Birthday Cake Donuts

A few weeks ago it was our friend Clare’s birthday; it had been far too long since I’d busted out the donut pan – so birthday cake donuts it was!

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Birthday Cake Donuts

adapted from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients:

For the Donuts…

  • One box Funfetti or Confetti Cake Mix
  • 3/4 c buttermilk (I used 3/4 c almond milk & 1 T lemon juice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T melted coconut spread (butter substitute made by Earth Balance)

For the glaze…

  • 1/4 c almond milk
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…

  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 T almond milk (plus more if needed – add by T)
  • sprinkles (definitely not optional)

Pre-heat oven to 425. Add 1 T lemon juice to 3/4 c almond milk if you are subbing for buttermilk. Mix all ingredients together (use a mixer if you are rich) and put into ziploc bag or piping bag. Cut off corner. Pip into your donut pan. Don’t over fill! A little over 1/2 full is perfect… otherwise you will end up with duffins (donut-muffins) like I did. Bake 7-9 minutes, just until browned. Place on cooling rack. Make 2nd batch… recipe should make 12 donuts or so.

For the glaze, combine ingredients in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Coat your donuts in glaze while the pan is still on low heat… place glazed donuts back on cooling rack. (Optional: perform taste test on semi-cooled glazed donuts)

For the frosting, mix together sugar and almond milk until smooth. Spread 1 t of frosting on cooled glazed-donuts, top with sprinkles. (Not optional: eat at least 2 more and complain of stomach pains for the rest of the night)

*For more technical instructions and tutorial, please see linked post. I know you don’t expect such from me.

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My batch yielded more than a dozen but I don’t want to make you any promises. This was a win-win situation because I was still able to bring a dozen to the party, eat a few for quality control purposes, and have one the day after the party to perform freshness measures (I do it for you, blog friends).

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Vegan Lentil Pâté

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If you’ve had pâté before, the animal kind, and enjoyed it – then you will most likely be a fan of this vegan version. As you may know if you eat lentils, they almost mimic meat in that they are protein rich and super filling. While the flavors in this create a pâté that is unique, it is remarkably reminiscent of it’s animal-based counterparts.

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If you’re skeptical, I don’t blame you. There are a bunch of less common, perhaps even intimidating, ingredients in this recipe. Finding Umeboshi paste (plum paste) took a trip to the local Asian Supermarket where I could not find it, a trip to my local health food store where it was too expensive for my wallet and finally a trip to Whole Foods where I splurged on it because I had a gift certificate. The Mirin (sweet cooking sauce) and Miso I picked up at the Asian Supermarket for quite a bit less than the regular supermarket/health food store. The French lentils I picked up in the bulk bins at Whole Foods and they were even cheaper at my local health food store. So all in all, it’s not a cheap dish but you’ll only be using a bit of the more expensive ingredients so you can make it many times (and I suspect after one taste you will want to) over.

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If it’s the actual idea that this is pâté that makes you reluctant, perhaps you are vegan, don’t let that deter you. It doesn’t taste “meaty” by any means, it is reminiscent of pâté in that it has great depth of flavors.

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Vegan Lentil Pâté

from Bojon Gourmet

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c dried green lentils (sometimes called “French lentils”)
  • 3 c water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 med yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 T Mirin
  • 1 1/4 c walnuts (I used a combination of walnuts, pecans and cashews – what I had on hand), toasted in oven at 350 for 10 minutes and cooled
  • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 T miso (I used the yellow/brown variety)
  • 1 1/2 T Umeboshi paste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Add water, lentils and bay leaf to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then cover partially and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally to ensure lentils don’t stick to bottom of pan. When lentils are done, drain and allow to cool completely. I suggest putting them in the refrigerator, spread on a plate, to speed up the process.

While lentils are cooking, add 2 T olive oil to another pan heated over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the Mirin and remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely, I put mine in the refrigerator to speed this up.

Add the toasted and cooled nuts to the food processor and process until they have become the consistency of nut butter. Add the lentils and onion-garlic mixture and process until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Drizzle with olive oil and additional fresh herbs for serving. I served mine with a baguette cut into thin slices.

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