Friday, 26 October 2012

Hungarian Chocolate Chestnut Cake - no bake!

As I mentioned in a previous post, this is a cake that my mum veganised from my great grandmother's recipe.

This delicious combination of chocolate and chestnut is indulgent and rich - a family favourite for a very good reason! It is often that final piece of food that sends us into a food coma at family gatherings and parties...

It consists of two layers sandwiched with jam and coated in chocolate. No baking required, just freezing overnight.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of my very talented mum. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Hungarian Chocolate Chestnut Cake

1 15 Oz/450 gm tin of unsweetened chestnut puree (French the best)
7-9 vegan biscuits crushed, such as Arnott's 'Nice' biscuits or vegan arrowroot biscuits
120 gm caster sugar + a few more tbsp for the topping
120 gm Nuttelex or another unsalted/low salt vegan margarine
120 gm vegan dark cooking chocolate + about 80 gm for the topping
1-2 tbsp of rum (or brandy)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp apricot, strawberry or cherry jam

Melt/soften the margarine and blend with the chestnuts, biscuits and sugar until it forms a creamy paste like consistency.

Halve the mixture into 2 bowls.

In one bowl, add melted chocolate together with a dash of coffee if available.

In the other, add vanilla and rum and mix well.

Line a sandwich tin with greased baking paper, leaving enough to cover the cake on top.

Spread the vanilla half into the tin.

Spread the jam gently over the mixture. You may need to warm the jam for easy spreading. 

Then spread the chocolate half of the mixture evenly on top.

Fold the paper over the top and push gently down.

Freeze the cake overnight or until needed. Before serving, take out the cake, tip upside down onto a plate and remove the paper. 

Cover with a thick sauce made with the 80 gm chocolate, and about 4 -6 tbsp caster sugar, and a splash of water or coffee. The topping needs to be smooth and very hot (remove when it starts to bubble). 

Cool slightly and pour over the frozen cake. Allow to defrost further, but keep cool and serve with vegan cream or ice cream.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mountain High Pies

Mountain High Pies
293 Great Western Highway Wentworth Falls
Blue Mountains
Phone (02) 4757 3737.
I was nearing a large pie shop that I regularly go past on my way to work, on the Great Western Highway in Wentworth Falls (a couple of towns before Katoomba), for some reason I decided to go in. To my suprise, they had a great range of vegan pies - they even had vegan cake! One of the chefs is vegan and she is passionate about creating them.
If you come up to the mountains for the weekend, it's worth a drop in. Also, remember Rubyfruit (vegan bakery in Leura with to die for cakes) and Papadinos Pizza in Katoomba.

Papadinos Pizza in Katoomba

Papadinos Pizza
48 Katoomba St, Katoomba
(02) 4782 1696

Papadinos is a great pizza shop in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. Although they are not fully vegan, they have vegan pizza (yes, cheese included) and a couple of other dishes which look fabulous. The person I was with was guten free as well as being vegan and they accommodated us. To top it all off, they made us vegan, gluten free donuts for dessert. Excellent meal, great atmosphere, highly recommended :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Doughy adventures: Chocolate coated play pretzels and playdough

Sylvia had the idea recently to make 'chocolate pretzels', which were made on a television show she watches.

We used the recipe for Play Pretzels from Vegan Lunch Box. They are simple, include wholemeal flour and you don't need to wait for the dough to rise. 

There is something irresistible about freshly baked dough coated in chocolate. Sylvia had so much fun making different shapes out of the dough. She loved eating them, too! We've made these several times in the last few weeks. 

Post chocolate
These are not fancy, and I probably wouldn't make these to serve to people, but they are yummy and it is a great activity to do with kids. For the times when chocolate simply must be consumed (often at our place), these pretzels are great as they are pretty healthy when compared with most other chocolatey sweet treats.

S for Sylvia!
And on the topic of dough, for all those in search for the perfect homemade playdough recipe, try this one from Green Gourmet Giraffe. It's the best one we've made yet - thanks Johanna!

Chocolate coated play pretzels (slightly adapted from Play Pretzels in Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann)

2/3 cup all purpose white flour
2/3 cup wholemeal flour
1 sachet of yeast (7gm)
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup vegan chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 220C.

Mix together the yeast, sugar and water and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flours and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix well. Knead for a minute or so until smooth. The original recipe says to leave the dough for 10 minutes. We did this the first time, but not the other times and they turned out fine so I don't think this is essential.

Break off bits of the dough and roll into long strips to make shapes. Bake for about 10 minutes. 

Leave them to cool for a few minutes, then coat in the melted chocolate. Leave to set or eat immediately!