Our vacation expedition is on its way and this year we are heading towards Florence. I am totally ready to visit this great renaissance city, where I hope to feel da Vinci’s spirit and experience the legacy of Catherine de Medici’s adventures in art and foods. On our way to Florence we will make a short two night stop in Verbier, a village in the Swiss Alps right under Mont Blanc, with breath taking landscapes. In the winter Verbier is a chique ski village and in the summers besides being a wonderful place for hiking, it houses one of Europe’s most prestigious classical music festivals. Our oldest daughter is participating in the festival this summer and we hope to arrive at the right time to hear her play her cello.
At 11.45 last night we got into our fully loaded car and began driving south east. In previous years when the kids were younger I would prepare for these trips by making large amounts of foods to take with us in the car(sushi, sandwiches, home made musli, salads and desserts), but as the years went by constantly eating in the car became less and less appealing. Now we stop at a reasonably looking highway restaurant, which in Germany and Switzerland are really not so bad, and always manage to find a fairly decent vegan alternatives and a pretty good cup of coffee.
However I did make a couple of things which got devoured before leaving the house. Lately I have been getting attracted to the idea of making preserves and pickles, possibly inspired by my husbands enthusiasm with beer making, so decided to make some marmalade. I was inspired by Ken Albala’s book The Lost Art of Cooking, from which I loosely followed his recipe for citrus marmalade. It’s super easy and very rewarding to make beautiful pots of delicious natural jam without preservatives, refined sugar or pectins. This time I used honey for fear that the natural sugar in rice syrup wouldn’t be strong enough to gel the jam, but next time I am pretty confident that rice syrup or succanat will work as well.
I also have been experimenting with making cakes and although I have been making “standard” vegan cakes for a really long time, I am trying to develop my own voice in this matter by using different kinds of flour, seeds, sweeteners and toppings. After years of following cake recipes for fear(geez this is the second time I use the word fear on this post) of playing around with the chemistry of baking, I realized that there is nothing to be afraid of, a bit of concentration and common sense will do.
4 cups water
1 1/2 cup of honey, but I think rice syrup would work too
2 cinnamon sticks
2 pint canning jars sterilized(boiled for 5 minutes
-the day before making the jam cut the oranges and lemon in thin slices and save the seeds
-put everything in a bowl and including the seeds tied in a cheese cloth and add the water
-leave it to soak over night
-the next day throw the seeds away and add the honey
-boil rapidly until a syrup forms which coats a spoon(the consistency of honey)
-put jam in the sterilized jars and add the cloves and cinnamon sticks
-cover and sterilize the jam again to be able to save it for a long time outside the refrigerator, by boiling the filled jars for 5 minutes
-take out of the water and let it cool off, the jam should be ready and sterilized to be saved outside the fridge.
Syrup Seed Cake with Orange Marmalade
2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs baking soda
3 tbs chia seeds
3 tbs linseed
3 tbs coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil melted
3/4 cup rice syrup or maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup soy yogurt or regular yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
-mix all the dry ingredients in bowl
-in another bowl mix the wet ingredients
-mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
-bake in a cake pan with wax paper on the bottom and oiled sides
-bake at 190*c for about 20 minutes or when a inserted clean knife comes out clean
-let it cool
-cover with home made orange marmalade