Archives for posts with tag: lemon

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These have just come out of the oven: they are gluten-free cookies from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan. I made them because I had an urge to bake and I had a lemon I wanted to use up. When I went looking through recipe books, I found this one.

I had the usual “argh, the recipe says cornflour, what does that mean in Australia?” dilemma. Google “what is the difference between cornflour, cornmeal and corn starch” and you will find many posts, mostly written by confused Australians trying to match up their recipe (of north American origin) with the ingredients we see in the shop.  I remembered just in time that what Australians buy as cornflour is what Dreena Burton would call cornstarch: a thickening agent.  Definitely not what was required as the main body of these cookies.

Instead I used the polenta I had in the cupboard. (I think what Australians call polenta corresponds to coarsely ground cornmeal? Though I’ve also seen it described as “pre-cooked cornmeal”. Like everyone else, I’m confused.).  Instead of the millet flour called for in the recipe, I had millet meal.  So I put these ingredients into my high-speed blender and gave them a whizz, to try to grind them up a bit finer. I think it worked OK. The biscuits still have a bit of a grainy feel, but only slightly (it doesn’t feel like eating sand, which I’ve experienced when cooking with polenta before).  Most importantly, with the lemon juice, lemon rind, cranberries and other flavours, they taste really nice.

Vegan lemon cake

I had some lemon juice left over from another recipe, and decided to make a lemon cake. I knew (from previous experience with this yummy orange cake) that including citrus juice in a vegan cake recipe helps to make the cake light, with a great texture. So I found this lemon cake recipe from Ethical Chef and gave it a try. Result: very tasty, lovely texture. Next time I’ll use a slightly smaller cake tin to get a slightly taller cake.

Braised tempeh in a lemon, thyme and caper sauce

This recipe comes from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan, pictured with steamed broccoli and snow peas, and some corn on the cob (yum!). The tempeh is lightly fried in a pan, then you pour in some wine and let it bubble… add red onion, lemon juice, capers, thyme and a couple of other flavours, and put the whole dish in the oven for about 25 minutes (partly covered). The lemon slices on top season the dish while cooking, and I put them on the plate for decoration, but I don’t tend to eat them.

I was pleased that my kids enjoyed this dish. They are slowly making friends with tempeh.

Another great tempeh recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan is Tempeh Tickle, which you can find online. I like tempeh tickle slices in sandwiches for midweek lunches. You can also make an easy pasta sauce by cooking some onion and garlic in olive oil, adding a tin of tomatoes and some herbs, and crumbling in a few tempeh tickle slices.

Beating the chickpea liquid

In case you haven’t heard, some wonderful person discovered that if you keep the liquid when you drain a tin of chickpeas, and you whip up that liquid with a handheld beater, then you can make ** vegan meringue **. It’s some kind of vegan miracle. (Actually, I think it’s probably due to starch: there’s an explanation at the end of the first paragraph of this post on Seitan is My Motor.)

Vegan meringue, before baking

I heard about vegan meringue on Twitter, then immediately did some googling and found this recipe for vegan lemon meringue pie on Seitan Beats Your Meat. (As a mathematician, I loved her Pi Day reference too.) Pictured above is the pie, a mini-pie made with some leftover lemon filling and meringue topping, and one of the THREE trays of meringue kisses that I made with the rest of the leftover meringue. You won’t believe how much meringue one tin of chickpea liquid can produce.

Meringue Kisses

Here we see some meringue kisses. Cute!! I did find that these kisses soaked up moisture from the air very quickly (and we have humid air in Sydney at the moment). But I followed someone’s tip which is this: store your meringue kisses in an airtight container with a few packets of dessicant (e.g. silica gel): those little packets you get with shoes or vitamins, to keep things dry. It works! The kisses were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. At most there’s a tiny hint of a bean taste, if you concentrate and try to find it, but you have to look for it pretty hard: really these just taste like meringue.

Lemon meringue pie

The cooked pie looked more or less the same as the uncooked pie, but the meringue was crispy. I finished baking after midnight, so we had to wait until the next evening to eat the pie. The meringue layer had softened, which is what you want for this dessert I think. The lemon layer was very lemony. I had cheated somewhat and used store-bought (vegan) shortcrust pastry, instead of making the pastry from the recipe. (I’d also baked it a little too long in the blind baking stage, but it was still yummy.) This pie was really fun to make and very tasty to eat.

To sum up: vegan meringue exists (and you don’t need to use weird egg replacer powder to make it.) Grab a tin of chickpeas and give it a go. (Remember to use the hashtag #legumeringue because it was Leigh Drew’s idea and it is genius.)

Raw vegan cheesecake, anyone?

Ever since I saw recipes for raw vegan cheesecakes, I was pretty keen to make one at home. Now that I have a high-powered blender, I can do just that. I used Dreena Burton’s recipe for raw lemon-lime cheesecake with fresh mango sauce. It’s amazing what you can do with a few cashews.

Actually my first attempt at raw cheesecakes followed this recipe for seven ingredient vegan cheesecakes. They were fun too: you make individual cheesecakes in muffin moulds. I topped half of ours with blueberries and the rest with raspberries. The consensus in our house was that raspberry tasted best.

Now my challenge is to try to hold myself back from making cheesecake a staple part of the family diet (-: