Thursday, April 28, 2011

Swedish Chocolate Balls

This time I will be sharing the classic recipe of Chocolate Balls. A Swedish no-bake sweet, served at birthdays, special occasions and as an everyday treat. This ball is rolled in something we here call Pearl Sugar, a rough cut typ of sugar that won't melt even if baked in the oven. It is used for decoration on cakes, cookies and the all time favourite the Cinnamon or Vanilla Scroll.

So how do you make this? It is as easy as it gets, just measure, mix and roll. That is why alot of children bake these with their parents. The parents just have to measure all the ingredients and the kids will have fun using their hands mixing it all together. Usually making a mess, but who cares when you can see how much fun they are having.

You will need:
* 100 grams of Dairy Free Margarine (room temperatured)
* ½ cup White Sugar
* 1 tbs Vanilla Sugar (or vanilla extract)
* 2-3 tbs Dark Cocoa Powder (european style)
* 1 1/4 cup Rolled Oats
* 2-3 tbs Cold Strong Caffein Free Coffee
Garnish/ To be rolled in:
* Pearl sugar, dessicated coconut or your favourite sprinkles.

  • So just like I mentioned before, measure all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. 
  • Mix well and roll into 30 even sized balls.
  • Coat them with your choice of garnish by rolling them in it.
  • Eat straight away or leave the chocolate balls to cool in the fridge. 

Tip: The chocolate balls can be stored in the freezer for a long time, just take them out 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Special Mushroom Toast

I love mushrooms of all different varietys. Some say button mushrooms are boring, but I think it all depends on what you make of them. Here I have used them to make my special toast, very filling and easy. You can use the mushrooms of your choice. This dish is a mix of a mushroom toast and a salad.

You will need:
4-6 Mushrooms, 1/3 Brown Onion, 3 Slices of Toast, Olive Oil, Vegan Margarine, 200 ml Dairy Free Cooking Cream, Salt, Pepper, ½-1 tsp Dried Oregano, 1-3 tsp Mushroom Soy Sauce, 1-3 drops Liquid Smoke, 6 Baby Tomates, 2 inches Cucumber, 4 Leaves Romain Lettuce and Alfalfa Sprouts.

  • Slice your mushrooms and chop the onion. Gently sweat them on a medium heat with the olive oil in a pan.
  • Add salt, pepper, oregano, cooking cream and the liquid smoke. Be careful adding the mushroom soy sauce, taste as you go. If you add too much you have to add more cream.
  • Let the mushroom sauce simmer on a low heat until the onion and mushrooms are soft and your happy with the taste of your mushroom mix.
  • Toast and cut your bread. Leave to slightly cool before spreading with a thin layer of margarine.
  • Prepare your lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber and start placing your food on a plate. Top with the alfalfa sprouts.
  • Enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

The first time I had these tasty easter buns was during my time living in Australia. Coming back to Sweden, I have truly been missing them around easter time. So this year I decided to try and bake my own, pretty risky seeing as my fiancé is an Aussie baker, with tons of hot cross bun experience. But he liked them and said I nailed the flavour right on.

You will need:
1 cup Dairy Free Milk, 150 g Vegan Margarine, 50 g Fresh Yeast (5 tbs active dry yeast), ½ cup White Sugar, 4 cups Plain Flour, 1 tsp Allspice, ½ tsp Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp Cloves, 1 tsp Salt, Egg Replacer equal to 3 eggs, 1 cup Sultanas and (optional) Peel of 1 cleaned Orange.
For the crosses: 4 tbs Plain Flour and 4 tbs Cold Water.
Glazing: ½ cup Water and ½ cup Sugar.

  • Crumble your fresh yeast in a big bowl. Melt your margarine, add the milk and heat until body temperature (38 C / 100 F). Pour the liquid over the yeast and mix until lump free. (if using dry yeast don't worry about lumps)
  • Add the sugar, salt and spices. Mix well and then add your egg recplacer (pre-mixed accoring to the directions on the packet), sultanas and peel.
  • Add your flour and mix until the dough gets glossy and smooth.
  • Leave in a lightly floured bowl, dust the dough with flour and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Leave to rise for 1½ hour.
  • After rising, divide the dough into 24 equal sized round buns and place them on a oven tray with baking paper. (make sure you don't knead the dough to much, to save air in the buns)
  • Cover again with the clean kitchen towel and leave to rise for another 45 minutes.
  • Pre-Heat your oven to 200 C / 390 F and prepare the glaze by adding the sugar to boiling water and stirring until clear.
  • Mix the flour and water for your crosses.
  • Pipe the cross shape onto your buns right before baking them for 10-12 min (until golden).
  • When the hot cross buns comes out of the oven brush them with your sugar glaze. This will make them shiny and sticky, a must for the hot cross buns.
  • Eat them by cutting them in half and spreading with margarine.
  • Very tasty! Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vegan Kebab w/ Rice

This is a simple throw together dinner idea. Use either pre-made vegan kebab chunks / shavings, or why not make your own.

You will need:
300g Vegan Kebab Pieces (or make your own using soy chunks or shavings and spicing them up with salt, pepper, paprika powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, garlic, turmeric and coriander.), 1 tin Crushed Tomatoes, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, Basil, Thyme, 1 Bay Leaf and Basmati Rice.
(Green Side Salad: Cucumber, Tomato and Romaine Lettuce)

  • Boil the rice according to the directions on the packet, but also adding salt and 1 bay leaf to the water.
  • Make your herbed tomato sauce by gently simmering the crushed tomatoes with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and thyme. Taste and add sugar if needed. (some tinned tomatoes need sugar to balance the acidity)
  • Fry your vegan kebab in margarine or/and olive oil.
  • Assemble everything on the plate and serve.

Brands I recommend in this blog are:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ultimate Veggie Pasta Sauce

This pasta sauce is loved by everyone, even kids, that normally dont eat their veggies. Great tasting fresh vegetables spiced with herbs and garlic.

You will need:
½-1 Eggplant, 3-4 Ripe Tomatoes, 4 Mushrooms, 3/4-1 Zucchini, 1 clove of Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Herbs (for eg. thyme/ basil/ oregano) , 1 tin Crushed Tomatoes, olive oil and 1 Red Onion (optional: 1tsp sugar and 1 vegetable stock cube) 

  • Peel and dice your red onion and slice your mushrooms. Gently fry in a pan with olive oil.
  • Cut the eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini into chunks and add to the now soft mushroom and onion fry.
  • Add the spices/ herbs and taste. Fry for a few minutes and add the garlic and crushed tomatoes. 
  • Leave to simmer and taste. If you want more flavour and sweetness (depending on your tinned tomatoes quality) add 1 tsp of sugar and a vegetable stock cube. Leave to simmer and get a deep flavour. Be careful to not over cook the veggie sauce, if so it will turn into mush. (add a small amount water if the sauce is too thick)
  • Now the pasta sauce is ready to serve with your favourite type of pasta. We have used a spinach egg free tagliatelle.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These special chocolate chip cookies are baked with raw cane sugar/ demerara sugar, light golden syrup and 50/50 white and dark chocolate with cayenne pepper. Might sound whacky but taste smacky!

You will need:
2 cups Plain White Flour, ½ tsp Baking Soda, ½ tsp Baking Powder, ½ tsp Salt, 3/4 cup Dairy Free Margarine, 2-3 tbs Light Golden Syrup, 1 cup Raw Cane Sugar or Demarara Sugar, ½ cup White Sugar, 1 tbs Vanilla Sugar or Essence, Egg Replacer equal to 2 Eggs (mixed according to directions on packet) and 100-150 g Chocolate (I use 50/50 white chocolate and dark chocolate with cayenne pepper)

  • Melt your margarine and leave it to cool down before using.
  • Mix all your dry ingredients.
  • Add margarine, vanilla and egg replacer to the dry ingredients.
  • When your cookie dough is evenly mixed, add your roughly chopped chocolate and mix.
  • Line two trays with baking paper and roll your cookie dough. (the reicpe will make 24 cookies)
  • Space the cookie balls evenly onto the trays and bake for 15-17 minutes in a oven preheated to 165 C / 325 F (the cookies should be golden and starting to crisp on the edges and staying chewy in the middle.
  • Leave the cookies on the trays to cool down.

Brands I recommend in this blog are:

Friday, April 8, 2011

The All Good Tasty Sandwich

This sandwich is a staple lunch for my fiancé, he loves it and eats it almost every day.

You will need:
4 Slices of Seeded Dark / Rye Bread, Vegan Mayonaise, Cucumber, 1 Carrot, Baby Spinach, Lettuce, 1 Tomato, Red Fresh Chilli, Salt and Pepper.

  • Spread a thin layer of mayonaise on all 4 bread slices.
  • Peel and finely grate your carrot. Slice your chilli into very thin slices, leaving the seeds if you want that extra heat.
  • Start putting your sandwich together by layering lettuce, slices of tomato, slices of cucumber, leaves of baby spinach. Topping it with the grated carrot and fine slices of the red chilli.
  • Slam it together and wham, your sandwich is ready.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vegan Vegetable Curry w/ "Chicken" Chunks

This curry is something I make when I miss the great flavours of the all vegan restaurant Tian Ran in Queensland, Australia. I know it isn't 100% the same, but it is good enough for me and a tasty dinner.

You will need:
3 handfuls of Soy Chunks (or other fake plain fake chicken of choice, I use rehydrated soy chunks), 2 Potatoes, 4 florets of Cauliflower, 4 florets of Broccoli, 1/4 Red Capsicum/ Sweet Bell Pepper, 1 handful of Green Beans, 2-3 Mushrooms, 1 Brown Onion, 1tbs Fresh Ginger, 1-2tbs Curry Powder, Salt, Pepper, Chili Flakes, 1-2tsp Tumeric, 1tsp whole Coriander Seeds, 1 Vegetable Stock Cube, 3-4tbs Oil and 1tin of Coconut Cream/Milk.

  • If you are using dried soy chucks, rehydrate them according to the packet. I boil mine in water spiced with vegetable stock, curry powder, chili flakes and pepper.
  • Prepare all your vegetables, potatoes, onion and mushroom. Peeling, cleaning and cutting into chunks.
  • In a hot pan add your oil and all the dry spices. When the spices and oil start to gently bubble, add the vegetables and chicken.
  • When the pan is dry, add your coconut cream/milk, ginger and vegetable stock cube. (add more water if needed, remember that some of the liquid will evaporate while cooking)
  • Taste and spice more if needed.
  • Leave to simmer until all the vegetables are just soft, but still firm. Taste again!
  • Serve with rice.

Brands I recommend in this blog are:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Almond Sponge Squares

One of my mums favourite sweet squares. Sponge bottom layered with butter cream custard topped with shredded almond paste and dusting of dark cocoa powder.

You will need: 
200g Dairy Free Margarine, 4dl (1 3/4 cups) Sugar, Egg Replacer (mixed with water equal to 4eggs), 6dl (2 ½ cups) Plain White Flour, 4tsp Baking Powder and 200ml Soy or Oat Milk.
Butter cream: 200g Dairy Free Margarine, 2dl (0.85 cups) Icing Sugar, 3tsp Vanilla Sugar (or vanilla essence) and 200ml of Cold Thick Custard.
Topping: 300g Almond Paste and 2-3tbs Dark Cocoa Powder.

  • Preaheat your oven to 200C / 390F
  • Mix margarine and sugar until creamy. Add the egg replacer (premixed with water).
  • Stir in the flour, baking powder and soy/ oat milk.
  • Bake in the oven in a deep oven tray lined with paper for 15 min (until set).
  • Leave your cake to cool down.
  • Mix all the ingredients for your butter cream and add cold thick custard.
  • Spread over your cake. (very important that your cake is cold, if not the butter cream will melt)
  • Grate the almond paste on top of the cake and dust with the cocoa powder.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Raspbanana Smoothie

This smoothie is thick and creamy. I drink it at breakfast or if I feel a little hungry during the day. Easy to make!

You will need:
1 large Ripe Banana, 1-2 handfuls of Frozen Raspberries, around 400-500ml Dairy Free Milk (I recomend Alpro Soya Natural Milk)

  • This is even easier to make if you have a measuring blending cup or a blender with the measures on it.
  • Peel and break your banana into pieces.
  • Add the frozen raspberries (measuring up to the 500ml mark)
  • Cover with the milk and mix/blend until smooth.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pite Palt

Made out of raw finely grated potatoes, salt and plain flour, this large swedish potato dumpling is the national dish of the northern swedish area of Piteå. The meat version is round and filled with salted pork belly, but as vegan is the way to go, these vegan flat versions are better for animals and humans alike. The silky smooth palt is served with a side of margarine and lingonberry jam.

You will need: (4portions)
1000g of Potatoes (use a floury potato variety as King Edward or Desiree), 3-4tsp Salt, around 5dl (2 cups) Plain White Flour.
For the boiling: Large pot, Large wooden Ladle, Water and 2tbs Salt
For serving: Dairy Free Margarine and Lingonberry Jam (can be substituted with a unsweetend or a cranberry jam low in sugar, it should be a jam suited for savoury food)

  • Peel and finely grate your potatoes (I use a mince grinder).
  • Add them and your salt to a large bowl. Mix it around and taste your potato mix. It should have a salty flavour (not to salty, but you should be able to taste some salt).
  • Start adding a little flour at a time and mixing as you go. This should not form a dough, more like a firm and silky batter just firm enough to shape with floury hands.
  • In your large pan, add your water and salt, bring to a boil. Let your wooden ladel sit in the boiling water to soak a few minutes before starting to shape your palt.
  • Now, lets start with the fun but messy work of getting the palt ready.
  • Shape your palt into round discs, the size of your palm and around 1- 1½ inch thick. Lay them gently on the wooden ladle and add to the boiling water (still with the palt sitting on the ladle)
  • When you have shaped a new one, flip your palt of the ladle and repeat for the next palt dumpling.
  • Once all your batter is used, leave to gently boil for around 1 hour.
  • Strain the water off your cooked palt and serve them with the sides of dairy free margarine and lingonberry jam.
A great way to eat the palt is by cutting a hole in the top and fill that with margarine to soften and slightly melt. Then have a palt and that cut into small pieces and dip them in the the lingonberry jam and margarine.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kalops with Potatoes, Beetroots and Gherkins

This is a hearty and filling pot of goodness, filled with spices and flavours of allspice and bay leaf. The Swedish traditions of making Kalops dates back a long time and is mentioned in books as far back as 1755.

You will need:
Fake-Beef Chunks or Strips (4-6portions) I use rehydrated ones (but pre-made beefless strips/chunks work well too), 2 large Brown Onions, 4 Carrots, 4-6 whole Allspice Berries, 2-3 Bay Leaves, 2-4tbs Mushroom Soy Sauce, Black Pepper, 2-3 Vegetable Stock Cubes, Grill Mix spice, Water (around 1000-1500ml) and Potato or Corn Starch for a slurry to thicken the sauce.
Serve With: Boiled Potatoes, Beetroots and Gherkins

  • If you are using dried soy chunks, rehydrate them according to the description on the packet. I usually boil mine in water with spices and vegetable stock for extra flavour.
  • Peel and cut your carrots into slices and onion into chunks.
  • Fry carrot, onion and fake-beef in a large and deep pan with some oil or margarine for 10minutes
  • Add your spices, stock cubes, mushroom soy sauce, bay leaves, allspice and water. (but only enough water to cover the fake-beef, onion and carrots)
  • Taste the sauce after 5-10 min and spice more if needed.
  • Once the carrots are soft make a slurry using 50ml of water mixed with 4tsp potato or corn starch.
  • Slowly add this to your Kalops while stirring to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick add more water and if you want it thicker just add more slurry into the pot.
  • Serve the kalops with boiled potatoes, beetroots and gherkins. The beetroots are a very important condiment to this dish as they balance the flavour and brings it all together. If you want to be even more swedish eat this dish also served with lingonberry jam.

Brands I recommend in this blog are: