Chinese Spring Rolls with three dipping sauces

Chinese Spring Rolls PicMonkey Image

春捲

chūn juǎn

 

Spring rolls bring back memories of Dim Sum houses in Hong Kong with delicious dipping sauces. Filled with tons of fresh vegetables and a little pork, chicken, shrimp or tofu.

I’ve been to Hong Kong several times and loved it very much, such a buzzing city. And the food!!! Everything seems to evolve around food, so a great opportunity to taste as many different things as I could, and although I did skip the fried Grasshoppers, I indulged in tons of Dim Sum and lots of Spring Rolls.

You can get Spring Rolls everywhere here in Holland but they tend to be the big collosal brick sized ones, just not right or authentic in my opinion. I prefer the little chinese spring rolls so I started making my own years ago and at least I know what’s inside them.

These are great as a party food or also as a finger food for movie night. We have them for dinner accompanied with some cucumber sticks or salad. Either way they’re delicious and a real crowd pleaser. And really not as difficult as they may seem.

The vegetables are adjustable to whatever you may have lying around in your fridge or whatever is in season,  add any of the following,  the total should come up to one pound of vegetables approximately for this recipe. At least 4 or 5 different kinds is best. The ones marked with an asterix are the vegetables I have used in my Spring Rolls.

carrots*, shredded or cut into sticks

bamboo shoots

shiitake (soaked and stem removed)

chestnut mushrooms*

cabbage, shredded*

paksoy*

sugar snap peas*,

green beans

finely sliced red bell pepper

onions*,

beans sprouts*,

peanuts,

basil,

cilantro*,

 


 

🍜 Prep time : 30 minutes

⏰ Cooking time: 15 minutes

😋 Makes : 10 medium or 20 small


INGREDIENTS SPRING ROLLS:

4 oz. rice noodles soaked

1 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying, divided

1 lb. mixed vegetables

1 tsp. grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry white wine

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. Ketjap Manis

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek or more

1 teaspoon sesame oil

black pepper, to taste

2 tsp. Boemboe Sate (seasoning) see Chicken Saté 

 

For the meat or tofu:

  • 8 ounces ground pork/chicken or scrambled tofu
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or white wine
  • 1 tbsp. black bean sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

For wrapping:

1 package 8″ square spring roll wrappers 

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water for sealing the spring rolls
  • Canola, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

DIPPING SAUCES; 

Sate Sauce:

Sticky Red Chili Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave if vegan
  • 1 tbsp. sambal oelek
  • 4 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Garlic Lime Cashew Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for one hour, drained
  • 1/4 cup water or more
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. aple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 heaping teaspoon tahini
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper, or to taste

Mix in a high speed blender until smooth.

INSTRUCTIONS SPRING ROLLS:

  1. Place the noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, then set aside.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or wok, add half the oil.
  3. When hot, add the meat or tofu to the pan and fry for a few minutes, adding the seasoning after the first minute, cook until cooked thru. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Put the pan back on the heat and add the remaining oil.
  5. Add the vegetables when hot and stir fry for 5 minutes approximately. After the first minute of cooking you add the spice mix and the remaining ingredients. Tossing to coat everything.
  6. Place into the bowl with the rice noodles.
  7. Toss everything together.
  8. In a small bowl, blend the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water.
  9. Next, lay two spring-roll wrapper, smooth-side down, on a clean surface as a diamond shape, with one corner pointing down towards you.
  10. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the filling on the bottom corner of the double wrapper. Brush each corner with the cornflour mixture, then start rolling up from the bottom. When the filling is covered, pull the corners in from each side (to seal the ends as you go). Continue rolling until the filling is tightly covered, then press to seal the top corner.
  11. Lay the finished rolls on a large plate that has been oiled lightly and cover with a damp tea towel. Continue until you’ve filled all the wrappers.
  12. Heat the  oil in a large wok or saucepan over a medium heat.
  13. Carefully lower the spring rolls into the oil and deep-fry for 2–3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  14. Serve with the dipping sauces.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Chinese Spring Rolls14.jpg

Chinese Spring Rolls12.jpg

 

……..and remember, sharing is fun!

Strawberry Ice Cream Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches (vegan)🍧🍪

Strawberry Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice cream Sandwich (2)

I know, right?

How delish does this sound, I mean….4 ingredient Strawberry ice cream squashed between the best double chocolate chip cookies in the world. I’m so happy right now   (… I just had one😋 )🍧🍪

I have decided to go vegan again for the hundredth time, since I was having some digestive issues, hence the last post Gluten Free Bread  I thought it best to cut out meat, fish and dairy for a while too and see how I feel, I’ve been doing this for two weeks now and I have to say, I feel amazing. I’ve done it before  for several months a year, for years now but never as strict as now. Before I would still eat cheese, but now I realize that that’s probably the one thing causing most of the trouble. Long story short, I’m loving it and I really want to stick with for a while, maybe forever and even start a new vegan blog, who knows?

But for now, I’ve got these perfect summer time ice cream cookies. The strawberry ice cream is so velvety (also because of the tapioca flour which add softness) and yummy I can’t even begin to explain how delicious, you can really taste fresh strawberry and then cream. Well strawberries and cream have been an an epic combo since forever so that isn’t exactly news. But putting them between double chocolate chip cookies bring it to a whole new level.

If you’re not a strawberry fan you could also put  Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice cream  in between the cookies or this super easy  two ingredient coconut ice cream

Speaking of cookies, did you try these Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.  already?

I’ve actually adapted these cookies from that recipe, swapping the egg for a flax egg and using my gluten free flour mix from the gluten free bread recipe instead and adding cocoa. Yes I’m a chocoholic with a crown (= proud of it). I haven’t had chocolate for over a month, but now I can handle it again. (proud of that too, such an accomplishment).

 

🍧 Prep time : Cookies, 15 minutes plus baking. Ice cream, 10 minutes plus freezing

⏰  Cooking time: 12 minutes

😋  Makes : 6 (large) Sandwiches

 


STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM;

  • 300 grs / 10.5 oz ,  about 1 1/2 cups (frozen )Strawberries, hulled
  • 4 tbsp. Agave Syrup or according to taste
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1 cup Soy whipping cream

Instructions;

  1. Freeze the strawberries the night before if you are using fresh ones.
  2. Put the strawberries with the agave syrup, the tapioca and vanilla in a blender and blend untill very smooth.
  3. Whip the soy cream untill stiff peaks form and fold the strawberries thru the whipped cream.
  4. Place in an ice cream maker or in a container in the freezer. If you freeze it in the freezer you need to whip it every hour or hour and a half until it is frozen to avoid crystallization.

Strawberry Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice cream Sandwich30

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES;

WET INGREDIENTS;

  • 1 tbsp ground flax plus 1 tsp. tapioca flour,  plus 3 tbsp. water mixed
  • 1/2 C. solid coconut oil/fat
  • 3/4 C. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

DRY INGREDIENTS;

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. gluten free flour  ( see  Gluten Free Bread Loaf  )
  • 1/4 C. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. pink Himalaya salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 C. mini vegan chocolate chips

 Strawberry Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice cream Sandwich7

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start by soaking the flax/tapioca mix and let stand for about 10 minutes while you prepare the rest.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. In an other bowl, mix the wet ingredients and combine with the dry.
  4. At this point I like to place the cookie dough on a piece of parchment paper and roll it into a cylinder.
  5. Then I place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours or if you are in a hurry in the freezer for half an hour.
  6. This will give you the perfect cookie consistency when baking. They dough needs to be really cold!!!
  7. Then when you’re ready to bake, pre heat the oven to 175° C / 350° F
  8. Shape dough into balls and press them a little flat with your hand. Lay them onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes.
  10. The cookies may look a little soft still but they will continue to cook on the baking sheet. You don’t want them too soft in this case.
  11. When you take them out of the oven, immediately press on a few more chocolate chips, for prettiness. And because it’s so darn delicious!
  12. Let cool completly. I keep mine in the refrigerator because I love how they become chewy.
  13. To make the ice cream sandwich, take two cookies.  Scoop out one big ball of strawberry ice cream and place it on one cookie. Gently press on the second cookie being careful not to break.
  14. Press the sandwiches in some sprinkles if you like.

NOTE 1: I scooped the ice cream balls ahead of time and placed them in a container and back into the freezer until I was ready to “build” the sandwiches.

NOTE 2: Once you’ve made your Strawberry Ice Cream Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches (uh hello…?.) you can keep them in the freezer assembled. Just in case you can’t eat them all in one go. Or can you?

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Strawberry Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice cream Sandwich6.jpg

Strawberry Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice cream Sandwich2.jpg

…..and remember share, share, share…. 💜

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Bread Loaf

Gluten Free Bread8

 

I have decided to eat gluten free for a while since regular flour is making me bloat and feel uncomfortable. The ready made bread loaves available here in the stores are a sad thing, they taste horrible and the texture leaves a lot to be desired.

I’ve been testing some gluten free flour mixes and this is the best one so far, I can use it in any recipe requiring regular flour. In a one to one ratio, so no further  calculating is necessary.

I have been using it for my quick gluten free bread loaf, pancakes and even pizza bases.

 

GLUTEN FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR MIX;

In a large bowl mix;

150 gr. potato starch (or corn starch)

150 gr. tapioca flour

200 gr. brown rice flour

200 gr. oat flour

300 gr. white rice flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

Stir until everything is mixed well and appears to be an even colour, store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Bread

Gluten Free Bread7

Gluten Free Bread6.jpg

GLUTEN FREE BREAD LOAF

🍝  Prep time : 30 minutes (this includes making the flour mix)

⏰  Cooking time: 60 minutes

😋  Makes : 1 loaf

INGREDIENTS;

  • 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour mix
  • 2 tsp.  instant yeast
  • 1 tsp himalayan salt
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 or 2 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave syrup
  • 1 tsp. (apple cider) vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil or olive oil

 

Gluten Free Bread2.jpg

INSTRUCTIONS;

  1. Combine 3 1/2 cups of  flour mix, the instant yeast and salt in mixer bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a jug measure out the warm water and add the agave or honey, the apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.
  3. Add to flour mixture.
  4. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. It should be the consistency of a thick batter which is too thick to pour but not thick enough to form a ball. Add additional water or flour 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to get this consistency.
  5. Generously grease bottom and sides of 1 loaf pan. I find cooking spray works best, but you can use butter or oil.
  6. Spread batter in loaf pan, slice down the middle with a very sharp knife. (see photo)
  7. Let rise in warm place for about an hour. Covered loosely with cling film that has been sprayed with a little oil.
  8. Preheat oven to 190°C  / 375°F
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until bread looks firm and is fairly brown on top. Knock on it and if it sounds hollow it’s done.
  10. Let cool for 20-30 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack.
  11. Let cool completely before slicing.
  12. I glaze mine with a little olive oil for shine 😊
  13. It will keep for only three days tops, so I slice it and freeze it and take out as needed.

NOTE: You can add things like sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds to the dough if you like, not more than a 1/4 cup. Sprinkle on the top too!

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Gluten Free Bread5

Gluten Free Bread10.jpg

 

and remember sharing is cool……

 

 

 

Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie

 

2017-07-02 Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie1

2017-07-02 Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie10

This Pie! I just can’t get over it! This is seriously one of the easiest, most decadent desserts ever. I mean, just look at it! Don’t you just want to dig in? It’s the perfect amount of decadence without being too naughty or overpowering. And the best part is, it’s refined sugar-free. I’m gonna go ahead and call this “health food”, there …

Cocoa is full of anti oxidants after all. Coconut cream is a power house when it comes to nutrients and the coconut sugar? very acceptable, it has a lower glycemic index ( about 35) than its white refined counter part.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, coconut sugar is 3 to 9 percent fructose. Regular sugar is 50 percent fructose.

Fructose intake spurs the liver to produce more triglycerides. The less fructose your liver needs to contend with, the better. This makes coconut sugar a better choice than regular cane sugar.

One of my favorite things about this pie is, that you can freeze it in portions and eat it semi frozen, it has almost like an icy fudge like texture. Take it out of the freezer and let it sit for 5 minutes (while you make your tea or coffee for instance) and then it’s ready to eat, so good!

2017-07-02 Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie18

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: ca. 20-30 minutes


INGREDIENTS:

Crust;

  • 1 C. whole oats, ground to flour
  • 10 medium dates, stone removed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Dark Caramel;

  • 4 tbsp butter, or vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup regular cream or coconut cream  
  • 1 cup packed coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2017-07-02 Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie17

Truffle Fudge filling

  • 7 oz. /  200 gr. chopped dark sugar-free chocolate
  • 1 C. regular cream or coconut cream
  • 1/2 C. Agave syrup (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Extra

  • Fleur de Sel

2017-07-02 Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie11

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the crust, place the  oats in a food processor and grind to flour then add in the dates, cocoa and coconut oil. Pulse until you have a finely ground sticky mass.

Line a 8″/ 20 cm tart tin with a removable bottom, with parchment paper.

Press the crust filling into the tart tin, pressing firmly to get a solid crust. Place in the freezer while you prepare the rest.

For the caramel, In a sauce pan with a thick bottom, melt the butter and let it cook until it browns slighty and starts to smell like hazelnuts. Carefully add the cream and vanilla and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

In another pan, melt the coconut sugar with the water until it thickens and starts to bubble (about 4 to 5 minutes), add the cream mixture in three times stirring constantly. Let the sauce cook and thicken, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Let the fudgy dark caramel cool for 15 minutes before spreading out over the crust. Return to the freezer.

For the Chocolate Truffle filling, Place chocolate  in a glass bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the agave syrup. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely smooth. Taste for sweetness, add more agave syrup if you like it sweeter.

Pour the chocolate over the caramel and freeze for a final 30 minutes, until just chilled and set. OR refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle the top with  Fleur De Sel or other flaky sea salt.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

2017-07-02 Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie13

2017-07-02 Chocolate Truffle Salted Caramel Pie4

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

…and remember, Sharing is Cool!

 

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 

The perfect Chocolate Chip cookie

There’s a new cookie in town!

These chocolate chip cookies are perfectly soft, chewy, and just all around pretty darn delicious.  You’ll never need another cookie recipe again! I’ve made them with Spelt flour and coconut sugar and without butter, does that make them healthy? Let’s say YES.

But really, no. It just doesn’t make them as super unhealthy as regular store-bought cookies. And seriously if you’re gonna be a little naughty, ya better do it right. RIGHT?

My daughter is pretty obsessed with chocolate chip cookies, they are her absolute favourite, so I had to come up with some sort of master plan for a look a like cookie without the tons of butter and sugar. And although these do still have some sugar, it’s half of the usual amount. And boy, are the good! I say, make ’em TODAY!

Chocolate Chip Cookies4A

TIPS & NOTES! 

  1. Coconut oil is super healthy!
  2. Make sure you let your coconut oil cool otherwise it’ll melt your sugar and your dough will be too runny to use.
  3. Coconut sugar makes the cookies even chewier and there are also some health benefits in coconut sugar. Coconut sugar contains a fiber known as inulin which helps slow glucose absorption. Coconut sugar also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc and phytonutrients.
  4. Chill the dough for one hour to keep the cookies from spreading too much.

 


Makes 20

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled at least 10 minutes 
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted and cooled at least 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. coconut sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup xylitol or more coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg  (room temperature )
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Combine coconut oil and margarine with the sugars in a large bowl. Stir very well.

  2. Add egg and stir well.

  3. Stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.

  4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.

  5. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients — stir well so that all the flour is absorbed.

  6. Stir in chocolate chips.

  7. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

  8. Pre-heat oven to 177° C / 350° F and prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.

  9. Scoop dough by rounded 1 1/2 Tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets, placing at least 2″ apart.

  10. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes,  cookies may still seem slightly soft in the centers, that is OK, they will cook completely on the cookie sheets. Don’t over-bake or your cookies will be too hard.

  11. If desired, gently press additional chocolate chips into the tops of the warm cookies.

  12. Allow to cool completely on cookie sheets.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Chocolate Chip Cookies12

Chocolate Chip Cookies5B

Raspberry Oat Squares

Raspberry Oat Squares with a secret ingredient

Raspberry Oat Squares

Something this simple and healthy makes weekday breakfast the easiest meal of the day and the biggest joy.

Ideally make them on a sunday and you have a grab and go breakfast for the entire week, although they probably won’t last that long.

I’ve added a special ingredient making these Raspberry Oat  Breakfast squares even healthier and moist and delicious.

The kids will love them too!

 

INGREDIENTS;

DRY:

  • 2 C. Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 C. Gluten Free Organic Vanilla Protein Powder

WET:

  • 2 very ripe Bananas
  • 3/4 C. unsweetened Yoghurt of choice, I use plain  Soy
  • 3/4 C. Natural unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/4 C. Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 C. Coconut Sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Raspberry Oat Squares

Raspberry Oat Squares

ADD:

  • 1 1/2 C. Frozen Raspberries
  • 1 C. finely grated Zucchini (courgette)  secret ingredient
  • 1/2 C.  Desiccated Shredded Coconut
  • 1/2 C. chopped   Almonds

FROSTING:

  • 1 C. Cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 C. Plain Yoghurt of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. Xylitol, Agave or honey
  • 2 tbsp. melted Coconut Oil
  • Raspberries to decorate

 

Raspberry Oat Squares

 

METHOD;

Pre heat the oven to 180° C / 350 F °

In a food processor add the dry ingredients and run the machine until it is  resembles flour. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a food processor, place the bananas and pulse a few times. Add the remaining wet ingredients. Pulse a few more times until mixed. Add to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir to mix.

Squeeze out the moisture from the zucchini in a kitchen towel. Add the zucchini, berries, coconut and almonds to the bowl. Mix thru with a spatula. Do not over mix!

Pour into the baking dish that has been oil sprayed and lined with parchment paper.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 45  min. approximately. Insert a wooden skewer, if it comes out dry (ish) the cake is done. The reason I say dry (ish), is because it will never come out completely dry with all the berries  and zucchini. But you don’t want batter clinging to the wooden skewer. 45 minutes was perfect for my oven.

Remove from the oven when it is done and let cool in the dish for about 15 minutes. Remove from the baking dish and transfer to a rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk until smooth, add the yoghurt, vanilla and xylitol and beat together. Then while beating with one hand add the melted coconut in a stream to the cream cheese mixture. Mix well and place in the fridge for  half an hour so it solidifies again.

Once the cake has cooled completely you can frost it and cut it into squares. Decorate with berries

 

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Raspberry Oat Squares

Raspberry Oat Squares

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

 

BLACK BEAN AVOCADO BROWNIES

 

These are,  from now on my absolute favourite. The avocado really does it here. They’re so creamy and fudgy, yet cakey enough to have a decent non sticky bite. And so good for you.

Full of fibre and healthy fats and no refined sugar either. Can life get any better? Yes it can if you add chocolate chips, the big ones. Whoo hoo.

I know I’m a bit of a chocolate chip addict, but I just can’t imagine eating a brownie without chocolate chips. Life is all about balance. Super healthy brownies with a small amount of chocolate chips. That’s fine, really.

They’re simplicity itself to make, everything goes in the food processor, first the beans, then the melted coconut oil. Then you just keep on adding with the motor still running. Not the chips, they’re added after the processing.

 

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

Vegetarian 

Gluten free 

Refined sugar free 

 

Makes : 9 brownies


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can of adzuki beans or black beans, drained
  • 4 tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 C. Xylitol  (or coconut sugar )
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 C. large dark chocolate chips

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

METHOD:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180° C/ 350° F
  2. Lightly oil a square baking 8 x 8 ” (20cm x 20 cm. ) dish and line with parchment paper, also lightly oil.
  3. Place beans, oil, and salt  in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients with the motor running, except the chocolate chips.
  4. Stir in  the chocolate chips with a spatula. Reserve some for the top.
  5. Pour the fudgy brownie batter in to the baking dish and sprinkle over some more chocolate  chips.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes. Remove and place on a rack to cool. Lt cool completely before cutting into squares.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

BLACK BEAN AVOCADO BROWNIES

Black Bean Avocado Brownies

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

 

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Salmon, Asparagus & baby Spinach White Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella. 

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

 

Do you want to take Pizza Night to an other level? Than stay with me, with this Smoked Salmon  and Asparagus Pizza you going to treat yourself to a gourmet dinner.

Growing up we never had Pizzas, ever.

I’m not sure why, maybe my dad hated pizza or my mom probably thought it was unhealthy. I don’t really know, I’ll have to ask my mom about that. Either way, I started eating pizzas when I was living in New York, at 4 in the morning coming out of a club with my friends. So I’ve never considered Pizza to be fancy by any means. I’m slowly starting to change my mind now that I make them myself. Not so greasy, kind of healthy and topped with some seriously good ingredients.

On this Pizza I’m skipping the tomato sauce and replacing it with Crème fraîche, giving it a much softer tasting base to enhance the flavor of the fresh green Asparagus and the Smoked Salmon. They’re so wonderful on their own that just some fresh Oregano a soft gooey Buffalo Mozzarella  suffice for this outrageously delicious Pizza. And sometimes tomato sauce doesn’t agree with me, I haven’t figured out why only sometimes but to spare myself the after effects I love using Crème fraîche instead.

Meat free 

Egg free 

Refined sugar free 

 

Makes: 2 large Pizzas, or 4 small ones (for kids or for lunch with a side salad like Beet Salad or Passion Kale Salad with Grapes).


Ingredients Dough;

  • 1 C. white Spelt flour
  • 3/4 C. whole Spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. Coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 C. luke warm water

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

Ingredients topping;

  • 1/2 C. Crème fraîche
  • 1 small ball of Buffalo Mozzarella
  • A large handful thin Asparagus (fresh or frozen, see note)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Oregano leafs
  • 1 C. baby spinach
  • 4 oz. (Organic) smoked Salmon
  • 1 tsp. dry chili flakes

Method: 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment combine all the ingredients for the dough. Knead for a few minutes until it comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball using some extra flour so it isn’t sticky anymore. Oil a bowl lightly and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel or cling film and place in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Note: if using frozen asparagus, flash fry them in a hot pan with a tiny bit of olive oil. Just to defrost them and color them a bit. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 230° C / 450° F with the baking tray in it.

Once the pizza dough is ready, lightly flour a counter. Divide the dough in two. Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a thin flattened disk. Place the pizza on a piece of parchment paper and then use your hands to gently pull the dough into a free style round-ish shape.

Spread a generous amount of Crème fraîche over the bottom, the one clove of garlic grated over each pizza, spread out over the Crème fraîche. Sprinkle with fresh Oregano and baby spinach.

Then top with Mozzarella, Asparagus and chili flakes.

Transfer the pizza by lifting the parchment paper onto a large board and slide it on to the hot baking tray with the parchment paper still underneath.

Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and the crust golden and crispy.

Remove onto a large wooden board and divide the smoked Salmon over the pizzas. Sprinkle with some more Oregano and eat straight away.

Best served with White Wine or ice cold Beer.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

 

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Pizza

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

 

Sprouted Spelt loaf

Sprouted Whole Spelt Loaf with Poppy Seeds

Sprouted Spelt loaf

Sprouted Spelt loaf

I recently started baking bread with sprouted spelt flour and I must say, I love the texture and flavour. The texture is more cake like and soft but firm like normal bread and the flavour is nutty and wholesome. When you think of sprouted bread some people might think of a hard solid brick like loaf of bread, but this is not at all the case with this Spelt loaf.

Baking with sprouted flour is the same as with whole wheat flour…substituted one to one, your result will be light and with a wonderful texture and flavor.

Sprouted flour has a lower gluten content because the enzymes break it down during germination and the flour made from sprouted grains also provide more protein, vitamins and minerals than refined flours.

Sprouted whole grain flour is like no other flour…for instance…

It is  made from the entire plant: the germ, bran and endosperm.

By sprouting the grains the whole composition changes, creating a vegetable and not a starch. As the grain sprouts, it turns into a plant which the body recognizes as a vegetable and makes it so easy to digest. The sprouted grains are then dried and milled into flour.

There are many benefits of  sprouted whole grain flour.

  1. More nutrient dense
  2. Sprouting returns the whole grain to a plant state, making for products that digest in the body as vegetables.
  3. The starches in whole grains are converted into simple sugars that the body can use for energy, and not stored as fat.
  4. Lower glycemic index
  5. Sprouting increases the antioxidants, Vitamins C, B and carotene which help absorbe calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc during digestion.

 

Vegan √

Vegetarian √

Dairy free option √

Low Gluten √

 

Makes: 1 Loaf


INGREDIENTS:

  •  1 1/2 tsp.  dry yeast
  •  1 tablespoon honey (coconut sugar for vegans)
  •  1 1/2 C. warm water
  •  2 C. wholemeal sprouted spelt flour
  •  1 1/2  C.  plain spelt flour
  • 3/4 tsp. Xanthan gum (optional)* see note
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa
  •  1 tsp. sea salt
  •  4 tbsp. poppy seeds
  •  1 tbsp. olive oil
  •  2 tsp. milk (or soy)

Sprouted Spelt loaf2

Sprouted Spelt loaf

Sprouted Spelt loaf

 

METHOD:

Place yeast, honey and warm water in a jug. Whisk with a fork to dissolve yeast. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy.

Place flours into a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, add the cocoa and xanthan gum. Stir in the salt, 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix to form a soft dough. Knead for about five minutes or alternatively turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for five minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place in a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for about one hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F . Lightly grease an 20 cm / 8″cake tin.

Using your fist, punch dough down. Knead until smooth on a well floured surface. Shape into a ball. Place in prepared pan.

Cut a few slits in the dough. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours or until dough has almost doubled in size.

Brush the bread with milk and sprinkle over the remaining 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds.

Bake for 30  minutes or until dark golden and hollow-sounding when tapped. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

*NOTE: I have  added some xanthan gum to the bread since spelt is much lower in gluten than regular flour. This will enhance elasticity, viscosity and texture and aids as a binding agent. You can leave it out but the bread will be more dense.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Sprouted Spelt loaf

Sprouted Spelt loaf

 If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

 

 

Almond cake with Guave Peach Buttercream

Almond Cake with Guava Peach Buttercream and Raspberry Cream filling

Almond Cake Low carb

Almond Cake Guave Peach Buttercream

So there’s a title for you!… I know it’s a bit of a mouthful, but I had to make sure you knew what’s in it straight away. And hopefully you’ll think, oh my goodness I need to check this out. ‘Cause believe me YOU DO!

Aaaaaand………..IT’S LOW CARB!!!!!!!

It’s my birthday today and I wanted something different, actually that’s not all together true, I wanted all sorts of things, cake, cheese cake, red velvet, brownies, ice cream! So you can imagine my dilemma trying to pick something.

Aaargh, the stress…..No just kidding I feel really blessed to be able to make what ever I want without having to go to a store and buy something gross full of God knows what. YUK, the thought, and I love a good challenge by creating something new.

Anyhoe, I came up with this cake  because I wanted it to be Low Carb, so immediately I thought Almonds. In Spain where I grew up they have these amazing Bizcochos de Almendras available at practically every bakery shop. They sell it by weight, which I think is a brilliant idea. They have large rectangles displayed on the counter and you just order a piece of which ever size you need, so that’s what I had in mind, that flavour.

Then when I was at the store buying the ingredients, I came across frozen Guave pulp, I think I may have squeaked out loud, I couldn’t believe it, how exciting. Yes the filling was definitely going to involve Guava.

Have I got your attention???

You’ve got to admit though,  it’s a cool idea right?

You’ll need two times the recipe for the Swiss Merengue Buttercream, divided in 1 , 1/2 and 1/2

I used two recipes for the Almond Cake since I wanted a tall cake. This recipe is for one 20 cm / 8″ cake.

Have all the ingredients at room temperature!

Almond Cake Low carb

Almond Cake Low carb

 

Serves about 25 – 30

Gluten free  ✔

Ref. sugar free  ✔

Low Carb ✔


INGREDIENTS:

Ingredients almond cake

  • 2 1/2 C. Almond flour*
  • 1/4 C. Protein powder
  • 1/4 C. coconut flour
  • 2 tsp. (gluten free) baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. Butter
  • 1 C. Xylitol or sugar of choice
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4  tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 C plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 C Almond milk

 

Almond Cake Guave Peach Buttercream

Almond Cake Guave Peach Buttercream

Guave Peach Buttercream

  • 1  recipe for  Swiss Merengue Buttercream
  • 1/4 cup Peach Puree
  • 1 tsp. instant gelatin powder
  • 4 oz. Guava pulp (from frozen)
  • 5 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 drops red food coloring
Raspberry Buttercream
  • 1/2 recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 1 cup fresh Raspberries

Pink Buttercream

  • 1/2 recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • a few drops pink food coloring
 Swiss Meringue Butter Cream
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1  C.  sugar
  • 2 C. butter at room temperature cut into little blocks of about a tablespoon.
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Method:

Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water, much like a double boiler.
Whisk constantly until the  sugar has dissolved and reached 160°F on a thermometer, about 15 minutes. Test this by picking some between your thumb and index finger if you don’t have a thermometer, there should be no sugar grains.  Put mixing bowl on the mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing until mixture cools to room temperature. Begin on low, raising the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Now add your butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.Beating on medium until each addition of butter is added.
Now add your vanilla. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with your paddle attachment.
Mix with for 2 minutes on low speed working out all the air bubbles.
Almond Cake Guave Peach Buttercream
Almond Cake Guave Peach Buttercream

Instructions

Preheat oven to 160° C / 310° F

Line a 20 cm / 8″ cake tin with parchment paper and grease the sides very well, dust with almond flour.

  1. First we’ll make the peach puree, blend 1/2 can peaches without the juice until you have 1/4 cup. Add the gelatin powder and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour,  protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sweetener together until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, almond extract and vanilla extract. Beat in the almond flour mixture and then beat in the yoghurt and almond milk until well combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake 45 minutes, until golden brown and the cake is firm to the touch. A tester inserted in the center should come out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack. Let cool in the tin for ten minutes before removing.
  6. Let cool for a few hours before frosting with the buttercream.
  7. Have your Swiss meringue buttercream divided like mentioned above. For the Guava peach, add the purees to the buttercream mixing while you do, and also add the food coloring.
  8. To frost, cut each cake in half. The bottom layer will be plain buttercream, spread a thick layer over the cake and top with half the raspberries, top with a cake layer. Now spread a thick layer of guava peach buttercream over the cake and top with another layer of cake. One last layer of buttercream and top of with the remaining raspberries and place the final cake layer on top.
  9. Frost the entire cake with the remaining guava peach buttercream, reserving about  a cup for the rosettes on top.
  10. Place the pink buttercream at intervals all around the cake to create an uneven orange and pink hue.
  11. For the rosettes place orange buttercream to one side of your piping bag and the pink buttercream to the other side. Use a large tip star to create beautiful rosettes on top.
  12. Decorate the cake with lots of flowers and some pink glitter.
  • NOTE: I have used two different types of almond flour. One ground with the skin on (the darker layer) and one without  to test the difference. I like the darker one better because it has more bite. The lighter texture is more cake like. So choose which ever one you prefer, they both work.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Almond Cake Guave Peach Buttercream

Almond Cake Guave Peach Buttercream

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥