Thursday, October 30, 2008

VeganMoFo: Better than Sex in Mamaw's Kitchen

I know the title has you all excited, but I'll address that a bit later. As a kid, trips to grandma's house were a guarantee of something mouthwatering on the dinner table. Both of my grandmothers are whizzes in the kitchen, but today I'll focus on my maternal grandmother's cooking. This post is dedicated to my mamaw; even though she isn't able to cook in her own kitchen anymore, her recipes are still bringing smiles to the faces of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren!

Mamaw's bread was a treat that all of the grandkids looked forward to each and every visit. It is especially good straight out of the oven and slathered in Earth Balance. My mom veganized and healthified mamaw's recipe by substituting Earth Balance and soymilk, replacing part of the flour with whole wheat, and adding ground flax. Last night was the first time I actually made the bread myself!
As much as I loved mamaw's bread, I equally loathed another one of her dishes that frequently ended up on our table at home; chicken spaghetti. My youthful palette was not one that could handle onions and green pepper, and I could never understand why one would eat spaghetti that way. In hopes that my palette has matured, I decided to give a veganized version of this a shot. This dish is a casserole consisting of sauteed green pepper and onions, lightlife chikn strips, homemade mushroom sauce, and stewed tomatoes; baked with whole wheat spaghetti noodles.
One thing you could always count on was that mamaw would have a mouthwatering dessert for us. From strawberry kisses to mounds bars and fudge to bunny cakes, it was always enough to send all the grandkids squealing to the table for dessert. A few years ago, my mom put together a book of recipes for mamaw to send us all as Christmas presents. And I'm not lyin', 80% of the recipes were dessert! I was a bit surprised when flipping through the pages and I came across a familiar dessert with an unfamiliar name... that's right, "better than sex". Now I know I've never heard my southern Baptist mamaw use that name for this dessert. Oh, how sheltered we were back in the 80's and early 90's. Well, I am sheltering you no more from this fabulous, easy to whip up treat.
Better than Sex - veganized from Mamaw's Kitchen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pecans, ground
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
1 recipe of your favorite chocolate pudding (I used Julie's from the Everyday Dish DVD), chilled
4 oz. Tofutti cream cheese, softened
2 T Earth Balance, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 - 4 T soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
whipped cream (optional, I used soyatoo)
dark chocolate shavings (optional)

To make the crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the melted Earth Balance, ground pecans, and flour in an 8x8 pyrex dish. Mix well and press down into the pan.
3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.

To make the filling:
1. Combine cream cheese and Earth Balance in a bowl and cream together with a hand mixer until well combined.
2. Add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated.
3. Add the vanilla and enough soymilk (start with 2 T) to reach a thick pudding consistency.

To put it all together:
1. Spread the cream cheese filling on top of the cooled crust. Smooth top.
2. Carefully spread the chocolate pudding on top. I like to drop dallops of pudding all around before spreading so there is minimal mixing between layers.
3. Since soyatoo is pretty unstable, wait until you are ready to serve the dessert to top it with whipped cream.
4. Finish with grated dark chocolate on top.

I'll leave the decision as to whether or not this dessert actually is "better than sex" up to you...

34 comments:

Virginia said...

i have heard of a "better than sex" cake but didnt really know what it was. it looks amazingly sinfully GOOD!!!! i gotta try that!

pixiepine said...

Cute cute cute! That's great that you have a family cookbook.

VeggieGirl said...

Look at that cake!!! Orgasmic, indeed ;0)

For the Love of Guava said...

mmm... what a great idea... I have to get all my recipes in order and should bug the parental units to write some of there's down so I can work on veganizing them... and... and you won't hear me say this very often... but I think that cake just might be better than sex! YUM! :)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I once made a bourbon pecan pie that claimed to be better than sex (from How it all Vegan). It WAS quite delicious... but your cake looks even better!

smalazzo-miller said...

That looks so good. Wow-I think your mamaw has a secret life.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I used to make "better than sex" every New Years Eve. Close to 25 years until I went vegan. I have not tried it since. Dang the family is going to be happy. Thanks!

Mihl said...

That's a proper name for such a cake!

Cherie said...

Anything with chocolate and looks as nice as your presentation sounds good to me!!

Tamara said...

Ooh, that dessert looks awesome. I definitely want to give it a try. Any chance you'll be posting that bread recipe sometime? It looks good too. :-)

allularpunk said...

haha.. grandmas don't know about sex! shhh! that cake looks awesome though. and when i was little i hated peppers and onions too! as of right now, that pasta casserole look a-ok to me. :)

aTxVegn said...

I see that cake recipe pop up every now and then. At my house we had to spell S-E-X or call it Better Than You-know-what.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Oooh, I'd love some of that chicken spaghetti!

It's so cool you made the bread. Family recipes are so much fun!

Brandie said...

OMG yum yum yum! My mom always made this dessert (non-vegan at the time) when I was growing up - we ALWAYS had it at New Years Eve, and sometimes at Christmas if we were lucky lol...

Now that she's vegan and I dont' eat dairy we've gone without ... she's tried to veganize it but the pudding didn't turn out Hmm... I can't WAIT to try this recipe!! Thank you thank you!!

And thank you SO much for the compliments you sent me and my son! We love you too :) Have a great weekend!

Ricki said...

I cannot BELIEVE how decadent and rich that cake looks--it has virtually every single type of most-decadent ingredient, all in one place! The cookbook is such a lovely idea, and the other recipes (the 20% of them!) also sound great. But, the most important question: did you end up liking the chicken spaghetti??

Animal-Friendly said...

That's wonderful that you have veganized and are still able to enjoy your grandmother's recipe. And that cake recipe looks soooooo good!

Stacey and Sergio said...

YUMMM! I am making that dessert this weekend! That's so awesome your mom made you guys cookbooks! I remember during the holidays my grandma would make baked spaghetti and I hated it. It was the crunchy toasted edges that really grossed me out. Now it doesn't sound so bad. I'll have to try it again, veganized of course!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

My mawmaw was Southern Baptist too, so when I read the name of this post I thought, "oh no she didn't say that!!" That's cool that you have a collection of her recipes.

Melody Polakow said...

wow that looks amazing!.. and how funny that your grandma named it that...

River said...

I love this post! That dessert does look better than sex! :P

Katy said...

Your Mawmaw sounds sassy! And that dessert looks super yummy!

Janessa said...

Oh yum! That bread looks divine, and ohmygosh, the Better Than Sex Dessert looks dangerously close to being a perfectly named treat.

I'll have to try it out sometime soon!

shellyfish said...

I loved this post! I am trying to work my way through my family's recipes to veganize them. It's a great way to keep the memories, and the family members since they're healthier, alive!
Better than sex? Well...let's just say that it would be better than not having sex!

Tracy Warner said...

I'm at work and ready to go make dinner, and now I want this better than sex stuff. omg! I'm so hungry! that's for the eye candy!

Kiersten said...

That dessert looks so gooey and delicious! (I think I would choose it over sex)

Liz said...

That dessert looks amazing, but I'm all about the "chicken" spaghetti! My meemaw used to make that, too (is it a TX thang?) and I love trying to duplicate it!

Vegetation said...

I want me some of that incredible looking dessert! Yum!

tyrah. said...

Thanks so much for posting your Better than Sex dessert recipe! I made it last night for our Halloween party and it was delicious!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Yum! I may have to find out if it's actually Better than Sex!?

Bex said...

ok, I'll try the better than sex but the bread recipe?

bahbahnosh said...

omg! i made this last night & it was freaking fantastic! just like my grandma used to make. thanks so much for posting this!

Vaala said...

Any chance of the bread recipe? It looks divine.

bahbahnosh said...

This was my absolute favorite dessert that my grandma made. I haven't had it since she died 11 years ago. Thanks so much for the post. It tasted exactly as I remember it but even better because it's vegan! :D

coulditbeseitan said...

Mmmm that reminds me so much of the Black Bottom Pie my family has been making forever too - I'm going to try to veganize it for the holidays this year and your recipe looks great!