For the last night of the year I wanted to prepare a cake that makes you feel both grateful and hopeful at the same time. For those are the two essential emotions one should feel when one year ends and another one begins.
To achieve that goal I chose champagne and orange to be the star actors of this party delicacy. The layers of my rustic naked cake are filled with orange chia jam and orange coconut whipped cream. The final result truly tastes like the New Year´s eve – glamorous and joyful!
And even though the alcohol evaporates when you bake the cake in the oven, this cake totally get´s one into party mood. Even kids!
My soon-to-be-3-year-old daughter tasted it, ran to hug me and said that the cake tastes so good that it makes her stomach dance!
Dancing and hugging, that´s what the best parties are made of. And champagne, of course.
Magnificent New Year to all of you!
NAKED CHAMPAGNE CAKE
- 1 dl coconut flour
- 2 dl almond flour
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 dl coconut palm sugar
- 0,5 dl of organic honey
- 6 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
- 4 dl champagne
- juices of 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Grease a baking tin with butter or coconut oil.
Mix the dry ingredients (except sugar) together in a bowl. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites in separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites until peak arises. Add honey and coconut sugar with egg yolk and beat for couple of minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix the dry ingredients and egg yolks together. Stir in the champagne and orange juice. Add the egg white foam gently, so that the mixture remains fluffy.
Pour the batter into the greased tin and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool. In the meantime prepare the orange chia jam and orange coconut whipped cream (see the instructions below).
When the cake has cooled, remove it from the pan (with a help of a knife, if necessary), and divide the cake into three or four parts. Frost the the layers with orange chia jam and orange coconut whipped cream. Sprinkle some coconut flour on top and decorate with flowers.
ORANGE CHIA JAM – See the recipe HERE.
ORANGE COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 cans of full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1 teaspoon honey or for example stevia
- 1 tbsp orange zest
Take coconut milk cans out of the fridge. Open cans and remove all the solid coconut cream / white stuff and scoop it into a bowl. Mix in a bowl with beaters until fluffy. Mix in honey or stevia and other flavoring. Use right away. If the mixture is too runny, place it in the refrigerator for a while. Store the leftover in the fridge and use within 3 days.
Convert DL to CUPS for example HERE!
Follow Vanelja!Flowers, Food, Sweet
Higher forces are talking through me. I mean something bigger than me made me do stuff – to bake christmas cookies, to be exact. (I´m happy the forces communicating through me are seemingly good-natured, maybe a kind spirit of pastries or something.)
Many days I was haunted by this idea of gluten-free version of a traditional finnish christmas mince pie with a plum heart. And many days I tried to avoid this given mission. Just wasn´t in the mood. Then yesterday I finally gave in and stuck my hands to the dough. And created this easy modern version of the mince pie.
Actually they are more like cookies, even though the texture reminds a little bit of a puff pastry. The taste is delicious. The chia plum jam with a hint on licorice gives them a perfect juicy heart. Our 2-year-old went totally bonkers with these and had a great temper tantrum when after her fifth cookie I didn´t give her more. I think that means I kind of nailed my mission.
And if you were wondering (beacuse of my “talking higher forces” or “given missons”), I´m really okay. I can insure you. Not overstressed about my book and hearing voices, really. I´m actually very realxed and happy. Especially now when I got this new christmas recipe out of my system and the outcome was fantastic.
So keep ´em coming, you all mighty spirit of pastries!
MINCE PIE COOKIES WITH A PLUM JAM HEART
- 0,5 cup almond flour
- 0,5 cup coconut glour
- 0,5 cup potato flour
- 0,5 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon psyllium powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 200 g organic butter
- 0,5 cup organic curd / quark
- 1 organic egg
- + plum jam (recipe below)
Mix flours and powders in the bowl. Cut the butter and allow to soften slightly at room temperature. Add with the flour mixture and pick the dough into crumbs. Add curd and egg and mix. Place the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. (In the meantime prepare the plum jam)
Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius / 400 Fahrenheit degrees.
Take small portions (about the size of your fist) from the dough and knead it slightly on a floured surface. (put the rest of the dough back in the fridge) Roll the dough piece into about 1 cm thick disk. Cut pieces with a cookie cutter. Add plum jam in the middle. Bake in middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the tarts get a beautiful golden hue.
PLUM CHIA JAM
- 1 cup dried pitted plums
- 1 cup water
- 4 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon grated licorice root stick / licorice root powder (optional)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
Apply plums, water and the spices into a tin. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove the spices. Add licorice root powder among the plums and water and puree to smooth mixture. Spoon the puree in a glass jar, stir in chia seeds and leave the mixture to cool without cover for about an hour. Store in the refrigerator covered and use within a week.
Follow Vanelja!christmas, Food, Sweet
To me there is nothing more that screams christmas – or rather that sings christmas, with the jingle bells backround – than ginger bread cookies. One bite or one sniff and you travel straight to the winter wonderland and to christmas mood.
In fact, as much I love a good ginger bread cookie I don´t want to eat them any other time than just before christmas. So that the magic won´t fade.
Now when it´s only 9 days to christmas I can finally swing into high gear and start baking my magical crispy cookies with warm flavors. Wishing they would make the winter wonderland reality, meaning that the snow would finally come.
So here´s my gluten-free and grain-free ginger bread cookie recipe that I have created for you. Added also some nut butter in just to make the spell more intense. Join the magic and enojy!
GINGER BREAD COOKIES
- 125 g organic butter
- 1,5 dl coconut palm syrup
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter / almond butter
- About 1- 2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1,5 teaspoon bitter orange peel + 2 teaspoon ginger powder + 0.5 teaspoon clove OR about 3 teaspoons ginger bread spice mixture
- 1,5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 organic egg
- 4 – 5 dl almond flour (the exact amount depends on how fatty the flour is. if the almond flour is full fat, you need it a little bit more because it does´t absorb liquid that much)
- 2 dl potato strach
Pour butter, syrup and nut butter into a pan and heat the mixture until it melts. Stir. Remove the pan from the heat, add the spices and let cool. Stir in soda and egg. Mix well. Add the flours and mix to a smooth and thick dough that you can mold. Add more flour if the dough is loose and sticky. Let the dough stand in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day bake gingerbreads. Preheat the oven to 200 celcius degrees. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator in the meantime. Sprinkle flour over dough your rolling. Roll dough to a scant ¼-inch thick. Cut out cookies with desired cutter. Bake in the oven for about 5-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cookies) until the gingerbreads will receive a beautiful brown color. The lower time will give you softer cookies!
Take out from the oven, let cool, serve and enjoy!
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What a relief. What happiness and love and bliss! My cook book baby has finally born. When I first got the book in my arms a week ago I bursted into tears – and in laughter at the same time!
It is surprisingly strong experience to see the whole journey you´ve made, all the work, joices, experiences that happened while making the book, all condensated to one piece.
Yes, the most pure and strong happiness you get is through you´re own passion and from the result of your hard work. And when you get to share it with good people. Like I did last week in my book launch party at my home.
That could have been one of my most memorable nights ever!
Only a small bunch of people were invited so that the atmosphere stayed intimate. There were lots of cakes, candies, candles, laughter – and flowers! So much flowers. As lovely Hennamari Asunta teached us about flower binding & flower arrangements. The night truly contained the best ingredients in life. I didn´t concentrate that much on taking photos, but you can catch a glimpse in Eeva´s blog to see some pictures of that evening. (the text is in Finnish).
I so much wish that I can get my book out also in english some day for all you non-finnish-speakers out there! I bet the world needs my book of healthy treats outside of Finland too!
In the meantime you can follow this site for more recipes – or learn some finnish and order my book from HERE! I won´t promise it will be easy – but I promise it will be worth it.
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I am sooo excited here right now. Butterfly disco in my stomach and a permanent crazy persons grin on my face. One reason is that it is the first day of December and I can finally and totally release all my christmas moves! Baking, decorating, dancing… Last night we already brought the christmas tree inside and I can see how it´s just praying for me to dance around it along with some good old Frank Sinatra tunes while munching ginger bread.
But, there is yet another and this time bigger reason for my hype and that is that my first cook book (!!!) Kiitos hyvää is gonna be released in Finland in this very week!
*more awkward dance moves here*
The book is about sweet treats with no white sugar or gluten. (or dairy or yeast or any shady stuff). The book is about pure pleasures – like this site. It´s available only in Finnish at this moment but let´s hope that we´ll get an english version of it later for all of you fellow pleasure seekers around the world!
Here´s a small sample of the sweet treasures of my book: Vanilla coconut stars with chocolate almond butter heart.
When you taste them you really feel like they´ve dropped on your tongue straight from the heaven.
VANILLA COCONUT DROPS WITH A CHOCOLATE HEART
- 1 cup coconut butter (also called coconut manna)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons organic honey (or vanilla stevia drops)
- 2 tablespoons squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1/2 cup almond butter or nut butter
- 3 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons organic honey
- a pinch of sea salt
Melt the coconut butter, coconut oil and honey in a warm water bath. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Blend in a blender until smooth. Taste and add seasoning if desired.
In another bowl melt the almond butter. Add cocoa powder, coconut oil, salt and sweetener and stir.
Pour a little bit of the white coconut mixture on the bottom of a mini cup cake tins/casseroles. Add a drop of chocolate filling. Fill the tins with the white mixture. Put the tins in the freezer for about an hour. Take out to room temperature, serve and enjoy! Store in a refrigerator in a resealable box.
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