Party time, Chocolate cake time

Standard

And just like that our youngest is another year older! Yes, it is party time in this household and as he is really into Stars Wars at the moment it is a themed one for the first time.

I have to confess that we’re not really the ‘go all out’ type of family over birthdays, it is usually a quiet family occasion with maybe some close friends. However, after a fairly trying and difficult year it was really nice to have something happy and positive to focus on after all the other rubbish that has been going on.  Themselves have been finding Star Wars things left, right and centre lately where we would normally not have noticed them at all ….. like garden ornaments in our local hardware store 🙂

SAM_2264

Our hardware shop find … himself made the light-saber to make it look all the more authentic.

So we have been decorating, preparing and baking up a storm for our little gathering.  I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit smug at actually making the requested storm-trooper head cake look like a storm-trooper head …… there were a few nail-biting moments I can tell you.  Thankfully with a good vegan chocolate cake recipe, a little thought before hand and a free day put aside we got there 🙂

SAM_2266

The cake all finished

Himself has been sugar free and gluten free (along with vegan) for a while now, he is so much better at sticking to his principles than I would ever be, however for his big day he decided that a bit of gluten and sugar were needed to produce a super yummy cake for all.  I thought I had shared this recipe a while back however since I can’t find it I will share again.  It is a great vegan cake which you can adapt to make GF, sugar free or loaded up with Gluten and sugar 🙂 This cake doesn’t rise a huge amount so, because we needed a bit of depth, we decided to create two and layered them up with jam in between.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • 1 &1/2 Cups of flour (you can use GF premixed flour too)
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar (we have also reduced this to 1/4 C, used maple syrup instead & used dextrose)
  • 1/8 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Cup cold water
  • 1/2 Cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 Tb white vinegar

-Mix all the dry ingredients together.

-Add the water, oil and vanilla essence in and mix until smooth

-Add the vinegar in and stir thoroughly

-Pour into a baking paper lined tin

-Bake at 180 Celcius for 20-25 mins or until the cake tester comes out clean.

-ENJOY

 

Hope this finds you celebrating your own milestones and may the force be with you 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Vegan goodness

Standard

So our latest culinary challenge, sorry, adventure has been delving into the world of veganism as our youngest has decided that he is now Vegan.  He has always been a bit of a picky eater around meat and is constantly worried about animal welfare so it really didn’t come as a huge shock when he announced a month ago that he was vegetarian and then followed up a week later with ‘ I think I’ll give being a vegan a try.’

SAM_5475

The last few pieces of our vegan shortbread.

It actually hasn’t been that bad and if anything it has been awesome not having him tempted by all the rubbishy chocolate treats that abound in every shop.  There are 2 main stumbling blocks I have hit so far though; 1) Eating out and 2) Baking.  Eating out is a bit of a mine field as it seems every thing is out on the children’s menu … have you noticed how every kid’s menu is deep fried meat of some description … and most things suitable on the adult menu are either too spicy or so expensive it makes us think twice. Thankfully we don’t eat out that much, the thought it takes is beyond my mental powers at the moment, and when we do venture out at least he is having a fairly healthy meal unlike before.

Which brings us to the second point ….. soooo many recipes rely on eggs (well the ones I currently make anyway) and even though we are pretty good at replacing the dairy it is taking me a while to get my head around using egg replacements (chia seeds and water is the main one I’m using at the moment).  I have been doing the research though to ensure that we get all the good bits into him and thanks to some great Vegan recipe books from the local library  I have found some great savoury and sweet baking ideas to keep everyone (well half of us to be honest) happy.  The one recipe that has been made the most so far is courtesy of Jennifer Katzinger’s Flying Apron Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book.  This delicious ‘Vegan Shortbread’ (my name for it as I have returned the book and forgot the name sorry) is so easy and so delicious that I’m sure you’ll be whipping it up numerous times too.

flying apron

What I’m putting below is a half recipe of what is printed in the book as I found that was more than enough.  I also cut it into more squares than the recipe in the book indicates as we found it very rich and a little square of it was enough.  If you enjoy this recipe though I would recommend checking out the whole recipe book as has so many more delicious things to make. 😉

Vegan shortbread

  • 1 & 3/8 cups Rice Flour
  • a grind of salt
  • 1/2 Cup of coconut oil
  • 3/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

– Preheat the oven to 190C (375F)

– Melt the coconut oil and then add the maple syrup

– Blend all the ingredients together.

– Pour and flatten the mixture into a baking paper lined baking dish

– Bake for 15 – 20 min or until the edges are slightly brown

– Remove from the oven and cut into squares while it is still warm in the tin

– Slide onto a cooling rack and break into separate pieces when it is fully cooled.

– Enjoy!

Well that is it from me on a cold and snow predicted evening. I hope this finds you all warm, healthy and enjoying life at whatever temperature you have it at. 😉

Arohanui

Y