Tag Archives: vegetarian

Coconut Brownies [vegan, gluten-free]

I feel like we’re apologizing all the time for abandoning the blog. Again we haven’t written in a while. Not only is Tiia’s laptop broken and she can’t edit pictures, I also had to install mine completely new  and some of the already edited pictures are gone. Still it won’t make much longer and we should really get at least one new one.

A lot has changed in the past months. A few weeks after we moved to Lüneburg I already found work in a lovely café. Now the summer is over but the October is starting with beautiful weather and 15°C. Perfect weather to enjoy some vegan treats!

The whole October Lüneburg is part of the event “Lüneburg is(s)t vegan” which means “Lüneburg is/eats vegan”. Tiia and I are also taking part, so today I want to post a recipe for a chocolate brownie that is also gluten-free.

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

These brownies are perfect for everybody who can’t eat gluten, sugar, dairy or eggs. They are completely made without any flour and to make them a bit sweet, dates are thrown into the mix. The recipe also doesn’t use any commercial butter or margarine – instead I made some from desiccated coconut.

The delicious brownie recipe is adapted from this blog. The original isn’t vegan and I actually tried half of the recipe using eggs but I didn’t really like the result. The brownies with egg weren’t really brownies but more like a fluffy chocolate cake and that wasn’t what I was looking for at that moment. With using flax eggs as a substitute the brownies turned out perfectly moist!

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

If you want to you can decorate the brownies with a vegan whipped cream or a berry mousse. I used some vegan whipping cream made from oats and added some blueberries.

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

Ingredients (4-6 pieces)

225 g desiccated coconut
5-8 pitted dates
50 g vegan dark chocolate
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax and 9 tbsp water)
sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
cacao nibs

100 ml vegan whipping cream (optional)
1 tbsp blueberries, frozen or fresh (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175°C and grease your tin or baking pan with coconut oil. I used cake rings for the brownies which made them quite big. You can also use a small springform or a square baking tin and cut the brownies a bit smaller later.

For preparing the flax eggs mix 3 tablespoons of ground flax with 9 tablespoons of water and set aside.

Start making the coconut butter by placing the coconut into a food processor and process until the coconut releases all its oils and turns into butter. Depending on your food processor this might take a while. Scrape down the sides once in a while but don’t give up! It will work out in the end. If you have a high speed blender this might not even be a problem.

Once you have coconut butter you can add the dates and blend until everything is smooth. Then add the flax eggs, chocolate, cacao powder, soda and a bit of sea salt and blend together. Incorporate the cacao nibs without grinding them. Transfer everything into the baking tin and smooth the top out with a silicone spatula. Bake for around 17 minutes. It might take a bit longer if you don’t use individual cake rings like I did! Let the brownies cool down completely before decorating.

For the blueberry whipped cream I first strained the thawed blueberries (you can also use fresh ones) through a fine sieve and whipped up my vegan oat cream with the blueberry juice. I formed little clouds between two teaspoons but you can just serve the cream in a bowl with the brownies or pipe it on top of the individual pieces. Enjoy!

Stef

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

 

Sahramipullat – Finnish Saffron Sweet Buns

Finnish Saffron Sweet Buns -- 2women2cats

My love for old fashioned baking continues. Saffron buns are something I have eaten all my life – first made by my grandma, then my mom and now me. Back in the days the way to make these was slightly different. Traditionally the buns weren’t made with almond flour, but I actually prefer the newer version, since pulla (sweet bun) is something eaten very often in Finland, and sometimes you just want some change in your life!

Finnish Saffron Sweet Buns -- 2women2cats

Saffron Sweet Buns (24 buns)

Ingredients

0,5 g saffron
1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar
150 g butter
250 ml milk
25 g yeast
100 g sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
50 g coarse almond flour
475 g plain white flour

some pearl sugar for decorating

Crush the saffron and sugar cube together in a mortar until it’s fine powder. Heat the butter and milk in a pan until the mixture is lukewarm (or a bit warmer, if you are using dried yeast) and add the saffron/sugar powder.

Crumble the yeast and add it to a bowl with the sugar and salt. Pour a bit of the warm butter/milk mixture on top and mix until the yeast is somewhat dissolved. Pour in the rest of the butter and milk mixture while stirring and add the rest of the ingredients. Start using your hands to knead the dough and continue kneading until it doesn’t stick to your fingers anymore. The dough should be stretchy and shiny. Cover the bowl with a cloth, place it in a warm spot and let it rest for 60-90 minutes until has more or less doubled in size.

Finnish Saffron Sweet Buns -- 2women2cats
Before resting time.

Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into 24 pieces. Knead each into little buns (another traditional way is to braid the dough) and roll the topside in a bowl with pearl sugar.  Put the buns on a tray and let them rest under a cloth for 30 minutes while you’re heating the oven to 225°C. Let them bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they have gotten slightly darker in colour.

Enjoy!

Tiia

Finnish Saffron Sweet Buns -- 2women2cats

Finnish Saffron Sweet Buns -- 2women2cats

Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

This year I wanted to try a few more vegan recipes, especially in baking. I saw these cookies on mywifemakes and immediately wanted to try them. They turned out to be delicious and I will definitely make them again. No one would ever guess they’re vegan and they are really easy to make! The raw dough still tasted a bit coconutty but I couldn’t taste any coconut flavour in the baked cookies. I also used my homemade peanut butter which is a really quick 1-ingredient recipe, while store bought jars often include extra oils, salt or sugar.

Ingredients

75 g virgin coconut oil, melted
110 g brown sugar
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
110 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt & some for sprinkling the cookies
80 g vegan chocolate
50 g hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 175°C, line a baking tray with parchment paper and roast the hazelnut for a few minutes.

To make the flax egg mix one tablespoon of ground flax seed with three tablespoons of water and set aside until it becomes gelatinous. In the meantime chop the nuts and the chocolate.

In a bowl whisk together the sugar, vanilla, coconut oil, peanut butter and flax egg. Add the flour, soda and baking powder and mix until everything is just incorporated. Then you can add the hazelnuts and the chocolate and carefully mix everything together. Drop the cookies with two spoons onto the tray or use your hands (I think hands are the easiest option) and flatten the cookies a bit. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake around 11-13 minutes. Let them cool down because they will be quite soft at first. Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

2women2cats: Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

2women2cats: Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade Peanut Butter

Yesterday I wanted to make some vegan chocolate chip cookies until I noticed that I didn’t have any peanut butter at home and of course that was needed for the recipe. I decided to quickly roast some peanuts and make my own.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Making your own peanut butter is the easiest thing ever, way better and cheaper than store bought one. Also no additives, salt, sugar or oil. For peanut butter you’ll only need peanuts, that’s it. Should be obvious but when you look at the back of peanut butter jars in the store you’ll often be surprised.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Ingredients

200 g peanuts (with skin or peeled)

Heat up your oven to around 175°C and gently roast the peanuts for a few minutes on a tray. Don’t let them get too dark, otherwise the peanut butter will be quite bitter. If you bought peanuts that still have the skin, you need to let them cool down a bit and take the skins off. If you bought already peeled ones you can go ahead and start processing the nuts in a food processor. Depending on the type this might take while. I don’t have a Vitamix (unfortunately), so I need to scrape down the sides every once in a while so everything will be mixed evenly. The peanuts will first turn into flour and eventually into butter when the oils are released. Take a deep breath, it will smell awesome! Continue processing until the texture suits you. Store in a jar in the fridge or eat immediately. Enjoy!

Stef

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the cookies I mentioned in the beginning: they turned out perfect and I will put up the recipe here soon.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Eggless Eggnog

I actually don’t remember if I ever had a proper eggnog. Many years ago a good friend of mine made an eggless eggnog when we stayed Christmas in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt, where we had been for excavations. She didn’t want to use raw eggs because we already had managed to get salmonella from raw cookie dough a month prior to Christmas, so they were out of the question. While salmonella is not so much of a problem in Finland, I still wanted to stick with an eggless eggnog recipe. After realizing that I don’t really drink cow milk anymore either, I decided to make it completely vegan.

If you don’t want to have a vegan eggnog but keep it eggless nonetheless, you could also switch the almond milk for a full fat cow milk and use normal whipping cream.

2women2cats: Vegan Eggnog

2women2cats: Vegan Eggnog

Ingredients (makes 2-3 portions)

1 cup almond milk
2/3 cup soy whipping cream (I used Alpro Soya)
1/3 cup muscovado sugar
vanilla bean extract or fresh vanilla bean
1 heaped tsp corn starch
fresh nutmeg

Rum or brandy (optional)

Take a tbsp of the almond milk and mix it with the corn starch. Set aside and heat the rest of the milk on medium heat with the vanilla. I added empty vanilla pods to give the milk a nice flavour. You can now add the sugar. How much you’ll need depends if you use a sweetened milk or not, so add a bit more than 1/3 cup if it’s not sweet enough for you. When the milk starts to simmer add the cornstarch/milk mixture to thicken it up. Take it off the heat and start whipping the soy cream. Keep a few spoons for decorating the eggnog later and gently stir the rest of the cream under the almond milk mixture. Let it cool down in the fridge (or outside if it’s cold enough). Add rum or brandy to your eggnog or leave it like it is. Pour in glasses, scoop a bit of cream on top and decorate with some freshly ground nutmeg! Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Vegan Eggnog

2women2cats: Vegan Eggnog