Saturday I hit a couple of ethnic markets on Buford Highway in addition to my regular weekly visit to the DeKalb Farmers Market. A lot of this stuff you can get in the regular grocery store, but it’s much cheaper here. Plus there are random things that can be hard to find like a jar of mole with a screw top lid you can re-close. So here’s my haul from the Hispanic market: enchilada sauce, hominy, refried beans with chipotle, habeño sauce, ready to serve mole in a cool aseptic container, refried black beans, chipotle sauce, marinated cactus, mole with a screw top lid, a small jar of chipotle in adobo and a big stack of corn tortillas. Not pictured: butternut squash, shallots, onions, and a serrano. Next, Atlanta’s Farmers Market, which also has Hispanic goods, but I was headed there for the Asian stuff. Here I picked up a couple of different rice stick noodles and some bean threads, mock duck, coconut milk, rice seasoning, vegetarian steak, coconut cream, pepper corns (I’m pretty sure these are the things also known as Szechwan pepper corns) and fermented black beans. Not pictured: two different sizes/shapes of rice papers. Seems like I’m missing some items. I’m not gonna post the rest as it’s just normal rice milk, soy milk, apples, coffee, etc. I’m not sure why I bought all this stuff. I don’t have room for it. 🙂
Inside it’s cosy and vibrant. We were there pretty early, so I don’t know how loud it gets in there. It wasn’t an issue at all for us. Warm crispy chips & a nice red salsa arrived. We went ahead and got some guacamole as well. And margaritas. All of the above were excellent. Matt ordered carnitas (he’s not veg, der) and I got the tacos with one tvp and one tofu. He didn’t like his carnitas. Thought it was too tough and dry. My tacos were pretty good. The tvp was clearly made by a non-veg person. It tasted like they reconstituted the tvp in plain water then just kind of cooked it with some taco seasoning. So, they need to figure out that tvp needs to be soaked in something flavorful before cooking. The tofu was great though. If I remember right it had a light dusting of seasoned cornmeal and was fried. Pan-fried, I think. The rice seemed slightly mushy, but tasted good. The beans seemed slightly bland at first but I found that I appreciated them more as I ate them, so I think they were fine. There are more vegan options on the menu, so I’m all for going back and checking out something else.
So today was the bake-off at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. I’m not one to develop my own recipes, but for the fun of it thought I’d go ahead and enter something. Since my last doughnut experience was good, I thought I’d work out the mini doughnut pan and try to see if I could come up with chocolate doughnuts. But I’m always looking for an excuse to mix chilies and chocolate, so I thought Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts!
My mini doughnut pan came with a chocolate doughnut recipe so I started with that, subbed the animal bits and tossed in some cinnamon. For the ganache, I used the recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and tossed in some chili powder. I felt like the doughnuts were a little bit denser, heavier than I would like. I think next time I try them I will half the egg replacer and try something else like maybe souring the soy milk with vinegar. But no matter what I thought, the little guys won Most Creative Recipe! Yay! I got a medal and an apron and a cook book as prizes. Yipee! I was really surprised, but after I tasted the other entries I was even more surprised. There were no “losers” there. Everything was super nummy. Hooray for vegans!
Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts
1 ½ cups flour
⅓ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons EnergE Egg Replacer, whisked with 4 tablespoons of warm water
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup plain soymilk
2 tablespoons Earth Balance, melted
⅛ cup soy milk
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon chili powder (ground chilies, not the spice mix)
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Lightly spray mini doughnut pan with cooking spray. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix egg replacer mixture, sugar, vanilla, soy milk and Earth Balance until well mixed. Add flour mixture to wet mixture a little at a time until mixed. Fill each doughnut mold about 2/3 full. You may need to spread with your finger to even out. Bake for 8 minutes. If you’re using a full sized doughnut pan you will need to bake longer. Cool slightly. Remove carefully and continue cooling on a rack.
When doughnuts are cool, make Chili Chocolate Ganache. Bring soy milk to a boil in a small pan. Remove from heat and add chili powder, chocolate and maple syrup. Mix with a spatula until melted and smooth. Drizzle over tops of doughnuts with a spoon.