Friday, March 10, 2017

Clara Cakes Detroit Pop Up

El Club opened its doors under a year ago and quickly established itself as one of Detroit's must see music venues. They have an electic mix of bands come through their doors every day of the week to play on their sound system and they serve up some really solid pizza made in their very own brick oven. Recently the have been expanding their lineup and inviting unique events like this Sunday's vegan popup to take over the space. 

This week they are bringing something completely different to the club. They have invited teenage vegan chef Clara Cakes to come do a pop up dinner with their in house team at Pepe Z Pizza. The vegan baker will be bringing her own unique twist to a five course meal that will take place at El Club this Sunday, March 12th at 7 pm. This will be Detroiters' first chance to try the young vegan baker's made from scratch desserts at the five course meal this Monday.
This visit comes hot off the heels of the release of Clara's first book called Delicious and Simple Vegan Recipes for Everyone. You can preview her new cookbook here or pick up your own copy in person at the dinner. Tickets to get a seat at the table are only $40 a person and they can purchased here. 

We had a chance to talk to the Clara about her book and the upcoming pop up. Check out what she has to say, give her cookbook a glance, and then sign up to attend the dinner so you can taste her animal free delights in person this Monday|!

HID- When did you go vegan? Why?
Clara Cakes- "I went vegan when I was twelve years old, after loosely being raised vegetarian. I made the full transition when I realized how cruel and environmentally destructive dairy and egg farms are, and thought it’d be hypocritical to just be vegetarian at that point."

HID- Do you ever miss dairy or animal products? If so what ones?
Clara Cakes- "I took about month to cut out dairy and egg products fully, to allow my taste buds to adjust. I don’t miss animal products, if anything the nostalgia for an animal product motivates me to recreate it!"

HID- Have you always enjoyed baking?
Clara Cakes- "Before I was vegan, I’d make box mix cake and brownies, so it was pretty easy to not think twice about it. I think you’re mixing, and not necessarily baking at that point. Becoming vegan was a gateway to baking from scratch, and I discovered how therapeutic it was for me quickly on and haven’t been able to stop myself since!"

HID- How did you learn to cook vegan desserts?
Clara Cakes- "I taught myself how to cook vegan desserts through cookbooks, vegan ingredient guides, and most importantly: trial and error. It wasn’t something I mastered overnight, but through many failed brownies, cookies, cakes, until I understood baking chemistry more."

HID- What types of recipes will we find in the book?
Clara Cakes- "You’ll find everything from sauces, puddings, cookies, pies, frostings, to cakes. The cookbook contains (approachable) vegan ingredient guides to hold your hand if you’re new to the vegan baking world!"

HID- What is your must try recipe?
Clara Cakes- "The Chocolate Ricotta Cheesecake is a must. The ricotta is made out of almonds and cashews with the tanginess coming from lemon. I love the balance of ricotta and chocolate together, because it’s not overly decadent. The crust is classic and buttery, but also contains the beautiful flavors of pine nuts and cornmeal that compliment the cheesecake filling perfectly. It’s a true Italian delicacy, and just happens to be vegan. I’ll be serving this at my El Club pop-up."

HID- What would you say to someone who is considering going vegan but is on the fence?
Clara Cakes- "I’d say, slowly stop eating animal products. Allow yourself to adjust, and don’t get discouraged if you slip. Have fun enjoying new flavors, that were once hidden by a slab of dairy. Swap animal products with vegan products to help out those cravings. Try to educate yourself about factory farming, because ultimately, that’s why I’m vegan and why I won’t go back."

HID- Why did you decide to come do a pop up in Detroit?
Clara Cakes- "I host pop-up dinners (primarily Italian) throughout the country, and it seemed like the perfect time to do one in Detroit and promote the cookbook. The owner of El Club was actually one of the first people to encourage me to do savory cooking. He had me cater a punk fest called Berserktown, and I’ve now catered all three, and each year the menu gets more and more delicious!"

HID- Is there anything else you want our readers to know?
Clara Cakes- "I’ve collected these recipes since age twelve when I started baking. The recipes are homestyle classics, with accessibility to vegan ingredients in mind. I make sure to let you know if you need to order an ingredient online ahead of time, but, a majority of the vegan substitutes, like applesauce, are available at supermarkets. When you’re overwhelmed by dishes piling up, there are multiple playlists to get you through them. When you need help on starting a business, there’s a guide. When you need a good laugh, there are countless anecdotes within the recipes as well as dessert haikus written by my best friend."


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