Lemon Saffron Yoghurt Cake with Lemon Yoghurt Glaze

I’m running with this week’s theme (rainbow week) pretty loosely – everything is a colour right? I had big plans for the multicoloured prompt to make a rainbow masterpiece, however as always happens midway through MoFo, I’ve been pressed for time, even with only been putting out a handful of posts per week. For the multicolour prompt, please refer back to my tacos from yesterday….they are quite bright. I suppose today’s lemon cake could fit in with the monochrome prompt from today as it is mostly yellow, with a golden orange crust….lets just roll with it okay?

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Now saffron is not something I cook with often, mainly because of the hefty price tag that comes with it. It’s certainly a sometimes food for me, but it does give a beautiful taste to whatever it touches. This would also be nice as a lemon yoghurt cake alone, but if you happen to have some lying around or can splash the cash, the saffron definitely gives it a lovely depth of flavour. This one is not super sweet, so it’s perfect as a tea cake. You could also just sift a little icing sugar over it in place of the glaze if you’d prefer, but I do like the tanginess of the glaze.

I also want to point out the beautiful plates that the cake is served on. These belonged to my great Grandma (mum’s mum’s mum). Apparently she used them daily way back when, though I don’t remember as I was only a little one and/or probably did not have the same appreciation of crockery as I do now. They are Mikasa Japanese stoneware (how I love Japanese stoneware!) and my Granny (mum’s mum) gifted them to me when I was last in Perth. So beautiful! Only one matching mug survived the years, so I will have to try to scout out some replacements. It feels really special to be able to use them just like my Grandma did 20-30 years ago. I hope they will continue to last so that I can pass them on to another generation one day.

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Lemon Saffron Yoghurt Cake with Lemon Yoghurt Glaze

3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/2 cup nuttelex (or other non dairy butter substitute)
1/2 cup non dairy yoghurt
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bi carb soda
1/2 tsp salt

Glaze
1/4 cup non dairy yoghurt
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Pour milk into a saucepan. Rub the saffron between you fingertips to crush it a little and let drop into the milk. Heat over low heat until milk starts to bubble at the edges. Take off heat and set aside until completely cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm (8inch) springform pan.

Cream nuttelex and sugar together until it has light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat to combine. One by one, add yoghurt, saffron milk (when cool) and lemon juice and beat until well combined after each addition.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Add wet mixture, and stir until just combined – don’t overmix. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the glaze, whisk together ingredients until smooth. Once cake is cool, pour glaze over the top.

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Music for your Mouth: Cake

Who doesn’t love CAKE? Am I talking about the band or the food? I don’t know! Both! Another band that reminds me of the ’90s, with their funky base lines and deadpan vocals. I am into it.

Naturally, today’s recipe is for cake. This particular cake (or a version of it) is one that I used to make aaaaall the time as a child (in the ’90s!) – it was my favourite recipe from a kids cooking book that I had. I just loved the fruity combination of banana and pineapple, and cream cheese icing has always been my favourite.

If you like light and fluffy cakes, this may not be the cake for you – this bad boy is dense, moist and sweet.

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Banana Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups spelt flour
3 medium bananas, mashed
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Icing:
1/2 tub tofutti
2 Tbsp nuttelex
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and/or line a 23cm round baking tin.

In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda,salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a medium bowl or jug, combine banana, pineapple, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir through apple cider vinegar milk.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mix in, stirring until just combined. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack to cool.

For the icing, combine tofutti and nuttelex in a bowl and beat with electric beaters for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla juice, lemon and beat to combine. Add icing sugar bit by bit, and beat until combined. Place icing in the fridge to firm up a little until your cake is cool enough to ice.

cake3I kind of just slopped this icing on, cake still slightly warm as I was seriously running out of time to photograph this before nightfall – hence the crappy lighting and the taking the cake outside to catch some natural light as well, haha.

cake2I love watching the people listening and grooving to the song – and love the fact that it’s been played on a discman. Yeeehah!

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Apple Polenta Flan

This flan is a little something that I had forgotten about until not long ago. I remember my mum making it when we were little, however it was a lost memory until a couple of months ago, when all of a sudden she brought it back into my life.

As soon as I tasted a mouthful, I had instant taste recognition and memory of this delicious treat – it’s like we never parted!

polentaflan1This recipe actually comes to you from the Australian Women’s Weekly Vegetarian Cookbook – classic meals coming to you from 1990. When mum made it most recently, she omitted some of the non vegan ingredients.

I enjoyed it so much, I made it again the following week, but tweaked the recipe, making some substitutions and minor changes.

5This flan is like nothing else I’ve ever eaten and I love it to death. It’s the perfect thing to eat in the afternoon over a cuppa.

You’re welcome.

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Apple Polenta Flan

1 litre non-dairy milk
3/4 cup coconut sugar
45g nuttelex
1 Tbsp
lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup polenta
3/4 cup sultanas
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 large granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 tsp coconut sugar, extra
1 tsp ground cinnamon, extra

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a 20cm springform tin.

Heat the milk, sugar, nuttelex, lemon zest and spices in a medium saucepan. Stir over high heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and stir in polenta. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, stir in sultanas, walnuts and coconut cream. Pour into prepared tin.

Combine extra sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Arrange apple slices on the top of the flan, then pour maple syrup over the top. Sprinkle with sugar mix.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until apple is tender and the flan has come slightly away from the side of the tin.

Cool to room temperature. Remove from tin, serve with a drizzle of coconut cream if desired.

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Bunbury eats: Natural Temptation and The Plant Organic Cafe & Market

Another blast from the past post, jumping in the time machine and rewinding a few months back to when we passed through Bunbury.

After our drive back up from Albany with our brand spanking new (second hand) engine, I was keen to stop in at a new place I’d heard about called The Plant Organic Cafe and Market. As the name suggests, The Plant is a cafe that also offers a range of organic fresh produce and grocery items. It’s a neat and inviting little set up on the corner of an arcade, and there are a couple of funky little tables outside along the arcade.

When we arrived, we found out that it had only been open a week or two, and they didn’t have any lunch items on the menu yet. Never fear though, there was a selection of raw cakes and smoothies on offer that looked and sounded incredible, so we decided to go and grab lunch elsewhere and come back for the cake.

As I had spent quite a bit of time in Bunbury one year prior to this visit (while completing my uni placement), I was fairly familiar with the town and remembered that there was a place just up the road called Natural Temptation that had several vegan options on offer.

I’m going to be honest – I was more eating lunch out of maturity than anything else, because by now I just wanted to eat cake. Nevertheless, we found some raw wraps that sounded pretty good and Billy and I got one each.

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These were listed on the menu as being filled with lime slaw, beet and greens, and dressed with capsicum avocado guacamole. It sounded pretty good. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really determine the flavour of the lime slaw or the capsicum avocado guacamole – if they were in fact in there at all.

I enjoy raw food, but Billy usually has to be convinced by something particularly impressive, and this just didn’t make the cut. And I would have to agree that this was quite bland. Kind of the equivalent of a salad roll from the bakery. It’s salad, in a roll….not much more can be said. This was a bit of a shame, as the year before when we had visited I’m sure we had eaten something tasty.

It was also kind of disappointing to see it come out wrapped in plastic cling wrap. It kind of negates the biodegradable napkin underneath, and I don’t really think it’s a great way to serve something to customers who are dining in.

Edit 30/01/15: I was recently contacted by someone at Natural Temptation to advise that they have ditched the plastic wrapping and revised the dressings in the wrap. How good is that? I love when businesses take on board feedback from their customers, especially when it benefits the environment too. Way to go Natural Temptation šŸ™‚

Aaanyway, after lunch we headed straight back to The Plant to get us some of that cake. There were three cakes on offer, so we immediately had to eliminate one from the mix.

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Billy immediate went for the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and can you blame him? Look at that beauty! And after much deliberation, I chose the nut free banana mousse cake.

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Now I have eaten many a raw cake in my time, but let me tell you this – these cakes have got to be some of the best. Seriously.

I was completely in love with the banana mousse…it was so light and silky for a raw dessert, and packed with banana-y goodness and flavour. Luckily for me, Billy liked his own cheesecake better and for once we didn’t end up having food envy of one another and swapping plates halfway through. That’s not to say I didn’t like the cheesecake – it was absolutely divine. But having cake so soon after lunch, the lighter banana mousse cake was just what I needed.

Billy also got a smoothie – I think of the banana description. It’s been so long I can barely remember. I remember it being good though.

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The service at the Plant was fantastic, the guys there are super friendly and willing to have a chat, and make you feel very welcome in the space. As we got up to leave, the one we had initially spoken to on the way in was packing us up a piece of the final cake (choc-coconut) for the road. He claimed it was because it was the end of the day and the cakes would get thrown out, but I suspect he is just a super nice person.

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I doubt I need to tell you how great this was, so I won’t go on….but I will tell you for your own good – if you are ever in the Bunbury area, go visit The Plant and taste their incredible cakes. You won’t be sorry!

I can’t wait to get back there and see what else they’re doing. Keep up the good work guys!

Natural Temptation
47 Stephen St, Bunbury W.A
Mon – Fri – 7.30am – 5.30pm (until 6.30pm on Thursdays)
Sat – 8am – 4pm

The Plant Organic Cafe & Market
Shop 1, 20 Stephen St, Bunbury W.A
Tues – Sat – 9am – 5pm (until 6pm on Thursdays)

Last days in the bay + Orange Chia Seed cake

We had a lovely last week in Nelson Bay, being able to get out and about a bit more than the previous few after my little accident. On the long weekend, Billy’s brother and his partner and two of their friends came up to stay, which was a nice opportunity to get to see them all one last time before we shipped out. We took a little trip out to Stockton Beach, which is famous for its sand dunes, which appear to just go on forever. Billy tells me they ship sand from the dunes there to beaches in Hawaii but I’m not sure if that’s actually true or not (sometimes he tells very convincing mistruths), so I cannot confirm this for sure. It was a gorgeous day, and we were lucky enough to see whales playing off in the distance from the shore which was cool. They are all migrating north for the winter, so it’s apparently really common to see them pass up the coast at this time of year. That being said, it was my first whale sighting so it was pretty exciting for me!

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The long weekend also coincided with the Bluewater Country Music Festival, which was happening all around Port Stephens, but predominantly in the Bay. I love it when things like this pop up unexpectedly, especially when it’s something that you might not have normally gone out of your way to attend. The little town of Nelson Bay came alive, with performers on every corner of the town, market stalls along the waterfront and gigs at pretty much every venue in town each night. There was even – wait for it – the longest line dance (for charity) down the main street on Monday morning. You better believe we were going to be there for that!
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It was amazing! I think the count was over 100 people, some of whom were very happy to have their photo with us. Billy even managed to get a few dancing tips…
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We spent the next few days repacking, reorganising, fixing little bits here and there, doing loads of washing and so on, preparing to get back on the road at last. We picked wednesday for a set of date, which also happened to be Billy’s birthday, so we had a nice farewell lunch with Billy’s grandparents and set off in the afternoon. I made an Orange Poppyseed cake (subbing poppy seeds for chia seeds as we had them on hand), which was absolutely delicious. You can find the recipe over at Veggieful’s beautiful blog – go check it out, there are loads of mouthwatering recipes accompanied by stunning photos. I just discovered this blog the other day when searching for the perfect cake, and am already hooked!
I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit, adding extra juice and zest as the oranges I had didn’t have the strongest flavour. I made about double the icing as well, so that I could do a middle layer. This picture doesn’t do justice to the deliciousness of the cake…not my best icing effort, but trust me – the taste made up for it.
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Billy rated it his third favourite cake, after this one that I made for his birthday last year, and the VWaV carrot cake. It’s definitely going to be added to the cake rotation!
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Sydney: the cake edition

The couple of visits to Sydney gave me ample opportunity to eat cake. And who am I to let something like that slip through my hands? On one of our trips to Newtown, Billy and I came across Vegan’s Choice, a little supermarket that stocked various pantry, refrigerated and frozen goods, as well as a large range of cakes, cupcakes, brownies and tofu ice cream.

Ā I think I actually cried a little the first time we walked in and looked at the cake display. Seriously. They had a great selection which included a couple of raw cheesecakes, plus about half of their cakes were gluten-free. I’m not sure what happened next – maybe I went into shock – but next thing I knew, we were walking down the street with a cupcake each. I can’t remember what the exact flavours were, but I think Billy got cookies and cream with vegan mint slice on top, and mine was along the lines of choc peanut butter with vegan tim tams. They were pretty yummy, though super sweet and almost a bit sickly by the time I’d finished it.
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The cakes and I had unfinished business, so we visited them again the next time we were in the area. This time I was able to quickly eliminate all but two cakes in my decision making process…it was either mocha or caramel cheesecake. I went with mocha, and the cheerful lady behind the counter asked if I wanted a scoop of ice cream with it. Why yes nice lady, I do. I got chocolate on the side, and Billy went with a choc walnut brownie with black sesame ice cream.
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I wish I could eat this cake forever, for it was a slice of smooth, creamy, silky choc coffee goodness. YUM. Now I had one more opportunity to visit Vegan’s Choice when I met up with a lovely friend of mine for a long awaited catch up. We ducked in for something sweet, and I was able to test the caramel cheesecake, while she went with the raw jaffa cheesecake. Both delicious, though I preferred the mocha. The raw cake was super rich and decadent, and while tasty, was difficult to finish in one sitting.
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My last Sydney cake escapade caught me by surprise. I went with Billy’s mum for a wander around the Glebe markets, when I noticed a cute little cupcake stand – Madhatter Cupcakery. I was admiring all the prettily decorated cakes when I noticed a sign saying VEGAN. Upon discovering that yes, the sign was telling the truth, we picked four little cupcakes to take home and share among us. I think these were macchiato, salted caramel popcorn, red velvet, and strawberry musk. The flavours of these were beautiful, the strawberry one being reminiscent of fairy floss, and the salted caramel had that real salty hit.
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Mmmm cake.
Vegan’s Choice
113 King st, Newtown
Open 7 days, 11.30am-late
Madhatter Cupcakery
Glebe Markets
40 Glebe Point rd, Glebe
Every Saturday 10am-4pm

Nelson Bay + VWaV Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake Recipe

So we’ve beenĀ hanging outĀ in beautifulĀ Nelson Bay for a couple of weeks now, staying with Billy’s grandparents. We have had to go into Sydney a couple of times to get to the hospital, but as the burn is healing well, I got the all clear the other day, and don’t have to go back again! Hallelujah! So now we can get our trip really kicking again, and we’re going to take off on Wednesday up the coast for some sightseeing and job searching. It’s really exciting to be on our way again, but there’s always a hint of sadness when we leave a place, particularly one where there’s been so much family (for Billy anyway).

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We’ve loved staying here, and have had beautiful weather for the most part, which has meant we got to have some fun in the sun. We borrowed some bikes off of B’s grandparents and went on a few rides around the bays and beaches here which was awesome. They are getting rid of one of their bikes, as they’re moving house, so we are going to lock it to the bullbars and take it with us, hopefully picking up another somewhere along the way. It’s awesome having bikes as we can just park the van somewhere and ride off, and cover a far greater distance than if we were walking. That being said, we have also been on a few walks, a favourite being up Mt. Tomaree. It was quite a short steep walk, with a well established pathway and stairs up to the top. Apparently people run up and down it for exercise, but that was a bit too keen for us. The views from the peak were just stunning!

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Mothers Day also passed while we were here, and I took the opportunity to make one of my favourite cakes for Billy’s Nan. This one comes to you from Vegan with a Vengeance, it’s the amazing Ginger-Macadamia-Coconut-Carrot Cake. Ideal for a special occasion (but also ideal forĀ eating whenever you want to).Ā In my experience, this cake never fails to please, no matter who the audience. It is just deeeeeelicious!! If you’ve never tried it before, do – trust me, it will seriously blow your mind!

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Ginger-Macadamia-Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups carrots, grated

Preheat oven to 180C andĀ lightly grease two 8-inch round springform cake pans, or if you prefer, one 9Ɨ13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground spices.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the pineapple juice, oil, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in small batches and combine well with a hand mixer or strong fork. Fold in the macadamias, ginger, coconut, and carrots.

Divide the batter evenly between the two round pans, or spread in the rectangular pan, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Let it cool in the pans. Allow to cool, before icing between the layers and on top with the following recipe. If you used one pan, you can either cut the cake in two or just leave it as a single layer. The double tier makes it just that bit snazzier.
Coconut Icing

1/4 cup nuttelex or other vegan margarine
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cupsĀ icing sugar, sifted
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Cream margarine until light and fluffy. Add the coconut milk and vanilla and combine. Add the confectioners sugar and mix until smooth. Add the coconut, mix to combine, and refrigerate until ready to use.

This usually makes enough icing to do the sides too, but I kind of like how it looks without. I alsoĀ like to sprinkle more shredded coconut on top, just to make it look pretty and fluffy. Hope you enjoy it!

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