cardamom

carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting (vegan)

9th June 2021

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

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

carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting

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

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

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

ingredients 

1 cup/100g walnuts – divided

1 cup/120g whole-wheat flour

1 cup/120g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp cardamom powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon powder 

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

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

¼ cup/45g brown sugar or coconut sugar

cup/160g almond/oat milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

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

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

cream cheese frosting

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

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

cup/40g icing sugar

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

prepare the cake 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Variation

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

golden pistachio cardamom cookies (vegan)

15th March 2018

These golden oat cookies contain very little flour and because of that, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  Use 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 goji 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. 

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

1½ 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. 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

kaseri bath – sweet upma

12th February 2017

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Satya, sivam and sundaram.

Truth, sacredness, and beauty are three most important characteristics seen throughout the universe. They come from the Eternal Truth and are contained in everything to a greater or lesser extent. Happiness takes shelter under their protection.  Violence can utterly spoil them.  When we intentionally violate these qualities we violate Truth. It is, therefore, our duty to preserve and maintain them.

~ The Sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr Shankaranarayana Jois

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A recipe shared by our teacher last year as part of The Jivana Yoga Programme, we are fortunate to be graced with their presence here in Portugal.  Their presence in our home and lives leaves a profound effect on our daily existence and our practices become that little bit more concrete and established on this yogic path.

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Kaseri Bath – Sweet Upma

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 8 – 10 small servings

Kaseri Bath is especially recommended for Yoga practitioners.  It calms the mind and keeps it fresh.  It may be used by all constitutions.  Kaseri Bath can be served as part of the main meal and it is especially recommended to be served with Upma or Idli.  Best served warm, it is the Indian tradition to start with the sweet first.  Depending on the type of sugar used, the taste and colour may vary. Instead of bananas, apple or pineapple can be used.

ingredients 

1½ cups/350ml warm water

1 pinch saffron – 15 threads

½ cup/125ml ghee – melted

10 cashew

10 almonds

1 cup/170g semolina

¼ cup/35g raisins

3 medium/200g bananas

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/205g light brown sugar 

6 cardamom pods  – ¼ tsp 

preparation 

1.  Place the saffron threads in warm water to steep for 15 minutes.

2.  Cut the almonds into 3 pieces and the cashew nuts into 2 pieces. Peel and cut the bananas into 1 cm pieces.  Remove the hard shell from the cardamom, and place the small black seeds in a mortar and pestle, grind into a fine powder – set aside.

3. In a skillet over medium heat, add ghee, almonds, cashews and semolina – stir continuously for 10 minutes, or until the cashews have turned golden-brown.

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4.  Pour in the saffron water, add the raisins, chopped banana and salt – stir continuously for 3 minutes.  

5.  Add the sugar, after about 30 seconds of stirring the Kaseri Bath will become considerably softer and liquid in consistency, and then will thicken slightly again. This process will take approximately  2-3 minutes, of continually stirring; or until the sugar has dissolved.  While stirring, once you feel the Kaseri Bath is thicker in consistency and starts to pull away from the pan – it is ready. 

6.  Turn off the heat, stir in the cardamom powder, mixing well. 

Allow the Kaseri Bath to rest for a minute and for the flavours to deepen.  Serve warm.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

chocolate-hazelnut truffles & pecan-cardamom date balls (vegan)

17th December 2016

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These make a wonderfully healthy addition to bring along to a festive celebration or wrap them up in some recycled paper, a ribbon with a little bit of nature tucked in somewhere for a well-wisher or loved one.  They are always appreciated.  Some other ideas are this homemade raw halvah or zesty mango bliss balls or these chocolate covered caramels  Or an assortment of all three!

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chocolate – toasted hazelnut truffles

You could experiment with the different variations of these chocolate balls by adding orange or lemon zest, fresh mint, peppermint essence or even delicately salted.  For a smoother consistency, grind the nuts first, and then add the rest of the ingredients.

I like how toasting brings out the rich flavour in the nuts. If wanting to keep the truffles raw skip the toasting process.

Inspired by Donna’s Date Chocolate Balls & Green Kitchen Stories

Makes about 18 – 20 balls

ingredients 

15 large Medjool dates, pitted

50g dried unsweetened shredded coconut

100g toasted hazelnuts/almonds

1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 – 4 Tbsp cacao/carob powder

1 Tbsp water

1 tsp cinnamon powder

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2.  Place the hazelnuts on a tray and toast for 12 minutes, roll in a clean tea towel to remove some of the skin.  The toasting brings out the warm rich hazelnut flavour.

3.  Place all the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse for about 1 minute or until the mixture comes together.

4.  Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into small round balls.  If you are having trouble with the mixture coming together, place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll the balls in cocoa/carob powder, finely chopped toasted almond flakes or shredded coconut.

5.  Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving, or package them into a jar tied with ribbon or raffia for a holiday gift offering.

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pecan – cardamom spiced date balls

I love these bite-size balls for their exotic taste!  If possible, grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant, fresher and more intense.  

A recipe inspired by Anna.

Makes 18 – 20

ingredients 

12 large medjool dates, pitted

50g dried cranberries/goji berries (if using goji berries roughly chop)

50g dried unsweetened shredded coconut

100g raw pecans

1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 Tbsp freshly ground cardamom

1 Tbsp water

1 tsp ginger powder/1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

preparation 

1.  Place all the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse for 1 minute or until the mixture comes together.

2.  Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into small round balls; half the size of a golf ball.  If you are having trouble with the mixture coming together, place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll the balls in finely chopped toasted pecans or shredded coconut.

3.  Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.  Or package them into a jar tied with ribbon or raffia for a holiday gift offering.

4V7A9372_1980x1297Goodness shared by Stacey

coconut banana cake spiced with cardamom (vegan)

6th December 2011

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I went pecan picking today to make you this cake

To get there I walked through the neighbour’s olive grove

Stepping into a pecan forest

 green, green, grass below

 blue, blue sky above.

So quiet.

Almost forgot why I was there.  Filled my hat with pecans.

And back through the olive orchard, olives squishing underfoot, arriving back home inspired.

Did I tell you I absolutely love this time of year?

It fills me up, inspires and holds me, so snugly.

Banana Coconut Spiced Cardamom Cake

Inspired by this cake 

ingredients 

¼ cup nut milk

6 Tbsp olive/coconut oil

½ cup maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups mashed, VERY ripe bananas – 5 medium bananas

1 cup white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp rock salt

1  Tbsp cardamom powder

1 cup shredded dried coconut

½ cuppecans, finely chopped 

preparation 

1.  Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Lightly oil an 8″ x “8 loaf pan.

2.  Place milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and bananas in a blender – blend until smooth. Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add banana mixture and combine using as few strokes as possible, gently fold in the nuts.

4.  Pour into a loaf tin and smooth the top.

5.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (times vary greatly according to your oven – mine took 45 minutes).  I had to cover mine for the last 10 minutes with foil to prevent too much browning on top.

Goodness from Stacey

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