Monthly Archives: August 2014

Hungarian Gerbaud-inspired Birthday Cake

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Hungarian Gerbaud-inspired Birthday Cake

August is our month for celebrations: birthdays, anniversaries line up and they get us start…baking!!

 

Abel celebrates together with about 1 billion people (Independence Day of India) and I decided to try to recover my cake baking skills. As a teenager I used to bake a lot, but that was a long time ago and I was never an expert on decorating. “Ugly and yummie” – said an iconic Hungarian chocolate commercial, and that was true for my cakes as well.

One of my "creations" at the age of 16.

One of my “creations” at the age of 16.

Yet, I gave my best… As my mother sent a package with walnuts from my Grandmother’s garden, I didn’t have to think long. And I just realized it was probably inspired by Zserbó (or Gerbaud, named after a famous pastry shop owner), a.k.a. the traditional Hungarian Christmas pastry. :)

Contrary to our plans made long time ago, Abel was not working on the 15th of August, a public holiday here. Thus I had to speed up and make the cake within one day. Usually I like to take two days to make a nice cake.


WALNUT CAKE

Ingredients (for a cake of 24-26 cm)

Dough (sponge cake)

  • 2.5 cups of flour
  • 4 tbsp of grated walnut
  • 1 package of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar
  • 6 tbsp of honey
  • 1.5 cups of soy milk
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 2 tbsp of vinegar

Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder and mix all the dry ingredients. Then add the liquid ingredients and mix it well. Pour the dough into a form. I used a flower-shaped silicon form. I love that the slices become hearts when you cut it! :) Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and bake it for about 25-30 minutes.

Vegan Sponge Cake

Vegan Sponge Cake

Walnut cream I

  • 1.5 cups of raisins
  • 1 cup of walnut
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • rum

Some days before, I put the raisins in a jar and filled it up with rum, so that they soak through.

Put raisins into a blender (better wash them before, my cream got a bit too…. alcoholic!), add nuts and honey. Mix it until it gets a nice smooth paste. It should be like a jam.

Walnut-Raisin Cream

Walnut-Raisin Cream

Walnut cream II

  • 1 cup of silken tofu
  • 1 cup of sweetened cocoa butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup of grated walnut

Melt cocoa butter and pour it into the blender, together with the other ingredients. When the cream cools down, it should have the perfect texture for the cake.

Walnut Mousse

Walnut Mousse

Decoration

  • vegan chocolate
  • (coconut) oil
  • 1 cup of vegan whipped cream
  • 1 tsp of agar-agar + vegan milk/water
  • 1 lemon (skin)
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • Hazelnut croccante and grated walnut

I wanted to make 3 layers but finally I managed to cut the cake only into two.

For the top of the cake I melted some vegan chocolate and added some oil to make it shiny. I also made some deco-hearts. To write on the cake and for the sides, I made a cream out of vegan whipped cream, honey and lemon; mixed with hot agar-agar.

A slice of my heart :P

Tip: Agar-agar needs about 4 hours time to take effect – I did not have so much time, as you will see on the result. I suggest to wait and decorate the cake later, to avoid cream dropping down. Usually one afternoon I make the base and the cream of the cake, leave the decoration for the next evening, and present it on the third day.

Abel told me he wanted some fruit cake for his birthday. Unfortunately a notice too late but… he ate it all! :) And I’m also quite proud of my first (almost) vegan cake.

Abel 2(0)9! :)

Abel 2(0)9! :)

 

Happy Birthday, mi amor!

 

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Soy Curry, a recipe by popular request

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For many years I used to cook almost exclusively Indian food. And I didn’t want to post recipes here; I thought there are better sources for this. We are a big fans of ManjulaJi’s videos, or also Charanya’s blog for a few vegan ideas. However, I learned the basics during several years from in an Indian home, thus the flavours are pretty authentic. ;)

One of the very few pictures I still have from those times

One of the very few and least mysterious pictures I still have from those times :)

We ordered some soy chunks several weeks ago. I was not very enthusiastic (call it bad childhood memories) but Abel wanted to try it. The one and only time I had eaten a delicious dish made of soy chunks was when the Indian husband of a friend prepared it. So no other way could I imagine to prepare it.


SOY CURRY

Ingredients (enough for 4 ppl):

  • 3 medium potatoes (optional)
  • 2 cups of green peas (frozen)
  • 2 cups of texturized soya chunks
  • 1 big onion
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 tomatoes peeled (or a canned version)
  • 4 tbsp of oil or ghee (pure butter)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of coconut milk
  • 3 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King spice mix (optional, but I love to add it to everything)
  • 1-2 red hot chilli pepper
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Mango powder
  • salt, according to taste
  • green onion, chopped coriander and coconut milk for decoration

Preparation time: 30 minutes

First make a marinade of soy sauce, pepper and coconut milk for the soy chunks. Leave it for two hours.
Then make the masala: put tomatoes, onion and garlic in the blender until it becomes a soft paste. Heat some oil in a pan (I used a big wok) and add the masala. Fry it for about 5-7 minutes on low heat.
Then add the soy chunks, without the liquid, and fry it for a few more minutes. Now mix it with the powdered spices.
Finally leftover marinade liquid/coconut milk, the peas and potatoes. Cook it for another  15-20 minutes.

Soy Curry

Soy Curry

You can eat our Soy Curry with rice as well, but I made some Garlic Naan, that due to our oven became more like a pita bread. Anyway, it was utterly tasty and this is what matters. I can share the recipe, if you like. :)

Garlic Naan mistaken for Pita Bread

Garlic Naan, mistaken for Pita Bread

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Sesame Seeed Pesto

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Sesame Seeed Pesto

Our balcony garden has been a project with ups and downs. We can harvest some strawberries, cherry tomatoes, chillies, flowers and many herbs. Basil is one of the most proliferate ones.

Before the one-week-Munich Sommer terminates (this? summer???), we’ve collected some basil leaves and made a fast and easy pesto. With sesame seeds, as it has a lot of essential minerals, zinc, Vitamin E, antioxidants as we were to lazy to get out for pine nuts in the heavy rain. And because it’s cool like this!

By the way, do you like Seeed?


SESAME-BASIL PESTO

Ingredients (for 1 cup of pesto)

  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lemon (juice)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese or Parmezzano from Vantastic foods (vegan-option)

Preparation time: 10 min.

Start with blending basil leaves and slowly add the olive oil.

The order of the ingredients is important, unless you want the result to look like this:

DON’T ever mix hot pine nuts to basil leaves…

Then add the sesame seeds and the spices. Finish up with Parmezzano.

Yesterday we ate it with some Spaghetti and cherry tomatoes. Yummie!

Sesame Seed Pesto

Sesame Seed Pesto

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