Monday, January 11, 2021

Simple, Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

  Simple Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake
                  Image courtesy of Mr. Gojowy

This is a truly simple cake recipe (under 10 ingredients) that produces a really delicious chocolate cake, similar-tasting to the ones made with egg and dairy. It is modeled on the  "Deep Chocolate Vegan Cake" recipe written up in Moosewood Restaurant Classics with a few adjustments to the ingredients. We love it (maybe a little too much).  I am also refining a duplicate gluten-free recipe.  Follow me here to get the notification of that recipe, and other vegan and gluten-free vegan recipes to come.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2  cups unbleached white flour
  • 2/3 cup of Fair Trade cacao powder (or standard unsweetened cocoa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup cold water (or cold brewed coffee or coffee substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons orange or vanilla flavor
  • 2 tablepoons apple cider vinegar
METHOD:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F/190.56C.
  2. Line an 8" metal or glass baking pan-- round or square-- with parchment paper, or use a silicone pan.
  3. Sift the first five dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. 
  4. Add and stir the oil, water and flavoring ( NOT THE ACV) in another smaller bowl
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth and well-blended
  6. Add the vinegar and stir only briefly.  You will see pale swirls that show how the vinegar is reacting with the baking soda.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and pop into the preheated oven
  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how 'hot' your stove gets.  (always a good idea to calibrate your oven temperature every so often to see if it is "true" or running either too hot or not hot enough)
  9. Cool it on a rack.  
  10. Glaze and/or frost after it has cooled down.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Vegan Corn Bread with Fresh Corn and Raisins




This corn bread is so delicious with baked-in fresh or frozen thawed corn giblets and Thompson raisins.  It is vegan and I used psyllium husk powder as a binder (you could use flax or chia seed instead but psyllium husk is my latest discovery for light fluffiness).


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup organic yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons psyllium husk powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup sugar (optional)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3 cups liquid (1 cup full-fat coconut milk and 2 cups water or aqua fava (fluid left over from cooking chickpeas) or (1 cup water and 1 cup aqua fava.)
1 cup corn niblets, patted dry
1/2 cup raisins

METHOD

1.Set oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Grease a pan or line with parchment or use a silicone pan
3. In medium large bowl, measure in corn meal.
4. Sift all-purpose flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add in psyllium husk powder and salt. Stir well.
5. Stir in sugar
6. Fold in oil and liquid just until flour is incorporated (15 seconds,) Too much stirring toughens the batter.
7. Fold in the raisins and corn.
8. Pour evenly into pan and pop into oven.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.  Poke in toothpick if you have doubts about fineness.

Remove when golden brown and cool on a rack. Slice and serve.  Our fave is with baked beans!

The most delish Vegan Baked Beans :

Click HERE for recipe.



Friday, November 20, 2020

Black-ish Forest Vegan Chocolate Protein Pancakes

 Black-ish Forest Vegan Chocolate Pancakes

My dear husband turned 71 today.  I am making him General Tso's tofu for dinner but also wanted to make him a delicious breakfast that would be something different from the usual smoothie and oatmeal. 

It had to be vegan, low in processed sugar, and maybe kind of reflective of a favourite German food.  

I know his favourite birthday cake used to be Black Forest Cake.  Way off his menu these days with his desire to be sugar-free and healthy as he trains to run another half-marathon in the Spring/Summer.

So after reading over a few such chocolate pancake recipes, I made a few modifications and came up with a pancake mix that I can store as the combined dry ingredients in a jar in the fridge, and when we want these lovely pancakes again, I will just scoop out the dry mix and add in the wet mix (almond milk and apple cider vinegar), and cook them up-- easy-peasy! 

So, here is the mix for 4 batches (about 16-24 pancakes):

-1 1/2 cups oat flour (can make by grinding in blender)
-1/2 cup white rice flour
-1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Vega chocolate protein powder
- 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda

1. With the back of a spoon, press the above ingredients through a sieve into a mixing bowl.
2. Mix or whisk until well combined.  Add in any remnants too large to sieve.
3. Store in a large jar with lid in fridge.

To make one(1) batch of pancakes (4-6 pancakes), take 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons of pancake mix from jar and add to small mixing bowl.  Stir in 1/2 cup almond milk until well combined.  Add in 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (ACV)
and stir through.   If batter is not the consistency of thick cream (conventional pancake batter) add splashes of milk.until it is.

For  8-12 pancakes, mix together 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons of dry mix and stir in 1 cup+ of almond milk and 1 teaspoon of ACV.

For 12 -18 pancakes  mix together 2 cups + 1 tablespoon of dry mix and add and stir in 1 1/2+ cups of almond milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ACV.

Use all of the dry mix with 2+ cups of almond milk and 2 teaspoons of ACV. 
(Yields 18-24 pancakes).

METHOD:
1. Heat stickfree pan on high medium heat.  Add about a teaspoon of coconut oil and wipe across pan with paper towel.
2. Pour in about 1/4 cup of batter.  Watch edges cook and dry somewhat.  When bubbles appear in middle of pancake, gently but firmly flip (about 2 minutes mark).  Cook for a few seconds and remove to warming pan in low temp. oven or to individual plates.
2. We topped with coconut yogurt, a few stevia-sweetened chocolate chips and thawed dark cherries.  

You might want to use berries, maple syrup, berry- or date-syrup.  

Coconut whip cream and chocolate shavings would make it even more like Black Forest-ish cake.

Please let us know how you like this and what innovations you might make!

If you wanted to make something like a German Chocolate Cake I think this home made marzipan-ish sauce would work well:

               Recipe for healthy, yummy 
                      Marzipan Spread






 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Review of "The Return of A Shadow" by Kunio Yamagishi

                                             
                                          
It seems to me that Kunio Yamagishi may have decided upon a particularly deep emotional challenge for himself as a writer of historical fiction. What if instead of writing about a lonely man who undergoes extreme emotional deprivation and finds true love and/or personal happiness in spite of that deprivation I write about a person who-- like many humans we hear about-- only experiences blurry glimpses of personal happiness through the course of his life. Would those dim hopes be enough to sustain him into natural death in old age? What are the choices in life when all your dreams evaporate? 

 Yes, The Return of A Shadow is possibly the saddest book I have read, or at least in a long time. But beautiful writing, and a likeable protagonist kept me interested and hopeful in the outcome. I believe that older adults, perhaps the age of the protagonist himself, would be most apt to read this book. Why? Because as individuals who have experienced disappointments that we are too old to deny (and which most of us come to terms with) it is refreshing to read about how someone with no strong blood bonds and only peripheral social connections still manages to go about living. While most of us (I don't have any stats but it is likely) have some family connections to which we prescribe "belonging" and perhaps love, there are certainly times when we feel alone and invisible in the world of younger and more powerful people, our own kin included. Are there ways to find meaning, to feel motivated to keep going forward, when we are overwhelmed by feelings of rejection and disenfranchment?

 On a meta-level, I am quite certain that this book recognizably addresses the experiences of Japanese internees and their families in Canada and the United States. When I did a very brief discussion of the book on Facebook, one of my friends dismissed the labeling of the internment centres as "concentration camps,"* a rather jolting term that Yamagishi uses. She assured me that the internees "had homes" and that maybe they had to leave their belongings behind, but that that was what happened during war, implying that the Japanese (and some born in Canada) had to take their lumps like all "foreigners" did. Would she recognize the institutional racism that gives rise to such statements? Possibly reading the book would give her a different perspective. 

The historical research is impressive, and I feel that I learned a lot from this piece of work. 

 * "internment centre for political prisoners of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order." concentration camp | Facts, History, & Definition | Britannica

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