spring

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

½ cup/125ml 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

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp/65g mild-tasting olive oil

¼ cup/55g almond milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp grated ginger

zest of 1 lemon

¼ tsp fine rock salt

cook the millet

1.  Rinse and drain the millet, place in a small pan, add ½ cup water and salt, and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer for 15 minutes, covered, until the millet is cooked.

2. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes, then measure out 1 cup/180g cooked millet – set aside.

3.  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

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

prepare the rhubarb

5.   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

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

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

8.  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.

9.  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.

10. Crumble over the almond crumb. 

11.  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 (use the redder part of the stems)

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.

4.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

5-minute vegan salted caramel

2nd May 2019

A very simple sweet salty gooey 5-minute caramel sauce to drizzle warm over ice-cream, pancakes or crumble the base of a bowl with a 5-ingredient tahini almond cookie, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a sprinkling of toasted pistachio nuts, drizzle over the caramel sauce and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Perfect for Pesach Celebrations!

~spring vegetable garden~

5-minute vegan salted caramel

Recipe inspired here.

Preparation time 5 minutes

Makes 1 cup

ingredients

⅓ cup/75g hulled tahini 

⅓ cup/70g coconut cream

⅓ cup/50g coconut sugar

¼ tsp fine rock salt

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp water, or more for desired consistency

½ tsp vanilla extract

to serve

vanilla ice-cream

5-ingredient tahini almond cookies

toasted pistachios

preparation

1.  Mix all the ingredients together, except the vanilla in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved, stirring continuously.

2.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3.  For a more syrupy, drippy consistency, once cool, whisk in water 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. Enjoy immediately!  Can be stored refrigerated up to a week.

The sauce will set once it is cooled so you will need to reheat it to regain a pourable consistency or add in hot water until the desired consistency.

beetroot palya

11th April 2019

I prefer to keep this palya simple and the flavours subtle, as it is normally served with other complex dishes. Use fresh, small-medium sized beetroot with lots of flavour and preferably with their greens attached – a reliable sign of freshness. Always give them a squeeze to avoid buying old spongy beetroot that has been stored too long.

~ vegetable garden and blossoms ~

beetroot palya

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 4, as a side dish.

ingredients 

4-5 medium beetroot (450g)

for the voggarane 

2 Tbsp peanut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

15 small curry leaves

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

3 Tbsp freshly grated coconut – can replace with dried

to serve 

whole moong dal with garden greens

yoghurt

rice

preparation 

1.  Scrub the beetroot and place them in a pot of boiling water – simmer for 30 minutes until tender but still firm.

2.  Drain and allow to cool slightly. Using vinyl gloves (this will keep your hands clean while working with beets) slip the skin off. If the skin doesn’t slip off easily, use a knife to scrape the skin away.

3.  Finely chop into small cubes and place in a serving bowl.

for the voggarane 

4.  Heat the oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds; when they start to splatter and pop, remove from heat, add in the curry leaves, swishing the pan around for the leaves to fry evenly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 1 – 2 minutes.

5.  Add salt and jaggery, stir to combine and pour over the beetroot – toss until well-incorporated.

6.  Add the finely chopped dill and sprinkle over the coconut – stir to combine. Garnish with a handful of small beetroot leaves.  Serve warm, or at room temperature.

variations 

Stir through 1  cup full- fat yoghurt.

suggestions 

If buying beets with their greens still attached, lightly steam the greens when boiling the beet, double the voggarane and stir through.

no knead bread

17th February 2019

No knead bread gives a gorgeous, crusty loaf, with very little hands-on time. The use of a dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) creates a moist environment for the bread as it bakes, I use an old Le Creuset pot for this, however, I have read that an enamel, Pyrex or ceramic pot works just as well. The wet dough and long fermentation are the keys to success. The rough seam, when placed in the hot pot, creates unexpected beautiful results, so there is no need to slash or score the bread.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast.

Pour in the water.

Then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place.

With oiled hands, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball.

Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up.

After the second rise, take the preheated dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb.

no knead bread

Preparation – 15 hours

Serves 8

ingredients

3 cups/390g unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp/2g dry yeast

1¼ cups warm water

preparation

1.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast, pour in the water, then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

2.  Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place. The slow fermentation is the key to flavour.

for the second rise

3.  With oiled hands or a bowl scraper, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball. I like to gently lift up the dough as I fold it over so that the dough is being stretched.

4.  Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

5.  About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up. It may be cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.

6.  Once your dough has finished its second rise, take the dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

7.  Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

8.  Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

9.  Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb. It has a lovely crackling sound as it cools!

Enjoy!

suggestions

Cover the proofing basket in a heaped tablespoon of seeds (black and white sesame, flaxseeds & poppy seeds) before putting the bread inside.

If you think that your dough will be sitting out for a longer 24h period, then reduce the amount of yeast to a ¼ teaspoon. 

variations

Replace 100g of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

Replace the wheat flour with spelt flour. You may need to lessen the amount of water because wheat absorbs more moisture.

favourite rasam recipe – three ways

22nd August 2018

This is a recipe I fall back on as a twice or thrice weekly meal. It is the same recipe, same measurement of spices, using a variety of different dal and vegetables. The first two recipes include grinding the coconut-rasam mixture, while the third does not, making it a quicker dish to prepare. It’s a good example of how one recipe can be used in many variations to give a totally different dish.

In these three recipes, I alternate between using mung beans(whole moong dal)toor dal and split yellow moong dal.

whole mung beans with tomatoes & chard

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients 

½ cup/100g mung beans(whole moong dal)

4 cups water/1 litre

1 tomato(100g), finely chopped

1 cup/50g tightly packed chard leaves (can use kale/fenugreek)

2 heaped Tbsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

sambar-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a heavy based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs off clear, drain, pour in 4 cups water into the saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.

2.  After 10 minutes of simmering add the chopped tomatoes – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes. 

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender add the dried coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute.  

4.  Pour into the dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

5.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to splatter and pop, add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly.

6.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, add salt, jaggery and stir in the chopped chard leaves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to settle, the chard to soften and dal to thicken slightly.  Taste adding more sweet, tamarind or salt.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

 

 

split moong dal with charred okra & fenugreek

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This dish requires frying the vegetables, in this case, the okra, in the voggarane until nicely charred, then stirring it through the cooked dal when ready to serve. I like to keep 1 cup of the okra aside to use as garnish. This method of cooking works very nicely with green beans as well.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g split yellow moong dal

3 cups/750ml water

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

rasam-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

3 Tbsp peanut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped Tbsp channa dal

1 heaped tsp urad dal

400g okra

15 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

2 cups fresh fenugreek/kale/ coriander leaves – chopped

preparation

1.  In a heavy based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs off clear, drain, pour in 3 cups water into the saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

2. Top, tail the okra and cut into 1 cm pieces and measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the rasam powder, tamarind, dried coconut and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute.  

4.  Pour into the dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

5.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to splatter and pop, add the channa and urad dal, fry until both dals are golden-brown.

6.  Add the okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges – approximately five minutes.

7.  Turn off the heat and fold in the chopped fenugreek leaves.

8.  Set aside 1 cup of the okra mixture for garnishing and stir the remaining into the dal.  Taste adding more sweet, sour or salt.

This dish is best served immediately as the okra can become gooey, otherwise, keep the okra and dal separate until ready. Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

 

 

toor dal with carrots and green beans

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This is the same procedure, using a different dal and vegetables, however, the rasam and coconut are not ground, and added directly into the dish.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g toor dal 

cups /1-litre water

1 medium/100g carrot – finely chopped

1½ cups finely chopped beans (can use cabbage in Winter)

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 ½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation 

1.  In a heavy based saucepan, wash dal until the water runs off clear, drain, then pour in 4 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. 

2.  After 10 minutes add the chopped carrot and green beans, simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

3.  When the dal is soft, stir in the coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, salt and jaggery, mix to combine well – simmer for 4 -5 minutes.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to splatter and pop, add the curry leaves and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, and stir in the coriander. 

Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to settle and dal to thicken slightly.  Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

a buttery herbed pilaf

16th June 2018

Each year I plant broad beans because of their delightfully scented pure white, black and white flower. The seed always germinates, even in this unpredictable Sintra weather but when the beans arrive, I am sometimes at a loss at what to do with them.

This year, there was an abundance of both succulent beans and sweet peas. Just in time, I came across this rice dish which enabled me to make use of all the various green bits and pieces from the garden, that have emerged at this time of year.

The herbs soften the buttery rice and infuse it with flavour. The steaming method of cooking the rice forms a crusty bottom, creating crunchy shards of golden rice. It is a splendid outcome.

a  buttery herbed pilaf

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe adapted ‘Gather Cook Feast’ by Jessica Seaton.

ingredients

1 cup/200g white basmati rice

½ cup/65g fresh young broad beans

½ cup/70g fresh sweet peas

½ cup/70 g finely chopped green beans (optional)

1 large bunch/20g each fresh parsley, dill or fennel fronds

1 very large bunch/80g fresh coriander

½ cup/125ml melted ghee – divided (or 75g butter-melted)

salt and pepper to taste

zest from half lemon

juice from half lemon

soak the rice

1.  Wash the rice in cold water and drain. Repeat three more times to flush out all the excess starch (this helps the rice to be fluffy with nice separate grains when cooked). Then leave to soak in cold water for 1 hour while you prepare everything else.

prepare the greens 

2.  Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. In it blanch the broad beans, peas and chopped green beans for 3 – 4 minutes, then drain and refresh in ice-cold water immediately to cool them down (this keeps them green). When they are completely cold, drain the peas and beans, set aside.

3.  Finely chop the leaves and tender stems of all the herbs, and mix together. Keep any tough stems for soups or stews. Set aside.

prepare the rice 

4.  Drain the rice. Fill a medium saucepan (with a lid that fits) with very well salted water. Bring the water to a vigorous boil and cook the rice for exactly 5 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.

assemble & cook the pilaf 

5.  Return the empty pan to the stove, add half of the melted ghee.

6.  Split the pile of herbs in two – one to use now, setting the other half aside to use later.

7.  Add one-third of the rice to the pot, then half of the herbs for using now. Do not mix. Repeat with the next third of the rice and the other half of the herbs. Finish with the last third of rice. Drizzle the remaining melted ghee over the top.

8.  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, then place the pot on the lowest heat you can manage and continue cooking for another 45 minutes.

9.  When the rice is ready, mix the reserved herbs from the bowl and the peas and beans into the rice and pile it all on to a good wide platter or bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and squeeze over the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and a few rounds of pepper. Scrape up the crisp rice at the bottom of the pot and tuck it into the pile of rice shards – it’s delicious.

golden pistachio cardamom cookies (vegan)

15th March 2018

Because these cookies contain very little flour, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  I used a heaped round tablespoon measure of the cookie dough and flatten them out with damp fingers.  If you find the cookie dough sticking, dip the spoon in water and then use damp fingers to push the edges in if they are breaking away.  If you prefer a cookie crunchy on the outside and softer texture on the inside – scoop to keep the dome-shape and skip the flattening process.  You can easily replace the sultanas with gojji or cranberries berries.

 golden pistachio cardamom cookies

Makes approx 31 cookies – two trays.

Grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant. An easy way to do this is to place 18 cardamom pods in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder, and roughly grind. Use a strainer to sift the ground pods, discard the shells and grind bigger chunks again to a finer powder.

Inspired by these cookies and this recipe.

ingredients:

⅓ cup/60g golden sultanas

½ cup/65g raw unsalted pistachio nuts

cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1 ½ cup/130g fine regular rolled oats

3 Tbsp/25g sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil/olive oil

zest of two oranges

preparation:

1.  Preheat oven 180C/350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Place the sultanas in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and soak for 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer, and set aside to drain well. (The extra moisture will help prevent them from burning and drying out when baking.)

3.  Place the pistachio nuts on a tray and toast for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a medium bowl, along with the spelt flour, oats, sesame seeds, salt, baking powder, cardamom and ginger powder.  Mix to combine and set aside.

4.  Melt the coconut oil over low heat until liquid, add the maple syrup; whisk until emulsified.

5.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well, add the drained sultanas, orange zest and mix until well combined.

6.  Use a slightly wet round tablespoon measurement to scoop the cookie dough pressing against the side of the bowl to compact and place onto the baking sheets, flatten with damp fingers. If the mixture starts to stick, dip the spoon between intervals into the water. It is helpful to have a bowl of water nearby.

7.  Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway through. The cookies are ready to come out when they are deeply golden.

8.  Cool the cookies on a rack while you bake the rest of the dough. They will firm up when completely cool and are best eaten the day they are made.

Goodness shared by Stacey

anne´s magical sesame-tahini-ginger dressing

18th February 2018

Our Christmas and New Year were spent up in the beautiful, snowy mountains of Boulder visiting our oldest and dearest friends. As soon as we arrived, a daily ritual was naturally established, of cooking and sharing meals together, morning and evening communed around a big table and warm fire. On these nights Anne would arrive with a basket of organic salad greens which she would chop up and serve drizzled with this magical tahini dressing.

This dressing is special and adds a delicious splash of flavours to anything you put it on. Whenever I make it, it transports me back to those special evenings shared with like-minded friends.

 anne´s magical sesame- tahini- ginger dressing

Makes about 2 cups

I like to tear up some bitter tasting leaves from the garden, add a sliced pear and a handful of nuts and seeds and there’s a quick salad or steam some kale leaves, greens beans or broccoli. For a more substantial meal cook up a pot of brown rice, roast some seasonal vegetables and drizzle over this dressing. It is guaranteed to add a bit of magic to any dish.

ingredients:

3 Tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup white miso

½ cup hulled tahini

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp honey

½ a lemon zested

juice of ½ a lemon

1-inch grated ginger

2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

½ tsp flaked dulse (optional)

¼ cup water

¼ – ½ cup olive oil

preparation:

1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds until they start popping, keep toasting for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside for the seeds to cool.

2.  In a medium jar, place the miso and tahini, stir well until pasty and incorporated, stir in the sesame oil and honey.

3.  Remove the zest from half a lemon and squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl, add the grated ginger, apple cider vinegar and if using, the dulse flakes. Stir well, adding the water until the dressing comes together.

4.  Add the cooled toasted sesame seeds and pour in the olive oil, whisk until smooth and creamy.

5.  Taste and adjust the seasonings until you have a pleasing balance of fat and acid. The ideal consistency is that of pouring cream; stir in some water, or little more oil, until it runs easily off a spoon.

carrot cake – vegan

9th November 2017

There are two ways to serve this cake. The first, for a special occasion and serving it with decadent cashew cream, the second, without the cream and giving it a warm earthiness by sprinkling the top of the cake with 2 extra tablespoons sesame seeds and the roughly chopped raw walnuts before baking. Both ways 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 so much more fragrant, fresher and more intense. 

cashew cream 

1 cup/140g cashew, soaked 

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/coconut sugar.

½ cup/125ml hulled tahini paste

½ cup/250ml soy/almond milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ cup/80g golden sultanas/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.

3.  Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

prepare the cake 

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

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

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

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

8.  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.

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

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

11.  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.

12.  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.

vegan challah (revisited)

5th October 2017

challah - 1 (5)

I  always look forward to sharing this bread when the four of us are all together.  And, especially if we are lucky enough to have our family or friends join us on these Friday nights. This is where we savour the opportunity to pause, bless and reflect on the week just passed and to light the candles as a reminder of that inner light inside all of us.

What is left-over, we spend the weekend eating with all sorts of delicious spreads.

india - sugarcane juice - 1 (3) india - sugarcane juice - 1 india - sugarcane juice - 1 (1) india - sugarcane juice - 1 (2)
Freshly pressed sugar cane juice – Mysore, South India.

challah - 1 (3)

vegan challah

Preparation 2½ hours

Baking time 35 minutes

Makes one large, challah or two small.

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

ingredients 

2 Tbsp flaxseed, plus 6 Tbsp water

1 cup warm milk/almond milk

60 grams butter – room temperature/6 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp active dry yeast

150g wholewheat flour

350g regular all-purpose flour

40g brown sugar/coconut sugar

1½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation 

1.  In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Whisk together the flax seeds with 6 tablespoons water – allow to sit for 10 minutes.

2.  Add the warm milk/water, soft butter and sprinkle in the yeast, leave undisturbed until the mixture is foaming, about 5 – 6 minutes.

3.  Measure out the flours, sugar and salt, whisk together and add to the yeast & milk mixture, turn the machine on the lowest option 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 seemly too dry, add more liquid, a tablespoon at a time.

4.  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 its size.  The longer it sits the better the final bread.

5.  Take out the dough, knead a little with the heel of your hands and work it into a ball.

plaiting the dough

6.  Divide the dough into three equal pieces with a sharp knife or bench scraper.  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 the desired length.  Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces.

7.  Place the three, side by side and pinch together the top ends and carefully braid the three, like you would if you were braiding or plaiting hair.  As I braid, I gently pull them length-wise to keep them as even as possible. Pinch together the ends and tuck them slightly under.

8.  Transfer the plaited loaf to the baking tray and brush with ghee/oil and sprinkle with poppy & sesame seeds.

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

10.  About 10 minutes before the dough has finished rising, preheat an oven to 200C/400F.  Remove the plastic wrap or towel and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.

When it is just the four of us, we have been enjoying the challah with a simple vegetable soup, a salad and a bowl of guacamole, and for dessert, slathered with homemade jam.

challah - 1 (6)

Goodness shared by Stacey

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