I am still testing my new oven: an LG convection with a radiant cooktop. I didn’t think I’d like radiant cooking as I prefer the responsiveness of gas and induction, but I have been pleasantly surprised by this cooktop. The win, though, is the convection oven, which is excellent. The auto reduce temperature function reduces the selected temperature by 25 degrees, so when I key in 350°F, the oven sets at 325°F. I am finding that the buzzer that alerts me when the oven temperature is reached gives a false reading. This is not unusual, so I keep an oven thermometer in my oven, and you should, too. The baking time was not reduced much, if at all, which surprised me, but the baked goods are beautifully baked.
Now that said, here’s the reason for this blog post. I made Gluten-Free Brownie Bites a few days ago to take to a potluck for the Philadelphia Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier. Chef Kathy Gold, founder and director of In the Kitchen Cooking School had invited me to the potluck when she learned I was moving to Philadelphia, and Charlene Nolan, a long time friend who was going, drove me to the event which was held at the New Liberty Distillery. Char, a Rouxbe certified plant-based professional chef, is connected to literally everyone in the area and beyond. Char is staff writer for The Town Dish and among her clients are the esteemed whole foods plant based health advocates Jane and Ann Esselstyn.
But, back to the kitchen where my Brownie Bites baked beautifully, as you can see. I decided to make another batch but with whole wheat pastry flour and AP Flour. Instead of following my “Fran’s Rule for Testing Recipes,” which states: Cut the recipe in half or quarter it, I baked a full pan of 24 minis. I adjusted the batter and put the filed pan into the oven. These cakes looked good, but did not release from the pan, as do the Gluten-Free Bites. Maybe it was the batter, and maybe I didn’t oil the pan well. I was not paying much attention. Bad teacher.
The cakes tasted delicious th0ugh, so. I cooled what I got out of the pan and saved the crumb, too. I froze the cakes, warmed the ganache that I had in my freezer, and took out some toasted coconut and sprinkles.
I could have made Cake Balls, I but wanted to see what I could do with my “lumpy’ cakes. And I tell you, this fix worked so well! Coincidently, the dryer repairman was here today (again), and we’ve become friends. He saw my book Vegan Chocolate this time, and told me one of his best friends is a vegan YouTube sensation. I will check her out and get back to you. It seems virtually everyone who has come into this apartment to help, fix, or assemble has had a vegan connection. Daryl is not vegan, so I could tell he was not keen on tasting the cake I offered. He said, “This is vegan?” I said, “Just take a bite.” The look on his face was priceless. “But it is so rich, moist, too, and delicious. What do you use?” You know my answer: real ingredients.
So here are the cakes. All of them were coated with ganache and before the ganache set, I added to some fat crumbs, toasted coconut, or sprinkles. The sizes of the cakes vary, so these were done home style, but they were nice. When you have a baking mishap like I did, don’t throw your mistakes away! Instead, ask yourself, “Can this dessert be saved?”
Don’t miss my next Rouxbe Live Event, Can this Dessert be Saved? on July 25th at 1:00pm Pacific Time. The next Esssential Vegan Desserts Course starts August 15, 2017! See the syllabus, FAQ, recipes and videos here: http://tinyurl.com/RouxbeVeganPastry