The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Category: Recipes (page 2 of 12)

Fresh Ginger Spice Cake

Fresh Ginger Spice Cake

Ginger is one of my favorite spices. I adore it in all forms. Fresh ginger is something I add to almost everything Indian I cook. Dal, khichdi, curries, soups… all of them get a generous addition of ginger – chopped or shredded. My daily cup of masala chai depends on fresh ginger for the zing and sharpness. Last India trip, I brought back to the U.S. a big knob of fragrant dried ginger (“chukkuh” in Malayalam). It liberally perfumed the plastic bag it came in. I add generous doses of dried ginger powder (“soonth”) to spice cookies and cakes. We are loyal consumers of all manner of herbal ginger teas (Yogi, Traditional Medicinals, Pukka, etc.)

I think I waited too long to make this cake, no?

Here is the original recipe. I have tweaked quantities and substituted ingredients in my version, so please read both recipes before you start baking!

Ingredients

80g fresh ginger, peeled
2/3 cup organic unsulphured molasses
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, at room temperature (I used Ener-G egg replacer)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan with oil or non-stick spray.
  • Chop the ginger finely. Or you can use a mixer/grinder to shred it finely.
  • Combine the shredded ginger, molasses, sugar and olive oil in a large bowl.
  • Mix the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper in another bowl.
  • Bring the water to boil in a saucepan, add baking soda. Stir the water into the molasses mixture.
  • Incorporate the dry ingredients in to the molasses mixture.
  • Add the egg replacer to the batter. Mix well until combined thoroughly.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for an hour until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts browning before the cake is done, cover with a piece of aluminum foil and continue baking.
  • Let the cake cool for a good 30 minutes.
  • Cut into wedges, enjoy.

Notes

  • This cake is a beautiful blend of the sweet and spicy. The dark sweetness of the molasses perfectly complements the warm spices.
  • I used spelt flour in place of whole wheat flour.
  • The original recipe called for 120g of fresh ginger. However, the kind of fresh ginger we buy is very intense, so I reduced the quantity to 80g instead.
  • I used a loaf pan that was clearly the wrong size. The cake swelled up and started overflowing down the sides of the pan. The original recipe calls for a 9-inch springform pan or a 9inch x 3inch cake pan, neither of which I own. Well, the cake swelled like crazy, finally collapsing in the center. Next time, I will use a larger baking utensil.
  • I think this cake could benefit from the addition of dried cranberries and/or black raisins.

Sesame Coconut Cookies

I chanced upon Love Food Eat a while ago and, I am sure, like most visitors, fell in love with Chinmayie’s gorgeous photography and drool-inducing recipes. Her recipe for Kashayam was a hit! It is my morning beverage of choice, coupled with a slice of toasted multi-grain spelt bread. I also loved her recipe for Sprouted Horse Gram Curry.

Here are the results from the latest cooking experiment, inspired by Love Food Eat’s recipe for Vegan Sesame Coconut Cookies.

Sesame Coconut Cookies

Sesame Coconut Cookies

I adapted Chinmayie’s recipe, adding in my own substitutions and proportions. The end result is a mildly sweet cookie, crumbly in texture and hearty in flavor.

Ingredients

2 cups spelt flour
2/3 cup of sugar (I used a variety of organic cane sugar)
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup of roasted sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of sunflower seed butter

Method

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the wet ingredients one by one mixing slowly till the dough comes together. Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 350 F.
  • Line the baking tray with a parchment paper. Place a small amount of dough between your palms and press to make cookies.
  • Place them on the baking tray leaving a little gap in between the cookies.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes just as the bases starts to brown.
  • Let the cookies cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container and enjoy.

Notes

  • I used spelt flour in place of whole wheat flour.
  • The original recipe called for a whole cup of sugar but I only used 2/3 of it. My version resulted in mildly sweet cookies.
  • I began using 1/2 cup of coconut oil but the dough felt too dry, and so I added another 1/4 cup.
  • I had no cinnamon and used cardamom instead. I thought it would be a good spice to add to the sesame-coconut combination. Unfortunately, the flavor wasn’t even discernible. Next time, I will add double the amount.
  • I had a bottle of sunflower seed butter in the refrigerator that I used in place of tahini paste (as called for in Chinmayie’s recipe).

Buckwheat Spelt Cookies with Cashews and Sesame Seeds

Sounds so tantalizing, hmmm?

This was a good batch of cookies, and surprisingly, they turned out well when I made them the second time too! I have experienced beginner’s luck many times, so I am fairly cautious when it comes to singing paeans of any recipe too loud.

The original recipe came from Desert Candy, a favorite food blog I read almost every day. I made a few minor substitutions (check notes below the recipe).

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of sesame seeds and chopped cashews
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of spelt flour

Method

  • Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add in the salt and vanilla. Add both the flours to the bowl and the seeds and stir until just mixed in, do not overbeat.
  • Form the dough into a rectangular/circular log, wrap the log in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, until chilled and firm.
  • Preheat oven to 325F. Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 16-18 minutes, until edges are just barely golden (do not let cookies brown).
  • Let cool on a rack.

Notes

  • These are light, crumbly cookies. They look like biscotti when baked and ready.
  • I used a dark variety of buckwheat flour, so my cookies had a dark grey hue to them.
  • I used vegan Earth Balance in place of butter.
  • I didn’t bother much with the proportions of sesame seeds v/s cashews. I simply made sure that the volume of cashews and sesame seeds together added to 1/4 cup.
  • The original recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon of salt but I found that too salty for my taste, and used only a pinch in the second batch.

These are addictive cookies! I baked the second batch for P to take to work, and they vanished – POOF!