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

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Easy Indian Dhal Soup

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

Sometimes I really enjoy cooking a particular dish that has a long, slow cooking process, other times quick and easy but not skimping on flavour is the order of the day!

This Dahl Soup fits the quick, easy and flavoursome brief completely!  It really is delicious! And by adjusting the amount of vegetable stock you can decide if it’s more of a soup or the more traditional Dahl ‘stew’.

Having made a bit pot of this Dahl, I was then able to take it to work for lunch for the next couple of days and like most meals involving spices – it only got better!

Serve with warm Naan bread – delish!

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

What you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 kg tin of chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
  • Coriander – chopped
  • Salt & pepper

Naan bread, to serve

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

What to do:

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring for 2-3 minutes.

Add the turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder and cumin and cook for a further 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes, red lentils, lemon juice, vegetable stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender and cooked.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle the soup into a warm tureen

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with warm Nann bread.

Enjoy! xx

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

This is a scrummy Donna Hay recipe – the only ingredients that had to be changed for a vegan update was swapping butter for vegan margarine and using Nutritional Yeast rather than Parmesan cheese.

Ready in less than ½ hour – this is a super duper supper!

What you will need:

  • 200g spaghetti
  • 30g vegan margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 500g cherry tomatoes (pierce at least half with a knife)
  • 1 cup roughly torn basil tomatoes
  • Nutritional yeast (nooch) to serve

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

What to do:

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water for approximately 10-12 minutes until al dente.

Drain. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside keeping warm.

Return the pot to the heat and cook the margarine, garlic, vinegar and tomatoes for approximately 4 minutes or until the tomatoes are heated through and slightly soft.

By piercing some of the tomatoes – this will help to give a slightly caramelised effect, especially combined with the balsamic vinegar.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the tomato mixture, stir through and then toss the basil leaves gently through.

Pile the spaghetti onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast if so desired.

Serves 2

Enjoy! xx

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

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

Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Biscuits

Ginger Biscuits

With the very winning combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and molasses – these biscuits could only be delicious! Mouthfuls of soft ginger moreishness…

This recipe is adapted from the fabulous Skinny Bitch – Ultimate Everyday Cookbook byKim Barnouin. A title which could be a little misleading (it’s worth reading Kim’s explanation of the title) the recipes all look very inviting indeed. This is the first recipe I have attempted and will definitely not be the last…

What you will need:  

  • 2 cups unbleached plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • ½ cup vegan margarine (room temperature)
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract

Ginger, Cinnamon & Nutmeg Biscuits

What to do:

Lightly grease or place baking paper on a biscuit tray.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into a medium size bowl.

Using a standing electric mixer, beat the sugars and vegan margarine until light and fluffy (approx 2 minutes)

Next add the apple sauce, molasses, the ground and fresh ginger and the vanilla extract. Beat for a further minute.

Remove the bowl from the beaters and add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and gradually stir together with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t over mix.

Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Biscuits

Place the dough mixture into cling wrap and pop into the fridge for about an hour. The dough is relatively ‘wet’ – you can throw some plain flour on your work surface and roll out the dough which will make it easier to work with.

Preheat the oven while the dough is chilling out in the fridge. Set at 180°deg (350°F)

Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Biscuits

At this point you can either use biscuit cutters or roll the dough into small balls and press the dough with the heel of your hand to flatten. It’s better to have them as little ‘puff balls’ I think rather than completely flattened – but that’s up to you!

Bake for approx 8 minutes. Let the biscuits cool a little and the transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling off.

Makes approx 24 biscuits

Yes, these are pretty fine and dandy!

 Enjoy! xx

Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Biscuits

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Hummingbird Cupcakes

You had me at Cupcake!

What is it about the cupcake in all its perfectness….perhaps best left unanalyzed…

However I was curious as to the name and origins of the Hummingbird Cake and so undertook a quick google search to discover its a little bit of a mystery. The first recorded mention of the cake is in a 1978 magazine ‘Southern Living’  published in the US although there are also theories that it originated in Jamaica.

Whatever its origins the crushed pineapple is a genius ingredient – the scent and taste of pineapple along with the extra moistness it gives – divine! It’s the scent of summer…

Degree of difficulty with this one is – minimal. No beaters required!

Hummingbird Cupcakes

What you will need:

 Cake batter 

  • 1 cup unbleached plain flour
  • ¼ cup wholemeal flour
  • ½  tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 1 overripe banana
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple and juice (tinned is just fine)
  • 2/3 cup castor sugar
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tsp concentrated vanilla extract
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped

Icing

  • ½ cup vegan margarine – room temp
  • 1 cup icing sugar mixture
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice (add more or less depending on consistency desired)
  • Shredded coconut (handful – toasted)

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 180°deg C. Pop cupcake liners into a muffin tin (makes 10-12)

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana with the crushed pineapple including the juice. Stir through the sugar, oil and vanilla until completely combined. Fold through the walnuts.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients – stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners to about ¾ full.

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven) check at 20 minutes. Cakes are baked when a skewer is inserted and comes out clean. Remove from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

Icing

Place the margarine and icing sugar in a bowl and mix well. You could use handheld beaters but hand beating works well – add the pineapple juice slowly and mix to a consistency you desire.

Once the cupcakes have cooled spread about a small amount over the cupcake and dust with toasted coconut.

  • To toast coconut place in a heavy based fry pan on a low heat and stir. Keep your eye on as one moment it’s like nothing is happening and then all of a sudden – toasted coconut.

I read that hummingbird cake is actually better the day after baking – well they are pretty lovely on day one  – will just have to do the taste test tomorrow to note improvement!

Enjoy xx

Hummingbird 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