Monday 28 June 2010

Carrot and Sesame Burger

Vegan Carrot and Sesame Burgers
Served with a lemon tahini soy yogurt sauce, avocado, watercress, shallots and lashings of Thai sweet chilli sauce :-)
Vegan Carrot and Sesame Burgers
Oh I do love a good burger, and a good burger these certainly are!! Recipe comes from BBC Good Food, was featured on their front page awhile back and I knew I had to make them right away. The recipe did call for an egg but I just replaced that with my egg replacer of choice lately - yup, the xanthan gum one, and they turned out perfect! In the comments section a lot of people said they crumbled and fell apart, well, the egg-less vegan ones don't that's for sure (vegan win!!!) Although, I didn't try bbq'ing these, just shallow fried, but I don't see why they couldn't be oven baked for an even healthier burger. **Edit - I just made these by popping them under a hot pre-heated grill for about 5 minutes a side and they came out perfect. You can brush a little olive oil on them before and when flipping if you like but there is no need. Nice healthier way to cook them!**

Anyway, they taste wonderful - the recipe served these with a lemon and tahini yoghurt sauce, avocado, rocket and thai sweet chilli sauce. Whenever I try a new recipe I like to follow it to a 'T' then make any changes I see fit. This time I wouldn't make any. While I didn't find the yogurt sauce that interesting on it's own it went lovely with this burger and everything else, as did the avocado. I used watercress instead of rocket due to personal preference and loved that....and the Thai sweet chilli sauce is essential!! It really made the burger and I have to say I used lashings of it!! So yummy, definitely another burger that will be on the regular dinner rotation :-)

Recipe is on their website but I'll post what I did here, mainly replacing the egg, I added 3/4 tsp salt (they just said to 'season') and their recipe said you get 6 burgers out of it, I halved it and got 5 very good sized ones out of it. Lately I've also been replacing the lemon zest with lime and do prefer that - lime and cumin and carrot all going so beautifully together!

Oh, and we had these with a side salad and a big old glass of Pimms - lovely!! :-)

Vegan Carrot and Sesame Burgers and Pimms

Carrot and Sesame Burgers: 

375g carrots (weight before prepping), peeled and grated
1/2 can chickpeas (120g drained and rinsed)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp ground cumin
50g breadcrumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
zest of 1 lime or 1/2 a lemon (lime my preference, but both good)
1 Tbsp olive oil
---1 egg----
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 Tbsp potato starch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/16 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp veg oil
50ml water

To Serve:
burger buns
watercress or rocket
shallots or red onion slices (or any mild onion)
lemon tahini soy yogurt sauce
Thai sweet chilli sauce

Whisk everything up for your egg until thick and a little frothy. Set aside. Put a third of the grated carrots into a food processor with the chickpeas, onion, tahini, cumin and 'egg'. Whizz until you have a thick paste, then scrape into a large bowl. Heat the olive oil in a large wok, tip in the remaining carrot and cook for about 8 minutes until the carrot is softened, they will become more golden as they cook. Add this cooked carrot to the paste with the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt and sesame seeds. Mix together well.

Lightly grease your hands with some olive oil then shape into patties whatever size you like. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. When ready to cook, heat up some vegetable oil in a large frying pan (I shallow fried so added quite a bit) and fry the burgers about 5 minutes a side, or until golden brown on both sides. Alternatively you can grill them by simply popping them under a hot preheated grill for about 5 minutes a side or until lightly golden with charred edges. Lightly toast the buns and serve with the yogurt sauce, avocado, watercress, shallots and Thai sweet chilli sauce.

Lemon Tahini Soy Yogurt Sauce:

150ml plain soy yogurt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp tahini

Simply mix it all together and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Note - this makes a lot!

EDIT - works really nice in a wrap too! Same components but shape the burger into a large sausage shape and fry. Very good!

Nutritional Information: based on 1 patty out of five -not fried.

Calories: 173
Protein: 4.6g
Carbs: 22.7g
Sugar: 4.5g
Fibre: 4.1g
Fat: 7.7g
Sat Fat: 1.1g
Sodium: 347mg

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Tuesday 22 June 2010

Camp Coffee Cake

Camp Coffee Cake

First I must apologize for not getting a good photo of this cake, it was just so good it went too fast!! That photo is the last slice from the cake and a couple days old! I've always loved coffee cake, and I mean that in coffee tasting cake not a 'coffee cake' if you know what I mean. I have made a couple vegan ones on this blog but neither were quite right. I didn't realize that the perfect recipe was under my nose all along - the 'Camp Coffee Cake' recipe from my old vegetarian blog, all I had to do was veganize it which was simple - replaced the 4 eggs with my current egg replacer of choice for 2 and all the butter with Vitalite. The flavour was perfect in this as was the texture of the cake - really impressed with this one, nice and moist but no gumminess at all!! A lovely finely crumbed cake....and the frosting is sublime....uber-sweet, but sublime ;-)

'Camp' is a thick coffee flavoured syrup also made with chicory, nasty as a drink but I do find it imparts a great coffee flavour in baking. In Ireland it's called Irel, hope it's still available there as I'll be making this cake a lot!!

225g vegan margarine, I used Vitalite
225g golden caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Camp Syrup
---2 eggs----
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp potato starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp vegetable oil
100ml water

225g vegan margarine (Vitalite imparts a lovely buttery taste here)
450g icing sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Camp syrup
soy cream

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottom of two 8 or 9 inch cake tins with greaseproof paper and grease the sides with marg and dust with flour.

In mixer with paddle attachment, or by hand with a whisk, cream the marg until soft, add the caster sugar and beat until pale and light in texture. In a separate bowl make the 'eggs' by mixing the dry ingredients then adding the water and oil slowly whisking all the time until well mixed, thick and slightly frothy. It's ok if there are tiny lumps. Add to the marg/sugar mixture bit by bit, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and fold in until well mixed. Finally stir in the Camp syrup until well mixed.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake for 25 min. approximately. When cooked the centre of the cakes will be firm and springy and the edges will have shrunk a bit from the edges. Rest in the tins a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, remove the paper and leave to let fully cool.

When cold sandwich and frost the cake with the frosting. To make simply cream everything but the soy cream together, then if needed add some soy cream to get the right consistency. You may not need any depending on the moisture level of the marg you use.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Mushroom Pie with Potato Pastry and Pearl Barley

Mushroom Pie with Potato Pastry and Pearl Barley
Mushroom Pie with Potato Pastry and Pearl Barley
Well, as usual I'm flat out these days - still building a house and still moving to Ireland NEXT MONTH!! On top of that my son's first holy communion is this Saturday which so far is looking more complicated than my wedding. Seriously. So with all this going on I haven't had much time for the blog or cooking in general. Nor anytime to read all my other favourite blogs and comment, so do forgive me if you haven't heard from me in awhile - I'll be back for sure :-)

This is another dish I made ages ago, finally found a moment here to blog it. The recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Beatrice Ojakangas's 'The Great Scandinavian Baking Book' - it really is wonderful. It's mostly sweets and breads but the back has a few savoury dishes and this was one of the only vegetarian dishes. For ages I wanted to have a go veganising it as it called for eggs, butter and sour cream and finally did. We really loved this, it tasted fantastic and the potato pastry was really good. At first a little chewy but even better the next day.

I used vitalite in place of the butter, tofutti sour cream for the sour cream (straight swap) and for the eggs I decided to use this egg replacer I've gotten good results from lately using xanthan gum and potato and cornstarch. However, I forgot what happens to cornstarch when heated, of course it thickens like mad! You were to stir the eggs into the pot and cook for a few minutes, so of course mine thickened right up and I had to add quite a bit of water. This didn't affect the taste or the end product though. So, you may want to use a different egg replacer, pureed silken tofu would probably be really good in this, I try to keep my soy levels low. I'll post the recipe I used though, just keep in mind the thickening issue ;-)

Potato Pastry:
3/4 cup cold mashed potato (just potato)
210g plain flour
100g vegetable fat/shortening (I use Trex)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
60ml cold water

40g vegan margarine (I used Vitalite)
1 cup cooked pearl barley, I cooked up 80g raw and had a bit left over.
100g chestnut mushrooms
150g regular mushrooms - or any type of mushrooms you like.
140g chopped onion
115g tofutti sour cream
1/8 tsp ground allspice
ground black pepper

First make your pastry. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the fat and cut in with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the mashed potato until a dough forms. Now mine was too dry at this stage, I assume different potatoes will give different results and had to add some cold water. You just want it to come together as a dough you can roll out. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling, heat the margarine in a large saucepan and fry the mushrooms and onion until onions are soft and mushrooms are cooked and any pan liquids have evaporated. Mix in the cooked barley, sour cream, 2 'eggs', salt, pepper and allspice then bring to a simmer then leave to cool. Again, I'm thinking 1/2 cup silken tofu would be a good replacement for the eggs, but this is what I used: (with more water to counter the thickening that went on)

1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp potato starch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp vegetable oil
100ml water

Mix the dry together then slowly whisk in the water and oil. Whisk really well until you have a thick, slightly foamy mixture.

Preheat the oven to 220C and remove the pastry from the fridge. Cut it not quite in half, you want one section slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger section to fit a 10 inch fluted flan dish and fit it in. Tip your filling in smoothing out the top and set aside. Roll out your other section of dough and cut out strips for a lattice topping. I won't go into how to do this as I followed the instructions here. It was my first time doing lattice and besides missing a few links, not too bad a job ;-) Make sure you pinch your edges to seal then pop it into the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is set.

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Tuesday 1 June 2010

Wheat Free Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Vegan Wheat Free Chocolate Almond Biscotti
So I'm still making it through all these things I've made but haven't gotten around to posting. I made these ages ago as well, back when I went through a wheat free kick that lasted about, oh, a day and half ;-) I was having some tummy troubles and started to suspect wheat but I really don't think it was that in the end. Regardless, these turned out really yum! I love rye flour and should use it more often really. I read online that some people cutting out wheat also cut out rye, it's a bit 'borderline' so I'm not sure how "wheat free" these are, but if you are cutting out wheat and are ok with rye - they are a great substitute. The chocolate flavour goes so nice with the almonds and these turned out nice and crunchy, like proper biscotti should be, essential to dip into a mug of coffee. I repeat, essential!! :-)

Makes 12:
40g unsweetened cocoa powder
75g blanched almonds, toasted
100g light muscovado sugar
150g rye flour
50g ground almonds
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
30g caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
----2 eggs------
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp potato starch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp vegetable oil
100ml water

First make the 'eggs' by whisking the dry ingredients together then slowly whisking in the water and oil. Give it a good whisk until slightly frothy and it's thick like beaten eggs would look like. Don't worry if there are some tiny lumps. Set aside. Preheat oven to 180C and spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Toast for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant, remove and let cool then roughly chop. Turn oven down to 150C.

Whisk together the rye flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, salt, baking soda and set aside. In another bowl whisk together the 'eggs', sugars, vegetable oil and almond extract until light and sugar mostly dissolved. Stir the dry ingredients in with a wooden spoon until a dough forms then add the almonds and stir in.

Flour your hands and work surface and form into a big log shape, about 10 inches long and 2 inches wide. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake in a 150C oven for about 30 - 40 minutes. The log will be firm to the touch and will have spread whilst baking a bit. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board and slice the log into diagonal slices about 1 inch wide, I got 12 out of my log. Arrange the slices cut side down onto the baking sheet and pop back into the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 15 minutes or until crisp and dry. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Nutritional Analysis: Per Biscotti
Calories: 167
Fat: 7.1g
Sat Fat: 0.7g
Fibre: 3.6g
Protein: 3.3g
Carbs: 25.1g
Sugars: 11g

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