baked sweets/ recipes/ vegan

Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies

When I was growing up my mom had a collection of binders full of recipes cut out from magazines and photocopied from cookbooks. Some were family favorites that had been enjoyed by her parents and relatives while others had been accumulated by her over the years. I remember viewing the binders as one would a trove of mysterious treasure. Such a collection couldn’t be instantly bought or made, it had to be slowly gathered over years of (often un-purposeful) searching and discussing.

As a kid I imagined my future self with a thick book full of personally found and mastered recipes. I am certain that this sweet potato brownie recipe has a special place in said book. It is a dessert that I have enjoyed three times now (in the last 1 1/2 months) and each time it has gotten better. Before tucking it away in my “to-be-compiled-into-a-cooking-bible” folder I thought I ought to share the unbelievably healthy and chocolatey magic with you. Safeguard this recipe in your own big binder… it is a beauty!

Ingredients~

1 cup whole wheat flour (about 90 grams)
1 large orange sweet potato (500-550 grams)
1 cup chopped dates (add a bit less if using medjool)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsps brown rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
2 tbsps coconut/vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate chunks/chips to stir through

Instructions~

Preheat oven to 185 celsius
1. Peel and chop sweet potato before boiling. Remove from stove once soft and tender. Blend potato chunks in food processor and add dates, mixing until they form a mostly smooth consistency.
2. Add syrup/honey, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla extract to potato mixture and combine well.
3. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl and add sweet potato mixture. The resulting batter should be quite sticky and dense.
4. Evenly lay out batter on lined baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. I like my brownies very fudgy in the center so I took them out just shy of 32 minutes. Let them sit or cool for a bit before diving in.

Note~ This recipe was inspired by Deliciously Ella’s sweet potato brownie recipe!

gluten free/ vegan

Tangy Tahini Drizzle

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mmm mm mmm!!! i’m not an avid sauce maker. by the time i usually finish making a dish i’m so eager to dig in that gathering ingredients and following instructions for a seemingly measly topping is too much to ask. until yesterday, homemade sauces fell under the “too fancy for me to bother with” umbrella; homemade gravy and mayonnaise were the stuff of my dreams. it was approaching lunch time when i remembered the awkward amount of tahini left in the pantry (too little for a batch of hummus). tahini drizzles of some kind have always accompanied my falafels at restaurants, so (upon learning how quick and easy this sauce was) i figured i ought to have a go at it.

this tahini sauce pairs perfectly with borderline over-cooked, insanely gooey sweet potatoes. i don’t know about you, but i gouge the readiness of my baking sweet potatoes by whether or not they’re bubbling and oozing their caramely insides. 200 celsius for 30-35 minutes usually does the trick (if they’re cut into wedges first). i added a sizable amount of garlic and lemon juice to the dressing, so if your taste buds aren’t very zingy tolerant i suggest changing up the ingredient amounts a little (or a lot!!)

ingredients~
(enough sauce for 2 small-medium sweet potatoes)
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1/2 medium lemon
1 medium-large garlic clove (finely chopped)
Generous pinch of salt (add to taste)

instructions~
1. mash chopped garlic in mortar and pestle until pulpy
2. stir together garlic and tahini, adding lemon juice one spoonful at a time to taste
3. drizzle over sweet potato and top with sesame seeds, pepper, and salt.

recipes

Sesame Cashew Filled Mochi

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Mochi has a special place in my heart. I am fond of these gooey dough balls because: 1. they are fascinating in the same way Dr. Seuss’ green slime Oobleck was when I was a kid (squishy things are fun to poke and prod and mold into edible bite-size treats) 2. they are sooo unbelievably easy to make. Can you boil water, stir, and willingly cake yourself in white rice flour and sweet goo?  If the answer is yes, then you are capable of making these little guys in well under an hour.

I filled my mochi with cashew sesame seed paste. Simply grind up a couple handfuls of cashews and sesame seeds in a morter and pestle until mostly smooth! This style of mochi was quite unlike the store-bought kind I’m used to indulging in. Not only did I not use a sweet filling, but I also reduced the amount of sugar in the dough to a very minuscule 1/4 cup. There was definitely a subtle sweetness to the mochi dough, but if you have a strong sweet tooth that needs satisfying, I suggest upping the sugar and adding a few tbsps to the filling. Next time around I’d like to try the classic red bean paste or, if I feel like daring greatly, I will give ice cream centered mochi a try!

Ingredients~
This made more than enough mochi so I suggest using 1/2 the recipe unless you’re entertaining/have a big family/can share with colleagues/etc.!
1. 220 grams/a little under 2 cups of glutinous rice flour (or mochiko flour)
2. 1 1/4 cup water
3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
4. cornstarch for dusting and keeping hands/surface stick-free
5. 1 cup cashews and 1/4 cup white sesame seeds for paste OR filler of your choice

Instructions~
1. Make filling and set aside (or in fridge to make shaping easier)
2. Bring water to boil and stir in sugar until dissolved.
3. Begin adding rice flour in 2-3 batches. You may want someone to pour while you stir, or vice versa, as the mixture will solidify quickly.
3. Take off stove once the water and flour have formed into one big shiny-gooey mass.
4. Slightly wet and cover hands in cornstarch before shaping and filling mochi balls!

recipes

First and Foremost…

self-introductions are not easy for me. my attitude to meeting new people (and cooking) is as follows:  1. keep it short 2. keep it sweet.

so, hello lovely person, my name is meg!

i am not a fan of whipping egg whites into peaks and waiting centuries for my brownies to cool and set. this is my first food blog. i’m 21 going on 22 and i don’t expect you to take me very seriously (in fact, i’d rather you don’t!) i grew up in taiwan to u.s./irish passport holding parents and i currently live in melbourne, australia. i’ll be sharing tasty, moderately healthy, recipes…. some of which may require you to cash in a bit of effort, but only for a worthwhile cause (i wouldn’t be making these things otherwise!!)

not everything will be dreamt up by me, so i will credit my influencers and inspiration when i should. if you think anything (ANYTHING… even helpful criticism stuff) of my content please tell me so!! i am new to this, like wide-eyed baby new, so i will stumble a little. you’re pretty rad for reading this far. have a super day and stay tuned for the good stuff! 😉