cakes

lemon poppy seed cake (vegan)

15th July 2020

Moist, tender, full of lemon flavour and filled with nutty poppy seeds. It’s covered with a tart passion fruit glaze. Divine!

I made this on my birthday to put on the birthday table with flowers and lovely gifts the boys put together. And then, made it again the next day for a friend’s birthday. It was enjoyed by all!

lemon poppy seed cake

Preparation – 10 minutes

Baking – 40 minutes

Serves 10 -12

Based on the beloved spice cake.

ingredients 

1 cup + 2 tsp/130g whole spelt flour

1 cup/120g white spelt flour

¾ cup/150g light brown sugar

¼ cup/35g poppy seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp rock salt

½ cup/100g melted coconut oil

1¼ cup/280g almond milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

zest from 2 lemons

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

2 Tbsp vanilla essence

for the glaze 

1 cup/120g powdered sugar

20g passion fruit pulp (1 small passion fruit)

½ tsp lemon juice

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Grease a ring pan or bundt pan well with oil, making sure to get every nook and cranny.

2.  In a medium bowl, add the flours, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – whisk to combine.

3.  In another bowl, combine the coconut oil, nut milk, vinegar, lemon zest and vanilla – whisk until the ingredients are emulsified, then pour into the dry ingredients, whisking until all the liquid ingredients are absorbed. Don’t worry the batter will be quite wet.

4.  Pour the batter evenly into the greased cake tin. Place on a middle rack in the oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before removing it.

5.   Make the glaze: place the sifted powdered sugar into a bowl and mix in the passionfruit and lemon juice, until you get a thick but pourable consistency.  Test the consistency by taking a spoonful from the bowl and drizzle back into the glaze; the drizzled glaze should leave a trail. If not, add a little more powder. Use a spoon or whisk to drizzle the glaze over the top, allow it to run over and down the sides. Before it sets, decorate with lemon zest or flowers. If desired and recommended, drizzle with more passionfruit pulp just before serving.

Enjoy with love, light and blessings!

variation

  • If making them into cupcakes, fill three-quarters full and bake for 35 minutes. Makes 14 cupcakes.

banana bread with sunflower seeds (vegan & gluten-free)

14th May 2020

I am not gluten-free, however, I am running very low on regular flour due to the situation at the moment, so this was a good opportunity to try recipes using other alternatives.

This cake surprised me. It has a perfect balance between sweetness, banana flavour and consistency which melts in your mouth.

~clivia-miniata~

banana bread with sunflower seeds

Slightly altered recipe from `Cannelle et Vanille´ by Aran Goyoaga.

Makes 1 x 28cm loaf or 12 cupcakes (bake – 35 mins)

Preparation – 20 minutes

Baking time – 50 – 55 minutes

ingredients

3 Tbsp/20g ground flaxseeds

½ cup/110g water

4 ripe medium bananas, peeled, divided

¾ cup/150g granulated sugar

½ cup/115g extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil

1 Tbsp finely grated ginger

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup/100g almond flour

¾ cup/105g superfine brown rice flour

½ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ cup/25g sunflower seeds, plus more for topping

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 28 x 7-cm loaf pan and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flaxseed and water, whisk to combine and set aside for 10 – 15 minutes for the flax to thicken.

3.  To the flax mixture, add 3 bananas and mash with a fork until there are some chunks left but it is fairly pureed. Add the sugar, oil, ginger, and vanilla – mix until smooth.

4.  Whisk together the almond flour, rice flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Pour into the banana mixture and stir until the batter comes together.  Fold in the sunflower seeds.

5.  Pour into the loaf pan. Cut the remaining banana in half lengthwise, place gently on top of the batter and brush the banana pieces lightly with coconut oil.  Sprinkle a few sunflower seeds on top of the cake and bake for 55 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Set the pan on a cooling rack to cool.

note

  • Turn out of the tray when the cake is completely cool.
  • Bake in a long loaf pan for the best results.

variation

  • The rice flour can be replaced with regular all-purpose flour.
  • Replace the sunflower seeds with walnuts.

apple walnut cake (vegan)

4th October 2019

This cake base originated from Amy Chaplin’s first book, ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ and has been adapted, posted and baked many times with different variations to suit the seasons. In Spring, there is this rhubarb cardamom cake or these raspberry quinoa muffins.  In Summer, I replace the base with the recipe below and make these ginger peach muffins or when the tree is heavy with plums, the original, plum millet cake. When the cooler days creep in and the leaves start to fall, Autumn arrives and I halve figs to place over the top and sprinkle with almond flakes or a pear and macadamia based on this recipe. With Winter close behind this cinnamon apple walnut crumble is a good place to be or a spiced pumpkin version sounds inviting. As you can see when you have a good base recipe the variations are endless!

~ dried fennel seeds

~ leaf and light

~ fennel flowers

apple walnut cake

Preparation – 40 minutes

Baking – 35 minutes

Serves 8 or (9 muffins baked for 35 minutes using half the apple filling)

ingredients

¼ cup/50g millet

¾ cup/185ml water

walnut crumb

¾ cup/90g walnuts, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp/40g coconut sugar

2 Tbsp/40g maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon powder

apple filling

4 small/2 large apples (245g), peeled and chopped into small uniformed cubes

1 Tbsp ghee/coconut oil

1 Tbsp brown sugar/maple syrup

½ tsp cinnamon powder

cake ingredients 

1½ cups/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp fine rock salt

¾ cup/220g maple syrup (can replace with ½ cup/65g raw brown sugar plus ¼ cup/50g almond milk)

 cup/65g mild-tasting olive/coconut oil

¼ cup/50g almond milk

2 Tbsp/20g vanilla essence

cook the millet

1.  Rinse the millet, drain and place in a pan with water, bring to boil, simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has evaporated. Remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid. Measure out 1 cup/180g cooked millet – set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Line an 11 x 7-inch baking pan or favourite cake tin with baking paper.

walnut crumb

3.  In a small bowl, place the walnuts, sugar and maple syrup, stir to combine and set aside.

apple filling

4.  In a pan over medium heat, add the ghee/oil and sugar, melt the mixture, stirring to combine. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes, then add the apples and cinnamon, toss to coat them with syrup, cover and allow to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 assemble the cake

5.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

6.  In a separate bowl, combine millet, maple syrup, oil, almond milk and vanilla essence – whisk to combine. Pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon; do not over mix.

7.  Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan and place the apple cubes over the top and let them rest on the surface.

8.  Crumble over the walnut crumb.

9.  Bake until golden for approximately 35 – 40 minutes, until golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool.

Serve with a generous dollop of thick cream.

Amy Chaplin’s chocolate hazelnut layer cake (vegan)

17th July 2019

Turning 50 requires a very special cake!

This cake is quite a journey, much of the time is in the preparation; removing the skin from the hazelnuts and pitting the cherries, once your past these steps it is easy from there onwards. The cake batter with the addition of the ground toasted hazelnuts makes it special and the cherry filling pairs well with the chocolate and nuts, adding a burst of tangy-sweet flavour.

Use fresh cherries when available, and save some to garnish the top.

NOTE

  • I recommend making all three components; chocolate ganache, cake and cherry filling in the morning and putting in the fridge for 2-3 hours to firm up, then assembling in the afternoon. Be sure to assemble the cake when all components are completely cool.
  • When making the chocolate ganache, it is important the agar flakes are very well dissolved. See note below.
  • The recipe makes more cherry filling than needed, use the leftovers to spoon over the cake when serving.

 

chocolate hazelnut layer cake with cherry filling and chocolate ganache

Recipe from ‘At Home in the Wholefoods Kitchen’ by Amy Chaplin.

‘For best results with the frosting, make it a day ahead, so it has plenty of time to cool and set. I recommend assembling it on either a round cardboard cake base or the bottom of a springform cake pan. This makes it easier to decorate the sides with hazelnuts, holding the base of the cake with one hand and pressing nuts into the sides with the other.’ – Amy Chaplin

Makes 1 tall 8-inch cake

Equipment – Two 8-inch cake pans

chocolate ganache

2 x 400ml can unsweeten full-fat coconut milk (13.5FL OZ each)

¼ cup/70g maple syrup

5 Tbsp agar flakes (I added 1 tsp more)

Pinch fine rock salt

¾ cup/100g dark chocolate(70%), broken into pieces (3½ OZ) (I used 55%)

½ cup fresh orange juice, strained (I used ¼ cup maple & ¼ cup orange juice) 

4 tsp vanilla extract

cake

2 cups/300g toasted hazelnuts*, skin removed – divided

2 cups/240g whole-spelt flour – divided

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ cup/50g cocoa powder

1 cup/200g boiling water

¼ cup/25g ground flaxseeds

½ cup/100g melted coconut oil

1½ cups/420g maple syrup

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

½ tsp fine rock salt

cherry filling

2½ cups/425g pitted cherries, fresh or frozen

1 Tbsp maple syrup

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch fine rock salt

¾ tsp arrowroot powder

2 tsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp almond extract

½ cup/130g unsweetened black cherry jam (I used sweetened)

prepare the ganache

1.  In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup, agar flakes, and salt, bring up to the boil, whisking frequently. Cover pot, reduce heat to low – simmer for 20 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes. Check that the agar flakes are very well dissolved.*

2.  Remove from heat, add chocolate, and re-cover the pot for 2 minutes, then thoroughly whisk until completely smooth.

3.  Pour into a shallow bowl, and allow to cool, then place in the fridge until completely hard and set – approximately 1 – 2 hours.

4.  Cut the ganache into rough 1-inch pieces and place in a food processor with orange juice and vanilla: blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary, and check for unblended lumps. If the frosting separates, just keep blending until it comes together again – it can take up to 5 minutes. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for 1 hour before frosting the cake.

prepare the cake

5.  Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Oil cake pans and line bottom of each with a baking paper circle – set aside.

6.  Place ⅔ cup/90g toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and ¼ cup/30g spelt flour – blend until finely ground, about 30 seconds.

7.  Place in a medium bowl with remaining 1¾ cups spelt flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir with a whisk to combine, and set aside.

8.  In another medium bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth, add flax seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and salt – whisk to emulsify, then add flour mixture, whisk to mix batter.

9.  Divide the batter between cake pans (approximately 560g each) and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the pan. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

prepare the filling

10.  Combine the cherries, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a small pot, bring to boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low – cook fresh cherries for 10 – 15 minutes or until softened and juicy or frozen for 5 minutes.

11.  Dissolve arrowroot in water and drizzle into simmering cherries; stir constantly until it thickens slightly and returns to a simmer. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and almond extract and jam. Pour in a shallow bowl, and refrigerate to cool.

assemble the cake

12.  Spread remaining 1⅓ cups toasted hazelnuts out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with baking paper and crush them with a rolling pin – set aside.

13.  Run a butter knife around the edge of one of the cake pan and invert onto an 8-inch cardboard cake base, remove the paper and spread the surface with 1 cup frosting.

14.  Top with some cherry filling and spread out, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges.

15.  Invert second cake onto a flat surface, remove baking paper and slide the cake onto the bottom layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting and press crushed hazelnuts into sides of the cake.

Garnish with fresh cherries, and place in the fridge until ready to serve. It will improve after a few hours as the flavours settle, and can even spend the night in the fridge.

* To toast the hazelnuts, spread onto a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.  While they are still warm, rub the nuts in a towel to remove the skins.   Inevitably there will be some skins that refuse to peel away, but no matter.  

* When checking to see if the agar flakes are completely dissolved, take a spoonful of hot liquid and slowly pour it back into the pot; you will be able to see any flakes that have not dissolved on the spoon. They can be small so look carefully. Re-cover the pot, and continue simmering until no flakes appear.

rhubarb cardamom cake with rhubarb-vanilla compote (vegan)

19th May 2019

A recipe I make often based on these Raspberry Muffins. The sweet almond crumb adds a delicious crunchy texture which contrasts nicely with the sourness of the rhubarb. The maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup brown sugar. If you don’t want to spend the time arranging the rhubarb, chop into 1 cm pieces and sprinkle over the cake.

rhubarb cardamon cake with a rhubarb-vanilla compote

Preparation – 30 minutes

Baking time – 45 minutes

Serves 8 – 10

for the millet

¼ cup/50g millet

¾ cup/185ml water

for the almond crumb

⅓ cup/25g flaked almonds

2 Tbsp coconut sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp lemon juice

for the cake

4 rhubarb stalks (250-300g)

1½ cup/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

¾ cup/220g maple syrup

 cup/65g mild-tasting olive/coconut oil

¼ cup/55g almond milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp grated ginger

zest of 1 lemon

¼ tsp fine rock salt

prepare the millet

1.   Rinse the millet, place in a pan with the water, bring to boil, simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has evaporated. Remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid. Measure out 1 cup/180g cooked millet – set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line an 11 x 7-inch baking tray or favourite cake tin with parchment paper.

prepare the almond crumb

3.  In a small bowl place the almonds, sugar, maple syrup and lemon juice, stir to combine and set aside.

prepare the rhubarb

4.  Unless the rhubarb stalks are very slender, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut the stalks at an angle, two pointing one way and the other two the opposite so that they will fit together in a herringbone pattern. Use your pan to do a trial run, cutting to size and arranging your stalks however you like – set aside.  

prepare the cake

5.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cardamom – set aside.

6.  In a medium jug, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, almond milk, vanilla, ginger, lemon zest, salt and cooked millet.

7.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients, stir until well combined – be careful not to over-mix.

8.  Spread the batter evenly into the pan and arrange the rhubarb stalks on top. Spend a little extra time arranging your rhubarb – this is my favourite part! Don’t press the fruit into the batter – just place over the top and let it rest on the surface.

9.  Crumble over the almond crumb. 

10.  Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool.  Make the compote.

Serve with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt or cream and a spoon of rhubarb-vanilla compote.

rhubarb-vanilla compote

Preparation – 25 minutes

Makes 1 cup

ingredients

2 cups/225g rhubarb, diced (redder part of the stems or replace half with raspberries)

⅓ cup/90g maple syrup

½ tsp freshly grated ginger

½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise

preparation

1.  Place the rhubarb, maple syrup, ginger and in a medium saucepan.

2.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a saucepan, adding the pod as well.

3.  Cook, covered over low heat. (It’s important to begin slowly so the rhubarb warms up and begins to release its liquid. Cook the rhubarb for about 15 minutes.

4.  Remove the cover and increase heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb is completely broken down. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mary’s lemon semolina cake

28th January 2019

This cake recipe was shared via Kristin, who had received it from our dearest friend Mary. Mary is at the heart of our community, guiding us on this yogic path and as things progress she continues to be a joy-filled light leading the way for us all. I had the privilege of baking this cake with Leela (Mary’s daughter) while visiting Mary and her family in Boulder.

Heartfelt gratitude to Kristin for sharing this recipe with us and thank-you Leela for such an experience of contentment and joy in playful baking together. Such grace!

This cake actually improves with time, this allows the flavours to come together. You can serve it with yoghurt as a simple dessert, or with a cup of kashaya at the end of the meal. It is moist yet light in texture and aromatic with lemon.

Mary’s lemon semolina cake

Preparation  – 10 minutes

Baking time –  30 minutes

Serves 8 – 10

ingredients

½ cup/65g whole wheat flour or coconut flour

1½ tsp baking powder

1 cup/170g fine semolina

¼ + 2 Tbsp/75g raw sugar

½ cup/90g coconut oil

¾ cup/180g plain yoghurt

1 lemon, zest and juice

for the syrup

¼ cup/50g sugar

½ cup water

1 lemon, zest and juice

for garnishing

shredded coconut

icing powder

extra lemon zest

prepare the cake

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan lightly with ghee or coconut oil. Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, semolina and sugar, stir to combine – set aside.

3.  In a small pan over low heat, slowly melt the coconut oil, remove from heat and stir in the yoghurt, lemon juice and zest.

4.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients – fold together until well combined, then using a spatula, scrape the batter into the greased cake pan and smooth or press down the top.

5.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly golden, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

prepare the syrup

6.  Near the end of the baking time prepare the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and mix well with a wooden spoon, bring the syrup up to the boil, add the lemon juice and zest – simmer gently for 1 minute or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat, and set aside until the cake is ready.

finish the cake

7.  Once the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven – set aside to cool.

8.  Use a small, sharp knife to cut the cake down the centre, then 2 parallel lines either side 3 – 4 cm apart, followed by another set of lines at a 45-degree angle, creating a diamond pattern.

9.  Drizzle the syrup evenly over the cake and sprinkle with shredded coconut and icing sugar. Allow the cake to sit a few hours to allow the flavours to mingle.

Goodness shared by Stacey

Baked and assisted by Leela

Artwork by Kristin

pear ginger cornmeal cake (vegan)

14th January 2018

Just a few months ago we moved all the Jivana Yoga classes from our living room in the main house to the new ‘Sadvidya Space’ located at the very back of the property.  It is a beautiful, wild, and natural space overlooking the fruit orchard and the vegetable garden. To get there it is quite a journey, entering through a unassuming green door, stepping into and away from the hustle and bustle of old Sintra; you then weave your way past the main house, following the signs that lead along a cobbled stoned path through a lush green forest full of moss, all the while listening to the soft and sweet melody of the birds above.

Already something of yourself has softened and a natural quietness begins to present itself from within. You continue to pass an old chapel canopied under richly, scented eucalyptus trees which loom above, and there you find yourself at a door of the ‘Sadvidya Space’ where one can enter into the warmth and escape the attraction of the external world to travel inwards for a few hours.

I like to think of this journey from the ‘Green Door’ to the ‘Space’ as preparation for our inward practice, helping us to begin to let go along the way.  This is also where I like to test my new recipes and serve them after class to our lovely group on Saturday mornings. This pear and ginger cornmeal cake disappeared quickly!  

´The Sadvidya Space´

pear ginger cornmeal cake

8  servings

The ginger and pear are perfect together and the ginger is subtle enough that it lingers. A very easy dessert for morning or to prepare for a large group.  I like to bake this in a wider baking tray (6.5-inch x 10.5-inch) almost like a slice if using a smaller tray or skillet the cake may need more cooking time.

pear topping 

4 small/370g firm pears

2 Tbsp butter/ghee/coconut oil

2 Tbsp brown sugar

dry ingredients 

1 cup/135g cornmeal

½ cup/75g wholewheat flour

½ cup/75g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 heaped tsp ginger powder

wet ingredients 

¼ cup almond milk

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup maple syrup (maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup sugar)

2 Tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped 

garnishing

2 Tbsp brown sugar

½ cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Line a baking pan or oil a round 8-9 inch cast iron skillet.

2.  Prepare the pear topping, halve the pears, remove the seeds, and slice each half into fours about ¼-inch thick. Set aside.

3.  In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter and sugar, melt the mixture, stirring to combine – cook until the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes.

4.  Add the pears, toss the pan to coat them with syrup, cover and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

5.  Prepare the cake, whisk together the cornmeal, flours, baking powder, salt and ginger powder in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

6.  In a separate bowl, combine the nut milk, olive oil, maple syrup, and crystallized ginger.

7.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon; do not over mix, pour into the baking dish or oiled skillet, you may need to spread the batter out with a spatula.

8.  Arrange the pears, toss the pears to coat them with the pan juices and individually lay the pear slices decoratively in even rows over the top of the batter, drizzle with the remaining pan juices. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar and the roughly chopped macadamia nuts.

9.  Bake until golden for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with a dollop of cream or Greek yoghurt.

Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot cake – vegan

9th November 2017

There are two ways to serve this cake:

  •  with a decadent cashew cream for a special occasion.
  •  or for a warm earthiness, sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and roughly chopped raw walnuts before baking.

Both are delicious.

As a general rule, all nuts are heating. In Ayurveda, it is recommended to eat sparingly, especially cashews as they provoke pitta and because of their thought-provoking qualities can disturb the sleep and meditation.

sesame-seeded carrot cake

Inspired by the much-loved Spice Cake.

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. 

cashew cream 

1 cup/140g cashew, soaked for 4 hours

¼ cup coconut cream (the cream from the top of a can of coconut milk)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 vanilla bean

2 – 4 Tbsp maple syrup

ingredients for the cake 

2 Tbsp sesame seeds – for sprinkling inside the greased pan

½ cup/50g walnuts – for garnishing

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

dry ingredients 

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

1 heaped tsp cardamom powder

2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon powder

wet ingredients 

½ cup/125ml melted coconut oil/mild-tasting olive oil

1 cup/250ml maple syrup (can replace with 1 cup/180g brown sugar)

¼ cup/45g brown sugar.

½ cup/125ml hulled tahini paste

½ cup/250ml almond milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ cup/80g golden raisins

prepare the cashew cream 

1.  Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight in cold water, then drain, rinse and place in a high-speed blender.

2.  Split the vanilla bean down its length, scrape the seeds into the blender, along with the coconut cream, coconut oil and maple syrup, blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of maple syrup. Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

prepare the cake 

3.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Oil a 9-inch springform pan or a baking dish with oil and sprinkle the sesame seeds around the sides and bottom of the pan.

4.  Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.  Roughly chop, and set aside.

5.  Wash the carrots and grate either using a box grater or your food processor (using the smaller grater attachment). Set aside.

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

7.  In another medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients – oil, maple syrup, sugar, tahini, soy/almond milk and vinegar. Whisk until the wet ingredients are emulsified.

8.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, whisking together just until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. The batter will be quite wet.

9.  Stir in the grated carrot and sultanas, fold gently with a spatula to combine.

10.  Pour the batter into the oiled pan and place in the oven. Bake about 50 – 60 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.

11.  When the cake is completely cool and you are ready to serve. Spread the cashew cream evenly over the top of the cake. Decorate the cake with the toasted walnuts and long strips of carrot peel. To keep the carrot strips from discolouring, toss in a little lemon juice before placing on the cake.

Serve within a few hours of frosting otherwise, it is best to keep the cake refrigerated or to frost only when ready to serve.

Gillian’s 6-minute carob cake (vegan)

5th January 2016

full cake 1

While staying with Gillian, I had the honour and privilege of spending time and cooking together with her in her exquisite kitchen.  I left fulfilled and inspired along with a favourite book tucked into my suitcase and together with a bundle of recipes.  This is one of them, which we cooked together for Christmas Eve dinner. It is a celebratory cake which Gillian bakes for all birthdays, celebrations and special occasions. Sometimes using cocoa powder instead of the carob powder, and in summer decorated with fresh strawberry slices, and in winter, pomegranate seeds.

Gillian possesses a divine talent for cooking, a grace which flows through her to create a perfect balance of tastes, leaving a feeling of deep satisfaction and contentment.  Each dish is created with such pure intention and ease – a delight for the senses.

Gillians home sunriseperfect spot for teasunrise on slate stones

A few more photos of our trip – still on Paul & Gillian’s idyllic property.  I spent almost a week there, and it felt like a retreat. Waking early, painting in silence, morning tea by candlelight. Then just as the light started to change, I would bundle myself up, camera in hand, and venture out of my warm, little room walking the surrounding forest, breathing in the silence, and soaking up nature’s soft beauty in the morning golden light.

side view chocolate cake

Gillian’s 6-minute carob cake

Recipe adapted from ‘Enlightened Eating’ by Caroline Marie Dupont.

A fast and delicious treat that can be mixed right into the baking pan.  The recipe says that it is not necessary to grease the pan, but I have not been brave enough to try that.  Carob is a naturally sweet, nutritious little gem.  The taste of carob does vary – I prefer using a lighter variety.

For the best result, I make this cake the day before and keep in the fridge.

ingredients 

1½ cups whole-spelt flour

cup unsweetened carob powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup coconut sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)

½ cup good quality olive/sunflower oil

1 cup cold water

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp vinegar – I use apple cider vinegar

to make the cake

1.  Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Grease an 8-inch square pan or an 8-inch round baking pan.

2.  Mix together the flour, carob, baking soda, salt, and coconut sugar in the greased baking pan and stir to combine – set aside.

3.  In a large measuring jug, measure and mix together the sunflower oil, water and vanilla extract.

4.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the baking pan and mix batter with a fork or small whisk.

choco cake in the making

5.  When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly.  There will be pale swirls in the batter where the baking soda and the vinegar are reacting.  Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

swirling batter

6.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  When cooked, remove from oven, set aside to cool completely and then, refrigerate for 30 minutes.

carob glaze

elias frosting

I love this glaze, so simple with minimum ingredients.  What is created is a thick (because of the coconut oil), pourable glaze with no nasty sugars or powders.  The coconut oil is liquid when heated, and solidifies when in contact with the cold – because of this it plays an important role in thickening this glaze.

ingredients 

2 Tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil – melted

cup maple syrup

cup carob powder

preparation 

1. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat.

2. Add the maple syrup and carob powder, mix with a small whisk or fork until smooth – set aside to cool.

3.  Remove the cake from the fridge, drizzle over the glaze.  When ready to serve, decorate with strawberry slices or pomegranate seeds and sprinkle with dried shredded coconut.

elias with cakeGoodness shared by Stacey

Baked by Gillian

Decorated by Elias

plum millet cake (vegan)

16th July 2015

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I know when we have entered into Summer, as each morning I can pick the first of the Jasmine to place on our altar  – just one perfect flower, but Wow!  Such a scent.

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Jasminum spp

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Using the last of our plums from this tree and sharing them with our friends, neighbours, visiting teachers, and our growing ducklings and swans.

plum millet cake

Makes one 9-inch square pan with 12 square slices.

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’.

I have been making this with raspberries instead of plums.  I use 150 grams frozen/fresh raspberries, following the recipe below, sprinkle the top with flaked almonds and 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar. 

for the millet

¼ cup/50g millet, washed and soaked (if you forget to soak the millet, add 2 Tablespoons extra water).

½ cup/125ml water

for the cake

1½ cup/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp aluminium-free baking powder

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

¾ cup/185ml plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup (maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup sugar)

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp/90ml extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, melted 

¼ cup/60ml almond milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp fine rock salt

8small plums /340g, pitted and cut into ½-inch slices – If using very juicy plums, allow to drain off the excess liquid for 5 minutes.

for the topping

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)

to cook the millet

1.  Drain and rinse millet, place in a small pot and pour in ½ cup water.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing up with a fork.  You should have approximately 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cooked millet.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with oil or for easy removal, line with baking paper.

to prepare the cake

3.  Place the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl; stir to combine and set aside.

4.  In another bowl, combine the maple syrup, olive oil, almond milk, vanilla and salt.

5.  Add the flour mixture, and using a rubber spatula, stir until combined, then fold in the plums, cooked millet and citrus zest, stirring until just combined – be careful not to over-mix.

6.  Pour the batter into the baking pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, remaining 2 tablespoons of millet and the brown sugar.

7.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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