Thursday, 28 July 2011

Emma and Genevieve try out old and new recipes

Banana loaf and slightly grilled cookies (oops...)
This afternoon, Genevieve, a friend from the Lishi (tai chi) class at the university came over to listen to Beatles records, have a tour of our new house and meet some of the resident spiders. Oh yes, and most importantly of all, to bake cake! First, we made a banana loaf which a friendly cake baker called Melina recommended to me through a vegetarian/vegan couchsurfing group. Melina says that this one is her favourite, plus, cakes are a great way to use up very ripe bananas. And the end result was yummylicious! Genevieve and I also made some coconut and cashew cookies. These are from a recipe which contains egg, and up til now I've just cheated and used egg replacer because I was scared of messing up the cookies... Today, though, we used flaxseed (a great source of Omega 3 which can be added to anything you may be cooking) and my fears turned out to be unfounded; the cookies taste great! Anyhow, without further ado, on with the recipes... :)

Melina's banana cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Mix together the following ingredients: 225g soya/vegetable spread, 250g sugar or agave syrup, 2-3 very ripe bananas, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp baking powder.
  • Next stir in 250g flour (Melina recommends a mix of dinkel and amaranth flour).
  • Finally, stir in (optional) 50g crushed walnuts and 25g chocolate pieces (we used cacao nibs and came to the conclusion that whilst slightly odd on their own, they're not so bad in cake).
  • Pour into loaf/cake tins.
  • As a finishing touch, Melina adds a few clove heads, spread evenly across the top.

Coconut and cashew cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Cream together 150g vegetable/soya spread with 135g sugar.
  • Mix 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water (This is roughly equivalent to 1 egg. There are various other ways of replacing egg, like with banana for example. If in doubt, Google it!) and add to the sugar mix.
  • Stir in 150g self raising flour (if you don't have self raising, just add 1 tsp baking powder for every 75g).
  • Next, add 100g dessicated or grated creamed coconut (either works well, it just depends what kind of texture you want), 2 tsp ground ginger (optional) and 200g cashews.
  • Add small balls of mixture (it'll be fairly sticky) to a greased baking tray and bake for around 15 minutes.
  • Eat!

Recipe source for banana loaf: Melina (Thanks!)
Recipe source for cookies: Vegetarian Nosh 4 Students (This book has some really great recipes, although a lot of them do contain quite a bit of cheese.)

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