Thursday, November 14, 2013

My First Guest Blogger Rachel Chambers!

I have known Rachel for like, geez, 10 years? She is an amazing person, a hopless romantic, with the biggest heart, and she is so beautiful, but foremost she is an excellent cook. I adore her in every way and was so excited when she agreed to guest blog for me!

From Rachel:
I love to cook, and I love my sweet friend Vanessa almost as much Her quest for healthy eating and the vegan lifestyle is a choice that I wholeheartedly support! I love creating new, delicious dishes that fit into her diet. I am a firm believer that vegans and vegetarians can be as satisfied, if not more so in the healthy food choices that they make; fall treats are no exception! Having been a vegetarian for a number of months, I know how hard it can be to BAKE as a vegan. The use of eggs, milk, and other crucial ingredients, makes it hard to come up with a perfect product. Cooking is different, because it's about preference, not science. But baking is all about the science. Leavening and texture cannot be compromised. And there is a challenge of changing age old recipes into something delicious and animal product free. I love butter, I love farm fresh eggs, I love the textures that they create. But, for my love of Vanessa and her appreciation for my food, I set aside my favorite ingredients to create this delish crumb cake! It was a winner from my first go! Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Crumb Cake with Pecan Streusel Time: 1 hour 10 minutes. Pecan Streusel: 1/4 cup all purpose flour 3 Tablespoon brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1 Tablespoon coconut oil 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans Cake: 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree 3/4 cup almond milk 3/4 cup coconut oil 1 1/2 cup sugar in the raw 3 Tablespoon maple syrup 2 teaspoon vanilla 2 2/3 cup all purpose flour 1 Tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/8 teaspoon cloves Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an flour an 12 inch round cake pan. For the streusel: In a small bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, and spices. Drizzle in the oil and mix with your fingertips until crumbs form. Add the chopped pecans and mix. For the cake: Combine the pumpkin, milk, oil, sugar, syrup, and vanilla. Mix well. Add half the flour, the baking powder, salt, and the spices. Use a fork to fold everything together. Add the remaining flour and mix gently until combined. Don't use a hand mixer for this, as pumpkin can get gummy if it's mixed too aggressively. Fork blending maintains texture. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Scatter the streusel on top as evenly as possible. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a knife inserted through the center comes out clean.

And she is correct! It was just so frickin good. It is definitely a must cook!

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