the angelica home kitchen

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The Angelica Home Kitchen’s Orange-Poppyseed Layer Cake

Published October 5, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

While I was trying out new recipes from The Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook I realized that I had a whole bag of oranges that would be perfect for making this orange poppyseed cake! It happened to work out that it was also right around Thomas’ birthday, so I made the cake two days before, and managed to frost it just before the clock struck midnight and his birthday began! I also gave it the proper Star Wars decorations that any birthday cake honoring Thomas should have. 😀

I’d never made a layer cake before, or even frosted an entire cake, only cupcakes, so I divided the work. Doing the cake a day ahead worked out pretty well, because the cake was well cooled and easy to work with, and I was all fresh to start on the frosting the next day. I think the hardest part of this recipe was the orange zesting. It calls for 6 tablespoons of zest altogether, 4 for the cake, and 2 for the frosting, which is a lot! I had Thomas come in and relieve me when my hands started to get sore. At least the number of oranges it took for the zest (6-7) was about the amount you need for the fresh orange juice required, so no weird zested oranges to keep! I didn’t have as much poppyseed as required by the recipe (1/3 c.), maybe only half as much, but it still worked out fine.

The frosting was a learning experience too. All the frostings I made in the past were powdered sugar & butter/shortening based. This one is macrobiotic and made with tofu, agar agar and olive oil and maple syrup. After mixing it all you let it sit in the fridge to firm, cut it into pieces and then process until smooth. Even with 3/4 cup of maple syrup I thought it wasn’t quite sweet enough and added about 2 tbsp. of agave syrup.

Results: This is a macrobiotic cake! You can’t really tell by the cake part, but the frosting is definitely different than traditional or vegan cakes. It is only moderately sweet, and after you get used to that, it provides a nice contrast with the sweet cake. (Because of the frosting though, I’d be hesitant to serve it to non-health food eating people, but hey, you never know?) I thought the flavor of this cake really improved after a couple of days in the fridge. It was delicious, and we ate the whole thing over the course of the week. I bet the lemon variation of this cake would be especially awesome. I’m excited to try more of the desserts in this book. It’s a good way of showing your palette that you can enjoy desert without all that insane sweetness. I’ve never been a super big fan of sweets, so this is especially good for me!

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Veggie Samosas & Pear-Apple Chutney

Published October 4, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I made a giant batch of The Angelica Home Kitchen’s Pear-Apple Chutney pg. 108, a while back to go with some lentil soup, and had a ton leftover so I decided to make some yummy veggie samosas to eat it up with. Worth mentioning is that the recipe called for currants, which I couldn’t find, so I used raisins instead. Also in lieu of using a tied up cheesecloth sachet, I just added the cloves, sticks of cinnamon, cardamom pods and bay leaf into the pot, and fished them out at the end! : )

I turned to The Indian Vegan Kitchen for some samosa guidance. Luckily she had 2 recipes, one for the filling and dough, and one with instructions on how to use frozen puff pastry dough. I already had the latter in my freezer, so I decided to go the easier route with her Quick Vegetable Pastries pg. 62.  Even with the frozen dough, it still takes a bit of work and diligence as you have to roll it out and stuff 25 pieces. It turned out that I had about half of the filling left when I was finished, so you can definitely use both sheets of pastry dough if you want or need 50 pieces. (I’m going to combine these fragrant leftover mixed vegetables with some leftover enchilada filling I have and make leftovers enchiladas!)

Results: These two recipes tasted great together! The cool chutney was a nice touch served with the flaky, spicy little bundles. This filling is super delicious and really comes through the pastry.

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