Vegan Almond & Raisin Cookies

My baking routine at the college has taken on a heightened frenzy, especially with kitchen exams just around the corner. This leaves me hardly any time to get on my experimental chef cap and try out any thing innovative.

However, recently our College played host to a fabulous Vegan Competition. While most of the menu’s were being provided by the organisers, the students were left to plan out the recipes for their bakery products.I must say I’ve hardly baked vegan, eggless yes and was drawing quite a blank on how to go about a recipe trial with no dairy.

I’ve been following numerous blogs that bake up great vegan delights, all though baking without butter was something that needed be de-mystified.Browsing on the internet amongst a dozen recipes I  came across an easy Vegan Chocolate Chip recipe on Allrecipes and have adapted the following Vegan Almond & Raisin one.

The recipe trial worked out out great and I was happy to share the same with my students. It was an instant hit with the Vegan contest organisers and the students were happy to learn a new recipe too.

This recipe is a keeper for me too!

Ingredients:

Flour 92 grams
Coconut Oil 40 ml
Brown sugar 56 grams
Almond Milk 19 ml
Vanilla essence ¼ teaspoon
Baking soda ¼ teaspoon
Baking powder ¼ teaspoon
Salt ¼ teaspoon
Toasted Almonds & Raisins 40 grams

 

Method:

 

Ø Pre-heat oven to 175 C.

Ø Mix together the coconut oil & brown sugar, then add the almond milk & vanilla. The mixture will look a bit runny.

Ø In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Ø Combine the wet & dry ingredients (it WILL BE crumbly – this is OK), then fold in the toasted almonds and raisins.

Ø Roll into tablespoon sized balls & place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper., Then flatten them out a bit with your palm. The dough may be a little crumbly, but just assemble it it together and it will work fine!

Ø Bake for 15 -18 minutes till medium brown in colour.

 

 

When Life Gives You Oranges….Make an Orange Cake

 

Orange Marmalade watermark

 

Well as the popular saying goes “When Life gives you lemons make Lemonade”.And  if it gives you Oranges then go ahead and bake up this delicious Orange cake and add in some marmalade for that extra citrusy Zing. Now I’ve been contemplating baking an Orange for a while now.There have been days when all the ingredients were all out,yet the cake just didn’t get baked.Just one of those phases you go through when you’ve been baking a lot.

This afternoon I had three lone Oranges giving me a nod of approval.Almost to say C’mon and bake that cake will you! The dear son vouched that he will not even have a bit…too much sugar he said and went about doing his thing.I was quite excited to bake this afternoon and so out came all the ingredients again. Now I had been browsing some recipes that called for the oranges being stewed and then placed top of the cake when done. Where as I came across a Jamie Oliver Orange Cake recipe that I quite liked. It called for finely slicing the oranges and layering them at the bottom of the baking pan.I have minimally adapted this recipe from Jamie’s. With Eid around the corner,I’ve added a slight middle eastern twist of adding in some saffron strands and cardamon powder.

I must say this Orange cake turned out really quite delicious. The Orange zest and the fresh orange juice lend it a wonderful burst of flavour. I choose to glaze the finished cake with some warm marmalade in the end.

Excitedly I called my Mom over to come and have a slice of this cake and a  cuppa tea. She quite loved it.Best of all,the dear son who was out all afternoon,comes home and devourer a couple of slices! So much for his not wanting to eat it.

Well who could resist a slice of Deliciousness?

Ingredients:

• 200g butter softened
• 3 tbsp brown sugar
• 2 small oranges, thinly sliced
• 200g granulated white sugar (powdered)
• 6 heaped tbsp fine-cut marmalade
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• 200g self-raising flour
• 50g almond powder

• Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges (medium Oranges)

Some saffron strands which can be soaked in the orange juice and about half a teaspoon cardamom powder. Another interesting twist is to reduce the juice of 1 orange and instead add equivalent amount of rose water.

Note: I’ve used All Purpose flour and have added 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make it into a self-raising flour

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2.Grease the base and sides of a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Sprinkle the base with brown sugar. Arrange the orange slices on the base of the tin in a slightly overlapping layer.
2. Cream the butter and caster sugar until creamy.

3.Beat the egg whites separately and then beat in the yolks

4.Add  3 heaped tablespoons of marmalade, followed by the beaten eggs. Fold in the flour, ground almonds, a pinch of salt, and the orange zest and juice.Add in the cardamon powder
3. Carefully pour the cake batter into the tin. Place in the oven and bake for about 45-50  minutes, till golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes. Very carefully, while it’s still slightly warm, turn out the cake onto a serving plate.
4. Prick holes in the cake with a skewer. Make a glaze by warming the rest of the marmalade in a pan with a little water. Spoon this over the cake.