cakes

exceptional lime cheesecake (vegan)

28th July 2023

As requested!

This recipe is satisfyingly creamy but ever so light and refreshing. It has a crunchy biscuit base, the softest, creamiest vanilla lime filling and is topped with a perfect balance of sweet and tangy lime curd.

The original recipe can be found here, where you can find step-by-step photos, tips and more inspiration.

This cheesecake is exceptional!

I altered it slightly by increasing the biscuit quantity and adding ginger powder to the base (my biscuits were not so gingery). I increased the maple syrup, bringing it up to 1/4 cup. 

notes

  • First step: Soak your cashews before making the lime curd.
  • Zest before you juice. Avoid testing the white pith, as this can be bitter. I used 12 – 14 small key limes; if using Persian limes, you only need 5 – 6.
  • Bump up the vibrance in the lime curd by adding a pinch of matcha powder and turmeric powder.
  • Vegan butter: Use vegan block-style butter, not spreadable. I use the VioLife brand for both the butter and cream cheese.

.

Easy Lime Curd

The lime curd makes more than the required amount. The remaining can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or freezer for five months. For a runner consistency, warm over low heat while stirring.

Necessary: Use fresh limes ONLY; store-bought bottled juice will not work in this recipe.

ingredients

300g/ 1½ cups lime juice, freshly squeezed (approx. 12 small key limes)

2 Tbsp lime zest

110g non-dairy milk, e.g oat or almond

180g granulated sugar

40g cornstarch

45g vegan butter, stick butter (not margarine)

preparation

1.  Zest and juice the limes.

2.  Add the sugar and cornstarch to a saucepan and whisk out any lumps. Add the non-dairy milk and whisk until you have a smooth, thin paste. Then add the lime juice and zest and whisk again to combine.

3. Place the saucepan on medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Turn down the heat to low and cook for 8 minutes while stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. The mixture will thicken and should coat the back of the spatula/spoon.

4.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vegan butter until completely melted and a smooth curd. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps and zest, then set aside to cool while you make the cheesecake.

If you prepare a day in advance, transfer the curd to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready. The curd will thicken in the fridge, so you can gently heat and melt it in a saucepan anytime you need a runnier curd consistency.

no bake vegan lime cheesecake

makes one 9-inch loaf pan

serves 8 portions

equipment – high-speed blender 

preparation time 30 mins – chilling time 5 hours 30 mins

.

make-ahead

1 batch vegan lime curd

biscuit crust

170g ginger or digestive biscuits

50g unsalted vegan butter (block-style)

1 tsp ground ginger powder

½ tsp fine rock salt

cream cheese filling

120g/⅓ cup lime curd

150g/ approx. 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 mins

200g vegan cream cheese (VioLife)

80g vegan Greek-style yoghurt or vegan Skyr

30g coconut oil

12g/1 Tbsp lime zest, freshly grated

26g/2 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

70g/¼ cup agave or maple syrup

pre-preparation

1.  Quick-soak the cashews in boiling water for 30 mins – 1 hour. Line the base and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Leave some overhang to help lift the set cheesecake out of the tin.

biscuit crust

2.  Add the cookies, salt and ginger powder to a food processor and blitz for 1 minute. (If you don’t have a food processor, place the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash them into crumbs). Add the butter and blend until the mixture sticks between your fingers.

3.  Press the crust into the base of the pan and smooth it down with your fingers or spoon – make sure it is compact. Place in the fridge while you make the filling.

cream cheese filling

4.  Add the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blitz until smooth and creamy and without lumps. Pour the filling into the pan and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours until set.

lime curd topping

5.   Add the cooled lime curd on top of the set cheesecake, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours (or overnight) until set.

Serving and storage: Once set, run your knife under boiling water and wipe after every cut with a paper towel. This will give you sharp, professional-looking slices.

orange saffron cake (GF & vegan)

19th December 2021

This Orange Saffron Cake is slightly adapted from Aran Goyoaga’s new book Cannelle et Vanille BAKES SIMPLE. I baked it for a special treat to serve at our end-of-year Sadvidya meeting, and it was a true treat! It is incredibly moist, with a deeply fragrant orange flavour, and the saffron gives it a hint of earthiness. I made it vegan by replacing the two eggs with a flaxseed mixture and increasing baking powder.

NOTES

  • The flaxseeds must be ground as finely as possible to absorb water well.
  • Use superfine brown rice flour; I use this brand of flour for all my baking.
  • Orange-flower water, or agua de azahar, as it is called in Spanish, can be found in speciality and middle eastern markets. I did not use it in this recipe, as I didn’t have it in my pantry. Even without it, it was incredibly fragrant.
  • This cake is very delicate, so handle it gently and allow the cake to cool completely and for the crumb to set. 
  • The vegan cream can be replaced with regular cream – folding in the icing sugar and vanilla after whipping.

orange saffron cake (Aran Goyoaga)

Preparation 15 minutes

Baking 40-45 minutes

Assembling 2-3 hours for the cream to thicken and the cake to cool completely.

Makes one 8-inch layer cake

ingredients

3 Tbsp/18g ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp/60g hot water (allow to sit for 10 mins as below)

½ cup/110g warm oat milk

⅛ tsp saffron threads

¾ cup/150g blond sugar

2 Tbsp finely grated orange zest (zest from 2 oranges), plus more for garnishing

3 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

1 Tbsp orange-flower water (optional)

½ cup/110g extra virgin olive oil 

1 cup/140g brown rice flour

1 cup/100g almond flour

¾ tsp fine rock salt

1 Tbsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ cup/35g sliced almonds

powdered sugar for dusting

cream

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)

preparation

1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Generously oil the inside of an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with baking paper.

2. Into a large bowl, add the flaxseed with water and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

3. Combine the milk and saffron in a small pan and warm over low heat for 2 minutes. Do not boil. Remove from heat and steep for 5 minutes, then add to the flaxseed mixture.

4.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Rub the mixture between your fingers so the zest releases its natural oils and becomes fragrant. Whisk into the flaxseed mixture along with the orange juice, orange-flower water (if using), and olive oil – whisk until smooth.

5. In a small bowl, combine the brown rice flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and whisk until well incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle over the sliced almonds.

6. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan; 3 – 4 hours is ideal.

7. Meanwhile, make the cream: Beat the butter with a hand mixer until soft. Add the violife 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 – 2 hours. 

8. Place the cake on a cake stand. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half crosswise. I press one hand on the top center of the cake and cut with the other hand as you turn the cake, which helps in even cutting. The cake is delicate, so be gentle.

9. Spread the cream over the bottom cake layer. Place the top layer on the cream, sprinkle with orange zest and dust the cake with powdered sugar. 

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. 

Variations can be found at the end of the recipe!

This cake uses walnuts for crunch and flavour, with a lovely warmth 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/180g 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 (approximately 23 pieces) for garnishing on top 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—flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices—and 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 until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. Stir in the walnuts, sultanas, and 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 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 separate from over beating. Place it in the blender, blend until smooth, then place in the fridge for a few hours.

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

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Variation

  • To make a crumble topping, sprinkle the top and sides with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and add a quarter of the chopped roasted walnuts to the cake dough; with the remaining, make a crumble topping by adding 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp brown sugar and 1 Tbsp maple syrup to the walnuts, stir to combine. Spoon over the top of the dough before baking. (See image below)
  • Sprinkle the sides and bottom of the greased cake tin with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds before baking.

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 into a broader, flatter landscape with warmer temperatures. 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. This car park and beach are busy on the weekend, but on weekdays there is nobody, especially on cloudy days. Sometimes I go just for the sunset, which is especially magical when the mist rolls 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 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 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, 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 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.

lemon-sourdough pound cake (vegan)

1st March 2021

Another delicious recipe by Aran Goyoaga that was shared in her newsletter. I adapted it slightly by making it vegan, replacing the three eggs with ground flaxseed, adding baking powder, using maple syrup instead of honey and reducing the glaze by half. 

I have recently entered the world of sourdough bread, and every Monday, I make a loaf of sourdough to bake the following day, so this recipe was perfect for using any leftover starter and using up the lemons that 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. 

If you don’t have a sourdough starter to discard, replace it with ½ cup/70g rice flour and ⅓ cup/80g of water/buttermilk, and increase the baking powder to 1 ½ teaspoon.

Scroll down for the blueberry variation.

tip

  •  Save time; soak the flaxseed first, 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) or 14 cupcakes (baked for 25 minutes, using these cake liners)

*I take my starter (sourdough leaven) from the fridge in the evening, just before bed, measure out 40g, and then feed it – 100g flour + 100g water. Allow it to sit overnight; by the morning, it may be fully active, or even if it has deflated already or hasn’t quite reached its full potential, no matter. With this starter, I make this lemon-pound sourdough cake.

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 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 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 it onto a platter.

5. Meanwhile, make the glaze by gently heating the sugar and lemon juice 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 combining lime, lemon and orange.)  

note

  •  Use a metal pan, as suggested and grease it well. Alternately, you can line it with baking paper, making 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/blackberries

  • Fold in 1 cup/125g of 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.)

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 (9 cupcakes)

Recipe is 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 sesame seeds, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom. Whisk until well combined and smooth.

4. Pour the batter into the lined pan, gently tap on the counter to release 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)

cupcakes: 9 cupcakes, bake 25 – 30 mins (1 ½ recipe = 14 cupcakes)

lemon poppyseed 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 poppyseed 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 3 lemons

4 Tbsp/55g 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, lemon juice 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 by sifting 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, may need to add 2 Tablespoons of 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 them almost full and bake for 35 minutes. Makes 14-16 cupcakes.

Note: 1 ½ recipe = 24 cupcakes; with vegan cream-cheese icing (1 ½ recipe), drizzle with fresh passionfruit pulp. (image below)

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 Covid pandemic, 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.

Scroll to the bottom for the Banana-Tahini-Date Variation and Cupcake versions.

~clivia-miniata~

banana bread with sunflower seeds

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

Makes 1 x 28cm loaf /8-inch square pan or 10 cupcakes (bake – 35 mins)

Preparation – 20 minutes

Baking time – 50 – 55 minutes

ingredients

3 Tbsp/22g ground flaxseeds

½ cup/110g water

4 ripe medium bananas – divided

½ cup/100g 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

¾ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

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

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 28 x 7 cm loaf pan with baking paper and set it 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. Add 3 bananas and mash with a fork to the flax mixture 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. For best results, allow the cake to completely cool before cutting, otherwise, it will crumble.

note

  • If using frozen bananas, make sure to drain some of the extra liquid from freezing, making the bread a bit too wet.
  • The crumb on this bread is delicate.  Let it cool completely in the pan before lifting it out.
  • 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.

Banana-Tahini-Date Variation

  • Use 3 medium bananas (omitting the one on top.)
  • Reduce the sugar to ¼ cup/50g, add 6 large/120g Medjool chopped dates – roughly mash with the bananas.
  • Add ¼ cup/55g runny tahini (optional)
  • Replace sunflower seeds with 3 Tbsp mix of black and white sesame seeds. Using half in the cake batter and the other half to sprinkle in the pan and over the top of the cake.
  • Bake for 60 minutes.

 

Note to self: Make 10 Cupcakes (Double recipe for 20, use 1½ vegan icing recipe found here . Sprinkle with maple-toasted sunflower seeds)

 

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 pass 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.
  • See the updated Chocolate ganache recipe below.

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 (updated chocolate ganache recipe below)

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

1 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/210g 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.

UPDATED CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

I have been using a different method for the chocolate ganache which is easier and can be made just before frosting the cake.

chocolate ganache

90g vegan/regular butter (softened to room temperature)

1 ½ tub (300g) Vegan Violife Cream Cheese, (available from Celeiro – out of the fridge for an hour)

cup/40g icing sugar

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

½ cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

150g melted dark chocolate(70%)

To make the chocolate ganche: Beat together the butter with a hand mixer until soft. Add the violife cream cheese and beat again until well mixed (don’t overmix.) Sift over icing sugar, cocoa powder, and add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and melted chocolate – beat again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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