Orange and Chia Seed Muffins with Orange Glaze

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

Oranges can often be over looked in the world of fruit for their more glamorous cousins, the peach, the mango, the nectarine… but a good orange really is a thing of beauty. When I think of oranges I think of rays of sunshine, dappled light and smiles.

I also think of the beautiful Leonard Cohen song ‘Suzanne’ with the line ‘… and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China’ It’s just so wistful and poetic…

And oranges also just happen to make superbly delicious muffins! These are just lovely…

 

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

What you will need: 

  • 2 cups (250g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (60g) caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grating of orange rind (finely grated)
  • 1 cup (250ml) orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • Egg replacer for 1 egg – 1 tblspn flaxseed meal with 3 tblspns water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Oranges

 For the orange glaze

  • 1 tablespoon melted vegan margarine
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (90g) icing sugar

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

 

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (fan forced 180). Line a muffin tin with patty cups, or grease with a little oil.

Sift and mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once, and then gently fold together using a fork. Do not overmix; scrape up from the bottom of the bowl to gently fold together until the mixture is just moistened.

 Spoon the muffin mixture into the patty cups, filling the cups 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

 IOrange and Chia Seed Muffins

To make the orange glaze, mix together all the ingredients, adding more orange juice or icing sugar to adjust the consistency if necessary. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffins.

 

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

Enjoy! xx

 

 

 

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Decadent Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

You know when people talk about dying and going to chocolate heaven – well this is it!

Vegan or non-vegan – this is a chocolate mousse to die for! And so simple – just three ingredients. Silky, smooth, Irresistible…

So death by chocolate mousse it shall be!

Chocolate Mousse

What you will need: 

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 x 400g tins full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

 

What to do:

Using the bain marie method bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl over the simmering water.

Chocolate Mousse

Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. Stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon occasionally until melted.

Remove the bowl from the heat and stir the maple syrup into the melted chocolate.

Chocolate Mousse

Set aside to cool.

Open the can of chilled coconut milk. The coconut cream should have risen to the top of the can so it can easily be scooped out.

Coconut Cream

Pop this into a mixing bowl and vigorously whisk this cream into a whipped cream.

Coconut Cream

Add the cooled chocolate and whip again.

Chocolate Mousse

Pour into 4 containers (you could use tea cups, sorbet glasses or dessert bowls).

Chocolate Mousse

Refrigerate for at least four hours – preferably overnight for best results

Chocolate Mousse

Serves 4

Need I say it… enjoy!! xx

Chocolate Mousse

 

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Taking a quote from Seinfeld:

Cinnamon: It should be on tables in restaurants…anytime someone says ‘Ooh, this is so good – what’s in this?’ the answer invariably comes back, ‘cinnamon’. Cinnamon. Again and again!

And so it is! Cinnamon – one of the all-time great spices and together with apple they are like two peas in a pod! Perfect!

This is another recipe that I’ve had tucked away in a recipe book that I put together years ago so I can’t tell you where it came from or its actual author as such. But I can tell you that they are delicious and just a little bit special!

Using the pie apple makes them particularly moist – one of my all time favourite muffins!

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

 What you will need:

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 410 can diced pie apple
  • Egg replacer for 1 egg (you can use flaxseed meal)
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, extra pinch ground cinnamon

 

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

What to do:

Preheat oven to moderately hot 200 °C (180 fan forced oven)

Pop muffin cases into a 12 hole muffin pan

Sift the flour, spices and brown sugar into a large bowl. Add 1 ½ cups of the pie apple then the combined egg replacer, soy milk, oil and vanilla extract. Then stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.

 

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases. Divide the remaining apple amongst the tops of the muffins and sprinkle with the combined extra sugar and cinnamon.

 

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Bake in the oven for approx 15-20 mins

Transfer the muffins to a wire rack.

These are lovely served warm or…. Equally as yummy served when cooled!

Enjoy! Xx

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Lemon and Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lovely Lemon Icing

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Cooking with lemons is always such a joy! Lovely lemon scent pervading the air smells divine. Instant sunshine and happiness!

This is another really easy cupcake recipe with no beaters required. The lemon icing is also really simple. You can whip these up in no time and be sitting having a lovely afternoon tea in under an hour.

What you will need:

Makes 12 divine little cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached plain flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds

Ingredients

What to do:
Preheat oven to 180 °C. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt

In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, maple syrup, milk, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and vinegar until well combined.

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and gently stir with a wooden until the batter is smooth.

Gently fold through the poppy seeds.

Fill the cupcake liners to about ¾ full.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops are golden. Insert a toothpick or metal skewer in the centre of the cake – if it comes out clean they are ready!

Cool on wire racks.

Lovely Light Lemon Icing

1 ½ cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
Juice of 1 lemon

To Make the Icing:

Really easy peasy!

Just mix the vegan margarine and lemon juice into the icing sugar.

I used the juice of a whole lemon – add more or less juice depending on the consistency you are after. For these cupcakes I wanted it more like a glaze so used more juice – use less if you prefer it creamy.

Oh yes – enjoy! xx

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream

vanilla-coconut-icecream

Blown away!

Not sure you can get any easier! I mean really – I have never made ice cream before – strange but true – especially for someone who loves, loves, loves ice cream….

So necessity being the mother of invention and all that… I’m staying for the holiday xmas/new year break in a smallish country town in northern NSW and although they do have a pretty amazing health food store I couldn’t buy the soy cream I needed to make the vegan pavlova I’m about to make… so I thought I’d whip up some ice cream instead.

The pavlova hasn’t happened as yet – too many dishes vying for the oven at the moment so instead I just went with having the Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream as my dessert on Xmas day and added some lovely raspberries and pomegranate seeds…

My mother, who had no idea that you could make ice cream from coconut cream tasted it, she can be very hard to impress, the look of complete amazement on her face at just how divine this is – well that was priceless!

And so now of course I will be experimenting with other versions — chocolate will no doubt be starring some time soon!

This recipe will serve 2-3

What you will need:

  • 1 can of coconut cream (full cream please) pop into the freezer or fridge for as long as you can – it helps for the ingredients to be cold when you start preparing
  • ¾ cup of castor sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (scrape out the seeds)
  • 1 & ½ teaspoons of vanilla concentrated extract

What to do:

 Pour the coconut cream into a blender then add the sugar, vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla extract.

And blitz!

If you happen to have an ice cream machine – pour into the machine and follow the directions…

If not – never fear!

Just pour the creamy mixture into a freezer proof container – pop into the freezer for about an 45 minutes. When the mixture just begins to freeze – remove and give it a good stir with a whisk or a hand-held mixer.

Return to the freezer – wait again another 45 minutes or so and then repeat the whisking process.

Freeze. Depending on just how soft/hard you want your ice cream it can be ready in 2-3 hours.

This time around, as I had raspberries and pomegranates on hand, I used those, but I’m thinking chocolate sauce would also be lovely, some chopped nuts and a cherry on top!

The possibilities…

Enjoy! Xx

Vanilla Coconut Icecream

Panforte di Siena

Panforte

Panforte….

would have to be one of my all-time favourite indulgences….it has the most glorious texture – reminiscent of nougat. I make it all year round but it definitely is on the must have xmas list. We make a big batch and nibble away pre & post xmas…

The recipe I always used pre-vegan days was from Margaret Fulton. For those of you reading this who aren’t Australian Margaret Fulton is an Australian Icon. She was a celebrity chef before there were celebrity chefs and almost every Australian household would have one of her cookbooks!

I remember as a child pouring over her recipes and it was probably where my love of cooking started. The photos of toffees, cakes and biscuits I found kind of fascinating!

This particular recipe I found in a cook book that was part of a Margaret Fulton series – Italian, French and Vegetarian. All very well used! I did wonder if Panforte was something I’d have to give up but like so many yummy recipes – it is easily converted! Just switch the honey for golden syrup instead!  Works a treat!

Panforte

What you will need:

  • 90g hazelnuts
  • 90g blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 185g mixed peel, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plain flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • ½ cup golden syrup
  • icing sugar for dusting

What to do:

Pre-heat your oven – on a cool temp – 150°C

Line and grease a square baking tin

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and place under a pre-heated moderate grill until the skins split, shaking frequently.

Alternatively you could pop them on a baking tray and into a moderate oven (160°C) for approximately 10-15 minutes or so. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t start to burn.

Paneforte

Remove the nuts from the heat and turn into a rough towel or old tea-towel and rub off the loose skins. Chop the hazelnuts coarsely – either by hand or in a food processor – not too fine!

Paneforte

Place the hazelnuts, almonds, mixed peel, cocoa powder, flour and spices in a large mixing bowl and stir through until thoroughly combined.

In a medium size saucepan place the sugar and golden syrup and heat gently until the sugar has melted and dissolved.

Boil gently until a little of the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into a cup of cold water. Remove from the heat and stir in the dry ingredients.

Press the mixture into your lined tin- generally from 1cm – 1.5cm in thickness  but of course that is up to you!

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes

Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper. Allow to completely cool.

Paneforte

Sift the icing sugar over the Panforte. Cut into wedges

Full of nuts, spices, candied peel and chocolate – Panforte is the perfect partner to coffee.

It also makes a perfect gift – make up a batch – wrap in cellophane paper or pop into those gorgeous little gift boxes.

Whether for yourself or as a gift (maybe both) you can’t go wrong really!

Enjoy! Xx

Paneforte

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice

This slice really has it all! Quite the bees knees really!

It’s full of yummy things, it’s so easy to make, its moist, goes perfectly with a cup of tea (tried and tested)

AND at the risk of repeating myself – its yummy!

 What you will need:

  • 12 dates – chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup raisins, chopped
  • ½ cup white self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup walnuts – roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon concentrated vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup soy, almond or other non-dairy milk

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat your oven at 180°C (160°C fan forced)
  2. Lightly grease with oil a shallow medium baking tin
  3. Pop the dates and the water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes. The dates will break down and become a paste. You can use a wooden spoon to help this process along if needed.
  4. In a medium to large bowl sift the flours and cocoa powder
  5. Add the raisins, walnuts and stir through the flour a couple of times
  6. In a separate smaller bowl gently whisk together the milk, vanilla, maple syrup
  7. Add the wet ingredients with the date paste to the dry ingredients and stir through until fully combined.
  8. Spread your lovely mixture evenly in the baking dish. It’s up to you just how thick you would like your slice
  9. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Finish cooling on wire rack. Once completely cool slice into either finger length slices, or you could have smaller mouthful chunks – whatever takes your fancy!

The basis for this recipe came from a dusty old cookbook I came across called The Artful Vegetarian by Karen Meyer. It was printed in 1988. Karen also wrote The Vegetarian Adventure – another of her books I found in a 2nd hand shop. I’ve made quite a few additions to the original recipe but the basic inspiration is Karen’s. Many of the recipes in her books are vegan or can easily be converted.

I love coming across out of print books like this one – a real treasure trove of food inspiration!

Enjoy! Xx

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice