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!