Monday 24 September 2012

Banana Doughnuts with Peanut Butter Glaze

Vegan Banana Doughnuts with Peanut Butter Glaze

So, those of you who read the daily blog will know I've gone a bit doughnut mad lately! This started off wanting to re-make my original doughnuts without the egg replacer - something I no longer use. The first attempt was only ok but a bit chewy - this was mostly my fault in overcooking them. This led to me thinking about banana as an egg replacer and simply making banana doughnuts. The obvious glaze that came to mind here was a peanut butter glaze - and that stuff is amazing!! If you are not into doughnuts (!) I would still highly recommend pouring this glaze over a loaf of banana bread. That would be stunning!

Now my son is never overly keen on peanut butter flavoured things so I also made these with a chocolate glaze. It's the same chocolate glaze I used on the original doughnut post and works equally well with the banana doughnut.

Vegan Banana Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

I further started to think about filled doughnuts, as I had jam filled ones in the original post and only one filling came to mind for a banana flavoured doughnut - nutella. These were stunning! Now, I have cheated here and used store bought vegan nutella. Yes, we are very lucky here in Ireland as Spar's own label hazelnut spread is "accidentally vegan" AND cheaper than Nutella :-) But, there are loads of recipes out there for vegan nutella for you to use.

Banana Doughnuts with Peanut Butter Glaze

Yields 12 ring doughnuts

1 x 7g sachet quick rise yeast
400g flour
180ml / 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
50g / 1/4 cup vegan butter
56g / 1/4 cup golden caster sugar
130g / 1/2 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg - optional
1/4 tsp salt
vegetable oil to fry

Heat the soy milk, vegan butter and sugar in a saucepan until the butter melts and sugar dissolves, stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to another bowl and let cool to between 130F. Best to use a cooking thermomenter here, if not, you want it hand hot. The liquid when using quick rise yeast should be between 120 - 130F which is hotter than when using active dry yeast.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, salt and nutmeg. Pour the milk mixture over and stir well, add the banana and fold in well. The mixture will be somewhat wet here and you should have a shaggy dough. Sprinkle a bit of flour on a surface and add the dough, gently knead, adding a bit more flour until you just have a manageable dough and can shape it into a smooth ball. Resist the temptation to add too much extra flour here, you don't want a dry dough.

Grease a large bowl and add the dough, cover with cling film and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, knead a couple times then roll out 1/2" thick. Cut out doughnut shapes with a doughnut cutter, or fashion your own! For the filled doughnuts simply shape into flattish balls. Re-roll scraps and cut our more shapes until it is all used. Place the doughnuts on a floured baking sheet lined with baking paper, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1/2 hour.

Now, get your glazes ready and get the oil on to fry.

Peanut Butter Glaze

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter (80g)
1 cup icing sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
about 3 Tbsp hot water

Mix the peanut butter together with the vanilla then add some of the hot water and mix, it will turn thick and grainy here but don't worry. Add the icing sugar and the rest of the water and mix well.

Chocolate Glaze

1 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla
20ml hot water (1 Tbsp + 1 tsp)
50g plain or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Add everything to a bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until it all comes together in a syrupy glaze. Transfer to another bowl to cool slightly and thicken up before glazing.

Use a large high sided pot and fill half way up with oil, heat to 350F. Carefully transfer the doughnut to a heat safe spatula (do not use plastic!) and lower into the oil. As these doughnuts are quite soft, I found it easiest to cut around the baking paper the doughnut is lying on then flip it upside down onto the spatula and remove the paper then lower into the oil. Fry each doughnut for about 1 or 2 minutes a side, until they are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack covered in paper towels and repeat with the remaining doughnuts.

Vegan Baked Banana Doughnuts

2013 Edit - Yes, I've just made these again and wanted to try them baked as some of you have asked if they can be. The answer is YES! After they are shaped and have had their second rise remove the cling film, give them a spray with cooking spray and pop into a preheated 200C oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen, mine took 12 minutes.They turned out really well, great flavour and texture, not sure I'll even bother deep frying again! Once out of the oven dip them while warm into the glazes.

Give the glazes another good whisk then take a warm doughnut and dip the top into the glaze. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking paper and repeat with the remaining doughnuts. I found the peanut butter ones needed another dip once the first glaze set.

For the filled doughnuts, fill a pastry bag with a long nozzle with the nutella. Insert into the doughnut and move it around a bit to make room then squeeze the nutella in until it is coming out. Best to do these once the doughnuts cool so that the nutella doesn't turn to liquid. As you can guess, this happened to me :-)

Let the doughnuts fully cool and the glaze set then enjoy. These will keep only for a day or two before getting too dry. The next day we microwaved them for 20 seconds to get them warm and soft again :-) 

Also - the second time I made these it was summer and my kitchen was very hot. As a result, when I woke up the next morning the peanut butter glaze had melted off the doughnuts! The chocolate glaze was fine but just a note that if you have made these in a hot kitchen you should store the peanut butter ones in the fridge :-)

Nutritional Information:
(based on 1 peanut butter glazed ring doughnut)

Calories: 303 (235 if you bake them)
Fat: 11.8g (5.3g if you bake them, rest of the figures are more or less the same.)
Sat Fat: 1.7g
Protein: 5.5g
Fibre: 2.1g
Carbs: 43.7g
Sugar: 16.5g
Sodium: 100mg

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Friday 21 September 2012

Avocado, Lime and Carrot Maki Rolls

Vegan Maki Sushi Rolls

Now, you'll have to forgive me here as this is NOT a new recipe. It's already on the blog back in 2008 but was hidden away in a post titled "Anniversary Dinner" with a rather terrible photo! As this is one of our favourite recipes I felt it needed it's own post and a photographic makeover :-) 

These are just standard vegan maki rolls but I love the addition of fresh lime juice with the avocado and the sprinkling of black sesame seeds. These would be a good starting point if you are new to making sushi as they really are very easy with pretty standard flavours. That being said, I've never ventured from making anything other than these as we love them so much!

Avocado, Lime and Carrot Maki Rolls

Makes 12 or 16 rolls in total.

125g dry weight sushi rice (must be labeled sushi rice - no other)
180ml water
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp mirin
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sheets nori 
1/2 avocado, sliced and generously tossed in fresh lime juice.
carrot sticks
black sesame seeds

Wasabi and Soy Sauce to serve (and pickled ginger if you like).

First, you may want to just follow the instructions for cooking the rice on your packet of sushi rice. I think every pack I have bought has had different instructions! These are simply the instructions for the pack I buy most often. Place the rice and water in a saucepan and put lid on. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes, do not lift lid. Whisk together the rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt until all dissolved. Tip rice into a large bowl and pour the dressing over then use a rubber spatula and fold the dressing in until rice is room temperature and texture changes to thick and sticky, be gentle as you don't want to crush the grains.

Place the nori onto a bamboo sushi rolling mat, shiny side down. Keep a bowl of cold water mixed with some rice vinegar nearby. Wet your hands in this. Place half the rice onto the mat leaving about and inch and a half bare at the other end. Press down with damp hands until evenly spread out then gently press down all over till nice and even then sprinkle with the black sesame seeds. 
Lay down the avocado and carrot sticks a little off centre. 
Using the mat, roll up, holding down fairly firmly, when you get to the end, wet the bare part of the nori with the vinegar water and finish rolling. Unroll the bamboo mat, transfer the 'log' to a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife that you've dipped in the vinegar water cut into 6 even pieces (or 8 for smaller maki).

Repeat with the other sheet of nori and leftover rice. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.
Vegan Maki Sushi Rolls

Nutritional Information: based on 6 rolls, no dips.

Calories: 315
Fat: 7.1g
Sat Fat: 0.9g
Protein: 6.1g
Fibre: 4.6g
Carbs: 58.6g
Sugar: 3.7g
Sodium: 638mg

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Monday 17 September 2012

Apple Spice Muffins

Vegan Apple Spice Muffins

These are a perfect autumn muffin, lovely for breakfast with a cup of coffee and so simple to make. I've based this recipe on my Strawberry and Vanilla Muffins, a recipe I had all but forgotten about which is a shame as it's a good one! The texture in these are absolutely lovely - light, fluffy and moist with just a hint of warming cinnamon and nutmeg and chunks of fresh apple.

Vegan Apple Spice Muffins

Apple Spice Muffins:

350g (2 1/2 cups) flour
150g (3/4 cup) golden caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
240ml (1 cup) plain, unsweetened soy yogurt
120ml (1/2 cup) rice milk
160ml (2/3 cup) walnut oil*
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups diced peeled apples
demerara sugar - optional

*You can use vegetable, sunflower or canola oil here, I opted to use walnut oil as I've been enjoying it in baked goods lately and the flavour goes lovely in these. I further would have added some chopped walnuts to the mix but then my son wouldn't have eaten any!

Preheat the oven to 190C / 380F. Either grease a 12 hole muffin tin or you can make muffin cases out of baking paper like I did. Simply cut out 5" squares, spray the muffin tin with a little cooking spray and press them in making sure you crease the folds in. I do find that store bought muffin cases tend to stick with these though so either do this or simply grease the muffin tin.

In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl whisk together the soy yogurt, rice milk, vanilla and oil. Toss the diced apple in with the dry ingredients then add the liquid and gently fold in with a rubber spatula until it just comes together. Do not overmix or you will end up with tough, rubbery muffins!

Spoon into the muffin cases, about 3/4 full then if you like sprinkle the tops with some demerara sugar. Pop in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until risen, slightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and let cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Vegan Apple Spice Muffins

Nutritional Information: based on 1 muffin

Calories: 270
Fat: 10.9g
Sat Fat: 1.1g
Protein: 4g
Fibre: 1.2g
Carbs: 38.8g
Sugar: 15.3g
Sodium: 152mg

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Tuesday 11 September 2012

Spicy Ginger Tofu with Greens, Almonds and Udon Noodles

Spicy Ginger Tofu with Greens, Almonds and Udon Noodles

This is a bit of a recipe revamp of the Spicy Sesame Ginger Griddled Tofu with Pak Choi and Rice Noodles that I blogged back in 2008. For that one I used Heidi Swanson's brilliant Otsu dressing as a marinade for the tofu and stated that it was the best tofu I've ever had. Well, 4 years later I felt I better re-test that claim and yes, this is still my favourite tofu ever! However, in the last post I also used the dressing as a stir fry sauce and it didn't work so I wanted to have a re-go here. For the record I do use that dressing as a marinade and a dressing in the Spicy Ginger Tofu, Soba Noodle and Avocado Salad, which if you follow the daily food blog you'll know I've been having non-stop for lunch lately ;-)

The flavour in this tofu is simply divine with just the right amount of heat from the cayenne. For the stir-fry itself I kept it simple with some soy sauce and vegan oyster sauce and as well as the pak choi from last time I also added some broccoli and sugar snap peas (to keep the green theme going!) then added some toasted almonds for another texture and flavour dimension. I only used these wide udon noodles instead of the rice noodles as I picked some up the other day and had to try them - they are brilliant!

Altogether I loved this dish, a very well balanced and satisfying meal with 304mg of calcium (depending on the tofu you use) as calcium set tofu, pak choi, broccoli and almonds are all great sources, that's more than a large glass of milk and from much healthier sources too :-)

Recipe serves 2.

Spicy Ginger Tofu with Greens, Almonds and Udon Noodles

Spicy Ginger Tofu with Greens, Almonds and Udon Noodles

125g firm or extra firm tofu
Marinade: (note - this makes extra)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
zest of 1 lemon
125g wide udon noodles
125g broccoli cut into florets
125g pak choi, keep whole if small, separate the stalks from the leaf if too big and slice both.
125g sugar snap peas, halved if big left whole if small
25g blanched almonds
1/2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegan oyster sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp water
spring onions to garnish

First make the marinade by whisking everything together. Cut the tofu into 1/2" pieces, I like triangles as it's easy to cut even that way. Wrap them up in paper towels and press out as much water as you can, replacing the paper towels when they get too wet. Place the tofu in a shallow bowl and pour over the marinade. Leave for 15 minutes, flipping the tofu once. I have left this for 1/2 an hour when using extra firm tofu but any longer and it'll get too salty.

Boil the noodles according to package instructions, rinse and run under cold water and set aside.

In a large wok, add some water and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli florets and boil for just a few minutes, I do this so as I don't like my broccoli too raw in my stir fry's. Drain, run under cold water and set aside. Dry the wok then return to the heat and add the almonds, fry until they are slightly golden brown then transfer to a bowl.

Heat up a non-stick frying pan and add the tofu pieces. There is no need to add oil as it is in the marinade. Fry until deeply golden brown then flip and fry until the other side is deeply golden brown. Turn the heat down slightly now and add a small teaspoon of the marinade over each piece of tofu. Let it sizzle away until you have a glossy, slightly caramelized look to the tofu.

Meanwhile, heat up the peanut oil in the wok and add the pak choi and sugar snap peas, fry on high heat until the pak choi wilts and the sugar snap peas are cooked, make sure everything is still bright green though. Now add the broccoli and almonds and fry for a minute or so then add the noodles and fry for another minute. Mix together the soy and oyster sauce with the garlic and pour this over, fry for a couple of minutes then mix together the cornstarch and water and add this.  Fry until it thickens slightly and everything is lightly coated.

Transfer the stir fry to a couple dishes then top them with the tofu and a scattering of chopped spring onion and serve immediately.
Spicy Ginger Tofu with Greens, Almonds and Udon Noodles

Source: Marinade slightly adapted from Heidi Swanson's Otsu Dressing.

As much as I love that tofu, this dish is always very good without - recommended by my tofu hating husband and boy who would find the tofu too spicy :-)
Super Green Stir Fry with Almonds and Udon Noodles

Nutritional Information: based on 1 serving with tofu

Calories: 466
Protein: 22.5g
Fibre: 7.4g
Carbs: 55.5g
Sugar: 11.4g
Fat: 19g
Sat Fat: 2.2g
Sodium: 1069mg
Calcium: 304mg

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Thursday 6 September 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

These are my take on a cookie you can buy back home in Canada called 'Pirate' - they are an oatmeal sandwich cookie filled with a peanut butter filling and were always one of my favourites. I *think* they are "accidentally vegan" but as I can't buy them here and it's always fun to make your own decided to have a go at them and these turned out lovely. The biscuit is soft and "buttery" with the taste of brown sugar and the filling a simple peanut butter frosting which go beautifully together!

These were actually best the next day, on the day they are made the biscuit is slightly crisp and the frosting soft causing it all to squish out when you bite into it. Not the end of the world of course but the next day the frosting firms up and the biscuit gets lovely and soft, which I loved but just a heads up if you are after a crisp cookie :-)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

100g vegan butter (1/2 cup)
60g light muscovado sugar (1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar)
140g plain flour (1 cup)
32g rolled oats (1/3 cup)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

45g vegan butter (3 Tbsp)
70g smooth peanut butter (1/4 cup)
160g icing sugar (1 1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp dairy free milk

For the dough, simply place everything into a food processor and process until a dough forms. Remove and shape into a disc on top of cling film, wrap up and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I use the food processor here as you don't want big pieces of oats in these, they should be chopped. If you don't have a food processor you could try cutting the butter in with a pastry cutter but it won't give the same consistency.

Remove the dough from the fridge and cut in half, keep one half out and wrap the other half up and keep in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350C / 180F and line a couple baking sheets with baking paper.

Lightly dust a surface with flour and start by patting down the dough a bit then flour a rolling pin and start rolling out. It will crack a bit initially, just keep picking it up and flipping it over and roll out a bit more. When it is about 1/8" thick cut out circles with a 2" cutter. Re-roll the scraps (these ones will be easier to roll out!) and cut out more circles placing them all on the lined baking sheet. You can place them fairly close together here as they don't spread out much.

Bring the other half of dough out of the fridge and repeat but poke a hole in the middle of each circle making sure it goes all the way through. I would pierce it through fully while holding it in my hand to make this easier. Place these on the other baking sheet and bake them both for about 10 minutes. They should be firm and lightly golden around the edges.Transfer to a wire rack and leave to fully cool.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Add some of the icing sugar and beat well. Keep adding icing sugar until it gets too stiff then add the milk. Keep adding icing sugar until it is all gone then. If it is too dry, add a little more milk, too wet, add some more icing sugar. Now place in a piping bag with a star tip (if using, you can just spread the frosting on the cookies, I just prefer the look of it piped).

To assemble, take a cookie without the hole in it and pipe the frosting in circular motion over the bottom surface. Take a cookie with the hole in it and pipe a little frosting through the hole then sandwich together. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. These are best the next day when the frosting has time to firm up a bit. Makes about 20 cookies with a 2" cookie cutter.

Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

Nutritional Information: based on 1 cookie

Calories: 131
Fat: 5.9g
Sat Fat: 1.3g
Protein: 1.7g
Fibre: 0.7g
Carbs: 17.9g
Sugar: 11.1g
Sodium: 91.1mg

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