Vegan Raspberry Cake

I’ve been baking and cooking dairy free for a while now, because of my milk allergy and I’ve always wanted to attempt one of these cakes. I find it so clever how people think of using different ingredients (that would never occur to me to be used in baking) to make a vegan cake. Like, soaked cashews? I wonder who thought of that one. Dates as a base are a bit more obvious since they’re sticky. I haven’t tried to use aqaufaba yet (juice of chickpeas), but I’m sure it’ll work as magically as the soaked cashews did.

I decided that I wanted to replicate the dish that I used to make and love with my mom before I got my milk-phobia. It’s called a ‘kwartaart’, which means that there’s a lot of thick yoghurt in the cake. I’m not sure wehter that sounds very unappealing  and I’m just not good at explaining kwark, but it basically just taste like a cheesecake. The base tasted like speculaas (Dutch cookies) and since I had speculaar cookies in my cupboard, I decided to use those. I mixed them and then added 1/2 cup (maybe a bit less) of melted coconut oil to make it stick as a whole. I used a 6 inch/ 20cm round cake tin, lined with parchment paper. After that, I placed it in the freezer. 

The thing in any vegan cheese cake recipe is that they say: “soak the cashews overnight” or ” at least for a trillion hours”. I did not have that time! I thought, why not try to just soak them in boiling water and see if that works. I let them in there for an hour (at best, ’cause I’m an impatient human) and then used the foodprocessor to blend the cashews and the coconut oil to a creamy substance. I may have used a processor that was too small or blunt, because it couldn’t really process all of the cashews. After mixing for a bit, I aded a few tablespoons of water to loosen the mixture and it worked. It became creamy! 

I only had one small food processors so I had to transfer the final mixture into a bowl and then pulse the 1 cup of frozen raspberries. This allowed me to make a double layer of white and pink, which gave it a cool look! I added it all to the round tin and hoped that it would freeze enough for everyone to have after dinner. I placed it in at 4pm and took it out around 9pm and it was frozen, except for a small bit in the middle. Good enough. 

The funny thing was how everyone expected it to taste different from a regular cheesecake, but they all said it tasted the same! Magic cashews! I was happy, excited and there were leftovers that I placed back into the freezer (and I still snack on). It tastes the same as the Dutch kwarktaart. Definitely a success and will make one soon again! 

I struggled to get the cake out of the parchment paper, so I jus cut around it. I know it’s not the best looking cake, but at least it tasted yummy! 

I used a different recipe, but I was unable to find it again so here you go with a similar recipe. 

https://themovementmenu.com/recipes/easy-vegan-raspberry-cheesecake/

Eggcellent, Eggelicious, Eggtravagant.

On a Fryday, I indulged into a cheeky baking session in my afternoon off work. Anyone who’s ever cooked, grilled, baked, barbecued or erratically fused multiple liquids together in a bowl, knows that eggs are an unbeatable substance in the science of cookery and bakery. After a few moments of researching, I found a recipe I desperately wanted to crack into (see recipe below). It was going to be an intensely fluffy sponge cake that I could poke frequently so it could exhibit its pudding-like quantities. It required, however, a rather large amount of egg whites, which I thought was interesting. The cake basically consisted of 9 egg whites and a touch of flour and sugar. Intrigued, I purchased the largest eggbox the Woolies had to offer and went whipping.

The cake turned out as feathery as a newly hatched chick and it appeared to me that the secret ingredient must have been the eggs. It was an eggilarating find. Later I learned that by beating the egg white, little bubbles form within the whites, which will help maintain the structure of a cake while it’s in the oven. Using creme de tartar or lemon juice can help increase the stabilty of the foam, which is something I’ll definately eggamine in my next baking endeavours!

I still had 9 egg yolks left after that and decided to eggperiment by making a chocolate custard. I’ve become to love custard, since it has so many different sides to it. It’s a filling for cakes and tarts, a decadent sauce for any dessert and beautiful to use as a dip for strawberries. The yolk’s purpose to the custard is to give it a fatty substance, therefore enriching the liquid with a stronger pallet. Fairly easy to make, though it can be egghausting sometimes on the arms since you have to stir it on low heat for around 15-20 minutes. Nonetheless, it added flavour to my angel cake and I’ll be making it again soon!

 

For everyone interested in the cake:

https://www.tastemade.com/videos/berries-and-cream-angel-food-scoop-cake?utm_source=facebook&utm_account=tastemade&utm_content=post_03-07-2018

 

For more information on what eggs do in baking:

https://www.thekitchn.com/baking-school-day-1-all-about-eggs-and-baking-222479

 

On Carrots, Walnuts and Cinnamon

As usual, my timing is bizarelly good – Jamie Oliver

That was not the case this sun-drowned afternoon when I hurriedly tried to assemble a carrot cake auspiciously called ‘incredibly moist and easy’. While three obnoxious fat flies neurotically circled around in the kitchen and bumped against the window and while flushed breezes entered through the opened doors, I ran around panicking, trying to find the spatula. I had to ride off on my trusty bike to work at 3:30 and the cake needed to be in the oven at least at 2:30. I crushed walnuts, peeled carrots and suffocated batter in cinnamon, rasped too much nutmeg and cursed loudly in Dutch when I dropped the wet whisk on the floor. Still, despite the chaos, I absolutely adore cooking.

Baking always seems the easiest way for me to find quick relaxation in the kitchen, though I do enjoy hosting dinners at home where I’ll go utterly crazy on at least 3 courses. Searching through Jamie Oliver’s or Donna Hay’s cookbooks, I’ll try to find the best matching dishes where I’d be able to learn something new. My last exploration involved cooking two different kinds of stew for a homemade chicken and beef pie (they were two separate dishes, I did not defy the universal rules of pie making). It took me at least half a day, but the results were received with applause and compliments.

However, baking offers the best possibility to create something beautiful from scratch in less time. I recently discovered a quick recipe for insanely fluffy chocolate muffins, that simply do not need any frosting, for their fluffiness is orgasmic (recipe is included). Carrot cake, however, has always had a special place in my heart. I’ve always felt there’s never enough cinnamon, silky walnuts add extra crunchiness to a sponge cake and carrots are just awesome veggies.

After a fight with the oven, the loaf emerged from the grey steam and although I would’ve liked it to be slightly less burned, the taste was absolutely breathtaking.

I present to you, the Carrot Cake Loaf.

Carrot Cake.jpeg

moist.

 

Recipes:

Super moist Chocolate Cupcakes: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/06/22/super-moist-chocolate-cupcakes/ (applause to Sally!)

Carrot Cake: https://prettysimplesweet.com/carrot-cake/ (amazing cake, Shiran!)

 

 

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