Category Archives: Dessert

Coconut milk chocolate ganache tart w/ fig leaves


First a note about my technology situation. My power cord for my Mac decided to give out so I have been working on my boyfriends iPad… Not a big deal only it’s harder to link from one page to another recipe and get the pictures formatted just right. I am buying a new one on eBay and then I will have the content linked in a simple fashion with an updated look! Until then, bear with me

Vegan or not good pastry is good pastry. As you read in my last post, I created a tart shell that is as perfect as one loaded with dairy. Today I will show you what to put in that shell as a perfect compliment. For me it seems every time I add fig leaves in a dessert it leaves people in awe, most people don’t work with figs or know how to use them. They have a slight coconut flavor that I believe balances out the almost off flavor off canned coconut. To accomplish this tart is easy as long as you have a few simple tools in your kitchen. This is a no bake ganache tart so serve it chilled or pull it out 10 min before you serve it to spare your guests chilled teeth.


Coconut Milk Chocolate Ganache Tart w/ fig leaves:

serves 10


1 perfect tart shell (recipe is preceding post)

5 oz of bittersweet chocolate wafers

1-2 fig leaves

1 cup canned coconut milk at room temp stirred well

pinch of salt

1. Make a chiffonade cut by rolling up your fig leaves and then slicing. Make sure to take off the bottom stem before you slice. Place the fig leaf bits into a small pan and plour the coconut milk over them. Bring your mixture to a scalding, just under a boil and then let your leaves steep for 3-5 min or until you like the balance of flavor. If you aren’t using fig leaves pour the hot milk over the chocolate wafers.


2. If using fig leaves after 3-5 minute strain the milk from the leaves over the wafers.



3. Place back over a small pan with about and inch of water in it to create a double broiler. Place the chocolate back over and turn the heat to medium. Let sit for a couple minutes to heat the milk and then whisk together. Add a pinch of salt and pour into the prebaked tart shell after well combined.


4. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours until set! Enjoy with your neighbors, both vegan and dairy centric!

The Power of Restaurants


I finished another day at work and I realized how sad of a place I am working. The head chefs treat me like I am a complete idiot and yell a lot across the room at me and their other employees. I am not the kind of person that works well in a para military kitchen because I question authority.

I thought back today why I don’t feel that way about Chez Panisse and I realized that it all has to do with family. Chez Panisse is incredible because it isn’t just a restaurant it is an institution, a home that aims to teach each generation a simple, local, and delicious revolution. I was never yelled at or made to feel dumb for simply asking a question.

Restaurants have the power to radically change and inspire their employees to greatness or they can keep them down in boxes and make them feel worthless. I wonder how many talents are out there being abused and made to feel less than all because of egos in the restaurant industry. I for one will not be abused or abuse others. I hope to be a great teacher and knowledgeable chef who can teach the next generations just as Alice Waters has done.

It is why I have decided to throw in my butcher apron and replace it with a smaller restaurants waist apron, one with a bit more soul.  Boot and Shoe is located in Oakland and is also a part of the Chez Panisse family, not to mention its only a few blocks from my house!  They even have a vegan pizza on the menu!  This new job will allow me time to work at Chez Panisse again as an intern and regain control of my life and who I am as an individual.

One of the things that is very important to me is food ethics, and it is why I am please to announce the March Against Monsanto coming your way on the 25th of May!  For years Monsanto has sat in the background pulling strings like a puppeteer, and this March means education.  Get involved, it is the most important battle of our generation.  For more on Monsanto click here.

For now its time for a Chez Panisse cake recipe veganized….

photo 5 photo 2 photo 1

Vegan Ginger Cake:

2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 C Molasses

1 C Granulated Sugar

1  C Grape seed Oil

1/4 c organic non-gmo soy milk

1/4 c applesauce

2 tsp baking soda

1 c boiling water

4 oz fresh ginger (chopped and then processed, do not grate or you will end up with fibrous strands, see pictures. When you cut it width first before processing or mincing it the fibers will be broken and it won’t feel like you have eaten a hair)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (yes 300)

2. Sift together dry ingredients in a medium bowl (flour, cinnamon, and clove).

3. Whisk or put your wet ingredients into a stand mixer for a few minutes until fully combined.  In a few batches add the flour mixture until fully incorporated.

4. Pour your baking soda into the boiling water and add it along with the ginger to the batter until it is just incorporated.  Pour the batter into a spring form that has been greased and has parchment on the bottom and bake for 50 minutes.  After 40-50 minutes turn the temp up to 350 and bake 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I served mine with a bit of house made blood orange banana sorbet and some candied kumquats…but you can pair it with whatever you want.

Serves 12 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


My parents visited me and my boyfriend in Oakland a couple weeks ago and brought me a bag full of lemons from their tree in LA.  They gave me a couple days notice so I would have time to prepare mentally for the onslaught of lemons that was about to enter my kitchen.  First I made lemonade, and true to my grandmother I used her simple and easy ratio! It honestly makes the best lemonade with a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

Grandmother’s Gold Coast Lemonade

1 c sugar

1 c lemon juice

4 c water

Mix all ingredients together and then refrigerate.

I next went about creating candied lemon peels like I made at work before Chez Panisse caught on fire.  It is an interesting process of blanching and boiling in simple syrup which I will post as soon as I get the whole thing down to a science myself! But even after all these recipes and uses I still had tons of lemons in my house which were quickly going bad… and then I remembered a childhood favorite. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.  This recipe is adapted from the goddess herself, Isa Chandra.


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Time: 45 minutes



2 cups All Purpose Flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds

1/2 tsp salt


3/4 cup soy milk (or almond)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup canola

1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons lemon zest


1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk alternative

1/4 tsp lemon zest


1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Combine all dry ingredients, taking care to sift the flour for maximum fluffiness.

3. Combine all wet ingredients.

4. Create a well and pour the wet ingredients with a fork into the dry ingredients until well combined taking care not to over mix.

5. Once combined use a spoon or ice cream scoop to fill each lined muffin mold in your pan.

6. Place in oven and bake for 23-27 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Place on a rack to cool and after they have cooled slightly spoon the glaze on top. Garnish as you like, I used chopped candied lemon peel but feel free to leave as is.

Vegan Banana Rum Cheesecake with Maple Rum Sauce


Every holiday I take it upon myself to create a meal for everyone who shows up for dinner.  After going vegan a year ago I decided it was too much to ask my family to come up with amazing vegan recipes when I was the only vegan present! So I had a disastrous first Thanksgiving, and used processed ingredients like tofurkey.  This Christmas I set out to wow my family, plus we had a couple of guests in town. Working in someone else’s kitchen is tough, but thankfully my parents is much larger. Of everything we ate that day, the consensus was that the beet tempura was the favorite…but unfortunately for you that is not the post I am making today. Today I am feeling in a soul food mood, so here is a gourmet vegan cheesecake.  It is adapted from a recipe by Tal Ronnen, a very competent chef in his own right he has changed vegan food forever. If you get past his gardein obsession he has some downright delicious recipes!



Pie Filling:

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 16 ounces nondairy cream cheese
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Maple Rum Sauce*
  • Almond Pie Crust*
  • Toasted pecans for garnish

Pecan Pie Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond nut flour- can buy at store or make your own
  • ½ cup any spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance), partially melted
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of sea salt

Maple Rum Sauce:

  • 1 cup grade B organic maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or about 218 degrees Celsius.

Place 4 large very ripe and very brown bananas in the oven in their skins. Roast for 15-20 min until the skins are dark brown and they begin to ooze out of their peels.  Take them out and let them cool to room temperature.

Turn the oven down to 400 degrees (204 celsius).

While the bananas are cooling down make the crust. Combine all the ingredients minus the butter in a bowl and mix well. Then add the butter and mix until well combined. Press into a 9 inch spring form or pie pan. Then place in the freezer for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes place the crust in the oven for 8-10 min until browning on the edges. Then place where the bananas were to cool completely before using.

Peel the roasted bananas and remove any obvious strings. Puree bananas in a food processor (for this recipe you must have a food processor, sorry blender people) until very smooth. Add nondairy cream cheese (I used Tofutti), brown sugar, cinnamon, rum, cornstarch and salt then pulse until smooth, Remember to occasionally scrape down the bowl so everything gets incorporated. Do not overzealous and overprocess or cream cheese will separate and curdle you and it into a dark place!

Now Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35-45 minutes until completely set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean as a whistle. Take out the cheesecake and let it cool on a rack, then place it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours- preferably overnight!

While the cheesecake is baking you can make the maple rum sauce. Add Maple, Earth Balance, and Rum to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened- 10 min. Remove from heat, let cool, and then transfer to a jar or squeeze bottle to put over the cheesecake.

Don’t forget to savor this cheesecake! It is delicious and not nutritious.

Stay tuned for my vegan baked mac and cheese recipe I am working on, let me tell you it is going to be a amazing!

Cinnamon Crumble Cake


There is nothing like cinnamon, in pies, cakes, rolls, it has the IT factor.  I recently went to Oaktown Spice Shop in, you guessed it, Oakland! I live just up the road and walk in sometimes just to see what he has mixed recently. I love people watching in this slice of France, and enjoy listening as he asks the guests what they are making for dinner.  One trick I learned by going to the spice shop is that you should always ask what has been freshly ground that week. If it has been ground recently it is immeasurably better than the other herbs and spices, and beyond compare with supermarket, even local! So go out and find that local spice shop, there has to to one near you, and if not, start one!  Cinnamon had just been ground so I splurged for the extra fancy saigon cinnamon, which means it was the first grind, extra dark, and sweet smelling/tasting.  I have been making many things with this cinnamon but most recently I made a cinnamon crumble cake that will please any omnivore. So buckle up and enjoy the ride to fluffy vegan cake land, its time you arrived!

This rendition of crumble cake is a correct application of commercial egg replacer, as it creates a great texture that holds together, and doesn’t end with an unpleasant finish (thank you cinnamon).  This recipe is adapted from Sweet Vegan.



Crumble Topping

130g unbleached all-purpose flour

100g light brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

70g Earth Balance


225g earth balance at room temperature

255g sugar (I used evaporated cane juice as its vegan)

2 tsp vanilla extract

390g unbleached all-purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder (yes 4, we need this girl to rise)

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

6 tsp egg replacer whisked in 8 Tbsp warm water

240g milk alternative (I used almond, soy is good too)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

powdered sugar for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and  flour a 9×13 in pan (23x33cm).

2. To make the crumble topping to this delicious fluffy cake first combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a stand or hand held mixer on medium speed. While mixing add the butter substitute a bit at a time mixing until the crumble looks like that last time you go home from a beach day. Set aside for later sprinkling

3. Next beat the butter substitute, sugar, and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat the mixture for two minutes until it fluffs up.

4. In a smaller bowl mix together the flour (don’t forget to sift), baking powder, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients, the egg replacer, milk alternative, and vinegar. Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and after each addition beat for 10 seconds or so. Don’t forget to continually scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything gets mixed well. After all ingredients are added beat for 30 more seconds.

5. Spread the cake mixture into the prepared baking tin and sprinkle on the crumble topping evenly. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with the icing sugar and invite over guests, you shouldn’t eat this whole tray alone!

Kitchen Cabinet and Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares


Today was a whirlwind, and it started with Brunch in Berkeley at Rick and Anne’s.  I got the tofu curry scramble vegan style, and it was perfect greasy brunch food.

We then went down to the apple store to get Brendon’s fixed mac mini he has been waiting to repair for a long time.  We ended up in a Crate and Barrel Outlet store where we came across this in the clearance section:


We left the store without purchasing this perfect cabinet over $400 off. We are both regretting this decision now and are waiting for tomorrow to hustle back and hope it is still there. The kitchen has almost no storage and my kitchen things as of right now are in droves on the floor.

Even with no space and my hard to find spices, flours, etc I still managed to make some peanut butter squares. One of the easiest recipes, especially if you have a stand mixer! I adapted this recipe from The Conscious Cook, and it is very delicious indeed. The recipe also makes a berry sorbet for pairing…but I barely have enough room/ time to make the squares! ENJOY


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (Vegan)

1 1/4 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup all-natural chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup Earth Balance
pinch of salt
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup almond milk (or soy/ other nut milks- not rice)
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (I use Guittard)

Pre heat oven to 350 F and grease a 9×9 (or 10×10) cake pan and set aside. In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, peanut butter, Earth Balance and salt. Work the mixture with your figures until it is fluffy crumbs. Don’t over work. Set aside, removing 1/4 of the mixture in another bowl reserved for topping the cake. In another bowl whisk the flax seeds with water until frothy, then add soy milk, vanilla extract, baking powder, and baking soda. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and fold until combined, not over working. Add half the chocolate chips and combine. Top the cake with the reserve crumble and the remaining chocolate chips. Bake for 30 min.


More to Come.