Music for your Mouth: Cake

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Who doesn’t love CAKE? Am I talking about the band or the food? I don’t know! Both! Another band that reminds me of the ’90s, with their funky base lines and deadpan vocals. I am into it.

Naturally, today’s recipe is for cake. This particular cake (or a version of it) is one that I used to make aaaaall the time as a child (in the ’90s!) – it was my favourite recipe from a kids cooking book that I had. I just loved the fruity combination of banana and pineapple, and cream cheese icing has always been my favourite.

If you like light and fluffy cakes, this may not be the cake for you – this bad boy is dense, moist and sweet.

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Banana Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups spelt flour
3 medium bananas, mashed
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Icing:
1/2 tub tofutti
2 Tbsp nuttelex
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and/or line a 23cm round baking tin.

In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda,salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a medium bowl or jug, combine banana, pineapple, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir through apple cider vinegar milk.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mix in, stirring until just combined. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack to cool.

For the icing, combine tofutti and nuttelex in a bowl and beat with electric beaters for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla juice, lemon and beat to combine. Add icing sugar bit by bit, and beat until combined. Place icing in the fridge to firm up a little until your cake is cool enough to ice.

cake3I kind of just slopped this icing on, cake still slightly warm as I was seriously running out of time to photograph this before nightfall – hence the crappy lighting and the taking the cake outside to catch some natural light as well, haha.

cake2I love watching the people listening and grooving to the song – and love the fact that it’s been played on a discman. Yeeehah!

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Music for your Mouth: Spice Girls

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When I was in primary school, you were either team Hanson or team Spice Girls. Admittedly I was team Hanson, however that doesn’t really fit into the theme I’m going for, so I’m going to throw the Spice Girls a bone and include them in MoFo.

I probably should have made something hot and spicy, but ah well, this’ll have to do.

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!

spicegirls3My mum recently bought me a jar of really nice organic spice rub which I have been using to make baked tofu for an easy weeknight meal. When my stocks started running low, I took a squiz at the ingredient list and tried to create my own version which I think came up pretty well. You could easily multiply this recipe and keep a jar of it on hand to cut down prep time.

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Spice Rubbed Baked Tofu
(serves 3-4)

350g firm tofu, pressed and sliced
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp olive oil

1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 200C and lightly grease a baking tray.

Prepare your spice rub.Depending on what form your herbs are in, you may need to grind them up a bit. I had home dried sprigs of rosemary, and I ran out of dried oregano so used fresh, so I had bits of all different sizes and consistencies. Regardless of the others, you will need to grind your mustard seeds – use a mortar and pestle to do this. After grinding the seeds, I added the remaining ingredients and just ground them all up together. Tip spice mix onto a small plate.

Combine lemon juice and oil in a small bowl or dish. Brush each tofu piece with the lemon mix, then dredge through the spice mix. Get your hands dirty and give each piece a good rub as you go. Lay out on baking tray.

spicegirls4Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for a further 10. At this point, I like to turn on the grill and chuck them under just to crisp them up a bit.

spicegirls2Serve with a lemon wedge and a side salad, such as this strawberry balsamic salad.

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Music for your Mouth: Fiona Apple

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For some reason, every time I think of Fiona Apple I picture Fiona Horne – remember her, the white witch? I know they aren’t the same person so I don’t know what’s causing the mix-up, but I just can’t help it. Sorry Fiona Apple. I’m not sure if you guys have heard any of Fiona Horne’s songs, but well, I’ll let you have a listen for yourselves. Scroll down if you dare…

This is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of apple desserts. It has fond memories for me, it was a regular in mum’s winter repertoire alongside other favourites such as golden syrup dumplings, sago, and custard with dessicated coconut on top. It’s a relatively easy one to whip up, and is super comforting, particularly when you’re all snuggled up on a cold night.

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Baked Stuffed Apples
(makes 4)

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp nuttelex or coconut oil
1 tsp lemon or orange zest (different but both delicious!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small bowl, mix together dates, walnuts, coconut sugar, zest, spices and salt. Add nuttelex and vanilla and stir to combine into a kind of paste.

Now, core your apples. This can be a bit tricky without a corer, but I use a small sharp knife to make the first cut, then use one of those old school melon ballers to remove the rest. I have done it with just a sharp knife, however it does take a bit longer. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through to the bottom or your filling will leak out – try to leave a centimetre or so.

fionaappleUsing a sharp knife, cut a line around the width of the apple. This will prevent the skin from bursting in a funny way.

fionaapple2Now stuff your apples full of mix and pop them in a baking tray or dish.

fionaapple3Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the tray, then cover with a lid or some foil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover, and bake a further 5-10 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

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This is the first Fiona Apple song I ever heard.


And as promised, this is Fiona Horne on good old Hey Hey It’s Saturday…

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Music for your Mouth: Jello Biafra

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We don’t really call it Jello here – it’s Jelly – but I am not going to let that get in the way of some good edible audio.

Today’s beats to eat come to you from the great Jello Biafra – you might know him from acts such as the Dead Kennedys and his collaboration with the Melvins, or for having a sense of onomatopoeia about him, with a voice that sounds somewhat like wobbly jelly. Today, however, he comes to you in the form of a delicious dessert.

jello5It’s like trifle, but not as daggy. Truth be told, I never really liked that weird sponge cake layer in trifle anyway, so this suits my tastes juuuuuust fine.

Jelly is another one of those foods that reminds me of being a kid – in fact, I’m pretty sure I haven’t had it in years. I used to love when my mum would make it for me when I was home from school with a sore throat – it was such a treat!

jello4I’m still impressed with just how cool this looks. I love the way the berries are suspended at different heights, reminds me of being in space or something (obviously I know all about being in space).

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Fancy Layered Jelly Cups
(makes 2)

1 pack vegan jelly crystals
400ml boiling water
Handful of blueberries and strawberries

1 cup cashew milk (or other nondairy milk)
1.5 Tbsp vegan custard powder
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

1-2 squares chocolate, shaved

Empty jelly crystals into a heat proof jug, then pour in boiling water and stir until dissolved.

Prepare two fancy glasses by popping a few blueberries and some chopped strawberries in the bottom. Distribute jelly mix evenly amongst the glasses, then place in the fridge to set.

Next, prepare the custard. In a small bowl, whisk together a couple of tablespoons of cashew milk with the custard powder and set aside.

Heat remaining cashew milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Pour in custard powder mix, whisking constantly. Add vanilla, then turn the heat down and simmer for a couple of minutes, until mixture is noticeably thicker. Continue whisking to avoid lumps forming.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool – you don’t want to put hot custard onto your jelly as it will melt. Allow to cool, but check in every so often to whisk up and ensure it doesn’t set. When cool enough, divide custard among the glasses and return to the fridge to set.

When cool, garnish with some extra berries and shaved chocolate.

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Music for your Mouth: Vanilla Ice

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Oh Vanilla Ice. How your song always used to get me excited, thinking I was about to hear Queen and David Bowie sing Under Pressure. The disappointment every time…

Still, there’s no denying that the song has entertainment value, especially with the 80’s film clip. Ha ha ha. Oh lordy.

vanillaicee1I originally made this ice cream with coconut milk but found that the coconut was a little too overpowering, outshining the vanilla beans. I decided to give it a go with cashew milk, as I thought the flavour might be a bit more neutral and the consistency creamier. I think it worked out really well, and I enjoy the subtle hint of cashew.

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Vanilla Bean Cashew Ice Cream

400ml cashew milk
400ml coconut cream
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 vanilla beans
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp vodka

Heat cashew milk, coconut cream, agave and salt in a pot over medium-low heat. Scrape vanilla bean out and add to pot, chucking the pods in as well to cook out all the flavour.

Remove a small amount of liquid from the pot and whisk arrowroot into it, before returning it to the pot.

Turn off heat and stir through vodka. The vodka helps by acting as an ‘anti-freeze’, which means your ice cream will stay creamy rather than going as hard as a rock. Cool trick huh?

Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge until mixture is completely cool. Remove vanilla bean pods and pour mix into ice cream maker to do its magic! Once complete, eat straight away for a soft serve style ice cream, or transfer to the freezer to firm up.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, do not fear, you can still make ice cream! You will just need to pour the mix into a dish of some sort and place it in the freezer, and check in on it every half an hour or so to whisk it up until it freezes. This is important to ensure you get the creamiest ice cream possible!

I served this with some pureed strawberries on top and a shaving of chocolate and/or a sprig of mint. Deeelicious.

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Music for your Mouth: The Cranberries

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ZOMBIE ZOMBIE ZOM BIE BIE BIE!!!!!

My ex-housemate loves the Cranberries, and Enya makes her cry when she drinks gin. FACT.

This is a simple and delicious festive side dish. Save it to impress next Christmas!

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Green Bean Cranberry Salad

400g green beans
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Top and tail your beans. Prepare a large bowl of iced water.

Soak cranberries in hot water.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add green beans and cook for 2-3 mins until they turn bright green and slightly tender.

Drain and transfer to iced water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Drain.

Whisk together lemon zest, garlic, oil and salt and pepper in small bowl.

Combine beans, nuts, cranberries and dressing. Serve.

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Music for your Mouth: Infected Mushroom

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Infected Mushroom? Infected with DELICIOUSNESS!

I apologise. We haven’t even quite reached the halfway point in MoFo and I’m already getting a bit loopy. Perhaps I was a bit ambitious in aiming for a new recipe every single day. Regardless, I’m here now, and I have a recipe for you.

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Have you noticed my posts are getting less and less talk? I’ve been spending too much time cooking and browsing the blogroll, and so by the time I get around to actually making my own posts, I just want to get them out there.

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Stuffed Mushrooms with Pesto Cashew Cheese

12 – 18 button mushrooms (depending on size)
1 recipe of cashew cheese
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup basil
2 Tbsp olive oil + extra for brushing
Salt and Pepper

1 Tbsp pinenuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 180C.

Carefully remove stems from mushrooms and lay mushroom caps upside down on a lightly greased tray.

To make your pesto, place garlic, walnuts, lemon, basil, oil and salt and pepper in a blender, and blend until combined. If more liquid is needed, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Prepare cashew cheese and place in a bowl. Add pesto and stir through.

Fill each mushroom with pesto mix, then brush the mushroom flesh with a little oil.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and the pesto begins to look a little golden.

Serve on some rocket (straight from your parents’ garden!) and cherry tomatoes to brighten the plate up. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

infectedmush5I’m going to play you a song called Converting Vegetarians. Obviously they mean converting vegetarians to vegans, right? Ha!

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Music for your Mouth: Martha and the Muffins

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Holy moly there’s some great alliteration going on in the title today. A mouthful of muffins!

I had heard of the band Martha and the Muffins in passing before now, but didn’t really think I knew who they were. I did a bit of the old internet research, and the first song that came up on youtube was Echo Beach. As soon as I started playing the song I recognised it – it is so familiar, I just have no idea where from. The Bear felt the same too…perhaps it is in a movie or something? 

Regardless of where it’s from, it’s a catchy tune with a perfect 80s film clip – the outfits, the hair styles, the split screen shots – it’s all there! I probably should have made some daggy 80’s cookbook muffins to match, but I will leave that to Hasta La Vegan, who is doing a spectacular job of with her theme of Bizarre and Outdated Cookbooks. Check. It. Out. Some serious dishes happening over there.

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Zucchini and chocolate are the perfect partners in crime in the creation of lovely moist cakes. Not only that, but using veggies in sweets is a great way to sneak them in for those who do not look so kindly upon them. I reckon that if I had zucchini-hating children, I would definitely test this recipe on them – I bet they would barely notice the vegetables in amongst all that delicious chocolate.

marthamuffins4I don’t know what it is about muffins, but Ruby can never seem to keep her eyes off them. She is definitely my dog! Or maybe it’s the sneaky cats on the tea towel that she’s got her eye on this time…

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Chunky Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(makes 12)

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup overripe banana, mashed
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxmeal = 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease or line a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cacao, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, vanilla, oil, sugar, flax egg and milk.

Stir zucchini into the wet mix, then pour the whole lot into the dry mix and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Fold through choc chunks.

Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 mins until they bounce back when you press them lightly. Allow to cool slightly, then turn onto a cooling rack.

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Music for your Mouth: Vanilla Fudge

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Vanilla Fudge are awesome. They do heaps of sweet psychedelic covers of famous songs. Need I say more?

They are also named after a delicious food, which I have quite literally tried to recreate here. I haven’t used cacao butter too much in the past – in fact I’ve only ever used it to make raw chocolate – so I was unsure of how this might turn out. I had hoped that it would help the fudge to be a bit more solid and hold form, which it did. Funnily enough, it turned out tasting very white chocolatey, maybe more so than fudgey. Regardless, I reckon it tastes pretty damn good. I cut it into bit sized squares with the intention that one as a little afternoon treat would be adequate. Obviously I ate it all within a few sittings. Ahem.

vanillafudgeRaw Vanilla Fudge

Vanilla layer:
3/4 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 cup cacao butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp maca (optional)
1/3 cup coconut cream
2 vanilla beans
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Chocolate topping:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 1/2 Tbsp cacao
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Prepare a slice tin by lining with baking paper.

Blend cashews until they resemble coarse crumbs.

Melt coconut oil and cacao butter over double boiler, then add to blender along with agave, maca, vanillas and salt. Blend until combined. Add coconut cream and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into prepared tin and place in the freezer until set.

For the topping, melt coconut oil over a double boiler. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour over fudge base and return to the freezer until set.

Store in the fridge to avoid meltiness.

vanillafudge2I totally dig this cover of the Zombies song, She’s Not There. Ch-ch-check it out! The last chorus just kills it! Yeeeeow!

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Music for your Mouth: The Smashing Pumpkins

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I bet you were all waiting for these guys to come along. It was definitely one of the first foody bands I had thought of when coming up with the list. Yet another teenage discovery, the Smashing Pumpkins were definitely high on rotation back in the day. I don’t listen to them a lot anymore, but when I do I always feel reminiscent of those days. Just like getting on like a house on fire with an old friend you haven’t seen in years, the music just comes back to me.

For today’s meal, I’ve smashed some pumpkins (sort of? the blender smashed them for me I suppose..) into a creamy delicious risotto. This is actually the best risotto I’ve ever made. I think the taste is great, but I also really just cooked it to perfection – I have a habit of cooking risottos on high heat to try and get them done quickly. This time I was patient, cooked it slowly, and reaped the rewards.

So many songs, how to choose one for this post? I’m playing Tonight, Tonight, because it’s a great song and the film clip is awesome. It’s inspired by the Georges Méliès silent film, A Trip to the Moon. I looove Georges Méliès films, they are so whimsical and wonderful and absolutely captivating. If you haven’t seen any, look them up after watching the Pumpkins homage – you won’t regret it! (The ones with added soundtracks and hand colouring are especially magical!)

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Creamy Pumpkin and Leek Risotto with Crispy Sage
(serves 4)

1/2 butternut pumpkin (about 1 cup once pureed)
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 brown onion, diced
2 leeks, white and green parts, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups arborio rice
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped sage
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp chili flakes
Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp coconut oil
Sage – approx 20 leaves
Pinch of sea salt

First up, you’re going to want to roast your pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 200C. Remove all bits of skin and seeds, and dice pumpkin flesh. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Chuck in two garlic cloves in their skins as well, just because how can you roast a vegetable without adding some garlic? Exactly, you can’t. Roast for about 25-30 mins until tender.

When the pumpkin is about half done, heat up 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and half of your leek, and saute for five or so minutes until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute.

While this is happening, bring your stock to boil in another pot, then turn down to a mild simmer.

Add rice to onion mix and dry fry for about a minute. Add white wine, and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes, until most of the wine has been absorbed.

From here, start adding stock. I like to use a ladle and scoop it in one ladle-full at a time. Your rice should always be JUST covered by stock. Turn heat down to medium-low, so that it is never more than a slow simmer. DO NOT walk away from your risotto…this takes some time, but it’s best to be patient. Continue to add stock as needed to keep liquid above rice, then wait for it to absorb. Stir your risotto frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

When your pumpkin is done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Place in a blender, and squeeze your little garlic cloves out of their skins and into the blender too. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Once all your stock has been added, check texture of rice. If it is al dente – perfect! If it still has a little way to go, you may need to continue adding liquid until it reaches the desired texture.

Add remaining leek, sage leaves, nutritional yeast and chili flakes and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour pumpkin puree in and mix well.

For the crispy sage – heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a small pot until very hot. Have some paper towel on a plate ready next to you. One at a time, drop your sage leaves into the oil. Have a fork ready to scoop them out after about 10 seconds, when they become crispy. Follow this process with each sage leaf, then sprinkle the lot of them with a bit of crushed sea salt.

Remove risotto from heat, serve and garnish with sage leaves.

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