Vegan MoFo: creamy tomato soup with avocado nori rolls

tomato soup and sushi

Very yummy, very whole-proteiny 🙂

For the soup, heat two tins or cartons of chopped tomatoes. Add in a huge peeled and chopped sweet potato, 4 chopped sticks of celery, 2 chopped red peppers and a handful of quinoa grain. Cook up until veg is soft and quinoa sprouted then blend with a handful of cashew nuts. Add sea salt to taste and water if too thick.

The nori rolls are probably self explanatory but if you need instructions there is a simple sushi recipe here, scroll a little way down.

Nu är det dags för semlor!

Today is Shrove Tuesday or Fettisdagen (fat Tuesday) which means it's time to eat pancakes in Britain or semlor in Sweden. I opted for the latter as I love these sweet buns filled with marzipan/almond paste and cream. And I'm in Sweden.

Semla

This year I even made my own buns and they were delicious. Not the chocolate ones I posted about last year, just plain cardamon buns. There are recipes in English but I used this one and the buns were soft and lovely. Next year I think I will make the smaller buns as I tend to feel quite sick after one big one but still want to have a second a few hours later.

Also, the title says "Now it is time for semlor!". I have seen signs saying that since the start of January. Now it actually is time for semlor. Hooray!

Cuban Bread

No heart shaped quiches this year but we did end up having pink pasta. More due to laziness and having beetroot pesto to use up than because it's Valentine's day. It did look pretty before we guzzled it down. Anyway, no pictures of that. Here's some bread:

Cuban bread

That is Cuban bread. It's a little bit special as it goes in a cold oven to prove then bake which makes it easy and fun to bake. It ends up with a fairly dark brown, chewy crust but light and soft inside. The recipe can be found on Lucullian Delights. I used half bread flour and half plain and presumed that hot water meant the usual finger temperature water to not kill the yeast. I've made it with fresh yeast and dry yeast. It's easy to make half the amount if you can only find one packet of yeast in the cupboard (like I did) or freeze the second loaf. I like to freeze it in slices so its easy just to take what you need but the bread stays soft for a couple of days and the two of us can easily finish a loaf in that time.

Dajm

Christmas is a time for toffee in Sweden. Stora Julboken (The Big Christmas book) has quite a few recipes for it, including one for Gudrun's Dajm. I loved Daim bars but haven't had anything like it since I became vegan. All the ingredients for Gudrun's dajm were measured in spoonfuls so it didn't seem too risky. It was easy and made the equivalent of one large Daim bar.

Gudrun's daim

It didn't taste too Daim-y though so I tried another recipe which seemed more authentic (it had almonds in it) and that was delicious. I have been nibbling away at it and I've not even coated it in chocolate yet. Melting the sugar took forever as the heat was too low. I miss being able to see flames, it's much harder to gauge how hot an electric cooker is. Other than that, it was pretty straight forward. Just make sure you grease up the baking parchment! I forgot to so now I have papery daim bars.

Dajm – from Julmaten.se

  • 1.5 dl (135g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 50 g slivered/chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 100g chocolate
  1. Melt the sugar to a light caramel in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Stir in the syrup, cocoa and almonds then stir in the margarine.
  3. Spread out on well greased baking parchment and allow to harden for 30 seconds then score into pieces.
  4. Allow to cool then snap along the score lines.
  5. Melt the chocolate then dip in the top of each piece of daim and place back on the parchment and allow to cool completely.

Vegan MoFo 2 – Kladdkaka

Being in Sweden, a Swedish cake seems in order. Kladdkaka is a wonderful, gooey, chocolate cake. There are many different kladdkakor available in the supermarkets but I've only seen ones containing eggs and/or milk.

My Swedeheart once attempted to make it for me. However, he baked it for a little too long and it turned into a burnt toffee cake. The cake tin is still full of scratches from trying to salvage a piece from that sticky charcoal lump. His friend took a bite and said it was like eating a sugar cane in a field of burning tobacco.

Other than that disastrous kladdkaka experience, I've only had one other slice. It was in Astrid och Apporna's vegan cafe in Malmö which is no longer open. I do remember it being completely delicious, served with a swirl of vegan cream.

This is my first attempt at making a kladdkaka but it seems to have been a success. It's nice and gooey in the centre and firm at the edge. It sticks to the roof of my mouth a lot, like peanut butter, but it tastes great, especially with some cream to help it slid down my gullet.

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I used a recipe from Vilse i Veganpannkakan. Here it is in English.

N.B. Swedish recipes often measure things in decilitres (100ml), I weighed it out to get the approximate measurements in grams.

Kladdkaka

  • 150 g vegan margarine
  • 3 dl/180 g plain flour
  • 2 dl/190 g sugar
  • 1 dl/55 g cocoa powder 
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 1/4 dl/125 ml vegan cream or milk (I used oat cream)
  • A little semolina (I used fine maize meal which worked as well, the cake slid right out.)
  • Chopped nuts/coconut (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175°C.

Grease a 23 cm/9" springform cake tin and coat with a sprinkle of semolina.

Place sugar in a large bowl then sift in the flour and cocoa powder and stir together.

Melt the margarine in a saucepan then stir in the syrup. Once it is thoroughly mixed together, stir in the cream/milk.

Pour the margarine mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour into the cake tin, sprinkle over some chopped nuts then bake for a maximum of 20 minutes. The centre should still be gooey but the edges should be set. Stick a cocktail stick in the edge to check. Mine was ready after about 16 minutes.

Allow to cool a little, can be eaten warm or cold with vegan cream or ice cream. Vilse i Veganpannkakan even suggests topping it with chocolate pudding!

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Quinoa Snack Bars

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That jar of almond butter was just the perfect amount for the amaranth snack bar recipe (minus a tablespoon from spreading it on one too many slices of bread). I didn't find puffed amaranth in the shop but I did see puffed quinoa so I used that instead. I also replaced half the molasses with date syrup as molasses can be a little overwhelming. Apricot was my dried fruit of choice and I added hazelnuts instead of pecans since I already had them. I am always disappointed when anything so brown doesn't taste of chocolate so I also chopped up half a bar of dark chocolate and threw that in too.

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It was actually really good. It didn't taste too much of molasses but had a nice coffee taste instead. The toasted coconut was delicious. It was sticky and sweet, healthy without tasting too wholesome. I served it to friends and they all seemed to enjoy it. One even asked for the recipe.

 

Homemade Almond Butter

For some reason these amaranth snack bars really appeal to me. Maybe because I can parade around as if I had a wholesome diet whilst nomming on some sweet deliciousness. Jonathan is away until the end of the week and I worry I would eat all 81 square inches of it before he returns so I haven't made it just yet. Instead I made some almond butter in preparation.

 

Almond butter

Homemade nut butters have always scared me a little; nothing ever seems to grind properly. Turns out I just hadn't had the perseverance. Rawmazing's recipe encouraged me and I finally tried it out with my little Philips food processor. I only had one cup of almonds but that was plenty for a first go. It took much longer than 12 minutes, maybe because I was stopping to scrape it so regularly, but it eventually came together without the food processor bursting into flames. I used unblanched almonds and didn't add any agave nectar or salt. It has quite a sticky texture but spreads well and tastes just like… almonds!

Almond butter