I believe in letting things line up as they will with minimal force or interference. Organic growth. I don’t like to push anything too much and sometimes this tendency accelerates the pace of life more than expected, and sometimes it forces certain elements to lie still. Never too eager to push things forward persistently, but not laid back enough to watch any shred of a plan go to pieces without bother either. Often enough, I find that these subtly strong undercurrents bring a cluster of life events all to a head at once. I’d say the last year or so has felt this way–always on the edge of many movements coming into fruition. I turn thirty today and while I’m excited to start a new decade, a new year, a new age of possibilities, I have something even bigger (and scarier and crazier) to share with you today.
I’m making a cookbook, friends. I’ve been keeping it secret from you for so long, I can barely stand it. I almost slipped a handful of times too. Over a hundred new recipes to suit any season, time of day, or movement in life. All vegan of course with simple, natural ingredients. My aim was to offer a physical companion to this site that would carry on those familiar themes of nourishment, seasonality, celebration, effortlessness and grace. Recipes that feel just as right to make for a slapdash Tuesday night with your partner as they do for a proper holiday feast with the neighbours and friends. Things to make that are simple enough, but elegant and feel-good at the same time. Honest food that opens to possibilities and comforts when needed. There will be tons of photos to inspire and anecdotes to encourage, I can promise you that. It’s going to be published by Avery in the US and Penguin Books in Canada. My heart’s full at the prospect of forming a possible future companion to your kitchen adventures.
So now that I’ve got that out in the open, I can tell you that I’m beginning the work of testing the recipes and ideas to make sure everything lines up with tasty/beautiful results. My goal is to be photographing this thing all summer so that the pages are full of dreamy, golden light. My posts here might be a touch more infrequent in the next year or so, and I hope you don’t mind. I really want to give this project everything I’ve got, so some little stretches of quiet will have to do. Sooner or later I’ll be calling for recipe testers and the like, but I’ll be keeping you all posted here when that time comes.
I have to thank you all from the bottom of my smush-y, hippie heart for making this far-away vision a very real project. Publishing a personal collection of stories from my kitchen only entered the realm of possibility because of your kind attention over the years. I’m overcome with a constant and gentle appreciation for this chance at a fulfilling career that feels just right for this moment in my life. Like a warm lightbulb glow that touches everything and never goes away. The timing is right, and it feels like this instant has been around the corner for some time. I’m glad we get to enjoy it together.
I made a simple enough, but sort of unusual treat to celebrate. A one-bowl chocolate cupcake born out of pantry stuffs with an airy coconut whip frosting and some tangy and tart dollops of fragrant passionfruit for a little interest. I love chocolate and passionfruit together. I think it’s the stuff of winter dessert dreams–fresh and rich at the same time. It evokes that whole unlikely-but-delicious chocolate and lemon combo. There’s a lot of flavour and texture contrast with this one and I think that’s why it’s such an appealing combo for me.
To birthdays, cakes, books, projects, life! Big hugs :)
vegan chocolate passionfruit cupcakes
cake recipe barely adapted from Not Without Salt
print the recipe here!
serves: makes 12 cupcakes
notes: Most grocery stores are cool enough that you can test the setting properties of coconut milk for the icing right in the aisle (at least I find this to be true in my part of the world). Give the can a shake and if you feel liquid sloshing around, move on to the next one. It might look silly, but it’s worth the time.
1 1/2 cups light/refined spelt flour (or light whole wheat flour works too)
1 cup coconut palm sugar, natural cane sugar or maple sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup filtered water
icing etc. ingredients:
2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
2-3 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of vanilla powder
3-4 ripe passionfruit
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper cups and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the light spelt flour, coconut palm sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, coffee, and water. As quickly as you can, stir the batter with a spatula until smooth and fully combined. Quickly divide batter evenly among paper cups in the muffin pan. (you want to act fast because the vinegar and acidic components start working together as soon as they’re combined.
Slide the tray into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until cakes spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake emerges clean. Cool cupcakes completely.
Open the cans of coconut milk and scoop out the top layer of solid cream, leaving the residual water in the can for another use. Place coconut cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. To the bowl, add the maple syrup and vanilla powder. Whisk on high until you have an airy and smooth cream.
Divide coconut cream icing among the 12 cooled cupcakes, smoothing it out and leaving little pockets at the top for the passionfruit.
Cut passionfruits in half and scoop out about one teaspoon of pulp per cupcake. Serve immediately.