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What better way to start off the first snow day of the year than with wonderfully tasty, baked doughnuts…
I had made a batch of baked doughnuts last weekend in honor of my birthday and found myself struck with doughnut fever. All the glaze possibilities – yum! I was looking for any excuse to make another batch and fresh snow seemed good enough for me. Since I don’t have a doughnut pan, my birthday doughnuts were made using heart-shaped molds, and I was told that my next batch would taste even better if they actually looked more like doughnuts, so I went on the hunt for a baked doughnut recipe that wouldn’t require a doughnut pan. Enter Vegan Verve’s baked vegan doughnuts recipe. The original recipe uses AP flour, but I wanted to try using whole wheat. Vegan Verve recommended I use white whole wheat flour (to aid with the rise of the dough) and add wheat gluten into the dry mix. In addition to making some adjustments to the ingredients and method, I halved the original recipe. I don’t know how my recipe compares to the original, but I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Definitely be sure to give Vegan Verve’s original recipe a try. You can check out my alterations (and glaze recipes) after the jump.
The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.
Thank you Lauren for a great first challenge!
The challenge had two parts, the first part of the challenge was to bake homemade graham crackers. We were encouraged to make them gluten-free, but were allowed to use an optional whole wheat version as well. I went with the whole wheat since that is what I had already on hand.
The second part of the challenge was an ode to Canada with a recipe for Nanaimo Bars (pronounced Nah-nye-Moh). Nanaimo Bars are a classic dessert in Canada and a great way to usher in the start of the winter games in Canada. We used the graham crackers from the first part of the challenge in the bottom layer of the Nanaimo Bars.
As you can see, the bars have 3 layers: the base (which contains graham crackers, cocoa, coconut and nuts), the middle custard layer, and a topping of chocolate. I opted to use the vegan version of the recipe with a few substitutions. Since I can’t eat chocolate I subbed carob in its place. The carob seemed to work fine except for when it came to making the top layer. The carob was very brittle after it hardened and cracked quite a bit when cutting the bars. I also am not particularly fond of coconut so I subbed an equal amount of oats in the bottom layer.
I have to admit when I first saw the challenge I was really intimidated at the thought of creating this multi-step, multi-layer bar, but it actually came together quite easily and I was really pleased with the end results. If you have never had the privilege of trying a Nanaimo Bar you should really give the recipe a shot – they are ridiculously rich and decadent, but oh-so very good. So good in fact that I wanted to try my hand at a second batch. This time though, I was looking for a bit of a healthier version of the Canadian treat.
It may not be much to look at, but overall I was very pleased with my results. They were not as sweet as the originals (which was ok by me), but still just as delicious – if not more so! The major changes in my second batch was to sub the margarine in the bottom layer with equal parts pureed raisins and create a banana custard for the middle layer based on the pastry cream recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking. Since the top layer alluded me the first try, I decided to play around with a carob “frosting” recipe, but it still didn’t have the consistency that I was hoping for. The recipes I used, with my notes, are after the jump. To read more about the challenge and see the other recipes available you can head over to The Daring Kitchen website.