Plain flour has an average protein content, making it versatile to use in almost any recipe that requires flour. Spelt flour was a staple food during the Bronze age all the way up to medieval times. Brown rice flour is sometimes used as a base to grow mushrooms. Einkorn wheat was one of the first plants to be domesticated and cultivated. It has a high percentage of protein, more than regular wheat. It also has high levels of fat, phosphorus, potassium, pyridoxine (a form of vitamin b6) and beta-carotene, making it more nutritious than other kinds of grains. Another great thing about einkorn is that it isn't as toxic to people on gluten-free diets, it as yet to be proven but it should definitely be looked into!
These lovelies are coloured with beets juice, but don't worry, they don't taste like it at all. If you want to serve a sweet and beautiful treat, make these today!
In the mood for something a bit different? These seaweed bites will do the trick, while dosing you with your daily portion of iodine! Highly addictive and sweet enough to have as a dessert.
The cookies were adapted from a recipe by Kiuchi Yuki-san
This black loaf of bread is what inspired this website. It took me a while to get my hands on bamboo charcoal powder, now that i have it, i will be baking a ton of these! Some months ago, I stumbled upon an image of an all-black loaf. I didn't know you could get bread to be that dark.
Getting your hands on bamboo charcoal isn't easy. I saw stores on amazon.com that stocked it, but nothing in my area. I bought a small amount at a health food store where I live, but it was a very small jar (also crazy expensive). After much searching, I concluded that the best place to get it was in Japan. I assumed it would be relatively easy to get over there, wrong again. It's almost impossible to purchase in store, or maybe i wasn't taking to the right people, or going to the right places.
I finally found some available for purchase on amazon japan. Since i lived in temporary housing, shipping there wasn't ideal. Luckily, a good friend agreed to have it shipped to her place and it arrived before i left the country! That's how i got my hands on bamboo charcoal powder! Wasn't easy, but i got it from the best possible source! I got it through Taketora, they've been growing and making things out of bamboo for years and years. They're true artisans.
Cooking with bamboo charcoal is a breeze, you don't need to add much to make your food black. It doesn't add taste to a recipe either, it's purely aesthetic.
Have some green pancakes for breakfast or dessert. Who said pancakes needs to be a morning thing? This recipe isn't too sweet, we have the sugar-free topping to thank for that!
I don't buy bread anymore, since i've discovered the joys of home-baking! I still like to go to my neighbourhood bakery though, to get ideas and inspiration. My latest bread experiment, is pretzels.
You can find black breads in some japanese bakeries, though it isn't common here in Montreal. If available, I wonder if people would buy them. Unfortunately, black is synonymous with 'burnt' and 'rotten'.
Those who think this way are missing out! Black bread is as good as any other bread, and will please the dark abyss, that is your stomach.
This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown's. I'm still new at baking, I'm learning a lot about it. It's great to have so many resources online to learn from! These pretzels are best eaten on the same day!
Late-night gyoza at izakaya, is one of the things i miss the most about living in Tokyo. Maybe not one of the healthiest late-night eats, but a DELICIOUS one. These are very unconventional gyoza, black on the outside, and red and orange on the inside.
We made homemade gyoza dough with some friends a few weeks back, it took FOREVER. Devine had the amazing idea of using our pasta maker to do it. We still needed to do a bit of kneading, to get it through the machine the first time. After that, it's easy and sweat-free!
We didn't have any round cookie cutters, the last time we tried i was using upside down glasses. Didn't work well because the rims aren't sharp. Again, Devine had a stroke of genius. Cans! I had an empty chickpea pan lying around, it was about the size of a gyoza wrapper so we used that to poke holes through the dough.
I know not everyone has a pasta maker, you don't need one to make wrappers. You can just use a rolling pin.
The fillings was another experiment, since i like to cook with colours in mind, i wanted something that would contrast the black. Beet and carrots seemed like an obvious choice. Unconventional, as far as traditional japanese gyozas go, but very delicious and very beautiful.
We had a lot of fun making these gyoza, it's best made and eaten with friends!
Gyoza wrapper techniques and ratios were based on the recipe from Just one cookbook. She explains it really well too on her blog it's worth taking a look. I learned a lot from her even if our techniques differ slightly. While I preferred not to knead by hand, or with a rolling pin, i did do it her way the first time.
I present to you a sweet bread that you can have in the morning for breakfast, or as a dessert.
I baked a similar bread for my dad a few weeks ago. He's truly the best dad, whenever me or my sisters ask for help, he always says yes. No hesitation, ever. He wouldn't ever think of refusing, the thought probably never even crosses his mind. Can't say how thankful I am to have someone like that in my life. Because of everything he does for me, once in a while I bring him some raisin bread.
If like my dad you like raisin bread, you will love this sweet raisin beet bread. It's halfway between a cake and bread. Adapted from one of my mom's old cookbook by Margo Oliver \"les menus de margo oliver\"
It's simple to make, and you can replace the raisins for cranberries or even chocolate chips for a different taste! If you make my recipe, just be sure to add plenty of raisins on top! I emptied a bag on it, without regret. They'll get super crispy, and will develop a sweet crispy caramelized taste. Was hard to keep myself from picking them off, Devine hates it when I do that.
I hardly ever bake cakes, this was my first proper cake. My sister's birthday was coming up, and my parents wanted to get her a themed cake. Of what you ask?
Something old. Something new. Something borrowed...
You guessed correctly, you wonderful nerd you! A tardis!
They asked for a quote from their favourite bakery, they do great work but were charging a too much for it. So my parents turned to me, and my cake-baking adventure began!
My sister loves lemon cake, that part is simple. Getting the cake to be tardis blue though, is another matter entirely. That colour is unnatural, those royal blue 'raw blueberry pinterest cakes' are complete bull (they really, really are). I had to use food colouring, it's not ideal but it was necessary to get that tardis blue. I went ahead and bought Wilton's royal blue and violet colouring to mix, to get it be that specific shade. Using royal blue alone would have made it go turquoise.
The cake noob that i am, I searched around and found a very awesome lemon cake recipe by Laura, author of The Green forks. I adapted her recipe, and it turned out perfect. I referenced her cake batter recipe, while the tofu lemon curd filling was inspired by Zena Chews. Couldn't have done it without their recipes, thanks girls.
I didn't want to make an overly sweet cake, so i decided to not add frosting. Opted for a 'powdered sugar-dusted' cake. Most Tardis cakes on the internet are made with fondant, and thusly taste like liquid unicorn. I don't have the tastebuds of a 5 years old, can't deal with that level of sweet. I have no interest in tasting the rainbow.
I wanted to make a minimalistic and simple lemon cake. Then came the image of the tardis drifting through space. That image was simple, evocative. So i cut out a tardis stencil and added powdered sugar! Voila! My sister had a vegan lemon birthday cake! This cake is a safe bet, even for non-vegans. Even my parents, who dislike tofu, really enjoyed it!
Introducing, my basic black bread recipe. This bread is super light and fluffy, it's great great for morning toast or sandwiches.
I've been reading up a lot about bread, there's so many kinds out there. I wanted to understand how the ingredients we add, can change the texture of the bread. Also read about the differences in temperature, to knead or not to knead etc.
Truth is, it depends on the type of bread you want.
I wanted to make a sandwich bread with a light crumb, the kind that bounces back when touched.
The one I made this time has more fat, which in turn makes it softer and fluffier. The fat that you use will also change the texture/taste of the bread. A lot of people wont like the idea of adding 'fat' to a recipe, know that fat isn't synonymous with unhealthy. Too much of it can be bad, but in moderation there really isn't anything to worry about. It also depends on what fat you choose, there are good and bad kinds of fat.
There are many things you can do to help soften your bread, like brushing the outside with a little oil or fat. Do this as soon as you take it out of the oven, it will make the outside less crunchy. You can also substitute nut milk for the water, if you want a richer taste. There are so many different things to think about when baking!
I made this loaf for a brunch I had with friends, we wanted to have fondue with a set I got as a gift during the holidays. We cut the loaf into cubes, and dunked them in! Soft bread is perfect for fondue!
So there you have it! A basic black bread!
These beautiful heart beet bagels can be made for valentine's day, but imagine how great a thing it would be, to make these for someone you care about on a random day... for no specific reason. We shouldn't wait for special occasions, to cook amazing food for the people we love. Make some pink bagels today, just because!
Bagels are definitely a montreal thing. Walking by Fairmount bagel or St-Viateur, and not purchasing freshly baked goods is next to impossible.
The smell is just amazing.
When i was a teen, i didn't get to go into town often but when i did we would always stop by Fairmount bagel. The place was, and is still open 24 hours a day.
I live close to it now, and yet i never go. I enjoy making my own, they may not be fairmount quality but they are pretty damn good!
Make this for yourself or for someone you care about. Whether it be for v-day... or just because!
Sweet and savoury turmeric spiced cookies, are as delicious as they sound. These yellow treats will help brighten up cold, and grey winter days.
I did say I liked cooking by colour, this is what motivated this recipe.
Turmeric powder is often used as a dye for clothes, and thusly will make your cookies very yellow!
These cookies have the right amount of sweet.
I had some leftover spelt flour in my cupboard, a lonely portion that had been forgotten, hidden away under bags of rice flour. Of course, this recipe can be made without it, or by replacing it with whole wheat flour.
I suggest pairing these with tea, i always drink a ton of it come February. It's the toughest month to go through, temperature is still in the -15C average here in Montreal. Can't go grocery shopping without my hands and feet freezing over.
Hopefully these tea-side treats will help brighten your day!
Black sesame rice pancakes, with a generous dollop of mango. Because sometimes, we all need a break from maple syrup.
Made matcha rice pancakes for Devine a few days ago, since I made a double recipe we ended up having left-over batter. It doesn't keep well, so we ate it that same night. I paired the remaining 2 pancakes with a bit of fresh mango and MAN! It tastes so damn GOOD together!
I made it into a recipe, but used ground black sesame instead of matcha. The nutty taste of sesame paired with mango is perfect. Dressing pancakes with maple syrup is fine, but the sugar high i get after is not. I feel like my heart is going to burst out of my chest, 'alien-style'.
No one likes that, i'd like my innards to stay where they are thank you!
Using fruit, instead of syrup is a good way to cut down on sugar. Mangos are sweet enough as is.
As much as i love pasta, i like to vary my food a lot day to day. Once in a while, I like to make zucchini noodles! They're ready in an instant, and are delicious when topped with a two-mushroom velouté sauce. This meal is also green on green, most of the ingredients are different shades of the same colour.
Yes, those are the sort of details that I care about.
What green things can i add to this? Wakame! I don't always have fresh greens in my fridge, when i don't, I use wakame. It's handy to have around, it keeps for a long time and doesn't require a lot of prep. Wakame is also a good source of Iodine, essential for health.
Edamame is another green food that I like. I have the frozen, de-shelled kind in my fridge. It saves a lot of time.
Mushrooms aren't green but they do add a TON of flavour to sauces. Shiitake mushrooms have a lot of flavour, shimeji mushrooms have a subtle taste but look nice in a dish.
You can make this recipe using regular pasta, but it wont be green... unless you use spinach pasta (which could look good too.) Or matcha pasta? A really awesome girl on twitter made some using my black pasta recipe as a base, they look gorgeous!
Hope you like the recipe, happy cooking!
Making brownies has been on my mind for some time, i finally settled for spicy brownies, with sweet and spicy pomegranate syrup!
It took me a LONG time to decide on a mix of ingredients/flavours; I've had recipe notes lying around on my desktop for ages now, with ingredients added, or scratched off.
I would still be in brownie rut, if it hadn't been for Devine ; his birthday was coming up, when I asked him what he wanted as a dessert he said, 'BROWNIES!'
The recipe was adapted from Joanne Gallagher's fantastic blog, Inspired taste. I'm not good enough to freestyle brownies, using her recipe as a base - for quantities especially - helped me out a lot. At least, i can get a good idea of how many wet, fat and sweet elements I need.
Spent time thinking about what i wanted it to look like, and how i wanted to present it. I didn't a chocolate topping - i've never been a fan of double-chocolate anything. I, at least, knew i wanted a fruit topping.
I wanted to make the brownies in a round cake pan, and decorate it with powdered sugar patterns, using stencils. Then, I stumbled upon a recipe online for a fish-based dish (they used a pomegranate syrup as garnish.) I'd never made syrup before, but i knew that's what i wanted as a coulis over my brownies.
I scrapped the round cake pan idea, as well as the powdered sugar. Devine's birthday brownies were going to be topped with fresh pomegranate seeds, and a pomegranate syrup coulis!
Again, something was missing...
I had some really good, spicy chocolate fleur de sel cookies at my old studio. The idea of putting chili peppers in cookies (or cake) had never ocurred to me before. I thought it was brilliant - and the chocolate and chili mix is just insane (in a good way.) Lindt makes dark chocolate with chili peppers, I guess it was inspired by those 2 things.
I put a LOT of chili pepper flakes in these, i have a higher tolerance to it but if you don't feel free to use less. The syrup has a fair amount in it too, if you're worried about the level of spicy, you can actually not put it in the brownie batter. But, be sure to infuse it in the pomegranate syrup, won't be the same without it.
These were a big success, Devine loved them! I cut them into 24 small squares, but feel free to make larger blocks. Smaller portions means you can have some longer, i like that idea.
In this recipe I substituted half of the fat for pureed pumpkin. In brownies you can only substitute half the amount, before it effects the texture. Hope you like it!
Beet hummus bites, or 'uzumaki' bites, as i like to call them! Roasted beet hummus, black olives and aragula salad tucked into homemade bamboo charcoal tortillas.
Making tortillas at home is damn easy, it doesn't require a lot of waiting time or preparation. The only thing i had trouble with, was making them into nice circular shapes. Not sure how people manage to do it, guess it takes practice. It's also because i'm short of a rolling pin, Devine broke the handles off the other day. I've been using the 'body' of the rolling pin, without the handles. It still works! Dans ta face, rolling pin!
Made the tortillas based on the recipe by Zerrin from Give recipe. You should check out her page first, if you want to try and make your own tortillas. She describes it a lot better than I, not to mention her tortillas are circular. In my defense, she uses a tortilla press.
Had a lot of fun making these, plus the end result is pretty! I feel like these would be really good, topped with a sauce of somekind. Any ideas?
It's mini loaf craze, love baking with the mini pans I bought. Been making mini everything. This time, i made some anise bread topped with a sweet sauce, loaded with caramelized pear chunks.
My bag of anise seeds has been sitting in my pantry, for way too long, begging to be given a purpose.
I'm sorry I neglected you for so long anise seeds, you're delicious, and you smell so so nice. No hard feelings? We're good you and I right?
This recipe was inspired by a Pineapple and anise seed 'pudding chomeur' recipe on Will travel for food! I ended up making little cake breads, instead of pudding. Making them egg-free worked out nicely too! My cake breads have a less sugar than the pinapple pudding chomeur too.
You guys should pay 'Will travel for food' a visit! It's a Montreal blog too, how cool is that? More montreal cooking friends!
Simple black burger buns with white sesame seeds, ready in under 1 hour! Made with bamboo charcoal powder.
There are days when I don't want to wait 3h for my bread to be ready, which was the case yesterday when I decided to make burger buns. Devine's sister was coming over for supper, and I had a lot of work to do that morning. Didn't want to spend the entire day running between my computer, and the kitchen. Making bread doesn't require a lot of active time, but i'd still need to check often. Sometimes, that's just enough to take all of my focus away.
To minimize that, I made a quick savoury bread! The same one I made on Valentine's day that had a smoked paprika heart in the center (yes i know so cute. Paprika love.) That recipe was based off culinaire amoula's Cumin and paprika savoury bread. I simplified the recipe, removing the spices, and divided it into 5 buns instead of two large loaves. I recommend trying out her recipe as well, it's so good. You can have the bread alone with green tea :).
I don't have a lot of experience with quick breads, i'm experimenting a lot though, to see what i can make in less time. Culinaire amoula's recipe helped me a lot, didn't think i could get bread that tasted this good, so quickly. It makes great burger buns! The bottom stays flat, so in the end you're not stuck with this weird 'ball bread.' My last burger was like that, and it made it hard to have it sit upright on a plate. No one wants to eat spherical burgers.
If you're in the mood for black burger buns, and need it done quickly, then try out this recipe!
Halloween is coming up, this blog has a lot of recipes that are perfect for it. Here is a short list of my favourite ones - Black yaki gyoza Basic black bread and Black pasta. Those recipes weren't holiday-specific, but these cute pumpkin cookies sure are! They're super soft, and easy to prepare.
Been a while since i've baked cookies.
I felt like making sweets, and since it's pumpkin season I decided to get one and make something with it.
I like these a lot, because they're not too sweet - I have coconut sugar to thank for that. Coconut sugar has a more complex taste, caramel-like. I would suggest using that if you have it, if you don't you can substitute it with any other sugar. Coconut sugar will make your cookies a darker shade of orange, almost brown. I think it fits nicely with the toned-down colour of the pumpkin seeds. If you want a bold orange colour, use white cane sugar instead.
I'm going to a themed halloween party this year, don't think these will fit with it. I'll be eating these all week instead!
The idea of making beer bread came from a book i'm reading, written by Lin Pardey called "The Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew". In this book, Lin talks about her experience cooking at sea, and has an entire chapter dedicated to baking onboard. In this chapter, she talks about many ways to make fresh bread while sailing, including a quickbread recipe that uses 3 basic ingredients, flour, sugar and beer.
Beer bread you say? Right up my alley! The next day i gave it a try, the result is fantastic - surprising given the little effort it takes to make it.
The best thing about this bread, is that it can taste different everytime. Using different beer, will change the taste and colour of the bread. I tried baking with an IPA (21st amendment), a Hefeweizen (Sunriver brewing co.) and a brown ale (Hobgoblin).
If you have self-rising flour, you can omit the baking powder and salt. You can use even less ingredients if you have a craft beer that has live yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. If you have a beer like that only flour, sugar and beer will do. Have fun experimenting with beers in your bread!
While Devine & I were still in British Columbia, i remember one morning waking up to the sound of someone knocking at our boat: it was our neighbours, coming to offer some homemade pan-fried corn pone. I'd never had corn pone before, nor did i ever think of making any sort of flat cake using corn as a base. After that I started to make it myself and would serve it with chili - lazy cornbread, as I like to call it. While sitting in the Niue yatch club, i found an old vegetarian cookbook; I must have spent an hour reading through it, the recipes were fantastic. The title read: "The Farm vegetarian cookbook". It was sitting there, amongst a panoply of writting, including a Polish Murakami book (how I wish it had been written in english.) The cookbook had an entire section dedicated to cooking with corn; it's in here, that I found a recipe for masa dumplings.
Masa is corn that is simmered and ground into a paste. It's the base for many recipes, you can make Mexican-style tortillas with it! Or, you can use it to make dumplings! I don't have access to fresh corn, nor do i have the space or the time to make my own masa; but I used polenta (corn semolina) instead and it worked! The only difference is that you need to add boiling water so you you can roll the mixture into balls. If you were to use masa, you wouldn't need added moisture. The texture of the dumplings is fun and chewy, the outside it soft but the inside is like that of dense cornbread. Corn dumplings, I imagine, could be used to make fake 'meatballs', Devine & I enjoy eating it with tomato sauce or with a spicy apricot sauce.
Instead of apricot jam, you can add apricot juice to the mix (orange will taste wonderful too.) I added jam because i don't have any juice on the boat currently, and besides, it works well in this recipe. Enjoy!
We are about to leave Tonga, the tropics, and the land of bountiful breadfruit. This versatile fruit, can be cooked into fries, eaten with coconut milk, made into chips, or like this recipe suggests, it can be made into gnocchi.
Breadfruit has a taste and texture that resembles that of potato, and so, it only makes sense that it too, can be made into gnocchi. The flesh of the fruit can be kneaded easily, especially if the fruit is very ripe. I have tried to knead it when half-ripe, it works too, but requires added moisture and more kneading - not to mention that it doesn't have as much flavor. Ripe breadfruit develops a sweet taste, it can be difficult to catch it at the right moment, like avocados, sometimes it'll overripen overnight and be rendered uneatable. Because we like it so much, we've bought many and have had time to better tell when it can be eaten. The outside becomes very soft to the touch, but not too much.
We serve these with a light sauce, to better taste the gnocchi. A sauce that we enjoy, is minced garlic and chili peppers cooked in olive oil, the sauce is poured overtop and sprinkled with bits of shredded nori.
If you happen by the south pacific and see a breadfruit, make some gnocchi. It's worth the effort.
We have arrived in New Zealand, the land of plenty. All of the foods that we like and miss are here, like nutritional yeast, miso and soba (to name a few). With a fully re-stocked pantry, I started to make faux-cheese again, a recipe from Vegan Richa that is simple to make and that I love. The recipe is for a cheese that can be cut into wedges, or that can be grated over pizza. I had an idea to use this recipe to make filling for ravioli, the difference being that I won't add any agar agar (a seaweed based powder that makes liquids jellify). Making your own dough is also simple, the whole process will take you less than 40 minutes.
We got the idea to make ravioli from an old 70's book about the cooking of Italy. This book is one of many that we found in a thrift shop here in Whangarei. We bought all the ones that we could find. Devine & I like picking through them, drawing inspiration from the images and ingredients.
A lot of the recipes in these books use meat and dairy, but it's easy to swap these ingredients out for something else. In New Zealand, the groceries are plentiful and finding everything we need is a breeze. We hope you enjoy this recipe, and that you try and make Richa's original pepper jack cheese recipe too.