Best Vegan Pound Cake ever, super fluffy and light

Vegan Poundcake

Vegan Pound cake-No eggs, no milk

I have been hunting for a perfect eggless pound cake for some time. Voila…finally my dream became true thanks to Pinterest. I found this recipe on Spicy Treats blog. But I have made several changes. As per the picture in the original recipe, it looks a bit dense. But mine came out like cotton. I have made several changes to the original recipe.

Ingredients

All purpose flour 275g+1 Tablespoon for dusting the pan

Caster Sugar 200g

Baking Powder 2 Tsp

Zest of lime & Juice of 2 limes

Margarine 110g

Ice Water 170 ml

Icing Sugar 150g

Vegan pound cake

Vegan pound cake

Method

Grease a loaf pan (I used a 10″X6″ nonstick loaf pan). Dust with flour. Alternately, you can line the pan with parchment or wax paper. Scrape or grate your lime zest. Squeeze limejuice.  I had about 4 tablespoons of juice roughly. Let all ingredients to come to room temperature (requires one hour). Put your caster sugar in grinder and powder. But DO NOT completely powder it. There should be very fine grains. Otherwise, when you cream sugar and margarine, you cannot incorporate enough air.  Sift flour and baking powder 3 times.

With a wire whisk, whisk margarine and semi-powdered castor sugar. (Until you finish whisking the batter make sure you whisk it only towards same direction to make sure air does not get out of the batter). Add lime zest and three quarter of your limejuice (roughly 2 1/2 tablespoons). Whisk until the batter is smooth and creamy. Now let your oven start preheating at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Divide flour mixture into 3 or 4 parts and add part by part to the batter. Stir with wire whisk. Start adding ice water when the batter becomes dry. Do not add all water at once. Keep stirring so all ingredients mix well. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 and half hours (at 200 degrees Celsius) or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when checked in the middle of the cake. You can cover the top of the cake with a buttered foil if you feel it’s going to burn or brown too much. Do this after one hour. My cake rose like a mountain in the middle while baking, but it became a bit flat when cooling down. Cracks are natural in pound cakes. I feel a pound cake is not a pound cake if it doesn’t crack. Do not open the oven door many times while baking. Once baked, let it cool for one hour inside the oven. Take the cake out; loosen the edges of the cake with a thin knife. And turn over on a cooling rack. Let it cool for one more hour before glazing it.

Sift icing sugar. Star adding limejuice little by little and whisk. Batter should be thick, not too runny. I also suggest add room temperature water instead of lime or you can thin you lime juice with water if it is too tangy. My frosting was super tangy because the lime I used was extra tangy. Therefore, I suggest using one teaspoon of limejuice and thin it with a tablespoon of water first. Then mixing with icing sugar and add more water if required. Frosting should be very thick but pourable. Pour the frosting in the middle of the cake and quickly spread it with a spatula. Let the cake dry. Serve with hot, ginger tea. I think cake would be fine even without the frosting. Not too sweet. Cake itself is not very tangy despite the amount of lime I added.

Vegan pound cake
Vegan pound cake

Notes: If you don’t want lime flavor and taste, use 2 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider or white vinegar in the batter. You can make lemon of orange pound cake by substituting lemon or orange zest and juice. If you want chocolate pound cake, use vinegar or the flavor of your choice and replace 3 tablespoons of flour with 3 tablespoons of chocolate powder. If you are not a vegan try replacing water with cold milk or cream for a richer taste. These are just suggestions and I am yet to try all by myself.

Eggless, melt in your mouth custard cookies

Eggless, melt in your mouth custard cookies

 

These are low sugar, no egg  cookies. Even though I made them a bit big, original recipe calls for bite size cookies. So these a good for those who are after low calorie snacks. 

Eggless Custard Cookies

Eggless Custard Cookies

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract/ vanilla essence)
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ /icing sugar, have ¼ cup more for dusting
  • ¾ cup plain/ all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup vanilla custard powder/chocolate powder or strawberry custard powder
  • You even can use some chocolate chips if you wish
  • Time: Approximately 25 min

Directions

Preheat the oven to 160oC/325oF. Line baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside. No need to butter if you use parchment paper otherwise cookies may run too flat. Mine did a bit as I buttered the parchment paper .

Use an electric mixer to combine butter, vanilla and sifted confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until everything is mixed well and fluffy. I used my muscle+ wire whip though 🙂

Sift plain flour and custard powder separately to a different container. Add dry ingredients (flour mixture) and wet ingredients (butter mixture) now, and beat on low speed until just combined,don’t over-mix. Do not forget to scrape the bowl. Then again I hand whisked. As I eat too much sweets, why waste an opportunity to burn those extra calories.

Use a teaspoon size cookie scoop to make equal size cookies. This will allow to bake all cookies in same consistency. Different shapes and sizes may cause unevenly baked cookies. However my dough was sticky so I did some research and learnt that you should place you dough in freezer for 15 minutes or 1 hours in refrigerator so that you can easily sccop it. Once you let it cool you even can roll balls. Place the balls on cookie sheet and flatten them a little bit with a back of a spoon or if you like ridges use a back of a fork. It’s advisable to butter the spoon/ fork and dust with icing sugar to avoid sticking when pressing. Do not over-press as too flat cookies will be not soft inside. you even can roll your cookie balls in sugar crystals or flavored jelly crystals so that you will get sugar coated cookies. Or may be you can place a cashew nut or any other nut of your choice on top of the cookie. Keep 1 inch space between each cookie because they need room to expand when baking.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. If the cookies are not set, wait a little more but do not let them brown. It’s important to keep an eye on the cookies at this moment. I did not open the oven to check if they are baked. I kept them in oven for another 20 minutes. For me just in 15 minutes they were perfectly baked and additional 20 minutes after baking in the oven cooked them in to a nice crunchy but to a very soft consistency. Remove from oven and stand for another few minutes in tray to cool before transferring to a tray or a wire rack to cool completely. Handle with extreme care as these are highly fragile.

Repeat until balance dough is over. You even can pipe them using a pipping bag and a star nozzle. I have not tried though. Just an idea. Once the cookies are cooled dust generously with sifted confectioners’ sugar before serving. If you store dusted cookies they will absorb sugar. Still tastes good.

You even can sandwich them with frosting. Refer the original recipe for frosting. As I made these just before I started work, I ran out of time to make the filling. And I devoured half of the lot so they did not last long to be sandwiched 🙂

non sandwiched cookies will keep in an airtight container up to two weeks as per the source blogger. She also advises cookie should be layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper for. Mine didn’t last even for two days. So I can’t guarantee. Original recipe also says filled cookies will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Buttermilk Pancakes

This is a by-product of homemade yogurt cheese. After making yogurt cheese, I had a jarful of whey and I was wondering what to do. I did a little bit of Googling and found that I can make delicious pancakes using it.

If I call it “Whey Pancakes”, it does not sound as good as “Buttermilk Pancakes” yeah?

So I have added a bit of milk to the whey to made buttermilk.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour,
  • 1 cup of whey and 1/4 cup of milk/for vegan 1 and 1/4 cups of thick coconut milk also works well,
  • 1/4 cup sugar(Optional),
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 table spoon of butter or any cooking oil of your choice,
  • Dash of salt to taste,
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (Optional).

Method

Mix all these ingredients in a blender/food processor. Don’t over mix. A couple of minutes blending is enough.

Heat your pancake griddle or a nonstick pan. Add a dash of butter or oil to avoid sticking.

Raw Pancake

Raw Pancake

Pour a spoonful of the batter to the hot girdle and cook until soft and fluffy. Once underside of the pancake is golden brown, flip it and cook until other-side also is golden brown. Take off from the pan and continue until the batter is over.

Serve hot pancakes with pureed fruits, jam, cream, ice cream, banana, nuts, maple syrup or honey.

I have tried it with treacle, a local delicacy we find in Sri Lanka. If you like it savory, try with hot coconut chutney, spicy broths or gravy.

Buttermilk Pancake

Buttermilk Pancake

Makes 3 or 4 pancakes, depending on the size of the pancakes.  This quantity is just enough for  one person.

I simply devoured the whole stack of hot pancakes in a few minutes. This is a must try.

Cheesecake with homemade cream cheese

Cream cheese is not local in Sri Lanka and it costs a bomb. I could not find any Philadelphia cream cheese in stores. Not even in Super markets. I remember some time back Cargills had Philly’s. However, lately all super market chains have stopped selling Philly’s cream cheese it seems. There were 150g Happy cow cream cheese packages. But not worthy at all. Whopping Rs.395/=. However, when I wanted to buy cream cheese,  even that was not available.

Just because I could not find cream cheese, I was not going to give up the idea of trying out a homemade cheesecake. Atta girl! I found a solution. Homemade cream cheese.

It’s also called hung yogurt, Greek yogurt or yogurt cheese.

Hung yogurt

Hung yogurt

Homemade creamcheese

Homemade cream cheese

You can buy curd (made out of buffalo milk) or plain yogurt (Made out of cows’ milk) from stores. I recommend buffalo milk yogurt because it has lots of fat than cows’ milk. DO NOT use yogurt with gelatin. It does not separate whey and curd. Use cultured yogurt. One and only one ingredient should be milk (and culture). I bought 1L of curd and mixed it with 200ml fresh cream (35%). If you want low fat version try without cream. Buffalo milk yogurt produces creamy cheese even without additional cream.

I placed the curd-cream  mixture over a clean double-fold muslin cloth (You can use 2, 3 fold cheesecloth or a thin cotton cloth alternatively). Then tied the cloth over the yogurt as a bundle. Hang it on something like doorknob and place a quite large bowl underneath to collect the whey (yellowish sour water oozes from the curd) Keep it overnight. Please note that your cheese will a bit tangy if you hang it in (warm) room temperature. If you want it to be less tangy, hang it inside the refrigerator. I have read that some people squeeze the bundle of curd or place it in a colander and put some weight over it for quick results. I am not sure which way is correct. I think cheese requires some fermenting. Therefore, I chose to hang it overnight. 5 to 6 hours would be ideal. Even 8 hours would be fine.

Do not throw your whey. You can drink it plain or mixed with fruit juices, use on pancake/bread batters, ferment seeds, chicken etc, You even can put them as a fertilizer on your plants or feed your pets.

Back to the cream cheese business. Next day morning you will get approximately 500g (1/2 of yogurt you used) creamy cream cheese. Cows’ milk yogurt produces less yogurt  like 300g out of 1L. If you don’t use the cheese immediately, put in a clean air tight container and place in the refrigerator. Shelf life will be the shelf of yogurt you bought. This is what I read on the internet  I can’t assure as my cream cheese has never lasted more than 5 days without going inside my tummy. After 2,3 days in the refrigerator, tang taste gradually fades away.

Here comes the Cheesecake recipe. It’s a baked cheesecake.

 Base

250g digestive biscuits or graham crackers crushed.

5+ table spoons of butter

 Filling

500g  cream cheese/yogurt cheese at room temperature,

200g condensed milk

100g  sugar or 150g if you want it to be really sweet

1/3 cup  corn starch,

200ml cup fresh cream(35%),

1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

1 teaspoon lemon juice, (optional)

 Frosting

Jam or fruit comport as required,

whipped cream as required.

Method to prepare the base: Melt butter and mix with biscuit crumbs well. Put it into the bottom of a greased (7 or 8-inch) spring form pan and press well. You can use a flat bottomed glass or a bottle for this. I used an aluminum foil lined, greased cake tin. If you use a cake tin instead of a spring-form pan, keep some foil sticking out of the dish so that you can pull the cake out of the dish easily. Now bake this in preheated oven at 180°C/355°F for 10 minutes. And take the pan off and let the oven to continue preheating.

Cheesecake base

Cheesecake base

Method to prepare the filling: Powder your sugar or you can directly use powdered sugar. Mix sugar, cream cheese, condensed milk, corn starch, fresh cream and lemon juice  with a wire whisk until everything is just mixed. Add vanilla. Do not over-mix. We do not need any air incorporated in cheesecakes. Pour the mixture into the unbaked base. tap the dish on the table to get rid of air bubbles.

Unbaked Cheesecake

Unbaked Cheesecake

Bake in a water bath in the middle rack of the oven for 45-60 minutes at a preheated 180°C/355° or until the cake is just set. The cake is done when the entire surface is light golden brown. Cake should jiggle a bit in the middle once properly baked. Let the cake cool in the oven itself for a couple of hours. Run a sharp knife along the edge of the cake to avoid cracks.

Cheesecake in waterbath

Cheesecake in waterbath

Take off the cheesecake from the oven in a couple of hours and refrigerate it for about a day. Top it with fruit comport of your choice or jam melted in a double boiler with a but of hot water or maple syrup. You also may serve a dollop of whipped cream. I recommend to keep the cake refrigerated for a couple of days or at least one day before trying it. It tastes much better after the 2nd day.

Cheesecake

Cheesecake

Cheesecake with topping

Cheesecake with topping

 

Frozen Banana Bites

IMG_0961

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup dark or white cooking chocolate
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup peanut butter (Optional)
  • 2 table spoons of butter
  • 2 table spoons of honey (Optional)
  • Coconut flakes/Crushed Nuts (Optional)

Directions:

1. Cut bananas into slices (approximately 1 inch thick).

2. Combine cooking chocolate, butter, peanut butter and melt in a double boiler or microwave. Stir until creamy. Add honey if you prefer.

3. Dip banana slices completely in melted chocolate.You may use a tooth pick or a fork. Completely coat banana slices with chocolate mixture.

4. Place chocolate covered banana on parchment paper or on a nonstick tray.

5.If you feel more chocolate is needed, drop a spoonful of chocolate sauce over each slice.

6. Sprinkle the bananas with coconut flakes, icing sugar or crushed nuts.

7. Place the tray in deep freezer if you want frozen banana bites) or you may enjoy soft banana bites by just putting them in fridge.

Suggestion: You also may dip marshmallows, strawberries or even cookies in chocolate sauce.

Chocolate coated Batter Carol

Adapted from http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/06/frozen-banana-bites.html