I am posting two recipes today. Both recipes are suitable for an Aussie Christmas lunch (or dinner). The Cherry Cake is suitable any time of year!
Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad takes advantage of the Summertime abundance of delectable mangoes. Macadamia nuts, fresh herbs and spices also feature in this easy recipe. This salad is adapted from a vegetarian Weight Watchers recipe book that belonged to my mother-in-law, Maureen, many moons ago.
I also present Cherry Cake – a decadent, moreish treat that is my ‘go to’ cake for special events. I have found it to be popular with non-vegans too. The original source of the recipe is unknown, unfortunately. A non-vegan version of this recipe was passed on to my mum by a friend who had copied it out of a magazine. My mum veganized it, and I made further small amendments.
Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad
Quantity: Serves 6 people as a side dish
(For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free cous cous).
You will need:
1 1/2 cups wholewheat cous cous (I use Macro brand)
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 small mangoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
50g raisins or sultanas
75g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped (I use garlic chives)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 -1 /2 cup extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1. Prepare the cous cous first. Prepare as per instructions on the pack, or use the following simple method that aims to avoid added oil.
Boil water in a kettle. Pour cous cous grains into a saucepan, then add the boiled water. Stir the grains briefly. Cover the saucepan. Do not place the saucepan on a hot plate. After 5 minutes, remove the saucepan lid and use a fork to separate the grains.
The grains should appear fluffy and light, like this:
2. Transfer the cous cous to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Place a fry pan on a medium heat, add approximately two tablespoons of water, and heat. If you prefer to cook with oil, use that instead of water.
4. Add the spices and stir until fragrant, then add the onions and cook until soft, stirring occasionally to ensure the onions are coated with the spices. Add the garlic, stir.
5. Add macadamia nuts and raisins, mix well, then turn off the heat.
6. Add the onion mixture to the cooked cous cous. If using olive oil, pour it in now. Mix well.
7. Add the mango and herbs. Stir gently. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and decorate with parsley sprigs and blades of chives.
Quantity – 12 slices
Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F
You will need:
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/4 tsp salt
175g vegan margarine, melted
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp soy or almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
400g can/jar of Black cherries OR Morello cherries, drained and cut in half
1/4 tsp lemon juice
For the topping:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vegan margarine, melted
Grease and line a spring form cake tin.
For the filling: Although I always buy pitted cherries, I cut each cherry in half to ensure that no pits are present. Invariably, I find one or two. In a small mixing bowl, add cherries and lemon juice. Stir, then set aside:
For the topping: In a small mixing bowl, add flour and brown sugar, mix well. Pour melted vegan margarine over the mixture, and use a fork to combine the ingredients until they form coarse breadcrumbs:
For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, raw sugar and salt. Add melted vegan margarine, soy milk and vanilla. Stir only until ingredients are incorported. Do not over stir.
To assemble the cake:
Pour mixture into the cake tin:
Sprinkle half of the topping over the cake:
Add half the topping
Next, spread the cherries across the surface of the cake:
Add the cherries
Then, sprinkle the remaining topping over the cherries:
Ready for the oven!
Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes. I always check this cake at the 25 minute mark (I have a temperamental oven). If the top already looks very golden, I cover the cake tin with foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
Allow the cake to cool on the bench for 10-20 minutes before removing the sides of the cake tin. Carefully remove the bottom section of the cake tin, and transfer the cake to a rack to cool entirely. Or, indulge while it is still warm.
Cherry cake is delightful on its own, or you can serve it with vanilla soy ice cream or non-dairy cream.
Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or two!) that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.