Food Blog Battle: Veggie Girl
It’s time for another Food Blog Battle and this time I’m taking on the very healthy Veggie Girl. Be sure to check out her creation on her site. We picked the ingredients and decided to try a Vegan style challenge where both dishes had to be completely meat and dairy free.
I’m always up for a good challenge and this was a tough one. I mean she clearly has a pretty large advantage on me as I’ve never purposefully tried to make a vegan dish although sometimes I make one by accident I’m sure.
To make things even more difficult, these were are chosen ingredients: Fruit preserves and raisins!
Honestly, I’m not sure what I would’ve done even if I could’ve used meat and/or dairy. I poured over recipes for days trying to think of something that would work with both of these things and satisfy the Vegan deal. I decided to use an Apricot preserve that I had left over from my very non-vegan calzones. No real reason other than it was in my pantry.
This is the approximate thought process that eventually got me to my recipe:
“I want to make something good. Something with apricot and raisins. Maybe I could make a sauce? And put it on what? Salad? Gross. Tofu? Ugh. Veggies? That wouldn’t be filling enough. Yes. Filling. I want something filling. Something filled with apricots and raisins. Ok. I’m really on a roll now. Wait. Roll. I can make a roll. A roll with filling. But my filling would be a jelly. A JELLY ROLL. Kick ass.”
And the dessert was born:
1) With a hand mixer, combine the banana and tofu until fairly smooth then mix in sugar and vanilla.
2) In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix them together. Then the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
3) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the batter onto the sheet and spread it out to form a thin layer.
4) Bake this at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. You don’t want the cake to be crisp at all.
5) Sprinkle a large kitchen towel liberally with powdered sugar.
6) Loosen the edges of the cake on parchment paper and flip it over on the towel. Peel away parchment and dust cake with more powdered sugar.
7) Carefully roll the towel up the cake cools in rolled shape. Let this cool completely.
8) Stir together raisins and preserves with the juice from half a lemon.
9) Unroll cooled roll, spread on preserve mixture, and re-roll the roll.
10) Slice the roll into serving sizes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
I had two huge problems right away: 1) I’ve never made a jelly roll. I knew they have eggs in them though. 2) I’ve never substituted anything for eggs or baked anything Vegan at all.
I did some research and found this eggless baking guide. I decided to do a mix of two different substitutions and use some banana and some silken tofu in place of eggs. Why? I have no idea. I’ve never done this before. It just felt right okay?
With a hand mixer, I combined my banana and tofu until they were fairly smooth and then added my sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, I sifted together my flour, baking powder and salt. Then I mixed them all together.
To make the roll you need to make a very thin layer of cake that is moist and flexible. The last thing you want to do is overcook this batter.
I got a large baking sheet and lined it with parchment paper. Then poured the batter and spread it out to form a thin layer. At this point, I figured I had about a 10% chance of success with this.
Bake that for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. You might need up to 10 minutes, but definitely start checking it early. You don’t want the cake to crisp up at all.
Meanwhile, get a large kitchen towel and sprinkle it with powdered sugar. By sprinkle, I mean cover.
When the cake comes out of the oven, loosen the edges around the parchment paper, take a deep breath, and flip the parchment paper over onto the towel! If you have any kitchen karma points stocked up, now would be a good time to cash them in.
Peel back the parchment paper and dust your cake with more powdered sugar. If you are lucky, you might see this:
Start on one of the shorter ends and roll the cake up with the towel! Basically, the dish towel is acting as the jelly while the cake cools. Set the entire towel deal on a rack to cool.
As this was cooling, I decided to focus on the jelly filling. While I could just mix together the preserves and the raisins, I thought I would kick things up a notch with some of this Vegan ingredient:
I soaked the raisins in about 1/4 Cup of whiskey for 20 minutes or so. Stirring every few minutes. I probably used 1/2 Cup of raisins.
Then I added the whiskey and raisins to about 2/3 Cups of preserves. Yes. This makes this dessert alcoholic. At this point I figured it would give the dessert some kick and also someone would probably need to be drunk to try it anyway…
When your roll is completely cool, you can unroll it, spread your filling on and roll it back up! That part is super-easy.
Once it is rolled up, sprinkle it with a good dusting of powdered sugar and you are all set!
This turned out much better than I thought it was going to turn out.
A few honest assessments on this recipe:
1) The cake part wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t quite as fluffy as if I had used eggs I think , but it was still decent. It tasted like bananas and you couldn’t taste the tofu at all.
2) The filling was super sweet. If I were to for some reason make this again, I would add probably 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice to cut the sweetness.
3) The entire time I was making this, I was singing the Coolio classic, “Rollin’ with the Homies.”
Check out Veggie Girl’s dish and don’t forget to vote for your favorite! Voting closes on Sunday at 9AM EST.