Sunday, 19 November 2017

Banana Cake

Are you looking for a quick weekend (or midweek) bake that will make a satisfying treat, dessert or lunchbox addition? Do you have some ripe, speckled bananas crying out to be used up before they go all gooey and brown?- Well look no further! We have posted banana cake before (here), but this one is slightly different and has no nuts.
Here, it certainly is the season to be cozied up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of cake whenever possible. We have had our first heavy frosts, what leaves that remain on the trees are now red and yellow and about to drop and there are no flowers left in the garden; not even one single fuchsia... here is a picture of the beautiful Peak District just outside Sheffield, where we went about 3 weeks ago.

..And here are some of the handful of delicious ripe figs we have been able to pick from our little tree in the garden. It is now all tucked up in a snug polythene shelter for protection from the cold. Perhaps some more of the figs will ripen, too!

-So now back to the cake recipe. This makes a cake which yields 12 slices.

200g wholemeal flour
200g self-raising flour
100g dark muscovado sugar
100g Punjabi shakkar (or light soft brown sugar
a large handful of nsultanas
3 sm-med bananas, mashed
2 tsps mixed spice
150ml coconut oil, melted
1 tap natural vanilla essence
400ml unsweetened soya or other plant milk

  • Preheat the oven to 180c and dampen an 8" silicone cake mould or grease and flour/ line an 8" round cake tin.
  • Mix the flours, sugars, sultanas and spice in a large bowl, taking care there are so lumps as raw sugars tens to clump together.
  • In another bowl, beat the bananas, vanilla, oil and milk.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, mixing well.
  • spoon into your cake mould and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into teh centre of the cake emerges clean.
  • Turn out after 5-10 minutes and cool on a rack. Or eat it warm...

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Crispy Veg Puffs- gluten free

Dip them in your favourite chutney!

Do you ever crave spicy savouries like pakoras but wish they didn't have to be fried? Look no further, my friends...
One of the best things about blogging as opposed to writing a formal cookbook is that you can publish your experiments, your works in progress, and come up with all sorts of off-the-wall ideas that probably wouldn't get past a publisher. Don't get me wrong; we'd still be thrilled to get The Yogi Vegans into print (publishers out there, take note ;) ), but here on the blog we can get, well, just that little bit more creative. This recipe definitely falls into the "creative" category, if not for ingredients then for using a redundant cake-pop maker we found in the bottom drawer. Don't worry if you don't have a cake-pop maker; these crispy and protein-laden balls of delight can also be cooked in the oven. They won't come out spherical, but they will be just as delicious. We know; we've tried. We didn't think we would come up with post-able results the very first time we made these but we loved their crispy outsides and cake-y insides and the satisfying way you can dunk them in chutney... so here they are!
We teamed them with a spicy tomato chutney and some stir-fried vegetables.

This recipe made about 20. One portion is about six- that's cake-pop size; just under an ice cream scoopful per ball.

175g gram flour (aka chickpea/ garbanzo flour)
90g peas, sweetcorn or a mix of both (we only had peas when we made them)
90g peanuts, ground (use a blender or even a coffee/ spice grinder)
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp powdered turmeric
1 1/2 tsps baking powder*      *make sure it is gluten free if that's what you want; not all brands are.)
masala/curry powder/ a spice mix of your choice to your taste; at least 1 tsp (we used tava fry masala)
water for mixing

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Stir in the peas/ sweetcorn.
  • Gradually add water until your mixture is the consistency of cake batter.
  • Using an ice cream scoop spoon the mix into the sections of a cake- pop maker and cook for about 15 minutes. If you are using the oven, place in blobs on an oiled baking tray and cook for about 15 minutes at 200C, turning halfway through. (Of course, you could always deep-fry them, but for us the whole point was getting a crispy, pakora-like savoury that didn't have to be fried.)
  • While they are cooking, you could whip up your favourite chutney; we used a tin of chopped tomatoes, some spices, fresh ginger, raw sugar and tamarind to create our own in minutes. If you would like a recipe, though, there's one for date and tamarind chutney here.