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!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Fiona Apple

For some reason, every time I think of Fiona Apple I picture Fiona Horne – remember her, the white witch? I know they aren’t the same person so I don’t know what’s causing the mix-up, but I just can’t help it. Sorry Fiona Apple. I’m not sure if you guys have heard any of Fiona Horne’s songs, but well, I’ll let you have a listen for yourselves. Scroll down if you dare…

This is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of apple desserts. It has fond memories for me, it was a regular in mum’s winter repertoire alongside other favourites such as golden syrup dumplings, sago, and custard with dessicated coconut on top. It’s a relatively easy one to whip up, and is super comforting, particularly when you’re all snuggled up on a cold night.

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Baked Stuffed Apples
(makes 4)

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp nuttelex or coconut oil
1 tsp lemon or orange zest (different but both delicious!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small bowl, mix together dates, walnuts, coconut sugar, zest, spices and salt. Add nuttelex and vanilla and stir to combine into a kind of paste.

Now, core your apples. This can be a bit tricky without a corer, but I use a small sharp knife to make the first cut, then use one of those old school melon ballers to remove the rest. I have done it with just a sharp knife, however it does take a bit longer. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through to the bottom or your filling will leak out – try to leave a centimetre or so.

fionaappleUsing a sharp knife, cut a line around the width of the apple. This will prevent the skin from bursting in a funny way.

fionaapple2Now stuff your apples full of mix and pop them in a baking tray or dish.

fionaapple3Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the tray, then cover with a lid or some foil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover, and bake a further 5-10 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

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This is the first Fiona Apple song I ever heard.

And as promised, this is Fiona Horne on good old Hey Hey It’s Saturday…

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Music for your Mouth: Jello Biafra

We don’t really call it Jello here – it’s Jelly – but I am not going to let that get in the way of some good edible audio.

Today’s beats to eat come to you from the great Jello Biafra – you might know him from acts such as the Dead Kennedys and his collaboration with the Melvins, or for having a sense of onomatopoeia about him, with a voice that sounds somewhat like wobbly jelly. Today, however, he comes to you in the form of a delicious dessert.

jello5It’s like trifle, but not as daggy. Truth be told, I never really liked that weird sponge cake layer in trifle anyway, so this suits my tastes juuuuuust fine.

Jelly is another one of those foods that reminds me of being a kid – in fact, I’m pretty sure I haven’t had it in years. I used to love when my mum would make it for me when I was home from school with a sore throat – it was such a treat!

jello4I’m still impressed with just how cool this looks. I love the way the berries are suspended at different heights, reminds me of being in space or something (obviously I know all about being in space).

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Fancy Layered Jelly Cups
(makes 2)

1 pack vegan jelly crystals
400ml boiling water
Handful of blueberries and strawberries

1 cup cashew milk (or other nondairy milk)
1.5 Tbsp vegan custard powder
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

1-2 squares chocolate, shaved

Empty jelly crystals into a heat proof jug, then pour in boiling water and stir until dissolved.

Prepare two fancy glasses by popping a few blueberries and some chopped strawberries in the bottom. Distribute jelly mix evenly amongst the glasses, then place in the fridge to set.

Next, prepare the custard. In a small saucepan, whisk together a couple of tablespoons of cashew milk with the custard powder and coconut sugar.

Add remaining milk and heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble, whisking constantly. Allow to cook for about three minutes, until the mixture is noticeably thicker, continuing to whisk to avoid lumps forming. Turn off heat and stir through vanilla. Set aside to cool – you don’t want to put hot custard onto your jelly as it will melt. Allow to cool, but check in every so often to whisk up and ensure it doesn’t set. When cool enough, divide custard among the glasses and return to the fridge to set.

When cool, garnish with some extra berries and shaved chocolate.

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Music for your Mouth: Vanilla Ice

Oh Vanilla Ice. How your song always used to get me excited, thinking I was about to hear Queen and David Bowie sing Under Pressure. The disappointment every time…

Still, there’s no denying that the song has entertainment value, especially with the 80’s film clip. Ha ha ha. Oh lordy.

vanillaicee1I originally made this ice cream with coconut milk but found that the coconut was a little too overpowering, outshining the vanilla beans. I decided to give it a go with cashew milk, as I thought the flavour might be a bit more neutral and the consistency creamier. I think it worked out really well, and I enjoy the subtle hint of cashew.

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Vanilla Bean Cashew Ice Cream

400ml cashew milk
400ml coconut cream
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 vanilla beans
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp vodka

Heat cashew milk, coconut cream, agave and salt in a pot over medium-low heat. Scrape vanilla bean out and add to pot, chucking the pods in as well to cook out all the flavour.

Remove a small amount of liquid from the pot and whisk arrowroot into it, before returning it to the pot.

Turn off heat and stir through vodka. The vodka helps by acting as an ‘anti-freeze’, which means your ice cream will stay creamy rather than going as hard as a rock. Cool trick huh?

Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge until mixture is completely cool. Remove vanilla bean pods and pour mix into ice cream maker to do its magic! Once complete, eat straight away for a soft serve style ice cream, or transfer to the freezer to firm up.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, do not fear, you can still make ice cream! You will just need to pour the mix into a dish of some sort and place it in the freezer, and check in on it every half an hour or so to whisk it up until it freezes. This is important to ensure you get the creamiest ice cream possible!

I served this with some pureed strawberries on top and a shaving of chocolate and/or a sprig of mint. Deeelicious.

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veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Martha and the Muffins

Holy moly there’s some great alliteration going on in the title today. A mouthful of muffins!

I had heard of the band Martha and the Muffins in passing before now, but didn’t really think I knew who they were. I did a bit of the old internet research, and the first song that came up on youtube was Echo Beach. As soon as I started playing the song I recognised it – it is so familiar, I just have no idea where from. The Bear felt the same too…perhaps it is in a movie or something? 

Regardless of where it’s from, it’s a catchy tune with a perfect 80s film clip – the outfits, the hair styles, the split screen shots – it’s all there! I probably should have made some daggy 80’s cookbook muffins to match, but I will leave that to Hasta La Vegan, who is doing a spectacular job of with her theme of Bizarre and Outdated Cookbooks. Check. It. Out. Some serious dishes happening over there.

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Zucchini and chocolate are the perfect partners in crime in the creation of lovely moist cakes. Not only that, but using veggies in sweets is a great way to sneak them in for those who do not look so kindly upon them. I reckon that if I had zucchini-hating children, I would definitely test this recipe on them – I bet they would barely notice the vegetables in amongst all that delicious chocolate.

marthamuffins4I don’t know what it is about muffins, but Ruby can never seem to keep her eyes off them. She is definitely my dog! Or maybe it’s the sneaky cats on the tea towel that she’s got her eye on this time…

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Chunky Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(makes 12)

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup overripe banana, mashed
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxmeal = 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease or line a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cacao, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, vanilla, oil, sugar, flax egg and milk.

Stir zucchini into the wet mix, then pour the whole lot into the dry mix and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Fold through choc chunks.

Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 mins until they bounce back when you press them lightly. Allow to cool slightly, then turn onto a cooling rack.

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Music for your Mouth: Vanilla Fudge

Vanilla Fudge are awesome. They do heaps of sweet psychedelic covers of famous songs. Need I say more?

They are also named after a delicious food, which I have quite literally tried to recreate here. I haven’t used cacao butter too much in the past – in fact I’ve only ever used it to make raw chocolate – so I was unsure of how this might turn out. I had hoped that it would help the fudge to be a bit more solid and hold form, which it did. Funnily enough, it turned out tasting very white chocolatey, maybe more so than fudgey. Regardless, I reckon it tastes pretty damn good. I cut it into bit sized squares with the intention that one as a little afternoon treat would be adequate. Obviously I ate it all within a few sittings. Ahem.

vanillafudgeRaw Vanilla Fudge

Vanilla layer:
3/4 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 cup cacao butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp maca (optional)
1/3 cup coconut cream
2 vanilla beans
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Chocolate topping:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 1/2 Tbsp cacao
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Prepare a slice tin by lining with baking paper.

Blend cashews until they resemble coarse crumbs.

Melt coconut oil and cacao butter over double boiler, then add to blender along with agave, maca, vanillas and salt. Blend until combined. Add coconut cream and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into prepared tin and place in the freezer until set.

For the topping, melt coconut oil over a double boiler. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour over fudge base and return to the freezer until set.

Store in the fridge to avoid meltiness.

vanillafudge2I totally dig this cover of the Zombies song, She’s Not There. Ch-ch-check it out! The last chorus just kills it! Yeeeeow!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Peanut Butter Wolf

I was just thinking to myself the other day how peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best flavour combinations – you can’t beat salty and sweet. Then, yesterday, out of nowhere, my housemate was talking about how much she loved peanut butter, but hated it with sweet things like chocolate. Whaaaa? Different strokes for different folks I suppose!

Peanut Butter Wolf is a DJ who spins some funky tunes, which are great to listen to in the kitchen. I tell ya, it’s the best for getting into a smooth rhythm of measuring and pouring and sauntering from the cupboard to the bench. And if I were a peanut butter wolf, I would definitely be hunting down peanut butter cups, that’s for sure.

I’ve made pb cups using melted choc and roasted pb before, but when I decided to make these ones I didn’t have any chocolate on hand. As a result I came up with these little raw fellas, and I think they make a pretty sweet replacement.

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Raw Peanut Butter Cups
(makes about 12 cups)

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup agave
Pinch pink Himalayan salt
3/4 cup raw natural peanut butter

Set out twelve small muffin papers or chocolate cases, ready to go.

Melt coconut oil in double boiler, remove bowl and add cacao, agave and salt. Stir well to combine.

Pour about a teaspoon of the mix into cases and spread around the edges.

pb1Place cases in the freezer and allow to set.

Remove from freezer and fill each cup with about a teaspoon of peanut butter.

pb2Fill to the top of each case with chocolate and return to the freezer until set. Enjoy!

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Music for your Mouth: The Honeycombs

I’m going to be honest with you – I had never heard of the band the Honeycombs until I started researching more foody music. But I found them, and it gave me an excuse to make some honeycomb. The Honeycombs are a pop band from the 60s with catchy tunes and a groovy girl drummer. Yeah, I said groovy.

Unlike yesterday’s recipe, there is nothing healthy about this sweet. It is basically sugar with sugar, coated in sugar. But boy is it delicious! Plus it’s kind of like doing primary school science in the kitchen. Remember making volcanoes erupt with bicarb and vinegar lava? Or what we used to do as kids – go across the road to the park with those little eggs from inside Kinder Surprises. We would fill one half with vinegar and the other with bicarb and you would have to join them together REALLY QUICKLY and throw them up in the air before they exploded. If you timed it right they would explode in the air and we would all rejoice.

honeycombs3Honeycomb

1 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup glucose syrup
2 Tbsp agave nectar
2 tsp bicarb soda

Line some kind of vessel (I used a 27x18cm slice pan) with baking paper and set aside. Get baking soda ready by measuring it into a small bowl and ensuring there are no lumps. Grab a whisk and place it nearby.

Place the sugar, glucose syrup and agave nectar in a large pot and heat on medium. Don’t stir the mix while you do this, rather, try to poke it together with a wooden spoon to ensure the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, turn the heat up to high and bring mix to a boil.

Allow to bubble away until it turns golden in colour – if you have a candy thermometer, this should be around 150C.

Working quickly, take the pot off the heat, pour in bicarb soda and whisk together. The mixture will expand rapidly and become foamy. Quickly pour it into your prepared pan and then LEAVE ALONE. It is imperative that you do not touch at this point, or your honeycomb will deflate.

honeycombsAllow to cool for at 45 minutes to an hour.

Once set, break or cut into pieces.

honeycombs2And voila! Your very own bowl of honeycomb to do with what you please.

Obviously, I melted some chocolate and coated it all to made mini crunchie bites.

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veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: The Lemonheads

The Lemonheads remind me a lot of being in high school. A time when I was absorbing a LOT of music, much of it from before my time. The song at the bottom of this post was the first I ever heard from the band, and it got me interested enough to find some more tunes, which led me to some of their earlier, heavier stuff, such as the recommended blending song below. I’m pretty excited to spotlight this band, because they’re coming to Australia at the end of the year, and I’m going to see them! Yeehahhhh!

I guess this is kind of a strange dessert to match the Lemonheads – I don’t think they are really a raw dessert kind of band. Nevertheless, these tarts are a tasty treat. To be honest, I just thought it would be an easy lemon thing to make. I’m copping out already – on day two! Ahhhh…who cares, it is a delicious cop out at worst – I can live with that.

lemonheadsApart from setting time (and even then, they only really need about 45 mins), these are such a quick and simple dessert to whip up that is sure to impress any guests. The filling is super zesty and not too sweet, which is how I like my lemony desserts. The tarts have had the tick of approval from the Bear and the family, so they are definitely being added to the repertoire.

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A song for you to drown out the whizzing of the blender:

 

Raw Lemon Tarts
(makes 3 tarts, maybe 4 if you use smaller tins)

Base:
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup medjool dates, pits removed
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of pink himalayan salt

Filling:
1 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp agave nectar
Pinch of pink himalayan salt

Dash of turmeric for colour

Lemon zest and strawberry to garnish (optional)

Place pecans and walnuts in a blender or food processor and blend until they resemble coarse crumbs. Add dates, vanilla and salt and blend until the mixture holds together. Press into tart tins and put in the freezer to set.

Blend filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. The mixture should be pourable – add a little more coconut milk if necessary. Spread evenly amongst tart bases, then return to freezer to set.

Garnish with some extra lemon zest and strawberry.

lemonheads3As I said, this is the first Lemonheads song I ever heard, and it has always had a knack of sticking in my head for ages – I’m too much with myself, I wanna be someone else, I’m too much with myself, I wanna be someone else.

I love the little vocal harmony from Juliana Hatfield. The folky tune and smooth warm voice meant I could listen to it over and over and over. Sit back, relax and enjoy the delicious tunes.

veganmofo

Strawberry Fields For-never (or not getting jobs as strawberry pickers)

Have you ever wondered why voting booths give you PENCILS instead of pens? Billy’s mum alerted us to this a little while ago, and when casting my early vote this morning, I couldn’t help but notice that I was given a pen to fill out the envelope I had to write on for the interstate form, but when I got to the booth – only pencils! Conspiracy?!?

Luckily for me, I had a pen on hand and the voting volunteer said it was fine that I used it but assured me that there was no chance that anybody was going to be messing with the votes. Not now that mine’s in pen, that’s for sure!

Anyway, I digress from what I came here to post.

Queensland is home to many strawberry farms, particularly along around the Sunshine Coast region. We tried our hardest to get some picking work on one of them on the way up but the place was swarming with backpackers, also desperately seeking some employment.

In many ways, it’s a good thing we didn’t get any as it opened up other opportunities to us – Billy getting to work at the Gympie Muster (and getting paid an hourly wage rather than oh…about $4/tray of strawberries) as well as the work I am doing this week the jewellery stall. But it was still kind of demoralising ringing farm after farm, doing drive arounds and stopping at every strawberry farm in sight and just getting rejection after rejection. Nothing personal, but still.

Nevertheless, just because we didn’t pick the strawberries, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of what sunny Queensland has to offer us in the form of these little red gems.

Melt a little chocolate and some coconut oil, grab some strawberries and voila! Heavenly choc berries!

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