan restaurant's menus more often. There are SO many simple versions we can work up, including gluten free variations, there's no good reason for this not to be more readily available. Also, I never thought I'd take the plunge, but I did buy Chef Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen cookbook. I thought I'd never use it, but actually it's a GREAT book to have in the collection because the recipes are based on readily available ingredients, almost all of the recipes are uncomplicated, they taste great, and I've never found a typo in any of her books! She's got a tiramisu inspired recipe in there, I've made it, it's good!

Here's today's snappy little video, I hope you enjoy it. Now get cracking and make your own version of tiramisu. I'm taking this tray to my friends at the local health food store!!

Ciao for now!


1 comment:

  1. I love that it came directly from a chef and you veganised it yourself! It's a shame it's so labour-intensive, but it sounds like it's worth the effort once in a blue moon.