Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 25: Khobz

Morocco–primarily mountainous– is definitely a place that I long to visit alongside the newly discovered Mauritius. Known for pleasant beaches and gorgeous weather, this large country hashweather similar to California. Official languages are Moroccan and Hassaniya Arabic, Berber, and some French. Majestic peaks include the Toubkal (the largest range in Northern Africa) and the High Atlas Mountains. Their arts and literature are celebrated. Louis Lumiere’s Le Chevier Marocain has the earliest film created in Morocco from 1897.
Moroccan cuisine is limitless with influences from Moorish to Mediterranean. Mint, saffron, lemons, oranges, olives, couscous, and dates.
Most importantly, they have bread everyday and khobz is often the top bakery choice. It is a hard and crusty with a soft interior. The top is often coated in sesame seeds before baking in the oven. I found this recipe on Kevin Lee Jacob’s A Garden for the House blog– takes an hour and minutes to make and well worth the effort in the end.

Khobz Ingredients and Preparation

1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
sesame seeds

Mix warm water and yeast together. Set aside for ten minutes.
Stir flour and salt.
Add warm water and yeast mixture.
Knead for ten to twelve minutes.
Transfer onto parchment paper that is laid out a baking sheet. Cut dough in half and flatten with palm. Cover and rest for ten minutes.
Once the dough has risen, pour and press in the sesame seeds.
Cover again and let dough rest for another hour.
Preheat oven to 425, use a knife to score steam vents on both breads, and bake for 25 minutes.

Decadent Chocolate Birthday Cake

On Sunday, a few minor things went wrong. Firstly, I was originally making a round cake, but the spring form pan wasn’t secured and a bit of batter leaked on the counter (thankfully, most of the batter was saved). The pumpkin frosting, however, turned to a cottage cheese consistency and couldn’t be rescued.
As I prepared Nora’s recipe for the best vegan chocolate cake, mild skepticism rose a bit at such a watery batter– a first for me. She had put a warning disclaimer in her post. Plus, the in-use oven was set at 270 degrees stood in the way of making a successful dessert.
The cake is rich and moist, perfect for chocolate fanatics. One bite transformed a bad day to heavenly delight.

Decadent Chocolate Birthday Cake Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup chocolate (used Chauo Chocolatier Sea Salt Bar)
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine almond milk and vinegar together. Set aside.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Mix in almond milk, vinegar, coconut oil, and pumpkin puree. Add boiling water.
Pour batter into greased baking pan.
Bake for 23-25 minutes. Let cool.
Whisk together chocolate and coconut oil.
Assemble the cake, pouring some icing on the first, putting the second layer on top, and pouring the remaining icing. Chill covered in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Cardamom Pancakes With Date Syrup and Coco Whip

There is something blissful about pancakes in the summer…..
I usually prefer them over the weekend alongside a mug of fragrant tea and a cozy library book. Pancakes has that lazy Saturday and Sunday morning tease. Yet a slumbering person would put forth great time and energy into making a perfect breakfast– morning guests or not. When that rare, stolen moment coated in sweet craving comes along, a person succumbs.
As a child, my siblings and I enjoyed pancakes from the box. I remember eating bellyfuls, the thin golden cakes piled high and drizzled with artificial syrup. Things have changed for the better. Pancakes from scratch are the absolute best and date syrup remains a constant pleasure.
With blueberries and cardamom, these light, fluffy pancakes are flavorfully packed underneath sumptuous date syrup and tasty So Delicious Coco Whip. It’s the wonderful start to any day– weekends or not.

Blueberry Cardamom Pancakes With Date Syrup and Coco Whip Ingredients and Preparation

olive oil
1 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup dairy free milk
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon white vinegar (or lemon juice)
So Delicious Coco Whip
vegan butter (optional)

Date Syrup

4-5 medjool dates
1 cup water

Oil the skillet and keep the heat low.
Sift flour, baking powder, cardamom, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together.
Add dairy free alternative, coconut oil, and blueberries. Mix in vinegar.
Pour into skillet and wait until edges bubbled before flipping. Repeat.
For the syrup– just pulse the dates and water. Simple as that!

Orange Cupcakes With Orange Icing

As summer winds down, fruit is a great way to quench neverending thirst. Water is the best way of course, but fresh pineapple, juicy grapes, and plump strawberries revitalize the system with sweet pleasure and aide in that beautiful, radiant glow to skin. Whilst drinking a tall glass of orange juice, I suddenly craved cupcakes with that delicious citrus flavor and found this recipe on Kelly’s The Pretty Bee Blog.
The icing has a funny story. I blended my ingredients together. First it became whipped cream. I was so excited– over the moon. Yes! I made orange whipped cream! Unfortunately, due to the room temperature and other random science, the cream turned clear, thick liquid. After the cupcakes cooled, I ate them with that icing. Funnily enough, in the refrigerator, the icing thickened and turned snowy white and suddenly I fell in love with this accidental orange tasting sweetness on top of orange tasting sweetness.

Orange Cupcakes With Orange Icing Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy free milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoon orange juice (used Tropicana)

Frosting

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoon dairy free milk

Preheat oven to 359 degrees.
Mix all cupcake ingredients together.

Chocolate Avocado Milkshake

Happy July– the halfway point of 2018! The year is going by fast.
To kick off a whole 31 days of celebrating freeze treats, I will be sharing plenty of new ice cream, milkshake, and smoothie recipes alongside other posts. In addition, on Facebook, I will participate in Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday, reliving favorite creations made throughout my six and half years of veganism.
Last night, I was planning to make brownies, but realized that my avocados were in ripe city. As one knows, it is best to use ripe avocado as soon as possible. So I cut open the cute little gourd fruit plant, scooped out its bright yellow green contents, and blended it with vanilla ice cream, fair trade cocoa, and almond milk. An incredible, feel-good yum ultra thick, sweet, and chill, avocados and chocolate make for an amazing Saturday night treat.

Chocolate Avocado Milkshake Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk ice cream
1 cup almond milk (or any dairy free alternative)
1 avocado, ripened
1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa (used Divine’s Cocoa Powder)

Combine ingredients together in a blender.
Top with any garnish (cinnamon, extra cocoa powder, a candy bar). I love Chuao Chocolate Bars and the cute little messages on each tasty square.

Brownies And Other Chocolaty Things

On World Chocolate Day, last Saturday, I made a scrumptious batch of irresistible brownies despite having no vanilla. Admittedly, I was petrified that they would be terrible. After all, vanilla is used in almost every dessert recipe. To be out of vanilla is a baker’s nightmare. Yet, the brownies came out well. Like super dense and yum yum. Without vanilla, you get a strong, pure chocolate tasting treat.
Today, on a special old Ohioan friend’s birthday, instead of making a fresh new cake or cupcakes even, I ate the final remainder of these brownies straight from the baking pan. They taste wonderful slightly chilled, a lovely companion to cold almond milk.
In addition to my brownie and art making, I have a sweet announcement: I’m writing a book. A book about what you ask? Chocolate. Yes, chocolate. My short synopsis: looking critically at the world of chocolate in a time during the Black Lives Matter movement, to shift eyes towards understanding food justice and compassion. Excitingly enough, I even have permission to include Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List as the final segment. I couldn’t be happier. Thus, I have spent time watching documentaries The Dark Side of Chocolate and its sequel Shady Chocolate whilst also analyzing how films such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Chocolat evoke a glaring absence about the truths of chocolate production, of the involvement of laboring brown and black bodies.
Meanwhile, back to exceptional brownies that are moist, decadent, and mouthwateringly amazing, the secret is always a bit of vinegar and coconut oil. After chilling them in the fridge, you get this thin brownie skin on top that looks beautiful as it is delicious. Plus, I fell in love with how my hands handled the precious butter knife cut squares with the little bits of chocolate coating fingers. Oh and the smell– one can never forget that wafting smell of baked brownies or the first warm piece of heaven with the bite of crunchy pecans.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa (used Divine Cocoa)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1 /2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup crushed pecans (walnuts or almonds are good substitutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.
Mix in coconut oil and almond milk.
Add apple cider vinegar and pecans.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

The trip to Grenada is next week and added GoFundMe perks include a taste of the upcoming summer side chocolate business– Brownie Girl on a Bike (more info to come soon). In a few days, we’re filming a fun kitchen segment. I’ll be sure to post that up with the next blog update.
In celebration, starting things off with chocolaty reminders. First, I made chocolate cupcakes with three high-speed-blackening-rate bananas. It was either freeze for future smoothies, n “ice” creams, or banana bread or creating fabulous, irresistibly delicious chocolate cupcakes. By choosing the latter, the bananas amp up flavor profile and moisten up the perfect sweet treat.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes Ingredients and Preparation

2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (used Equal Exchange Fair Trade Organic Baking Cocoa)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, ripened
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 12 dozen muffin tin with paper liners.
Mix flour, cocoa powder, cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
In a blender, combine bananas, almond milk, vanilla, and coconut oil.
Stir wet into dry ingredients until even and smooth.
Pour batter into liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Sea Salt & Almond Dark Chocolate Candy Bar Swirl

I must have stated this a thousand times on here: for many birthdays, my mom baked/and or bought chocolate frosted chocolate cake and pair them with chocolate flavored ice cream. Chocolate overload city much, but why complain? I loved, loved chocolate anything and she knew it. However, inwardly I preferred chocolate chip or chocolate swirl.

Yesterday, I created my first ice cream of the growing hot spring versus summer season. A few ingredients combined together brings a reminder of my old favorites. Fair trade certified, Food Empowerment Project recommended chocolate by Taza Chocolate is the star of the show, little irresistible bites of scrumptious chocolate bar nestled in the framework of coconut milk vanilla ice cream– a real splendid treat.

Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Sea Salt & Almond Chocolate Candy Bar Swirl Ingredients and Preparation

1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Taza Chocolate Sea Salt & Almond

In a blender or food processor, combine coconut milk, cane sugar, and vanilla.
Bring pot of hot water to boil.
In a steel bowl, place broken chocolate bar pieces and stir as it gradually melts.

Pour vanilla and coconut mixture over the warm chocolate, stirring to create swirls, scraping from the bottle before the chocolate cools. Be quick. Once to desired concoction, place cellophane over the bowl and freeze for six to eight hours (or overnight).

AfroVeganChick Turns Six With Raw Cacao, Cherry, And Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Goodbye 2017! Hello 2018!
Six years has passed already. The time has flown by with so much happening in between the posting of recipes, personal experiences (family and friends still making those uncomfortable, unfunny animal jokes), the glorious, ever changing art world, adventure traveling across the globe, eating out vegan, and other miscellaneous entertainments that my writing has come to on this blog.
I will always be grateful for the countless visits, comments, and shares. I wouldn’t have thought anyone cared, especially in the beginning when post views were so few. It was discouraging that one could open up a social media account at the same time as someone else and their numbers blow up considerably while the other barely peaks. Giving up is a lot easier than staying on the path. I got bitten by a friendly bug, often super excited over a new recipe that turned out better than hoped. Sure, my photography skills lacked and were likely the cause of little word-of-mouth buzz, but still, I was loving vegan creating in a way that my prior thirteen years of vegetarianism hadn’t revealed.
Today, I share a raw vegan recipe that sort of commemorates the road I have been venturing at home. In case you haven’t noticed, I use less oils more and more, relying on other fats. These simple cacao, cherry, and peanut butter oat bars have the oils of peanut butter helping to hold bars together as well as delicious sticky cacao and cherry mixture that acts as a sweet glue. They have an irresistibly, chewy peanut butter and jelly taste with a chocolaty edge.

Raw Cacao, Cherry, and Peanut Butter Oat Bars Ingredients and Preparation

2 cup dried cherries, soaked
3 tablespoon cacao powder
2 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup salted peanut butter (I used crunchy but creamy is okay)
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Soak cherries overnight. Drain a little of the water. Add in cacao powder and pulse cherries and cacao together until creating a thick, even mixture.

Vegan Mofo Post #18: Exceptional Side Dishes at El Vez

El Vez is a popular Mexican fusion restaurant located in the hopping happening part of Center City Philadelphia. There are plenty of vegan items to eat when your friends decide to eat at a non-vegan spot.  I was skeptical, a little hesitant. It’s not my usual haunt, but for the girls I would. After all, I’m sort of like the Lynn Searcy. In fact, I’m the Lynn Searcy in every group of my girlfriends (only the vegan, bohemian spirited, “strange” dresser aspect).

Although El Vez has a kale salad with creamy cashew ranch dressing, I was pleased by the side menu items, especially Plantains con Queso that I could order without the con Queso. They even let me have grilled corn straight off the cob sans the butter and queso. Together, with the amazing black beans and rice with generous slices of beautiful green avocado, the lovely presented meal was delicious. I would definitely go again for the plantains alone. They had an addictive crispy exterior with a soft, tender texture that made it a little hard to share with my meat taco loving friends.