Recently I saw a beautiful cake picture on Instagram. (The blog this picture was from is beautiful, too.) This cake looked so lovely and perfect that I immediately wanted to make it. Which is unusual because the cake was a fondant cake. And I don’t like fondant. Well, that is not really true. I like to do things with fondant just like I love to play with my daughter’s Play Doh. It’s fun to make little flowers and figures with fondant. But I really don’t like fondant on a cake. It’s too much and too sweet and I always fear I’ll end up in a sugar coma. Plus, fondant cakes usually look nice but taste meh. At least that’s my experience. (I grew up with cakes covered in whipped cream.)
I don’t like to make up conditions. And what I have is not a condition. It’s nothing serious, nothing to see a doctor for etc. It’s just that I have a problem with certain baking powders. I don’t have any allergies, I don’t have any food intolerances and it’s probably a bit exaggerated to call this a sensitivity. I mean, I eat something that contains baking powder and nothing happens. Except for the fact that I get a very unpleasant feeling in my mouth. And I’d love to write about this on my blog to find out if there are people with similar problems. Plus, I did some experiments and I fould a solution to my problem.
I talk about food. Too much. Yesterday I even had a little conversation on Instagram about how to prepare millet. Cooking millet is one of the first cooking skills I ever learned. When I bought my first cookbook (Vegetarian Cookery by Rose Elliot) I picked up a little trick that changed everything. No more mushy millet, I swear! Before you cook millet, you have to toast it. Toasting the grain does not only improve the flavour, it also helps to absorb more liquid during cooking. Just place it in a small saucepan and toast it until golden brown, stirring constantly. Then remove from heat and carefully add the cooking liquid. Some other tricks for fluffy millet are: do not stir during cooking. Once the millet is done, remove the pot from heat and let it sit covered for 5-10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.
Basic Fluffy Millet Recipe (yield. 2 servings)
100 g (1/2 cup) millet 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) vegetable broth
Place millet in a small saucepan and toast the millet until golden brown. Stir constantly. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, carefully pour vegetable broth into the pot, stir and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve (for example with potatoes and plantains).
If you want more than a basic grain side, millet patties make a great appetizer or snack. To prevent them from falling apart, you don’t want your millet fluffy though. In this case it should be mushy. You should also skip toasting the millet and you need to cook it with more vegetable broth or water. Stirring it often will give you are porridge like consistency and makes the patties easier to handle.
Millet patties (makes 8 large patties) For the patties: 100 g (1/2 cup millet) 480 ml (2 cups) vegetable broth 1 teaspoon oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 small onion, diced 70 g (1 cup) grated celeriac root 80 g (1 cup) grated carrot 2 tablespoons lupin flour (substitute soy or chickpea flour) 120 ml (1/2 cup) water 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika 1-2 tablespoons flour oil for frying For the mayonnaise dip: 4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise 2 teaspoons hot sauce
Prepare the patties: Place millet and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir every couple of minutes. While the millet is cooking, fry garlic, onion, celeriac root, and carrot together with the salt in a small pan for about five minutes. Remove from heat. Combine lupin flour and water and whisk until creamy. Add fried vegetables, lupin flour mixture, and spices to the cooked millet. Stir well and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Mix one more time and carefully form 8 patties. Add more flour if necessary. Heat a large non-stick pan and add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Carefully place the patties in the pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Turn them very carefully and cook the other side. Let cook for about five minutes before serving and serve with dip. These are also great when eaten at room temperature.
Prepare the dip: Combine mayonnaise and hot sauce and stir well.