Celebration Food

Virtual Vegan Potluck – Spooky Vegan Macadamia Nut Brie en Croute

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck and my final Vegan MOFO post!

What a special night! It’s still Halloween on this side of the hemisphere and Vegan Zombies are everywhere on the loose counting down to World Vegan Day. Watch out, they’re coming to eat your brains grains. To save my pantry from a full on zombie invasion, I baked you them up this special ooey-gooey-spooky treat!

Macadamia Nut Brie en Croute

You will need to make these three recipes for this appetizer. You will also need a sheet of vegan puff pastry (if you are really awesome, make your own).

Macadamia Nut Brie

Inspired by a Vegan Brie in The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions

  • 1 C. macadamia nuts, soaked 4-8 hours in cold water, then drained and rinsed. Last time I made this I used 1/2  Macadamias and  1/2 cashews and I liked it even better
  • 1 C. boiling water
  • 2 T. Tapioca Flour (optional, makes for a firmer brie)
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1 T. yellow miso
  • 2 T. tahini
  • 1 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 2 T. Earth Balance or other vegan buttery spread
  • 1/2 package Pomona’s Pectin (only this brand of pectin will work in this recipe)

Method: Lightly oil a small round dish (I used a glass tupperware), set aside. Measure out half of the dry pectin, about 4.5 teaspoons. Combine calcium packet from pectin box with 1/2 C. water (not listed in ingredients above) in a small lidded jar and shake til thoroughly combined. Blend all ingredients except pectin and calcium water in your turbo blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add dry pectin and half (1/4 C.) of the calcium water and pulse until all combined and thick. Immediately scrape hot brie out into the small round prepared dish. Refrigerate for a couple hours, turn out on to a plate, brie will be slightly soft (as brie is) but ready to use in this recipe.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 package fresh cranberries (I used ocean spray)
  • 2/3 C. pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 C. apple cider
  • 1/4 t. crushed thyme
  • 1/4 t. sea salt

Method: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into glass jar. Let cool and refrigerate until ready for use (this will keep up to a month in the fridge and longer in the freezer and leftovers can easily be saved for the holidays).

Savory Oven Crackers

inspired by this favorite cracker recipe

  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C. sesame seeds (I used black)
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 T. cold water
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 t. veggie salt or sea salt

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Process all ingredients but water til combined in your food processor. Add half the water, then add a water a tablespoon at a time (you may not need it all) while pulsing until a round ball of dough forms. Put dough on a sheet of parchment paper and roll out until PAPER thin (or as thin as you can possibly roll them out). Brush surface with water and sprinkle with a bit more sea salt or veggie salt. Cut into squares with a pizza wheel. Bake for on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes, then remove crackers from parchment paper and bake an additional few minutes  on the tray until golden.

Assemble the Brie en Croute: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out puff pastry a bit. (I reused the parchment paper I cooked the crackers on for this task) Spoon 1/2 C. Maple Cranberry Sauce into the center.

Top with Macadamia Nut Brie (smooth side touching the cranberry sauce). Leaving a few inches all around, cut puff pastry into a round following the brie as a guide. Tuck edges up in a pinwheel fashion.

Turn right side up and decorate spookily  (or festively for upcoming Holidays) with remaining scraps if desired. My attempt at a spiderweb is a little lame, but whateves. I brushed my pastry with 1 T. water and 1 T. pure maple syrup to make it extra glossy.

Bake for 20 minutes until pastry is golden. I broiled mine for 3 minutes to get the pastry to a deeper golden color and it ended up being 2 minutes too long.

Feed to Fellow Potluckers Vegan Zombies on a tray with the savory oven crackers and a side of extra cranberry sauce.

Thanks to the lovely Annie at An Unrefined Vegan for creating this incredible event, it’s been a complete honor to work side by side with her for this round of the potluck. Another thanks to Lidia at Vegan Bloggers Unite for hosting the shindig. Big fat hugs to you both.

I’m off to scare off the last of the Tricker-Treaters with my Vegan Zombie get up! See you in a week or so. ;) Head back to check out Queens of the Wild Frontier if you haven’t all ready come from there. Continue on to The Soulicious Life to see what vittles they’ve cooked up! You can also use the cool navigation buttons below. Sometimes at a potluck there are some bad dishes and no-shows broken links along the way, if that happens and you get lost, please head back to Vegan Bloggers Unite to find the next blog on the list so that you can continue to feast your way through the potluck. This post has also been shared on the VVP Linky Potluck.

Vegan Aebleskivers

When I was a teenager, I visited Solvang California while on vacation with my family. We ate Aebleskivers at a restaurant there and we haven’t been able to stop eating them since. They have become a Holiday or special occasion breakfast tradition. They take a little practice to learn to make properly and in my previous omnivore life, I was quite the little aebleskiver maker.

Sadly, when I went plant-based, I thought that I would never eat another aebleskiver again. They rely on white flour, egg whites beaten stiff, melted butter and buttermilk for their fluffy tenderness. I thought they couldn’t be veganized. Thankfully, I thought wrong.

That darling restaurant in Solvang gave my mom their aebleskiver recipe. I’m terribly sorry that I  don’t know how to give them proper credit, It’s been too many years and a Google search reveals there are many little such restaurants in Solvang. I have a copy of it in my heavily abused used family cookbook, it just needed a little big modification ;) Note to self: these are a special treat, and because they use oil and earth balance, remember not to make them every day or Dr. Esselstyn won’t be your friend anymore.

Vegan Aebleskivers

  • 2 C. plain soymilk + 4 T. lemon juice, mixed and set aside (vegan buttermilk)
  • 2 C. whole wheat pastry flour OR 2 C. gluten free flour + 1/2 t. xanthan gum
  • 1  T. Ener-G egg replacer
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 4 T. Earth Balance natural buttery spread, melted
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • neutral vegetable oil of your choice for aebleskiver pan (I used safflower)

Method: preheat aebleskiver pan over medium heat before mixing all ingredients, if it’s not hot, your aebleskivers will be  a disaster. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients with a wire whisk (including the egg replacer, you do not need to mix it with water first). Add the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.  Put 1/2 t. vegetable oil in the bottom of each aebleskiver pan cup. Pour 2 T. (I use an 1/8 cup measuring cup) of batter into each cup.

After about 30-60 seconds, Turn the aebleskiver halfway out of the cup using a knitting needle, crochet hook or chopstick. The batter will pour out of the cooked portion and start to form a ball.

Cook 30-60 more seconds and turn another quarter turn. Cook 30-60 more seconds.

The final turn should have the cooked side facing entirely out and the batter forming the last bit of the ball in the bottom of the cup.

Place cooked aebleskivers in a warm oven to keep them crisp while cooking the next batch, you will need to add more oil to each cup in between batches to keep the batter from sticking. Split open and serve hot with a dab of earth balance (if you must) strawberry freezer jam and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Laugh at guests who ask for maple syrup.

Insane Chocolate Layer Cake

What would you do if you had cause to celebrate but you couldn’t just go out and buy any old cake? I mean I could have picked up a specialty vegan cake at City Cakes or Cake Walk, but I’ve tried their not-so-amazing cupcakes, so a 45 minute drive didn’t seem worthwhile for something I wouldn’t LOVE.

So instead, you make the awesomest plant-based cake. Ever.

Okay, well maybe it wasn’t really the best one ever, and this other cake probably wins the healthiest cake contest, but mine was pretty dang tasty.

Insane Chocolate Layer Cake:

This cake features a simple chocolate cake base, layered with chocolate cheezcake ganache, topped with coconut whipped creme and adorned with figs.

For the cakes: 3 C. whole wheat pastry flour (blend it again through your power blender to get it extra fine, I used extra finely ground kamut berries instead of wheat), 2 C. water, 1 C. unsweetened applesauce, 1 C. raw agave, 2/3 C. cocoa powder (I used raw cacao), 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt, 2 T. vanilla, 4 T. apple cider vinegar.

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil two 9 inch cake rounds, dust with cocoa powder. Set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl. Then combine water, vanilla and agave in another bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir til just combined. Add the 4 T. apple cider vinegar and stir until swirls start to form in the batter. Immediately pour batter into the cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes rest for 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely. This cake IS NOT made with buckets of white flour, white sugar and loads of fat, so it’s not very sweet or rich, so the batter may not taste like you think it ought too, but the finished product is delicious.

For the Chocolate Cheezcake Ganache: 1 1/4 C. raw cashews, 1/3 C. agave 1/4 t. salt, 1/2  C. dairy free dark chocolate chips, 1 T. lemon juice, 2 T. Cocoa Powder (I used raw cacao), 1 box lite silken firm tofu, 2 T. dry pectin (the kind you use for jam making), 1 C. boiling water.

Method: Place cashews in power blender, grind to a fine powder (if you don’t have a powder blender, soak the cashews for a few hours and skip this step), add agave, cocoa powder, lemon juice, chocolate chips, pectin and salt. Pour the boiling water over the other ingredients and blend until fully combined. Add the box of tofu and blend again. This mixture will be hot and will need to cool in the fridge for a few hours before using.

For the Coconut Whipped Creme: 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 3 hours.

Method: Open the can, pour off the liquid and save for use in a smoothie, scoop solidified coconut creme into a chilled bowl and whip with beaters or whisk until light and fluffy. See the Veggie Witch method here, I only used one can of coconut as opposed to her 2 cans and didn’t sweeten the creme.

Fresh Figs for decorating

Assembly: Slice the two cakes in half width-wise into layers using a long serrated knife. You will have 4 layers now. Put First layer on a plate or cake platter, spread 1/3 of the cheezcake ganache over the top of the cake. Carefully place the next cake layer on top of the ganache. Repeat until you reach the top cake layer, for the top of the cake, frost with the coconut whipped creme and adorn with sliced figs. This cake MUST be kept covered and refrigerated or the ganache will melt and start to slide everywhere (as it clearly did in my photo shoot).