It’s been a while since my last post … again, I know. To those of you who are interested why: most of my time I was working in the lab during the past year and therefore did not have so much time to spend on baking and especially taking pictures and writing down recipes. Now that I got my Bachelor’s degree and finished my internship in another lab, I have a few weeks of free time until continuing my studies with a Master’s program in Berlin. Yep, that’s right, I’m moving to Berlin and I am freaking excited about it! Living in a big city again after nine years since I moved away from Yokohama is something I am so looking forward to!
But more importantly, I have more time to spend in the kitchen again! In fact, I am sitting in our flat’s kitchen in this very moment as I am finally typing a blogpost again. And next to me, there is this beautiful cake standing on the kitchen table, waiting to be devoured …
For my Farewell-Party at the Institute I baked a few things – no big surprise here probably – and one of these things was this delicious mint-glazed lemon cake. In my opinion, this is the perfect summer cake (apart from fruit tarts maybe), with it’s tangy citrus notes and refreshing coolness of the mint. On top of that, it’s super simple to make, only a little grating of lemon zest, adding a handful of other ingredients, glazing the cake after baking and that’s it! As some of my former colleagues really liked this cake, I baked it again for my flatmates (and for taking some pictures :)). Being worthy of a blogpost, I considered this cake, so here it is – the recipe for you, if you want to bake and enjoy a bite of this treat as well :)
|Mint-glazed Lemon Cake || vegan
recipe adapted from Bored But Busy
makes one 20cm loaf
100g vegan butter (I like to use organic Alsan) + a little more for greasing the baking pan
160g cane sugar
250g wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 medium-sized lemons (if using very large lemons, 1 1/2 should be enough: the zest and juice of one lemon for the cake, and juice of 1/2 lemon for the icing)
140g icing sugar
2 tbsps. mint liquor
15 small to medium-sized mint leaves + more for decoration
I’ve been looking for a good vegan cookie recipe for ages. Chocolate Chip Cookies are such a simple, wonderful treat which one could expect to be foolproof to make.
Well – wrong expectations, I had. Ever since I started eating mostly vegan, I tried a LOT of chocolate chip cookie recipes which all turned out to be not so nice. Rock-hard cookies, crispy but not chewy ones, chewy but not crispy ones, … not satisfying. Until finally, I found this recipe here by chance. It’s a recipe for double chocolate chip cookies with cocoa-dough and chocolate chips. As I prefer vanilla-scented dough with chocolate chunks, I changed the recipe slightly – and those cookies turned out to be perfect (at least for my taste). Slightly crispy at the edges, chewy in the middle, a sweet hint of vanilla and big chunks of bittersweet chocolate.
If that’s your idea of a perfect cookie as well, you should try baking these. They’re super quick to make and really satisfying when you’re craving something sweet to accompany your coffee :)
| Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies || vegan
(recipe adapted from VITA)
makes about 20 large cookies
400g raw cane sugar
a pinch of salt
300g vegan butter (at room temperature)
about 2 tbsps. vanilla
50g soy milk (unsweetened)
17g baking powder
200g good quality vegan chocolate, chopped roughly
As part of the latest Restaurant Day, kawaii kitchen had its second pop-up bakery at Lindener Markt in Hanover last weekend. Again, it was a blast. Lots of planning, baking and not so much sleep – and then a cold but wonderfully sunny, beautiful morning at the market. This time, I served Macarons au Chocolat, Macarons a la Vanille and an assortment of vegan Cupcakes:
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with (vegan) cream cheese frosting and plum filling, Lemon and Rosemary Cupcakes, Hazelnut Gianduja Cupcakes, Chocolate Mint Cupcakes and just in time for Valentine’s Day, Rose & Marzipan Cupcakes.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera with me, so all I can show you now is a few snapshots my boyfriend (or I) took in a hurry with my cellphone, sorry about that!
It was another great experience, it made me really happy that several people remembered me from last Restaurant Day and came along for some sweet treats again! But there were also a few (vegan) people complaining about my non-vegan macarons. Making vegan macarons is something I’ve been trying for at least half a year now, unfortunately without any success. I searched the internet and tried several recipes including meringue made from flax seeds or a mixture of starches and plant protein, but nothing really worked out well so far. Do you have any idea how to make vegan macarons? I’d be really glad about some helpful comments :)
Hopefully I can serve vegan macarons on the next Restaurant Day! Until then – hope you guys had a nice Valentine’s Day as well!
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)