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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Vanilla Bean cupcakes with chocolate ganache

 

My husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth and rarely will eat cake – but since we have 2 daughters that take after mum he will never have a cake-free birthday again! Given he loves vanilla bean ice cream we thought he might appreciate these this year…Soft cup cakes speckled with real Tahitian vanilla bean and dark chocolate ganache to mess up his fingers. We even made extra small ones for him just in case us girls would, dear oh dear, have to finish them for him!

Ingredients
Vanilla Bean Cup Cakes

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 ¼ cups plain flour (I used spelt flour, which makes the cakes a little more dense)

¼ cup cornflour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

⅓ cup olive oil

¾ cup raw sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste plus vanilla bean scraped from 1 whole vanilla bean

Dark Chocolate Ganache

⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk

100g dark chocolate (I use 52% cacao)

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Instructions

For the cup cakes, preheat oven to 180C or 150 C if fan-forced. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Whisk the almond milk, vinegar and chia seeds in a small measuring jug and set aside for 10 minutes to make “chia egg replacer”.

Mix the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and mix.IMG_0738

Transfer the “chia egg replacer”, oil, sugar, vanilla bean paste and vanilla bean into a large mixing bowl. Beat together (I use an electric mixer set to “beat”) until all combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture and continue to mix (medium speed) until no large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the ganache.Dark choc ganache

In a small sauce pan, bring the milk to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has almost melted. Turn the heat off and continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted, the consistency should be smooth. Allow ganache cool for 10 minutes.

To ice the cup cakes, dip the top of each cooled cake into the ganache and set them on the serving platter. Spoon drizzle the remainder of the ganache over cupcakes. Vanilla Bean cupcakes with chocolate ganache bLet the ganache set at room temperature for at least an hour if you can wait that long, or place in the fridge to set. If you can’t possibly wait and don’t mind messing up your fingers and face, serve them immediately to equally messy but happy beings!

Vanilla Bean cupcakes with chocolate ganache c

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Raw cacao pecan fudge bars

Raw cacao pecan fudge bars

I must acknowledge the beautiful young woman, Em, from this Rawsome Vegan life. Her recipes are amazing and she is a beacon of light for all of us. This is an adaptation of one of her recipes, made to delight my non-vegan girlfriends at an upcoming school quiz night! Gooey, sticky tempting treats that are also very good for you!

Ingredients
Processed baseBase

1.5 cups of pecans

1.5 cups of raisins

1 tsp of Tahitian vanilla bean paste

 

Fudge

18-20 medjool dates

¼ cup raw cacao powder

¼ cup melted coconut oil

¼ cup 100% nut butter of choice

½ cup purified water

Instructions

Pecan basePulse grind the pecans in a food processor until finely ground, then add the raisins and vanilla bean paste and process until it clumps together. Press into a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and allow to harden in the fridge.

Fudge layer

Meanwhile, pulse process the medjool dates with the cacao powder. When it begins to clump, add the remaining fudge ingredients until smooth and thick. You may need to add a little more water, but try not to so that it thickens when set.

Spread the fudge onto the pecan base layer, then place in the fridge (or even the freezer if you like them harder) to set for at least 3 hours.

Raw cacao pecan fudge bars 2Remove from the baking tray to slice and allow to soften a little before serving so as not to miss their sticky fudgey goodness!

I cut them into 24 squares, but you could make bigger bars and just slice into about 16 rectangles…mmmm!

Raw cacao fudge bars 3

 Nutritional information (per square)
Calories 172
Fat 8.4g
Sat fat 3.7g
Carbs 23.1 g
Fibre 2.2g
Sugars 17.5g
Protein 2.6g
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Super Sticky Vanilla Bean Rice with Berries

Sticky vanilla bean rice and berries

So simple to make, so sweet to eat, so much better than ice cream! Serves 6 at only 176 calories!

Ingredients

1 cup Chinese sticky rice

1 cup 100% coconut cream

½ cup stevia (or raw sugar)

vanilla bean scraped from 2 whole vanilla pods

300g organic strawberries

300g organic blueberries

Instructions

Place the unranked rice in a saucepan with 1.5 cups of purified water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 12-15 minutes then remove from heat but remain covered

In a separate saucepan bring to the boil the coconut cream diluted with ½ cup purified water. Add the sweetener and vanilla bean and stir over a medium-low heat until dissolved.

Sticky vanilla bean rice in panStir the vanilla-coconut through the rice until soaked and allow to thicken. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and allow to cool, covered in the fridge.

Serve cold with sliced strawberries and blueberries, or your favourite fruit of choice (mango is also delicious).

Nutritional information (per serve)
Calories 176
Fat 8.5g
Saturated fat 4.2g
Carbs 19.1g
Fibre 1.4g
Sugars 1.8g
Protein 2.7g
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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (with mashed cauliflower)

Cooked Shepherd's Pie 2

I’ve never enjoyed mash potato, so I never thought I’d make a vegan shepherd’s pie – but then again I love cauliflower so I decided to give it a whirl as a garlic mash substitute. YUMMO and it is only 320 calories per serve!

Ingredients
Mashed Cauliflower

600g cauliflower

40g soy butter (or nuttelex)

⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk

1tsp garlic clove, crushed

1Tbsp nutritional yeast *optional

salt and pepper to taste

Filling

454g (1 bag) Linda McCartney vegemince (or your favourite vegan mince brand)

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp vegetable stock powder

1Tbsp salt reduced soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp cumin

400g tinned organic tomatoes, chopped

1.5 Tbsp cornflower

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 180C or 160C fan forced.

Mashed CauliflowerVegeminceShepherd's Pie minceUncooked Shepherd's Pie 1Cooked Shepherd's PieAddison and Makala Shepherd's Pie

Steam the cauliflower for 15-20 mins or until soft. Mash with the soy butter and almond milk until creamy then stir through crushed garlic, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium sized pan, fry the onion in a little oil until soft, then add the frozen vegemince, vegetable stock, soy sauce, paprika, cumin, tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Cook over a low-medium heat uncovered for about 10 minutes. Mix cornflower in about ¼ cup of water to dissolve, then add to mince mixture. Cook over low-medium flame until thickened, or about 5 minutes.

Pour mince mixture into a prepared pie pan or pyrex dish. Top with the mashed cauliflower, spreading to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with a little more cracked pepper and bake for 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower is lightly browned.

Serve with steamed vegetables of choice.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information
Calories 322
Fat 7g
Saturated fat 0.6 g
Carbs 33.4g
Fibre 9.3g
Sugars 12.1g
Protein 21.8g
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Sticky Date and Macadamia Ice Cream

Sticky date and macadamia ice cream bowl

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the cool stuff – ice cream!!!!

I have so many favourite brands of vegan ice cream at my local grocer, but they are so pricey. Hence I’ve been experimenting by checking out labelled ingredients and different blending methods – I gave my ice cream maker away years ago when it was still new in the box thinking I’d never use it…I wish I didn’t!

Below is my first contribution to the Go Yoga vegan ice cream recipes, because it was Fathers Day on Sunday and my dad loves sticky date pudding. The dates were processed smooth as I wanted to create streams of caramel-like sauce.

Stayed tuned, my husband loves vanilla bean and salted caramel, my girls love chocolate and I adore mint chip as well as mango ice cream. This are all next in the pipeline to summer!

Ingredients

200 – 250g medjool dates

1 x 400mL can 100% coconut cream (not milk as this makes the ice-cream icy)

*¾ cup pure maple syrup (or stevia if you’re watching your sugars)

2 Tbs cornflour or arrowroot

1 tsp guar gum

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

½ cup raw macadamia nuts

*optional and can be omitted if you’re curbing your sweet tooth

Instructions

Sticky DatePre-cool a medium stainless steel bowl in the freezer.

In another small bowl cover the medjool dates with boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain. Add 70ml of the coconut cream and optional ¼ cup maple syrup or stevia and process until smooth. Set aside.

Measure 70ml of the coconut cream in a small jug and add the cornflour and guar gum. Whisk until all dissolved with no lumps.

Meanwhile, simmer the remaining coconut cream and maple syrup or stevia in a small saucepan over med-low flame. Once bubbles form, remove from heat and whisk in the cornflour/gum mixture and vanilla. Coconut creamTransfer to the pre-cooled steel bowl, cover place in freezer for 1 -1.5 hours until the edges start the freeze.

Stir in the processed medjool dates and nuts, cover and return to the freezer for 1-1.5 hours again until the edges freeze.

Continue to stir once every 60-90 minutes another 4-5 times, or until its almost frozen resembling soft serve, then allow to freeze completely. You can be civilised and scoop it into a bowl or cone or just give everyone a dessert spoon and eat it right out of the the container! Mine didn’t last long but you could transfer it to a airtight container to store longer than 1 day, just allow it to sit at room temperature and soften a little before you dive in!Sticky Date ice creamsticky date ice cream 2

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Tofu and Vegetables in Indonesian Peanut sauce

Tofu and Vegetables in Indonesian Peanut Sauce

This is what our family refers to as a great little “Buddha Bowl” Dinner for a chilly winter evening!

Ingredients – stir fry

400g extra firm tofu, cut into 2-3 cm squares

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cups broccoli flowerets

2 cups caulifowerets

1 large red capsicum

rice bran and sesame oil mix for frying

Ingredients – Indonesian Peanut sauce

1 red chilli, pounded and finely chopped

2-3 cloves fresh garlic

⅓ cup natural “nothing else added” peanut butter

200mL 100% coconut cream

1 tsp brown sugar

lemon juice to taste

1-2 Tbsp Tamari

water for thinning

Instructions

Frying tofu 1Heat rice bran oil in a wok or large frying pan and sauté onion with 1 clove of garlic. Add all of the remaining vegetables and fry quickly over a high heat, stirring constantly.

Now I like my tofu steamed, whereas my daughters only eat it fried – so I do half of each. Tofu SquaresI find it’s great to shallow fry the tofu in a combination of rice bran oil (good for high temperature frying) and sesame oil (for delicious flavour).

 

To prepare the sauce, fry 1-2 cloves of garlic in a little oil and mix together with the chilli. Add peanut butter, coconut cream and brown sugar and stir until blended. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, tamari and if necessary, more water to the desired sauce consistency.Indonesian Peanut Sauce

Divide tofu and vegetables into 4 bowls. Drizzle the peanut sauce over to cover the vegetables and serve with either steamed rice or, as in the photo above, quinoa.

Serves 2 big people and 2 little people.

 

 

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Gluten-Free ANZAC Biscuits

Gluten-Free ANZAC Biscuits

Okay, okay, I know it’s a little late to be posting a recipe for Anzac biscuits, given that the day of remembrance was two weeks ago. BUT, my father-in-law, who was just last year diagnosed as having Coeliacs disease, has been staying with us for the past week. Although he never had a big sweet-tooth, before having to remove all gluten from his diet he did used to thoroughly enjoy a couple of Anzac biscuits with his black tea.

This inspired me to dig out an old recipe that I follow for the ‘crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside’ Aussie bikkies. I experimented with quinoa flakes instead of rolled oats to make them gluten-free (GF). My husband couldn’t tell the difference and ending up downing more than his dear ol’ Pa!

Ingredients

2 level cups of quinoa flakes

1 level cup GF-plain flour

1 level cup desiccated coconut

1 level cup raw sugar

150g Nuttelex or other non-dairy margarine

2 big Tbsp golden syrup

1 ½ tsp baking soda

¼ cup boiling water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 170°C, 150°C fan-forced. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Pour the quinoa flakes, GF-plain flour, coconut and raw sugar into a large bowl and mix well.

Melt the nuttelex in a medium saucepan over medium flame. Dip a metal tablespoon into hot water and then use it to measure out the golden syrup into the melted nuttelex. Stir until dissolved and just coming to boil then reduce to a very low flame.

Stir the baking soda into the boiling water until dissolved then add to the saucepan of melted nuttelex and golden syrup. Stir until it froths then immediately add it to the dry ingredients and mix well.ANZAC cookie dough

Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and roll together into a ball. Place each ball on the baking sheet and flatten slightly.Raw anzac biscuits

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, they should still be a little soft, then allow to cool on the oven trays for at least 5 minutes to harden up a little.Fresh baked Anzacs

Transfer to a cooling rack and then store in an airtight container – I made 24 bikkies with this recipe.

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Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie

I have an incredibly simple, 2-ingredient recipe for chocolate mousse my daughters love to bits. So instead of making them a cake for their 7th birthday this year I decided to put it on a pie-crust base…here is the result.

Ingredients – Pie Crust

10 oat brits, crushed finely (or 2 ½ cups of rolled oats)

⅔ cup spelt wholemeal flour

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup light virgin olive oil or almond oil

½ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

½ cup water + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar + 2 Tbsp chia seeds (chia “egg” replacer)

Ingredients – Chocolate Cream

500g firm tofu

At least 250g vegan cooking chocolate (I use 3 bars of Kinnerton dark chocolate)

2 tsp vanilla bean paste and ⅓ cup maple syrup *optional if you like your chocolate mousse less rich and sweet!

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C, or 160°C if fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, springform pan with light olive oil.

Whisk chia seeds in water and apple cider vinegar and leave for 10 minutes to thicken to a raw egg consistency. Meanwhile, combine crushed oat brits (or oats), flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.

Whisk oil, almond milk and chia “egg” together. Add to dry mixture and stir until well combined. It should resemble cookie dough so if it doesn’t, add a little more milk until you get the sticky dough texture.Vegan chocolate cream pie base

Press the dough into the springeform pan and prick all over with a fork – my fork was dipped in chocolate 🙂 . Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Unfortunately you can see mine burnt a little. Allow to cool for a few hours.

Meanwhile, break up the dark chocolate and melt it in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of near-boiling water; make sure no water splashes into the chocolate as it won’t melt! If you have a double boiler definitely use it.  Stir consistently until it has completely melted and is smooth.Chocolate cream

Chop up the tofu into inch-long pieces then add to a mini food processor or blender and pulse 5-10 times. Scrape the sides, then blend continuously for at least 15 seconds or until mushed. Pour in about half of the chocolate and blend for another 15 seconds.Chocolate cream 2

Vegan chocolate cream whipTransfer the tofu to a mixing bowl, using a spatula to scrap it all, then add the remaining melted chocolate and mix gently until all combined. Using an electric mixer (or hand-mixer?), whip at high speed for at least 3 minutes. *At this point you may wish to add vanilla bean paste and maple syrup if you like your mousse a little sweeter and not so rich. Whipping at high speed is important to add air and lighten the dense chocolate mixture.

Finally, spoon the chocolate mousse cream onto the cooled pie crust and spread evenly with the spatula. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving a la mode, or, if you prefer, it goes down a treat with a berry coulis or cashew cream.Girls 7th birthday

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Chunky Monkey Vegan Protein Pudding

Chunky monkey protein pudding

After 2 years off I’ve just resumed teaching Bodypump at 6:05am on Thursdays. Most of us know now that protein is best consumed post weight training but now my brekkie is after class I’m looking for something more substantial than a shake.

This ticks all the boxes – high protein (about 30g from different sources), high mineral content for muscle recovery (magnesium, calcium and potassium from bananas and cacao), antioxidant rich (cacao has high levels of resveratrol, also found in red wine as well as polyphenols), low sugar, low fat and scrummy taste!

Ingredients

1 ripe banana, broken up

100g firm tofu, chopped (you can use silken but this has lower protein content)

2 heaped tsp raw cacao powder

1 tsp maple syrup or other sweetener (I use stevia)

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

½ scoop (about 15g) of pea protein isolate (I use vanilla flavoured from Vital Protein)

2 tsp smooth peanut butter (I use 100% peanuts no added anything)

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a mini food processor or blender and pulse 5-10 times. Scrape the sides, then blend continuously for at least 15 seconds or until completely smooth. Serves 1 hungry Bodypump monkey 🙂

This tastes just as nice as a post-workout smoothie – just add extra almond milk to your favourite smoothie consistency (about ½ cup should do it).

Chunky monkey protein pudding raw ingredients

Chunky monkey protein pudding processed ingredients

 

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Vegan Choc Chip Oat Brit Slice

Vegan choc chip oat brit slice

My kids are notorious for eating a particular breakfast cereal for months and then exclaiming out of nowhere that they don’t like it and won’t eat it anymore. Last week I found a box of oat brits behind the 6 other cereal types in our pantry that my girls emphatically expressed they’d never eat again (despite eating them for the first 6 years of their life). I hate waste so I’m always sneaking such decidedly “yucky” food into my cooking….Here is the sweet result that the girls love, stay tuned for a savoury oat brits concoction (Vegetarian Sausage Rolls).

Ingredients – dry

8 oat brits, crushed finely

⅔ cup spelt wholemeal flour

1 cup vegan choc chips

⅔ cup stevia (you could use packed brown sugar)

1 tsp baking powder

Ingredients – wet

½ cup light virgin olive oil (almond oil also adds a nice flavour)

½ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

½ cup water + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar + 2 Tbsp chia seeds (chia “egg” replacer)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C, 160°C fan-forced. Line a 3cm-deep, 18cm x 28cm (base) slab pan with baking paper.

Whisk chia seeds in water and apple cider vinegar and leave for 10 minutes to thicken to an raw egg consistency. Meanwhile, combine crushed oat brits, flour, baking powder, choc bits and sugar in a large bowl.

Whisk oil, almond milk and chia “egg” together. Add to oat brits mixture and stir until well combined.

Press mixture into prepared pan using the back of a spoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

Makes about 24 squares.Vegan Choc-chip Oat Brits slice

 

 

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