Whole Wheat Orange Pancakes with Chocolate Sauce

June 09, 2013

Whole Wheat Orange Pancakes

Light ~ Fluffy ~ Spongy ~ Flavourful ~ Indulgent

Whole wheat orange pancakes, or how to make perfect vegan pancakes the easy way. They could well be the simplified version of my Orange Cake with Chocolate Cream.

Drenched in chocolate sauce, these pancakes are absolutely delicious...and addictive. It's up to you whether this recipe serves four...or just one;)

Gluten-free Plum Cake

April 30, 2013

Gluten-free Plum Cake

When I set out to make a gluten-free version of my pretty Plum Semolina Cake I did not expect to like it more than the original. It is very light and fluffy, with an amazing melt-in-the-mouth texture and a fine crumb. Achieving that with simple, widely available ingredients made me extremely happy.

It took some experimenting to reach this perfect version, for which I used a half-and-half combination of fine cornmeal and rice flour. Too much cornmeal and I had myself a sweet polenta cake, too much rice flour and I could barely lift a square from the pan, for being so crumbly. This one is just right and I absolutely love the delicate flavour that cornmeal imparts to the cake.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

April 28, 2013

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

I am so in love with this pudding. It's indulgent without being overly chocolaty or sweet, and it feels light even though it doesn't appear so. Before making this recipe I used to add chia seeds, whole or ground, to my breakfast cereal and milk for a boost of nutrition. I'd seen many chia seed pudding recipes before, but it wasn't until I saw Food Doodles' mouthwatering pictures of Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding that I finally gave in and tried it.

Crunchy Sticky Bites

April 18, 2013

Crunchy Sticky Bites

The purpose of these bites was to satisfy my craving for dates and nuts. Although I had used all these ingredients before, what I didn't expect was their combined taste which instantly reminded me of a childhood favourite - nougat (halvita in my language). That nougat had peanuts and was sandwiched between two thin wafers.

Chickpea Walnut Patties

April 14, 2013

Chickpea Walnut Patties

These chickpea walnut patties are a great example of how to turn simple ingredients into impressive snacks in just a few easy steps. They are not only very tasty, but also highly nutritious, providing an arsenal of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.

I love crunchy snacks and these patties reflect that. I had some leftover toasted walnuts after making Crunchy Sticky Bites and adding them in this recipe made a big difference in taste and texture.

Celeriac Wraps (Celeriac Cheelas)

April 02, 2013

Celeriac Wraps

Celeriac wraps (cheelas) are easily my favourite of all the gluten-free wraps I've made so far. Although celeriac does have a specific taste, when mixed in the batter and lightly cooked it has a rather mellow flavour and thus combines better with different fillings or dishes than other cheelas do.

Even without adding turmeric, the wraps take on a beautiful light golden colour that makes them look soft and delicate, which they are. The surprising thing was that, despite not having the same ingredients, they reminded me a lot of my Crêpes - their mild taste and light, elastic texture were quite similiar, I couldn't believe it.

Chocolate Orange Star Cake

March 30, 2013

Chocolate Star Cake

I made this pretty star cake for a special little lady's birthday party and everyone - kids and adults - loved it. Even the crumbs stuck to the knife were gone;) Sadly, even though it was made from two cakes, it wasn't enough to honour all the requests for second servings.

For a winner party cake I almost always go for my favourite combination of chocolate and orange. I've made this recipe several times before and it never failed to impress.

Crunchy Banana Chocolate Bites (no added sugar)

March 17, 2013

Crunchy Banana Chocolate Bites

Crunchy ~ Nutty ~ Fruity ~ Simple ~ Decadent ~ Addictive ~ Satisfying

These treats are insanely delicious - you wouldn't expect that from a combination of such simple ingredients, but these bites are the real deal. They were a mega hit at a dinner gathering I made them for. Kids loved them too!

If you're a crunch or chocolate addict, you can have as many of these bites as you want - there is no added sugar here, no nasty fats either.

Purple Cabbage Wraps (Cabbage Cheela)

March 03, 2013

Purple Cabbage Wraps

It's been a lot of fun experimenting with new colours for these gluten-free wraps lately. I wasn't sure whether using purple cabbage would turn them purple or blue. My aim was for blue, so I went ahead and tried.

Purple (or better known red) cabbage can turn blue when cooked, but there is also a way to preserve its beautiful purple colour. Funny enough, I learnt that after making the wraps, via Wikipedia and a post revealing the science behind making an all natural red velvet cake using beets. The secret is the acidity. When the pH of the batter is more acidic, the colour doesn't change.

Somali Ambabur (Cambaabur)

February 26, 2013

Ambabur Somali Cambaabur

Ambabur is another gem from Africa's well-preserved culinary treasure. A spiced version of the Anjero, these Somali fermented crêpes (or pancakes) are nothing short of sensational. They are incredibly aromatic, light, soft and spongy, perfect with curries or stews.

This was the first time I'd ever used fennel seeds in cooking. I was so excited with how the batter smelled, I just couldn't stop myself sniffing it. The intoxicating aroma of the cooked ambabur is the result of mixing fennel, cumin and nigella seeds with turmeric, garlic and onion, and a two-hour fermentation time.

Palak Cheela (Instant Palak Dosa, Spinach Wraps)

February 21, 2013

Spinach Wraps Palak Dosa

After enjoying the yellow Carrot Wraps and the crimson Beet Wraps, the third successful colour and flavour experiment was the green spinach wraps. I had my worries that the spinach taste would be too strong, but I was wrong. The taste is mild and wonderfully balanced by the other ingredients.

I made these the same day I made the beet wraps, different batters, same cooking method. I wanted to use fresh spinach, but my blender wouldn't have turned it into the smooth paste I needed, so I opted instead for a quick steaming. I will detail below how I prepared the batter, for the cooking method please see my previous post for beet wraps. The important thing to keep in mind is to use medium-low heat in order to prevent browning and to keep the wraps moist and pliable.

Beet Cheela (Instant Beet Dosa, Beet Wraps)

February 20, 2013

Beet Cheela Beet Dosa

I was so pleased with how my yellow Carrot Besan Dosas came out that I decided to experiment further. To continue the series of colourful, flavourful, gluten-free wraps I made these gorgeous beet cheelas (cheela is the instant, no-ferment version of dosa; while dosa is made from rice and lentils, and requires hours of soaking and fermenting, cheela is made from chickpea flour and is cooked straight away) and a batch of green Spinach Cheelas.

I used raw beet in this recipe - less cooking, more nutrient retention. Plus it saves a lot of time. The cheelas need no more than 1.5 - 2 minutes to be done and the key to preventing them from browning is to use medium-low heat. The colour of the cheelas is breathtaking: as soon as they're cooked they are dark pink, and as they sit their colour changes to blood red.

Besan Dosa with Carrot

February 10, 2013

Besan Dosa Carrot

Besan dosas are a fantastic gluten-free alternative to regular flatbreads. They can be made simple or filled with different vegetables, used as sandwich wraps or as accompaniment for curries.

The one person who enjoys besan dosa more than I do is my mom. While recently making a batch of Zucchini-filled Besan Dosa (see previous post), she had the idea of using carrot instead of zucchini. Being a ginger fan, she added some to the batter and the taste was incredible. Carrot keeps the dosas soft and gives them a delicate sweetness.

Apple Cake with Chocolate Ganache

February 02, 2013

Apple, cinnamon and chocolate make a delicious combination that I always find impossible to resist. The cake is moist, not overly sweet, has a good bite (not crumbly) and a comforting aroma. This has been one of my favourite treats for almost ten years, ever since a friend introduced me to it. Veganizing it was easy and here I'm sharing the two versions I've made.

Butternut Squash Hummus

January 20, 2013

Butternut Squash Hummus

Butternut squash hummus is such a wonderful addition to my collection of chickpea recipes. Roasted squash livens up this Middle Eastern dish with its vibrant colour and sweetness. The added spices perfectly match this combination - besides the familiar flavours of cumin, tahini, lemon and garlic, there is the warmth of cinnamon and the hot kick of black pepper and cayenne. The flavours unravel in layers: the sweetness is quickly followed by the gentle heat that prolongs the taste.

Pineapple Pomegranate Juice

January 13, 2013

Pineapple Pomegranate Juice

This is a variation on the previous Pineapple Mint Juice recipe. I wanted something more on the sweet side, a juice that could curb my craving for something sweet. Perfectly ripe, sweet fruit is the key to making this juice. The subtle tang, mostly from pomegranate, adds a refreshing note.

Comforting and satisfying, this antioxidant-rich juice is equally nourishing, providing a high dose of vitamin C, B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, manganese and some calcium and iron. Using the second method of preparation, you also get the benefits of cholesterol-lowering, digestion-improving fiber. This sounds pretty awesome for a day-start juice. To increase its cleansing and detoxifying potential, simply add a little ginger and/or lemon.

Mango Cupcakes

January 11, 2013

Mango Cupcakes

Sweet tropical magic, these mango cupcakes are sensational!!! Light, fluffy and moist, these gorgeous little cakes bring sunshine in the kitchen with their golden colour and bright flavour.

In my early days as a vegan, cupcakes were among the most common vegan recipes online. That's how I found Vaishali's blog Holy Cow!, one of the most trusted and diverse food blogs I know and one of my top favourite. The mouthwatering pictures of her mango cupcakes instantly convinced me to give the recipe a try. Its success was soon followed by the Mango Bread which I posted earlier.
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