Cherry Chocolate Guinness Bread

Last weekend, I was unexpectedly craving fresh cherries. I am not that big of a cherry fan, so who knows. At any rate, I put cherries in my Imperfect Foods order. Then I forgot I did that and put them in my Instacart order. It was a whole bunch of cherries.

So, I started looking for bread to make – of course I did. And then I happened across a recipe for Chocolate Cherry Porter Bread on Connoisseurus Veg. And that seamed perfect as a starting point. I made adjustments here and there, because I do that.

I made this recipe in loaf pans, so I have been calling it bread, but it’s definitely closer to cake – in the same way that banana bread is more like cake. My bread didn’t come out 100% the way that I wanted, so I’ve made some adjustments here that should make it even better! Because my ganache went south, I ended up with a LOT of ganache and made it into a thicker layer rather than a glaze. But the recipe here is for a ganache drizzle. This recipe makes enough for two loaves.

Ingredients

For the Bread

  • 511g flour
  • 400g sugar
  • 95g cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 11.2 oz. bottles Guinness 
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine melted
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 575g fresh cherries pitted and halved

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 185g vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk or creamer

Process

Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease or spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add porter, margarine and vanilla. Stir just until blended.
  5. Fold in cherries.
  6. Pour into loaf pan.
  7. Bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Ganache Drizzle

  1. Place the ingredients in a glass or metal bowl.
  2. Fill a saucepan (that the bowl will fit in) with about an inch of water.
  3. Bring to a boil and then lower the bowl into the water.
  4. As chocolate begins to melt, start whisking and continue until everything is incorporated and smooth.
  5. Drizzle over cooled loaves.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies – Vegan!

Baked cookies

Simple cookie recipe for vegan chewy-on-the-inside cookies! With oats and no eggs or dairy, you can even pretend they are good for you.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegan butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp soy or oat milk
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ to ⅔ cups chocolate chips
  • ½ cups walnuts chopped (optional)

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Cream the vegan butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup with a blender.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, coconut, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients, either by hand or softly with a dough hook until the mixture is crumbly then mix in the soy milk.
  5. At that point, it should be wet enough that you can pick up a small handful and squish and pat it into a ball and then slightly flatten into a patty. If you can’t make it hold together at all, add a bit more soy milk.
  6. Place the cookies onto a baking stone or parchment lined pan.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are firm and the tops slightly browned. Don’t overcook – they will get firm as they cool!
  8. Allow to cool for a 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Vegan Baklava, Oh Yeah!

IMG_0750I started with a recipe from  CrandleCakes and made slight adjustments, but not much!

IngredientsIMG_0742
1 T cinnamon
6 oz each- pistachios, walnuts, pecans
⅔ cup raw sugar
1 pound (1 package) thawed phyllo dough
4 oz. coconut oil (if you don’t  like coconut oil, use all margarine)
4 oz. vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
2 cups agave
1 cup water
¼ cup orange juice
1 t lemon juice

Process

If your phyllo is frozen (it probably is), thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then set it out for an hour or so before you use it. Don’t thaw on the counter!

Open the dough and unroll. Trim it to fit in your pan size. It will be around a 13×9, but I found myself trimming about ½ inch length and width. DD used the extra to make a separate mini baklava.

In a food processor or mixer, chop together cinnamon, nuts, and sugar until the pieces are the size you want them. This took about 15 seconds in the Vitamix, but will depend on your appliance. A little more fine will make a more dense pastry.

Put margarine and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and heat until just melted.

Use a pastry brush or new painting brush to apply a layer of the melted margarine. Lay down a sheet of phyllo. Repeat 9 times (total of 10 layers). Curse and wonder why you started this.

Sprinkle around ⅓ of the nut mixture over the dough.

Add six more layers of phyllo and margarine, then ⅓ of the nuts, then six more, then ⅓ of the nuts.

Finally, do 10 more layers of the phyllo and margarine. You’ll probably be sweaty and oily by now.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350*. Leave the oven on.

Remove from oven and slice into squares or diamonds or whatever. I meant to do diamonds until I realized it was hard to slice and decided squares were great!

Bake for 30 minutes at 350*. Yep again.

While it’s baking, combine agave, water, orange juice, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off to cool.

Remove baklava and allow both that and the syrup to cool for 30 minutes or so. Recut if needed. Drizzle with about ¾ of the syrup (I actually just put it all on, but if you want to save some for serving).

Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours before serving.

Optional: Drizzle slices with more syrup right before you serve.