Archive for July, 2012

July 26, 2012

Vegan Iced Apple Cake Squares

In France, it is normal to eat a lot of cheese and a lot of dairy.  A LOT of dairy.  The only difference between French dairy (le laitage) and American dairy is that in France, it is ACTUALLY dairy.  Sounds redundant. Let me explain.  The first time I poured myself a glass of milk in the US after my first year in Strasbourg, I gasped at the lack of opaqueness.  It looked like milk-water.  It tasted like milk-water.  I was shocked.  I was unfazed however and then proceeded to make a cake with American butter.  But why was it white? In France, the butter is yellow, creamy, and potent.  It all boils down to differences in pasteurization I imagine but the quality and breakdown of these ingredients are fundamentally different here.  In any case, being born and raised with an American belly (but with French taste buds), I have a hard time adjusting to the strength of French cream, milk, butter and cheese.  I eat it, love it, enjoy it, and then regret it almost systematically.   Hence, on a coup de tête (or a whim, as I do most things) I decided to implement some entirely vegan days into my week in order to neither terrorize my stomach nor deprive myself of the delicious wonders that France has to offer.  I was a touch skeptical about the quality of a vegan apple cake, but I must admit that it was very addictive, delicious and absolutely passable as a normal dairy filled cake substitute!  Best to eat it piping hot….

Vegan Iced Apple Cake Squares

(adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen)

Makes 1 8-inch cake

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 gala apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or soy/rice/milk)

Now what?

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 f / 180 c.  Grease pan and line it with wax paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix together oil, vanilla and vinegar.  Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ones and mix well until combined.  Add apples and walnuts and mix well.
  3. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is set and slightly brown on top.  A knife or toothpick should come out clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, combine powdered sugar and almond milk until smooth.
  5. Once cooled, cut the cake into squares and ice as you please!
  6. Try to wait until it is cooled before eating so that you do not burn your tongue (I speak from experience.)

Advertisements
July 23, 2012

Dave Matthews Band | Proudest Monkey

Dave Matthews Band | Proudest Monkey

What we are listening to in the kitchen.

Tags:
July 20, 2012

Fried Zucchini Flowers | Beignets de Fleurs de Courgette

When a man wants to fry food for you, don’t let him go.  He’s a keeper.  That being said, the French, who pride themselves on simple and healthy vegetable ridden dishes, can also come out of the woodworks with a fried vegetable dish that will blow your mind.  Who knew that zucchini had flowers and that these flowers are edible? Not moi.  But can we eat them raw? I’m not sure.  But can we eat them fried? Hell yes.  Be wary, this leaves you with a lot of extra batter, which sends you into a frying folly leaving you with fried tofu, and fried eggs for example.  Luckily I was straight out of Oreos; otherwise things would have gotten ugly in that kitchen.

Fried Zucchini Flowers | Beignets de Fleurs de Courgette

What you’ll need:

  • 15 zucchini flowers
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 egg (white and yolk separated)
  • 3/4 cup iced water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil
  • Frying oil (olive oil will work just fine)

Now what?

  1. Mix the flour, egg yolk and ice water in order to have a homogenous batter.  Add cut up basil and salt and pepper.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the whites until firm (with a pinch of salt.) Incorporate the egg whites into the batter and let it sit for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Cut the stem of the zucchini flours in order to remove the pistil of the flower.  It is not a bad idea to rinse the flowers in a little white vinegar and open them up in order to assure that there are no creepy crawly critters inside.
  4. Heat a decent amount of oil in a large covered skillet.  Dip the flowers in the batter until they are well covered and then proceed to frying them in the oil.
  5. Place them on a plate covered with a paper towel to drain excess oil and then serve!

July 18, 2012

Potato Chip Brownies

I did something that horrified the French.  I did something that Americans do best.  I mixed something salty with something sweet.  The French love brownies and they love chips.  But would they ever imagine mixing the two together to discover a crunchy dessert? Non.  While certain parts of France preach the word of salted butter, this is as far as a salty dessert will ever go.  To mix something that should be eaten before dinner with something that should be eaten after is sacrilegious in their eyes.  And I did it…only to receive very mixed reviews.  My American public found this to be the crack-cocaine of the dessert world, while my French public couldn’t stand the sight of it alone and were hesitant to try it.  I did have some converts, however.   That being said, without the chips, this makes for a very melty and chewy brownie that I would absolutely remake with or without the chips!

Potato Chip Brownies

Makes two 8 x 8 in molds which serves a lot of French people or less Americans.

(Adapted from A Beautiful Mess)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups crushed potato chips

Now what?

  1. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Melt butter, 8 ounces of chocolate and sugar in a small pot on medium heat.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.  Add vanilla and eggs to the flour mixture.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and pour into two separate molds (approximately 8 x 8 inches should suffice.)
  5. Top with crushed potato chips.
  6. Bake at 350 f in the oven for 28-32 minutes.
  7. Once a knife comes out clean, drizzle the remaining chocolate on top of the brownies to set the chips in place.
  8. Serve the same day for the best crunch to your chips.
  9. Avoid inquisitive looks from your French counterparts.

July 18, 2012

Edith Piaf | L’Accordeoniste

Edith Piaf | L’Accordeoniste

What we are listening to in the kitchen.

 

%d bloggers like this: