Linda’s Pflaumenkuchen – a traditional German plum cake made vegan

 

plumcake no elephant

Pflaumenkuchen or plum cake, has just a few simple ingredients that showcase the tart taste of the fresh plums. In my family, it was my Tante Anneliese’s signature dessert.

I was long overdue to make a vegan version of this much-loved and traditional German dessert. My friend, Linda, shared her family recipe with me and I easily veganized it with just a couple substitutions.

Henceforth, this recipe is Linda’s Pflaumenkuchen!

Cake close

This recipe features a shortbread or cookie-like crust, fresh sliced plums and a cinnamon-y streusel on top. There’s probably an obscure law that Pflaumenkuchen must be served with whipped cream (in my case coconut whipped cream).

Let’s get started.

ingredients

Ingredients for the cake

1 ½ cup flour

½ cup white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup vegan margarine

5 or 6 dark plums pitted and sliced into half moons.*

1 tablespoon bread crumbs

* You can make this cake earlier in the summer using peaches or cherries or later in the fall using apples or pears.

Ingredients for the streusel

½ cup bread crumbs

1 Tbsp white sugar

1 Tbsp vegan margarine

1 tsp cinnamon

Parchment paper to cover a cookie sheet– optional but recommended.

Directions

If you’re not using parchment paper, grease and flour a 9”x13” pan.

Preheat your oven to 375°

Make a flax egg by mixing the ground flax with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl or cup. Set aside.

Combine the flour and sugar. Sift in the baking powder and stir everything together. Add the margarine in dots throughout the flour mixture. Then make a well in the dry ingredients/margarine dots and pour in the flax egg and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, then use your hands to combine everything thoroughly and create a smooth dough. Shape your cake dough into a ball.

Place the dough ball on the parchment paper and roll the dough out to a roughly 9”x13” square. Transfer the parchment and dough onto a cookie sheet.

If you’re not using parchment paper, put the dough in your prepared pan and press out the dough to fill the pan making sure the dough is of a uniform thickness throughout. Do not go up the sides of the pan.

Prick the flattened dough all over with a fork. Lightly dust with the 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs. Place the sliced plums on the dough so that they cover the whole dough base.

Mix the ingredients for the streusel and sprinkle evenly over the plums.

crust.jpg

plums on top

Bake for 40-45 minutes and let cool before serving. Respect the law and serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.

Enjoy!

This recipe makes 6 generous pieces.

plumcake and elephant

 

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Millet and quinoa porridge with fruit

milletporridgeblueberry.jpgYou are looking at a photo of a happy accident. Last week I meant to cook up a big pot of quinoa. I accidentally mixed millet with the quinoa and ended up with a big pot of rather bland porridge. A few spices and some fruit and the porridge was easily rejuvenated into a delicious, nutritious and energizing breakfast.

If you haven’t tried millet, I strongly encourage you to do so. Yes, it’s essentially birdseed, but it’s also a delicious, mild-tasting nutrition powerhouse packed with fibre, protein, iron, magnesium and vitamin B6.

Ingredients

½ cup quinoa – rinsed but not cooked

½ cup millet

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup plant-based milk (sweetened or unsweetened, even vanilla flavour, as you prefer)

1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar (or more to taste)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

A pinch of cardamom

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Cook the quinoa and millet in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients.

You can eat this porridge hot or cold and it’ll last for a few days in the fridge.

I topped my porridge with diced peaches, a drizzle of warmed blueberries (heat them in the microwave until they’re soft or in a small pan with a squeeze of lemon over low heat) and walnuts.

Here are some other combos to consider:

milletporridgeandbanana.jpg

  • Mango, kiwi, coconut and macadamia nuts
  • Pears, a dash of cloves and pecans
  • Bananas, apricots and pistachios
  • Plums, cherries and hazelnuts
  • Pureed pumpkin, raisins, pumpkin seeds and walnuts and a sprinkle of nutmeg

 

 

Black rice with coconut, fruit and pistachios – ooooh, mama this is good!

blackrice

I spotted a bag of black rice at the Asian supermarket near me, not having a clue what it was or what to do with it…. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Black rice is glutinous or sticky so it’s great for pudding-y type dishes. It’s loaded with antioxidants and has the essential amino acid lysine and tryptophan and vitamin B1, vitamin B2, folate acid and is a good source of minerals including iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus.(from Wikipedia).

It’s also called purple rice or forbidden rice, and frankly, if I were the despotic ruler of ancient China, I would forbid anyone from eating this rice but me. But I’m not. So here’s my recipe for black rice with coconut milk, fruit and pistachios. Prepare to lose your mind over the deliciousness!

1 cup black rice
2 cups water
4 cardamom pods (or about 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom)
1 cinnamon stick (or about 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
Some sweetener – I used 1 Tbsp agave nectar, but you could use sugar and as much or little as you like.
A can coconut milk (optional)
1 mango peeled and diced
2 kiwis peeled and sliced
– Use any fruit you like, but I find the tropical fruits work nicely with the coconut… so would strawberry or raspberry though.
½ cup shelled pistachios

Rinse the rice then put it in a pot with the water. Add the spices and sweetener, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce and simmer. Black rice takes a while – about 40 minutes. Patience – it’s worth it! Don’t keep lifting the lid on your rice pot… let it do its thing. The rice is done when the water is all absorbed… the rice will not be fluffy. It’ll be sticky when done. If you used cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick, fish them out and dispose.

When the rice has cooled, add a can of coconut milk. This is optional. The rice is good enough just as is, but the coconut milk adds delicious decadence that life requires, in my opinion.
Top with the diced mango and kiwi (I also added a few slices of cherry) and pistachio. Enjoy!!
The rice makes 4 servings.