Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vegan By Design: Short on Time

Hi there! Long time no blog. It’s been an eventful week or so, with lots to celebrate and lots of occasions for baking. There was Rachel’s graduation from Drisha (which involved a crapton of baking, more on that later) and my friend Brianna’s graduation from Columbia (which involved less “baking” and more “eating half a tube of Pillsbury’s cookie dough while watching The Devil Wears Prada”). But today I am going to talk about my officemate, Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn is very cool. She is unfailingly pleasant to be around, she works harder than anyone in the office, and she always has nice clothes. She is also a vegan, which means that she rarely gets to enjoy Baked Goods Fridays. Once I made vegan cookies. It was a huge deal. It was that ridiculous (but wonderful) chocolate chip cookie brittle from Kosher by Design: Short on Time that only has four ingredients. I for one was impressed that it only took six months of me working with Kaitlyn for me to finally make something vegan. [Sarcasm.] But with her birthday coming up, I thought I should make something that was actually vegan on purpose. 

So when I came across this vegan chocolate peanut tart on Couldn’t Be Parve, I knew it was destiny! Chocolate and peanut butter just happens to be Kaitlyn’s favorite combination. Score. I bought a jar of coconut oil, a carton of coconut milk, and a couple of bars of vegan chocolate and got to work. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen coconut oil. We had a big tub of it in my apartment in college because one of our summer subletters had been a vegan and vegans use it a lot. When I saw it, I thought that it had somehow gone rancid, because it was so much more viscous than any other oil I had ever seen. Turns out that’s how it’s supposed to look, phew. But I guess unsurprisingly for an oil-based dough, the crust was very…oily. This is kind of exactly the opposite of what you want in a tart crust, and while the final baked product was not greasy, it was a little tough on the bottom. Meanwhile, the top of the sides melted off during the baking. On the flipside, the dough was incredibly easy to manipulate, and putting it in the tart pan (a process that typically takes me a good 15 or 20 minutes) was the work of mere moments. 

The ganache was easy-peasy, and quite tasty. It didn’t suffer at all from not having cream; in fact, considering the richness of the chocolate-peanut butter combo, I think it may have been a blessing. 

Like most ganache tarts, this is also a really good to make if you’re in a hurry. Well, I guess not that much of a hurry, since you have to bake the crust and wait for it to cool and then wait for the ganache to set. But the component parts all come together very quickly. The recipe for the ganache can be found here, and the recipe for the crust can be found here. And a very happy (belated) birthday to Kaitlyn! 

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