Tag Archives: cooking

VEGAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES OR MUD CAKE OR SOMETHING

I know, I’ve really been bad with writing lately.. This whole ‘one post a day for a year thing’ apparently didn’t work out. I blame the move..

Anyways, I tried to get a bit more into cooking and baking lately. So I thought, if you want something sweet, “What’s better then chocolate brownies?!”. When I was vegetarian I used to make chocolate brownies every now and then and they were delicious. But that’s kind of easy if you can use 6 eggs or whatever..

So I thought I’d try a vegan version. I’ve had a few vegan cakes now and I thought it’s time to practice making my own.

So I got the following recipe:

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tbs baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups water
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup over ripe banana mashed well
some olive oil(or another oil of your choice to grease pan)

mix dry ingredient

mix wet ingredients

pour wet into dry ingredients, mix well(if banana not very ripe mash up in blender)

pour batter into pan which you greased with an oil of your choice before

preheat oven to 170 Degrees C and bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on if you want it more gooey or more solid

Well, I think I went a bit overboard with the wet ingredients and the dough turned out quite runny. Next time, gotta cut down on that.
The cake has a very fluffy, kind of sticky texture, it really turned out more like a mud cake.

Also, I’m not quite satisfied with the taste yet, not sweet and chocolatey enough, even if the flavour improved over night, as it always seems to do. In the future I gotta take it easy on the wet ingredients and will replace the water with rice or some other plant based milk for a sweeter, creamier taste and maybe even put more cocoa powder in it. I also replaced the olive oil with coconut oil, but that was just for greasing the tin anyways.

Coz the man sourced the recipe, he forgot to put the chocolate chips on the shopping list, so I used a vegan chocolate spread as icing instead.

As I said I’m still experimenting. I will keep you updated on how the cake goes with the alterations. If you have any more suggestions on how to improve this recipe or have any favourite vegan (baked) treats let us know in the comments!

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More Delicious Bread

I’ve gotten off the bread baking a bit lately. Sometimes the bread turns out brittle and I don’t really like the taste of yeasty bread so much anyways.

I normally used to use dry yeast for my breads and store the yeast in the freezer. Not sure how long it lasts, one of the bags made a very vague mention about it, something like ‘use in 3 days, lasts longer in fridge or freezer’. Yeah, great. So I stored the yeast in the freezer and after about 4 weeks it didn’t rise anymore. Then I bought more dry yeast in a tub. All sealed and everything, first time I put it in water and waited for it to bubble up it wouldn’t come up and I threw it away. As  I said, I was quite over bread making anyways, but we still had so much flower left. Rye, white and wholemeal, don’t just wanna waste it.

So I asked my boyfriend if he’d make this flat bread recipe he found on the net a while ago. And he said he would. Back in the day when I was hanging out at hippie camps during the summer we used to make flat breads directly on some rocks by the fire.
That was so much fun!! And they tasted so nice!

So he made this bread, it’s called Bannock and it was just sooo delicious, warm and tasty. You hardly needed to eat it with anything, that’s how good it was.

Obviously fresh is best, warm, straight out of the pan, but I warmed some up the next morning and it was still really nice. So, when you make it, I’d suggest, considering the quick preparation time, make it fresh. If you cook or prepare some other food on the side it hardly takes any time.

I should mention that I find supermarket flat breads disgusting, they taste like nothing and cardboard. Also they keep forever, coz often they are full of disgusting preservatives.

Here is the recipe for the Bannock if you wanna try it. Let me know how you like it!

Bannock Recipe

Ingredients:

• 4 cups flour
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 tablespoons oil

Directions:

1.  Mix ingredients and add water until you have a doughy consistency. Knead approximately 10 minutes.
2.  You can add cinnamon/brown sugar to make it taste a bit differently.
3.  Grease and heat a frying pan. Form the dough into cakes (sort of like tortillas or pancakes) about 1/2
inch thick and dust lightly with flour.
4.  Lay the bannock in the frying pan.
5.  Wiggle the pan every so often to keep the bannock from sticking.
6.  Once a bottom crust has formed and the dough has hardened enough to hold together, turn them.
7.  Cooking takes 12-15 minutes.

I’m Beat

Melbourne doesn’t have many great organic, whole foods shops, so each weekend we have to drive across the whole city just to visit a couple of them. It takes half a day, most of the time we go to a market too, and by the time we get back I’m completely beat!

Pisses me off it’s so difficult to get organic produce. There is nothing in our area, so we just go to the normal supermarket during the week, they only have regular produce and a tiny, sad looking organic section, which is obviously not great.

We are trying to eat more raw, vegan foods. We are definitely eating healthier all the time and I think, after two to three months now, it makes me feel better. More energetic and I feel cleaner.

Today we had baby spinach, kale and rocket with brown rice and red quinoa for lunch, which was nice. The grains are hidden under the kale in the bowl.

Looks pretty healthy

The kale wasn’t great, but it’s the first time I cooked it that I can remember. I just sauteed it with some olive oil and salt. It was really chewy.

Somebody on twitter sent me this link to a kale chips recipe. Now this looks delicious! I’ll try that tomorrow.

So yeah, we are eating healthier, more raw, organic produce, but sourcing that crap can be frustrating.

Is it easy where you live to source fresh, organic vegetables? How do you organize shopping for healthy foods?

Children’s Farm and a Lentil

Today we went to the farmer’s market at the Collingwood Children’s Farm in Abbotsford. They had animals in enclosures(which i don’t like, but i like patting the animals), different plants growing everywhere, a cafe and music, all in a really pretty foresty setting. But why is the market only once a month???

Got some very nice produce and then we went to eat at Lentil As Anything, which is a not for profit community restaurant where you can ‘pay as you feel’ for a really nice vegetarian/vegan buffet. It was delicious! I’m thinking of volunteering there, but it’s a bit tricky at the moment with working full-time and at the weekends i just wanna make my own food and go for drives in the country..

After that we went to the wholefoods shop.

When we got back i made a roast with our finds from the market, so inspiring to cook with veggies in all these odd shapes and gorgeous colours.

The roast I made

And i made another bread, which turned out nicer and much less messy then the one from last week. I put heaps of spices in it, that’s why i call it the Pepper Bread..

The Pepper Bread

We also found heaps of rosemary growing in a library car park. Now how cool is that?! That went straight into the roast! It smells so nice! I wish i could eat like this every day.

So yeah, lots of food foraging and cooking today and hopefully some more eating and relaxing with some youtube clips coming up!

Ah yeah, and i watched this.

Watch it! It’s good. It’s about kids and how they get marketed to and turned into mini consumers so they can grow up to be big consumers. Nice, right?! I hate brands and marketing and consumer crap. That shit should be outlawed! Or better, people should stop being so stupid and buy all this shit trying to fill the voids in their lives.. and stop buying this crap for their kids too.

I wish you all a happy weekend!! What are your plans? I might go for a drive in the country tomorrow..

Baking bread and sweet potatoes

So i baked some bread today, i must have baked bread before, but i can’t quite remember it, other then making flat breads..

Anyways, it turned out quite nice i think, i used the videos in this post to guide me through, they were really quite helpful.

I put too much water in(my cups must be bigger then the ones in the recipe?) and then i had to compensate with quite a bit of flour, so the dough turned out massive and i made it into two breads!! Which is kind of handy, considering we went to the wholefoods shop today and they had run out of bread, so we should have enough maybe for a week.

I kind of feel like we should make our own bread most of the time from now on, we will see.. So yeah, i will try some variations soon with chia seeds and ..ah dammit, i just remembered i wanted to put rosemary in it. Ah well, next weekend..

So this is the bread

Pretty nice, right?!

We had it straight out of the oven with olive oil and salt and it was just delicious!

I was wondering how sweet potatoes are grown and looked it up for a friend. Apparently they like a warm, subtropical climate. So probaly not that great for most parts of Europe and North America, but I suppose you could grow them in most parts of Australia. They need a long growing season(4 months of warm/hot weather) and apparently they are a sprawling vine sort of vegetable. Also, don’t plant them too early as they don’t like the cold soil and you wanna have the potatoe sprout some shoots and then pick the shoots off and have them grow roots before you plant them. You can also get shoots from some nurseries. Anyways, that’s what i picked up from the videos i watched, i won’t try it, but i thought sweet potatoe is quite a nice vegetable for every now and then.

The video doesn’t really show much, but it’s the best one i found.

I wanna make some vegan spreads next, do you think i need a food processor for that? I hope not, coz i haven’t got one! What are you making this weekend?

Baking Bread

I’m going to bake my own bread at the weekend, see how this goes. The man has been dabbling in pizza breads, maybe i’ll do a post about something like that later.

Seems like to bake a bread you’ll need,

white flour
wholewheat flour
dry yeast
oil
sea salt
brown sugar
water

a mixing bowl
some measuring devices
and a surface to knead the bread on
ah yeah and a towel and an oven of course

I try to stay away from recipes that involve eggs and butter, i mean are we baking a cake here or what?! Also it needs to be vegan and i like the old school version of bread..

Some of the videos i found use fancy instruments like thermometers and measuring spoons, who’s got shit like that at home? Why not make it easy and measure with teaspoons or something?

Anyways, at the moment i like to get organic rice chia bread from the wholefoods shop, it has a nice crunchy, chewy texture when you toast the shit out of it and it’s gluten free too. I also like the rye chia bread.

The lady in this videos puts honey in the dough to feed the yeast, some people put sugar in it, i suppose you can swap that with your favourite brown or palm sugar or rice malt syrup or whatever? Not sure..

 

I like the old lady in the video, she seems cool! I like her approach.

Here is part 2

Once you get good at it and get the basics right you can put all kinds of stuff into your bread, like chia, polenta, grated carrots and nuts.. GO WILD!!!

I’m gonna try this at the weekend and will tell you how it goes.

Not sure how much cheaper it is, but i like the idea of the process, you know, getting connected with your food.

This video is pretty cool too, i like the videos i posted, coz they are really basic and they have a lot of info in them too.

 

Some people seem not to be able to digest gluten, not sure if it’s necessary for the rest of us to stay away from it? I will make some gluten free bread later.

I also bought some breads made from sprouted grains at the wholefood shop, they are stored in the fridge and i find them overly sweet. Not sure if it’s from the sprouting process or the kind of bread i got, but i tried two different ones and they were both basically the same. Too sweet for me!

I wanna make breads with soaked grains though, but i don’t have a grinder at the moment so i’ll leave that for later.

Do you need sugar and yeast to make bread?

What do you do if the yeast doesn’t rise, just chuck the dough out? Seems like a waste..

Have you made bread before? You got any tips?