Freitag, 28. Dezember 2012

christmas baking

Just as i´m gearing up for the busiest baking season, my oven breaks down. But we managed to have a really nice communal gingerbread-house-making and buttercookie-cutting session on Saturday. For the first Advent weekend, I made some Stollen buns, oh so lovely. Find the recipe here:

I didn´t give them a marzipan filling, but the marzipan stars look cute, don´t they?

We made Gabelplätzchen (fork
biscuits; recipe will follow, maybe, hopefully), and Spitzbuben ("rascals"- jam filled butter biscuits).
Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars, well, cameos).

Spiced apple loaves today – skinning about 250g of almonds, what fun.
Our Yulebread. Find the recipe here:
I reduced the sugar to 3 tbsp, which was plenty. It still is a very rich bread. For a sweet breakfast bread, I have come to prefer Vegan Dad's challah:
I use soy yoghurt and find that when halving the recipe, you don't need the flax seed, everything holds nicely together. It is soft and satisfying and much more moist than those overly butterly recipes for "Zopf" I used to make.

Samstag, 1. Dezember 2012

Mjuk Pepparkaka - Swedish soft spice cake (vegan)

Another veganized recipe… The original came from some dear friends of mine who used to treat me to a lot of lovely Scandinavian baked goods and even more tender loving care on the Danish side of the Flensburg fjord.

2 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp boiling water
50g margarine, soft
3 tbsp cranberry preserve (optional)
150 ml soy yoghurt
450 ml plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
Mix the flaxseed with the boiling water and put aside.
Cream the margarine, till white and fluffy. Cream in the sugar. Add the flaxseed-mix and continue beating. Mix in the cranberry preserve and yoghurt
Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and combine well. If batter appears too stiff, add a splash of soy milk or yoghurt. What you want is a normal cake batter consistency, something that drops somewhat heavily from the spoon (I remember that German maxime for this kind of cake batter: schwer reißend vom Löffel fallen…).
Pour into greased cake tin and bake for 35-40 mins.

Samstag, 24. November 2012

vegan apple-cinnamon teacake

veganizing… :-)

100g margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy yoghurt
1/2 cup soy milk
grated zest of one lemon
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
apricot jam for glazing (optional)
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
Cream the margarine and brown sugar very well. Mix in yoghurt, then milk. Grate in lemon zest.
Sift flours, cinnamon and baking powder together.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Fold in raisins.
Pour into a greased 20 cm diameter spring form tin. Arrange apple wedges on top.
Bake for 55-60 mins.
Glaze with jam while warm, sprinkle when cooled.

Mittwoch, 21. November 2012

Buckwheat heather cakes (vegan and gluten-free)

We are avoiding wheat at the moment (in addition to me doing Vegan Month for November), and as I had bought some buckwheat flour recently, I remembered the buckwheat tortes a particular German region of heather moorlands is famous for. They are basically buckwheat sponge cakes with a cream and cranberry jam filling. I made these little cupcakes to get a feel for the baking properties of buckwheat flour. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the nutty taste of buckwheat works in a cake, and how nice a texture it turned out. Expect the cakes to be slightly crumbly, but lovely spongy and moist, with a beautiful crust. These should be topped with a little (vegan) whipped cream or some vegan buttercream and additional cranberry jam. I will make these as a sponge cake one of these days with a layer of buttercream and jam in between. If you absolutely cannot find or do not like cranberry jam, use raspberry, blueberry or currant.

1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts or almonds (or increase the flour by this amount to make nut-free)
cranberry or other red jam

Line a muffin pan with liners. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
In a large bowl, whisk together soy milk, oil, sugar and extracts. Beat in the flax seeds.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Mix to combine, folding in the hazelnuts or almonds.
Spoon mix into muffin liners. Drop a generous teaspoon full of jam into the centre of each cake.
Bake for about 20 mins. Allow to cool completely if frosting.

Mittwoch, 7. November 2012

Banana Nut Bread (vegan)

November is Vegan Month. And veganizing is so easy! This turned out really nicely. It is really light, but so moist that it´s still very satisfying.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
1/3 cup soy milk
1/3 cup soy yoghurt
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts are classic)
2-3 medium-sized bananas (if using 2, you may have to add more soy milk to make a cake batter)

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Mix in oil, soy milk, yoghurt and sugar. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt. Beat for 30 seconds. Fold in nuts. Bake in a greased loaf tin for 50-60 mins at 200 degrees.

Montag, 15. Oktober 2012

vegan Sachertorte

One of my contribution´s to the Stuff of Life backyard café (The Rose, Saffron and Marqueta café) was this creation of a vegan Sachertorte. Apparently it was really nice, but it was gone before I had a chance to taste it.
This makes one small springform cake tin of chocolate cake.

1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup rapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp chocolate extract (optional)
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 jar apricot jam
2 tbsp lemon juice
200g dark cooking chocolate

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Lightly grease your cake tin.
Whisk together soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, set aside to curdle.
Add sugar, oil, vanilla and other extracts. Beat well.
Sift in flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
Pour into cake tin and bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely.

When cake has cooled, take a long sharp knife and cut the cake in half horizontally, creating two layers of chocolate cake.
Put apricot jam in a small pan, stir in lemon juice and heat gently till soft. If your jam has large fruit pieces and you'd rather not have them between your layers, push jam through a sieve. Otherwise, just spread jam generously on the bottom layer of the cake, replace top layer and spread that generously as well.
Melt the dark cooking chocolate gently over a bain marie and cover cake top and sides with chocolate.

This cake improves when it has a chance to sit overnight or even for a day or two, tightly wrapped in foil.

Klöben Hamburger Art (Sweet Bread from Hamburg)

This is one of my maternal Grandmother's recipes. It won me the Adult Prize at the breadmaking competition during our community's annual Stuff of Life festival. A bow to my Grandmother!

This is the original recipe. Will veganize soon.

1 kg plain flour
50 g fresh or 4 tsp dried fast-action yeast
150g sugar
475ml lukewarm milk or a mix of milk and water
125g softened butter
1 pinch salt
1 egg, beaten
100g raisins or sultanas
100g candied peel

Mix the flour, yeast and sugar. Add milk, butter, salt and egg and knead into a dough. Work in raisins and peel. Allow to rise, covered, in a warm place, until doubled in size.
Shape into a loaf and put on a greased or lined baking sheet. Allow to rise again.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Bake for about an hour.
You could divide the dough into two loaves to reduce baking time.

Samstag, 6. Oktober 2012

vegan coconut pandan cupcakes

makes 9. Looking for a nice frosting to go with this!

1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup oil
3 tsp pandan extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup desiccated coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Mix coconut milk, oil, extracts and sugar. Pour wet into dry ingredients and mix for a few minutes until well combined.
Pour into cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 mins.

Donnerstag, 27. September 2012

easy veg with almond sauce

I've been living like a student for the past two weeks, quite a change from my usual routine as mother of 2. I've been working like crazy and needed quick and grounding food. And made this almond sauce with pasta twice (= 4 meals)! Very nice with whole grain spirelli or spaghetti. Might also go well with rice or other grain.
This is enough for about 2 people.

1 tsp oil
1 small onion
1 punnet mushrooms, or a handful of carrots, a small head of cauliflower or broccoli, some beans...
2 tsp mixed dried herbs
salt, pepper
2 tbsp almond butter (the unsalted variety made from roasted almonds in their skins)

Soften the onion in the oil. Saute the vegetable of choice for a while.
If using mushrooms, add the rest of the ingredients. Mix the almond butter with a cup of warm water, add to the veg, heat through, add more water if you want more sauce, serve.
If using other veg, add some water and the seasonings, cover and cook till veg is soft. Mix the almond butter with a little warm water and stir into the pan.

Samstag, 11. August 2012

veganized it! chocolate banana cupcakes

I wanted to make a simple cakey thing for the weekend. And we had two really ripe bananas. But I didn't want to make the same banana cupcakes I've been making a few times (and which dd loves) yet again, so I went to the recipe bookshelf and found a recipe that sounded good. Except that it needed veganizing. And improving here and there. The book wants to sell these as muffins, but they have more oil and sugar than I like to put in my muffins, so I'd call them cupcakes. They should be nice with a chocolate ganache on top. Oh, and because they were kind of meant to be muffins, they either make more than 12 or 12 biggish cupcakes. Right, here goes.

125 ml soy milk
2 tsp cider vinegar
100 ml oil
3 tbsp soy yoghurt
175g brown sugar

175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 ripe mashed bananas

Mix the soy milk with the vinegar and allow to curdle. Mix in oil, yoghurt and sugar. Sift in flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Mix until everything is wet. Fold in mashed bananas. Pour into lined muffin pan and bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees for about 25 mins.

Mittwoch, 8. August 2012

curried chickpea and cashew spread/dip

1/2 can chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp oil (flaxseed oil is nice)
2 tbsp ground chashews, or a handful whole ones
1 tbsp yeast flakes (optional)
1 tbsp agave nectar or other sweetener
salt to taste

Blend everything in a mixer or with a hand-held blender. Nice on wholemeal pitta.

Dienstag, 24. Juli 2012

vegan cinnamon cut-out cookies

kids wanted to cut out cookies today, so i obliged. turned out nicely.

150g margarine
120g sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
250g flour

Cream margarine and sugar. Add cinnamon and continue creaming. Knead in flour quickly with cold hands. Depending on your marge, you may need a little extra flour. Chill in the fridge at least for a couple of hours, better over night.
Roll out to about 3mm thickness. Cut out into any shape desired. Bake at 175 degrees for just under 10 mins or until just about to brown (as the dough is brown, it is fun guessing when that will be!).
Really cinnamony, but I should think one could experiment with flavourings, making vanilla cookies by adding ground vanilla or vanilla essence, lemon cookies by adding grated lemon zest or whatever strikes your fancy.

sweet potato, cauliflower and chickpea curry

improvised yumminess

2 tbsp oil
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 dried red chillies
2 tsp finely chopped or grated ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
2 big pieces cinnamon bark
4 green cardamom pods
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp amchoor (mangopowder, optional)
1 medium cauliflower, broken into pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained
salt to taste

Heat the oil. Start browning the cumin seeds, then add onions, chillies, ginger and garlic. When the onion softens, add coriander, cardamom and cinnamon. Fry to release their aroma, then add the sweet potato, turmeric and amchoor and cover with water. Add the chickpeas and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, add the cauliflower and cook till done.

Samstag, 16. Juni 2012

vegan rhubarb bakewell cake

I like Bakewell Tart, but I usually want something a bit fruitier, and after having something similar in a cafe in Germany a few months ago, I had wanted to experiment with a vegan version of a fruity bakewell. And here we are. I should think the rhubarb can be replaced with apricots, apples and other fruit, and the jam can be any flavour that goes with the choice of fruit.

For the pastry:
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g margarine
a little cold water

Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Rub the marge into the flour and baking powder. Add a splash of cold water to make a dough.
Roll out to about 3mm thickness and line a greased baking dish (rectangular works well) with the dough, letting it come up the sides a bit, there will be enough. Prick randomly with a fork.
Bake for about 10mins.
While it is baking, wash and trim 500-750g rhubarb and cut into small pieces.

Spread a generous amount of strawberry jam over the pastry. Distribute the rhubarb over the jam.

Mix the sponge:
175g plain flour
175g ground almonds (I ground them freshly using non-skinned ones, which turned out very nicely)
175g sugar
2 tsp baking powder
150ml oil
200ml water
1 tsp almond essence

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl or jug. Pour into dry ingredients, mix briefly to combine, spread over pastry and fruit.
Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake for about 30mins at 175 degrees.
I don't think this needs icing at all but you could drizzle a little over it.

Montag, 11. Juni 2012

vegan banana chocolate-chip cake/cupcakes

I did have a huge bunch of bananas to use up, so I made these both as a cake in a square tin, and as cupcakes (doubling the recipe), and the banana flapjacks from the previous post. yum!

1/2 very ripe banana, mashed
1 1/4 cup plain white flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup veg oil
2/3 cup soy milk or rice milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Line your square tin or muffin pan. Sift flour, baking soda, powder, salt and sugar together into a large bowl and mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, "milk", vanilla, almond extract and banana.
Pour wet into dry ingredients and mix to just combine, folding in the choc chips.
Bake cupcakes for 20 to 22 mins, cake for about 30, until toothpick comes out clean.
Nice as is, but also good with a little melted chocolate drizzled over the top.

popular banana flapjacks

here's to my Manushi girls...

150g margarine (or butter if you're not vegan)
300g porridge oats
150g sugar
2 bananas
3 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
2 handfuls pecans, walnuts, other nuts (optional)

Melt sugar and margarine over lowest heat possible until the surface is covered in bubbles. While it is heating up, mash the bananas with a fork or blend in a blender.
Stir maple syrup and bananas into the warm mix, then add oats and nuts, taking off the heat. Mix well.
Pour into square or rectangular tin and bake at 190 degrees for 15 to 20 mins until surface looks dry and edges are beginning to turn brownish.
Mark into whatever shapes you want to cut into, cool in the tin, then cut.

Freitag, 11. Mai 2012

vegan rhubarb and ginger cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting

I couldn't resist keeping 2 small stalks of rhubarb out of our compote for our super-healthy breakfast and sneak them into some indulgent cupcakes... I love the combination of rhubarb and ginger, and I thought orange would go nicely with it.

This is what I used:
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground vanilla (or use 2 tsp essence)
1/4 tsp almond essence
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 small stalks rhubarb, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 175 degrees and line muffin pan with liners.
Mix the soy milk with the vinegar and allow to curdle. Add oil, sugar, vanilla and almond essence. Sift in flour, ginger, cornstarch, salt and baking powder. Mix to just combine ingredients, then fold in rhubarb. Pour batter into liners and bake for about 25 mins.

Allow to cool before frosting. For the frosting, you will need:

1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup shortening (if in UK use Trex, works better than Cokeen)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
grated zest of one orange
2 tbsp orange juice

Cream margarine and shortening. You can add the zest at this point. Gradually add the sugar and with each addition, a splash of orange juice. Beat till light and fluffy.
So, here goes. Hope they pass the taste test! And yep, I've got a new piping bag and nozzles!

Freitag, 4. Mai 2012

potato cakes

using leftover mash works well for these. best served warm.

400-500g mashed potatoes
100-200g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp soft butter or margarine

mix everything potatoes with a smaller amount of flour and the rest of the ingredients, then add more flour as needed to get a dough that is still soft but not sticky. For best results, chill for about 30 mins, then roll out on a well-floured surface to 1 cm thickness and cut with a large cookie cutter into rounds, or cut into triangles with a knife. Heat a slightly greased, heave (cast iron) frying pan and cook over medium heat until both sides are slightly browned.

Mittwoch, 22. Februar 2012

beetroot tofu pasta

Hi! I´m back from 2 months in India, back in my kitchen, back with a veg box full of winter veggies…
Moving closer to being vegan, messing with Ayurveda again, for more energy…
Anyway, this is what I made yesterday with leftover pasta and beetroot, pre-baked in tinfoil.

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
half a pack tofu, cubed
a handful of sunflower seeds
orange zest of 1 orange
orange juice (about 200 ml)
pre-roasted or -cooked beetroot chunks (amount variable, I used a lot)
pasta (about 200g uncooked wholegrain)

fry onion in oil, add garlic and tofu, brown well, add seeds, toast, add zest and juice, bring to boil, toss in beets and pasta. stir well. for better colour contrast, remove tofu from pan after frying, keep warm and add just before serving.