Monday, October 8, 2018

Decadent Chocolate Birthday Cake

Chocolate fantasies come true with this exceptional cake. 
On Sunday, a few minor things went wrong. Firstly, I was originally making a round cake, but the spring form pan wasn't secured and a bit of batter leaked on the counter (thankfully, most of the batter was saved). The pumpkin frosting, however, turned to a cottage cheese consistency and couldn't be rescued.
As I prepared Nora's recipe for the best vegan chocolate cake, mild skepticism rose a bit at such a watery batter-- a first for me. She had put a warning disclaimer in her post. Plus, the in-use oven was set at 270 degrees stood in the way of making a successful dessert.
The cake is rich and moist, perfect for chocolate fanatics. One bite transformed a bad day to heavenly delight.

Decadent Chocolate Birthday Cake Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup chocolate (used Chauo Chocolatier Sea Salt Bar)
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine almond milk and vinegar together. Set aside.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Mix in almond milk, vinegar, coconut oil, and pumpkin puree. Add boiling water.
Pour batter into greased baking pan.
Bake for 23-25 minutes. Let cool.
Whisk together chocolate and coconut oil.
Assemble the cake, pouring some icing on the first, putting the second layer on top, and pouring the remaining icing. Chill covered in the refrigerator.

Scenes of a chocolate affair. Is there no greater indulgent love?

The best treat is one topped with Reddi Whip Almond Whipped Cream and Chauo Chocolatier messages.

After the first taste.....

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Berbere Spiced Tempeh with Mushroom Couscous

On Birthday Eve, I made a nice simple meal for the end of this age. It hasn't been the best year, but hopefully tomorrow is a significant start of something new and fulfilling-- as fulfilling as delicious berbere spiced tempeh and mushroom couscous.

Berbere Spiced Tempeh with Mushroom Couscous Ingredients and Preparation

1 box Near East Mushrooms and Herb Couscous
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 8oz tempeh
1 teaspoon berbere spice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of parsley

While preparing couscous to package directions, caramelize onions in olive oil for five to seven minutes. Add mushrooms.
Rub tempeh with berbere spice, salt, and black pepper on both sides and pan sear alongside onions and mushrooms.
Serve with couscous and sprinkle dry pasrsley atop.

Baked Pumpkin Walnut Rotini

A baked pumpkin pasta is the perfect start to bringing in that traditional autumn flavor.
Happy October-- my favorite month of the year! I'm looking forward to pumpkin flavored meals, new themed treats to review, birthday cakes (gotta have more than one), and scary movie marathons.
I start off with a dish inspired by bonnie_rabbits Instagram. She had created a scrumptious pumpkin lasagna during Vegan Mofo 2018 commemorating the pumpkin emoji. Now I used rotini pasta as opposed to prepping lasagna-- that's a challenge for another day. 
The simple orange sauce is rich and nutty, complementing the pasta and broccoli beautifully.

Baked Pumpkin Walnut Rotini Ingredients and Preparation

2 1/2 cup rotini
1 1/2 cup broccoli (or any green vegetable like spinach or kale)
1 1/2 cup walnuts (soaked for 6-8 hours or overnight)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoon almond milk
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pumpkin seeds (optional)

Cook pasta and broccoli according to package directions. Pour into a baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a blender or food processor, combine walnuts, pumpkin, nutritional yeast, almond milk, garlic, turmeric, salt, basil, and black pepper until thick and creamy.
Fold sauce into pasta and broccoli. Top with pumpkin seeds if desired.
Bake for thirty minutes.

Out of the oven.
And straight to the plate.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 26: West African Lime Cake

West African Lime Cake concludes a month of Veganizing Recipes from Africa. I loved that a majority of these finds were already vegan. 

It has been a splendid Vegan Mofo. Thank you everyone for visiting, leaving comments, and trying out shared recipes. I truly appreciate the time spent learning about Africa regions and diverse cuisines and bringing that to AfroVeganChick. Whether recipes succeeded triumphantly or failed profusely, I had wonderful, long moments spent in the kitchen, experimenting and growing as a vegan cook enthusiast.  This is certainly not the end to integrating ancestral food into my contemporary lifestyle.
A huge thank you to the Vegan Mofo team for the avid social media support including this shout out to the "Fish" Balls (thank you, Rosie!). You gals and guys rock!
Since my birthday is next Sunday, a light early celebratory dessert was in order. In West Africa, lime cake is the rage next to sweet fried puff puffs and mandazi. I made a veganized version that is coarse and grainy, less airier than a standard American cake. Similar to cornbread texture, this lime cake will please anyone who has a modest sweet tooth.

West African Lime Cake Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoon flaxmeal with 4 tablespoon water)
juice and zest of one lime
2/3 cup dairy free milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, sugar, and baking powder.
Mix in oil, flax egg, lime zest and juice, and dairy free milk.

All mixed together. Pour into a greased baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. 

Cooled lime cake topped with Reddi Whip Almond Whipped Cream and lime slices. 

Perfect end to an amazing Vegan Mofo 2018. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 25: Khobz

Baked khobz is perfect any time of the day. Best served warm. 
Morocco--primarily mountainous-- is definitely a place that I long to visit alongside the newly discovered Mauritius. Known for pleasant beaches and gorgeous weather, this large country hashweather similar to California. Official languages are Moroccan and Hassaniya Arabic, Berber, and some French. Majestic peaks include the Toubkal (the largest range in Northern Africa) and the High Atlas Mountains. Their arts and literature are celebrated. Louis Lumiere's Le Chevier Marocain has the earliest film created in Morocco from 1897.
Moroccan cuisine is limitless with influences from Moorish to Mediterranean. Mint, saffron, lemons, oranges, olives, couscous, and dates.
Most importantly, they have bread everyday and khobz is often the top bakery choice. It is a hard and crusty with a soft interior. The top is often coated in sesame seeds before baking in the oven. I found this recipe on Kevin Lee Jacob's A Garden for the House blog-- takes an hour and minutes to make and well worth the effort in the end.

Khobz Ingredients and Preparation

1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
sesame seeds

Mix warm water and yeast together. Set aside for ten minutes.
Stir flour and salt.
Add warm water and yeast mixture.
Knead for ten to twelve minutes.
Transfer onto parchment paper that is laid out a baking sheet. Cut dough in half and flatten with palm. Cover and rest for ten minutes.
Once the dough has risen, pour and press in the sesame seeds.
Cover again and let dough rest for another hour.
Preheat oven to 425, use a knife to score steam vents on both breads, and bake for 25 minutes.

Fresh baked bread is one of the best kitchen smells.  In fact, this traveled all the way upstairs. 

Breakfast scene: warmed khobz, vegan butter, and cold almond milk. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 24: Grilled Enqulal Tibs & Cheese Sandwiches

A spice grilled cheese with amazing tofu scramble.
Today's destination of Ethiopia hails a few people I personally know including local artist Sedakial Gebremedhim. This highly populated (100 million people), very beautiful country is located in the Horn of Africa bordered by Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya. There are 856 bird species and 16 of them are endangered. Mammals are also vulnerable and on a rapid decline due to deforestation. Organizations are in place to aide in reducing the issues.
Ethiopian cuisine is starred by delicious injera-- a sour teff flour dough usually topped with a variety of spiced vegetables and legumes. It is custom to eat it with hands and feed it to loved ones and strangers.
Originally, I had planned to make injera, but fate had other ideas in store. In comes enqulal tibs-- a popular scrambled eggs dish prepared with nit'r kibbeh and berbere spice. I crumbled extra firm tofu and fried with leftover coconut nit'r kibbeh and homemade berbere. It doesn't stop there. The bread is grilled on both sides, lightly coated in the kibbeh, making for one of the most unique grilled "cheese" experiences ever. The flavors are outstanding.
By the way, while in the kitchen photographing my sandwiches, my passing housemate exclaimed," wow that looks and smells good. Everything you make always smells good!"
That was my happy, humbling moment of today.

Grilled Enqulal Tibs & Cheese Sandwiches Ingredients and Preparation

berbere spice from Imma

3 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon black pepper (preferably white)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fenugreek
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Stir everything together, making sure to crush any balls and lumps like ground ginger. 

I poured mine in an empty black pepper grinder.

Tofu Scramble

1 1/2 tablespoon coconut nit'r kibbeh
1 1/2 cup crumbled extra firm tofu
1 1/2 teaspoon berbere spice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
bread (used Dave's Killer 21 Seeds Thin Sliced Bread)
Field Roast Tomato Cayenne Chao (or any dairy free alternative)

In a skillet, heat up coconut nit'r kibbeh.
Toss tofu scramble with berbere, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Pour into hot skillet.
Stir tofu scramble around in the sizzling kibbeh, browning sides for five to seven minutes.
Scoop prepared tofu scramble into bread and top with vegan cheese.
Add more coconut nit'r kibbeh to the skillet and lay down the sandwiches, pressing on them with a spatula. Both sides should be toasty and brown.

Gorgeous sandwiches presented on a beautiful plate.

Dig in. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 23: Arroz Roce

São Tomé and Príncipe are an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, near western coast of central Africa, with Gabon closest. The official language is Portuguese and Forro, Angolar, and Principense are also spoken. It is a hot and humid location with a few bird species and plants thriving in Africa's second smallest country. The main agricultural crop is cocoa and then palm kernels, copra, and coffee. Their cuisine is mostly beans, corn, cooked bananas, pineapple, avocado, coffee as seasoning, hot spices, and sweet potato omelettes.
I wasn't partial to making rice pudding. Once, I had a stepfather that demanded my siblings and I to eat sugared white rice. Back then, we were raised on butter and salted rice. I thought it was one of the grossest creations known to man-- well next to my hatred of ham and spam. Still, the island's popular arroz roce is divine and simple dessert. I didn't have coconut milk on hand, but So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer and regular almond milk thickened the rice well enough. The kitchen smelled so sweet and fragrant, I couldn't wait to devour a bowl or two. This models the recipe from the 196Flavors blog.

Arroz Roce Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/4 cup rice
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut creamer
1/2 cup almond milk

Bring rice, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick to a boil.
Add salt, sugar, cinnamon, coconut creamer, and dairy free milk.
Allow rice to thicken.