Lots of Vegan Cupcakes! (Baklava, Pumpkin Pie and Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut)

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I have been experimenting 🙂 Thank you internet and vegan margarine for these glorious cupcakes and addictive frosting….

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Sometimes things aren’t the same without dairy or eggs…. but it’s the thought that counts and you can still have buttercream without the butter. Some purists would disagree (and hey, all things in moderation I guess!) but life is too short to go without the things to you want, especially when they fit your lifestyle choices. Hence, let them eat cupcakes! In three flavours, depending on the mood.

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Or the season perhaps! These pumpkin pie cupcakes above scream ‘winter’ and the coconut ones below remind me of a summer mocktail or smoothie.

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Plus cupcakes are pretty 🙂 Shout out to Anna Olsen for the cupcake recipe and to all the customers at the work who picked up one for an afternoon or morning weekend treat 😀

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For the Baklava Cupcakes
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes with HALF the recipe, adding 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cardamom to the dry mixture
(makes 12)
Filling:
1/3 cup berry jam
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Icing:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
2 tsp vegan milk
1 tsp rosewater
Dye or berry juice to tint if desired
To decorate:
Walnut pieces
Flaked almonds
Toasted pistachios, chopped

Instructions:
Mix together the jam and cardamom. Once the cupcakes are cooled, cut out the insides and fill with jam. Cut off a but of the piece you cut out of the cupcake and place back on top, like a delicious cake lid.

Beat the icing ingredients together until nice and light and fluffy, adding the icing sugar gradually. Depending on the butter substitute you use, you may need to use a bit more or less milk to get a nice airy pipable frosting. Also adjust the rose water to your taste too 🙂

Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe away! As you can see from the photos from the top view, I tried two ways to pipe with a star nozzle; from the outside to the inside (top cupcake) and the opposite, centre to edges (bottom). Do whatever you like 🙂 Decorate with the chopped nuts.

Makes 12, which are just as delicious the next day!

For the Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes here (I didn’t make them gluten free), up the cinnamon to 1 tsp and add some 1/2 tsp ground ginger too, and leave out the chocolate chips
For the caramelised walnuts:
Handful of walnuts
2 tsp maple syrup
Dusting of cinnamon
For the frosting:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp maple syrup
To decorate:
The walnuts from above,
Plus chopped dried apricots
Also some pumpkin seeds (which I didn’t have)

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 180 degrees. On a lined tray, mix the walnuts, maple syrup and cinnamon together until the nuts are coated and toast for about 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.

For the frosting, beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy (may need a little less or more sugar depending on your margarine/butter substitute). Ice the cupcakes, and decorate with the chopped walnuts and apricots.

Makes 12 and they last very well 🙂

For the Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut Cupcakes
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes (half the recipe) replacing half of the milk with coconut cream and adding 1 tsp lemon zest to the batter (makes 12)
Filling:
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 strawberries, finely chopped
Frosting:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
2 tsp lemon juice
Pink dye or some beetroot juice to colour if desired
To decorate:
Coconut threads
Lemon zest and/or slices

Instructions:
Start with preparing the strawberries for the frosting: heat them in the microwave for 20 second bursts on high until the juices come out of them and they are soft. Chill until cool.

Whip the coconut cream until light and fluffy and then mix in the lemon zest and berry pieces. ‘Core’ the cupcakes and trim the core. Fill with the cream filling and place the ‘lid’ back on top.

Beat the butter substitute, icing sugar (adding a bit at a time), lemon juice and as much of the strawberry juice that you chilled as you can get from them (eat the pulp leftover with yogurt!). Beat until light and fluffy, adding more or less icing sugar as needed. Ice the cupcakes, then decorate with the coconut threads and lemon zest.

Makes 12 and they are delicious the next day 🙂

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Lemon Strawberry Mille Feuille

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I know this is the second Mille Feuille recipe in a row but… they are just that good! (And that much of a good way to use up puff pastry). That and Palmiers (below), which are so easy to make it’s not funny and are full on cinnamon-y goodness.

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You could use whatever berries you like, all berries seem to go amazingly with lemon. I would recommend using the edible flowers, they give a really nice splash of colour! I used nasturtiums.

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Enjoy your week, and Happy Monday!

Lemon-Strawberry Mille Feuille
Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 cup cream
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp icing sugar
Handful of strawberries
To decorate:
Lemon zest
Strawberries
Edible petals

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and get out two baking trays. Cut the puff pastry into three sections (like in the picture). Place a sheet of baking paper and sprinkle 1 Tbsp white sugar on top. Place on the sheets of puff pastry and sprinkle on the other 1 Tbsp sugar on top. Place on another sheet of baking paper and finally place on the other baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the top baking tray and cook for 10 more minutes until golden and crisp. Cool on the tray.

Whip the cream and mix in the lemon zest and icing sugar. Chop a few of the strawberries into small pieces. Cut each piece of puff pastry into 6 even pieces/slices. Spoon the cream into a piping bag and pipe on top of each piece of pastry. On 2/3 of the pieces, place chopped strawberries into the middle. On the last pieces, decorate with berries/petals and lemon zest.

Stack the pastry pieces so that there are two strawberry layers and then a decorated layer on top. Enjoy!

Makes 6, and you can chill them until served. They aren’t quite as good the next day but they are still delicious 🙂

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Fresh Strawberry Loaf

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If only strawberries were in season all year….

Thankfully there is room and time for cake no matter what time of the year it is.

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This is the final result of a punnet of almost-mushy strawberries. Enjoyed with Greek yogurt and peach compote!
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Plus this was all done in a mini-blender. Only measuring involved, no manual mixing!


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Enjoy everyone 🙂

Strawberry Loaf Cake
Ingredients:
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour

Instructions:
Grease a 10x20cm loaf tin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

In a mini blender, whizz up the strawberries to a pulp. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until JUST combined. Pour into the tin and bake for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool for about 10 minutes then take out of the tin and enjoy warm or cold. Or even toasted!

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries (Do it.)

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So easy. And it’s cheesecake stuffed strawberries 🙂 How do strawberries get any better, asides dipping them in chocolate?

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Actually strawberries are pretty good no matter how you eat them, so I won’t start that debate. Here is the recipe for this particular form of strawberry gloriousness:

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries
Ingredients:
Strawberries (about one punnet for this recipe)
Roughly half a cup cream cheese
Icing sugar
Some vanilla essence if desired
Chopped almonds/other nuts/ crushed plain cookies

Instructions:
Hollow out the strawberries as much as possible.

Mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla together to taste. Spoon into the strawberries and dip the top in the chopped nuts etc. Chill until ready to eat.

Best made on the day 🙂

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Enjoy your week everyone!
Sami xx

Cardamom Strawberry Custard Tarts

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A recipe to desperately soak up the last rays of summer sunshine here in New Zealand…..!

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This recipe makes two cute little tarts filled with glorious cardamom custard, but I also made one with kiwifruit compote, which is the result of heating mashed kiwifruit in the microwave to thicken a little. It’s an easer
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I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever your kitchen is 🙂
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x

Cardamom and Orange Strawberry Tarts
Ingredients:
Tart shells:
1 cup plain flour
1 Tbsp white sugar
Zest of half an orange
25g margarine or butter
1/4 cup cold water
Cardamom custard:
3/4 cup milk
2 cardamom pods, crushed to open
2 egg yolks
1 tsp arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp sugar
To top:
A handful of strawberries
Edible flower petals

Instructions:
To begin, the pastry cases. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and get out your two 10cm diameter tart tins. Mix together the flour, sugar and orange zest until combined then rub in the butter. Mix in the cold water a bit at a time, working gently into a soft dough that isn’t sticky. Roll out to about 4mm thick (between some greaseproof paper if you like) on a lightly floured surface and line the two tart tins. Blind bake them in your choice of method (beans/rice etc) for 10 minutes, then remove the beans/rice etc and bake for 5 minutes more until lightly golden. Leave to cool in the tins, and meanwhile you can make the custard.

Heat the milk and cardamom pods in a bain marie (or simply a bowl over a pot of simmering water) and in another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and arrowroot until paled slightly. When the milk is steaming, pour a bit at a time into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the whole thing back into the bain-marie and heat. Stir CONTINUOUSLY, or you will get lumps, until thickened and about the consistency of yogurt. Pour into another bowl and leave to cool. When cool, spoon into the tartlet cases. Slice up the strawberries thinly and arrange on the top of the tartlets. You can add little bits of edible flower petals if you like. Makes two, and they are best eaten on the day they are made!

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Strawberry Banana Ring Cake with Lemon Frosting

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‘C’ for cake! Also for ‘couldn’t help myself’ as, as you can see, I took a slice of the cake before it was even frosting. Sorry about that.

‘C’ could also stand for ‘confused’ as I forgot to put oil in this cake, but it still turned out really nicely. If you are game, then I would add about 1/2 a cup of olive oil and slightly less water.

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At least the icing is absolutely delicious. It’s quite cool to decorate a cake this way, because you can drape and decorate with almost anything that links to the flavours. Banana chips, fresh strawberries, lemon slices, mint leaves, candied lemon peel, freeze-dried berries…. the list could go on! Here is the recipe, and I hope you have a lovely week 🙂

Banana, Lemon and Strawberry Ring Cake
Ingredients:
Cake:
2&1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Zest of one lemon
3 bananas, mashed
1 punnet/cup strawberries (give or take)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
250mls+ water
Frosting:
75g butter, softened
Zest of one lemon
1 cup+ icing sugar
To decorate:
Geranium leaves/edible flower petals
Kaffir lime leaves
Lemon Zest

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a ring/Bundt tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest until combined.

Blitz the strawberries until smooth, and mix in a bowl with the bananas, eggs and vanilla essence. Mix VERY gently into the dry ingredients along with the water, until the batter is smooth. If the mixture is too thick, then add a bit more water.

Pour into the tin and bake for an hour, until the a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin for about 20 mins, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

When cool, beat together the butter, lemon zest and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Spread on top of the cake, then decorate with edible flowers, leaves, lemon zest and maybe some more strawberries.

Makes quite a large cake, and lasts well about 3 days.

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Kiwi-Strawberry Scone Scrolls

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Another quick scroll recipe 🙂 A summer version of these whole wheat ones, they are a small batch recipe that only takes about 20 minutes from opening the flour bag to opening the oven. You can use whatever fruit you want really, stone fruit would go very well with berries. 

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And of course, enjoy with a cup of tea! Maybe even a dab of butter if you are feeling indulgent.

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Kiwi-Strawberry Scone Scrolls
Ingredients:
Scones:

1.5 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
Lemon Zest
75g vegan margarine
1 egg, whisked
1/3 cup ish cold water
To fill:
Strawberries, a handful, chopped well
1-2 kiwifruit, mashed (you can reduce it a bit by heating it for 1 minute on high and cooling slightly)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line or grease a baking tray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and lemon zest (I used only half a lemon’s worth). Rub in the margarine, then mix in the whisked egg. Add water a bit at a time and mix, then use your hands to very lightly knead into a soft but not too sticky dough. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface until about 30 by 20 cm. Spread on the kiwifruit puree and sprinkle on the strawberries. Roll up lengthways and cut into about 6 rolls.

Place on the tray and cook 25 minutes, until golden and no longer sticky on the bottom. You can always use the skewer test if you are worried or unsure 🙂 Cool slightly and enjoy warm! Or cold. Up to you.

Makes 6 scrummy scrolls for your enjoyment.

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I have some fancier recipes coming soon; I know I am overdoing the strawberries at the moment, but when in Rome/season!

Have a lovely week everyone 🙂

Whole Wheat Vegan Strawberry Tartlets

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With merely a handful of ingredients and nothing too complicated, these amazingly decadent but…. rather guilt-free (well, in terms of desserts) tartlets could be on your table sometime soon 🙂

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Here in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s {approaching} berry season! All of sudden strawberries are so abundent we are almost paid to take them from other people’s hands!

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These tartlets have a berry filling from fresh berries, and it’s all pretty straightforward. You don’t need to bother with the heart decoration of course, maybe a lattice would do for you.

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I don’t see why you can’t use any other fresh berry in the place of strawberries; all berries go well with the chewy, nutty-ish crust of the tartlets! Enjoy 🙂

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Whole Wheat Vegan Strawberry Tartlets (for two)
Ingredients:
Pastry:
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
Orange zest
1/4 cup oil
2-3 Tbsp hot water
To fill:
1 cup strawberries, chopped
Orange juice
Balsamic vinegar

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and get out two small 10cm diameter tart pans.

Mix together the whole wheat flour, sugar and orange zest. Rub in the oil, followed by the hot water a bit at a time. When you have a thick dough, roll it all out until it is about 4mm thick. Very gently cut it in half and use each piece to line tart tin. Still being gentle 🙂 Cut out little hearts from the rest of the pastry, re-rolling when needed.

Mix the chopped strawberries with a dash of orange juice and balsamic vinegar. Divide between the tart shells and arrange the pastry hearts around the edges.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden and firm. Cool slightly and devour!

Makes two, and they are just as delicious the next day, reheated or not.

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Chelsea’s Strawberry Genoise Cake

 

 

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Another cake! This one was a birthday cake for one of my friends, a sweetheart who adores anything French and speaks the language well (we have been learning it together since we were 10 years old…..!). As you can see it was strawberry season when it was made….. It’s a tad more complicated than my usual cakes and slightly more ‘francais’ so if all the components seem a little over the top altogether, then just adapt and take what you will from it 🙂

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It looks pretty anyway! Although I have to admit I used food colouring for the pink icing, something which I am not usually fond of doing…..

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Anyway, here is the recipe!

Chelsea’s Strawberry Genoise Cake
Genoise:
3 eggs
125g sugar
40g flour
30 g cornflour
35g butter, melted
Crème Mousseline:
1 yolk
2 Tbsp sugar
15g flour
100mls milk
30g seedless jam (raspberry)
35g butter
Italian Meringue:
1 egg white
50mls water
50g sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
Extras:
Some plain icing on top if you want.
(I used ½ cup icing sugar with some hot water and pink food colouring)
Jam to fill
Strawberries to decorate
Edible leaves to decorate

Instructions:
Begin with the genoise. Place a large metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, and preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin) if it has a removable bottom then don’t forget to line it too!). Don’t forget to melt the butter.

Place the eggs and sugar in the large bowl and whisk, whisk, whisk! Keep whisking until the batter is thick and pale. You should be able to drizzle the batter into a figure of eight before it sinks in. Remove it from the heat. Sift the flour onto the batter and fold in. Do the same for the corn flour. Lastly, pour in the melted butter and fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, start on the crème mousseline. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, sugar and flour until pale. Heat the milk until boiling/steaming, and pour it a bit at a time into the yolk mixture and whisk well. Pour the egg and milk back into the saucepan and heat on LOW heat. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until the crème is thick and like custard. Keep mixing because there is not a lot of crème in the pan and it will glug up fast if you aren’t careful! When done, transfer to a bowl or cup and chill.

Now to assemble; cut the sponge in half horizontally. On the top of the bottom layer, spread on the jam of your choice, then top with the crème mousseline. Place the top layer on top. Spread on the plain icing.

Now to make the Italian meringue! Place the egg white and cream of tartar in a clean mixing bowl; beat until frothy. Separately, heat the sugar and water together until the mixture reaches, soft ball stage, or 110 degrees Celsius. Working quickly, turn up the speed of the mixture (or get your arm working harder!) and pour in the syrup in a thin stream. Beat continuously until the meringue is thick and fluffy, Dollop or pipe the meringue around the edge of the top of the cake, into a big whispy tiara. Arrange mint leaves and sliced strawberries on top. Done!
NOTE: you can sprinkle the cake with some simple syrup or liqueur before assembling.

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