Kirstiie’s Chocolate Cake

Kirstiie’s Chocolate Cake

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I went to a Roller Derby vegan potluck the other week, and spoke highly to the fella on my return of the yummy vegan chocolate cake derby gal’ Disco made. I’m sure I could see some desire in his eyes for this cake, so I thought to myself; imma’ gonna’ make him one of his very own.

This is quite a feat; not just to muster the energy lately between derby practice, work and the dogs; but not the eat the bleedin’ thing before he gets home from work travel.

So I went out and grabbed the ingredients straight after work and got to work in the kitchen while I still had the motivation. And I’m glad I did!

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Ingredients

  • 450 g plain flour (whether it be gluten-free or organic)
  • 35 g cocoa powder (I got the Hershey’s one that is pure cocoa powder and has no milk or casein in it)
  • 6 g baking powder
  • 6 g bicarbonate of soda
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml oil – sunflower, or canola, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 300 ml water
  • 20 ml white vinegar
  • chocolate icing, or topping of your choice, to serve (I’ll be using a chocolate glaze I picked up from looking at a few other recipes)

And, you’ll need a circle tray 25cm diameter. I grabbed a 22cm spring-form one, and it worked out just fine.

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Directions

1. Firstly, make sure you buy all the needed ingredients!

2. Preheat your oven to 170C/gas 3.

3. Grease your cake tin about 22cm-25cm diameter, or two smaller tins, with a little pf the oil smudged around it to avoid sticking later on.

4. Sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar into a large bowl.

5. Mix the liquids together and add them to the solids, whisking very well.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin (or tins) and bake then for 20 minutes, until springy to the touch (ensuring the age old trick of popping in a cocktail stick and pulling it out clean, works). I found myself lacking cocktail sticks so used the point of a kitchen knife; that explains the somewhat unappealing holes in the cake (see image below) – but worry not, this will be covered when covered with the chocolate glaze.

7. To serve, top the cake with chocolate icing or the topping of your choice. Mine will be the below;

 

Kirstiie’s Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

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Mix up the mixture and spread onto your cake, I then added some thinly sliced almonds to the top of the cake. You could also add cherries and/or strawberries…

And enjoy!

 

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Bestro, Dubai Mall

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When I hear of a place on the market that sells either vegan or raw food; I. AM. THERE!

I’d be meaning to get on down to Bestro in Dubai Mall, for a little while now; but it was definitely worth the wait!

 

Bestro’s facebook hail them as; “Dubai’s 1st Living Raw Foods Restaurant. Our menu is 100% Raw, Organic & Vegan”.And along with Comptoir 102 on Beach Road (although not fully vegan – they have tuna dishes); it is so, so refreshing to be able to eat out and have so much option here in Dubai!

Check out the facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeStroUAE/info, and also the drinks menu at: https://attachment.fbsbx.com/file_download.php?id=1455793304666544&eid=AStmrc3zXL9GvK_brY0I1q1JlHiZBVRn57FM0Ey5RF6nV0NPpy05hxIbJlDJiLbau4s&inline=1&ext=1401005989&hash=ASvn9JmhHKKuXTl8, there is also a full meal menu at the eatery, yum!

The fella and I visited yesterday and had the cacao mylk drink; it was amazing!

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And we noticed a great motto on one of the chalk boards there;

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Great message :).

 

An check our their raw, vegan pizza breads!:

 

Right, I have made myself officially hungry! Is it too wrong to have my homemade peanut butter and banana ice-‘cream’ for breakfast(?). Hmm, think I’ll pop to Bestro for one of those pizza breads!

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Beating the heat

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(Image: not my own; taken from the lovely; http://www.inspirededibles.ca/2013/07/homemade-orange-creamsicle-popsicles.html). Popsicles are a MUST!

So, I think we can safety say and all agree that summer is fast approaching. The ‘hairdryer’ of heat outside has turned from a low setting to medium-high. Ugh.

 

But don’t worry your little heads; I have some awesome, and yummy bits and bobs to help cool you down :D.

 

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1)

Sorbet!

I decided to add chunks of chopped up nectarine to mango sorbet; cools you down in an instant!

 

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2)

Vegan cheesecake (from frozen)

This gorgeous bite on yumminess is from Comptoir 102 in Beach Road!

 

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3)

Mildly frozen fruit chunks!

Banana’s work fantastically with this dish, and if you have any left over bananas; you can make my favourite banana ice-‘cream’!

 

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4)

Peanut butter and banana ice-‘cream’

Currently unfrozen and just prepared in the blender in this image; it’s in my freezer as we speak waiting for me to eat it up!

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Other awesome ideas include; frozen fruit popsicles, and frozen ‘Margaritas’! (something I definitely had a few too many of on Friday!) ;)

Enjoy! And keep cool. Drink plenty of water and wear a sunhat!

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Dubai Roller Derby

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Hey guys!

So as some of you dear readers may know, I have, very excitedly; joined Dubai Roller Derby. And It. Is. AWESOME!

You don’t have to have been a ‘skater’ previously to join us, you don’t have to have done any Derby before either. All you need to do is come see one practice, and meet some of the girls. We are such a super friendly bunch and we’d LOVE for you to join us.

We practice weekly and also do an endurance free-skate at Dubai Autodrome weekly. We love to socialise and meet new people, so do drop us a line at our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/DubaiRollerDerby?fref=ts , or on the website to find our more  http://www.dubairollerderby.com/ :).

We like to boot camp with the Abu Dhabi Roller Derby league also!

For now though, here are some recent pics from practices, boot camps and scrimmages.

Some very cool news! Yesterday we had a Roller Derby Boot Camp in Abu Dhabi with the Abu Dhabi Roller Derby league https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abu-Dhabi-Roller-Derby/153725484785780

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1517548_10152001686301326_2236768971323603559_n 10257847_10152001706706326_441487900550601647_n i was so chuffed when i got past the wall jammer jamming

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The first thing I mention when someone asks me what Roller Derby is, I always say; have you seen ‘Whip It’? The film with Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore. This is a simple intro convo ice breaker.

It doesn’t matter what size you are, what occupation you have, but you do need to be over 21. And you get to meet lots of new friends, be inspired by the techniques of others’, train and evolve, develop, be fit and healthy, have fun, and have an awesome cool Derby name and number!

 

So take a pew, watch this YouTube Video and send us a mail! :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj-UHrSHC3E

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Updates to follow!

Having frequented some rather Nom-worthy establishments this last fortnight around Dubai (think Comptior 102, Social House and The Farm), House of Vegan shall be updated with some yummy posts within the next week!

 

Catch ya laters potatas’!

 

 

 

Chapati/roti

Chapati/roti

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The fella mentioned making a vegan curry this morning, then again this afternoon; so I struck a deal with him…He washes up = I make vegan curry with naan.

Having searched through the pantry and cupboards, the realisation hit…No gram flour. But I was stocked up on gluten-free flour. Not wanting to risk it, I went with making Roti instead. After all, isn’t it the most favoured Indian bread anyway? It’s certainly quicker to make, and as I couldn’t seem to locate the dry active yeast in the cupboards either, roti was a perfect accident!

As I hadn’t make roti before, I decided to have a little Google. I’m not the best judge when it comes to measurements, so I find it best to stick to well-practiced measurements (but not when it comes to herbs and spices!) and have fun experimenting with ingredients.

I liked the process and timing required for the roti recipe I found on Veganchef.com (http://www.veganchef.com/wwchapatis.htm); and decided to go from there.

I ended up actually making the most successful dough mixture thus far that I’ve tried to create, so was very happy with that…Not too dry, not too sticky. Awesome.

Ingredients

  • Half a cup of water
  • Two tablespoons of soybean oil/or canola oil
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • Two cups of Chappati Atta flour

 

Directions

- You’ll need a large bowl; grab the water, oil and salt, and mix it all up whisk well to combine the ingredients.

- Now you can mix the flour into the wet mixture to form a soft dough – it’s better to use your hands.

- If the dough is dry – add a few more tablespoons of extra water; if it is too sticky, add a little more extra flour.

- Now you can pop the dough onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes. Pop the dough back into the bowl and cover with a towel to rest for approx 30 minutes.

- After 30 mins, separate the dough into 10-12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough to form a 6-inch circle approx and keep the circles of dough covered with a towel while you roll out the remaining dough.

- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and cook each roti for 1-2 minutes per side (or until puffed and lightly browned in spots).

- Keep the cooked chapatis covered with a towel until serving. According to Veganchef.com; you can serve the roti with dips, dal, stews, or curry dishes; I served mine with mango chutney, cous cous, dal, beetroot and spinach leaves.

 

Nom!

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The Change Initiative

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I checked out The Change Initiative on Sheikh Zayed Road. Al Barsha for the first time recently and was pleasantly surprised.

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According the their website; “(The Change Initiative) is making an effort to equip people to make responsible lifestyle choices. It is an exciting new one stop destination, providing sustainable solutions for the community, business and government”.

“These include a carefully selected range of household products, appliances and building solutions that combine technology and good design. From ideas to improve insulation and lessen energy use, to eco-friendly furniture, paints and fashion accessories, The Change Initiative delivers products that are stylish and ecologically sound”.

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There are quite a few vegan items on their shelves in the food sections.

However, whilst the cleaning products may be plant-based in the house-hold section, they do still seem to be tested on animals. So that is extremely unfortunate.

Another thing I noticed was that there doesn’t seem to be any change initiative for the palm oil in a lot of the products on offer. So this too was disappointing as was the chickens in heir freezers…’Organic’??.

Especially as within their intro paragraph on their website they speak of sustainability.

There are hundreds of very graphic pictures of the internet concerning Orangutans due to palm oil. A few seconds can show you the true horror. I won’t post them here.

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You can learn all about palm oil and the horrors of it here; especially for the lives and indeed existence of Orangutans, of whos numbers are plummeting at a dangerously swift rate; for the ridiculous ‘reason’ of sugary foods, prepackaged snacks, shampoos and the like. 

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Check for Palm Oil before you buy!

http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/palm-oil.php

 

(Palm Oil can be also known in many guises;…

30 NAMES PALM OIL CAN BE LABELLED UNDER

Foods, Body Products, Cosmetics & Cleaning Agents:

-Vegetable Oil
-Vegetable Fat
-Sodium Laureth Sulfate (in almost everything that foams) ^
-Sodium Lauryl Sulfate ^
-Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS) ^
-Palm Kernel#
-Palm Oil Kernel #
-Palm Fruit Oil #
-Palmate #
-Palmitate #
-Palmolein #
-Glyceryl Stearate #
-Stearic Acid #
-Elaeis Guineensis #
-Palmitic Acid #
-Palm Stearine #
-Palmitoyl oxostearamide #
-Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3 #
-Steareth -2 *
-Steareth -20 *
-Sodium Kernelate #
-Sodium Palm Kernelate #
-Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate *
-Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate ^
-Hyrated Palm Glycerides #
-Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye ^
-Cetyl Palmitate #
-Octyl Palmitate #
-Cetyl Alcohol ^
-Palmityl Alchohol #    
          

# These ingredients are definitely palm oil or derived from palm oil.

* These ingredients are often derived from palm oil, but could be derived from other vegetable oils.

^ These ingredients are either derived from palm oil or coconut oil).

I spent around ten minutes looking in the crisps/chips section to try and find some that were 1) vegan – that contained no casein, and 2) that contained no palm oil, or derivative of it.

I was quite unlucky in the latter.

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But after some searching, I did find a few variations of chips; such as Corn salsa chips that are gluten-free, vegan and contain no apparently palm oil. So that was a win-win.

They would taste great with some hummus too!

 

I picked up some really nice cereal there – it too is gluten-free, vegan and are very similar to corn flakes.

I was very impressed by the selection of plant-Based milk on offer, all of which I could see that no dairy by-product in.

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I also picked up some soya-based dairy-free yogurts, vegan chocolate-chip cookies and gluten-free bread buns.

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All in all, success!

 

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They also have some super cute teacups and kitchenware on offer, an upstairs homeware department, and a cafe! (although it doesn’t feature any vegan items; beyond a salad). However they have a lot of teas on offer.

 

http://www.thechangeinitiative.com/

 

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Interviewed for Marhaba Magazine

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The lovely Sarah at Marhaba recently interviewed me on the House of Vegan blog, being vegan and being vegan in the Middle East.

Knowledge is power and education is key, share! :)

 

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I explain that the House of Vegan blog “is not geared toward a certain age group, gender, nor nationality. It isn’t about segregation, nor separation. It is about enlightenment from knowledge and education”.

Asked about  House of Vegan, I detailed that “(House of Vegan) is a blog about recipes, kindness and compassion. In wanting to educate and show others just how easy it is to live a kind and cruelty-free life; not just for health benefits, but – most importantly – ethically. The centric value of the blog is positivity and education. I am a great believer in action through positivity, and through this I aim to pass knowledge onto others, and for them to do the same”.

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On the Gulf region in terms of being vegan-friendly; I stated that “In the past year especially, I have really noticed a rise in even the word ‘vegan’. In Dubai, for example, I see the phrase ‘vegan-friendly’ crop up more and more. It is a wonderful thing. Especially with the surge of social media; it makes the world; a village. So the amount of forums and groups with Middle East and GCC-based veggies running and populating them is so crucial for educating others. It really is a matter of ‘paying it forward’. And in this case, ‘it’ is knowledge…We plant a seed of knowledge and it shall grow”.

It has been making the rounds via Facebook also; which is great!:

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You can find the full interview at:

http://blog.marhaba.com.qa/2013/06/19/marhaba-interviews-vegan-blogger-kirstiie-j-cullen/

 

 

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