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Hello, have you missed me?

I’m glad to be back on this Meatless Monday ~ or Plantaardig Maandag in Dutch. :) And even though I have a backlog of three bentos to post, I’m going to share a slice of the luxurious raspberry-chocolate pie I made for Easter!

Chocolate-Raspberry Pie for Easter

It’s so good I will definitely make this over and over again! Mind you, I’m not even that much of a chocolate lover… But the flavours of this torte complement each other so well: a sugarless cake bottom with bitter-sweet (FairTrade) chocolate and the tartness of fresh raspberries. Need I say more? YUM!

It’s originally a recipe from the Belgian Vegetarian Association EVA but instead of making 6 small pastries I decided to make one big pie (with some other small adaptations). So far I have only made three recipes from the EVA website: birthday brownies (served 3 times), marvellous mayonnaise (I never go without) and now this tart. Obviously they are all a hit! So I guess I should take an even better look at that site. :)

Now the baking of this pie does take a bit of patience… It’s not a lot of work (!), but there’s waiting time in between stages. Personally, I rather saw that as an advantage! I made the cake, which is the most time-consuming part, the night before (or actually 2 ;), the chocolate filling on Easter morning and I added the topping -raspberries and powdered sugar- just before serving at teatime. That was a fun job to do with our little helper cousin.

Of course the adults decided to have some prosecco wine instead of tea with this indulgent treat. :P

Raspberry-Chocolate Tart

Serves 10.
Dutch translation at the bottom of this post.

Chocolate-Raspberry Pie for Easter

Ingredients

Pastry shell:

  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 125 g soy butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1-4 tbsp soy milk

Chocolate filling:

  • 300 g dark chocolate (vegan and preferably FairTrade, like Tony’s Chocolonely), broken into small parts
  • 50-75 g soy butter
  • 150 ml vanilla soy milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 60 g raspberry jam

Finishing touch:

  • 500 g raspberries (extra if they are really big)
  • powdered sugar

Preparation

Chocolate-Raspberry Cake bottom for Easter

Stage 1: pastry shell
Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

  1. Grease a 25 cm pastry tin and/or cover the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Mix flour, salt and ‘butter’ (125 g) by hand to make a crumbly pastry dough.
  3. Add soy milk spoon by spoon until the mixture holds together well, like shortbread dough.
  4. Roll out pastry dough, forming a circle big enough to cover bottom and sides of your pastry tin. I cover my working counter with a flexible silicon baking sheet, put the dough on, cover with baking paper and use my rolling pin over that.
  5. Put the flattened dough into the tin – here’s where a silicon sheet comes in handy! :)
  6. Press well into the sides: you can use a bit of the dough in cling-wrap to do this easily. Cut off any extra dough.
  7. Use a fork to make holes in the bottom and put the dough into the refrigerator until it feels firm. This takes at least 30 minutes – I just went out to do my holiday grocery shopping. :) You can put it in the fridge if you’re pressed for time.

Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Cover the pastry dough with a little baking paper (recycle the piece you used for rolling the dough) and fill with pie weights or whatever you use for blind baking.
  3. Prebake in the oven for 25-30 minutes: keep a close eye on from 15 minutes onwards. Remove weights and paper and bake for another 15 minutes until light golden.
  4. Take from the oven and let it cool.

Stage 2: filling

  1. Melt the chocolate Bain-Marie on low temperature (you know how to do this, right?).
  2. Add butter bit by bit (keep stirring to mix well), vanilla soy milk and maple syrup. It may seem that the chocolate is forming clumps but everything will be all right if you keep stirring carefully.
  3. When everything is mixed well and creamy you can start filling your pie! First get the pastry shell out of the tin though. :)
  4. Cover the bottom of the pie with raspberry jelly.
  5. Add the chocolate filling.
  6. Let it cool at room temp for approximately 2 hours (or more).

Stage 3: finish

  1. When you’re ready to eat you can layer the chocolate with fresh raspberries.
  2. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Chocolate-Raspberry Pie for Easter

Stage 4: Bon appétit!

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Recipe in Dutch

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logoWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has some kind of food-related post to share: book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
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I’m writing this post in whisper-mode. That has nothing to do with Mr Gnoe sleeping late this Saturday morning. I’m just embarrassed to confess that with the dawn of February, I still had some ‘fresh’ cranberries left over from… Christmas. Oops!

So I felt a jolt when I stumbled upon the cranberry muffins Uniflame had baked. Just perfect! Except.. they weren’t vegan. But now that I’ve been ExtraVeganza for more than a year, it’s about time I took on a challenging recipe to veganize. So I went back to the original Dutch recipe on Yummy in my Tummy and got to work.

What do you know? I was done in a jiffy! :) [drumroll..] Here’s the result!

Vegan cranberry muffins

These muffins are awesome! Light, sweet -but not too much- and with a sour ‘pang’ each time you bite a cranberry. So I’m MEGA proud of myself — and future veganizing projects seem less daunting! #happy :)

Now I’m rather eager to share the recipe with you all!

Vegan cranberry muffins

Makes about 16 cakes.

Ingredients

  • 150 gr fresh cranberries (washed)
  • 265 gr all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 160 gr demerara sugar (cane) sugar
  • 240 ml (1 cup) vanilla soy milk
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) soy yoghurt
  • 85 gr vegan butter or margarine (I use Provamel Bio Soya Cook & Spread)*
  • zest of 1 organic orange
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: powdered (confectioners) sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C ().
  2. Grease a muffin tin or fill either silicon or disposable cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Whisk well.
  4. Add orange zest.
  5. Melt the butter.
  6. Combine the soy milk and yoghurt in another bowl or measuring cup, add the melted butter and stir well.
  7. Add the wet to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until batter is just mixed.
  8. Spoon batter in muffin pan/cupcake liners. (You can also use a piping bag or sturdy plastic bag with a corner cut of but I find this too much trouble.)
  9. Bake the muffins about 20 minutes in the oven; they should be golden and when you pierce them with a skewer it should come out dry.
    Mine took 23 minutes but it depends on your oven.
  10. Let the cakes cool down in the tin for 5 minutes, then take them out and let cool further on a rack.
  11. If you wish you can sprinkle the muffins with powdered sugar after they have cooled down completely. I didn’t find this necessary taste wise.

Enjoy! :)

The whole batch of cranberry muffins cooling down

Can you freeze these muffins?
Although these muffins are best eaten on the same or next day, they stay pretty good for a while longer. It’s just that the top gets a little sticky after two days, but you can hide fix this with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
After freezing they still taste very good, but again the top gets sticky and the texture less fluffy: a little drier and more compact. So they’re fine, but not their original awesomeness. ;)

With all the exclamation marks in this post I guess I left the quiet-modus very quickly. :) Well, that just shows you my enthusiasm about these muffins! So I hope you’ll be trying them someday too. :)

Now Mr Gnoe has woken up and it’s time to get the day started — maybe do some more baking this weekend? ;)

– – – – –

Part of the February Sweet Luv event on Zesty Palette

'Sweet Luv' event button

& Zesty Palette’s ongoing Bake Fest #4 hosted by Tomato Blues

Bake Fest button

* I’m not a shareholder of Provamel! ;) I’ve just had great experience with their products. You can use any plant-based butter but if it’s got vitamin D3 added (which it often does), it’s not vegan!

Cute Belated Birthday Cupcakes
Because my brother couldn’t come to Mr Gnoe’s actual birthday we decided to have a small after-party exactly one month later. Which was yesterday ;)

Since I had the day off I baked some cupcakes (as you can see I used the silicon cups I bought last week). They turned out really well! We couldn’t eat them all so I put some in the freezer to use as bento stash :) Hopefully they will still taste good!

Japanese Soup Bowls
Hubby got a couple of gorgeous lacquer soup bowls for a B-day present. We didn’t have any yet, so it’s a great gift! Now we have the perfect excuse to eat Japanese again real soon ;)

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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