Monday, January 9, 2012

Vegan "Bacon" Maple Bars

I'm seeing maple bars crowned with strips of bacon all over the place these days. Bacon? On a doughnut? The idea completely grosses me out and, at the same time, intrigues me beyond any rationalization. I mean, who looked at a freshly-glazed maple bar and thought, "It's missing something... AHA! A strip of BACON!"?

According to Wikipedia, some describe the combo as a breakfast plate in a handy delivery device - your pancakes, syrup and bacon are all in one convenient bar. Okay, I sort of get that, though my breakfast plate never looks like that.


Anyway, I figured I'd try it. However, I didn't want to shell out the money for a package of vegan "bacon" product. I'm sure it's tasty, but in my area, it's pretty spendy. So, I made my own - for a fraction of the price, and with stuff I already had in my pantry and refrigerator. My "bacon" is made with tofu and an amazing marinade, then fried to a crisp.

I'm calling it tofacon. It looks like this:



Vegan Tofacon Maple Bars

Tofacon Ingredients:

1 lb. firm or extra-firm tofu (not silken), drained

1/4 c. soy sauce, shoyu, tamari or liquid aminos
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. water
2 T. cane juice crystals or natural sugar
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. maple flavoring

oil for frying


Doughnut Ingredients:

1/2 c. warm water ("baby bath water" warm, or you'll kill your yeast)
2 T. active yeast

1 c. soy milk
1/4 c. plus 2 T. vegan stick margarine (I use Nucoa)
1 t. sea salt
1/2 c. cane juice crystals or natural sugar (I use Zulka)
1 c. cold water
1 1/2 T. egg replacer powder (I use Ener-G), prepared with 6 T. warm water

5-7 c. unbleached flour

oil for frying


Frosting Ingredients:

5 c. organic powdered sugar
1/2 c. vegan margarine
1/4 c. soy milk
2 T. maple flavoring


Tofacon Directions, Part One:

Slice drained tofu into 1/8-1/4" slices, then cut slices in half to create strips.

Arrange strips in a 9" x 13" baking dish (it's okay if they overlap a bit).


Put remaining ingredients into a blender and mix until cane juice crystals are dissolved. The liquid will be frothy.

Pour liquid over tofu strips and allow to marinate while you prepare your doughnuts.



Doughnut Directions:

Pour 1/2 cup water into a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over top to dissolve. Set aside.

In a saucepan, scald the soy milk.

Add margarine, sea salt and cane juice crystals to scalded soy milk and stir until cane juice crystals are dissolved.

Add cold water and prepared egg replacer to soy milk mixture and stir well.


Allow soy milk mixture to cool to "baby bath water" warm, then pour into large bowl with dissolved yeast and stir well.

Add flour to liquid, stirring in one cup at a time, until a soft, elastic dough forms. Add more flour as necessary to make the dough workable and prevent sticking to hands or bowl.

Flour a large working surface and turn the dough out, rolling into a large rectangle, about 1/4" thick.

Cut dough into 18 to 24 bars; about 3" x 6".


Space the bars an inch or two apart, and let rise until doubled - about an hour.

Heat enough oil to cover doughnuts in a deep frying pan, wok or fryer to 350 degrees.

Carefully drop bars into hot oil and fry until golden brown - about a minute on each side.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Allow to cool before frosting.


Frosting Directions:

In a stand mixer or by hand, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Add more powdered sugar or soy milk to achieve desired consistency.


Tofacon Directions, Part Two:

By now, the tofu has absorbed quite a bit of the marinade, and the liquid is no longer frothy.

In a deep frying pan, wok or fryer, heat enough oil to cover tofu strips to 375 to 400 degrees.

Carefully (oil may "pop!") place strips in hot oil and fry until crispy, then remove from oil and drain on paper towels.



Assembly:

Frost cooled doughnut bars with maple frosting, then top each maple bar with a strip of tofacon.


Breakfast in a bar? Okay, I'm sold!




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4 comments:

  1. Deep-frying scares me a little, but I'm willing to live a little for the occasional donut. I used to love getting maple bars in my pre-vegan days, so seeing a homemade, vegan version makes me a little nostalgic and giddy. :) This savory-sweet combo with the "tofacon" sounds like a nice spin on an old favorite.

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  2. Tiffany, they were so incredibly good, I can't stand it!

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  3. Mmmm... living in the land of the infamous Voodoo Doughnut, I have always wanted to make a vegan version of their bacon maple bar!! I cannot wait to try your tofacon - it looks fantastic!

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