Saturday, 8 July 2017

Blueberry raw cheesecake bites


 Good day from Steamboat, Colorado! After months of self work and all sorts of sojourns in the jungles and high altitude paradises of Central America, Delicananda travel fever has brought me to the land of plenty. I am so grateful to have found a wonderful place in Steamboat Springs to take my cooking and baking adventures further and finally get to spend long hours in the kitchen again. And even though Steamboat has an insane amount of wonderful outdoor activities to offer, I've found myself stuck in the kitchen more often than not. I've just missed cooking and baking so much that all else comes second. But I have managed to get my butt to some yoga classes and hikes, and even some wonderful 4th of July camping and river shenanigans. So all hope of making me into a river rat isn't lost. But you wanted some yummies, I hear? Let's get on with it!

Combing through the backlog of stuff I've made in the first couple of days, I chose to start the sharing with these cutesy little things. I wanted to ease my way back into the wonderful land of raw treats with a recipe that wasn't too demanding or didn't require a ridiculous amount of equipment or fancy ingredients. And what with gobbling up all blueberries I could get my hands on after being deprived of my favourite berry for so long, this lovely recipe from one of my favourite blogs Comfy belly was an almost self-evident way to get the raw ball rolling again, so to say.

I halved the recipe and made some modifications, and used a loaf pan to make the cake. You could use a springform, or whatever suits your fancy. I chose to cut the deliciousness into small bite size pieces, but you could make bars, or use cookie cutters to make little hearts or unicorns or whatever your heart desires. The choices are endless :)

The base was a tad too sweet for my liking, but everyone else seemed to think it was wonderful. So, if your sweet tooth isn't as sweet, you could get away with less maple syrup. I also added a middle layer of lightly salted and roasted seeds for extra crunch and a tad of saltiness, which I always love and adore in my sweets. I made cashew yoghurt at the same time with the cake, so the amount of cashews called for in this recipe is the soaked amount, and since I sadly still haven't figured out how much cashews expand when soaked, I can't really tell how much dry cashews you should use. But that's the wonderful thing about raw baking: you're not going to have a disaster in your hands even if you use a slightly different amount of ingredients. Something I really appreciate especially after my first few attempts at regular baking in high altitude that turned out... well, interesting ;). Trial and error, eh?


Blueberry raw cheesecake

Base

1 c almond meal

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cacao powder

3 tbsp maple syrup 

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted


Middle layer

roasted and lightly salted pumpkin and sunflower seeds 


Cake layer

1,3 c soaked cashews

0,4 dl (a bit over a half of 1/3 cup :D) coconut oil, melted

0,4 dl lime juice 

dash of salt

2,5 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Topping

fresh blueberries 


Mix all base ingredients in a bowl. Adjust sweetness if necessary. Pat the dough into a pan of choice.

Sprinkle seeds on top.

Blend all cake layer ingredients until smooth. Spread onto the base.

Sprinkle blueberries on top and press lightly into the cake mass.

Freeze until set (4-ish hours), cut up and gobble up!
  

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The best gluten free crispy bread


Crispy and crunchy has always had a certain appeal for me. Biting through a tower of wonderful toppings to end up with a satisfying crunch in the end is a fine thing indeed. Here's one of my absolutely favourite crispy bread recipes. It is ridiculously easy to make, and endlessly variable. Just use any (gluten free) flour combination (if you use gram or coconut flour, you might need to add some more liquid), any nut/seed combo and any spices. Did I say endless varieties? It's true!

I don't quite remember where the original recipe came from, but I  do remember it was made with all corn flour. A corny version (see what I did there? ;)) is also super yummy, but like said, experiment and see which flour combination floats your boat.


Delicananda's go-to crispy bread

2 dl gluten free flour 

0,5 dl pumpking seeds

0,5 dl sesame seeds

0,75 dl sunflower seeds

0,5 dl linseeds

0,5 dl olive oil

2,5 dl boiling water

1 tsp salt or 0,5 tsp salt and some salt sprinkled on top before baking

spices (I often use turmeric, curry, ginger, cinnamon or chili. Or all of them)


Mix together all dry ingredients. Add oil and boiling water. Mix into a spreadable dough. Pat onto a baking tray lined with baking sheet with your hands (I use gloves for this) or spread with a spoon. Spread into an even and thin layer. Bake in 150-160 degrees for 40-50 min. Cover with aluminum foil in the end if the bread isn't yet crispy but is starting to look a little too brown. Let cool, break into portion sizes and gobble up :)




Friday, 30 September 2016

Fish cakes with Awesomesauce



I love and adore fish. In (almost) all shapes and sizes. It's a little tricky to get my hands on the good stuff here in Berlin, though, which is a shame. On the other hand, then I don't feel it to be such a sacrilege to chop the fishy into tiny bits of mush. Like in this fish cake recipe.

I've been pretty sceptical about fish cakes in general since I had some in the University which were so appallingly bad that it almost put me off them for good. I've had better luck since, but they still hadn't become a favourite. This recipe does tip the scales to the other direction, namely the direction of awesomeness, though!

And since it's me and I love to bury everything under a delicious puddle of sauce, this recipe wouldn't be anything without the home made sriracha mayo. You can also buy both parts, the sriracha (which is a chili sauce for those who think it sounds like something of a Cthulhu monster. Cthulhu also doesn't ring a bell? Well, never mind. It's a chili sauce, yeah? That's all you need to know. Sriracha, I mean. Not Cthulhu. But I'm sure you catch my drift...) and the mayo, or you can make either or both yourself. I decided to take the homemade road, since I didn't want any additives or processed sugar in my sauce, and boy did it turn out DELISH! The only slight disappointment was the not-so-spiciness of the chilis I used. Make sure you choose properly hot ones to get more kick, or leave (at least some of) the seeds in.

The sriracha takes time to cool, so if you're making it yourself (Do try! It's soooo good!), either make it beforehand or take a small portion and stick it into the freezer for a little while to cool it down enough to be mixed with the mayo.


Fish cakes with superawesome sriracha mayo


Cake recipe again from the lovely Syötävän hyvä, Sriracha from Nomnompaleo and mayo from Herkkusuun lautasella

makes about 6 cakes


Cakes

ca. 400 g salmon

half of a red bell pepper (ca. 1 dl of cubes)

6 tbsp almond meal

1 egg

1/2 tsp soy sauce / tamari

1 tsp lemon juice

a dash of garlic powder

generously salt


Sriracha 

(I made half a portion, but here's the whole recipe)


700 g fresh red jalapeno peppers / chilis, stemmed seeded and roughly chopped

8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 1/2 tsp salt


Mayo

1 egg

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 dl neutral oil (I used sunflower)

some white pepper

some salt



To serve: mayonnaise, sriracha (or other chili sauce), rucola/salad, avocado, sesame seeds


Prepare sriracha and mayo first, or use shop bought.

Sriracha

Prep chilies. Pro tip: use gloves. Throw all ingredients into a high speed blender. Puree until smooth or leave a little chunkier, as you please. Pour into a saucepan/skillet, bring to boil. Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 5-10 min, stirring occasionally. By cooking the sauce we strengthen the flavour and cut the sharpness of raw garlic. Once the foam subsides, the sauce should be bright red and you shouldn't be able to detect any raw veggie smell. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer into sterilized glass jars (sterilize by soaking in boiling water for a minute or so) and let cool. If you're using it straight away with the fish cakes, take out a small portion and stick it into the freezer while you make the mayo.



Mayo

Pour all ingredients except the oil into a stick mixer jar. Keep the mixer in the bottom of the jar, start mixing and pour in the oil in a thin trickle while mixing. When the mayo is done, adjust taste. I added a little more mustard.

Cakes

Make sure to buy a de-skinned fish fillet, or remove skin by yourself if you know how. Chop salmon into small cubes either with a knife or give it a couple of pulses in a food processor. Try to leave it a bit chunky though, so don't blitz it into a puree.

Chop the pepper into small cubes, the smaller the better. I had slightly more cubes than 1 dl, and the cakes turned out great.

Mix the "dough" and pat into flat cakes. I don't remember how many I made, but the recipe says it should be roughly six.

Cook in butter/oil for about 3-4 mins per side. Watch out not to overcook, since no one likes dry salmon.

Mix about 3 tbsp of mayo with 1 tbsp of sriracha, or do a mixture that better suits your taste buds. Serve cakes with mayo, rucola and avocado. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Done!





Friday, 2 September 2016

Fudgy vegan brownies with a secret




I don't think there's a person on this earth who doesn't like brownies. Or if there is (and the reason isn't chocolate or histamin intolerance), there must be something wrong with them. Or well, I don't want to be mean, so I take it back. You're allowed to dislike brownies (and that means there's more for me!) But at least I love and adore them in all shapes and sizes. I'm also very picky when it comes to The Perfect Brownie. Dry baked goods suck and brownies make no exception to the rule. I'm also very interested in using my baked goods to smuggle all sorts of veggies to unsuspecting customers, muahaha.

I have a vaque recollection of doing a beetroot chocolate cake in the "good old" GlutenSugar days, at least I've had it on my agenda for a while. But now I decided to try it as the first treat I made for a wonderful café I've been baking for a bit over a month now, Lykke. They cater for all sorts of special diet people so I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to bake for them and practice my skills without having to eat everything myself.




The recipe for these babies is from Unconventional baker, a wonderful blog for us who'd like our cakes without any conventional ingredients but still absolutely yummy. The first batch of the brownies that I fed to my girlfriends was a little too dense and smooth to my liking, plus the taste of beets was a bit too overpowering. And I managed to mess up the topping and it separated... It still tasted good but required a generous dusting with cocoa powder to make things photo worthy.

I changed things around a bit for the café version, replacing the beet boiling water with almond milk and adding chopped almonds into the batter for some texture. The result was much better, and it does say "fudgy brownies", not "fluffy brownies" in the recipe... They are dense, but super mega yummy, and I'll take a dense brownie against a dry one any day. Give them a go!




Fudgy beet brownies


Base

1/2 c wholemeal rice flour

6 tbsp sticky rice flour

1/4 c tapioca flour

1/4 tsp guar gum / xanthan gum

1/2 c cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 c cooked beet puree

1 c maple syrup/other sweetener

1/2 c almond milk/other non-dairy milk (or beet water)

1 tbsp vanilla

chopped almonds/nuts


Topping

1 c non-dairy chocolate (chips or chopped block chocolate, preferably sugar free)

1/4 c margarine

(salt, if using unsalted margarine)

1/4 c almond milk/other non-dairy milk (or beet water)

(1/2 tsp amond extract, if you can get your hands on it. I couldn't)

cocoa powder for dusting


Heat oven to 175 C. Grease a 20 x 30 cm baking tray (or something roughly similar).

Make the beet puree first: plop beets into a kettle full of water and boil until soft. You can peel them before boiling of after, your call. Puree the boiled peets in a blender. Add a splash of beet boiling water to help things along, but don't thin out the puree too much, it needs to be nice and thick.

Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in all remaining base ingredients except chopped almonds and mix everything with a mixer to combine. Fold in chopped almonds. Pour into prepared baking pan and level the top with a spatula to smooth out the batter.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry(ish). Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the chocolate topping by placing all ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Warm the mixture carefully on a double boiler and mix occasionally until everything is smooth and uniform. Once the brownie base has cooled a little, pour this mixture thinly and evenly over the brownies (use a spatula to spread it around evenly as needed). Allow the brownies to chill a little by placing them in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, once the tray has cooled enough to go in the fridge. This will allow the topping to get absorbed into the brownies, and that's when the magic happens.

Dust with some cocoa powder, cut into squares or hearts or dinosaurs or or or... and dig in :)

I knew I'd find a use to the dusting stencil I bought from Ikea way back when!



Zucchini noodle avocado sauce mush


Yes yes, I know. This dish has become such a cliché in food blogs, but since I don't give a damn about such things (plus I want to jot it down before it gets lost in the sea of recipes I have bookmarked), here goes.

I love love love zucchini spaghetti and finally decided to "splurge" and get a gadget for making the said delicacy. I had a julienne peeler before but was never really satisfied with the quality of the strips it produced, they were too thin for my liking. This new baby which cost all of 12 euros if I remember correctly delivers! No, it's not a spiralizer, but it takes much less space in my teeny tiny kitchen and the price was a definite bonus.




And it produces the cutest cones ever! Awww...

I found the recipe in Paleo Cupboard and the result was just absolutely amazingly scrumptious. The avocado sauce had exactly the right amount of flavour, although I think I used a little less garlic than the recipe, since I'm still getting used to it again after omitting it from my diet for quite a while due to sensitivities. But feel free to use all 3 cloves if you want yours more garlicky. You can either serve the noodles raw or cook them. I love them both ways but this time I cooked them and the result was really really good. So, anyway you go, you can't go wrong.

The pics also don't really do this dish justice. I wringed my poor zucchinis to within an inch of their lives while  trying to get the excess liquid out and didn't believe the recipe when it called for 6 large zucchinis, so the result is more a mush under a mush than noodles with a sauce. But hey, I'm always of the opinion that there can never be too much sauce and am known to drown all sorts of innocent cakes in something liquid and sweet, so I had no complaints. If you want a more photogenic dish, do as I say, not as I do. Yes? :) But now: Let me present: Miss Avocado meets Mr Zucchini, falls in love and decides it never wants to be separated from him ever again, aka Mush. Enjoy!




Zucchini noodles with avocado cream sauce


6 large zucchinis (yes it seems like a lot but they lose a lot of volume when squeezed)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp oil


Sauce 

2 large avocados, peeled and pitted

1/4 cup packed basil leaves

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 cloves of garlic, minced (or less, I think I had 2 small ones)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice


Julienne or spiral slice your zucchini and place in a strainer over a larger bowl or in the sink. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the zucchini and toss to coat. Allow the zucchini to sit for 15-20 minutes to allow excess liquid to drain. After the zucchini has drained, wrap it in a few paper towels and squeeze gently (don't wring it to death) to remove any remaining moisture. Wrap again in fresh paper towels and leave on the counter until ready to cook.

To make the sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. 

Note: If serving raw, stop here and serve the sauce on top of the noodles.

To cook the noodles, pour oil in a large skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sauce and toss with the noodles to coat. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until heated through, then serve.




Saturday, 23 July 2016

Sweet potato boats with delicious cargo




So, I have a confession to make: sometimes I cheat on coconut with the other love of my life, sweet potato. Give me fries, wedges, brownies, mash - anything goes, as long as it's orange. This dish is a true ode to that wonderful root vegetable. It is again from Outi Rinne's wonderful book Mieliruoka and cooked to (almost) perfection in my mom's kitchen. The boats carry a truly nutrious cargo of quinoa, black beans, tomatoes in two forms and a wonderful array of spices. Absolutely delicious!

I roasted way too much of the sweet potatoes, so the rest of them I mushed and smuggled into a batch of cookies I promise to share with you later. Watch this space! :) And really, there's no such a thing as too much sweet potato. You can put it anywhere: bake into bread rolls, make brownies or cookies, just eat it as is, make veggie patties, paint the walls with it, marry it... The choices are endless. Or if in doubt, just ship it over to me and I'll make short work of it ;)

I also put a little too much of the sundried tomatoes in, since I thought the "6" that's called for in the recipe means 6 whole tomatoes, and my sundrieds were halves. But I think 6 halves would have been more than enough since they do lend a very "dark" and pungent-y sour taste to the filling.  

These babies are really yummy by themselves, but once again, like in the lentil watermelon salad, the mint vinaigrette makes a real change. Sooo fresh and yummy! Also a nice salad would be great as a side dish, if you want to have more greens with your orange. 



Sweet potato boats


2 small plump or 4 skinnier sweet potatoes

coconut or sesame oil


Filling

1 dl quinoa

1 tin (285 g) black beans

6 sundried tomatoes

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1/2 onion, grated

1 clove of garlic

grated zest and juice of 1/2 organic lemon/lime

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp coriander powder

black pepper to taste

1/2-1 tsp salt

3 tbsp cacao nibs (I didn't have these so left them out)

1 tsp smoked bell pepper powder (mom can't deal with bell peppers so left this out)

2 dl soft innards of sweet potatoes 

For garnishing: fresh coriander




Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes clean under flowing tap water. Split in four wedges lengthwise (or in 2 wedges if the sweet potatoes are very skinny). Give the wedges a nice oil massage and roast in the oven for about 30 min or until they are soft and done.

Meawhile: prepare the filling. Cook quinoa according to the directions in the package. Grate lemon/lime zest, garlic and onion in a large bowl. Grate also the fresh tomatoes (best to halve the tomatoes and grate with the cut surface facing the grater). Pat the excess oil out of the sundried tomatoes with kitchen roll and chop the tomatoes, add into the bowl. When the quinoa has cooked, drain it well and add 2 dl in the bowl. If there's something left over, save it for other use. Add the remaining filling ingredients in the bowl (not the lemon juice or the sweet potato meat, since it's still in the  oven (d'oh!)). Mix.

Take the soft and lovely sweet potatoes out of the oven. Scrape the innards out of the boats carefully, so that there will be a hole where you can put the filling. I didn't manage to do this very well and we ended up having just filling on sweet potato skins, mainly :P. Equally delicious but not as pretty. Add the scraped out sweet potato innards/meat/flesh or whatever it's called (2 dl or more of it) into the bowl. Check the flavour and add lemon/lime juice if needed. Spoon the filling into the awaiting boats and finish with fresh coriander.

Serve with mint vinaigrette. Devour.


Sunday, 17 July 2016

Coconut bacon aka. the most awesomesauce thing ever



So, I made a salad. And it called for an interesting sounding topping, namely coconut bacon. Say what, you say? My thoughts exactly. Coconut that tastes like bacon? Well, why not. And since I'm a complete coconut junkie anyway, another way to prepare the delicious thing didn't sound like a bad idea at all.

So, after scoring some smoked bell pepper powder on the nearby Boxi farmer's market (where I end up spending all my money every Saturday) there was nothing that could stop me from trying out this weird but wonderful sounding thing.

And, oh my Gods... I mean, really. I cannot even.... Well, let me try. You know those moments, where you don't quite know how to describe the noise of pure pleasure that comes our of your mouth when it encounters something ultra specially delicious. No? Is it just me? Well, I moaned, giggled, laughed and groaned. All at once. And many tines. One might have thought there was someone else with me in the kitchen than just food and me, but no, it was just a foodgasm. Ridiculously overwhelmingly wonderful, this thing. Crunchy, sweet, salty, smoky, aaaargh just so good.

You really really need to make this. Really. You will regret it if you don't. I mean it. Do you need me to go on? OK, I'll shut up now. Here's the recipe. Thank you, Outi!



Coconut bacon

3 dl


3 dl coconut chips (the nice chunky ones)

1 tbsp tamari / organic soy sauce

1 tbsp maple syrup

3 drops of liquid smoke + 1 tsp bell pepper powder OR 

1 tsp smoked bell pepper powder

1 tsp olive oil


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Spread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Warm the oven to 75 degrees and roast the chips until they're completely dry. Toss and turn them once in a while (and take some samples. You know you want to.) If you're lucky enough to have a dehydrator, you can also dry the chips there. Or in a 45 degree oven overnight (leave the oven door cracked open a little). 

Store in an airtight box if there's some left. Which I highly doubt.