Raspberry Oat Cake

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Last summer, we spent a day at a “Pick Your Own” farm. Ben had never been to one before and, I’ll be honest, went a little overboard. Every time I turned around he was in a different vegetable patch madly pulling at the ground. I found him in the cornfields with arms full of ears of corn or wielding a knife cutting cauliflowers like this was the last crop to ever grow. But when we got to the berries it was my turn to go crazy. I felt like I was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep! Running up and down the aisles, grabbing ripe berries before the timer went off, pushing small children out the way. I was in the zone.  Ben of course was gathering berries too, but when I came back he had about 15 berries in his bucket and red juice on his face.

I gathered buckets and buckets of raspberries.

We made jam, desserts and froze a bunch of them. So many so that we are STILL eating them now. Or we were.

This is the last of them.

Just in time to get to my war rooms and figure out my berry gathering strategy for this year.

This recipe is an adaptation from Kris Holechek’s Have Your Cake and Vegan Too.

This book is so highly recommended. If you like to bake vegan desserts, you need to check out this book. I have tried a few recipes from here now and they have always turned out great! This one is a personal favourite. It’s not too sweet, it’s tasty enough for snack, dessert or a quick breakfast on the go.

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Raspberry Oat Cake
 
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Adapted from Have Your Cake and Vegan Too! By Kris Holechek
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (454 g) of frozen raspberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (100 g) all purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ cup ( 45 g) wholewheat flour
  • ½ cup (50 g) quick rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ cup (62.5 ml) melted vegan butter, or coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup (157 ml) soy milk or non dairy milk of your choice
  • ¼ tsp white vinegar
  • ⅔ cup (133 g) white sugar
  • ¼ cup (55 g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
  2. Grease and line a loaf pan.
  3. Mix together flours, oats, baking powder, soda, salt and spices in a large bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, add melted butter, non dairy milk and vinegar. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to curdle.
  5. Mix in sugars and vanilla extract.
  6. Toss frozen raspberries in frozen mixture to coat them in flour.
  7. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix until just combined, no longer.
  8. Pour in to loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool and serve!

 

 

carrot cake muffins

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You might not know it, but a few years ago I went to work as a nurse in Nepal (which is where Ben and I met, but that is a story for another post).

Every day when I would walk to work in Kathmandu, I was affronted by a variety of smells. Primarily diesel with notes of burning plastic, rotting garbage, and a little excrement thrown in for good measure.  Sometimes it would be so bad that I would be excited to see someone smoking in front of me because it meant not being able to smell anything but cigarettes for a few minutes.

I know you have probably never heard anyone exclaim how good a hospital smelled, but every day after 30 minutes of walking while trying to hold my breath, I would arrive at paradise… at least in the olfactory sense.

The really odd thing about the hospital I was working at is that it always smelled like carrot cake. The entire time I was there, I was never able to figure out what caused the smell. In the canteen , I never ate or drank anything remotely tasting of those spices…they didn’t even serve traditional Nepalese tea, which is similar to a chai.

But every day, no fail, when things got rough in the ICU, or I have having a bad day, I could stand in the hallway for a few minutes and inhale the scent of homemade carrot cake. It became somewhat of a reprieve for me.

I’ve always loved carrot cake. The first time I remember tasting it is when I was six years old at my mom and stepdad’s wedding.  While everyone else was celebrating the union of their love, I was having a love affair with this cake.  They had a giant tiered carrot cake as a wedding cake which was so dense that it collapsed on itself as the night went on. I remember pretending to go to the toilet or talk to someone, but actually sneaking over to eat pieces of it all night.

You can keep your fancy tiered cakes, your creme brûlées and your macarons. I’ll have the carrot cake, please. Dense, moist, spicy and not too sweet (and no raisins!), it’s heaven.  And, at least for me, forever tied to the memory of polluted air and the International Friendship Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu.

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Carrot Cake Muffins
 
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Moist, dense, perfectly spiced carrot cake muffins.
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (240ml) non-dairy milk (I used vanilla soy milk)
  • 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cups (210 g) whole wheat (wholemeal) flour
  • ½ cup (62) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups (180 g) grated carrot
  • ¾ cup (170 g) crushed canned pineapple, drained
  • ½ cup (50 g) chopped walnuts (optional)
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP molasses (treacle)
  • 2 tsp good vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 160 C (325 F).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for about 10 minutes so the non-dairy milk curdles like buttermilk .
  3. Whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt and walnuts (if using).
  4. In another large mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and add in the curdled non-dairy milk mixture.
  5. Add in grated carrots and crushed pineapple and mix well.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. The less you mix muffin batter, the better.
  7. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  8. Pour the batter into the muffin pan making sure the dough is filled up to the top of the pan and domed.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

 

Wholemeal Sandwich Bread

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I used to love Sundays in university.

It was my day to collect myself, clean the place and set up with the best of intentions for the following week.

I used to bake a loaf or two of bread and made a massive pot of soup to have for meals throughout the week.

I used to clean the place, watch trashy television, sort my socks, organize my cupboards and essentially anything else I could do to avoid studying.

And then eventually, I would get down to the studying while enjoying a warming meal of soup and bread. And despite not really accomplishing anything school related at all, I always felt like it was a meal well earned.

Wholemeal Bread
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 300g wholemeal or granary bread flour
  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast (or 2 tsp Quick dried yeast)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (helps with a good rise)
  • 1 TBSP oil
Instructions
  1. Mix brown flour with the white, the yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix warm water with sugar, lemon juice and oil.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in 300ml of the water mix.
  4. Mix together with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Gather it into a ball with your hands.
  6. Put the dough on to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking.
  7. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface.
  8. Place in a oiled bowl and cover for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy.
  9. Knock back the dough by lightly kneading just 3-4 times.
  10. Shape into a ball. Let rest for another 15 minutes
  11. Preheat the oven to 210C (400F)
  12. Shape the dough and place in a greased loaf pan.
  13. Cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 40-45 mins to rise.
  14. Once ready, bake for about 30 mins or until golden.
  15. Leave in the tin for 2-3 mins, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
  16. If you tap the underneath of the baked loaf if should be firm and sound hollow.

 

Pina Colada Pancakes

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Almost everyone’s mom has some dish that no one else can make quite as good. My mom’s dish is pancakes. Growing up, pancakes were always the special treat breakfast. I used to love to help mix the batter. And if it were a particularly special breakfast, I used to get to help place frozen blueberries on to the batter in the pan. I remember trying to carefully place each blueberry to make it perfect. I also remember running out of frozen blueberries and being blamed for eating them all- what gave it away? The purple mouth? The bits of skin stuck in my teeth?

At the end of making pancakes, fingers and mouths stained purple, we would sit and devour them. They were always so fluffy and substantial. Restaurant pancakes were always too light and airy and used to suck up all the delicious syrup. Not these pancakes. Butter and syrup would mingle together, forming a delicious sauce that coated them perfectly.

So, as this week draws to a close, you deserve a treat. A bigger treat than blueberry pancakes, even.

Pina Colada pancakes. Vegan pina colada pancakes.

That’s right. Fluffy, vegan buttermilk pancakes studded with pineapple and drenched in a coconut, pineapple and rum syrup.

And unlike blueberries, there is no telltale evidence of your kitchen snacking.

Vegan Pina Colada Pancakes
 
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Pina Colada Pancakes!
Author:
Recipe type: Start your day off right
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 TBSP vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup canned pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp rum flavouring (or rum)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix soy milk, flax and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, sea salt. Mix well to combine
  3. Add vanilla and oil to soy milk mixture, mix well until frothy.
  4. Pour liquids in to flour mix.
  5. Mix only to combine (do not over mix), a few small flour lumps are fine.
  6. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to get the fluffiest pancakes.
  7. Heat a nonstick pan. Grease with a little oil and add batter to pan. Top batter with some of the pineapple chunks.
  8. When small bubbles appear, flip pancake. Repeat with more batter.
  9. Cook your pancakes until they are nicely browned on both sides, and cooked inside.
  10. To make syrup, combine coconut milk and pineapple juice in a small sauce pot, cook over medium heat until syrupy and reduced. Remove from heat, add rum flavouring and serve with pancakes!

 

BEN’S VERDICT (AKA A MEATEATER RESPONDS):  

I like Pina Coladas! And getting caught in the rain! (especially in Chiang Mai where regularly nudges 40 degrees)

But I couldn’t eat any of these! My stomach was too delicate from an over enthusiastic attack on the street food stalls at the Saturday walking market the day before.   They looked and smelt orgasmoid though.

I hope I don’t have to wait until next hashtag FEaster.

 

Meateater tested Vegan approved