My girlfriend likes cakes. This is not a big secret and something I picked up on within the first, oh I don’t know, 2 hours or so of meeting her for the first time. This is also fairly normal, I mean, I like cakes too and, with Valentine’s day coming up (and of course me being so lovely *cough cough*) I decided to try to make a few Valentine´s treats for her. There is a catch, however. Aleksandra is intolerant to: gluten, eggs, milk and almonds. I don’t know how much you know about baking but suffice is to say that eggs, milk and gluten containing things such as flour tend to come up a lot in recipes.
Not to be deterred I delved into the world of gluten free, free from, raw, and vegan baking and, after much searching, came up with these three recipes that I attempted and which I shall also now review because Aleks is being lazy and doesn’t want to write and I am in a helpful mood.
Word of warning: I am a hopeless baker, if these look bad or I suggest they don’t taste at all good. Please take this with an excessively large dose of salt as it is 99.9% likely it is my own fault!
Vegan Meringue Kisses by Ania (Lazy Cat Kitchen)
The idea of making a meringue without eggs seemed quite cool to me, but also implausible as everyone knows meringues are made from egg whites (as Google told me not so long ago). The idea behind these egg free meringues is to use aquafaba in place of the whites (don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either). Aquafaba is merely the water that chickpeas are held in suspension in, so it absorbs a lot of the chickpea proteins and therefore can be whisked into a white meringue a la egg whites.
Turns out I love making these. Whisking a slightly gross looking liquid until it becomes a stiff white, well, meringue seems like magic to me, albeit it a much more boring type magic than the traditional fare of wizards and their ilk. But magic nonetheless. At this point I felt like this baking malarkey was a piece of cake. If only all the Valentine’s treats were as simple!
Anyways, the recipe works amazingly and tastes even better. Plus it is extraordinarily easy such that even I can manage it. Thank you Ania for a beginner friendly recipe; please have a look at Ania’s blog, Lazy Cat Kitchen, you enjoy being a lazy cat.
Chocolate Raspberry Sandwich Cookies by Nadia (Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen)
Feeling buoyed by my previous success I went for a biscuit sandwich which looked easy enough. Somehow this recipe took me the better half of 2 hours, I´m not at all sure how. Gross incompetence on my part is the probable cause.
There isn’t really much else to add about these, they taste nice, they are made nice and the dough is quite satisfying to roll. In short perfect Valentine’s treats. I did also forget to add any chocolate to them, which would have added a nice extra texture.
Despite the problems these are delicious. They lasted barely any time at all. Heartily recommend.
If you want to try these have a look at Nadia’s blog, Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen, where people of an average baking level can probably make this stuff in the appropriate amount of time. Thanks Nadia, and sorry for butchering your recipe (though it was still tasty!)
Vegan Chocolate Mousse Raspberry Tart (Almost Raw) by Ania (Lazy Cat Kitchen)
Inspired by the ease (and taste) of the meringue kisses I decided to try my hand at making some more adventurous Valentine’s treats. A tart. I have attempted a few cakes before in my life and, with only one exception, they have been resoundingly disappointing. This one was, at least, fun to make and (spoilers) I have now doubled the number of tasty cakes I have made!
The dough is extremely sticky and so one has to mould it to the shape of the tin, something that a rookie like me didn’t realise initially, although if I could read I would perhaps have realised that trying to roll it with a rolling pin was a terrible idea. This recipe also involved aquafaba which I am a very big fan of, as mentioned before.
And now onto the taste. Chocolate and raspberry. Anything with that combination tastes A OK in my book. I should also add that although I made all these for Aleksandra, it is highly likely I will eat more than half of them because I am greedy and have no willpower to resist. I wish there were a better reason, but honesty may be better.
I did make one fatal error: the base contains dates. Aleksandra hates dates. She took one bite and was off it (she still ate the mousse part though…), so if you are someone who hates dates then sub in some other sticky base. I don’t know what, go ask a baker!
This recipe was remarkably easy to follow, with clear instructions and ended up as my favourite of the lot. The recipe is from Lazy Cat Kitchen again, so it is safe to say I would recommend Ania’s bakes to anyone.
So there is was, my brief foray into trying to make some Valentine’s treats for Aleksandra. Let me know how I did and please put any tips on how not to completely suck at baking would be appreciated. Thanks!