1. preheat your oven to 355 F (180 C). add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
2. line an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper (you may need separate pieces for the bottom and for the sides), then grease the parchment paper with margarine.
3. mix wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. add into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. immediately bake for 40-45 minutes on the bottom rack of your oven, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
for the syrup:
1. combine orange juice, honey or agave nectar, and powdered sugar in a small pot. reduce over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about five minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
2. remove from heat and stir in orange blossom water.
1. allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan and plating.
2. using a toothpick or something similar, prick holes all over the surface of the cake (making sure to penetrate all the way to the bottom). pour the syrup evenly over the surface of the cake and allow it to soak in for at least an hour.
this cake is commonly eaten with tea for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
2 cups + 2 tbsp (250g) all-purpose flour, measured by spooning flour into a measuring cup until heaping and levelling it off
¾ cup + 2 tbsp (200g) vegan margarine
1 tsp salt
around ½ cup (125mL) water
for the crème pâtissière:
1 cup (235mL) soy milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp vegan margarine
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
for the royal icing:
½ cup (60g) powdered sugar
¼ tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
a few tbsp water
¼ tsp vanilla extract
about ¼ cup (60g) vegan semisweet dark chocolate
pâté feuilletée (aka puff pastry) is made by interposing layers of butter in between layers of lean dough (made with flour, salt, and water) so that the dough flakes and puffs up as the butter boils in the oven. you’ll need to surround a layer of margarine with lean dough and fold it up, roll it out and re-fold it six times, refrigerating in between to keep the margarine cold. each time that you do this is called a “turn.”
1. cut margarine into large cubes. arrange the cubes into a square on top of a sheet of plastic wrap, then fold the plastic wrap back over the top. flatten the cubes into a solid square about 1/2″ thick by beating the wrapped margarine with a rolling pin. refrigerate.
2. next you’ll be making the lean dough. measure the flour into a large bowl or directly onto a work surface. form a hole in the center of the flour, then add salt and 1 tbsp of water into the hole. mix the salt and water into the flour with fluffing motions of your hand. add water little by little, continuing to fluff the flour with your hand (this will prevent overworking–you don’t want too much gluten to form in the dough) until large chunks form and the dough sticks together when pressed. form the lean dough into a square (it’s alright if it’s a bit messy) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. roll out the lean dough into a square about 7″ (18cm) in diameter. place the square of margarine on top of the lean dough at a 45-degree angle. fold the corners of the lean dough over to meet over the top of the margarine and pinch to join.
4. turn the square over seam-side-down onto a lightly floured working surface. roll it out into a rectangle about twice as long as it is wide, and fold into thirds lengthwise like a letter.
5. rotate the folded rectangle 90 degrees, then roll it out and fold it up again just as you did before. at this point you’ve completed the first two turns. make two marks in your dough with your fingers to remind yourself of where you are in the process. refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
6. roll out and fold the dough twice more as you did before, rotating it 90 degrees between each turn, and marking four turns with your fingers before returning the dough to the refrigerator. you can pat some flour into any spots where you see the margarine start to break through. if this is happening a lot, you may need to refrigerate the dough every turn instead of every two turns.
7. complete the final two turns and chill the dough for at least an hour, or overnight.
8. on a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick. cut the pastry into thirds widthwise (so that you’re cutting perpendicular to the longest side). place on a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. pierce each piece of dough all over with the tines of a fork. set in the fridge while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 C).
9. cover the dough with another sheet of parchment paper, then weight it down with pie weights or another baking sheet to prevent it from puffing up too much as it bakes.
10. bake for about 25 minutes, until deeply golden brown. remove the parchment paper and weights for the last few minutes if necessary to add color. allow to cool completely.
for the crème pâtissière:
1. in a small bowl, mix about ¼ cup of the soy milk with all other ingredients except margarine.
2. heat the rest of the milk in a small pot on medium until it starts to simmer, then reduce heat to low.
3. add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering milk. heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. continue whisking over low heat for a few minutes until the cream thickens.
4. remove from heat and whisk in the butter. refrigerate to set.
for the royal icing:
1. whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and xanthan gum in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. slowly add water, while beating with an electric mixer on low speed, until the desired consistency is attained. it should be thick enough to form soft peaks when the beaters are pulled straight up out of the bowl.
3. add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
for the chocolate drizzle:
1. melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or create a double boiler by boiling a few inches of water in a small pot and placing the chocolate in a glass mixing bowl that fits into the pot without touching the water, stirring constantly). add a few teaspoons of soy milk if the chocolate seems too thick. transfer to a pastry bag, or a plastic sandwich bag with a very small hole cut into one corner.
1. spread half the pastry cream over one piece of the puff pastry. top with the next layer of pastry, pressing down gently to adhere. spread the rest of the pastry cream over the second layer of pastry and top with the third piece, again pressing down to adhere.
2. evenly coat the top of the pastry with the royal icing. immediately drizzle the chocolate across the top of the icing in a series of parallel lines. pull the tip of a knife perpendicularly across the lines of chocolate, alternating direction with every line, to create a chevron pattern.
3. using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the assembled pastry so that they are clean and even. refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. cut into individually-sized portions and serve.
vegan “beef” pastilla (Moroccan sweet and savoury pie with almonds)
recipe under the cut!
for the warqa dough:
1 ¾ cup bread flour
¼ cup semolina flour / durum flour (or substitute all-purpose flour)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ¾ cup water
for the savoury filling:
2 bags of gardein beefless tips
1 white onion, chopped
about ¼ cup olive oil
2 ½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 cinnamon stick, or 2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
3 Follow Your Heart VeganEggs (optional)
for the almond filling:
1 ½ cup almonds
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp orange blossom water
to form the pastilla:
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted
for the topping:
for the warqa:
1. add flours and salt to a food processor and pulse a few times to sift.
2. add the wet ingredients and process on low for 1-2 minutes, until you get a smooth batter.
3. refrigerate the batter for at least two hours, or overnight.
4. bring a few inches of water to a fast boil in a large pot, and place a large, nonstick pan over the pot, tying it with kitchen string if necessary–this will help to evenly distribute heat and prevent the warqa from drying out. allow the pan to heat for a few minutes.
5. using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of batter onto the pan in large, circular strokes, filling the entire pan. carefully apply a second layer to any bare spots (but don’t worry about small holes or feathery edges).
6. cook until the warqa becomes opaque and the edges start to curl, about 2 minutes. loosen the edges of the dough with a spatula and peel the dough off of the pan using your hands.
7. flip the dough over onto a plate covered with a paper towel, and lay another paper towel on top of it. repeat, stacking the sheets of dough on top of each other, until you’ve used all of the batter.
for the savoury filling:
1. defrost the frozen beefless tips by placing the bags in a larger bowl filled with hot water.
2. mix the oil and spices in a large bowl and coat the beefless tips with the mixture. refrigerate for 1-2 hours to marinate.
3. cut beefless tips in half or thirds, as desired.
4. heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until water splashed in the pan sizzles. add chopped onion and cook for about 30 seconds to flavour the oil.
5. add beefless tips and marinade and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until almost done (don’t overcook them or they’ll become tough!). set aside.
6. prepare and scramble three VeganEggs according to package directions (optional).
for the almond filling:
1. blanch the almonds by boiling them in water for about a minute, emptying them into a colander and rinsing with cool water, and gently pinching the skins to remove them.
2. fill a large pan with 1-2 cm of vegetable oil and heat until sizzling. fry the almonds for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. set aside some almonds for a topping, if desired.
3. pulse almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and orange blossom water a few times in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs.
forming the pastilla:
1. place one sheet of warqa in the bottom of a pie pan and brush with melted margarine. place 4-5 more sheets around the pan so that they cover all of the sides and hang over the edge, brushing each one with more melted margarine. add 2 more sheets of warqa in the middle, brushing each with margarine.
2. place the savoury filling in the pie, making sure that it’s even and spread all the way to the edges.
3. (optional): add another sheet or two of warqa on top of the savoury filling and brush with margarine.
4. spread the almond filling over the warqa, making sure that it’s even and spread all the way to the edges.
5. add another 2-3 sheets of warqa, brushing each with margarine, and fold the excess inwards.
6. fold the excess warqa around the sides of the pan inwards, brushing each sheet with more melted margarine.
7. cover the pastilla with 1-2 more sheets of warqa, tucking the excess into the sides of the pie pan. brush the entire thing with more margarine to seal.
8. bake on the center rack of an oven at 400F for about 40 minutes, until warqa is golden brown and crisp. allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
1. cover the surface of the finished pastilla with powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, and fried almonds as desired. try doing an image search for “Moroccan pastilla” or “pastilla marocaine” for decoration ideas.
cut carefully and serve! pastilla is often eaten with harissa, a North African hot sauce made with red peppers.
1. prepare the vegetables: quarter or slice the tomatoes; peel and cut the potatoes into (very) large cubes; peel carrots and cut in half lengthwise (from the greens end to the tip) and crosswise; break the cauliflower into large florets.
2. place chopped onion, garlic, and saffron in the bottom of a large clay cooking tajine (you can also use a Dutch oven, a slow cooker, or a thick pot with a diffuser).
3. arrange the vegetables that take the longest to cook on the bottom of the tajine and the ones that cook the fastest towards the top. in this case, the potatoes are added first, then the carrots, then the cauliflower, then the olives. I prefer to quarter the tomatoes and put them in the centre underneath the other vegetables, but you can also slice them and lay them on top.
4. add parsley and cilantro over top of the vegetables, then sprinkle the spices evenly over the tajine. drizzle ¼ cup of olive oil and 1 cup of water over the spices and vegetables.
5. cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, occasionally pouring liquid from the bottom of the tajine back over the top of the vegetables, until vegetables are tender and cooked all the way through.
hssoua belboula (Moroccan barley and milk soup, optionally vegan)
recipe under the cut!
1 cup (200g) barley grits, or pearl barley ground into a coarse meal in a spice / coffee grinder
5 ¾ cups (135cl) water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 cups (50cl) whole milk (or soy milk plus 2 tbsp vegan margarine–to mimic the higher fat content of whole milk)
2 tbsp butter or vegan margarine
2/3 cup (16cl) evaporated milk (or 1 1/3 cup soy milk simmered over a low flame until it is halved in volume–don’t allow it to reach a rolling boil). [this should not be confused with sweetened condensed milk! you can also make evaporated milk by simmering dairy milk until its volume is about halved.]
1. pick through the barley grits to remove debris. wash several times in a large bowl until the water comes away clear.
2. combine barley, water, olive oil, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a medium-sized pot. bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the barley grits are tender (this time may differ depending on how fine or coarse your grits are).
3. stir in the whole milk (or soy milk and margarine) and continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes.
4. remove from heat and stir in the butter (or margarine) and evaporated milk. taste and adjust spices.
* you can adjust the thickness of this soup by increasing or decreasing the amount of milk and water added, or by using finer or coarser barley grits. you can also make this soup without evaporated milk–just replace half the water with milk.
hssoua is made with barley or semolina and is a common breakfast food during Ramadan. it is eaten with additional cumin and/or olive oil, or sweetened with sugar or honey.
6 cups eggplant (two medium or one large), cut into large cubes
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
6 tbsp coconut cream solids (from a can of coconut milk or coconut cream left to separate overnight in the fridge)
about an inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
green onions to garnish
1. prepare rice according to package directions, making sure to rinse it several times with cool water to remove excess starch. for best results, soak the rice in cool water for about half an hour after rinsing and before cooking. after cooking, set the rice aside in the refrigerator.
slice open the package of tofu on one side and drain out as much water as you can. press the tofu: place a dish towel or folded paper towels on a hard surface, then place the block of tofu on top of those, then add another layer of towels, and then weight it all down with something (about the weight of a can of soup). leave for about 30 minutes to remove moisture.
3. cut the tofu into even cubes of your preferred size. lay the cubes on a plate in a single layer and freeze for a few hours, until they darken and harden. toss the frozen tofu into boiling water and boil for at least 15-20 minutes, agitating occasionally.
4. meanwhlie, spread the cubed eggplant in a single layer over the bottom of a large dish, or a cutting board, laid with paper towels. coat evenly with 2 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp salt. cover with more paper towels and weight evenly (with a few cans of soup on top of a smaller cutting board, for example) to remove water. leave for about an hour.
5. remove cubes of tofu from boil and drain. pat them dry with a towel to get as much moisture out as possible. sprinkle 2 tbsp of cornstarch over them and coat evenly. heat coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat and then add tofu. turn the cubes to a new side to cook every couple of minutes, until all sides are golden brown (this is tedious but I find that chopsticks help). set aside.
6. heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large pan, or a wok (if you have a gas stove and a wok ring) until it’s spluttering. add ginger and cook for about thirty seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
7. add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown. set aside, keeping the oil.
8. add the solids from a separated can of coconut milk or cream (this should work out to around 6 tbsp) and raise heat to high. bring to a boil.
9. add rice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, salt, white pepper, and more curry powder as desired. fry, adding more coconut oil as necessary, for 2-3 minutes.
10. add eggplant and tofu and continue to fry for another minute or two.