Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Malted Chocolate Milk

Why drink Milo/Bournvita/Ovaltine/Nesquik when you can drink this? 

Dark chocolate milk with a luscious malted caramel ribbon. And also, look at the sunshine!
(Bournvita anyone? When I was eight, I used to be able to find huge economy sized tubs of this crunchy brown stuff in Carrefour. The only way I would ever drink bovine mammary secretions was to stir about three teaspoons of Bournvita and three teaspoons of sugar into every mug, to disguise the taste. Miraculously, I have no cavities/Type II diabetes from those days.)

I buy Saunders barley malt extract from the supermarket in hefty one-kilo tins. It's the only brand I've used because it's the only one available, but I'm sure other brands would be comparable, since Saunders is just pure malted barley. It's what Bournvita, Milo, Ovaltine and the rest claim to be made from, but they're mostly sugar and dried milk and flavourings with a few vitamins thrown in. Barley malt extract is far more wholesome, despite the somewhat dismal name (although nothing trumps nutritional yeast, IMO). Also, if any of you ever read the original Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne, it's what Tigger eats. 

Also, I watched the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the American one); Lisbeth has this IKEA mug! So now I love this mug even more. I grow very attached to crockery.

Malted Chocolate Milk
  • 8g (1 tbsp) very dark cocoa powder (Dutch cocoa powder)
  • hot water (to make cocoa paste)
  • 275g fortified soymilk (cold or hot, I used cold as I like my malt undissolved; choose fortified so you get calcium!)
  • sweetener, optional (depending on how sweet your soymilk is and how much of a sweet tooth you have; I use about 3 drops of Nunaturals stevia for unsweetened soymilk)
  • 20-30g malted barley syrup
Measure cocoa and sweetener into mug. Add just enough hot water to mix a smooth, lump-free paste. Pour in soymilk and stir thoroughly to make chocolate milk. Spoon in barley and either stir well to dissolve or eat as is (I obviously prefer the latter, see pictures).

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Date and Rosewater Muesli

Look at the name. Nuff said.

Date and Rosewater Muesli

(This is a very refreshing, exotic twist on bircher muesli that I invented to deal with the growing desperation that comes with realising that you have approximately 134,574 bottles of flavoured food extracts buried deep in the recesses of your refrigerator. It may not be photogenic partly due to dismal lighting conditions, but it tastes (and smells!) exquisite.)

v     40g uncooked rolled oats
v     25g chopped dates
v     250g creamy soymilk (or any non-dairy milk)
v     2g rosewater essence (experiment with quantity depending on how concentrated your rosewater is.)
v     blueberries
v     optional: 2 tsp chia seeds

Combine all ingredients except blueberries in cereal bowl and leave to steep overnight in fridge. The next morning, add blueberries. You can eat it cold or warm (though I don’t recommend heating if you’ve added chia seeds, apparently that destroys the omega-3s) .

I like to add a generous handful of frozen blueberries to my bowl, because I love purple and they turn everything purple. (Coco Pops my foot, why turn the milk brown when you can turn the milk purple?) Also, blueberries are quite delicious and for reasons unfathomable to me, the frozen variety is 1/106th the price of the fresh stuff. Shh.

Have a good weekend! J

Monday, 4 June 2012

I'm back!

I haven't blogged since October last year! I didn't mean for that to happen, but I've been super-busy since then (school!). I've hardly had the time to cook or bake! I also have exams coming up. Yay.

Today I'm going to post a very quick recipe for a bean and corn salad that can be made in under five minutes (provided you've got all your ingredients cooked, bien sur). I often eat this for lunch/dinner if I've got a lot of work to do and there's nothing to eat in the fridge. I can't find nutritional yeast (the name! the name!) where I live so I buy Now brand from iHerb. It's the only brand I've tried, so I can't comment on it in relation to other brands, but I do find it  remarkably tasty. Enjoy!

Bean and Corn Salad

  • 150g cooked red kidney beans
  • 150g sweet corn, cooked as you like (I usually buy frozen and boil in salted water)
  • a good handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely (very fresh coriander, and a very generous handful!)
  • 15g (two tablespoons) nutritional yeast flakes (the unfortunate name does not do its deliciousness justice)
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 
Mix and eat. 

Note: If I don't have fresh coriander, I usually slosh in a couple of teaspoons of two-leaf balsamic vinegar  and use chickpeas instead of red kidney beans. Chickpeas and balsamic vinegar is a divine combination! Particularly with nooch (which I think is a much more endearing name than nutritional yeast). 

If you have any suggestions on recipes you'd like to see me post, or dishes you'd like to see me attempt to veganise, feel free to post a comment! My extremely talented mother recently veganised butter chicken (using Fry's chicken strips) and it turned out extraordinarily well. Since I don't particularly enjoy chik'n, I added chickpeas to the the extra butter sauce she made. Reader, it was sublime:

Until next time! Which hopefully, shan't be in six months!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Homemade Muesli #7, inspired by Dorset Cereals

Used to eat a lot of Dorset Cereals muesli, but after moving could no longer find any. Muesli bought in supermarket invariably disgusting and cardboard-like, prompting switch to porridge and other breakfast items. One day, woke up sweating at 2 am in great excitement. Had genius idea. Wrote in notebook next to bed, kept expressly for such flashes of genius: would make muesli at home, by looking at ingredients on Dorset Cereals website. Did so next morning and was v. happy with results. Have about 10 variations, this is #7, as only one took picture of. Other variations include hazelnuts, pistachios, dried cranberries, other exotic expensive things.

Eat with bananas or berrries, or bananas and berries, with cold non-dairy milk or yoghurt.

Homemade Muesli #7

  • 40g rolled oats
  • 55g bran flakes (or use 65g Sultana Bran and omit raisins)
  • 10g raisins, preferably Chilean flame if you can find them, which are most voluptuous of raisins
  • 15g chopped toasted cashews
  • 10g chopped almonds
  • 10g chopped macadamias
  • 30g chopped dates
  • 20g chopped semi-dried apricots
Place oats in non-stick frying pan and toast on very low heat until aromatic and golden. Combine with remaining ingredients in airtight jar. Do not know how long this keeps for, as often gets over within two days. Take as proof of deliciousness. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Five-Minute Chocolate-Almond Chip Cookies

I’ve seen many recipes for cookies made with oat flour, especially vegan-gluten free ones. Oat flour doesn’t have to be purchased, it can easily be made by blending wholegrain oats briefly in a blender. These cookies are supremely easy to make: blend dry ingredients for around 30 seconds, add wet, scoop onto cookie sheets and bake for a few minutes, depending on size. If you're good at shaping cookies, you could take even less than five minutes! (I'm not, I come up with the most bizarre shapes.) If you love flapjacks and oatmeal raisin cookies, you’ll adore these! You can make these oatmeal-raisin cookies by substituting the chocolate with raisins. My baby sister took these to school and ate them all and left everything else my mum packed; I was secretly very flattered because she is the pickiest person I know :) These chocolate-chip cookies are the saintliest you will ever eat, in addition to the most scrumptious: they are low in sugar and 100% wholegrain.

If you bake only one healthy cookie in your life, let it be this one.

And eat with cold creamy soymilk (or almond milk, or cashew milk, or rice milk, or go crazy and have oat milk). Dunking recommended.

Chocolate-Almond Chip Cookies
  • 150g rolled oats
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt, if you like
  • 26g macadamia oil or melted coconut oil (for taste, or use canola if you don’t have)
  • 50g soymilk or other non-dairy milk (no more!)
  • 10g vanilla essence (or use 5g vanilla bean paste)
  • 60g chopped Whittaker’s 62% with almond chocolate, or chocolate of your choice
  1. Process first four ingredients in blender to form flour. It doesn’t have to be very fine.
  2. Add next four ingredients and mix to form stiff dough. You want dough, not batter! Feel free to taste the dough: it's delicious, and you don’t have to worry about salmonella from raw eggs!
  3. Scoop fifteen or so little mounds of dough onto baking trays lined with baking paper, and flatten slightly using a greased spoon. Bake for seven minutes. Take cookies out when still soft, as they will harden upon cooling.

I know I said to make 15, but the dough is very tasty, okay?

Have a great week!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cake (three-ingredient!)

I have always adored chocolate mousse, and when I went vegan, I found  many veganised chocolate mousse recipes which used tofu as a base. This sounds strange, but it is genius. It produces a result better than the raw egg version with a most brilliant, incredible, silky texture. In this mousse cake, I use melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder, for added richness. The chocolate also sets when chilled, so the cake is slice-able, which I think makes for a lovely presentation. (If you want to make a traditional mousse, I suggest using very soft tofu and substituting some chocolate for best quality cocoa powder you can find, then aerating it.) Anyway, here is the chocolate mousse cake, in all its glory: 

With cacao nibs (Navitas, bought from iHerb), and strawberries

This may be one of the best-looking things I have ever made.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
  • 300g silken firm tofu (do not drain any liquid if it comes in a 300g pack)
  • 5g best-quality vanilla bean paste
  • 180g dark chocolate (I recommend going for something a bit sweeter than you would normally eat, as there is no other sweetener in this cake. You can use half 50% chocolate, and half 70%, but my favourite version is made with equal parts 50%, 70% and 85%. I use Whittaker's and Lindt, and I love very dark chocolate - if you don't, then try using a greater proportion of Whittaker's 50%)
  1. Melt dark chocolate. Please don't do this in a microwave and risk burning everything. The best way is the double-boiler way: fill a wok with water, heat the water, then hold a small saucepan filled with the chopped chocolate in the wok's simmering water and stir until smooth and liquid. It doesn't take long. 
  2. Combine with tofu and vanilla in a blender. Blend until perfectly smooth, which shouldn't take more than a few seconds if your blender is reasonably powerful. 
  3. Pour into a round cake dish which has been LINED WITH CLING WRAP, because otherwise you won't be able to lift out the cake in one piece. Use one large piece of cling, and let it hang over the sides of the pan. Spread around with a spoon and make patterns on the top if you like.
  4. Place in chiller (the coldest part of your fridge, under the freezer), and let chill for 3 hours until set. Then lift out using the overhanging cling and slide very gently onto a plate. Slice and sprinkle each slice with cacao nibs, if you have them, and strawberries or raspberries. Store the rest of the cake covered in the chiller and it should be good for five days, if not more. 

Look how juicy the raspberries are!
I highly recommend finding cacao nibs and using them, because their crunchiness contrasts so perfectly with the silky richness of the mousse and the juiciness of the berries.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Chocolate-Macadamia Cookies

Today is a perfectly idyllic day, so I shall post this recipe quickly and then go outside. Highly recommended, but then I don't post anything that I don't find absolutely smashing. By the way, you can substitute the macadamias with any nut (walnuts are especially good).

The recipe makes 12 cookies, but by the time the lighting was right only these were left.

Chocolate-Macadamia Cookies
  • 55g canola oil
  • 100g ground jaggery (or sub raw sugar, but jaggery is HIGHLY recommended because it tastes like caramel and is very wholesome)
  • 35g dark agave nectar (or maple syrup, or golden syrup, or even sugar syrup if you don't have this)
  • 20g warm soymilk (or other non-animal milk)
  • 8g vanilla extract
  • 103g white flour (I have used both white and wholemeal and like both, but if you're used to cookies made with white flour then use that)
  • 32g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • pinch salt
  • 50-60g macadamias, toasted until golden (I put raw macadamias in a small non-stick frying pan and let sit on a medium-low flame for about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently)

Preheat oven to 180 C and grease a cookie sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the oil, jaggery, agave, soymilk and vanilla until the jaggery has dissolved completely. I usually stick the mixture in the microwave for about 30 seconds to speed the dissolving up. Make sure your mixing bowl is microwave safe!

Sift in the dry ingredients and stir to form a sticky dough. Add the macadamias.

Spoon 12 blobs of dough on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly (they do spread so leave gaps). 

Bake 8-10 minutes for soft and chewy cookies (they will come out looking undercooked, but as long as you can lift them up in one piece it's fine, because after you cool them they'll firm up a bit.)
Bake 10-12 minutes for crispy cookies.

Leave to cool COMPLETELY before storing in an airtight jar, or they'll go soggy from the steam.