Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Oh She Glows Coobook Review + Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte

Angela Liddon started her Oh She Glows Blog in 2008, where she shared her love of vegan food with her readers. Five years later she finally released her cookbook.

The book is divided into 10 recipe chapters: Breakfast, Smoothies, Juices and Tea, Appetizers, Salads, Soup, Entrees, Sides, Power Snacks, Desserts, and Homemade Staples. 

Accompanying the delicious recipes are the most amazing pictures of food I have ever seen. It makes you fall in love with food, again. 

Before you flick to the recipes, Angela explains the importance of some vegan foods, like Nuts, Soy Products, Herbs etc. I like that because you can learn more about the importance of certain food. 

I am not vegan, but I like to mix things up and there is nothing wrong with eating healthy food.

It can be purchased on Amazon, The Book Depository or iBooks.

I decided to try the Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte because I loved the description of it. I have to admit though, I was sceptical when I saw that the filling is made out of cashews (?!) and cocoa. Ok, cocoa I love, but cashews in a dessert? Let me tell you, the smell of this filling is so amazing, I can't even describe. I have never baked something so amazingly smelling. I could live off this pie forever. 

You need:
For the toasted hazelnut crust:

¾ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup coconut oil
3 table spoons maple syrup
¼ tea spoon fine-grain sea salt
½ cup gluten-free oat flour
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

For the chocolate filling:

1 ½ cups cashews, soaked
2/3 cup agave nectar
½ cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
2 tea spoons vanilla extract
½ tea spoon fine-grain sea salt
½ tea spoon espresso powder (optional)

Make the crust, first. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 23 cm pie dish with coconut oil.
In a food processor, process the hazelnuts into a fine crumb with the texture of sand. Add the coconut oil, maple, sugar, salt, espresso powder, and oat flour and process again until the dough comes together. Finally, add the rolled oats and pulse until they are chopped, but still have some texture to them. The dough should stick together slightly, if not, add some more maple syrup.
Use your fingers and crumble the dough over the pie dish evenly. Starting from the middle, press the dough firmly into the dish, moving outward and upward along the side of the dish. Bake the crust fro 10 to 13 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Make the filling. Drain and rinse the cashews. In a blender, combine the cashews, agave, oil, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, vanilla, salt and espresso powder. Blend on high, until the filling is smooth. Pour over the prepared crust, smoothing out the top evenly. Garnish with chocolate shavings, coconut, or as I did – with hazelnuts.
Place the pie in the freezer (uncovered) for a couple of hours, then cover the dish with foil and freeze overnight. Remove the pie from the freezer and let sit for ten minutes before serving.

Reprinted by arrangement with AVERY, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © GLO BAKERY CORPORATION, 2014.

Recipe added to this link up party.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chocolate Almond Cookies

Whenever I go grocery shopping I always buy things I don't actually need. My heart skips a beat when I see that familiar red "sale" sign. Almonds were on sale the other day and I couldn't resist buying a bag. Come on, I wanted to resist the urge of baking because I simply don't have time these days (writing an MA Thesis, blogging and a job keeps me occupied), but when I saw Lorraine's recipe for Chocolate Almond Cookies I knew the almonds were a good purchase.

Recipe adapted from Lorraine Pascale's A Lighter Way to Bake (My review)

You need:

50g butter
50g light brown sugar (I am in love with Muscovado)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g whole-wheat flour
50g ground almonds
50g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Flaked almonds for the topping

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray. Set aside. 
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
Gradually add the flour, almond, cocoa, baking powder and soda. Mix well, then use your hands to form a sticky dough. 
Roll out small balls of dough, set on tray, and flatten each ball with your palm. Put a few flaked almonds on top.
Bake for ten minutes. Once baked, let cool on a wire rack.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lorraine Pascale's A Lighter Way to Bake Review + Oatmeal and Ginger Cookies

Since I am a cookbook lover, I decided to start reviewing cookbooks. These are all my honest opinions, and I am only going to write about books I think are the best. 

Lorraine Pascale is one of my favorite famous chef, I love her passion about food and cooking. She is sincere and her recipes are not boring like most of the fancy TV cooks, that just throw some ingredients in their standing mixers and whip up a dish. 
When I first flipped through the book, I was amazed by the beautiful pictures. Lorraine always features great pictures of her dishes in her books, which is an enormous factor for me. I only buy cookbooks that actually have pictures of the recipes in it, so I can see what the end result should look like. The book contains recipes of favorite naughty treats, only made lighter. Lorraine promises the recipes are lighter in sugar and fat, but still tasty and full of flavor.
A Lighter Way to Bake is divided into nine chapters; Breakfast and Brunch, Bread, Savoury Bakes, Puddings and Desserts, Cakes, Cookies and Traybakes, Teatime Treats, Special Occasions and Entertaining, Pastry and Basics. Another thing I love in this book is the intro to each recipe, in which Lorraine shares something personal or explains her tricks and tips for baking.

I decided to include the recipe for Oatmeal and Ginger Cookies because they are simply delicious. These cookies are so tasty, even though they contain a small amount of sugar. The sweetness was a bit too much for me, so I think halving the amount of sugar would be perfect. It is all about finding the balance!

You need:

50g unsalted butter 100g light soft brown sugar 1 egg, lightly beaten 2 tsp olive oil 125g wholemeal flour 100g rolled oats 1 tbsp ground ginger 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Cream together the butter and sugar until combined then stir in the egg and olive oil until well mixed.Add the flour, oats, ginger, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix everything together until a dough is formed. Using damp hands divide the mixture into 12 or 24 equal sized balls - place on the baking tray spaced out and lightly press them down slightly so they're about 1.5 cm thick. 

Enjoy those beauties with a cup of great coffee.