What’s cooking in Kimberley’s kitchen?
It feels like I’ve been cheating on blogging with baking as I have been spending more time (lately) in the kitchen rather than on the computer. Here I share with you some of my recent creations along with some useful tips from my experience.
Reduced fat and sugar banana split cake made with an assortment of flours. They are almost vegan – just like me. Except for the white chocolate, there were no animal products used in the making of these cakes. True to moderate eating, I made mini-cakes for those times when you just need a hit of something sweet in an otherwise healthy diet. The big cake was baked in an oblong pan to recreate the feel of a banana boat sundae.
Interesting ingredients you may not guess are inside: green pea flour, tapioca starch and ground white chia seeds. The fiber helps tone down the blood sugar spike that pure sugar can create.
A fancy banana cake – once again, almost vegan like me. The white and milk chocolate are the spoilers here. This recipe was made with overripe bananas (quite sweet and the best kind for baking) and very little sugar. The organic dark chocolate used in the cake was quite bitter with a cocoa content of 70% (that’s the healthy stuff !) To balance the bitterness and reduced sugar amount, I made a chocolate glaze (white and milk) mixed with raw hazelnut butter and some agave syrup. The oil and sugar help give the glaze its sheen and ‘sticky’ quality. It is topped with white and milk chocolate curls (which stuck quite well to the glaze).
Tip!: Bananas not only taste great and contain the important mineral potassium, they also make great fat and egg substitutes in ‘healthier’ and vegan baking.
And finally the coco bread. I fell in love with this slightly sweet yeasted bread while in Jamaica. Apparently it is used as sandwich bread and can be found in other parts of the Caribbean as well. The original recipe calls for butter and milk, but, as always, I performed my recipe alchemy to make it vegan. Rice milk and a coconut-oil based spread were used. To see original recipe, go to Cook Like a Jamaican – Coco Bread Recipe. In spite of the dearth of meat on this site, there are lots of easy-to-follow well-tested recipes here that are vegetarian/vegan friendly. With a little tweaking these recipes can even be made somewhat healthy too.
Tip: When searching recipes online or in print, make sure that the author indicates that the recipe has been tested, preferably a few times. When you try a recipe for the first time and it doesn’t work, it is not always your fault.
Note that my dough has doubled in size – the sign that the yeast is alive and kicking!
The traditional shape is that of folded bread. I got creative (well I made a mistake and improvised) and made some crescent shapes and rolls. This dough is sticky and a challenge to work with. Flour your hands well and handle the dough gently.