Thursday, June 10, 2010

vegan bakeathon

I love baking.  LOVE it.  My motto used to be: “when in doubt, bake.” Some friends would argue that the hardest thing about adjusting to my raw lifestyle is the lack of baked goodies they receive!

The combination and transformation of individual ingredients into a new form, in a short amount of time, thrills the creative scanner within.   I like to tweak the formula; add my own style; play around with quantities and substitutions, especially when converting a traditional recipe to a vegan treat.
 Correct, these baked morsels are far from “whole, fresh, ripe and raw”; however they are vegan, so no animals have suffered in the making of this afternoon tea.  I see it as part of my "vegan baking awareness program" for our carnivorous friends.  Proof that you can make delicious cakes and biscuits without using animal products.
I brought the old kerosene oven out of retirement and braved the fumes and black soot to make three new recipes.  We had actually given the oven away to Bingin Mick and Long John, so I had to borrow it back with promise of returning it and some of the bounty.

I took half of the produce to the hotel for afternoon tea by the pool with Hildi, John, Bill and Jen.  The other half went to three very hungry and grateful surfers.

Notes :
For all of the recipes I used almond "meal" left over from making almond milk.
I used cold pressed coconut oil, but canola/vegetable oil would also work.
The original recipes had some sugar, which I omitted.  Sweet enough.
My cakes are a bit flat, because the kero oven doesn't get hot enough.

almond green tea cake (round cake in photo - missing a chunk thanks to Tom)

1 ½  cup plain flour
½  cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼  cup  brewed green tea
½ cup honey (or agave)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup dates/raisins/cranberries

1.  preheat oven to 180C. grease 9" springform pan.
2.  sift flour with baking powder & bi-carb soda
3.  mix flour, almond meal & cinnamon
4.  in another bowl, whisk together green tea, honey, coconut oil, vinegar, vanilla, and dried fruit.
5.  add the wet to dry and whisk until just combined. do not overmix.
6.  bake 50 min (or until skewer comes out clean). cool for 30 and remove from pan.

orange & almond cake (loaf tin in photo)

1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ¼ cups almond meal
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup light soft brown sugar (I used honey, worked fine)
½ cup soy milk
½ cup vegetable oil
juice of 1 orange & 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange & 1 lemon

1.  preheat the oven to 180C
2.  combine the flour, baking powder and almond meal in a large bowl.
3.  in a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy milk, oil, juice and zest.
4.  add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
5.  pour the mixture into a greased & lined cake  or loaf tin 
6.  bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cake browns very slightly on top and a skewer comes out clean.
7.  leave the cake in the the tin for around 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.

surfer's balls (or almond muesli bikkies if you prefer)
2 cups plain flour
½ cup muesli (or mix of seeds and dry fruit, I used sunflower seeds & cranberries)
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup shredded coconut (or coconut flour)
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup honey (or agave)
¼ cup water
3 tsp vanilla extract
1.  preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof/parchment paper.
2.  combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
3.  make a well in the dry ingredients, add all wet ingredients, and stir together.
4.  take roughly 1 tablespoon blobs of mix, roll into a ball & flatten into cookie shape on the paper. 
5.  bake for 15-20 minutes. cool on a wire rack.

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