Lately, I’ve been eating (and baking) mostly vegan. Or rather freegan, to be precise.
In my town there is a local organization of food savers. Food savers are volunteers who pick up food that wasn’t sold and would be discarded otherwise from bakeries, from farmer’s markets and several other shops and then hand out the food to others for free. Of course, anyone who takes “saved” food is responsible for deciding whether it is still edible or not.
So yesterday, there were several leftover eggs from the farmer’s market, some having a few cracks already. I do not want to buy and thereby demand and make a market for eggs, but as those eggs would’ve been discarded otherwise, I took them in a “freegan” manner and decided to bake macarons, a precious treat which I haven’t managed to make a vegan version of so far.
As I love matcha and had been planning to make matcha macarons long before I started eating vegan, this was the opportunity to give them a try, and the result is actually pretty tasty … but why don’t you try them yourself? Here’s the recipe and a few tips:
makes about 24 macarons
160g powdered sugar
90g finely ground almonds
90g egg whites
30g granulated sugar
2 tsps. + 2 tsps. matcha
55g white chocolate*
55g butter or margarine*
* I use vegan white chocolate and vegan butter (organic Alsan)
A few tips:
- If you want your macarons to have a perfectly smooth surface, sift the ground almonds before weighing.
- Macarons taste even better if they’re chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. You can also store them for up to a few days.
- For more tips considering the baking technique, check out my guide to macarons :)
Today’s Restaurant Day was a blast.
From the moment I got to the marketplace and started arranging my cupcakes for sale, till around 4 hours later when I sold the last cupcake, I was surrounded by wonderfully nice people all the time. I didn’t expect to get so much positive response, but there were many people stopping to say things like “oh that looks so delicious!” with bright eyes, smiling. And that is one of the things I love about food, its ability to make people smile.
As I didn’t manage to take a few pictures myself, a very nice customer allowed me to share a few pictures she took of the cupcakes here. I hope everyone enjoyed the cupcakes as much as she told me she did!
As part of Restaurant Day tomorrow, kawaii kitchen will hold it’s first pop-up bakery at Lindener Markt, Hanover! I will serve:
- Apple Cupcakes with Matcha Frosting (vegan)
- Double Chocolate Cupcakes (vegan)
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with plum filling (vegan)
- Vanilla Cupcakes with Cranberry Frosting (vegan)
- assorted French Macarons (non-vegan, made with free-range eggs)
Cupcakes will be 2,70€ each or 10,00€ for 4 Cupcakes
Macarons 1,00€ each
So if you happen to be in Hanover tomorrow, come along and have a bite!
kawaii kitchen pop-up bakery
open Saturday Nov. 15th 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lately, I’ve been baking vegan a lot. Cupcakes for the Kü-Ché, tarts, cakes and more cupcakes. I also started eating mostly vegan due to ethical reasons and also to try some recipes by Attila Hildmann, who sent me two of his cookbooks which have been translated into English recently.
Attila is a vegan cook and some kind of celebrity here in Germany.
To be honest, he occurred to me like some celebrity poser at first, posting work-out photos of himself very frequently, alternating with advertisements for his cookbooks, cooking tools or even vegetables of his own brand. But then I tried out his recipes and learned that he actually seems to be a very talented cook, although he certainly knows how to place his products and himself on the market and media.
And that’s what makes him so unique and successful as a vegan cookbook author. He manages to demonstrate to a large audience that vegan dishes can be both mouthwatering and simple, contrary to prejudices towards vegan cooking up until now, thereby making vegan nutrition a little more suitable for the mass.
Recently, he sent me two of his newly available in English cookbooks, “Vegan for Fun” and “Vegan for Fit” to review them. While the latter is rather a diet program, including tips for workouts, both books include lots of recipes for delicious-looking dishes.
When flipping through the pages, I noticed a lot of “fast food” favorites like pizza, burgers, common pasta (meat sauce, carbonara), mushrooms in cream sauce – but all vegan recipes, without calling for overly fancy ingredients or any weird seeming cooking techniques (as my former experience with “veganized” recipes had been).
Vegan for Fun is structured into chapters, starting with Attila’s philosophy – he approaches veganism not only as an ethical phenomenon (“Doctrines are out”) but also as a more healthy way of living, including sports and the wide range of super foods as ingredients for delicious meals.
Next, there is a small chapter on a few ingredients that might not be so familiar to everyone, like soy whipping cream or guar gum. Attila describes what they are, how to use them and where to buy them, and I think this can be really helpful to anyone who is new to vegan cooking.
And then, there are the recipes – hearty, yummy all-time favorites in vegan versions (“Really satisfying”), party food recipes (“Veggie party”), “Vegan to go” includes snacks and meals you can prepare ahead and eat for example at work for lunch, some low-calorie recipes (“Light and delicious”) and also a chapter on delicious desserts (“Sweet rewards”), my favorite :) Each recipe is accompanied by beautiful pictures, some small background information (like nutritional values, recommendations for serving or information on the use of a special ingredient) and the ingredient measurements are listed in volumes (cups, tablespoons, teaspoons) as well as in metric units.
On the last pages, there are some more tips for grocery shopping, kitchen tools (which are not absolutely necessary in my opinion but certainly can be helpful) and sources for more information about vegan nutrition. All in all, the b00k is structured in a really interesting, informative way and the recipes are suitable for everyday cooking necessities.
It might be not such a big surprise that the first recipes I tried were baking recipes – which fortunately worked out pretty well. Attila’s Carrot cake for example was added to my favorite recipes immediately. But I also baked savory things, a hearty quiche to be precise. As I really liked the result, I thought I’d share my version of the recipe with you.
|Vegetable Quiche || vegan
makes one 24 cm Quiche, adapted from Vegan for Fun by Attila Hildmann
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsps baking powder
about 1 1/2 tsps salt
1 cup vegetable margarine (I used Alsan)
3 tsps. sugar
1 – 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped vegetables of your choice
(I used a handful of mushrooms, 1/3 red bell pepper and 4 stalks mangold)
3-4 tbsps. olive oil
1 cup soy yogurt
1 cup oat cream
4 tbsps corn starch
lots of nutmeg (preferably freshly ground)
It’s strawberry season! At least here in Germany, those red cuties can be found everywhere at the moment. At the supermarket, the farmer’s market, or on top of cupcakes. These cupcakes here, for example.
A few months ago I found a recipe for vegan strawberry cake and wanted to try it as soon as there were fresh strawberries available again. So I baked cupcakes out of the batter, topped them with whipped chocolate ganache frosting and some more beautiful strawberries. People at the Kü-Ché liked them pretty much, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you :)
|Strawberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting (adapted from Kurryleaves) || vegan
makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
0,75 tsps baking soda
1 pinch salt
3/4 to 1 cup strawberry puree (about 300g strawberries)
1 tsp vanilla
3/8 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
200g dark (vegan) chocolate
30g vegan butter
150g vegan whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
100-200g strawberries for decoration
My former flatmate Thilo used to make this unbelievably yummy cake called “Russischer Zupfkuchen” (Russian pluck cake, roughly translated) and ever since he moved out, my other flatmates requested I should bake it. He always just threw all ingredients into a bowl, eyeballing the amounts, never measuring anything exactly but always got a beautiful and tasty cake. Wonder how he did that, lots of experience perhaps?
When doing some research about the origin of russian pluck cake, I figured out that it does not really seem to be a russian cake. What’s funny is that there are said to be cakes like this one in some regions of russia, but apparently they’re called “German cake”.
Soft cheesecake with a crumbly chocolate crust, sprinkled with the remaining chocolate dough plucked into chunks, that’s basically what russian pluck cake is. It is pretty popular here in Germany, people tend to like the combination of cocoa and moist cheesecake filling, especially my flatmates. So I made a whole baking tray and cut the cake into nice handy bars. Turns out that I like cake bars, somehow. You can cut them into smaller bars and eat them piece by piece, enjoying every crumb, or just dig in, if you’re in a hurry and late for an exam like me this morning.
Enough of the cake shape philosophy, here’s the recipe. As I am not as talented and/or experienced as Thilo, I wrote all the measurements down for you.
This version of russian pluck cake is rather heavy on the eggs and the vanilla, my flatmates seem to like that, but I think you could also vary a little with the ingredients.
|Cheesecake bars with chocolate crust
makes one baking tray
|Ingredients – for the crust:
50g cocoa powder
3 tsps. baking powder
200g granulated sugar
for the filling:
1 kg low-fat quark
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
3 tbsps. vanilla
250g butter, melted
250g granulated sugar
60g corn starch, sifted
I’ve never been good at saying goodbye.
Last week I quit the job I had been working at during the last year. I had been working in the kitchen there, nothing special. But nevertheless I’m going to miss my coworkers, the way they made me laugh and have fun during work. To make farewell a little sweeter, I brought cake – no big surprise, is it?
Whole-grain crust with a hint of cinnamon, a layer of marzipan covered under the last of fading winter’s apples. A few caramelized almond slices on top and done is this simple but good tart. Ready to be enjoyed in its crumbly, juicy and sweet yummyness (is that a word, yummyness? Anyway, I hope you know what I mean to express). And it is able to bring comfort, to make people smile, even at rather sad occasions.
|Apple and almond tart
makes one 22cm tart
180g whole grain flour
120g + about 30g butter
60g + 3 tbsps. granulated sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. kirsch
2-3 tbsps. sliced almonds