Saturday, August 23, 2008

...while making Mexican food

Every time I hear a four-syllable word or phrase with the emphasis on the first and third syllables, I get an irresistible urge to sing it to the tune of the Hallelujah chorus.

"Gua---camole. Gua----camole, GuacaMOLee, GuacaMOLee, gua--AH-CAAH-moLEE."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vegan Zebra Cake (Jaffa)

I saw a link to this amazing-looking cake on

(image from I thought I'd give it a go. Looks impressive, but the technique for achieving the stripes is miraculously easy. However, I thought I'd have a shot at veganising it rather than using the recipe provided, so that my egg-and-dairy-eschewing Beloved could enjoy my handiwork.

The original recipe uses chocolate and vanilla stripes, but I thought I'd use up an orange and make it into a jaffa cake. I adapted the recipe from another chocolate cake I use all the time - it's the easiest cake on earth, made from ingredients I always have on hand, plus it's juicy and fluffy.

Vegan Zebra Jaffa Cake recipe:

Batter 1:

1 cup S.R. flour
2 tbsp cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp white vinegar
4 tbsp oil
Pinch salt

Batter 2:

1 1/4 cup S.R. flour
2/3 cup sugar
Juice of 1 orange, plus water to make 2/3 cup
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 tsp white vinegar
4 tbsp oil
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.

Make up the two batters - just put everything in and stir.

Now for the fun part. Into a greased circular pan, spoon a couple of tablespoons of batter 1. Into the middle of this puddle, spoon a couple of tablespoons of batter 2. Continue this process until all the batter is gone. By some miraculous process, the two colours won't combine, but will push each other up vertically into stripes.

For a photo tutorial, try here.

Bake, checking after 40 minutes with a skewer, and removing when solid.

Here is how mine turned out:

I iced mine with a ganache based on one in the awesome book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

1/8 cup soy milk
50 grams good-quality vegan chocolate (I like Lindt 70%)
Dessert spoon of syrup - maple or rice syrup work well

Heat up soy milk in microwave. Break up chocolate into little bits. Add chocolate to hot milk and stir stir stir until it melts and becomes smooth and glossy. Stir in syrup. Use.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Gap

I can't remember if there was ever a time when my thighs didn't brush past each other when I walked. I'm assuming so, because I remember a couple of summers ago when I realised that wearing bike shorts under skirts made them a lot more comfortable, so presumably before that it wasn't an issue.

I've become fascinated with The Gap. I covertly watch people walking down the street in front of me, to see if their legs touch or swing freely. Until that recent summer, it never really occurred to me that some people have freely swishing legs and some don't. Now I look for it all the time.