Tag: Desserts

Vegan Baklava

Admit it – after tasting a piece of fulfilling, soft and sweet piece of baklava you fell in love with it. And so did I, though found myself wondering (after some time) whether it would be possible to veganize the recipe of this delicious Turkish dessert, as baklava typically uses butter. Instead, I decided to give it a go with the mixture of vegan butter and sunflower oil and it turned to be perfect. For the traditional Turkish baklava, I heard, they use up to 1 kilo of sugar for one tray – now that’s a bit too much, I think! So my recipe uses way less, though considering that your tray is also significantly smaller than in bakeries in Turkey.

After all this time I can proudly present you – vegan baklava! It’s delicious, sweet, fulfilling, naughty, nutty, soft and rich.

You will need:

  • Filo dough
  • Vegan butter (around 100gr)
  • A little oil (I used about 3 spoons of sunflower oil)
  • Sugar/Agave syrup
  • Water
  • Lemon
  • ~ 50gr of nuts (I used a mixture of pistachio and walnuts)

Preparation:

  • Heat butter together with oil
  • In a separate bowl, heat up around 200ml water together with 150gr sugar (or Agave) and 1/2 lemon
  • Prepare the nutty layer: either blend the nuts with blender or simply grate them
  • Once the liquids are ready, grease the baking tray and start with one layer of Filo dough. Grease each 2 layers of Filo with the brush.
  • After about 1/2 of dough is used, generously pour the nut layer and start layering Filo again, greasing each 2 layers with butter-oil
  • Once Filo is used, cut the whole “pie” in squares and bake for 25 minutes at 180°C
  • After baking baklava, pour the sugar-water-lemon sauce on top, specifically in between of the creeks where baklava was cut before baking. Let it rest and cool down and enjoy!

Chai Tea: How To Perfect It?

How and why to make the perfect Chai tea.

Chai is one of my favourite teas. Perhaps it’s not too surprising if I say that chai perfectly fits my December mood, when I want to cozy up, snuggle and sit in the corner of the sofa with the huge mug of a hot, yummy beverage.

The traditional tea has its origin in India, where its name is Masala Chai. It contains a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices, and once you are hooked you will consume liters of it. And why not? Unlike coffee where scientists are often debating rather or not it is healthy and gives you the pros and cons chai tea is a tea you can drink and it only has benefits. Further more, you can make it your self, so it fits your taste butts and perfect it to your style and temperament. The recipie below is my personal favourite and a good starting point to make your own personal chai-mix.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/edeva/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/edeva/

 Spice ingredients for one pot of tea

- 1 Tbsp fennel or anise seed

- 6 green cardamom pods

- 12 whole cloves

- 1-2 cinnamon stick

- 2 cm ginger root, sliced thin

- 6-7 whole white pepper corns

- A bit of Nutmeg

- 2 bay leaves

- 7 Cups water

- Afterwards add 2 tbsp of Darjeeling

- 5 tbsp of coconut sugar

- Milk (feel free to use soya milk instead)

In a saucepan, add spices to 1 cup of water. Boil it, then remove the heat and let ir rest for about 5-7 minutes. Add milk to the water with spices. Bring it to boil. Add the tea to the liquid and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Traditionally, sugar is added right before serving. Enjoy!

Some of the benefits to be on team Chai

It has much less caffeine than coffee. You have to drink atleast three cups of chai tea to receive the same amount of caffeine than in a regular coffee. Besides, there are are many beneficial ingredients in Chai. The black tea in chai contains many antioxidants and the spices in chai have been used for decades to promote general health and in treating illnesses. Today the ingredients in chai are believed to be beneficial in many ways. F.eks to reduce the risk of cancer. Cardamom, cinnamon and ginger contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that are believed to help prevent certain cancers such as bowel and stomach. Another plus to team chai is that chai spices such as cinnamon and ginger have been shown to balance hormones and alleviate pain associated with PMS

 

  • Anise 
is used as a cough remedy and to freshen the breath.
  • Fennel has been used to treat both kidney laryngitis and ocular problems.
  • Cardamom
 is beneficial for lungs, kidneys, and heart. It is also a mood elevator.
  • Clove
 contain pain-relieving and antiseptic attributes.
  • Cinnamon is known to increase circulation, increase awareness and vitality, and most importantly reduce fatigue. Aparently it is furthermore reputed as being an aphrodisiac!
  • Ginger
improves circulation and immune system
  • Black Pepper is known and used to support circulation and metabolism, black pepper can help to alleviate chronic coldness.
  • Nutmeg has been used for centuries to ease sciatica and promote the digestion. In the ancient Arab world it was used to It was treat kidney and lymph issues.

Vegan Honey Cake

Some people say that you have not lived until you have tasted Medovik – traditional Russian honey cake. The history of honey cakes goes back as far as the history of honey, when people came up with the idea of mixing flour and honey together to bake a sweet, fluffy pie. Even though a number of years have passed and all sorts of possible version of the cake have been thought of, it still is the most popular cake in Russia as well as Czech Republic, Ukraine and Croatia, though is virtually unknown in North America. Overall – honey cake is so soft and delicious; it’s neither creamy nor dry, it has the perfect amount of moist and dryness as the cake may have. Such cake is definitely perfect for a special occasion, such as Christmas or New Years eve and it will (without any doubt) will WOW your crowd – perhaps also because the vegan version of the cake is not any worse than the original one.

Pie

For layers:

  • 3  cups flour (around 400g)
  • 2 teaspoons grounded ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1,5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 220gr soft vegan butter or margerine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 0.5 cup Agave or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons no-egg replacer
  • 1,5 cups plant-based milk (soy works best)
  • 0,5 cups strong coffee
  • 0,5 cup sugar

For watering the layers:

  • 750ml soy yoghurt
  • ½ of lemon
  • Home-made condensed milk (2 cups of soy milk, 1 cup of sugar and boil slowly for about an hour until it starts thickening).
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla sugar

Preparation:

  1. Mix flour, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt together.
  2. Blend no-egg replacer together with plant-based milk, butter (or margarine), sugar and Agave (or maple syrup)
  3. Slowly start pouring the wet part of the mixture into flour mixture, constantly mixing.
  4. Bake in an oven for about 15 minutes if you are baking each layer separately (which I usually do). Otherwise – around 45 minutes as a whole in 180°C. Let the layers cool.
  5. Make the filling: mix homemade condensed milk with vanilla sugar.
  6. Once layers have cooled, pour some mixture of coffee and sugar on top of each of them from both sides. Layer the cake in a cake form by adding a generous amount of filling (the cake will absorb it, believe me!).  Pour the leftover filling on top.
  7. Decorate the cake with one leftover layer. In case you don’t have it, cacao or grounded cookies will work too.
  8. Don’t forget – it’s a MUST to keep the cake sit in the cake form for at least 8 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

Banana Cake (vegan)

Admit it: you sometimes crave for something tasty and easy but have no major interest in spending half a day in the kitchen, trying out fancy recipes. There’s a simple solution for you – tasty, fluffy and very easy cake that you can make in nearly no time with very simple ingredients that nearly all of us have every single day. Prepare your tummy!..

Dreamy banana cake

Ingredients:

- 3-4 big, ripe bananas

- Sugar

- Sugar powder

- Flour

- Baking powder

- Oil

- Vanilla sugar

- Pinch of salt

Preparation

:

Mash bananas in a bowl together with 50 ml of oil, 100gr sugar and a full cup of sugar powder. Feel free to use less sugar if you are limiting your sugar intake. Add a teaspoon of vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt, mix well. In a separate bowl mix about 350-400gr of flour together with a teaspoon of baking powder, then add the dry mixture while mixing the dough until it gets thicker.

Grease the baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top of the cake gets golden brown. Enjoy!

P.s. tastes best with vanilla soy milk :)

Sunday Treats: Chocolate Cake

Not too long ago me and my boyfriend started an interesting experiment called “one month vegans”. I have been a vegetarian for almost 12 years now yet I would still consume dairy products, however, after having gotten a relatively surprising offer from him (keeping in mind that from time to time he would consume meat), I decided to try. Well, after all, I love challenges, and this one is related to food: something I adore a lot.

I have recently been looking for interesting egg and milk (as well as butter) alternatives, especially when it comes to baking. One thing I fell in love with is vegan chocolate cake. I believe it’s the best option to treat yourself with a piece of yummy chocolate cake on Sunday and what could be better than an incredibly tasty (I swear!) vegan chocolate cake? Try it yourself! Curious to hear your thoughts on that. P.s. it only seems that a lof of ingredients are needed, yet I bet that you already have majority of them!

a piece of vegan cake

Cake ingredients:

* 1,5 cups of flour

* 1 cup of sugar

* 2/3 cup of cacao powder

* 1 cup almond/soya milk (if you don’t have those just use water)

* 1/3 cup of vegetable oil

* 1/2 tsp of salt

* 1 tsp baking soda

* 1 tbsp apple cider/rice vinegar

* splash of brandy/liqueur

Glaze:

* 1/2 cup sugar

* 3 tbsp vegan butter/margarine

* 2 tbsp soy/rice milk

* 2 tbsp cacao powder

* splash of brandy/liqueur

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180°. In a deep dish mix together flour, sugar, cacao, baking soda and salt. When it’s mixed, add the water, a splash of brandy/liqueur, oil and vinegar and mix it once again until even. Pour it in the deep dish and bake it for ~30mins. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: in a small pot bring sugar, butter/margarine, soya/rice milk and cacao to boil. Stir constantly for approximately 2 minutes, remove the heat and stir for about 3-4 minutes more until it thickens. Add a splash of alcohol and pour onto cake when it’s cooked. Let it cool and enjoy!

vegan cake

P.s. in order to make the a little more fancy I also added a handful of almonds and dried cranberries into the dough. The cake turnet out to be extremely yummy and I swear, no one believed it’s vegan!

American Muffins

For me, Saturday mornings and mid-days are times for myself, food and my second-half. Since during the working days I don’t have much time to cook, I try to compensate that with weekend food luxury moments. On Saturdays, I love waking HIM up with a cup of warm and fragrant coffee and the smell of sweet and delicious bakery goodness. My favorite ones are American Chocolate muffins (also called as chocolate chip muffins) and banana crumble muffins. But let me introduce you to American Muffins this time – and let’s try banana goodness for the next weekend. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15216811@N06/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Ingredients:

-          2 full cups of flour

-          2 eggs

-          100-150gr of butter

-          1/3 cup of milk

-          4 spoons of sugar

-          4 spoons of brown sugar

-          1 teaspoon of baking powder

-          2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar

-          Chocolate chips (or simply broken pieces of chocolate)

-          Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 200°C and start preparing the dough. Stir flour, both white and brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt. In another bowl, mix milk, eggs and melted butter until even. Make a hole in a bowl with flour and start pouring the milk-egg-butter mixture while constantly stirring. Add chocolate. At last, grease muffin cups and pour about 2-3 spoons of butter in each. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tooth pick, inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Tastes best with vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy!