tahini sauce (tehina Shir style)

8th October 2021

Preparing tahini in this way brings back memories of Israel. We lived in Israel for 14 years, and both of my children were born there.

My favourite part of the week was/and is Friday Night, which we call Erev Shabat in Hebrew. Stores would close early, and people would make their way home. Leaving the streets quiet. There would always be good smells coming from the neighbour’s houses. On Friday night, no one would dine alone, and everyone’s house was open to an unexpected guest. In yogic philosophy, our teacher Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois has explained that the unexpected guest is the best of all guests you can serve and honour with food.

It was a special time for family members to come together after a busy working week. Challah would be bought, candles lit and blessed, and usually, a bowl of tahini would be on the table!

tahini sauce (tehina shir style)

Inspired by Shir.

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini  (I prefer the hulled traditional tahini)

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp honey – optional

¾ cup/150g water

to garnish

1 large tomato, grated 

sweet paprika

olive oil

parsley

preparation

1.  In a small bowl combine the tahini, lemon juice, salt and honey.  Slowly whisk through the water until you have a consistency that is pourable, adding extra water if you need. 

2.  Taste, add lemon or salt if needed.

3. Cut the tomato in half, and grate each half on a medium grater directly into the tahini. Grate until all the pulp and juices are out and you’re just left with the peel, which you discard.

4. Garnish with paprika, parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve the tehina with a crunchy rice pilaf or your favourite salad, steamed or roasted vegetables, or as a dip.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

easy basil dressing

6th August 2021

I printed this recipe in 2017 when I came across it in the Globe and Mail published by Tara O’brady and have been making all sorts of variations since. Using fewer tomatoes or none at all, and adding bitter green leaves, or cutting the zucchinis into thick slabs and grilling until slightly charred, rather than eating raw. The dressing I keep the same as it is a gem! However, keeping in mind if the garden is overgrown with dill, coriander, mint or similar soft herbs, they can be added into the dressing as well or instead.

I always like to make my salads with beautiful seasonal greens, herbs and edible flowers picked straight from the garden. Different lettuces impart different flavours, and the best salads mix up two or three. Because this dressing is lively, it is better to pair it with hardier and spicy greens; like arugula, rocket, mizuna, endive or baby kale. 

easy basil dressing 

serves 2 – 3

for the dressing

¾ cup/30g basil leaves

¼ cup/10g flat-leafed parsley

juice from half a lemon – approx 2 Tbsp

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 – 2 Tbsp honey or sugar

3 Tbsp olive oil

pinch dried chilli flakes

for the salad

2 slices rustic French bread, torn into pieces

2 Tbsp/20g olive oil, plus more as needed

salt and freshly ground black pepper

half lemon, preferably organic, well scrubbed

3 – 4 handful of washed green leaves – arugula, rocket, little gem, mizuna, etc (try to combine a variety of different leaves while balancing the more bitter ones with crisp and tender leaves.)

1 small/120g zucchini, sliced into thin rounds (the small zucchinis have the best flavour)

3 Tbsp toasted, roughly chopped pinenuts and pumpkin seeds

preparation

1. Make the dressing by squeezing the juice of half the lemon into a small blender. Add the basil and parsley, then add a splash of vinegar, sugar and olive oil—season with salt and pepper, then puree. Taste, adjust seasoning and balance with more oil or vinegar as called for, and sweeten with sugar or honey if it’s too sharp. Run the machine again, then add a pinch of chilli flakes.

for the salad

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.

2. Toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil—season with salt and pepper. Scatter pieces on a small baking sheet.

3. Slice the half lemon into thin rounds, removing any seeds; if you have a mandoline (or patience), slice about 3-mm thick (1/8-inch.) Coat lightly with olive oil and arrange on another small baking pan. 

4. Place both baking pans in the hot oven. Toast the bread until golden and crisp, 15 – 20 minutes, tossing once. Roast the lemon until touched with char and deeply caramelized, 12 – 15 minutes. 

5. Arrange the salad, place the leaves and zucchini, followed by the croutons, roasted lemon slices and seeds. Top with dressing, offering more at the table.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

rice pilaf with a crunchy crust

23rd July 2021

I posted a similar pilaf recipe a while back; this version is easier, quicker and uses the option of olive oil, or if you prefer, replace it with ghee. I change the vegetables to what I have in the garden, sometimes using thinly sliced potatoes, fennel, zucchini or freshly picked sweet peas. It is easy to swap the vegetables around. If the season or garden is overgrown with parsley, coriander or similar soft herbs, they can be used instead.

Serve with a crisp garden green salad and a bowl of tahini.

There are a few steps in achieving the success of this dish; the crispy golden bottom makes it worth it!

  • Washing the rice to rid it of any surface starch, which might make it sticky.
  • Boiling the rice for 8 minutes in boiling water, then draining and allowing it to steam dry for a few minutes.
  • Cover with a cloth, as well as a lid, to protect it from the drops of condensation as it steams.
  • Achieving “the golden crusty bottom” at the bottom of the pot by cooking it over low heat for an extended period.

It is recommended to use a non-stick pot. For the recipe, I use a cast-iron 10-inch (24cm) pot. Also, try to use a pot with a flat bottom and one large enough to give the rice plenty of room to expand. If your pot is too small, the rice will clump together. If you are using a pan, make sure you have a lid that will tightly fit.

rice pilaf with a crunchy crust

Serves 3

Preparation 20 minutes

Cooking 45 minutes

ingredients

1 cup/200g white basmati rice

1 medium/140g carrot

1 medium/160g medium fennel

2 medium/125g potatoes

1 large bunch/30g each fresh dill and coriander

6 Tbsp/60g olive oil or ghee – divided 

1 tsp fine rock salt – divided 

½ tsp freshly ground pepper – divided 

1 tsp turmeric powder – divided 

prepare the rice

1.  Wash the rice and drain. Repeat three more times to flush out all the excess starch (this helps the rice be fluffy with nice separate grains when cooked). Drain and set aside.

2.  Fill a medium saucepan (with a lid that fits.) Bring the water to a vigorous boil and cook the rice for exactly 8 minutes, starting the timer from the moment the rice enters the pot. Drain in a colander and let sit for 5 minutes or so to steam dry.

prepare the vegetables and herbs

3.  Finely slice the vegetable into 2mm thick slices and set aside. Finely chop the leaves and tender stems of the herbs, and mix the herbs together and set aside. 

assemble and cook the pilaf 

4.  Return the empty pan to the stove, add half of the oil.

5.  Split the pile of herbs in two – setting aside a handful of herbs for garnish.

6.  Layer half of the vegetables in the bottom of the pan and half of the herbs for use now.  Sprinkle over half of the salt, pepper and turmeric. Add one-third of the rice over the top. Do not mix. Repeat with the remaining vegetables, then the next third of the rice and the other half of the herbs. Sprinkle the remaining salt, pepper and turmeric. Finish with the last third of rice. Drizzle the remaining oil over the top.

7.  Cover the pot with a tea towel, then place the lid firmly on top, folding the corners of the tea towel over the top so that they don’t catch fire. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes (#7 setting on an electric stove), then place the pot on the lowest heat you can manage (#2 setting on an electric stove) and continue cooking for another 40-45 minutes.

8.  When the rice is ready, gently mix the reserved herbs and pile it all onto a good wide platter or bowl. Scrape up the crisp rice at the bottom of the pot and tuck it into the pile of rice shards – it’s delicious. It is optional to sprinkle with lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice – taste and season with salt and a few rounds of pepper. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting (vegan)

9th June 2021

I had my sights on a go-to celebration carrot cake that is walnut-studded and carrot-flecked, fragrant, moist and lavish with a decadent frosting.  So I revisited and reposted a recipe that was created a few years back and made a few adjustments. 

This cake uses walnuts for crunch and flavour, with a lovely warmth coming through in the cardamom and cinnamon. The cake itself is deliciously moist and it is topped with a vegan cream cheese frosting and decorated with edible flowers. 

carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting

Inspired by the much-loved Spice Cake from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld.

Makes one 9-inch cake or 12 cupcakes (Reduce baking time to 35 minutes)

The cardamom adds a rich warmth, so it is important to grind your own as the taste is much more fragrant, fresher and more flavour intense. 

ingredients 

1 cup/100g walnuts – divided

1 cup/120g whole-wheat flour

1 cup/120g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp cardamom powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon powder 

½ cup/110g neutral-tasting oil or mild-tasting olive oil

cup/190g maple syrup (can replace with cup/100g brown sugar)

¼ cup/45g brown sugar or coconut sugar

cup/160g almond/oat milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

¼ cup/50g golden raisins/dates, roughly chopped

2 cups/210g grated carrots (approx 2 medium)

cream cheese frosting

cup/60g vegan/regular butter (softened to room temperature)

1 tub (200g) Vegan Violife Cream Cheese, (available from Celeiro – out of the fridge for an hour)

cup/40g icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract or scrape 1 vanilla bean (halved lengthways and seeds scraped out)

prepare the cake 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Oil a 9-inch springform pan with oil.

2.  Toast the walnuts: place them on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove half of the whole walnuts for garnishing on top (approx 23 pieces) and roughly chop the remaining (50g) to add to the cake batter – set aside.

3.  Make the cake: In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients –  flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to combine.

4.  In another medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients – oil, maple syrup, sugar, almond milk and vinegar. Whisk until the wet ingredients are emulsified. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, whisking together just until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. Stir in the walnuts, sultanas, grated carrot- fold gently with a spatula to combine.

5.  Pour the batter into the oiled pan and bake for about 45 – 55 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. If the top looks like it’s getting dark, but the inside needs more time, cover loosely with aluminium foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

6.  Prepare the frosting: Beat together the butter with a hand mixer until soft. Add the cream cheese and beat again until well mixed (*don’t overmix.) Sift over icing sugar and add the vanilla extract – beat again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. *If for some reason the mixture starts to seperate from over beating. Place it in the blender, and blend until smooth, then place in the fridge for a few hours.

7.  When the cake is completely cool, flip the cake over so that the top is now the bottom and spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Decorate the cake with the remaining walnuts and edible flowers.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Variation

  • Sprinkle the sides and bottom of the greased cake tin with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds before baking.
  • If wanting to avoid the frosting, sprinkle the top and sides with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and instead of adding the chopped roasted walnuts to the cake dough, use them to sprinkle over the top of the dough before baking.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

lemon coconut cake with blueberry compote (vegan)

13th May 2021

This cake is lovely, moist, and tender with a delicate flavour. It is effortless to make, and the combination of yoghurt, blueberries, and coconut perfectly complements each other. The blueberry compote is divine!

Praia de Aguda

Every two weeks for my weekly shop, I drive a little further to a health food store north of where I live. It takes me through the Sintra mountain along narrow windy tree-lined roads; then it opens out into a wider, flatter landscape where the temperature is warmer. I arrive at a sweet health food store called Ideal in a little village named Janas. I like this place as they offer vegetable seedlings and the vegetables and fruits are abundant and fresh, newly picked from their garden. After finishing my shop, I continue up the road towards the sea, park my car and walk down the steps towards the beach. During the weekend this car park and beach is busy, but on weekdays there is nobody, especially on cloudy days. Sometimes I go just for the sunset, and it is especially magical when the mist rolls in off the ocean.

~

lemon coconut cake with blueberry compote

Recipe inspired by Nigella Lawson.

Preparation 45 minutes

Makes 8 – 12 slices

tools

1 x 9-inch springform cake pan (can be made in an 8-inch)

cake

1 cup/120g white spelt flour

¾ cup/100g whole spelt flour

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp fine rock salt

⅔ cup/130g coconut or vegetable oil

¾ cup/150g light brown sugar

1 cup/220g thick coconut milk (see note below)

2 lemons, zested

3 Tbsp/35g lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

blueberry compote

1 cup/130g blueberries

1 Tbsp/12g lemon juice

1 Tbsp/12g light brown sugar

3 Tbsp/35g + 1½ tsp cold water – divided

1½ tsp cornflour 

icing

1 cup/250g  thick vegan Greek yoghurt or milk-based Greek yoghurt 

1 tsp vanilla extract or scrap the seeds from a vanilla pod

¼ cup/35g icing sugar

preparation

1.  To make the cake: Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease sides and line base of a springform cake tin with baking paper.

2.  Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium bowl.

3.  In another bowl, whisk the oil, sugar and coconut milk together, followed by the zest, juice and vanilla extract.

4.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking to combine, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.

5.  To make the blueberry compote: Put the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar and 3 Tbsp water into a saucepan, bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer, stirring every now and then, for a few minutes until the blueberries have softened.

6. Remove from heat, in a small cup, mix the cornflour with the remaining 1½ tsp water and stir this paste into the blueberries. Return to heat and stir gently for 30 seconds, the sauce will start to bubble and thicken. Pour the compote into a bowl to cool. It will set once cold.

7. To make the icing: Mix the yoghurt and vanilla together, sieve the icing sugar over the yoghurt and stir to combine.

8. To assemble the cake: Turn the cake over (so the underneath is now on top) onto a plate. Place most of the icing on top of the cake. Spread out and bring a small amount down the sides, evenly scraping so that you can actually see some of the cake through the icing (sides only.) Decorate with lemon zest, thyme, and blueberries. Dust the blueberries with icing sugar. Slice and spoon with a generous amount of the blueberry compote. If not serving immediately the cake can be refrigerated until ready to serve. 

note

  • Don’t shake the tin of coconut milk, try to get as much of the thick creamy part as possible and purchase a better quality can of coconut milk to ensure thick milk.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

moong dal with slivers of ginger

8th April 2021

This soup is inspired by a recipe posted many years back, this version uses dal that is lighter and easier to digest – whole moong (green mung bean) and split yellow moong (which is the whole moong that has been skinned and split – see photo below).

It can be served as a soup with chapati or bread or with rice and a simple vegetable palya (adding less water for a thicker consistency).

~ late evening walk in S Pedro de Sintra

I live in a village called São Pedro de Sintra, just on the outskirts of the historic city centre of Sintra. It is surrounded by history and character, with many old palaces and castles meandering up and down cobblestone roads and tall trees. I walk out my door and, within 5 minutes, enter into a majestic forest and the beauty of the Sintra Mountain.

I try to walk daily and find exercise a soothing medicine; my sleep is better, and my mind is calmer with fewer thoughts. There is a deep sense of well-being and wonder when in nature.

Nature brings gratitude and opens the heart.

moong dal with slivers of ginger

Preparation 30 – 40 mins

Serves 3 – as a soup or 2 – as a dal

ingredients

½ cup/100g split moong beans (split yellow dal)

¼ cup/50g whole moong dal (mung beans)

6 – 7 cups water

1-inch thick knob fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin slivers

1 medium /120g carrot, chopped

¼ tsp turmeric powder

voggarane

2 Tbsp ghee – divided

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

1 small fresh mild green/red chilli, seeded and cut into slivers

8 – 10 curry leaves

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

juice of ½ lemon

1 tsp fine rock salt

preparation 

1.  In a large pot, rinse the dal until the water runs clear, drain, add the water, bring to boil, skim off the foam that collects on the surface, then add the carrot, ginger, turmeric and 1 teaspoon ghee.

2.  Gently boil, uncovered, until the dal is soft and broken down; approximately 30 mins. Add more water if needed.

voggarane

3.  Heat remaining ghee, add mustard seed, fry until they turn grey and pop, then add the cumin, asafoetida and chilli; fry until fragrant and golden, add curry leaves; fry for a few seconds, then add to the dal.

4.  Stir in the salt, lemon juice and coriander. Taste, and add more salt or lemon as needed.

When serving, garnish with fresh coriander and drizzle with ghee.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

vegetable barley soup

15th March 2021

This soup is easy to make and hearty enough to be served by itself or for a substantial meal with a loaf of freshly baked bread.

The barley expands three times its original size when cooked, as a result; it leaves you full and satisfied. Use fresh herbs as they play an essential role in the flavours of the finished soup.

a few tips

  • It is important to chop the vegetables into a uniform size to allow everthing to cook at the same rate. I like to chop them into tiny uniform cubes.
  • Finely chop the rosemary as it opens up the flavour.
  • At the end of the cooking, press down on the vegetables a few times with a potato masher to add more texture to the soup.

vegetable barley soup

Serves 2

Preparation 10 mins

Cook 55 mins

ingredients

3 Tbsp oil or ghee

2 sticks/80g celery

1 fresh bay leaf

1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

6 – 8 sprigs/6g fresh thyme

3 Tbsp/45g barley

1 large/140g carrot

1 medium/110g potato

1 small/125g sweet potato or pumpkin

½ cup/80g cabbage or green beans

5 cups water

1 heaped tsp fine rock salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh dill 

preparation

1.  Peel and finely chop all vegetables into tiny uniform cubes. Set aside.

2.  In a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil/ghee, add celery, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme – fry till fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.

3. Add the barley and stir until well coated in oil, then add the remaining vegetables stirring after each addition—fry for a few minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking.

4. Pour in the water, bring to boil and rapidly simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, turn down the heat and simmer with the lid ajar for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and barley is cooked.

5. Remove the thyme twigs and bay leaf. Using a potato masher, press down a few times to break up some of the vegetables adding texture to the soup. 

6.  Add salt, pepper and fresh dill. Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to develop, taste adding more salt or pepper if needed.  Drizzle with ghee when serving.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

lemon-sourdough pound cake (vegan)

1st March 2021

Another delicious recipe by Aran Goyoaga and shared in her newsletter. I adapted it slightly by making it vegan; replaced the 3 eggs with ground flaxseed, added baking powder, used maple syrup instead of honey and reduced the glaze by half. 

I have recently entered into the world of sourdough bread and every Monday I make a loaf of sourdough to bake the following day, so this recipe was perfect to use any leftover starter and use up the lemons which are hanging heavy from the trees in the garden. 

The sourdough starter does add more complexity to the crumb. I use a 1:1 ratio, meaning equal amounts of flour and water. Aran uses more liquid in her starter, 120% hydration ratio meaning 100g flour to 120g water the difference is small and does not affect the end result.

If you don’t have a starter, add an extra ½ cup/70g rice flour, and ⅓ cup/80g of water/buttermilk, and increase the baking powder to 1 ½ teaspoon.

To save time, soak the flaxseed first, then grate the zest and prepare the other ingredients giving the flax the time it needs to thicken.

lemon-pound sourdough cake

Preparation 15 minutes

Baking 45 – 55 minutes

Makes one pound cake (11 x 25cm loaf pan)

ingredients

3 Tbsp/22g ground flaxseed + ½ cup/100g hot water (allow to sit for 10 mins as below)

¾ cup/150g light brown sugar

2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest (zest from 3 lemons), plus more for garnishing

2 Tbsp/50g maple syrup (this gives a crisp caramelized exterior)

½ cup + 2 Tbsp/200g bubbling and ready to go sourdough starter

½ cup/110g extra virgin olive oil or neutral-tasting oil

¼ cup/55g lemon juice (1 very juicy lemon)

1 cup/140g brown rice flour

1 cup/100g almond flour

¼ cup/30g tapioca starch (or arrowroot powder)

¾ tsp fine rock salt

¾ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

glaze

2 Tbsp/25g light brown sugar

2 Tbsp/27g lemon juice (½ of a very juicy lemon)

preparation

1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Generously grease your loaf pan.

2. Into a large bowl add the flax with water and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then add sugar, zest, maple syrup, sourdough starter, oil and lemon juice – whisk until smooth.

3. In a small bowl measure out the brown rice flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, salt, baking soda and powder. 

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 – 55 minutes (my oven took 55 minutes.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan, then invert onto a platter.

5. Meanwhile, make the glaze by gently heating the sugar and lemon juice together in a small pan until the sugar dissolves – don’t heat for too long. Immediately brush the top of the cake allowing it to drip over the sides. Generously garnish the top with lemon zest (I like to use a combination of lime, lemon and orange.)  

note

  •  Use a metal pan, as suggested and grease it well. Alternately, you can line it with baking paper which makes it easier to lift out of the pan, but note that the exterior won’t caramelize, as it won’t be in direct contact with the metal.
  • Important! Let the cake cool completely. This will allow the crumb to set nicely and not fall apart.

variation with blueberries

  • Fold in 1 cup/125g blueberries into the batter.

(Always toss the blueberries in cornstarch or tapioca flour before adding them to your batter. This will stop them from sinking to the bottom.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

challah rolls

23rd February 2021

Challah is a type of yeasted bread popular in Jewish cuisine, it is similar to a brioche but with no dairy. Challah usually contains egg, however, like my other challah recipes, this one is vegan –  light, fluffy, dairy and egg-free. Before baking, I brush the dough with oat milk and top it with sesame seeds. 

These rolls might seem a lot of work because they are small and braided but they are actually very easy to make. The shaping isn’t difficult at all, if anything they are a lot of fun. They are even a great project to do with young children! I have put a link below so you can see how the braiding is done or go to @goodnessis Instagram stories.

challah rolls

Preparation 2½ – 3 hours

Baking time 25 minutes

Makes 8 small challah rolls

The recipe uses a mixer with a dough hook, but you can easily use your hands.

dough ingredients 

2 Tbsp/20g flaxseed

1 cup + 2 Tbsp (246g) oat or nut milk

6 Tbsp/60g olive oil

1 heaped tsp active dry yeast

1¼ cups/150g whole spelt flour

2¼ cups/350g white spelt flour

¼ cup/40g light brown sugar

1 tsp fine rock salt

toppings

oat milk for brushing

sesame and poppy seeds

preparation 

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, whisk together the flaxseeds with warm oat milk, oil and yeast. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes, undisturbed until the mixture foams, about 5 – 6 minutes.

2.  Add the flour, sugar and salt to the yeast and milk mixture, turn the machine onto the lowest setting and knead on medium speed for about 5 – 10 minutes.  The dough should be elastic and smooth.  If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time or if too dry, add more liquid, a teaspoon at a time. The dough should feel tacky but shouldn’t stick to your hands.

3.  Cover with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to sit in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours until well risen and doubled in size.

plaiting the dough

4.  Take out the dough and divide it into eight equal pieces, approximately 110g each.  Using your palms, and starting from the centre and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope approx 40-cm long.  

For easy braiding instructions, refer to this video – jump to 1:02 mins.

5.  Place the strand onto the work surface and bring the end piece around and pinch it into the middle of the strand to look like a number 6. Then take the long strand and bring it over the top and through the loop; allow it to hang while you gently pull and twist the loop into a figure 8. Take the strand, and bring it from underneath and over the right side so that it tucks down into the bottom of the figure of 8. Gently pinch it underneath.

6. Place on a baking tray and repeat with the remaining 7 pieces. Brush with oat milk and sprinkle with poppy and sesame seeds.

7.  Cover loosely with an oiled plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 – 1½ hours.

8.  About 15 minutes before the dough has finished rising, preheat an oven to 180C/350F.  Remove the plastic wrap or towel and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate the tray halfway through. Allow to cool down before cutting into them fully.

variation

  • 6 rolls – divide into 6 pieces, approx. 145g each – roll to 45 cm.
  • 10 rolls – divide into 10 pieces, approx. 90g each – roll to 35 cm.
  • You can leave the dough rising overnight. After the first rise, when the dough has doubled, store it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. The next morning leave at room temperature for an hour and then resume braiding.
  • You can make them pull-apart rolls: place the shaped rolls into a lined baking dish close to one another, so they touch each other after the second rise/baking.

note

  • Make sure to divide the dough into evenly sized portions for even baking.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

sesame cake (vegan)

27th January 2021

“This cake gets a double dose of sesame, with tahini and sesame seeds in the batter and lots of crunchy sesame seeds to coat the pan, too” – Yossy Arefi. 

It’s simple to make as it only uses one bowl. To ensure even mixing, use the edge of a whisk to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. For best results, make sure you use a traditional brand of tahini that is runny and smooth. I like baking this in an 8-inch square pan to be cut into tidy squares for gifting to friends.

~ holy basil

~ holy Brahmin cow

~ frangipani tree

~ offerings

sesame cake

Preparation 15 minutes

Baking 35 – 40 minutes

Serves 10 – 12

Recipe slightly adapted from Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi.

ingredients

6 Tbsp/50g sesame seeds (a combination of black and white is nice) – divided

3 Tbsp/22g ground flaxseed

¾ cup/170g oat/almond milk

¾ cup/150g plus 1 Tbsp light brown/blond sugar – divided

½ cup/120g smooth runny tahini, well stirred

¼ cup/50g neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ tsp fine rock salt

1¼ cups/160g all-purpose flour

1½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp cardamom powder (freshly ground)

dried rose petals (optional)

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Oil a sheet of parchment paper and line it in an 8-inch square baking pan, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons sesame seeds on the bottom and 1-inch up the sides.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flaxseeds and milk, allow to sit for 10 minutes, then add the sugar, tahini, oil, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth.

3. Add the flour, 3 Tbsp of the sesame seeds, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom. Whisk until well combined and smooth.

4. Pour the batter into the lined pan, tap gently on the counter to release any air bubbles, and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and sesame seeds on top.

5. Bake until golden, and a tester comes out clean, 35 – 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely before serving, otherwise, it may crumble. It’s optional to sprinkle with rose petals when serving.

flavour variations

peach and raspberry sesame cake: Slice 1 small pitted peach over the top, scatter ½ cup/70g fresh raspberries over the top, then sprinkle with sugar and sesame seeds.

date and sesame cake: Fold ½ cup chopped date into the batter.

use another pan

loaf: Bake in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (45 mins)

round: Bake in a 9-inch round pan. (35 – 40 mins)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie