Healthy Crumbles, Pastries, Recipes

Carrot cake with cashew frosting (vegan)

November 27, 2016
vegan-carrot-cake-with-cashew-frosting-1

Happy First Sunday in Advent, everyone. Today I don’t have another Christmas cookie recipe for you, but one of my favorite cakes of all times, which is carrot cake. As long as I can remember, it was my go-to recipe in the form of muffins during fall and winter and I just love the dense, gooey texture and the hint of cinnamon in it. Topped off with some cream cheese frosting, this sweet treat is pure indulgence. And given the fact that one of the most popular veggies is hiding away in the name, it may or may not be easily consumed for breakfast and, if you turn a blind eye on it, regarded as one out of your five-a-day. I mean, we can’t deny the many good nutrients that come with carrots, right?

vegan-carrot-cake-with-cashew-frosting-3

A few weeks back I had a conversation with some of my friends, who eat a vegan diet for quite some time, which gave me the final kick to try out a vegan cake for the first time (I once tried a banana bread last year, not sure if that also counts). Even though I also increasingly include vegan meals in my meal plan, this mostly happens accidentally. I try to cut down on any animal products, but I currently don’t want to restrict myself to a certain diet. While I experience it as quite easy to cook vegan without having to make any cut-backs regarding taste, I still had my doubts when it comes to baking. I don’t know about you, but even if I would not have been that skeptical, it was mostly the long ingredients lists on recipes that hindered me to finally give it a try.

However, in the end curiosity prevailed over skepticism and the result was a carrot cake that couldn’t have been any better and has approved the very critical test of various family members. Even deep-rooted omnivores wouldn’t have thought the cake was vegan and were convinced they were eating cheese frosting. The icing also was the part I was most curious about. I’ve already heard about cashew nuts serving as a replacement for cream cheese or cheeses in general (for instance here), but I honestly could not believe that it would come that close to the original taste.

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Breakfast, Healthy Crumbles, Recipes

cinnamon oatmeal with caramelized plums and banana (vegan)

November 23, 2016
Simple recipe for a vegan oatmeal with caramelized plums and banana.

My dear friends, I hope you’re doing fine and your start into the new week was not too rough. I was back home in Germany during the last week and spent some relaxing days with my family (and inofficially celebrated my graduation – one must celebrate when one has the chance, right?). Coming home without a to-do list long enough to paper an entire room felt so good, but you probably know that, there’s always a little something to do. But that’s okay. Back in Amsterdam, I’m really getting into that Christmas spirit and set my sights on decorating my apartment all-christmassy this year. And with that comes tea, cozy socks and comforting food. Could be worse and makes the dark months so much more bearable.

It’s no secret anymore that I’m a huge fan of warming oatmeals during the colder months of the year, especially for breakfast. I already shared my coconut and fig version with you on Instagram and the blog last year, but this year, I somehow couldn’t get enough of plums and had a phase where I put them in my morning oatmeal or just had them for snacking.

Vegan oatmeal with caramelized plums and banana.

Even though plums are just off-season in Western Europe (they typically peak in July-October) and I’m always trying to stick to seasonal fruits and veggies, I don’t want to withhold the recipe inspiration for you until next year. I also tried the recipe with coconut milk instead of almond, but there is just something I really like about the almond, plum and cinnamon combo during these pre-Christmassy mornings.

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Bread & Raised Pastries, Recipes

a stuffed piece of Italy or: Mediterranean Tortano bread

November 13, 2016
Mediterranean Tortano bread 1

Wow, scrolling through the last posts is a written confirmation that the past year basically did not happen and that it just passed by waaay too fast. Wasn’t it Christmas only yesterday? So much has happened this past year. Besides having moved to another place for half a year and finally rounding off my studies (not a school kid anymore, unbelievable), I decided to stay in Amsterdam on a more permanent basis. It feels so good to know that it actually makes sense to buy furniture that you really like  – no need to resell them again after a few months’ time. Anyway, here we are again, hesitantly starting to listen to Christmas playlists, officially opening the “scarf-season” and writing that note to ourselves that we better won’t forget to leave the house with a pair of gloves the next day. The worst on a bike.

But before I’m going to soak up all that Christmas craziness in the coming weeks, here’s a recipe that for some reason awakes the memories of summer and connects them to these cozy, warming late fall evenings. This Mediterranean Tortano bread reminds me of mild summer nights spent in Italy last summer, but due to its very hearty taste, I personally think it is the perfect companion for a soup. I made it a few weeks ago and we had pumpkin soup with it, but honestly I can imagine it goes just as well with carrot, sweet pumpkin or paprika soup.

Mediterrean Tortano bread

mediterrean tortano bread

As my dear friend Hannah from Kuechenrebellin (thank you for the inspiration!) already mentioned, the good thing about this stuffed Tortano bread is that it allows your creativity full bent. You can adapt it how you like, just make sure that the fillings won’t be too moist. I believe the canned paprika I bought were preserved in oil, garlic and herbs, so if you want some additional aroma, I suggest you also add a clove of garlic. Enough said, here’s the recipe:

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Healthy Crumbles, Pastries, Recipes

apple galette with cinnamon and walnuts

December 7, 2015

I am an avowing Christmas time fan, which implicates that I sneak cinnamon in basically everything imaginable these days – cereals, cakes and even pasta sauce (which tastes amazing by the way, especially in Bolognese). So, I figured, this apple galette would be the perfect next opportunity to allow full bent on my Christmas spice addiction as it is not only added to the filling, but already in the dough – cinnamon overload, so to say.

I first came across galettes during one of our many trips to France, where the speciality is also originally coming from. Depending on the region in France, this can either mean kind of a buckwheat pancake with a savoury filling, or a cake. No matter what, the most rememberable characteristic probably is that the edge of the galette partly cover the filling.

This apple galette is not sugery at all, which is why you can easily have it for breakfast without any regrets. As for a tea time companion, it tastes best with a big spoon full of freshly whipped cream on the side.

apple galette with cinnamon and walnuts

250 g flour
1 tsp cinnamon
70 g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
125 g cold butter
 
50 g chopped walnuts
30 g sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp melted butter
 2-3 thinly sliced apples
 
1. For the shortcrust pastry, give flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt on the worktop and place the egg in the middle of the pile. 
2. Cut the butter in smaller pieces and place around the egg. Then knead the dough until everything is well incorporated, wrap it up in cling film and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
3. In the meantime, mix sugar, cinnamon and walnuts for the filling and chop apples.
4. Preheat the oven to 170°C. 
5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a round shape – approximately 0,5 cm thin. Then place it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
6. Melt the butter and brush the dough with it. Then spread 3/4 of the walnut-cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly on the dough.
7. Place the sliced apples on the dough. I started in the middle and made sure that every slice overlapped the next one so that in the end, the dough is invisibly. Leave an edge of about 3 cm all around. 
8. Take the free edges and pull them towards the middle of the galette.
9. Sprinkle the rest of the nut-spice mixture over the apples and bake it for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven until it is golden brown. 
 
Breakfast, Recipes

the good is not far or: banana speculoos smoothie to come into the festive spirit

December 2, 2015
banana speculoos smoothie

To start off the christmas season right, I began to add to my regular banana smoothie a pinch of speculoos spice blend I recently bought (and actually was intended for baking) a few days ago. You can also easily do it yourself by mixing ground cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It was just a small variation to a basic recipe, but turned out surprisingly good so I wanted it to share with you.

I also happened to have some leftovers of a late-night chocolate mug cake, which worked nice as a topping. This reminded me of the fact that sometimes it’s not the extravagant, fancy ingredients that make all the difference. This smoothie works also perfectly fine to cure immediate cookie cravings, as I feel it is just a liquid form of the classic speculoos cookie.

banana speculoos smoothie
 
serves two cookie-thirsty persons
 
1,5 ripe bananas
300 ml almond milk
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp speculoos spice blend
agave syrup
2-3 ice cubes
 
1. Place all the ingredients in your mixer and mix until the consistency is light and creamy. Top with cookies if you want.
2. Put on your favorite christmas music and enjoy.