First things first, I apologize for the massive gap in posts since I relocated. I thought it would make sense to casually upgrade the kitchen cabinets and invest in some new shiny handles before moving into our new spot in Woodstock. It was really not very casual at all. I had to move light fittings, change the plumbing, get the electrician back before the plumber could come, organise a quotes from four kitchen cabinet companies. Then I found out before doing the cabinets if I ever planned on doing the floors, that had to come first. So I halted on kitchen, started on floors, brought in a team to lay down LVT’s, then called the plumber back, he said a gas specialist had to install the gas fittings before he could work… LONG STORY SHORT: it was not casual. At. All.
The little “kitchen reno” took 3 solid months all this while I was trying to prepare for my first solo show opening in September. So my life was split between staying at Julz, trying to be in studio and mix up paint, running out to meet people, driving out to industrial areas to source brass cup handles, and and and. I would do it all over again, needless to say I have experienced probably the most adult and hectic six months of my entire life. How is it December next month?
I am so happy with the way the kitchen and the flat are coming together. I will post pics of the kitchen soon although I still need to do a splash back, get proper shelves and install the lamps I bought months ago. All in due coarse. I have filled the apartment with plants and am especially proud of the little Magnolia tree (an actual 2m tree) I am successfully growing in a pot without a balcony. My favourite part about moving has been waking up, having coffee and leaving my car at home while I walk the sunny 5 minutes to my studio. Turns out the building I rent in got sold so I will be moving out of my perfect studio next month (Oh Life) but that, for another day. For now, Vegan Mini Donuts!
In case you were wondering; I am not a vegan (yet?). I don’t consume much meat at all and majority of my diet is made up of vegetables but I eat butter, cheese and kefir as well as yogurt. I was recently invited to a very close friend of mine’s night away at Orangekloof tented camp in Hout Bay. It was a very special all girl affair in the tranquil surroundings of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve. The promiscuous purple Morning Glory blooms climbing over the tops of the tents behind a pink mountain sunset was just what my mind needed after a crazy few weeks opening my solo show at 99 Loop Gallery.
Each of the girls was asked to bring a stone to gift to Vida (bday girl) and I will be doing a post on the cake I made her (instead of a stone) shortly. But basically it turns out that half the ladies present were vegan and actually couldn’t eat the mud cake I spent the morning baking. Luckily I had brought with two big punnets of sweet strwberries freshly picked form Stellenbosch Mooiberg Farm and promply washed those up for the peckish post-dinner vegan snacks. But I was a little disappointed in myself for not finding out dietry requirments beforehand and decided upon returning that I would make an effort to learn a few vegan bakes for my friends who follow this lifestyle. I have also agreed to make a vegan cake for an old primary school friend later this month so have been experimenting away.
Baby steps, they say. So I have started by adapting one of my favourite treats to make: mini vanilla baked donuts. It wasn’t that difficult to find suitable substitutes for the animal by-products (butter, milk and eggs). I subbed the butter for solid coconut oil, milk for coconut milk and the egg for a “vegan egg” ( 1 tablespoon flaxseed ground to 2.5 tablespoons warm water). It worked a treat!
I baked these on Sunday evening and we used them in the shoot I did with Gary Van Wyk this morning that he did for The Beautiful News (If you haven’t heard about their amazing videos yet you need to check them out and cry). It was so awesome hanging out with him this morning and getting to chat about his newfound fatherhood and other philosophical blah blah. I spend so much time alone in the studio I always really relish the times I get to collaborate with other creatives on projects like photo shoots or creating short videos. We shot in my studio in the morning and then headed to get some shots baking.
Anyways, here is the recipe for the vegan mini donuts. They have a hint of coconut which I LOVE and they may have come out even better than my normal recipe for them. Who says vegan baking is tough?
Vegan Mini Baked Donuts:
5 tablespoons solid coconut oil
½ cup sugar
1 “vegan egg” (1 tablespoon flaxseed powder with 2 ½ tablespoons water)
½ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 squeeze vanilla paste (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups unbleached cake aflour
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and spray mini donut pans with 100% vegetable grease or wipe with coconut oil.
- In a medium bowl cream together coconut oil and sugar with a hand whisk.
- Then add the vanilla, coconut milk and “vegan egg” and whisk. Don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled.
- Whisk in the baking powder, then salt, then shift in the flour and stir until just combined.
- Transfer the soft batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
- Pipe the batter into the pans so that each donut ring is half filled.
- Bake at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes. When you tap the donuts and they spring bake they are ready to come out.
- Remove from the pans with a teaspoon to help lever them out.
- Allow donuts to cool on a wire wrack while you make a glaze.
You can brush the donuts with melted coconut oil and dip them in a sugar/cinnamon mixture or you can glaze them. In the image sabove I mixed 1 cup of icing sugar with some hot water and a squeeze of lemon, then dipped each donut in and while the glaze was drying I sprinkled with sweets, silver balls and edible flower petals.
I am down to enjoy these with a cup of rooibos tea or stack on top of each other for a unique birthday cake surprise(next time).