Raw mini lamingtons

March 22, 2018

Did you know the lamington was invented in New Zealand not Australia?! They first appeared in art in New Zealander J R Smythe's still life 'Summer Pantry' in 1888, featuring inside a cottage with a view of Wellington Harbour. They were known as Wellingtons - soft sponge covered in chocolate and coconut to resemble the snow-capped mountains of NZ.
However, Australians have claimed the cake as their own, named after Lord Lamington, governor of Queensland, who visited NZ in 1895, and was served said Wellingtons at an afternoon tea provided by bakers A R Levin. He rather liked them, stole the idea and took it back to Oz.
Now, while you're here, pavlovas were also invented in NZ, not Australia. The meringue was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited both countries in the 1920s. Pavlova recipes appear in NZ publications in 1927, '28 and '29, well before an Australian chef started using a recipe around 1935. So there.

These mini lamington bites of joy were quite hard work! But worth the effort. I adapted a recipe from the Pana Chocolate recipe book (Hardie Grant Books, 2017). Instead of making their chia jam I used sugar free St Dalfour strawberry, and instead of melting one of their raw chocolate bars I made my own.

1 1/2 c fresh or frozen berries (I used strawberry to match my jam)
1 c cashews, soaked and drained
90ml sweetener (I used rice syrup)
4 tbsp cacao powder
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and beans scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
60ml coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp berry jam
1 c desiccated coconut

1 c cacao butter
1 c cacao powder
1/2 c liquid sweetener
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Line a small tin or container with baking paper. Mine was 16 x 12 cm. You need a small container so the ganache reaches about 2.5 cm up the side, so you can cut square bites.

Blend the berries in the blender until smooth and pureed. Strain to remove any large seeds, especially if you are using raspberries. Set aside.

Blend the cashews in a food processor or blender, scraping down the sides regularly, for about 10-15 min, until the oils are released and cashew butter is formed. 

Add in the berry puree and rest of ingredients except coconut oil, and blend until smooth. Then pour in the coconut oil and mix well.

Pour into your tin and freeze until firm. Once set cut into 2.5cm square pieces. Using a chopstick, make a hole in the top of each piece but don't go through the bottom.

Put the jam in a little plastic bag, snip the corner and squeeze a little jam in each hole. Place all ganache squares back in the freezer while you make the chocolate.

Melt the cacao butter over a bain marie. Take off the heat and stir in cacao powder, sweetener, vanilla and salt.

Put the desiccated coconut in a bowl with a small spoon.

Take the squares out of the freezer. Using 2 forks, dip a square into the chocolate, then roll in coconut and set on a tray lined with baking paper. You need to do each square separately as the chocolate hardens quickly and the coconut will not stick on it. Repeat until all squares are covered, then return to the fridge or freezer until you want to consume.

These lamingtons/wellingtons are not unlike the raw raspberry bounty bars I make, although the ganache here does not contain any coconut. Whatever you call them, they are a real treat!


Blueberry & lemon cheesecake

March 22, 2018

This is the third raw cheesecake to appear on Bake Club. It's always good to experiment with these things. I made a double recipe to fit a 25cm round cake tin, one of the three cakes I made for my birthday party. I only throw a party once a decade. so I'm happy to make the effort to cater for a whole bunch of diets. I have a few vegan gluten-free friends so I decided to make all the cakes free of gluten, dairy and sugar.

This recipe is adapted from Raw Cake by Daisy Kristiansen and Le...

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Puffed rice crispie bars

March 20, 2018

Quick and easy party food/lunchbox fillers.
Makes 24 squares
1/2 c tahini
1/3 c sweetener such as rice syrup, coconut nectar, maple or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 c brown puffed rice crispies (you can also used puffed millet)
1/2 c activated buckwheat, optional

Line a brownie tin or 20x20cm cake tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl mix the puffed rice and buckwheat. Melt the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Pour over the puffed rice and mix quickly to coat every grain. P...
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Raw fudge

March 20, 2018

This raw chocolate fudge is soooo silky smooth and takes 2 minutes to make!
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c almond butter (you could also use cashew, tahini or peanut)
1/2 c cacao powder
1/4 c sweetener such as rice syrup, maple or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Line a small cake tin, loaf tin or plastic container with baking paper or plastic wrap. The container I used was 13 x 20cm.
Melt the coconut oil over a low heat or in a bain marie. Pour into a bowl with all the other ingredients and mix w...
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Sourdough sesame crackers

March 6, 2018

Keeping a sourdough starter in the fridge takes the pressure off having to bake every few days. I fed mine then kept in the fridge for a week before I scooped out a cup for this recipe, found on the King Arthur Flour website. Take the starter out 24 hours before using to let it warm to room temperature. 

1 c sourdough starter or discarded starter
1 1/2 c flour (I used spelt and buckwheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c vegan butter or butter
2 tbsp sesame seeds (white or black)
2 tbsp dried herbs of c...

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Black bean brownies

March 1, 2018

This is the third version of black bean brownies that have appeared on Bake Club. The other two were vegan; this one uses eggs - but you can substitute with 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water if you wish. Such a quick recipe - blitz in the blender and you're done!

8 pitted dates, soaked in 1/2 c boiling water for 10 min
1 can black beans, drained
2 eggs
1/4 c coconut oil
1/3 c rice syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 c flour (I used ground almonds, you can use oat flour or any ...

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Raw afghans

February 28, 2018

A wholesome chocolatey hit.

1 c dates, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
1 c sunflower seeds
1 c nuts or activated buckwheat
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp psyllium
1/2 c cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c cacao butter, melted

1/4 c cacao butter, melted
1/3 c cacao powder
1/3 c rice syrup (or maple syrup)

Whole walnuts, pecans or almonds for decoration

Blitz the seeds and nuts in a food processor until crumbly. You can leave chunks in there if you w...

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Homemade vegemite

February 25, 2018

A eureka moment - make your own vegemite from scratch!
Blitz in a nutribullet or hand-mix 1/2 c ground black sesame seeds (I use a coffee grinder), 4 tbsp tamari, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar to taste. You can also cheat by using store-bought black tahini. Couldn't be easier. The salty rich taste is perfect for toast, crackers, pasta, soup. Dense with vitamin B, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron and phosphorus.
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Sourdough apricot loaf

February 25, 2018

I do love a tangy apricot loaf. My sourdough starter 'discards' provided the tang in this recipe and the oats add a little more fibre. It's a cross between bread and a cake.
2 c flour (I used spelt)
1/2 cut oats (use whole or ground, as you wish)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c rice syrup
1/2 c coconut oil
2 eggs
juice and zest of 1 orange
1 c sourdough starter or discarded starter
1 c chopped apricots
1-2 tbsp flour for coating
oats for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a lo...
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Sourdough bread

February 21, 2018

I was very kindly given a gluten free sourdough starter this week. I fed it for a few days then made this loaf using spelt flour, although it's easy to replace with a mix of brown rice, buckwheat and tapioca flour if you want to be totally gluten free. This recipe is adapted from Homegrown Kitchen.
To keep your starter going, reserve at least 1/4 c starter after taking out 1 c to use. Mix 1/4 c flour and 1/4 c water to your starter every 12 hours. Store in a glass jar with a tight lid. If you...
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Frances Chan is a freelance editor/proofreader who has written a couple of children's books and writes for Weekend Notes. She also loves to bake. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.

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