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 intervening either. Often enough, I find that these subtly strong undercurrents bring a cluster of life events all to a head at once.
I don’t know how else to say it. I’m making a cookbook! I’ve been keeping it secret from you for so long. 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, and celebration.
Recipes that feel just as right to make for a 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. There will be tons of photos and anecdotes to encourage. It’s going to be published by Avery in the US and Penguin Books in Canada.
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.
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 I’m glad that we get to enjoy it together.
I made a simple enough, but sort of unusual treat to celebrate. A one-bowl chocolate cupcake 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! :)
Vegan Chocolate Passion Fruit Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups light spelt flour
- 1 cup coconut palm or cane sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup brewed coffee
- ½ cup filtered water
Coconut Frosting & Assembly
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
- pinch vanilla powder or splash of vanilla extract
- 3-4 ripe passion fruits
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 350°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.