The average person consumes about 24kg of sugar per year, which is about 260 calories per day. Natural brown sugars that have been highly centrifuged go by the names of turbinado, demeara or raw sugar. Others that have been midly centrifuged and that have a higher molasses content go by Panela, rapadura, jaggery, muscovado etc. Powdered sugar is available in different degrees of fineness, the more X's the finer the grain.
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
I made a fresh loaf of black bread the other day, it only made sense to make another recipe with it! I made a spicy, lime-infused carrot and avocado sandwich!
I wanted something spicy, I love lime with avocado so that's how it started. Planning recipes according to colour is important, it creates more variety in your meal. The colours don't always have to contrast each other
It really depends how i feel, i wouldnt mind having an all-green sandwich (future recipe maybe?)
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!
Sesame brittle looks impressive when served over desserts, it looks like pieces of black coral. If you like the nutty taste of sesame seeds with a bit of sweet, you will love this recipe.
It's simple to make, but requires all of your attention. The sugar syrup becomes solid when cool ,which means every step needs to be done quickly. These are no-bake, and are ready to eat almost instantly.
These should be served over desserts that aren't too sweet, the sweet of the sesame brittle can be a bit much. I suggest serving it with fruit, or kanten (agar agar based desserts).
Funny to think that when i was a kid, i didn't want to go anywhere near beets. For the longest time, it was this thing that my family served around xmas time and that i didn't like. How things change! I buy beets regularly now, I use it to make pasta sauce, to serve over salads, to mix into smoothies and now to make Borscht!
Devine has been taking russian classes every week, and he comes back from his lessons with new words to teach me. Last week, he not only returned with new words, he also brought back a Borscht recipe. Borscht fits perfectly in the Grim Grains universe - It's bright, red, beautiful and delicious! This recipe was inspired by hers.
Borscht is traditionally served with sour cream, so evidently i needed to have that be part of this recipe as well! A lot of vegan sour cream recipes have cashews, because of my tree nut allergy, i had to opt for something different. Silken tofu does the job well, the mix of that plus lemon and apple cider vinegar gives a perfect sour taste! Sour cream recipe adapted from The blender girl.
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!
Bread pudding was one of my favourite desserts when I was a kid. We would usually have some after the holidays, thanks to my aunt's crust-less sandwiches! She would usually just give the bag of crusts to my mom, which she in turn, used to make bread pudding.
I asked my mom for her personal bread pudding recipe, but she told me that it was best to just watch her do it. There aren't really any specific measurements, she just makes it from memory. That's the case with most of her recipes, most of them have never been written down. That's about to change though, I asked her to make a little booklet for me.
I like the idea of having a book of 'mom food', mom food is the best.
When she makes bread pudding, she makes a basin-full of it. My dad never has trouble going through all of it, he sure loves his desserts!
As much as i'd like to make a bucketload of bread pudding at home, me and Devine would NEVER get through the whole thing. I don't like eating the same thing for a week, so I adapted my mom's bread pudding into a single-serving one. The mason jar is a wide-mouthed 1/2 pint jar.
If ever you have some leftover crusts (even just a few) you can totally make this.
It's a quick and simple dessert, with a taste of home.
A few weeks ago, I asked people what they wanted to see me cook. Some of you asked for black gnocchi, so here they are! Made from scratch, beautiful and black. Topped with a light and sweet sauce, fresh scallions and daikon!
As it turns out, making gnocchi is long. It's well worth the effort, but if you're planning on making some, clear your afternoon or get a friend to help.
I started cooking these early in the day, around 9 in the morning. Every step takes time. You have to wait for the potatoes to bake, wait for them to cool down, you need to remove the skins etc. Skipping any of those steps will result in a gnocchi disaster, nothing worse than an uneatable meal.
These turned out perfect! This is a large recipe, so if you're only two you'll have plenty left-over that you can let dry, freeze and eat later.
For the topping, I wanted a ton of scallions with mushrooms and seaweed. I miss the pasta in italian restaurants in japan, they always had some with japanese-style toppings. Since i'm currently on a shichimi togarashi binge, (left-over from my cracker recipe) I included some in this recipe as well.
Because the sauce and toppings are light and simple, you can focus on the texture of the gnocchi.
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!
If you're searching for entree ideas look no further! These curried carrot patties drizzled with teriyaki sauce, with a side of freshly baked kale chips will hit the spot.
Taking the time to cook good food, is important.
Someone said this to me ages ago, never forgot it.
Cooking isn't just about getting your hunger pangs to go away, it's also a time to be creative.
Eating is a truly complete sensory experience.
With this recipe, I wanted to make something beautiful. I didn't have to go out to get special ingredients, I just looked in my fridge and used whatever I had on hand. If you're planning a meal but are missing an item, try and see what else you can use instead.
Doing this, will make you a more creative cook.
Cooking is important kids. Find the time to do it! !
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!
I've had the image of a black nigiri on my mind for some time. It's been sitting there, in my list of ideas for months. Couldn't think of what to top it off with, then a little while ago, i found out about Burmese tofu.
Yellow on black, needed to make it happen.
Burmese tofu is not really tofu, i know, that's confusing. At first, i thought it was tofu blended with turmeric. It has a yellow tint, and it's because Burmese tofu is chickpea based! The cool thing about it, is that it takes 10 minutes to make and sets 1 hour. It's a great soy-free alternative, and the texture is comparable to that of silken tofu.
I bought Chickpea flour for the first time around xmas, wasn't sure how to use it. I often purchase ingredients i don't know, and learn how to use them. I found a re-write of a chickpea tofu recipe online. The original recipe, I believe, was sourced from a book called The Burmese kitchen - recipes from the golden land by Aung Thein.
This recipe will use up about half of the burmese tofu, which means you'll have a whole other half to use in other meals.
I decided to make a mock eel nigiri, like the one i made a few months ago. The sauce that is served over eel kabayaki is sweet, with hints of caramel. I thought it would taste great atop of the burmese tofu.
Most japanese sauces are easy to make, and usually require around 3-4 ingredients. These almost always include soy sauce, sake, mirin, or rice vinegar. If you want to cook japanese food, having these around is a must. Hope you enjoy this mock-eel recipe!
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.
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!
Black sesame ice cream bars, because it's starting to get warmer in Montreal! I want something sweet, nutty, refreshing and BLACK to eat! Need to goth-up my insides.
Ok, so it's not black. Grey is fine though, grey is gorgeous. There should be more, naturally grey, foods.
Making crusts is always an ordeal for me, most of the time i don't have the ingredients to make it. A lot of recipes call for graham crackers, or dates. While I often do have dates, i don't have an endless supply of it. Was wondering if there was something i could do with oats, i always have a TON of steel cut oats on hand.
I looked up recipes for oat-based crusts, and found this awesome one by Lauren Goslin from 'oatmeal with a fork'. Her recipe called for olive oil, but I swapped it for coconut oil. Coconut oil suits desserts perfectly, assuming you like the taste of coconut . The flavour can be pretty strong.
As for the black sesame ice cream, this is actually my 3rd attempt. First one was good, made it with silken tofu and coconut milk. Didn't have any silken tofu left for this batch, so gave bananas a go, and it worked out great too!
Being able to make black sesame ice cream at home makes me happy. Now that Japan is so far away, and that kombinis aren't 5 minutes away anymore. AH I miss the convenience of Kombinis.
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!
Black sesame chocolate cookies with a wasabi glaze? Yep, you heard right!
A few days ago was 'international chocolate chip cookie day'. Apparently there's a day for everything? How annoying. It was hard to ignore, had images of cookies on my twitter feed all day. So despite today not being a day devoted to cookies, I decided to go ahead and make some anyway, because yolo.
I don't know if you guys ever had this, the 'wasabi flavoured chocolate' that Lindt makes. I had some for the first time a few years back. I was intrigued by it, it's a strange idea. If you're used to having wasabi with sushi, wasabi mixed into anything else just feels weird. Why would anyone want that in a dessert? Goes to show, that sometimes it's a good idea to play around with flavours. Mixing tastes you like together will not always yield good results, but in this case, it did.
I wanted to mix the wasabi directly in the cookies at first, but after reading a lot about baking with it, I decided to just apply it after in the form of a glaze. People were saying that the taste fades significantly when heated, didn't want that! Wanted a wasabi 'punch-in-the-face' taste.
It doesn't taste too strong, and like 'Lindt wasabi chocolate bars', it adds just the right amount of kick! It isn't a 'punch-in-the-face', level of strong though, don't worry. I know not everyone likes that.
The cookie base was adapted from 'oh she glows' 's Double chocolate chunk cookies recipe. Visit her fantastic blog for more recipes!
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!
Fancy it up with some easy-to-prepare mango ice cream with black sesame syrup! Made using only 4 ingredients, for colour enthusiasts!
Internet is full of recipes using just fruit for ice cream, yep this recipe is one of 'those'. I've made ice cream with other bases, like banana or coconut milk. Both are good dairy-free alternatives. Full fat coconut milk is expensive, so i don't use it too often. You need it to be full fat, otherwise it wont freeze well. I learned it the hard way. Using just 1 fruit is nice, because of how little preparation is required. Whether you're using bananas, watermelon, strawberries... all you need to do is cut the fruit up into chunks, and freeze it for a few hours. Depending on the fruit, it may take longer. Also, if like me, you don't have a food processor, you can cut it up into smaller chunks to make it easier to break down with an immersion blender.
I like making syrups, or juice reductions a lot. It's simple, and you can use it in many other recipes afterwards! Reductions that aren't sweetened with sugar, you can use as add-on to sauces, or alone as a 'glaze'. My fridge has 3 different syrups in it right now.
'What are those?' Devine would ask.
'EXPERIMENTS' I would reply, wiggling my digits about, in a creepy fashion. 'You shall seeeee, oh yes, oh yes. YES. You shall seeee.'
I used a technique that Mike Case came up with on his blog Disco Ginferno, he made a white sesame syrup to use in cocktails! I liked not requiring a blender to make it, blending sesame seeds into a smooth liquid is hard. My immersion blender can't grind seeds finely. Boiling the seeds, and then straining them out is simple. And since you can re-use the seeds afterwards, there's no waste! The fact the seeds are toasted beforehand helps to bring out the nutty flavour, so whatever you do, don't skip that step!
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!
Got up early sunday morning, with cookies on my mind. When I peeked into my fridge, I spotted a lonely jar of leftover date caramel. I decided to make some salted caramel cookies with unsweetened carob chips!
The kind people at Daybreak Mill sent me a bag of einkorn flour last week, i'd never heard of it before. After researching, I learned that einkorn wheat is pretty damn grea, it's very nutritious. Einkorn was one of the first domesticated and cultivated plants. It has a higher percentage of protein than regular wheat, with high levels of fat, phosphorus, potassium, pyridoxine (a form of vitamin b6) and beta-carotene. Another great thing about it, is that it isn't as toxic to people on gluten-free diets. This wasn't proven, but it's worth looking into!
I tried baking bread with it this week, it did not rise all that well. While it is a dense loaf, the texture is quite nice! It has a strong nutty taste, making it more flavourful than regular wheat. Einkorn bread is filling, I don't think i would use it to make a sandwich but it makes nice breakfast toast.
After my bread experiment, I decided to try and make something sweet. The dates, coconut sugar and carob chips create a strong caramel taste; the fleur de sel sprinkled overtop brings out the flavour nicely.
I can't thank Daybreak mill enough for sending me this gift, and for introducing me to einkorn flour! Their products are organic, and made with the utmost care. You can get your own einkorn flour from their website, they also have a ton of other great products. Encouraging companies that share your outlook on food and life is important. This recipe was adapted from 'Food Loves Writing'
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!
Breadfruit trees are everywhere in French Polynesia. But sometimes, the fruit aren’t mature enough to pick. To make things more difficult, grocery stores don’t sell them (they don’t sell fruit either.) The Polynesians don't buy fruit, they don't have to. They have plenty growing on their property. If they don’t have something, they can trade with neighbours for theirs. Getting our hands on a breadfruit was no simple task, but we are patient. At every island, we would ask the locals, but again, the fruit weren’t ready to pick off yet.
Devine & I had breadfruit when we first arrived in Nuku Hiva, the owner of a snack bar prepared some for us. He cooked it outside, over hot coals. The taste is hard to describe, it's very potato-like. We had the cooked breadfruit with some fresh coconut milk - that he extracted from a coconut himself. Since then, we’ve been looking to cook it ourselves.
We finally got our chance! We bought a breadfruit at the Fare street market in Huahine. The lady at the fruit stand gave it a few knocks with her fist, and told us it was ready to eat! It was delicious with coconut milk, but we wanted to try something different. We cut the breadfruit into wedges, and pan-fried it. We then served it with some button mushrooms, coated with sweetened soy sauce.
If you ever come by breadfruit fruit, please try it. It’s the perfect island food, and will keep you filled up for a long time!