I mentioned that I baked a lot when I was at my parents place. I took Veganomicon with me and made some cinnamon rolls for my parents. There are no cinnamon rolls in Veganomicon? Well yes, that’s true. I adapted them from the recipe for Maple and Brown Sugar Pinwheels. The dough was made with whole wheat flour and without grated lemon zest, cardamom and allspice and for the filling I used a mixture of brown sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon. My parents and me had them for coffee. So delicious!

I also made another batch of cupcakes this week, because I thought it would be mean to leave you with this weird woodruff. This is an adaption from the Basic Chocolate Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and there’s some booze in it again!
I halved the recipe, substituted the all purpose for whole wheat flour, cut out some fat and cocoa and added some booze and almonds instead. And I added two secret ingredients, chicory coffee and soy flour. Soy flour is a very common egg-replacer in Germany. I’ve never used it before because I thought the flavour might be too strong. Now that I started using it I found out that this isn’t the case and in my opinion this is the perfect egg-replacer for cakes. If you haven’t, you should try it.

Chocolate Amaretto Cupcakes (makes 6)
6 T soy milk
2 T Amaretto
1/2 cup + 2 T sugar
2 T vegan margarine, melted
1/4 bottle almond flavour essence or 1/2 t almond extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 T soy flour*
2 T cocoa powder
1 T sliced almonds
3/4 t baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 T chicory coffee**
*You should definitely use the soy flour. I cut out some fat and the soy flour really improves the texture of these cupcakes.
*a coffee substitute made from chicory root. This ingredient enhances the flavour of the cocoa powder. If you don’t have any, just leave it out.

Mix together soy milk, amaretto, and almond extract. Cream together margarine and sugar and add to soy milk mixture. Sift together flour, soy flour, cocoa, chicory coffee, baking powder, and salt. Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir until no lumps are left. Bake at 180°C/350°F for 20 minutes. While you let the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.
For these cupcakes I made a frosting that looks very gooey at first but it will set after a while. If you’re not in the mood for a frosting, just melt some chocolate and pour on top of your cupcakes.

Gooey Chocolate-Almond Frosting

4 T ground almonds
1/4 cup silken tofu, puréed
2 T Amaretto
4 T cocoa powder
4 T powdered sugar
2 T white rice flour
sliced almonds (for garnish)
In a food processor, blend together all the ingredients and spread on cupcakes. Garnish with some sliced almonds.

the second and perfect version

Every time I order espresso at a bar or restaurant I move over those cute little cookies it comes with to P. Biscotti di Amaretto or Amaretti are Italian cookies that are made with Amaretto and egg whites. The next time I order some espresso I am going to hand over those cookies to P. and replace them with my own. If you want to do the same, here is the recipe.

As I said, usually these contain eggwhites which make the cookies – that are very similar to macaroons in texture – light and crunchy. I think the best way to imitate this texture is to use a combination of starches like corn or tapioca starch, silken tofu and soy flour. When I started experimenting with these I left those ingredients out (using soy pudding instead of tofu) and the result was a light but too soft cookie which also didn’t have the cracked surface the original versions have.

the first version

My second batch already came out perfect, but I tried a third version. This time the cookies came out too soft again, so I stick with the second one. The first and the third version didn’t have soy flour in them, so this seems to be the most important ingredient (next to the silken tofu which adds the fluffiness).

the third version

When making this cookie it is important to make it small. This helps the crunchy texture a lot. I used a pastry bag and piped the batter onto a baking sheet and after experimenting a bit I think that they shouldn’t be bigger than two centimetres in diameter. (0.8 inch – If you go for one inch that will still be fine)

I made these without almonds, getting the flavour from the Amaretto and bitter almond extract. If you would like to have some ground almonds in them, feel free to replace some of the flour with it.

Biscotti di Amaretto (makes 90 – yes why, these are small!)

1/4 cup silken tofu
75 g (1/2 cup + 2 T) granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower seed oil)
80 g (1/2 cup + 2 T)whole wheat flour
25 g tapioca starch (3 T)
1 t baking powder
2 T Amaretto
3/4 of a small bottle (1/2 t) bitter almond flavouring essence*
1 T soy flour
*These flavouring essences are a common ingredient here in Germany, they are made from oil and flavourings or extracts. You could substitute pure almond extract, but I can’t tell you how much you would need as these pure extracts aren’t very common here in Germany. [So far I’ve only seen vanilla] But I think it would be in the range of 1/2 to 1 t

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a blender combine tofu, oil, sugar, and almond essence and blend until creamy.
In a bowl combine the dry ingredients, mix and add wet to dry. Mix until no lumps are left. (I usually use a hand-held mixer for this)
Fill a pastry bag (fitted with a decorating tip of your choice) with the batter and pipe small amounts onto the baking sheet. try to make them not larger than 2 cm. (0.8 inch. If you go for an inch that will be fine too) Bake for 7-9 minutes until golden brown and try to check them often as they might burn soon due to their size. Let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container. Their taste improves over the course of a day, so try to be patient before you have your espresso with some of your own, vegan Biscotti di Amaretto.

These bagels were created because I was lacking an important ingredient: whole wheat flour. There was only a tiny bit left but I had lots of other flours and flakes. So I threw in a lot of different things to make up for it. These came out as perfect bagels. Make them if you’ve got some flours to use up and don’t hesitate to substitute some of the ingredients with what you like.

Multi-Grain Bagels (makes 14 small)

4 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds, measured and then ground in a food processor or chopped
120 g barley flakes (= rolled barley) (3/4) cup, ground into a course meal
150g whole wheat flour (1 1/8 cup)
3 TB gluten flour
120g whole rye flour (1 cup)
135 g wheat flour (all purpose) (1 cup + 1 tablespoon)
1 pkg. active dry yeast (7g)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar beet syrup (or corn, maple, agave)
420 ml water (1 3/4 cup)

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and knead until your dough gets soft and elastic (maybe you need to add a little bit more flour or water). Knead for ten minutes by hand or with the help of a bread machine, hand held mixer, food processor… Put the dough back into the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1-1/2 hours). Bring a large pot with water to a gentle boil, add some salt. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour your working surface. Knead the dough for another minute and divide it into 14 balls. Shape the bagels by poking your thumb through the centre. Stretch the dough into a ring and place it on a floured surface. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes. Cook the bagels in hot water for one minute then turn them around and cook for another minute. Depending on the size of your pot, cook only one or two bagels at a time. Bake them for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely and serve or freeze them.

I do have a big bag of organic soy beans in my pantry and I never use them. Even if you soak them they have to cook for a very long time and I am not patient enough for that. I finally decided to give them a change by cooking them all at once and freezing the leftovers. That saved so much time! I soaked them for two days and then I baked them with a geneous pinch of baking soda. Soda shortens the cooking time a lot. But it also makes the beans produce a lot of foam.  If you add a spash of olive oil to the pot right after you added the baking soda, the foaming stops immediately.

Soy Bean Bread (makes one loaf)

240g whole wheat flour (2 cups)
100g whole rye flour (1 cup)
1 tablespoon margarine or oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or to taste
180 ml (3/4 cup) water, luke warm
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
125g (3/4 cup) cooked soy beans

Put all the ingredients except from the beans into your bread machine. Add the beans after the first cycle. Programme: normal