Vegan by Nature

inherent recipes from a passionate cook

Archive for June, 2009

June Daring Bakers!!!

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Hooray! I did mine today and made them especially as a father’s day gift. I played with the rules a bit and my pastry is in the shape of a bow rather than on the bottom. I also made the frangipane vegan and wheat free. They are strawberry flavoured and the only non fruit sugar used is the wee dots of icing on the tops. I found this challenge very therapeautic. Nice one.

Finally cracked the cookies and something of interest…


It has taken me many failed attempts to crack this and boy was I determined this time. I followed Dreena’s Homestyle Cookies recipe but made a few adjustments so the recipe looks more like this:

1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 cup fruit sugar
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄3 cup apricot syrup (see note)
1⁄4 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 – 1 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup melted soya margarine
1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the apricot syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined.
Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix).
Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little.
Bake for 12 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out).
Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 8-10 large cookies.

Note: I didn’t have the maple syrup and had bought these amazing organic dried apricots the other day, you know the dark kind, not the orange, sulphur coated ones. I soaked these in some water and then poured the lot into a food processor until it resembled the consistency of a syrup.

I also got a bit experimental and had some left over pineapple, mango, banana and apricots which was getting to the fermenting stage so instead of throwing it out I popped the lot in a pot and boiled it all up. God the neighbours might have thought I was developing my own brewery. It got pretty heady in my kitchen. But I was off out and left the mix to cool. When I returned I had decided to try making flap jacks with the mix and this is what I came up with:


Tropical Mango and Basil Flapjacks:

1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup chopped mango
4 dried organic apricots (the dark unsulphored kind)
1/4 pineapple juice
1 chopped ripe banana
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
handful finely chopped fresh basil
2 1/2 cups porridge oats

Put all the ingredients in a container and let sit for a few days in the fridge until things get pretty perfumed. I think it’s the pomegranate that aids this process but I’m just guessing.
Transfer to a pot and bring to the boil, let simmer until everything gets soft, add more juice if necessary. Cool slightly.
Preheat oven to gas mark 5/200 C/375 F.
Whizz the lot with a mixer until pureed.
Add in the basil and oats (adjust the amount of oats accordingly, mix should be quite dense but not too dry).
Spread evenly into a dish lined with greased parchment paper.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden on top.
Turn out onto a cooling rack.
Once cool, refridgerate overnight. These will be much more chewy in the morning.
…and enjoy!