24 dic. 2018

Vegan Galette des Rois

After a whole week sick with a (very) nasty flu I'm starting to feel a bit better, though I lost my voice and can't even talk. Luckily the fever's gone and my appetite is back right in time to enjoy all the Christmas feasts, and since I planned very well my holiday cooking I found some free time to make this vegan galette des Rois and write the recipe before X-mas Day. Actually this puff pastry cake is traditionally served during the 'Epiphanie' in France and Belgium, on january 6. Here in Spain we call this festivity the King's Day and the typical dessert we eat is a brioche ring cake filled with marzipan (like this one I made last year), of course I'm planning to do the traditional spanish recipe like I do every year but I wanted to try something different before the Christmas festivities officially kick off. Also, I can't say no to a good french dessert, specially if it's a galette des Rois filled with frangipane cream! Frangipane cream is the best thing I've ever tasted in my whole life! I did a vegan version and oh boy!, it tastes absolutely delicious and my frangipane cream is to die for: so velvety, not overly sweet..."c'est très bon!!!"
I would have loved to make homemade puff pastry but after being sick and all the Christmas prep I had to buy two sheets of puff pastry at the store, something I don't usually do but I was short in time. I promise there will be a homemade puff pastry recipe next year!

Vegan Galette des Rois
(6 to 8 servings)

- For the frangipane cream:
1 1/2 cups almond flour.
1/4 cup organic granulated sugar.
1 tablespoon cornstarch.
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine.
1/4 cup oat milk or almond milk, unsweetened.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1 recipe of vegan pastry cream (below).
- For the pastry cream:
1 1/2 cups almond milk.
3 tablespoons cornstarch.
1/4 cup organic granulated sugar.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.

2 sheets of vegan puff pastry.

In a large mixing bowl stir together the almond flour, sugar, vanilla and cornstarch until combined. Add in the margarine by the tablespoonful and mix with a silicone spatula, finally pour in the milk and mix until a soft cream forms. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and set aside while we prepare the pastry cream.
To make the pastry cream or vanilla custard dissolve the cornstarch in two tablespoons of almond milk and set aside.
Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add in the sugar and vanilla. When the milk begins to boil inmediately reduce the heat to low and stir in the cornstarch mixture while whisking constantly until the cream begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk a bit more until it's soft and thick. As the custard cools it will thicken even more so don't worry if yours still look a bit liquid.
Once the vanilla custard is cold mix it with the almost-frangipane cream (the almond cream we made before), stirring with a silicone spatula until soft and fully incoporated.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (392 ºF) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out two sheets of puff pastry and using a big plate or a cake ring cut two discs of 28 cm (11-inch) diameter, transfer one of them to the prepared baking sheet
Brush the edges of the base of your puff pastry with a bit of water and carefully spread the frangipane cream all over the surface, I recommend using a pastry bag. Smooth over a little bit the cream to get an even layer and cover with the second disc of puff pastry. Seal the edges pressing down with your fingers and then make small cuts with a sharp knife around the galette. Brush the top of the galette with your favorite vegan egg wash and transfer to the fridge for about 1 hour before making the decorative pattern.
Brush the galette with a second "egg" wash and very gently create your favorite pattern with the back of your knife, you can draw leaves, lines, waves, let your imagination run wild! I followed this girl's tutorial and it worked like a charm!
Pierce the galette with a very sharp knife avoiding the center and making very small indentations so we don't ruin all that pretty design.
Bake the galette for 30-40 minutes or until it's browned on top and up the sides, and let it cool a little bit before serving. You can serve it warm (or at room temperature) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, thick coconut yogurt or simply enjoy it au natural, which is my favorite way to properly enjoy a true galette des Rois.

10 dic. 2018

Vegan Mince Pies

It's that time of the year again, Christmas! These mini mince pies I'm sharing with you today were tested a few times in november and finally I found some "free" time between all the gift and food shopping for the holidays (...and I'm not done yet). Wether you are a fan or not of Christmas I highly recommend you to try these little pies and your day will immediately improve, trust me, they are delicious! A juicy and super flavorful filling all wrapped up in a homemade coconut oil crust that is flaky and yummy, once you get the hang of pie crust-making you'll never buy pre-made crusts again. They are so much better and (most of the times) so much healthier, I know we are all running short on time these days but if you plan ahead this recipe is easier than it seems. Oh and by the way, these mince pies are completely vegan and you won't find any shortening or margarine in the ingredient list.
Picture yourself all cozied up on your couch, watching some christmas movie or your favorite tv show, and a plate with a couple of mince pies. Ain't this a perfect plan for a low-key afternoon at home befor the family gatherings and the craziness begins?! Add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or thick coconut yogurt for a more pleasant experience.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Vegan Mince Pies
(yield: 15 mini mince pies)

- For the crust:
1 1/4 cups spelt flour.
1 tablespoon coconut sugar.
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt.
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil, semisolid.
3 tablespoons water.*
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

- For the mincemeat:
1/4 cup sultana raisins.
1/4 cup dried blueberries.
1/4 cup Deglet Noor dates, chopped into small pieces.
1/4 cup dried prunes, chopped into small pieces.
1/4 cup orange juice.
1/2 cup apple, shredded.
1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Zest of one lemon.
1/4 cup blanched almonds.
1 tablespoon coconut sugar.
1 tablespoon brandy, optional.
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ginger.
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
1/4 teaspoon cloves.

* See 'Notes' below.

- Add 2 more tablespoons of water to the dough if it looks a bit dry, slightly hard or not pliable enough.
- Chop the dates and prunes, then measure them.
- I recommend to prepare the pie dough the night before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Let it thaw at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling out.

- For the crust:
In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, coconut sugar and salt, using a wire whisk until combined. Add the coconut oil by the tablespoonful, cutting it into the flour with your fingers until the mixture looks pebbly.
In a small bowl mix together 3 tablespoons of water with the apple cider vinegar. Gradually pour the water mixture into the flour mixture, working the dough with your hands until the dough holds together to form a soft ball. Knead the dough until it has a pliable consistency, you may need to add up to 2 more tablespoons of water if the dough seems a bit dry or hard.
Roll the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. If you are making the dough the day before, make sure you let it thaw at room temperature until it's soft and pliable again, around 10-15 minutes.
- For the mincemeat:
In a medium bowl stir together the raisins, blueberries, chopped dates, chopped prunes and orange juice. Let it rest while you prepare the rest of the components of the mincemeat, or alternatively you can make this mixture the day before and let it rest overnight.
Chop the almonds into small bits and mix with the shredded apple, lemon zest and lemon juice.
In a large mixing bowl stir together the dried fruit mixture with the apple mixture, mixing with a silicone spatula or a large wooden spoon. Add in the coconut sugar, spices and brandy (if using), and mix well until thoroughly incorporated.
- Assembling:
Preheat oven to 210 ºC (410 ºF) and lightly grease a mini-cupcake pan with coconut oil and set aside.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, the rolled dough should be around 0.5 cm thick. Cut around 15 circles using cookie cutters, they should be slightly bigger than the cavities of the cupcake tin. Carefully transfer each base into the mini-cupcake tin and shape each pastry circle to the shape of the cup.
Fill each cup with the mincemeat, cut out 15 more tops using a slightly smaller cutter than the one you used for the base or your favorite star-shaped cookie cutter. Cover with the top crusts and/or stars, and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes approximately, then remove mini pies from the pan and serve straight away or let them cool completely if your are cooking in advance.
Decorate each mince pie with sifted coconut flour or coconut milk powder.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

16 nov. 2018

Coconut Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Every year in november I like to celebrate my blog's anniversary with a cake recipe, this year marks Cinnamon Girl's 7th blogiversary and, even though there's still over a month left to farewell 2018, I must say it's been one crazy-weird-busy year to me. I hope the new year brings some calm, inner peace and more time to myself because I really, really need it (will I ever learn to put myself first, at least once in a while?!).
Anyways, I should be proud that I'm still here (after seven years!) blogging and celebrating with this delicious cake. Because cake cures all problems, fix any shitty day and makes your tummy happy. Actually a slice of this coconut spelt cake with dark chocolate ganache would make my day a whole lot better, but a cup of warm porridge with sautéed apples will suffice. ;-p
The cake was inspired by a recipe from Fran Costigan, from her second cookbook if you wanna check out the original. I filled and frosted it with a classic vegan dark chocolate ganache, it's my go-to chocolaty frosting recipe and goes well with almost everything. I'm already thinking about an even more yummy version...maybe for Christmas or New Year's Eve. Damn, now that I'm thinking about xmas...it's right around the corner my fellow bakers! That means I should be already preparing some holiday recipes for the blog. *insert stressed/worried emoticon here*
Here's to many more years blogging! Thank you all so much for sticking with me all these years! 

Coconut Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
(yield: one 17 cm two-layer cake/ 7-inch two layer cake)

- For the cake:
1 cup wholegrain spelt flour, sifted.
1 cup spelt flour.
2 teaspoons baking powder.
2 teaspoons baking soda.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt.
1/3 cup mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil.
3/4 cup pure maple syrup.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk.
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut.
- For the ganache:
1 cup soy cream.
226 g/ 8oz dark chocolate, 70% cacao.
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup.
- Toppings:
Chopped pecan nuts.

- This cake is not super sweet, if you have a big sweet tooth you can add up to 1 cup of maple syrup and reduce the almond milk to 3/4 cup.
- It is really important to sift the wholegrain spelt flour to get a smooth batter. Of course you can use all white spelt flour, but I wanted to add some fiber to make this recipe more wholesome.
- For the ganache I recommend using a soy cream with a relatively high fat content, mine had a 18% fat percentage.

- To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 175 ºC (around 350 ºF). Lightly grease two 17 cm/7-inch round cake pans with oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, pure vanilla powder and salt. Stir with a wire whisk until combined.
In a separate medium bowl whisk the wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, almond milk, and vinegar. Mix well until everything is fully incorporated.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir with the whisk until a smooth batter forms. Finally stir in 1/3 cup of shredded coconut.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 30 minutes approximately, or until a fine wooden stick inserted into the center of one the cakes comes out clean.
Let the cakes rest in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold, peel off the parchment paper and cool completely on the rack, top sides up.
Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, it is very important to cool the cake layers for an easier handling once you have to fill them, frost them, etc.
- To make the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
Heat the soy cream in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the cream begins to simmer, quickly remove from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Whisk the mixture very slowly until all the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache forms. Finally add in the maple syrup and stir until glossy. Let the ganache cool at room temperature for 10 minutes approximately and spread the layer with half of the frosting, place the second layer on top of the frosted cake and spread with remaining chocolate ganache frosting. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, or more shredded coconut.
Chill the cake in the refrigerator until the ganache is set, for 1 to 2 hours, before serving and slicing.
This cake is best served at room temperature, but always store the leftover cake refrigerated.