Archive | 9:21 pm

Chocolate Gingerbread

19 Nov

I couldn’t decide what to whip up for my Friday baking, so I began looking through some cookbooks and comparing ingredients with what I had in the apartment. I ultimately decided to modify the Ginger-Spice Brownies from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. The results were a little cake-like for me to call them brownies. Instead, this recipe felt more like gingerbread to me with chocolate thrown in for good measure. Here’s what I did.


Chocolate Gingerbread

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray an 8×8″ baking pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, allspice, and cocoa.

Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.

In a medium owl, stir together oil, maple syrup, water, sugar, and fresh ginger. Add the wet to the dry and combine thoroughly.Pour the batter into the baking dish, spreading with the back of a large spoon to make it even. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Let cool completely, then cut into pieces.

Each of my contest winners received a few as well as some tea and more Justin’s Nut Butter. The original recipe includes some cinnamon, but I omitted it because a certain someone crazy delightful doesn’t like the stuff. I don’t get it either, but I don’t judge too much. It also called for regular sugar instead of brown, 1/2 cup of walnuts (which I left out entirely), and molasses instead of the maple syrup. I think my version is absolutely delicious and didn’t miss any of those ingredients. I saved a couple of small squares for myself. I ate one on its own but felt compelled to do something schmancy with the other one, so I made a Chocolate Gingerbread Shake based on my Pumpkin Cookie Shake recipe:

Deeeeeelicious.

And now I’m off to lay on the couch. My craphead dog tripped me earlier and caused me to aggravate my bad ankle. Hopefully this doesn’t ruin all my weekend plans.

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Creamy Dreamy Oats and Coffee

19 Nov

I went to sleep sometime between 2:30 and 3:00 this morning. However, I still woke up at 7:40 unable to go back to sleep. Ugh. I am not the kind of person who operates well — or at all, really — on little sleep. I expect a nap is in my afternoon plan.

This morning, though, I have some things to take care of, so I decided to make a warming, filling, caffeinated breakfast. Behold:

Let’s start with the caffeine. Caffeeeeeeeeine! I normally avoid it in the mornings, but if a day ever called for a dose, it’s today. I have my French press at work, so I decided to Italian it up in the moka pot Alice gave me when we stayed with her in Brescia. My first attempt to use it a couple of weeks ago was a disaster. The coffee was cold sludge and totally my fault. This time, however, was a resounding success, thanks to a great explanation from a Venezuelan coworker:

I did it caffe macchiato-style. For those of you whose coffee knowledge begins and ends with a certain Seattle-based java chain, macchiato means “stained,” so a caffe macchiato is coffee “stained” with a little milk. A latte macchiato is basically what we call a latte in this country: milk with a little coffee. It isn’t frothed, though. The macchiato you’re used to bears no resemblance to the real deal. I used about a tablespoon of my homemade almond milk plus a pinch of powdered sugar to make mine.

If you’ve never used a moka before, basically this is how it works:

You work the pieces from left to right. First you put water in the lower chamber up to the air-pressure valve (the copper circle). Then place the middle piece atop it, making sure no water comes through the holes. Fill it to the brim with ground coffee (more or less espresso grind) and wipe any excess from the rim. Then screw the top part on tightly so it seals. Heat it on medium heat until you hear the water boiling in earnest. Delicious!

For some protein, carbs, fiber, and calories, I made my first bowl of oats in a long time. I was inspired by a lot of bloggers who use peanut butter and non-dairy milks, so I did things a little differently than my usual water+oats+maple syrup combo. Witness:

These were so incredibly delicious that I felt duty bound to share the recipe with you.

Creamy Dreamy Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup homemade almond milk
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (NOT instant or quick-cooking)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 small banana, cut in slices
  • Sprinkling (~1 teaspoon) dark brown sugar

Bring water and almond milk to boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Water carefully because the almond milk will get all frothy and try to boil over like real milk. When it’s boiling, add the oats and cook, stirring occasionally, about six minutes. The oats are done when they are creamy and have reached the desired consistency. Pour into a bowl and then stir in peanut butter. Top with banana slices and brown sugar.

This was so freaking good. Seriously. I really don’t want to sound like a braggart, but I was practically moaning while I ate it. The banana and the brown sugar lend some sweetness without turning breakfast into dessert. Plus, it was perfect alongside my coffee. Basically, I think I may be conscious now.

I’m off to bake, so expect another post this afternoon.