Thursday, December 30, 2010

True Norwegian Black Chili

Ein unglaublich gutes Rezept von den weltbesten Norwegern, die wir in Paris kennengelernt haben. Jedes Mal, wenn wir es machen, denken wir an sie und sind glücklich. Für 3-4 Personen.

This is an incredibly good recipe from the most wonderful norwegians that we met in Paris. Each time we make it, we think of them and are happy. Serves 3-4.

Zubereitungszeit: 1 Stunde

Preparation time: 1 hour
Suggested Music: Watch the documentary "True norwegian black metal" by


Man muss sich hier nicht exakt an die Mengenangaben halten, und es ist nicht tragisch, wenn das ein oder andere Gewürz fehlt. 

  • 1 EL Olivenöl
  • 3 Zwiebeln, fein gewürfelt
  • 2 Dosen gestückelte Tomaten
  • 150 mL Rotwein
  • Saft einer halben Zitrone
  • 1 EL frischer Dill, gehackt 
  • 1 EL frische Petersilie, gehackt
  • 1 Dose rote Kidneybohnen
  • 1 Dose kleine weiße Bohnen (oder sonstige Bohnen)
  • 150 g Cashews, gesalzen oder nicht ist egal
  • 100 g Sojagranulat
  • 1/2 EL gemahlener schwarzer Pfeffer
  • 175 g Tomatenmark
  • 2 Knoblauchzehen, fein gehackt
  • 2 TL gemahlener Kreuzkümmel
  • 1 TL Chili (das ist abhängig vom verwendeten Chili!!)
  • 1 EL Senf
  • Salz nach Geschmack
  • 1/2 EL getrockneter Basilikum
  • 1/2 EL getrockneter Oregano
  • 1 kleines Glas/Dose schwarze Oliven (am besten ohne Stein)
  • 20 g dunkle oder Zartbitter-Schokolade
  • 1 TL Zimt


Feel free to mix the ingredients freehand, and don't worry if you're missing any of the herbs or only have dried ones, etc. It will work out fine.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 150 mL red wine
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can small white beans (or mix any other beans in that you like)
  • 150 g cashews, salted or not
  • 100 g granulated soy (Sojagranulat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 175 g tomato purée
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (depending on your chili!)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 small can black olives
  • 20 g dark or semi-dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

What to do:

In einem großen Topf (notfalls zwei nehmen) das Olivenöl erhitzen. Die Zwiebeln darin dünsten, bis sie weich und leicht durchsichtig sind.

In a very large saucepan or pot (use two, if in doubt), heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions until tender and transparent.

Tomaten, Rotwein, Zitronensaft, Dill, Petersilie und Bohnen dazugeben. Durchrühren und fünf Minuten köcheln lassen.

Add tomatoes, red wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley, and beans. Stir well and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Cashews und Sojagranulat hinzugeben, außerdem Pfeffer, Tomatenmark, Knoblauch, Kreuzkümmel, Chili, Senf, Salz, Basilikum und Oregano.

Add cashews and granulated soy, followed by pepper, tomato purée, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, salt, basil, and oregano.

Schließlich Oliven, Schokolade und Zimt hinzugeben. 20-30 Minuten köcheln lassen.

Add the olives, chocolate and cinnamon. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Kann so serviert werden, mit etwas Brot. Wenn vorhanden, sind gewürfelte oder mit der Gabel zerdrückte Avocados extrem lecker.

You can serve it as it is, with a little bread. If available, diced or mashed avocados are very delicious.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Seven at one stroke

Since I became vegan, I did not continue the traditional pre-christmas baking sessions with my mother, but tried some recipes with friends instead. It was nice, but something was missing. Besides, in France, making christmas cookies does not seem to be as common as in Germany. My mother mentioned that her parisian au pair host family (in the sixties!) was quite amazed when she brought german christmas cookies, or, as we call them here, Gutsle. This year, my mother and me started a vegan christmas cookie session. We made seven different kinds in one day. They make perfect little christmas gifts.

Most of the recipes are online, but only in german, so I am sharing them here. Two of them (Kokoskugeln and Zimtsterne) are naturally gluten-free. Our strategy was to prepare the Zimtsterne and let them dry. In the meantime, we prepared all the other doughs and put them in the fridge.

Then we rolled out and baked all those cookies, and the Zimtsterne in the end. So I will not mention to preheat the oven ;-) Generally: Take the cookies out of the oven, when you can lift them from the baking paper. In the evening, we decorated them.

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon stars)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.
Gluten free!

  • 350 g ground almonds
  • 200 g confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 100-150 g confectioners' sugar + lemon juice (or water) for icing

What to do:
  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar and mix with almonds and cinnamon.
  2. Add lemon juice and form a dough by adding water. It should not be too dry and not totally sticky.
  3. Roll out the dough on baking paper, about 1 cm thickness. Cut out stars and let them dry at room temperature for 3-5 hours.
  4. Bake at 250 °C for 3-5 min. They are still very soft when the come from the oven, but do not allow them to become black!
  5. After cooling, make a thick icing with the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and decorate the stars.

Pfefferkuchenplätzchen (Gingerbread cookies)
Recipe from my grandmother, veganized; it's not really gingerbread, as there is no ginger in it... but I can't find a better word.

  • 250 g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (1/4 of a german or french package, which I think contains 11 g)
  • 190 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy flour
  • 6 tablespoons plant milk
  • 95 g agave syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons starch
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 65 g ground almonds
  • 60 g margarine
  • about 150 g confectioners' sugar + lemon juice for icing 

What to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a dough. Chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  2. Roll out the dough about 5 mm thick. Cut out cookies and bake at 175 °C for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. After cooling, decorate with relatively thin layer of confectioners' sugar + lemon juice mixture.

Heidesand-Plätzchen (Heather sand cookies)
(Or maybe Moor sand cookies. Or even Heathen sand cookies. I don't know where the name originates...)
Original recipe at VEBU.

  • 375 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 250 g margarine
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (+ a bit of plant milk, if dough becomes too dry)
  • next time I make them, I would add a bit of vanilla or something more... tasty ;-)

What to do:
  1. Mix flour, sugar, and margarine to form a firm, but flexible dough. Place half of it in the fridge.
  2. To the other half, add the cocoa powder (+ plant milk if necessary), and place in the fridge.
  3. When both are chilled, roll them out to the same size. Place on on top of each other and roll them up together. Chill again.
  4. Cut into thin slices. Bake at 180 °C for 15-20 minutes.

Zitronenherzen (Lemon hearts)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.

  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g margarine
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy flour
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • confectioners' sugar + lemon juice for icing

What to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients to form a dough and chill for one hour in the fridge.
  2. Roll out to 3-4 mm thickness. 
  3. Cut out cookies and bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 °C.
  4. Prepare icing from confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and decorate.

Bauernküchle (Little peasants' cookies)
Recipe from my grandmother, veganized.

  • 250 g margarine
  • 125 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy flour
  • 4 tablespoons plant milk
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • 400 g flour
  • a bit of ground almonds and sugar for rolling the cookies in
  • jam for filling (we used raspberry jam)

What to do:
  1. Mix the ingredients for the dough and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
  2. Form walnut-sized balls and roll them in the almond-sugar mixture. If it does not stick, dip the balls in water before.
  3. Place the balls on a baking tray and make a hole in the middle. Fill the hole with jam.
  4. Bake at 175 °C for about 18 minutes.

Kokoskugeln (Coconut balls)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.
Gluten free!

  • 200 g coconut flakes
  • 130 g sugar
  • 90 g margarine
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds (optional)

What to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients to form a dough.
  2. Bake at 175 °C for about 15 minutes.

Marzipan-Schoko-Plätzchen (Almond paste chocolate cookies)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.

  • 160 g flour
  • 75 g sugar
  • 65 g margarine
  • 40 mL plant milk
  • 150 g almond paste
  • 200 g semisweet chocolate

What to do:
  1. Mix flour, sugar, margarine and milk to form a dough. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Roll out dough and cut out your favorite shape; don't use a complicated one.
  3. Bake at 160 °C for about 12 minutes.
  4. Roll out the almond paste and cut out pieces in the same shape.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a water bath.
  6. Place one piece of almond on a cookie. If you have some leftover icing from decorating the other cookies, you can "glue" them together with a drop.
  7. Coat top and sides of cookies with chocolate; place on a sheet of baking paper to dry.
(We accidentally made sandwiches of cookie-almond paste-cookie - that works as well...)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Arabesque tea

The fabulous Bierkeller in Tübingen served for a long time my absolute favorite winter drink: Arabesque tea. Of course they did not reveal their exact recipe, but the ingredients are easy, there is not much that can go wrong.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Suggested music: Azam Ali (for example this song)

Ingredients (for 1 glass of tea):
  • 300 mL water
  • 1 mint tea bag
  • some mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry syrup
  • brown sugar (optional)

What to do:
  1. Bring the water to a boil and pour in a glass with the mint tea bag. 
  2. Wash the mint leaves and add into the glass.
  3. Squeeze the lime and add the juice to the tea. You can also make the caipirinha-like version and add pieces of the lime to the tea directly.
  4. Add the strawberry syrup. The exact amount depends on the sweetness of your syrup, and if it is sufficiently strawberry-flavored, but still too sour, add some brown sugar.
  5. After 10 minutes, remove the tea bag and enjoy.

Vive la France végétalienne!

At the Paris Vegan Day, VG-Zone sold a cake that they called Caribbean Sponge Cake. It was extremely delicious and I was amazed that one could create such a beautiful, perfect cake just like that at home. Reading the comments on their entry about the Vegan Day, I found out that the recipe was on their website, with just a few changes. Some little crazy voice in my head told me to try making it. With half the amount of the ingredients. Only a tiny, tiny cake. And - what can I say - praise VG-Zone! Really! It worked very well, and I now have a beautiful and tasty Caribbean Sponge Cake, size XS.

The recipe is online, but in french, therefore I will translate it and add my comments. (A friend told me about a Google translation to german which included a coal-burning power plant and a plastic hair brush... something tells me this can't lead to the correct cake...) I am sorry for the quality of the photos, but this was a very spontaneous action and I do have no space and bad lighting.

This is the original recipe for the dough. (I made half of that recipe.)
This is the original recipe for the filling and assembly, if you replace absinth by rum and leave out the black color. (I made 1/4 of the filling.)

Preparation time: the day before: 1 hour for the dough, 5 minutes for the raisins; the day of assembly: about 1 hour, probably less.
Suggested music: 8 femmes soundtrack (for example this song)

  • 16 cm diameter pastry ring or round baking pan
  • rolling pin
  • parchment paper
  • wrapping film
  • cutting board, larger than the diameter of the pastry ring

For the dough:
  • 165 g flour (T55 in France, which is the normal wheat flour you get at the supermarket)
  • 150 g sugar (use a very fine one, or make finer in a mortar)
  • 1/2 package baking powder (5.5 g, or 6.5x 1 mL as measured by my smallest 1 mL swedish cup "kryddmåt")
  • 1.5 g baking soda (I used 3x 1 mL which was a bit too much I think)
  • pinch of salt
  • 30 g margarine
  • 150 mL soy milk
  • 75 mL water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 package vanilla sugar (or any other vanilla to taste)
  • 3 drops almond flavoring

What to do, part I:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C. 
  2. Grease the inside of the pastry ring and a circle of the same size on a very flat baking tray lightly with margarine. Place the pastry ring on the baking tray. To prevent escape of the dough, add some flour mixed with water on the baking tray on the outside around the pastry ring. 
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately. Then add the wet to the dry, and mix until all clumps disappear. Pour into the pastry ring. 
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick, knitting needle, or your favorite thin sex toy comes out clean). Let cool, cover, and let rest until the next day. 
  5. Don't forget to add the rum to the raisins, before you go to sleep! (See below)

For the filling and topping:
  • 50 g raisins
  • 25 mL rum
  • 3/4 tablespoon starch
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 90 mL vanilla soy milk
  • some other vanilla, if you want, or use more vanilla and normal soy milk; I used the inside from about 2 cm of a vanilla bean.
  • about 150 g almond paste (I had a package of 250 g and you can see in the picture below how much I had left over. And I could have made it thinner.)

What to do, part II:
  1. After making the dough, add the rum to the raisins, cover and let rest over night.
  2. Mix the starch and sugar, and add a little bit of cold water to mix.
  3. Heat the soy milk in a pot. When it is boiling, add the starch sugar mix. Stir until the mixture thickens. 
  4. Add the raisins and rum, and let cool a bit.


Carefully remove the pastry ring. Cut in half horizontally using a long knife or a cake cutter. Place the upper half on a baking sheet, the lower on your desired cake location.

Cover the cutting board and the rolling pin in wrapping film. Roll out the almond paste roughly circular, and relatively thin.

Spread the filling on the lower half of the cake, not too close to the edge.

Add the upper part of the cake and press down a bit.

Wrap the almond paste carefully around the rolling pin and roll it over the cake. Lift the edges a bit and press them slightly on the sides of the cake without producing wrinkles.

Cut the almond paste along the bottom of the cake with a pizza cutter or knife. (Wrap the leftover almond paste in some of the wrapping film and store in the fridge.)

Decorate! Mine is not decorated because of spontaneous baking action :-) I am not sure yet how to store the cake, but I would suggest not too warm and covered or wrapped.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paris Vegan Day

The highlight of the year, the Paris Vegan Day, was last sunday. Since we first heard about it, we planned on going there together. For some strange reason, the vegans in Paris always place their events on dates on which I am not in the city, but not this time!

So what did we do? A lot! I hope I won't forget half of it. We...

  • arrived at  La Bellevilloise shortly after 11. The program began at 11, and there were already many people present.
  • had brunch at the restaurant. For 29 Euros there were lots and lots of very delicious foods, fruit juices and hot drinks. I saw some honey standing around, but apart from that it was perfect.
  • missed Isa Chandra Moskowitz' cooking show because the program that I printed out in the morning did not seem to be the latest version. 
  • saw Terry Hope Romero's cooking show, which was really great. It was a bit complicated because it was translated into french, so people seemed to have some difficulties to be totally enthusiastic about it.
  • forgot to bring a cookbook from the PPK authors to let them sign it. Gnarf.
  • visited the stands of many exhibitors who all brought their delicious vegan goodies.
  • were amazed about the animal rights activists' stands downstairs - If there is so much good activism and information in France, how can there still be foie gras and the likes?
  • had tasty Sojami ice cream.
  • said hi to lovely tattoo artist Punky.
  • met friends from France, Germany, and Switzerland.
  • did not see much of the fashion show because it was so crowded.
  • tried tasty food at the Vegusto stand. 
  • wondered why so many people were standing outside until we realized that the location was too full at a certain time to let everyone in.
  • saw some more good cooking shows of the VG-Zone creators.
  • tasted their incredibly good caribbean sponge cake, together with a nice cup of Løv tea.
  • could not resist a spring roll and a plate of other food from the Loving Hut.
  • managed to get the very last book sold by Melisser Elliott. It is called "The Vegan Girl's Guide To Life" and is incredibly cute.
  • won a great price at the tombola (food from un monde vegan, bathroom fun from Lush, a cute T-Shirt from Herbivore
Congratulations to the organizors of the PVD! This was a great event, and surely very stressful! I totally understand the little chaotic things with the program and dying printers and stuff - I never imagined that the event would be that big.

All in all, it was a wonderful day that made us roll home rather than walk. Do we really have to wait a whole year now for the next PVD? Far too long!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sojade & Sojasun and the bacteria problem

No recipe and pictures today, but the results from a "is it really vegan?" inquiry.

In France, you can find the soy yoghurt from Sojasun in basically every supermarket, the ones from Sojade in the organic stores. Soy yoghurt is made in the same way as milk-based yoghurt: Take (soy) milk and add some special bacteria (lactobacillales). They will transform your milk into yoghurt. These bacteria need to feed, and they obviously like milk. The original source of those bacteria will usually always come from colonies that have grown on milk-based culture medium. The question is now if the companies producing soy yoghurt are still cultivating their bacteria on milk-based media (or use other animal ingredients), or if they use plant-based culture media. If they use culture media with non-vegan ingredients, their product is, by definition, also not vegan. They can still claim that their product is vegetable, so this problem is not solved by reading the list of ingredients.

The two lovely vegans at a german blog named Laubfresser posted lately that they tried to get an answer from Sojade (which is also sold in german organic stores) if Sojade is really vegan, e.g. if the bacteria are cultured on a plant-based medium or not. Here is the entry (german). The result was that there was no result. Sojade says that this information is confidential. Which is sad, because we have to consider Sojade non-vegan now. As Sojade is french, I thought that this might be a communication problem and wrote an email to Sojade in french.

Using french did not help. I received the exact same "standard" answer from Sojade as the german one, only in french, explaining what bacteria are, how they make soy yoghurt have a nice texture, and that they were good for your digestion. I answered that email, explaining that this was all very nice, but that I wanted to know about what the bacteria eat, similar to what I explained above. At this stage, I also wrote an email to Sojasun. Now I received an answer, and learned at least one useful thing: Sojade and Sojasun belong together. Sojasun is the brand sold in the supermarket, and Sojade in the organic stores. The information about the culture media, however, remains confidential.

I hope that Sojade/Sojasun will think about this again. Luckily, there are companies that have no problem to declare that they grow their bacteria on vegetable media, for example Alpro Soja/Provamel and Le Sojami.

EDIT (September 2012): Finally, finally! They are declaring now that they cultivate their bacteria on vegetable medium. So Sojasun/Sojade is vegan, hurray! Read on here at the website of Tübingen Vegan.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Raw love

The way to a vegan's heart is definitely through her stomach. When we met at a food-and-games evening for the second time, the most wonderful man in the world made a cake - a raw blueberry tart. Suddenly, he seemed to be a very interesting man... and cakes never lie <3

Preparation time: depends on your blender... less than 1 hour, plus 1-2 hours chilling time
Suggested music: Weena Morloch - Girl, for some crazy love ;-)

In general, raw cakes are foolproof. If your dough is too dry, add more dates. If your dough is too wet, add more nuts. It will still taste perfectly good. Don't be afraid to experiment a bit. You will need a good food processor or (hand-held) blender for this tart!

For the dough:
  • 2 cups pecans or walnuts, or, if you are lazy, about 200 g ground almonds
  • 1 cup dates (about 200 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

For the filling:
  • 2 cups cashews (for easier blending, let them soak in water for 1-2 hours)
  • 1 3/4 cups blueberries (about 250 g; frozen ones are perfectly ok, but let them thaw a bit)
  • 1 1/2 cups dates
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

  • finely grated coconut

What to do:
  1. Make the dough: Blend the dates with the nuts and the vanilla. This is tricky, as the dates are very sticky, and a hand-held blender might become pretty hot. Be patient, do it in several batches, free the blender from the sticky dates from time to time. I usually use ground almonds, because I don't have a very good blender for nuts.
  2. Press the dough into a round cake pan (you can line the pan with baking paper before). If you have enough dough, form not only the cake bottom, but also the sides, at least a bit.
  3. Make the filling: Process all the other ingredients in the blender. This should be easier than the dough, as it is more liquid.
  4. Add the filling to the cake pan and decorate the cake with grated coconut. Chill for 1-2 hours in the fridge before serving; the filling will harden during that time due to the coconut oil. Keep in the fridge for storage.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Korean tea

A colleague recently gave me a little plastic bag, assuring me that the contents were vegan. It was an instant drink from Korea that was surprisingly delicious when stirred into hot water.

He also told me where to find a korean supermarket in Paris. I am not totally happy with buying things that have been shipped half around the world, but if they are too good, it happens sometimes.

Luckily, there is a sticker with the ingredients in english on the box:
  • Pinenuts
  • Walunt (Walnut I guess)
  • Almond
  • Jobs tears (Job's tears, some kind of grain)
  • Soybean powder
  • wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Rice flour
  • Sunflower kernel
  • salt

It is called "tea" on the box, but it is more like a nuts-and-beans milk. Partly powder, partly little nut pieces. I wonder if it would be possible to make the mixture from scratch, without the job's tears maybe? Hmmm... 

For the time being, there are some of the small bags left in the box and I don't need to worry...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Conquer your!

For a long time, my arch-nemesis in the world of greenish things was: CELERY! Especially the part that grows underground.

For a while, I had a weekly fruit-and-vegetable box delivered from a local farm. So, one day, a thick round celery root used this box as a trojan horse and landed in my kitchen. While it rolled around my pots, laughing menacingly, I googled and found a possibility to get rid of it that did not sound completely disgusting: celery root cutlets. In fact they were quite tasty, and I buy celery roots now from time to time on my own free will. Or at least I think so...

Preparation time: about 30 minutes
Suggested music: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album & Radio Sunnydale (why? If you're not a Buffy fan, don't worry. If you are, you might recognize something in the title of this entry)

  • 1 celery root
  • flour
  • water
  • breadcrumbs (french: chapelure <3)
  • oil for frying
  • salt
  • ketchup or mustard
  • something to eat it with (salad, greenthings, whatever you want)

What to do:

Cut the celery root into slices about 1 cm thick and remove the peel (is this a peel? The hard stuff on the outside...). 

Place the slices in a pot and add water until they are covered. Put the pot on the stove and boil the slices for 7-10 minutes. I have heard that it is also possible to make them without boiling, but I know at least one occasion where non-boiled celery root cutlets led to a serious family crisis at the dinner table.

Drain the water and let the slices cool a bit. Prepare the crust: Spread some flour on the bottom of a soup dish or flat bowl. Spread some breadcrumbs on a plate. If you want, add some spices to the latter (salt; or salt later while serving).

Now, mix the flour with a bit of cold water, until all clumps have dissolved. It should be a thick, sticky liquid.

Heat some oil in a pan. Coat the slices first in the flour-water-glop, then in the breadcrumbs. Fry them from both sides in the pan until the crust is golden.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lemon Cake

Lemon cake recipe from my mother. Easy and quick, makes one baking tray.

Preparation time: about 45 minutes.
Suggested music: Andreas Scholl - Wayfaring Stranger (I think it sounds kind of lemony... well... )

For the dough:
  • 200 g softened margarine
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy flour or ground flax seeds + 3 tablespoons plant milk
  • 100 g corn starch
  • 300 g wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 L soy milk
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the icing:
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • juice of about 1 lemon

What to do:
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C. Place baking sheet on a baking tray.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, thereby sifting the starch (it may form clumps otherwise), forming a not-too-solid cake batter.
  3. Pour onto the baking tray and help it spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cake is slightly brown on the top.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  6. Sift the icing sugar, and add some lemon juice. Mix. Continue to add lemon juice, until you have a pourable icing. Spread on the cake using a baking brush.
  7. Wait until the sugar icing is solid (at least one hour!), cut into pieces and serve.
(This is a smaller baking tray with 2/3 of the ingredients :-) )

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pasta with pumpkin sauce

Autumn, pumpkin time! We are temporarily reunited in a single kitchen, and hungry, as usual.

Today we made a very delicious (and fast!) pumpkin sauce. It's the veganized assimilated version of a recipe from Miss Kochfrosch. As her blog is in german, here's the translation, together with our changes.

Preparation time: about 30 minutes
Suggested music: This is Halloween (ok, not yet, but pumpkin time!)

  • 1 red kuri squash (Hokkaidokürbis) of about 800 g
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic (or more, but ours was a few weeks old and very intense)
  • oil for frying
  • 250 mL oat cream (Oatly Hafersahne)
  • 300 mL vegetable stock
  • pepper & salt
  • nutmeg
  • lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen chives, minced (Schnittlauch - we had no parsil ;-) )
  • 500 g pasta

What to do:
  1. Remove the entrails of the squash and grate the squash pieces coarsely. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Start heating water for the pasta.
  2. Heat the oil in a large enough pot. Fry onion and garlic, then add grated squash. When squash becomes a little softer, add vegetable stock and cream. Cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. Puree the sauce and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice. Add chives (or parsil) before serving.
We added some vegan almond parmesan from "Käse veganese". It basically contains ground almonds and nutritional yeast. Highly recommended!

Done with taking pictures? Can we finally eat now?? ;-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The soy of it all

Soy is amazing. Soy is the multifunctional holy grail of veganism. Soy milk, tofu, mockmeat - all easy and great, and wonderful bases for thousands of dishes. As often, however, the simplest things are the best: Edamame!

Edamame are young soy beans in their pod. You buy them frozen in an asia store, toss them in boiling water for only a few minutes, drain them and add some salt. Then you can eat them as an appetizer, plopping the edible beans out of the (uneatable) pods. Incredibly yummy! And, strangely, not very common, at least in Germany. Therefore, we mention it here. You can cook other things as well with edamame, but so far we did not manage not to eat them right away.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Suggested music: Alcest - Écailles De Lune (which has absolutely nothing to do with edamame, but was recommended to my while I was writing this little text by my best music recommendation source :-)youtube)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Anti-Weltschmerz chocolate pudding

For one sad and/or lonely person. Immediate improvement guaranteed!

Necessary therapy after watching the documentary "Schmutzige Schokolade" ("The dark side of chocolate") by Miki Mistrati. The filmmaker investigated child labour on cocoa plantations in Côte d'Ivoire.

Further information (german)
Film in der ARD-Mediathek

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Suggested music: Get well soon - Rest Now, Weary Head! You Will Get Well Soon

The whole point of this recipe is using fair trade cocoa powder, of course. You can likely find it in an organic supermarket, as well as fair trade sugar.

  • 250 mL soy milk (any other plant milk should work as well)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (you might need more if you use unsweetened soy milk)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

What to do:
  1. Heat 200 mL of the plant milk in a small pot on the stove.
  2. Sift the starch and cocoa powder into a bowl, add the sugar, and mix. Sifting helps preventing clumps. 
  3. Add the remaining 50 mL plant milk to the cocoa mixture and whisk until all clumps have disappeared.
  4. When the plant milk comes to a boil, turn the heat down (or even off, depending on your stove) and add the cocoa mixture while whisking. Let it boil shortly - with this amount of starch, it should thicken immediately.
  5. Pour into a small serving bowl, grab a spoon and devour.
This recipe will result in a relatively solid pudding. I like it that way, because I usually eat it hot, directly after preparing it. If you want to prepare the pudding in order to put it in the fridge and eat later, you can use as little as 1 tablespoon corn starch.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Or Zimtschnecken.
Or spiral yeast dough thingies with cinnamon.

Sweden's best invention - who cares about H&M or IKEA when you can have these! ;-)

The recipe is based on one found in a swedish camping guide. Seriously. That is why it uses deciliters (dL). IKEA has the corresponding measuring cups, or use a milliliter scaling (1 dL = 100 mL).
Preparation time: about 2 hours.
Suggested music: Garmarna - Guds spelemän

For the dough:
  • 25 g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet dry)
  • 75 g margarine (german favorite: Alsan)
  • 2 1/2 dL soy milk (or soy rice milk)
  • 1/2 dL sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 7 dL wheat flour

For the filling:
  • 50 g margarine
  • 1/2 dL sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Decoration (optional):
  • some more soy or soy rice milk
  • decorating sugar (Hagelzucker)

What to do:
  1. Prepare a yeast dough. Mix all the ingredients together. It is easier and faster if the margarine and soymilk are at room temperature. Use a food processor with a dough hook if you are lucky to have one. Put the dough in a bowl at least twice as big as the dough, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 30-60 minutes. (In german, you would say let the dough "go", but that only really happens when your bowl was too small... )
  2. Preheat the oven to 225 °C. Use a rolling pin in order to roll the dough to about 1/2-1 cm thickness in a rectangular shape. Add some flour under the dough in the beginning and while rolling, otherwise the dough will stick to whatever surface is under it.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the filling and spread it on the dough. Then roll the rectangle up starting at its longer side. Cut the roll into 2 cm slices and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Leave a few centimeters between the slices, they will become bigger.
  4. Spread a little bit of soy milk on the top of the slices with a baking brush and add some decorating sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes, the slices should become slightly brown, but not too dark. If you apply some more soy milk during baking, the surface will be shinier.

You can add whatever you like to the filling - jam, ground nuts,... here's an example with ground hazelnuts:

(Some are made by Manuel, some are made by me. That's why they look so different ;-) )

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gnocchi with tomato sauce

This is my favorite gnocchi recipe. It is based on a recipe from "Das große Buch der vegetarischen Küche", but I changed a few things.

For three to four normally hungry persons, or two ravenous vegans.
Preparation time: about 1 hour.
Suggested music: Giacomo Puccini - Tosca (or some other random italian opera)

For the gnocchi:
  • 500 g cooked and peeled potatoes (can be fresh or from the day before, but let them cool a bit)
  • 250 g flour
  • 30 g vegan margarine
  • salt & pepper
  • nutmeg

For the sauce:
  • 1 kg tomatoes, peeled and diced (canned tomatoes work just as fine, use 1-2 cans)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 125 mL red wine
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, coarsely minced

What to do:
  1. In order to obtain a dough, the potatoes must be mashed. This can be achieved easily by passing them through a metallic sieve or through a noodle press (Spätzlespresse). There are also extra tools for mashing potatoes. Mix mashed potatoes with flour and margarine, until an elastic dough formes. I usually use a food processor with a dough hook (Knethaken). Do not process the dough for too long, otherwise the gnocchi will become to hard. Add a pinch of nutmeg (freshly ground is best!) and salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Bring pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce: Combine tomatoes, garlic, and red whine in a pot and heat on the stove. Let simmer until the liquid is reduced, then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil leaves just before serving.
  3. Form the gnocchi: Take a bit of dough and roll to form a log 2-3 cm in diameter. Cut off slices, about 1 cm thick. If you are not too hungry, shape the pieces into really nice gnocchi by making them oval round and pressing in one side with a fork. If you are hungry and/or lazy, you can leave out that step (the gnocchi in the picture above are in fact such "lazy" gnocchi). Add the gnocchi carefully to the boiling water. Prepare the next batch while they cook. The gnocchi are ready to be fished out of the pot when they swim on the surface. (Sometimes they stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, so stir from time to time.)
  4. When all gnocchi are done, serve with the tomato sauce. You can add some vegan parmesan - there is an excellent recipe in "Käse veganese".