Archive for August, 2012


brown sugar casted chocolates

August 19, 2012

great idea from rise and shine – just press anything into brown sugar to make an impression instead of buying molds to cast chocolates! i’m thinking doll parts. it seems like it’d be satisfying to eat a tiny chocolate hand.

someone commented on the entry saying, “classically confectioners used cornstarch for this, finer texture”

and, unlike plastic molds that get thrown away later, brown sugar can be reused!


gobhi masallam (stuffed cauliflower)

August 15, 2012

this one comes from a wonderful fellow called mark. (hi, mark!) according to him, it’s “slightly adapted from Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian (or something like that”


Stuffed Cauliflower with Tomato-Coriander Sauce
(Gobhi Masallam)


1.5 – 1.75 lb cauliflower, core, stems, and leaves removed

For the stuffing:

6 tablespoons light veg oil (prefer mustard oil)
1 1/2 c finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
1.5 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
(3-6?) hot green chilis minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1.5 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground fennel
2 Tbsp ground blanched almonds
~1 tsp coarse salt
1 Tbsp flour
4-6 coriander springs for garnish
2 cups tomato coriander sauce (recipe below…)

1. Pre-heat oven to 400* F

2. Steam the whole cauliflower for 8 mins. Remove the cauliflower and let
it cool completely. Set aside.

3. Measure out the spices and place them right next to the stove in
separate piles. Heat 4 Tbsp of oil in a frying pan for 2 mins over
med-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 10 mins stirring constantly until
lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 more mins. Add
the chilis and fry for another minute.

4. Add all of the other ingredients from the cayenne to the flour; mix
well, and fry for two more minutes. Add about 1/4 cup of water, stir well,
and cook until the mixture turns into a thick paste (not long…). Turn off
the heat and let the paste cool.

5. Stuff half of the spice paste into the spaces between the florets of
the cauliflower. Try to put in as much as possible. Spread the remaining
paste over the top of the cauliflower, and pat it down (it will be
patchy). Place the stuffed cauliflower in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle
the sliced almonds over it and dribble (…don’t put it your mouth and spit
it out all over it) the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil over it.

6. Bake the cauliflower in the middle level of the over for 25 to 30 mins,
or until the spice coating looks nicely browned, glazed, and crisp.

Serve with coriander springs. Scrape off any brown bits and spices
clinging to the baking dish, and add them to the tomato sauce. Cut the
cauliflower into 4-8 wedges.

Tomato-Coriander Sauce
Makes 2 cups


3 tablespoons of light veg oil or ghee (mustard oil, or split 50/50 ghee
and oil)
1/2 c chopped onions
2 tsp ground cumin
1 lb fresh ripe tomatoes, pureed (or 2 cups canned tomatoes, pureed)
1 c water
coarse salt to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
(edit) squeeze of lime

Heat oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. When it is very hot, add
the onions and fry, stirring as much as possible for 6-8 mins, or until
light brown. Add the cumin and fry for 1 more min. Add the tomato puree,
1 c of water, and salt to taste; mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer over
low heat, uncovered, for 15 mins, stirring often. Turn off the heat and
stir in the chopped coriander.


edit 10/13.
not bad! sauce needs an acid – a few squeezes of a lime were perfect. i used some canned pureed tomato, some small fresh tomatoes, and a whole raw red pepper, run through the food processor. skimped on the hot chilis – wish i hadn’t. almonds become beautifully roasty; onions become candy-sweet. good solid recipe and interesting technique!


bajan sweet bread

August 13, 2012

this recipe from barbados sounds pretty awesome.

today i learned that someone from barbados may call themselves barbadian or bajan. so… bajan sweet bread is barbadian sweet bread.


bajan sweet bread


2½ cups grated coconut
½ cup melted butter or margarine
4 cups flour
1 tbsp shortening
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 egg – beaten
1¼ cup evaporated milk
1 tsp almond essence


Grease loaf pans with shortening and pre-heat oven to 350F.
Mix flour, baking powder,salt,coconut, sugar and the raisins together in a bowl. Add egg, evaporated milk, margarine and almond essence and mix together well until you have a firm dough.
Divide dough in half and fill loaf pans.
Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of hot water and brush mixture over the loaves.
Bake in center of oven for about 1 hour or until skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pans before removing and serving.


vegan nolio pizza (lemon cream sauce with caramelized onions)

August 13, 2012

mix up a batch of your favorite pizza dough. (i like making pretzel dough as pizza dough. stick some olive oil in there for a more pizza-y dough.) (also, yes, it totally works gluten-free; use a combination of gf flours like rice, buckwheat, oat, teff, besan, and a starch like potato or corn.)

in a food processor or blender, whip up a raw sauce with a clove or two of fresh garlic, a few handfuls of cashews that have been soaking in water (or unsoaked if you like a chunkier consistency to your sauces), half a can of coconut milk (more if sauce is super-thick), a pinch of water, juice from half a fresh lemon, a generous amount of ground black pepper, and some smoky salt.

fry up a large onion, sliced thin, until translucent. add your favorite veggies. (we used broccoli and mushrooms, because that’s what we had, but i’ve really enjoyed just onions and raw fresh spinach in the past.)

top pizzas with sauce and veggies and bake at the highest setting on your oven (probably 500F) until crust browns on the bottom.


it’s wonderful. caramelized onions and cream sauce is one of my favorite combinations (can you tell i’m schwabisch?) and this pizza has been one of my favorites for years. served it to a room full of (mostly) non-vegans, and this pizza got eaten faster than the traditional tomato-sauce-and-cheese pizza. if you love this pizza, try zweibelkuchen, a rich, creamy, onion pie.


gingerbread cookies

August 4, 2012

it rained for the first time in a long time. and it rained all morning. and it sat waiting all afternoon. and now at 11pm, it’s raining old ladies and sticks. the humidity broke enough that i remembered it won’t be 102 forever. made me crave autumn. i’m looking forward to sleeping in on rainy weekends and long hikes and bike trips. also, cookies.


(adapted from) these gingerbread cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour (i used a mixture of apf, coconut powder, buckwheat flour, whole wheat flour, and oat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
a few pinches of freshly ground pepper
a few pinches of fennel
a pinch of nutmeg
a dash of anise extract
a pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.

Separately, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg until well blended. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.

Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.

let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

Grease sheets and roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.

375, 7-10 minutes


dough’s pretty good. it’s resting now. i used blackstrap; the dough mostly tastes of molasses.


cookies are definitely hearty! i didn’t measure the spices, and didn’t put enough cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, or clove. the molasses is really overwhelming, and makes them really heavy. the best ones are undercooked, and a little doughy in the middle. good winter recipe. not my favorite. i like how gingery they are, though, and how little butter they require.


gene’s beans and rice

August 4, 2012

i just made this up today.

named after my favorite sausage shop of all-time.



1 link smoked sausage, ~1 cup, cut into chunks and skinned (i used hungarian spicy sausage, but it’d be great with anything)
1 sweet pepper
several tomatoes from the “dollar bin” at the veg shop, with the moldy bits sliced off

a squirt of garlic-dijon mustard
a few yellow mustard seeds
a hearty scoop of horseradish
two cloves of garlic
three sundried tomatoes
a small pinch of bouillon
a dash each paprika, caraway seed, thyme, smoked salt / seasoned salt (NOT MUCH! i oversalted it, forgetting the sausage is salty), black pepper, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce

a heavy splash of white cooking wine
a heavy splash of apple cider vinegar

three cups water
a cup and a half mixed rice and urad dal (black lentils; use any cooked bean or pea, or uncooked pulse or lentil)


fry mustard seed and minced fresh garlic in a tiny pat of fat, then add everything else and a lid and boil.


topped with thick yogurt and tomato sauce, and kraut if you have it


i was going for polish, but it kind of tastes like hungarian cajun food. really. like sauerkraut-caraway-seed jambalaya.


chochoyotes de canela (gf dumplings)

August 4, 2012

gluten-free dumplings for soup, or simmered in mole

‘canela’ is cinnamon – and i think i’ll be tripling the amount that is called for.


Chochoyotes de Canela

1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp lard / shortening
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

Mix the corn masa flour with water and knead until the dough is smooth and has no lumps, about a minute. Add the lard, cinnamon, sugar and salt and mix until it is well incorporated.

Make little balls of about 1 inch with your hands. Using your little finger, make a dip in the middle of the dumpling. One by one add them to the simmering sauce, mole or soup that they will be cooked in. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes for the chochoyotes to be fully cooked.


it seemed to take forever for them to boil in the mole, but they did cook! they weren’t bad, but definitely had a dumpling-like consistency. i wonder if a pinch of baking soda, although not authentically pre-columbian, would fluff them up a bit. i’ll tweak this a bit next time i make it with a little more seasoning and a little bit of a leavening agent and see what happens!


tlacoyos (pupusas) (gf stuffed corn dough pockets)

August 4, 2012

on the hunt for quick masa recipes, i found these – a mexican version of salvadorean pupusas

these fried corn cakes are stuffed with whatever you like.



1 cup masa harina (corn flour; much more finely ground than cornmeal. very inexpensive.)
3/4 cup water, more if needed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lard, bacon fat, or oil

filling (try simple beans with just salt and a pinch of cumin and oregano, garlic, onion, cheese, veggies, meat, hot peppers, or any combination)

garnish (ideas? lacto-fermented condiments like giardinera or salsa, chopped onion, cilantro, mexican-style sour cream…?)



In a bowl, combine the masa, water, and salt. Form into a ball so that all the flour is incorporated. Add more water if needed to make a moist dough. Set aside.


In a skillet, heat the lard, bacon fat, or oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft, then add the garlic. Cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until starting to color. Add the beans/veggies/meat and raise the heat to high. Cook for a couple minutes, then mash roughly with a spatula and remove from the heat.


Divide the masa dough into 4 pieces and flatten them between two pieces of plastic wrap using a heavy skillet or tortilla press. Lay them on a cutting board and divide the beans and cheese among them, then carefully fold over and pinch to create a half-moon shaped pocket.


Heat the frying oil in a large skillet over high heat and add the pockets (cook them in two batches to avoid crowding). cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden, then drain on paper towels. Serve with the salsa and garnishes.



August 3, 2012

in case you were wondering what i’m doing today:
detoxing from last night by drinking tea and eating locally grown fruit, picking up the prize for the writing contest i won, and spending the money on a carboy, airlock, and gallons of juice.


EdWort’s Award Winning Apfelwein Recipe (German Hard Cider) Apple Wine Recipe


Placed 1st in the Cider & Apple Wine category at the BJCP sanctioned Alamo Cerveza fest (out of 11 entries) and took 2nd place for Best of Show for the main category of Meads & Ciders (out of 50 entries).


5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (no preservatives or additives)
2 pounds of dextrose (corn sugar)
1 five gram packet of Montrachet Wine Yeast

5 Gallon Carboy (I use a Better Bottle)
Carboy Cap or Stopper with Airlock

First sanitize the carboy, airlock, funnel, stopper or carboy cap.
Open one gallon bottle of apple juice and pour half of it into the carboy using the funnel.
Open one bag of Dextrose and carefully add it to the now half full bottle of apple juice. Shake well.
Repeat Steps 2 and 3, then go to step 5.
Pour in the mixture of Apple Juice and Dextrose from both bottles into the carboy.
Add all but 1 quart of remaining 3 gallons of apple juice to the carboy.
Open the packet of Montrachet Yeast and pour it into the neck of the funnel.
Use the remaining quart of juice to wash down any yeast that sticks. I am able to fit all but 3 ounces of apple juice into a 5 gallon Better Bottle. You may need to be patient to let the foam die down from all shaking and pouring.
Put your stopper or carboy cap on with an airlock and fill the airlock with cheap vodka. No bacteria will live in vodka and if you get suckback, you just boosted the abv.

There’s no need to worry about filling up a carboy so full when you use Montrachet wine yeast. There is no Kreuzen, just a thin layer of bubbles. I’m able to fit all but 4 oz. of my five gallons in the bottle. Ferment at room temperature.

It will become cloudy in a couple of days and remain so for a few weeks. In the 4th week, the yeast will begin to drop out and it will become clear. After at least 4 weeks, you can keg or bottle, but it is ok to leave it in the carboy for another month or so. Racking to a secondary is not necessary. It ferments out very dry (less than 0.999, see here)

Apfelwein really improves with age, so if you can please let it sit in a carboy for up to 3 months before bottling or kegging, then let it sit even longer.

Six months and it hits its stride. Eight months and it’ll blow your mind.

If you want to bottle and carbonate, ¾ cup of corn sugar will work fine. Use as you would carbonate a batch of beer.



How does it taste?
It ferments quite dry. Some people have tried different yeasts in order to achieve a sweeter taste. It may take you a few glasses to get a feel for the flavor. It is very reminiscent of a sort of apfelwein produced locally in Germany. There really is no comparable product in the United States. It’s drier and less sweet than commercial hard ciders. It gets better with age and at 6+ months, the apple flavor really comes out.

How do you sweeten it?
Many folks back sweeten it with Wine Conditioner. Wine Conditioner is a blend of sucrose and sorbic acid. The addition of 2-4 oz. per gallon adds sweetness and prevents renewed fermentation. It can be purchased as any LHBS that caters to wine makers. Others will use Splenda or lactose (other non-fermentable sugars). Germans who prefer it sweet (or Suß as they say) will add a splash of Sprite or 7up to a glass. This is the easiest method as you don’t have to make a whole “sweet” batch that way.

What is the difference between Apfelwein and hard cider?
EdWort says, “Most ciders are a bit sweeter. Ciders and Apfelwein are about 6% abv, but I like the little boost I give it with 2 pounds of Dextrose. It adds no body or flavor and still tastes like Possmann’s Apfelwein, only it will kick your butt much quicker.”

Is this like Apfelmost / Apfel Korn?
No. Apfel Korn is a german liqeur made from wheat spirits. Apfelmost is spontaneously fermented with fresh-pressed apples or apple juice. It is probably similar, but the results may vary as a result of the spontaneous fermentation. Either way, Apfelmost is most certainly has a lower alcohol content since the initial gravity is not increased by the use of concentrate or corn sugar.

What’s the difference between apple juice and cider?
Cider is made by pressing apples. Juice is then filtered to remove all of the stuff that makes it cloudy.

Can I use apple cider instead?
Sure! You can use whatever you want. However, there is not enough information in this thread to give you any better details as to how it will turn out. I recommend starting a new thread or ask more experienced cider-makers.

What kind of Apple Juice should I use?
Ideally, you want to use 100% natural apple juice with no preservatives. The only acceptable preservative is ascorbic acid, which is a source of vitamin C and does not affect fermentation. Pasteurized juice is preferred, since it will have less bacteria.

How much will this recipe cost me?
5 gallons of Apfelwein can be made for between 20 and 25 dollars.

What else can you do with this recipe?
Makes a great Grog in the winter time. Take a quart in a sauce pan, add some rum, turbinado sugar, and float a cinnamon stick in it and simmer for a while. Serve hot in mugs. It’ll warm you right up.


brew diary:



eggless crunchy dark chocolate cookies

August 3, 2012

apparently, i haven’t posted these scottish ‘biscuits’ until now. they were a go-to cookie recipe for a long time when i lived with vegans. i’ve made these cookies for many a vegan, and the typical response is, “give me the recipe”.

people swear there are walnuts in this recipe. there are no nuts at all. the secret?


i know it sounds weird, but the nutty crunch in the finished cookies is awesome. you will probably find yourself adding steel-cut oats to all kinds of baked goods once you try this.


eggless crunchy dark chocolate cookies

3/4 cup all purpose flour (a pinch of powdered coconut is great in there, too)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (works well vegan, too; use something with a buttery flavor.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons steel-cut oats
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


don’t overbeat. chill a few mins before baking. grease cookie sheet. ~ tablespoon-sized dough balls; press the tops down. 350. bake until tops crack – check em at 9 mins.



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