Cookies and Ice Cream

Of course ice cream can be vegan (while being super simple and cheap)! A lot of the vegan ice creams I have seen in stores have been quite expensive, usually using tofu or coconut as the “cream”. I have found a very simple recipe from following Vegucated on Facebook, and lately they have been posting a lot of recipes for vegan ice cream, including this site. I plan on trying some of these recipes out, as I have heard coconut ice cream is fantastic. But, for now, here is a recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

Ingredients
2 bananas
1 tbsp peanut butter (I use soy nut butter because of my allergy)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

A few hours before I wanted to eat the ice cream, I pealed the bananas and put them in the freezer. Once the bananas were frozen, I placed all the ingredients in a food processor and blended until really smooth. I scooped the ice cream into a container and froze it for about an hour, until the ice cream was scoopable. TaDa!

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A few weeks ago I made vegan cookies that went really well with this ice cream, but were also great on their own. Here is a recipe for Chocolate Cherry Pecan Cookies, from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton.

Ingredients
1 cup cake and pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed pecans
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup oil (I used grape seed oil)
1/4 cup dried cherries

I combined all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then stirred in the chocolate chips and pecans. In a separate bowl I mixed together the maple syrup, extracts, oil, and cherries, then added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Then, I scooped the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, making about 12 cookies, and flattened each cookie slightly. The cookies were baked for 11 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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So here is a cookies and ice cream combo that is delicious, nutritious, and simple. While the cookies are definitely less “healthy” than the ice cream, they sure add a yummy crunch to this cream-less ice cream.

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Tomato Cake Experiment

Over the summer I read a lot of articles in the Globe and Mail’s Food section, and one day I came across an article claiming that tomatoes are delicious in desserts. Ever since, I have been curious about how a tomato cake would taste, and today at work I had time to bake something new. January is a bit of a slow month for bakeries, and at  Life of Pie we have the opportunity to explore with recipes if we have time. I found the recipe for tomato cake from from cdkitchen.com 

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Ingredients

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons shortening

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 can tomato soup

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1 cup raisins

1 cup nuts (I used chopped pecans)

Cream together the sugar, shortening, eggs, baking powder, and flour. Mix baking soda with tomato soup and add to mixture. Mix in spices, raisins and nuts. Pour into a square baking tray and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. My cake was done in 15 minutes, probably because I used a large baking pan.

I iced the cake with a brown sugar icing. I mixed 3 tablespoons of milk, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 1/2 cups icing sugar. Ice the cake when it has cooled down, and cut into squares.

In all, the cake tasted good. The tomato soup made it quite moist, and the flavours went well together. To be honest though, I think I had built it up in my mind and was expecting something ridiculously delicious. This recipe uses a can of tomato soup, so perhaps the outcome would be different using fresh tomatoes. I also think the cake could have used some salt – when cooking, my stepdad always tells me how much tomatoes need salt – and I was surprised that the recipe I found did not call for any. The cake was a teensy bit bland, and perhaps a 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt is all it would have needed to have more flavour. I also would have liked the cake better without raisins.

The verdict: this will not be the last time I bake with tomatoes – there is a lot more exploring to be done! Perhaps next, some tomato ice cream? In the mean time, if you happen to be in Ottawa and happen to be near old Ottawa south, stop by Life of Pie for a slice of tomato cake!