Chocolate & Almond Babka (Vegan)



I can’t even begin to describe my passion for any kind of brioche. I simply adore them. I love the simple version, the chocolate one, the one with walnuts, or poppy seeds, or Turkish delight, or coconut meringue. Any kind, really. I’m not picky at all.  One of my favourite recipes is Babka, chocolate brioche with Polish origins. So I decided to make a vegan version and the result vas a fluffy golden brioche with a decadent chocolate-almond filling. A vegan brioche which is not only looks incredible but also tastes absolutely amazing.

Ingredients (for 2 loaves):

500g all-purpose flour

250ml almond milk

90ml safflower oil

1 satchel active dry yeast

120g powdered sugar

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp turmenic

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 orange

for the filling:

100g dark chocolate

100g ground almonds

60ml coconut oil

50g powdered sugar

30g cocoa powder


Method:

Mix sugar with lukewarm milk and stir until combined. Add yeast and leave aside for 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl sift the flour together with the turmenic powder. Add the milk mixture, orange zest and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the salt and continue mixing until you form a ball.

Turn the dough on to a floured working surface and knead adding one teaspoon of butter at a time. Knead for 15 minutes adding flour if necessary. Put dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes.

Prepare the filling by melting the chocolate and the coconut oil in the microwave. Ass the sifted cocoa and powdered sugar. Mix until well combined.

Put dough on a floured working surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide it into 2 smaller balls.

Take the first ball and toll it out with a rolling pin until you have a 1cm thick rectangle making sure it has the same length as the tray.

Spread ½ the quantity of the chocolate cream over it, leaving a 2cm wide clean border. Sprinkle half of the almonds over the chocolate cream.

Brush the left border with almond milk. Begin rolling the loaf from right to left, making sure the left end sticks well. Take a sharp knife and divide the log into two halves. Take one end and begin twisting them. Place the loaf in a parchment paper- lined tray and proceed the same with the second brioche.

Cover them with a clean towel and leave the aside to rise for another 60 minutes. Bake them in the preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F (gas mark 4) for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Let them cool down on a wire rack for at least 2 hours until slicing.

Asparagus and Egg Salad with Almonds and Ricotta

 

I’ve developed some sort of obsession for this lovely asparagus and egg salad. I could easily enjoy it on a daily basis without getting bored. It’s quite amazing how some simple ingredients, combined together, can create something so majestic. This hearty salad doesn’t take more than 15 minutes and it tastes divine. The steps are very easy, you blanch the asparagus to preserve its vibrant color, you toast the almonds just to enhance their flavor and you boil the egg to your likeness. You dress these ingredients with a velvety mustard and scallion sauce and you devour the dish without regrets.

 

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings):

  • 500g asparagus
  • 50g ricotta (I used a drier variety)
  • 20g almond flakes
  • 2 large eggs

for the dressing:

  • 1 scallion, finely chopped (1 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp walnut oil (or any other mild-flavored oil)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Trim the asparagus. Cut about 7 cm from the end of each asparagus and peel the asparagus using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Blanche the asparagus. Bring to a boil 2l of water and add 1 Tbsp sea salt. Cook the asparagus for 2 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the ice bath by adding 1 cup of ice to a bowl filled with cold water. Carefully remove the asparagus from the boiling water using a spatula and immediately place it in the ice bath. Let it cool completely and place it on a paper towel.
  3. Eggs. Place the eggs in the same pot and let eggs boil for 10 minutes. Drain eggs, let them cool in cold water (use the same bowl you used for the asparagus) and peel them.
  4. Almonds. Brown the almonds in a skillet, on medium heat. Set aside.
  5. Scallions. Wash the scallion and chop it finely using a sharp knife.
  6. Dressing and assembly. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a medium bowl chopped scallion with the mustard and honey. Drizzle the oil, making sure to whisk continuously. Add the lemon juice and stir. Add the asparagus (cut into 2 – 3 pieces), almond flakes and ricotta cheese. Stir gently, season with salt and garnish with the eggs (cut into quarters).
  7. Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Source: www.gourmettraveller.com

Quinoa Salad with Carrot, Almonds and Cranberries (Vegan)

 

My heart fills with joy whenever I think of this mouth-watering salad, whenever I think of its amazing taste, its vibrant colors, its contrasting textures. Undoubtedly, this is my all-time favorite salad; this salad is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also absolutely delicious. There are some really interesting things going on in my plate, the discrete nutty aroma of the quinoa is being amplified by the roasted almond flakes, and the fresh taste of the carrot goes so well with the earthy sweetness of the cranberries. What a treat!

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 100g dry quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • 120ml water (1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot (50g)
  • 20g almond flakes
  • 40g dried cranberries
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp of any neutral oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil on high heat. When the water begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork.
  2. Almonds. Brown the almonds in a skillet, on medium heat. Set aside.
  3. Carrot, spring onions, cranberries, parsley. Peel the carrot using a vegetable peeler and grate it. Chop the spring onions finely. Halve the cranberries.Wash the parsley, pat it dry with a clean paper towel and chop it finely.
  4. Dressing and assembly. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a medium bowl the lemon juice with the oil and the parsley. Take a large bowl and place the quinoa in it. Add the carrot, spring onion, cranberries and almonds. Pour the dressing, give it a stir and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Source: www.bettycrocker.com



Cherry and Almond Crumble

Sometimes, I’m simply not looking for symmetries, geometries and flawlessness. Sometimes, a rustic dessert chaotically dropped on a white plate creates for me an ecstatic state of mind, a genuine satisfaction that no other form of perfection could ever bring. Moments like that tell me it’s time to make a crumble.

Fruit crumble isn’t the most aesthetic dessert that you could think of, I give you that, but the taste is simply divine. Those fresh fruit that bake in their own juice, creating a silky, flavorful sauce go wonderfully with the crunchy buttery crust. For this particular crumble I used meaty June cherries, I flavored them with rose water (vanilla or almond extract work beautifully too) and I topped them with a buttery almond flake mixture. A delicious madness! Continue reading Cherry and Almond Crumble