Coffee & Pecan Cake

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not a coffee snob. I’m not even a coffee drinker. It all tastes the same to me. From smart price, freeze dried instant to the most expensive beans from the Dalai Lamas own garden – I cannot tell the difference.

However, I can taste the difference between teabags and loose leaf tea in a cuppa and I can smell the difference between shop bought and homemade cakes at 20 paces.

So making a coffee cake is a bit of a challenge for me. My Coffee and Pecan Cake recipe is soya and dairy free amd this cake recipe is even better as you can drizzle stronger coffee in if you wish. I use a double quantity of instant coffee but you can easily use triple or quadruple the concentration. If I’m in the cafe, I make a double strength cafetiere of ground coffee for this recipe. The pecans and maple syrup really add a nice smokey flavour to this too.

I promise that I will make a mug version of this as I think that a microwave coffee mug cake would be amazing.

If you like the size of the loaf cake, take a look at the Lemon and Lavender Drizzle cake.  And for other hot beverage based cakes, try out the Green tea and White Chocolate mug cake for when you need good cake, and fast.

If you’re nuts about nuts, give my Bakewell Tart recipe a go. It really is the best around and there is also a Bakewell tart mug version.

So here’s the recipe video. Written recipe to follow,

 

Coffee and Pecan Cake Recipe

Make your coffee first – I used 2 teaspoons of instant with around 200ml or 1 mug of hot water. Allow to cool. Pre heat your oven at Gas mark 4, 350F or 175C and line a loaf tin with a tin liner or greaseproof paper.

Take 10 – 12 whole pecans out of approx 100g of pecans and set aside for decoration. Break the rest of the pecans into smaller size pieces.

Now we’re ready to begin.

Add the Dry Ingredients to your mixing bowl first

1//  275g Self Raising Flour

2//  200g dark Brown Sugar. For a finer texture, sieve the sugar. I don’t as I like the caramelised ‘holes’ left behind, however you will need to break apart the larger lumps.

3// 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

4// Pinch of salt

Stir all of the dry inredients together

Now add the wet ingredients

1// 100ml Cooled double strength coffee

2// 200ml flavourless vegetable or sunflower oil.

3// 1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until combined

Now add the broken up pecans and stir.

Pour the mixture into your lined baking tin and pop into the middle shelf of your oven. After about 30 minutes, check the consistency of the cake with a skewer or knife. Poke the skewer through the top centre and if it still has liquid cake batter attached when the skewer is pulled out, the cake isn’t cooked yet.

Keep testing every 10 minutes or so until the skewer comes out clean.

When cooked, leave on a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, poke holes in the cake with a skewer and drizzle some maple syrup in.

If you want a more coffee flavoured coffee cake, add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar to your leftover coffee and stir. Spoon the coffee into the holes in your cake and let the cake absorb the liquid.

Finally, make up a coffee drizzle with around 1 cup of icing sugar and 1 Tablespoon cooled coffee. Pour the drizzle over the cake and decorate with pecans.

I like to use a black treacle decorative glaze with coffee cake – it just adds a richness when eating. Sit back and enjoy!

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Breakfast Mug Cake

I’ve got to say that I was intrigued by this recipe. I genuinely like the ‘500 calorie Diet Planner’ made by Woman magazine. A lot of the recipes are easy and different but very rarely vegan. I quite often veganise them for personal use and although I can’t stick to a 500 calorie fast ( the downside of owning a vegan cafe and being constantly surrounded by good food) I do use the recipes.

So the idea of a cake for breakfast really appeals. Specifically, the banana mug cake from the June – Sept 2017 issue. It’s microwaveable in a mug! And 100 calories!! Wowsers, this is the stuff of dreams.

Unfortunately it’s not my favourite mug cake – maybe it’s the banana. I will make this again at some point and possibly use apple and raisins instead of banana. Or maybe raspberries. It definitely needs more flavour, I think.

A breakfast mug cake is such a fabulous idea though. It’s a recipe worth trying as I think it’s easily personalised to taste.  So I will update as I change it.

Anyway the recipe is below. But if you fancy something sweeter but just as easy try one of my other mug cake recipes. There’s a Chocolate banana mug cake, Bakewell in a mug recipe, Chocolate & Raspberry mug cake, Jelly Baby (lemon & raspberry) mug cake, and my absolute favourite White Chocolate & Green Tea Mug cake.

Let me know what you think of this one and if you change it, what you do.

Tofu Quiche with Butternut Squash & Spinach

Ooooh….a simple savoury recipe! I realise that it’s mostly been all about the cake on here and yet I spend alot of my cafe time baking savoury vegan goodies. Sausage rolls, pizza, homemade cheddar and mozzarella and a whole lot of Vegan Quiche.

It’s October so we’ll be putting the quiche to sleep for winter and bringing out all of our delicious, heart warming soup recipes. So this is a good recipe for those of you who can’t wait until Spring for a slice of our quiche.

This quiche cuts into a generous 6 slices  and is great warm or cold. Its even robust enough for freezing either part baked or fully baked.

And if you have any shortcrust pastry over you can use it up with my Cherry and Almond Bakewell Slice recipe. Used Puff Pastry instead? Use up any leftovers with these easy peasy Cinnamon and apple swirls

 

Butternut Squash and Spinach Quiche Recipe

First off, get your block of silken tofu pressed. This is to remove some liquid from the block. The traditional way involves wrapping the block of tofu in kitchen towel to absorb the water, placing it on a plate with something heavy on top (usually  a balancing act of books) and leaving it all in the fridge for a while.

However, the clever people at Tofuture have invented a nifty Tofu press that is absolutely worth its weight in saffron. It’s a clever contraption that allows you to pop your tofu into the tofu block sized press (told you it was clever) with the water draining into a separate compartment. It’s small enough to leave in your fridge and works alot better than the book/kitchen towel method.

Anyway….whichever way you do it, get your silken tofu in a press for an hour while you do everything else.

1// Press silken tofu for around an hour, in fridge

2// Butternut squash into oven to bake. I use half a 750g bag of frozen squash because it’s so easy but fresh is fine too. Bake it until soft.

3// Fit a ready made roll of shortcrust pastry to a 10” flan tin. Don’t worry if you only have puff pastry – it works perfectly well, just with a flakier finish. Leave the pastry on its greaseproof paper to stop the pastry sticking to the tin. It might take a bit of cutting, folding and shaping but it will fit!

4// Poke holes in the bottom of the pastry with a fork. This is to stop pastry bubbles rising. Add another layer of baking paper and ideally a tub of baking beans to weigh the pastry down. I used a heatproof mug in my video but its not the best.

5// Blind bake the pastry for around 10 – 15 minutes at around Gas Mark 5. Until the pastry edges are a pale golden colour. Take out and allow to cool slightly. I occasionally use the pastry as soon as it’s out of the oven and haven’t noticed any difference whether it’s used  hot or cold.

6// Take your pressed block of tofu and scrape it into a mixing bowl. Discard the tofu water. Break up the tofu with an electric stick blender, but if you haven’t got an electric blender you can just use a fork like I’ve shown you in the video

7// Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of Rosemary, 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast to the tofu and mix. An electric blender is so much faster but be prepared to have an arm like Popeye if you’re using a fork.

8// Add a Tablespoon of Caramelised Onion Chutney if you have it. Or balsamic vinegar or caramelised onions if you haven’t. Mix again

9// Mix in a cup of  fresh spinach. I used half a cup of frozen and then defrosted spinach as it’s really easy to store but fresh spinach is good too.

10// Add the baked butternut squash and mix again.

11// Scrape the filling into the pastry base and smooth over.

12// Pop quiche back into oven at Gas mark 4 or 5 (170C – 190C) for around 20 minutes. When ready the pastry edge should be golden and the tofu should be set.