Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

Mum’s Christmas Cake…

 

Every Christmas Eve, my Mum would bring out her special Christmas Cake for Dessert. She would usually make it at least a month, if not two, before the special day, and then keep it in a cool room, visiting it every few weeks to douse it in Brandy. Actually, she would make up to half a dozen of these cakes over the season, as friends and family placed their orders with her every year. Making it a few months in advance allows the many flavours to develop and the Brandy to soak into the Cake, making it rich & moist. It’s funny, as a child I never really liked this cake (I think it was the Citrus peel my Mum used to put in it, so I’ve left that out and replaced it with Zest instead), but as I get older I crave this every year, and no Christmas would be complete without it. Since my Mum passed away I’ve been keeping up the tradition, but with a veganized version! Here is my adaptation of her wonderful cake – I hope you get to share it with your family this Christmas. And make sure you cover it in Custard!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Soy Butter/Margerine

1/2 cup Glace Cherries

1/4 cup chopped Dates

3 cups mixed Dried Fruit (ie: Raisins, Sultanas, Cranberries, Currants, Apricots)

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 cup Water

1 tsp. Baking Soda

2 Tblsp. Brandy

equivalent of 2 Eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer 3 tsp. powder + 4 Tblsp. water)

2 cups Flour (I use half Unbleached White, half Whole Wheat Pastry)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Cocoa Powder

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. each of Cinnamon, All Spice and Cloves (I also added 1/4 tsp. ground Ginger)

1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest (optional)

1/2 tsp. Orange Zest (optional)

For decorating the top: 1/2 cup Glace Cherries, washed & halved

                                                 1/2 cup of Pecan Nuts

Method:

–  Preheat oven to 140C. Line & grease 20cm round cake tin.

– Place Butter, Fruit, Sugar, Water, Baking Soda & 1 Tblsp. Brandy in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to boil around 5 mins. Remove from heat, and add Egg Replacer.

– Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, and add fruit mixture folding in gently until blended.

– Pour into prepared tin and, working quickly, decorate the top of cake as desired with Pecan Nuts and Glace Cherries. 

– Bake at 140C for 45 mins., then lower heat to 120C and bake another 30-45 mins. or until a scewer inserted in middle comes out clean. (You may have to cover with foil if the top is burning too quickly)

– Once removed, pour remaining 1 Tblsp. Brandy over cake while still hot. Allow to cool in tin, then wrap cake in cling film, place back in tin with a lid and keep in a cool dark place. Every 2 weeks, open cling film and pour 2 -4 Tblsp. Brandy over the top of the cake, covering it again right away to let the alcohol soak in.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

It’s been a while since my last entry, but I’m slowly recovering from post-holiday blues…That doesn’t stop me from reminiscing though – which is exactly what this Carrot Cake is about! My mum’s friend and I had planned to make this to keep us going on our long car ride to Croatia (7 hours!), but it never lasted that long – we ended up having to bake a replacement at the last minute. Turns out my Dad has a strict ‘No eating in the car’ policy, so the Carrot Loaf came all the way to Croatia with us and ended up a blessing amongst the lack of veggie food…My family agreed that this was the best Carrot Cake they have ever had, and couldn’t believe it was made without Eggs or Butter. This recipe is based on one from Ricki Heller’s book: Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar, which I absolutely LOVE as all the recipes are without refined sugar or wheat – my kind of Dessert book! The combination of Carrot, Cinnamon, Lemon & Coconut is heavenly, and the Lemon Glaze on top (suggested by my Dad’s girlfriend) adds just the right amount of tartness…

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups finely grated Carrot, unpacked

1 Tblsp. ground Flax Seeds

1/4 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or 1/2 cup of Syrup of choice)

3/4 cup Soy Milk

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tblsp. grated Lemon Zest, fresh

1 1/2 cups Whole Spelt Flour

2 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded Coconut

 

Method:

– Preheat oven to 180C/350F, and spray a 8″ loaf pan or 9″ square pan.

– In a medium bowl, combine Carrots, Flax Seeds, Agave, Maple Syrup, Soy Milk, Oil, Vanilla, Vinegar and Lemon Zest. Set aside for atleast 2 minutes.

– In a large bowl, sift together Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Add Coconut, and stir to combine.

– Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just to combine. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

– Bake in preheated oven for 35- 45 minutes (the loaf pan takes longer than a square pan), or until a tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

– Allow to cool completely until removing from pan, and covering with Lemon Glaze.

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cup sifted Icing Sugar

juice of 1 Lemon (add half first, then more if needed)

 

– Slowly add Lemon Juice to Icing Sugar until the right consistency is achieved. Pour over Carrot Loaf and allow to set.

*Warning: Will make a mess if eaten in the car…

PS: This would be delicious with the inclusion of Nuts, too!

Read Full Post »

Raw Carob Cheesecake with Almond Crust...

As I may have mentioned before, I always found raw food recipes to be rather intimidating with all the soaking, dehydrating and time consuming preparation, and have therefore hesitated to try my hand at raw desserts…Well, I don’t know what took me so long! The actual assembly of this dessert is simple & fast – all you really need to do is blend the ingredients & pop it in a dish. The only advanced preparation needed is to soak the cashews the night before, and even this isn’t completely necessary,  but I would recommend it as it gives the nuts a creamier texture as well as activating the enzymes in them and making them easier to digest. Coconut Oil can be a bit pricey, but you will need it for this recipe as it is responsible for ‘setting’ the cheesecake (Coconut Oil solidifies in cold temperatures) – it’s also worth investing in to use for baking & cooking, as it is safe to heat to very high temperatures [incidentally, my Indian friends swear by using it on their hair once or twice a month!]. These ‘Cheesecakes’ are so much like the original, in texture and taste, you wouldn’t guess they are raw…Here are two variations for you to try out:

Raw Lemon Cheesecake (modified version of the one found in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 1/2 cups Nuts (your choice, I used a mixture of Hazelnuts, Walnuts & Cashews) or 1 cup Nut Meal (eg: Almond or Hazelnut)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup pitted Dates (soaked in hot water for about 15 mins. to soften)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups raw Cashews (soaked overnight, or atleast 8 hours, in filtered water) and rinsed

3/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 cup Agave Syrup (or 1/4 tsp. Stevia powder & 1/3 cup Agave)

3/4 cup Coconut Oil (liquid form)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

zest of 1 Lemon (optional)

1/2 cup Water, as needed (use the soaking water from the dates)

 

Method:

– For the crust: Process the nuts into small pieces with the salt in a food processor. Slowly add Dates and mix well, then mix in Coconut. Press ‘dough’ into the bottom of a Cheesecake dish or pan (9-inch), and place in refrigerator until needed.

– For the filling: Blend Cashews, Lemon Juice, Agave (and Stevia, if using), Coconut Oil, and Vanilla (and Lemon Zest, if using), in your blender/food processor. Add just enough Water to blend into a smooth ‘cream’. Pour onto the crust in the dish and place in freezer for about an hour until firm. Then refrigerate until serving. (Keeps for about 5 days, if it lasts that long…)

Raw Carob (or Chocolate) Cheesecake (based on a recipe in Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Desserts: Delicious & Easy Raw Food Recipes for Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Puddings, Mousses, Cobblers, Candies & Ice Creams)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup Almond Meal

dash of Salt

1/2 cup of pitted Dates (soaked for about 15 mins.)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups of raw Cashews, soaked overnight (or atleast a few hours) and rinsed

1/3 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 tsp. Stevia powder or another 1/3 cup Agave

1/2 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1/4 cup Water (use soaking Water from Dates)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3/4 cup Coconut Oil, liquid form

3/4 cup Carob powder, or Chocolate powder

 

Method:

– For the Crust & Filling: Same as with Raw Lemon Cheesecake, but adding Coconut Oil and Carob powder at the end for the filling, after blending the rest of the ingredients.

Raw Lemon Cheesecake...

 

*Keep in mind that this dessert is packed with calories, albeit good ones, so take it easy…(says me, who devoured a whole Cheesecake to myself in a matter of 2 days -whoops!)

Read Full Post »

For my friend’s birthday I wanted to make something a bit more decadent than the usual cake, and this Chocolate Kahlua combo did not disappoint! It’s a bit more time consuming than the previous Chocolate Cake that I posted, but it’s worth the effort – everyone at the Birthday dinner agreed that this Cake was delicious…The Maple Syrup used in this recipe gives it a mellow sweetness and a moist texture. You could always sub the Kahlua for another Liqueur if you like, or if you would prefer to make this cake alcohol free then you can just replace it with Soymilk. I used two different frostings here, but you can always double up the recipe and just use one of them – the topping is more of a Ganache, and the filling has a buttercream frosting texture…The Cake recipe is an adapted version of the one in More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, in which it is fittingly called: ‘The Chocolate Cake to Live for’!

Ingredients & Method:

Chocolate Kahlua Ganache (from ExtraVeganZa: Original Recipes from Phoenix Organic Farm, make this first as it takes a few hours to set)

3/4 cups Dark Chocolate, chips or chunks

1/2 cup Soy Butter/Margerine

2 Tblsp. Kahlua (or other liqueur you prefer)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Soymilk (I used Chocolate)

 

– Melt chocolate in double boiler, then add Butter and stir until melted. Pour in Kahlua & Soy milk and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.

– Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Chill in fridge until thickened for a few hours, or place in freezer for about 2 hours if you’re in a hurry. Stir vigorously before spreading on cake.

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting: (from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living)

1 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

1/4 cup Cocoa powder

1/4 cup Soy Margerine/Butter

1 1/2 Tblsp. Agave Syrup

1 Tblsp. Chocolate Soymilk

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

 

– In a mixing bowl, cream Butter, Agave, Soymilk and Vanilla using a hand mixer. Add sifted Sugar and Cocoa, and beat at low speed until mostly incorporated. Increase speed to medium or high, and beat frosting for 2 mins. until nice and fluffy. Place in fridge to firm up until ready to frost cake.

Chocolate Kahlua Cake: (makes one 9 inch two-layer cake)

1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or just use more White Flour)

1 cup unbleached White Flour

1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Cocoa powder

1/2 cup Sugar

2 tsp. Baking Powder

2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. granulated Coffee

1/2 cup Canola Oil

1 cup Maple Syrup

1 1/2 cups Chocolate Soymilk

1/2 cup Kahlua

1 Tblsp. Vanilla Extract

2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

*Chocolate shavings (Use a Vegetable peeler to shave Chocolate from a slab)

 

– Preheat oven 350 F/180 C, and oil two 9-inch round Cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper to fit.

– Sift Flour, Cocoa, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Coffee into a medium sized bowl, and stir with a whisk to combine.

– Whisk Oil, Maple Syrup, Soymilk, Kahlua, Vanilla and Vinegar in a separate small bowl until well blended. Pour into dry mixture and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth (don’t over stir). The batter will be thin.

– Divide batter evenly between the two pans,  tapping lightly on the counter to eliminate bubbles.

– Bake for 25-30 mins. until the tops of the cakes have set, the sides started pulling away and a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

– Cool pans on wire rack for 10 mins., then run a knife around the cakes and invert onto a rack. Carefully remove pans and parchment paper. Let cool completely.

– Wrap in plastic wrap over plates, and refrigerate until cold. Once ready, frost bottom layer with Chocolate Frosting, top with second Cake layer and then cover with Chocolate Kahlua Ganache. Refrigerate until Ganache has set and you’re ready to serve.

*Garnish with Chocolate shavings and devour in bliss…

Read Full Post »

These next two posts are dedicated to Chocolate Cakes…This one in particular is really the easiest recipe you will ever come across – Vegan or otherwise! There are no Eggs to separate or beat, no messy Butter or Chocolate to melt, and there’s no ‘weird’ replacement ingredients like Soymilk or Tofu. I know it’s not exactly the healthiest cake, as it contains Sugar and Wheat, but for a quick fix (if you need to take something to someone’s house for tea or for a birthday) this is perfect, as it’s simple & easy – anyone can make this cake! I like to mix it up a bit by making it in a loaf tin and adding Nuts, Cranberries & Cinnamon (I call it my ‘Christmas’ Loaf), and people always rave about it. If you’ve previously shied away from Vegan Cake recipes, or even just baking, I urge you to give this a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients: (from The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets, makes 1 cake or loaf)

1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour

3/4 cup Sugar (I like to use half White, half Brown)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 cup Cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 Tblsp. Vinegar (White or Apple Cider)

1 cup (235ml) cold Water

optional: 1/2 cup each of Walnuts and Cranberries, + 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Frosting (to follow)

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F/180C, and lightly oil Bundt pan, 9 inch Springform pan or Loaf tin.

– Combine Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Soda, and Cocoa powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Create a well in centre, and add Vanilla, Oil, Vinegar and Water. Add Nuts & Cranberries if using.

– Mix until just combined, don’t overmix. Pour into prepared pan, and bake in oven for 30 mins. or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean (if making in loaf tin it may take another 5-10 mins).

– Cool on wire rack for 10-15 mins. and then run sharp knife around inside of pan to loosen cake. Turn onto wire rack, and cool completely before frosting or dusting with Icing Sugar.

Frosting:

1 cup Icing Sugar, sifted

3-4 Tblsp. Cocoa, sifted

4-6 tsp. Hot Water or Milk of choice

 

Method:

Mix well until right consistency, and frost cooled Cake.

*Next up: Kahlua Chocolate Birthday Cake…

Read Full Post »