Tag Archives: buckwheat flour

Sancocho and Chocolate Orange Dulce de Batata Cake

This Latin feast is compliments of Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero. Once again, Terry delivers massive Latin flavour that will make you exercise all your restraint to not eat the whole thing before making it out of the kitchen. I am a novice to Latin food, but these recipes that I have previously written about (and with more to come!) have me seeking out Latin food wherever I can!

Sancocho

Sancocho: The Latin Sambar.

The Sancocho could be best described as a Latin Sambar – they are so similar in fact I often get the two confused! They are both soothing, spicy, comfort foods in a bowl. Sancocho is coloured the distinctive Latin Chorizo “hue” with Annatto spice, the Latin turmeric. The rest of the seasoning is the standard Latin combination of oregano and cumin, supplemented with some thyme and heaps of onions. The soup is loaded with veggies: carrot, yucca, green plantains, tomatoes, and corn. Lima beans add the protein element, and are deliciously creamy. For those with Lima issues, Fava beans, edamame, pinto beans, or even chickpeas would be a wonderful stand-in. I made some modifications to the recipe – I hate corn. With a passion. Thus I omitted the corn on the cob from my soup, and I think it didn’t suffer from intent at all! Although I will not deny – eating corn on a cob in a soup sounds pretty cool. I also added some spinach at the end, because greens in soups are never wrong! The resulting soup is soothing, delicious, and exotic enough to make you think you can cook any Latin dish you desire. (I may be delusional.) This is the perfect soup to usher in the not-quite-ready spring produce but tired of the winter standards of squash and potatoes.

The recipe can be found on p. 154-155 of Viva Vegan!, or on Google Books here.

Chocolate Orange Dulce de Batata Cake

Chocolate Orange Dulce de Batata Cake: Not too sweet, slightly spicy, and all around delicious!

The Chocolate Orange Dulce de Batata Cake is a surprise all in of itself. The frosting is actually Dulce de Batata, which is an orange-infused sweet potato pudding. Yes – sweet potato! I have never had sweet potato as part of a dessert before (or any non-savoury application after the Mashed Sweet Potato and Marshmallow experiences of my childhood – ick), and so I knew I had to try this cake just for that reason. To make the Dulce de Batata is relatively easy – basically boil sweet potatoes to a mash, and stir constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn the bottom of the pan. A helpful tip: use a lid when you reach pudding consistency, otherwise you will end up with sweet potato splatters all over your kitchen. The aroma from this dish was what really surprised me – it was very difficult not eating the entire pot as soon as it was made. The sweet potato taste isn’t pungent, and the cinnamon and orange pair wonderfully.

The chocolate cake is a typical chocolate cake, but with the addition of ‘spice’ cake spices and orange juice. It pairs well with the dulce de batata, and again isn’t a sweet cake. I used a combination of quinoa and buckwheat flour, and it came out wonderfully moist, and had a great crumb. The instructions say to cook the cake as one layer, and then cut the layers in two. I could foresee that disaster, and instead opted to cook two layers of cake separately, and reduced the cooking time. To “frost”, you smear as much dulce de batata as you can on the top of one half, add the second layer of cake, and frost with the remaining dulce de batata. The combination is phenomenal, and definitely something you could serve to company and bask in the compliments. Not too sweet, slightly spicy, and with the hint of orange, it is a chocolate cake you will crave. Especially so for people who are not partial to sweet desserts, and usually avoid chocolate cakes for this reason. I froze my leftovers and ate the rest like cake pops, and I think I liked that serving style even better than eating it fresh!

The recipe can be found on p. 236-239 of Viva Vegan!, or on Google Books here.

Sancocho and Chocolate Dulce de Batata cake – the latest Latin offerings that have continued to open my eyes to the delicious offerings of the Central and South Americas!


Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

First, let me apologize for no picture. I was distracted by how delicious they were coming out of the oven – eating takes priority every time 🙂

I am not what you would call a fan of dessert. I like some dessert now and again, but if someone made me choose between Lindt dark chocolate or fresh fruit, the fruit would win every time. But everyone needs their stashes, and these cookies are worthy! I was inspired by my almond milk that was about to expire, and a splurge purchase of unsweetened carob chips at Bulk Barn. I have never had carob chips before, and I am now an official convert. They taste different than chocolate, but in a good way.

The recipe was inspired by the chocolate chocolate cookie recipe in Veganomicon, however I think I have made enough substitutions to make it my own. These are the healthiest chocolate cookies you will ever eat. I brought them to work once in a blind taste test against a coworkers wife’s super-special chocolate monster cookies, made traditionally with real butter, sugar, eggs, M&M’s and chocolate chips. I take great pride in the knowledge that head-to-head my plate disappeared the fastest! My coworkers never knew what was in those cookies, and until now it’s been a secret. Out of the oven they taste like morsels of fudge. Out of the freezer it’s a cookie popsicle. Dipped in some natural peanut butter … swoon worthy.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies

Dry ingredients:

1c. spelt flour

1c. whole wheat flour (Note: to make it gluten free, 2c. quinoa flour or your favourite gluten free mix would work well)

2/3c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1t. baking soda

pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:

1c. unsweetened applesauce

1/4c. agave nectar (brown rice syrup or maple syrup would work too!)

4t. flax seeds

1/2c. almond milk, or your favourite non-dairy milk

2t. vanilla extract

2/3c. chocolate chips (or carob chips!)

Optional add-ins: 2/3c. nuts of your choice, dried cranberries, frozen raspberries … the possibilities are endless!

Directions:

1) In small bowl, sift together all dry ingredients

2) In larger bowl, mix together applesauce and agave nectar. Add in flax seeds, milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

3) Add dry ingredients to wet in batches, stirring as you go. Mix to combine.

4) Add chocolate chips and other add-ins. At this point the dough may be too stiff to mix with a spoon, so get in there with your hands! Mix to combine.

5) Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Make balls of dough approximately the size of a quarter and place on lined cookie sheet. (I fit 20/sheet). If you like crispier cookies, smoosh down the tops of the cookies with the back of a spoon.

6) Bake at 400dF for 8min. Let cool ~2min on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack.


Injera Adventures

Stack of injera!

For my Ethiopian Feast I went all out – including making my own Injera. Google quickly told me that injera should be fermented, and is traditionally made with teff flour. Apparently in North America the starter is often a mixture of teff and wheat flour, which is not the classic method. More Google searches quickly eliminated many of the injera recipes that didn’t involve fermenting the starter or used wheat flour. Finally, I stumbled upon this recipe: http://chefinyou.com/2010/02/ethiopian-injera-recipe/.

I followed the directions almost exactly, and the injera turned out fantastic! I find it amusing that you have to ‘feed’ the starter and if everybody knew that fermenting starters made your apartment smell like a brewery everybody would be doing it! I made some minor adjustments at the end, because I ran out of teff flour. My Cole’s Notes method is below:

Day 0 – In a bowl, mix 3/4c. water, 1/2c. teff flour, 1/8t. active yeast

The injera adventure begins!

Day 3 – Stir and feed the starter 1/2c. water, 1/3c. teff flour. The kitchen should start to smell like a brewery!

Pre-feeding

Post-feeding

Day 5 (right before bed) – Stir and feed the starter 1/2c. water, 1/3c. teff flour. Almost done waiting!

Pre-feeding

Post-feeding

Day 6 (VERY early in the morning) – Using 1c. of the starter (I had 2.5c. total), feed the starter:

Pre-feeding

7c. water

4.5c. teff flour

1.5c. chickpea flour (besan)

1c. buckwheat flour

1t. salt

Post-feeding ... almost there!

Day 6 (6h ish after feeding) – Cook the injera! I used my biggest fry pan (~20cm diameter) and 1/3c. of batter for each injera, for a total of 33 injeras. The cooking instructions in the recipe are fantastic!

After final ferment - ready to cook!

I thought these injeras were better than those in restaurants. The ones in restaurants are good only as a scooping tool, and don’t taste great by themselves. Not only are these injeras fantastic scooping tools and compliment the dishes, but they also taste great by themselves! They also freeze great, making future Ethiopian feasts easier!


%d bloggers like this: