seitan is my motor

Tuesday

14

July 2015

9

COMMENTS

Doughnuts with Berry Glaze

doughnuts with berry glaze

One day my daughter was sick and stayed home. In the afternoon we made a little walk around the neighbourhood, which is a city neighbourhood with lots of grocery stores, shops, and bars. It was spring and still cold and rainy. We walked past a bakery with had put a sign out. It pictured a couple of doughnuts, all in different bright colours. When F. saw the sign she begged me to buy a batch. The bakery was one of those chains with self service and products made with much more than flour, yeast, salt, and water. Germany has come a long way with its bakeries, but it’s not a good one. Discounter stores with self service are popping up everywhere and their products are so cheap that they can’t be made in a bakery where employees are paid decent wages. Instead of quality you get a jamboree bag of enhancers and preservatives. These baked goods don’t keep fresh very long and taste pretty bland, but they can be produced quickly and without skilled employees, I guess.

I didn’t want to spill all that over my kid, so I pulled out my second argument and mumbled something about “crushed bugs” in the glaze and asked her if she wanted to make her own doughnuts instead. After that I immediately thought, “Damn, why did I say that? Doughnuts take time and patience.” Even if I sometimes have these character traits, my doughter definitely doesn’t know what they mean. Ah, well. Sometimes I am my own little discounter store. I like shortcuts, too. So I decided we should pull out the doughnut pan and make some baking powder leavened baked treats instead of yeast leavened deep-fried ones.

doughnuts  with berry glaze

I used a simple muffin recipe as a base and for the frosting I cooked some raspberries, strained the juice and mixed it with powdered sugar. These quick fix donuts are not comparable to their fried counterparts, but my daughter still thought they were perfect. Since all kids love bright colours, these would be great for any kind of children’s (birthday) party and we will probably make them again. And even if you’re not a kid, you deserve bright colours and a little sugar, too.

Note: The colour of the glaze can vary a bit. For some reason mine came out very bright red the first time I made these. The next time the glaze had more dark pink shades. So if you want red instead of dark pink, use frozen (or fresh) red currants or strawberries instead. The light pink version that you can also see in the pictures was made by thinning the glaze with some lemon juice.

Doughnuts with Berry Glaze

12 doughnuts

Ingredients

For the doughnuts
280 g (2 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
240 ml (1 cup) soy milk
120 g (1/2 cup) vanilla flavoured soy yoghurt
6 tablespoons oil
For the glaze
130 g (1 cup) fresh or frozen raspberries
120 g (1 unsifted cup) powdered sugar
sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Grease a 12-hole doughnut pan and preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. To make the doughnuts, combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Add liquid ingredients and stir until most lumps are gone.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove from the pan and let completely before applying the glaze.
  6. For the glaze, place berries in a small pot and cover with a lid.
  7. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the raspberries have broken down.
  8. Drain the berries and reserve the juice.
  9. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  10. Add 2-3 tablespoons of berry juice. Start with 2 tablespoons and stir to see if you've reached the desired consistency (silky and pourable, but not too thin) and add more liquid if necessary.
  11. Brush the doughnuts with the glaze, coat with sprinkles and let dry completely.
http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/07/doughnuts-with-berry-glaze/

doughnuts  with berry glaze

doughnuts  with berry glaze

Friday

3

July 2015

5

COMMENTS

Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy Tempeh

Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy Tempeh

After I’d been to an Indian restaurant a couple of times, I tried to recreate the meals I had tasted there. Of course I failed. Back then I had only a couple of cookbooks in my possession and nothing more. It didn’t occur to me to look for recipes on the internet. (It’s been a long time! Did didn’t even have my own computer back then.) I thought the “curry” recipes I had in front of me might suffice. Well, they didn’t and I ended up with hopelessly underseasoned vegetable stews. Only slowly I learned about the power of spices. I didn’t want to be afraid of them and the next time I tried to make an Indian dish, I bravely doubled every single spice that was mentioned in the recipe. That was a start. One day I found out that curry powder comes in many different variations, when I visited a small tea and spice shop in my university town. They had about 15 different curry blends and every single one was so much more aromatic and interesting than the generic blend I used to buy at the grocery store. Today I have a ridiculously huge spice rack. And I learned a couple of tricks to make spices really shine in my food. I don’t remember who taught me about toasting spices. Whoever it was, I want to thank you. I couldn’t believe my nose when I smelled a bunch of toasted cumin seeds for the first time. And I finally understood one of the secrets to Indian food and really aromatic vegetable dishes.

I toast spices often now and I do not reserve this technique for Indian dishes. Toasted spices make even this simple soup taste spectacular and it doesn’t take much time to get the best out of them. Because a vegetable soup isn’t really that filling, at least not for me, I also made a batch of marinated tempeh to go with it, using the same spice blend. It is so flavourful that you don’t even have to marinate the tempeh. Just mix everything andplace it in the oven, bake it and serve with your soup.

If the ingredient list of this recipe looks too long, you can replace the spice mix with whatever you have on hand. I think berbere would work great, too. Also, I don’t know about your weather, but it’s hot here! So both the soup and tempeh can be served cold. (You can chill the soup and keep the tempeh at room temperature.)

Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy Tempeh

Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy Tempeh

4 Servings

Ingredients

For the toasted spice blend
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
10 cloves
10 black peppercorns
5 black cardamom pods, crushed
5 allspice berries
1 star anise
For the tempeh
200 g (or an 8 oz package) tempeh
120 ml (1/2 cup) water
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 red chili pepper, seeds removed and sliced (or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
2 cm fresh ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground, toasted spice blend (see above)
1 teaspoon salt
1 - 2 teaspoons agave syrup or sugar
For the soup
50 g (1/3 cup) whole almonds
1 tablespoon oil
85 g (1 cup) leeks, finely sliced
1 small onion, sliced into rings
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 red bell peppers, cut into stripes
2 teaspoons ground, toasted spice blend (see above)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
1 star anise
1 tablespoon tomato paste
720 ml (3 cups) vegetable broth
salt to taste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. To make the spice blend, heat a cast iron pan and add spices.
  2. Toast until fragrant, for about 1 - 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once the spices have cooled completely, grind them into a powder using a coffee grinder.
  4. To make the tempeh, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Cut the tempeh into thin slices and cut each slice into half both length and width wise, so that you get 4 small rectangles per slices.
  6. Place all ingredients for the marinade in a casserole dish and stir in the tempeh.
  7. Bake for 34-40 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated.
  8. Make sure to stir the tempeh from time to time.
  9. To make the soup, decrease oven temperature to 180°C (350°F). Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5-8 minutes, or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
  10. Add oil, leeks, onion, garlic, and peppers to a large pot. Fry for 10 minutes.
  11. Add remaining ingredients (except for vinegar and salt) and cook for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove star anise.
  13. Place almonds and about 1/2 cup broth from the soup in a blender and blend until creamy.
  14. Add the rest of the soup and blend until smooth.
  15. Season with vinegar and salt and serve with tempeh.
http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/07/pepper-almond-soup-with-spicy-tempeh/