Monday recipe-blogging: Vegan brunch

Yesterday, I tested whether it is possible to feed brunch to five people without their realizing that it is vegan. Surprisingly, the answer is yes.

First course: Mushroom crostini

1 8 ounce container button mushrooms
1 8 ounce container oyster mushrooms
1 8 ounce container baby bella mushrooms
1 8 ounce container shitake mushrooms
Dried porcini
Olive oil
Loaf of french bread (or any bread that doesn't have milk or eggs in it)

Put four or five dried porcini mushrooms in a small dish and cover with 1/2 marsala, 1/2 water or vegetable stock. Soak for at least 1/2 hour; can be done overnight.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Slice the bread into 1 or 1 1/2 inch rounds (depending on how bready you want it) and arange the slices on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown.

Slice the mushrooms and fry in olive oil until golden brown. (I used two pans). Add 2-4 cloves of crushed garlic and saute for thirty seconds. Add the marsala/porcini mixture. Cook until the wine is reduced to a thick glaze on the mushrooms. Spoon over the toast rounds.

Second course: Chocolate pancakes with berry sauce


(adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup rice or almond milk
2 tablespoons safflower oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add water, milk, oil, maple syrup, and extracts. Mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cook over medium-high heat, or if using an electric griddle (which I highly recommend) set it to 350 degrees. Cook until bubbles form in the middle, then flip and cook for two more minutes. Serve with

berry sauce:

1 bag frozen raspberries or mixed berries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Combine water and sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add berries; return to boil over high heat. Turn down heat to medium and cook until liquid has reduced to a just very slightly syrupy consistency, about twenty minutes.

Serve these along with almond milk for the coffee, and people will not even realize it's vegan.