Home Baking: Raw Key Lime Cake

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I found many limes in the fridge a couple of weeks back and decided to try making a raw key lime cake! Using just a few simple ingredients, the cake was ready by dinner time and it tasted just like an ice cream cake. It was yummy and our family and friends loved it:)

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RAW KEY LIME PIE
Adapted from Peacefood Cafe
 

Crust

2 1/2 c. almonds (or a mix of almonds and walnuts)
1/8 c. coconut oil
1/3 c. dates, pitted
pinch of salt

Filling

2 avocados
1/2 c. coconut oil
1 c. cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 c. agave nectar
4 limes, zested and juiced
pinch of salt

To make the crust, pulse all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a coarse meal and begins to come together. Press into a 9 inch tart or pie pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

To make the filling, blend the cashews, agave nectar and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth. Add the avocados, lime juice, lime zest and salt and blend until airy and smooth.

Spoon the filling into the crust. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Home Baking: Vegan Cinnamon Roll

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After our successful vegan apple pie, we were itching for something sweet and crunchy for supper the next day. We used the puff pastry we bought and made mini cinnamon rolls! They were really easy to make and was super tiny. Once they were done, we finished them pretty quickly. Again, the buttery texture was missing and we might try making our own puff pastry dough just to compare the difference in taste and texture.

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Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever

Yields 16 (We made 12 mini ones)

Ingredients:

    • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (We used half of this amount!)
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon was more than enough)
    • Generous pinch of salt
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (We did not add this)
    • 1/2 cup dried currants (We added a sprinkle)
    • Flour
    • 1 sheet Borg’s Puff Pastry, thawed

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (200C)
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and salt. In another small bowl, combine walnuts and currants.
  • Lightly flour your countertop or baking board.
  • Roll pastry sheet into a 14×11-inch rectangle.
  • Sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture then with walnut mixture.
  • Starting at the short side of the rectangle, roll pastry up jelly-roll style.
  • Use a sharp knife to evenly cut the roll crosswise into 16 pieces.
  • Place each piece on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Last week, I chanced upon Borg’s vegan puff pastry at Cold Storage and was so happy! That means we can now make crossiant, palmiers, quiche and tarts without the hassle of creating our own dough. We decided to make an apple pie based on Chloe Coscarelli simple 5 ingredients recipe. Before making the pie, Hubby Ro and I watched the video above and did the pie together in less than 30 minutes (minus baking time)!

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5-Ingredient Apple Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie

½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced (We used 4 big apples)
2 store-bought piecrusts
Soy milk (optional, for brushing)

Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190C). Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan.

Whisk together sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add apples and mix with a large spoon until apples are evenly coated.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Carefully lift the dough and fit it into the prepared pan, letting about 1 inch hang over the sides. Fill the pie shell with the apple filling.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the second disc of dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick and cut out eight 1-inch strips. My lattice technique does not require any weaving. Instead, lay four strips horizontally on top of the filling, leaving about ½ to ¾ inch between strips.

You may want to use a metal spatula to transfer the dough strips from your work surface to your pie. Lay the remaining four strips diagonally over the first four strips, creating a diamond-like shape between strips. Fold the overhanging dough over the edges of the lattice top. Crimp the dough between your two index fingers to make a decorative border.

Brush the top and edges of the piecrust with nondairy milk and sprinkle with sugar for an extra sweet and crisp top. (We missed this step as we were too excited to put the pie in the oven. I believe it would have created a crispier texture as ours was not as crispy as we hoped!)

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned.

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We are super thrilled that our apple pie looks amazing and our friends commented it tasted pretty good. The only thing we found missing was the rich buttery texture usually found in most pie. Ours was not oily at all and we might actually add some vegan margarine in them in the future!

Home Baking- Raw Durian Chocolate Cake for Father’s Day

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We will be out-of-town from tomorrow onwards so we decided to celebrate Father’s day tonight and I made a few dishes for him to try,  guess what was his favourite? KALE CHIPS!! He was so amazed by the chips he told my mum to make them tomorrow for him again. (This time round, I baked them for 10 minutes as I did not cut them into mini sizes and they were super crispy.)

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My parents love durians and I decided to try making this raw durian cake found from this site. I bought my durians and made the cake the night before for it to set.

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Ingredients:
Recipe courtesy of The Sunny Raw Kitchen
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Chocolate Brownie Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw cacao or carob powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons soft dates
  • Pinch sea salt (optional)
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Durian Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 cups durian flesh
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or agave nectar (I used half the amount stated)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs melted coconut oil (I used half of the amount stated)
  • 1 1/2 tbs lecithin powder (I did not use this)
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Chocolate Mousse

  • 2 medium or 3 small ripe avocados (I used two)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tbs carob powder
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used agave and only used half the amount)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs melted  coconut oil (I used half the amount)
  • 1 tbs  lecithin powder (I did not use this)

1. For the Crust Process walnuts, cacao/carob powder and sea salt in food processor until fine. Add dates and process until crumbly. Press in the bottom of a cheesecake pan.2. For Durian Mousse Blend all ingredients except lecithin and coconut oil in high-speed blender until smooth. Add these and blend some more until well mixed.Pour mixture on top of the crust and set in the fridge or freezer.

3. For Chocolate Mousse Blend all ingredients except lecithin and coconut oil in high-speed blender until smooth. Add these and blend some more until well mixed. Pour mousse on cheesecake layer and return to the fridge or freezer until firm.

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This evening, I took it out from my freezer to let it thaw in the fridge (about an hour) while I prepared dinner. When I opened up my baking case, I was so happy because it looked great and I drew a DIY cake topper for my dad. I added some toy dinosaurs from my collection and my dad was super in love with his cake! I think he found the dinosaurs more fun than the cake itself and we were stuffed after eating this cake. It tasted like an ice cream cake and was really yummy. I cannot wait to make more raw cakes from now on!

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Home Baking- Vegan Breaded Eggplants

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I wanted a side dish to go with the char kway teow I was making but wanted something healthy and tasty. I remembered the super delicious breaded eggplants we ate at Modetos a while back and decided to try remaking the dish. I found a few recipes online and decided to try this one out.

Ingredients

2 large eggplants
1 10 ounce bag of organic bread crumbs (1 and a half cup is more than enough)
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (I cup is more than enough for 2 eggplants)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups organic soy milk, plain (I used almond milk)

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Preparation

Preheat the Cuisinart Pizza Oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the Cuisinart Oven Pizza Stone and place on top of a cutting board that will fit into the opening of the oven.

The Eggplant

Depending on how you plan to serve the eggplant slices, you can peel or not peel the purple exterior. Cut slices in 1/2 inch rounds or slabs depending on how you want the final presentation to look. Try both ways and then decide which you prefer.

The Dipping Liquid

In a bowl wide enough to submerge the eggplant slices, add the plain soy milk, Dijon mustard and whisk together.

The Coatings

In the two baking dishes, fill each with the whole wheat pastry flour and the bread crumbs.  Place the flour and bread crumb dishes side by side.

The Breading

Dip the egg plant slice into the whole wheat pastry flour. Dip the floured slice into the dipping liquid. Immediately place the wet slice into the bread crumbs and flip over to coat the other side. Place the beautifully coated eggplant slice onto the parchment paper and repeat till all the slices are encrusted.

Olive Oil

Use an aerosol can of olive oil and spray the tops of each eggplant slice with a generous amount of olive oil. Turn the coated eggplant slices over and repeat.

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Bake

Slip the cutting board into the preheated Cuisinart Pizza Oven and gently shake the board to help the parchment paper and eggplants to slide onto the pizza stone. By baking the eggplant slices directly on the pizza stone will ensure a crusty crunchy exterior with a moist interior. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees) for 15-20 minutes. I baked mine for 20 minutes.

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When it was out, it looked really crispy and slightly browned around the edges that was coated with olive oil. But sadly this was super tasteless. I believe seasoning and adding herbs into the eggplants before baking is really important. I read on Oh She Glows blog on her Eggplant Parmesan attempt and she actually sprinkled salt over the eggplants before the breading process. I tried making the eggplants with skin and without and the ones without skin tasted much better. The eggplant skin ended up being too bitter and now I am craving the ones at Modeto’s even more!

Home Baking- Lemon Chia Seeds Crazy Cake

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After the successful chocolate crazy cake attempt, my good friend Johanna sent me a link to try the lemon version of this crazy cake. Without any eggs, butter, and milk I wondered if this cake will live up to her dark counterpart? Instead of using poppy seeds, I substituted them with chia seeds and they turned out beautifully and very fluffy! Even my grandma was impressed by the texture and taste. It had a lovely caramelized texture and was a simple honey sponge cake actually with a lemon touch!

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Ingredients
1 1/2 Cups flour + 3 Tablespoons (all-purpose)
1 Cup white sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest
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1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure lemon extract (I used juice from one fresh lemon)
1/4 cup of chia seeds
5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Cup water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8″ square baking pan, starting with the flour first.  Mix well.  Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients – two small, one larger (see #3 in photo below). Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla and lemon extracts in the other, and the vegetable oil in third larger depression. Pour water over all.  Mix well until smooth.Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes.  Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.  Cool.  Top with your favorite frosting ( I used vanilla for this lemon cake).  Enjoy

Tip – You can double this recipe, just use a 9×13 baking pan.
 You can add more lemon zest for a stronger lemon taste, or use
lemon frosting or a lemon glaze.

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Home Baking- Home Made Tortilla Taco Shells and Bowls

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The best part of tonight’s dinner was home-made taco/tortilla shells! I have seen them in a few blogs and finally decided to test it out and boy were they crispy, crunchy and really yummy. They tasted even better than those sold at mexican restaurants or store-bought ones. From this site, I did a few taco shells and tried making taco bowls using the back of the muffin trays! What a genius and splendid idea:)

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How to Make Your Own Taco Shells in the Oven (I bought wholemeal tortilla wraps)
Packaged taco shells are often fried or contain partially hydrogenated oils. For a healthier version, make your own in the oven.

Directions:
Working with 6 tortillas (I did 4) at a time, wrap in a barely damp cloth or paper towel and microwave on High until steamed, about 30 seconds. Lay the tortillas on a clean work surface and coat both sides with cooking spray. Then carefully drape each tortilla over two bars of the oven rack. Bake at 375°F (190 degrees) until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes.

How to Make Your Own Taco Bowls Using a Muffin Tin

Taco salad bowls at restaurants are usually deep-fried. For a healthy and fun way to serve taco filling, create these homemade taco bowls using the bottom of a muffin tin. The resulting taco bowl sits perfectly on a plate without tipping over and you can see all of your ingredients!

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat tortillas until warm. (This step is for you to adjust the shape of the tortilla freely.) Coat each side of 4 tortillas with cooking spray. Turn a 12-cup muffin tin upside down. Nestle a tortilla in the space between 4 cups to form a “bowl.” Repeat with 3 more tortillas, making 4 bowls total. Bake until firm and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

I baked both of them together for 10 minutes and one taco bowl turned really brown so I might stick to 7 minutes and use the keep warm function in my oven before serving guests in the future! This is such an easy party dish to whip up:)

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Home Baking- Craziest and Yummiest Chocolate Cake

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Some name this the depression cake, others name it the lazy wife cake and I shall name it the best chocolate cake! Recommended by my friend Juang who is a great baker, she told me the good news of the crazy cake recipe as her dad does not fancy milk or eggs in his desserts. I googled a few recipes and most of them are pretty similar. With just a cake pan, a measuring cup and some spoons this cake can be ready in less than an hour!

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water (I used room temperature water)

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Directions

  1. Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork. There will be small lumps after stirring.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. (I baked mine at 180 for 35 mins)
  3. Frost with your favorite icing.

This recipe was developed sometime in the 1940 and was popular due to it not having any eggs, butter or milk and the easy preparation process. I had some doubts before making this dish. The funny bit I found strange was adding vinegar until I read from a review that for a cake to rise, you need an alkali, and an acid. When the alkali and the acid combine, they react with each other, giving off carbon dioxide, which is what makes the cake rise. All cakes other than yeast cakes are risen this way. The alkali/acid deal is present in baking powder (already mixed for you), and in recipes that call for baking soda (alkali) and, say, cream of tartar (acid). In this case, you have baking soda (alkali) and vinegar (acid). They react with each other and make the cake rise

The cake came out beautiful and I might bake it at 175 degrees at 30 minutes the next time as the top was too cracky. But other than that, the cake turned out so moist, fluffy and was the best homemade chocolate cake we have eaten. We literally ate this for breakfast, lunch and supper! It was not too sweet and definitely not dense at all.

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Home Baking- Oil free Banana and Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

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I love our blender to death! It was the best present Jason and Min showered us last year and we’ve been using them almost every day to make soups, shakes, smoothies to ice creams:) I was itching for some warm muffins this morning and googled for an easy one. I finally found a recipe from Fine and Fair blog that does not require me to mix with my hand but with the blender! Best part it is oil free, flour free and butter/margarine free too.

Gluten, Dairy, and Egg Free Banana Muffins

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Ingredients

*Makes approximately 15 muffins. (I only made 9 big fat ones)

  • 2/1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal stirred into 4 tbsp water (The original recipe calls for 2 eggs.)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 ripe medium – large bananas
  • 1/2 – 1 cup add-ins of your choice (we used cranberries instead)

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Directions

1. Using a food processor or blender, blend oats until they are ground to a flour.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients to your blender, mix well. (I stirred in the cranberries by hand.)

3. In a silicone muffin tin or a greased metal muffin tin, fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.

4. Bake at 375 degrees (190 degrees) for 21-26 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (I baked them for 24 minutes and they were just right).

It looked and smelled good after it came right out of the oven. After cooling it for a while, I tried them and found them not sweet at all (I added too little sugar and might try baking these again with coconut sugar! Thankfully the cranberries added the extra sweetness to this and I might have added extra baking powder so the taste was a tad sour but the muffins turned out moist and held together nicely.

Home Baking- Vegan Pretzels

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It’s mother’s day today and my mum loves bread so I decided to whip up some love pretzels for her and was crossing my fingers they will turn out fine! Not only did they turned out great, the taste was fantastic:)  I found this awesome egg and dairy free recipe from ecokaren blog!

Ingredients:

1 C of warm water
1 package of dry active yeast (I used instant yeast and it measures to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of yeast)
1 1/2 C of flour
2 Tbsp of vegetable oil (we used canola oil)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/4 C flour
8 C water
4 tbsp baking soda

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes (I skipped this step as I was using instant yeast)
  2. Add vegetable oil, salt, yeast, water and 1 1/2 C of flour to a medium sized mixing bowl and stir thoroughly
  3. Add a 1 1/4 C of flour and knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Let the dough stand for an hour in room temperature.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Let them rest for 15 minutes. Then, roll them into 18″ pieces in finger widths and shape them into the classic pretzel shapes. Or cut them into sticks. (The rolling part is the hardest and most time consuming for me, the trick is to roll them by the edges and evenly roll them into a skinny finger length)
  6. Preheat oven to 475〫F (240 degrees)
  7. Boil 8 C of water and 4 tbsp of baking soda in a large pot.
  8. Let the pretzel pieces rise for 1/2 hour.
  9. Put the pretzels in boiling water for  about 1 minute. Take the pieces out with a slotted spoon onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (or greased cookie sheet.) Sprinkle with kosher salt if you want salt. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve hot with your favorite toppings. (I baked them for an extra 2 minutes more to get a crispier, golden brown texture!)

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I followed this adorable illustrated step by step technique to roll my pretzels and it was super easy and fun! Since I am no pro to pretzels making, they were not consistent so I had some really thick pretzels and some really skinny ones. The second half of the pretzels making was more even and it took me about 30 minutes to form 6 pretzels.

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I hesitated for a long time before making pretzels as most recipes I researched required more than 1 cup of baking soda which was such a waste! Thankfully I found this recipe and it only uses 4 tbsp of them. It was very exciting to watch the baking soda fizzling in the boiling water and after dipping the pretzels in them, it actually firms up slightly.

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The pretzels looks amazing and taste so good! I’m so happy to have tried this and Hubby Ro thought it tasted better than Aunt Annie as they are usually too soft or doughy. I sprinkled them with sea salt, sesame seeds and kept two of them plain for breakfast tomorrow with some peanut butter! Yum:) The salt sprinkled pretzels tasted the best! Can’t wait to make them again for a girlfriend’s house warming party soon!

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