LONDON: I have been to many parties this season and one thing I noticed is that there was always this round little something picked on a little stick. The cake pops were everywhere and according to the party and theme they were decorated and covered in gold dust or pink sugar frosting. One thing is sure: you just want them! And with this cake pop set by GU you can win this box today and make them yourself with everything you need.
Get creative and decorate them with everything sugary and sweet looking that you can find. Good luck!
Please send us your request to takepart[at]irmasworld.com and share your cake pops with IRMA by using #irmasworldlovessweets.
Let me introduce you to our new Guest editor, Larissa Brachvogel, who will occasionally cook for IRMA on irmasworld.com.
MUNICH: Having lived in England for three years where afternoon tea is a must, I have come to really appreciate this tradition. Enjoying a steaming hot cup of tea, preferably with a dash of milk and along with a crumbly biscuit is like taking a short time out from the busy everyday life and allowing oneself to cherish the little things.
Now, with Christmas being just around the corner and as we find ourselves in a rush between work and last-minute Christmas shopping, I have invited IRMA for tea. In England, a proper afternoon tea is accompanied by little cakes, pastries, scones and sandwiches. My take includes all of that, just a bit healthified and of course, vegan: think traditional scones with jam, lush hazelnut berry tartlets, whole wheat banana muffins that aren't too sweet and creamy avocado sliders... Let me show you what I have prepared.
RECIPES for a vegan high tea
Ingredients (makes about 8)
- 170g flour
- 5 tbsp cold vegan butter, like Alsan or Earth Balance
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 125 ml unsweetened almond milk
- a pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a tray with baking paper.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the butter and mix into the dry ingredients using the dough hook of your mixer until you have a crumbly texture.
4. Now add the milk and stir using a fork. You should be left with a soft dough, don’t worry if it’s a little sticky.
5. Using your hands, make 8 equal balls out of the dough and place onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with jam!
Ingredients (makes 6)
- 6 miniature bread buns
- 1 ripe avocado
- 6 thin tomato slices
- 12 thin cucumber slices
- a handful of arugula
- a handful of thinly sliced red onion
- a handful of shredded red cabbage
- a squeeze of lime
- salt & pepper
1. In a small bowl mash the avocado with a squeeze of lime and salt & pepper to taste.
2. Cut the bread buns ¾ of the way open and fill each one with a few leaves of arugula, a generous dollop of avocado mash, a slice of tomato, two slices of cucumber and a little bit of red cabbage and onion - voilá!
Banana walnut muffins
Ingredients (makes 6-7 little muffins)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 6 tbsp brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 2 tbsp melted vegan butter, like Alsan or Earth Balance
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- a handful of crushed walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and prepare some muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl mash the banana using a fork or small whisk. Add the sugar, baking soda and salt and whisk until combined.
3. Now stir in the melted butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
4. Divide the batter equally into the muffin liners and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes. Taste great warm or cold!
Hazelnut berry tartlets
Ingredients (makes 4 tartlets)
For the crust:
- 50g flour
- 40g whole wheat flour
- 60g cold vegan butter, like Alsan or Earth Balance
- 60g sugar
- 60g ground hazelnuts
- 15g finely chopped almonds
- ½ tbsp of ground chia or flax seeds
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- zest of half a lemon
- a pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 125ml of almond milk
- 10g of starch
- 1 tbsp of agave syrup
- vanilla extract
- lemon zest
- a pinch of salt
- 2 punnets of fresh berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350F and grease four little tartlet moulds. Mix ½ tbsp of ground chia seeds with 1 ½ tbsp of water in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, nuts, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt. Add the cold butter and the chia mixture and mix using the dough hook of your mixer. Then use your hands and kneed the mixture until you have a smooth dough.
3. Press equally into the moulds and don’t forget the sides. (you might not need all the dough!) Prick each tartlet with a fork a couple of times, cover with baking paper rounds and fill with dried legumes (e.g., chickpeas or beans). Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
4. Once the tartlets are out of the oven and cooling, prepare the pudding filling: Mix 1 ½ tbsp of almond milk with the starch and salt and set aside. In a small pan heat the rest of the almond milk on medium heat and add the agave syrup, a little bit of lemon zest to taste and a drop of vanilla extract. Once the milk is boiling, add the starch mixture and quickly stir with a whisk (it will thicken very quickly)
5. Top each tartlets with a bit of jam and pudding and all the berries you want! To finish, dust with some powdered sugar!
About Larissa Brachvogel
Larissa Brachvogel was born and raised in Munich. Her mother being a flight attendant raised Larissa’s passion for travelling at a very young age and she has since visited countless countries, both with family and friends and by herself. Her most recent travels include pilgrimages through Portugal and Spain, volunteering in Ethiopia for three months and as of next January, she will be continuing her studies in media & communications in Norway.
Food has always played a very important role for Larissa, she loves to eat healthily and to cook and bake herself. Her recipes are wholesome, nutritious and plant-based and are often inspired by her travels. Larissa shares her recipes, travel stories and life on her newly launched blog and on Instagram. Join her every now and then on IRMASWORLD.COM, where she cooks her latest recipes for IRMA.
MUNICH: Isn’t Christmas just the nicest time of the year to go food shopping? Everybody is busy and that is why you should extra carefully choose your shopping destination to enjoy buying your groceries. One of my most favorite destinations in the world is the traditional Dallmayr delicatessen store in the center of Munich. Just looking at the food stands makes you want to buy almost everything. The staff in their blue uniforms know what they are doing and always have the latest tips for making that special filet or which ham to best serve for breakfast. The house is filled with the delicious smell of freshly ground coffee beans and when you get your nicely wrapped package of foie gras or French cheeses handed over the counter, you feel like taking a treasure home with you.
I had a talk with Mrs. Sunny Randlkofer, Head of PR at Dallmayr Delicatessen, who took me on a tour around the food halls.
Which products are your must buys during the Christmas season?
There are a few and most of them are quickly served and do not require lots of cooking. For example our very own smoked salmon „Zar Alexander“ (Dallmayr Lachsmanufaktur); the Dallmayr Christkindlstollen; Elisenlebkuchen; our Dallmayr Adventskalender with a delicious daily piece of chocolate from our Dallmayr Pralinenmanufaktur; duck terrine; some small hors d’oeuvres like poulard medallions and crabmeat-stuffed tomatoes which just can be put on a nice plate and served for private cocktails with your friends.
A perfect afternoon at Dallmayr delicatessen could be like this……
Take a tour of the shop and discover delicacies from every corner of the globe. Over 70 chefs serve up specialties for our buffet which is made in-house and delivered to the 18 different counters. After your shopping tour, cherish the unique atmosphere at the Lukullus Bar. While others are still busy, you can enjoy rock oysters on ice, canapés with Beluga caviar or the Dallmayr plateau de fruits de mer and enjoy the festive season.
Which items would you suggest IRMA to put in her Christmas basket for her girlfriends to send away?
FOR THE GIRLS:
Gravad Lachs Bio (organic gravad lax)
Burgunderpunsch (Burgundy Punch)
Chocolate fondues, which come in three different kinds of chocolate
and the Ayurvedic tea quartet.
Champagne Dallmayr Rosé de Saignée Grand Cru Brut is always a great giveaway when you are invited to a Christmas party.
Are there any specials going on during December?
Everyone at Dallmayr is getting ready for the festive season and everything will be prepared for the holidays, the most craziest time of the year with everyone rumbling around, trying to get everything done in time. We do offer some very special Christmas delicatessen gifts, which have been chosen wisely and were lovingly composed for our customers. To get yourself something delicious or to treat others nicely.
What is the perfect indulgence in your opinion for Christmas night?
A very special bottle of wine or champagne. Smoked salmon, delicatessen salads, pies with homemade sauce. Keep it special but simple. You should’t spend too much time in the kitchen. You should better show off your culinary effort during the next days and spend some quality time this evening with your family.
…. and for breakfast on Christmas morning?
If you and your family like truffles, you can offer boiled eggs with shaved fresh truffles – very delicious!
Do you offer any particular services during the festive season?
We offer a special delivery service during Christmas for our clients in Munich: A roast goose with side dishes like potato dumplings and red cabbage ready to eat - “Gans to go”. Pssst! Definitely no need to tell your guests the truth about the source of it! They can still think that you’ve done it all by yourself, while you’ve secretly enjoyed some time off ;-)
Oh, thank you, Mrs Randlkofer. I think that is exactly what I will do this year.
If you are not in Munich, shop online at www.dallmayr-versand.de.
NIYAMA: I meet Ken Gundu, who is originally from Botswana, at Tribal, a very special restaurant at NIYAMA on a Maldivian Island in the Dhau Atoll. Ken is not only the Executive Chef of Tribal but also responsible for the entire concept of the restaurant.
When I ask him about the reason to create an African restaurant on a Maldivian island surrounded by the best quality fish, he explains that first of all the restaurant is not only African but rather a mix of African and south American flavours. And secondly, Africa is not only known for meaty dishes, but also for a great variety of vegetarian and seafood meals.
How did you come up with the idea for Tribal?
I was born in Botswana and I worked and travelled a lot in southern and Central America, which gave me a great insight in both cooking methods. I found even similarities between both continents and started to experiment and mix different ideas of cooking and ingredients used in both cultures.
In which way do both cuisines have similarities?
For example, both continents use a lot of cilantro but they use it differently. I started to adapt, experiment and change slightly different cooking methods but still use the same herbs and spices for some dishes, staying very authentic in the way we prepare them. This gives an interesting twist. Or I use turmeric and make a sorbet as a dessert out of it instead of using it as a spice for a meat dish.
The minute I enter TRIBAL, I feel like entering a safari camp in Tanzania.
Yes, I wanted to create a very unique, specific space on this island, which allows our guest to have a different scenery the moment they enter this place. The music is a mix of African and South American, and most of the staff is African but we also have a lot of Sri Lankans and Maldivians working in the kitchen, which helps us find spices which are called differently over here, but are similar in taste. The decor is like a huge tent, the colours are warm and sandy and the entire atmosphere puts you on a journey.
What will await us tonight, how can I imagine and taste a typical African-infused Latin American dinner?
We keep the food as authentic as possible, we keep it plain. I will make you some fresh tortillas, made from yellow and blue corn, which is accompanied by an avocado and spicy tomato dip. Afterwards I will make some yam beans, which are almost like edamame which we sauté in butter, with dried chilly, lime and garlic.
For a starter I have marinated some fresh prawn ceviche with lobster from the sea in Yukama, a sweet tumin. It comes with Chinese potatoes and a sour mango salad. Because I marinate the prawns and the lobster for some time the flavour of lime, chilly, salt & pepper enters the seafood and makes it nice and tender, so the marinating is almost like the cooking. It is like seafood in a Bloody Mary. This dish is very signature style in southern America.
As a main course I make a nice Wagyu beef and I top it with prawns, we cook it in butter and cumin.Or a fish, which is prepared with Acai and we cook it in a banana leaf, which is a very traditional cooking method.
What is your trick of the trade?
I only use the best ingredients and experiment with different cooking methods. The cooking methods have to be authentic, for example a Tamalis has to be cooked in a banana leaf, so we cook traditional but always go on experimenting. I use only the best olive oils and fleur de sel and we have our own vegetable and spice garden.
Cooking is like a creative process, you have to develop it and be experimental but at the same time know your trade, then you can try things out
So you came a long way if one takes into consideration that every chef’s career start with learning French cuisine?
Yes, that is how you start and then each chef has to take it from there and hopefully develops it further.
Thank you, Ken.
HUVAFEN FUSHI: I always ask myself when is a good time to do a detox ? I found the answer when I arrived at Huvafen Fushi, which to me is a perfect place to start with a little routine change. I will be doing a two-day detox (already better than just one day) with some little help from the island. After my morning yoga I enjoy a special detoxifying body wrap massage with a detoxifying mask and lots of herbal detox tea afterwards. From the island I get the best virgin coconut oil which is used to hydrate my skin and hair and also internally especially at RAW restaurant which just uses raw ingredients. I had a quick talk with the chef Sean Derrick and he explained to me why raw food is the perfect helper if you want your body to get rid of toxins.
JK: How do you prepare raw dishes which are tasty and easy to digest while doing a detox cure?
SD: We use 100% raw and organic ingredients, like raw grains, organic herbs, in-house cured and pickled foods that are low in salt, unpasteurised and we never use refined sugar or fat. All ingredients are marinated, dehydrated and placed so the meat, fish or vegetable is full of flavour but still contains all the minerals and vitamins which you loose when you cook or fry food.
JK: How do you get the different flavours of Asian cuisine?
SD: For example we place raw meat in salt and horseradish. The salt opens the pores of the meat and the flavour of horseradish can get inside to make the meat tasteful.
JK: While you detox you have to abstain from meat and fish. Which dishes do you recommend instead?
SD: We have lots of vegetable dishes, also in the Italian flavours, like vegetable lasagne or gluten free pizzas, or we can make the Cambodian style raw vegetable curry which is made with raw cauliflower couscous and curry leaf sambal. For this dish you have to put all the ingredients together and let them marinate for a couple of hours so you get the texture of a curry.
JK: Which are your little helpers when cooking raw?
SD: We make our own nut mousses which are rich in flavour and high in minerals and vitamins. They give a smoothness to the dish which you would normally obtain with butter or cream but they have a much higher nutritional value.
JK: How about virgin coconut water and fresh coconut meat which you can get on the island?
SD: Coconut water is very detoxifying, it can even heal illnesses like hypohyrodism, digestive problems and wounds and sores. You can use it for cooking and in our case we use it instead of butter or in our smoothies, which makes them very healthy and regenerating.
JK: Your ingredients sound very exotic, they must come from all over the world.
SD: Yes, we just got baby spinach from Australia this morning, which is so high in chlorophyll that when we blend it for example in a smoothie we get a very bright green colour. We have Shimegi mushrooms, local pine nuts, Asian betel leaves and of course always a great selection of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables from all over the world.
JK: Which ingredients should I stock up on when returning home to continue my healthy routine when eating raw?
SD: You should always have at home sprouting seeds, grains, homemade nut milks, soy, almonds, beans and pulses, uncooked oils, miso sauce and tahini.
JK: Many thanks, Sean.