Trusting your instincts in the kitchen

December 13, 2009

Good morning everyone!

I hope your all enjoying your weekend so far? It's been freezing here (temperatures reaching the -41 celcius), so we've been staying in the comfortable warmth of our home. I mean, who would want to go out in that cold, unless you absolutely had to, right?

So I've been cooking and baking up a storm to keep busy. I've actually been really focusing on making vegan foods. And I must say, so far, everything tasted great! I'll share those tests with you later, but right now, I really had to talk about these little gems I made/invented yesterday.

Yes, I said invented. My very first creation, so to say. I've been baking since I was about 10, but in the past year, I've been learning to trust my instincts when it comes to baking. I used to follow recipes to the letter. And last year, after I started being more and more interested in nutrition, I started adding and subbing a few ingredients here and there to make recipes more nutritious. Like adding flax or replacing eggs with flax (to make recipes vegan), adding shredded coconut for flavor, or replacing some or all the sugar with honey or agave so my son wont go crazy after eating a cookie or muffin.

But that was the extent of the changes I would make to recipes would end there... until yesterday. There was this cookie recipe I had seen on the Vegetarian Times website, that I really wanted to make. But it was calling for prunes and I didn't have any. I could have bought some, but I really wasn't sure what it would taste like and just didn't feel like trying it for some reason. It also called for cold coffee for the liquid.... like I was going to use that! Not that I don't LOVE coffee, because I do. But I was not going to put coffee in a recipes my already crazy kids were possibly going to eat.

Then one thing led to another, and I changed so many ingredients, measurements and technique in the recipe, that it had nothing to do with the original when I was done. And that's how my Green Tea mini cakes were born. (I call them mini cakes, because the texture is "cakey" and fluffy.) I knew they would taste OK, but I certainly was not expecting them to taste amazing. And AMAZING they are!

So this morning, I am going to share with you my fist ever creation.

Green Tea Mini Cakes

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • 3/4 cup green tea, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup Medjool dates, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped into small chunks

Preheat oven at 375F.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Set a side.

In an other bowl, mix ground flax seeds with 2 Tbsp of the green tea while it's warm. Let it sit for a couple minutes, it will thicken a bit. Chop the dates so finely it's almost like a paste. Add the dates to the flax mix and add the rest of the green tea. Mix with a fork and try to "smoosh" the dates as much as you can, to make it "puree like". It's OK if it's not a perfectly uniform mix. Then add margarine and almond extract and mix. Add the honey and mix well.

Next add the flour mixture and mix a little bit, but not until fully incorporated. Fold in the raisins and pecans and mix.

Drop about 1 Tbsp of dough for each "cake" onto a lightly greased baking sheet, about 1 1/2 apart. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool. It will make a little over 2 dozens.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did! I had to freeze half the batch, because I was unable to stop myself from eating them, that's how good they are! If you try them, let me know what you think, please. I would love some feedback!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Anonymous said...

YEH YOU! I will defo give these a go and let you know!

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Stephanie xx

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