Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kliene Apfelkuchen - Vegan, Wheat Free

A slightly sweet cake with a spiced sugar and apple topping. Both the conventional and wheat free varieties are easy as all get out to prepare. Consider subbing in pears for the apple, or chopping either fruit to a small dice and folding the pieces directly into the batter, as I've done for the GF cupcakes.

gluten free vegan apfelkuchen

Kliene Apfelkuchen
makes one 10" cake or a dozen cupcakes

for the cake
1 C AP flour
.5C white whole wheat flour
1.25 C oat flour
.25 C brown rice flour
1 T potato starch

2 t baking powder
.5 C non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
.5 C sugar
1/8t apple cider vinegar
.5 C non-dairy milk, measured over the vinegar
.5 C unsweetened applesauce

for the topping
2 medium baking apples (rome, cortland, empire, etc)
1 T lemon juice
.25 C light or dark brown sugar
.25 t coriander
.25 t cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350ºF for the wheat version, 325ºF for the wheat free. Oil pan(s) or line with paper cups.

Slice the apples to about 1/8" thickness and place in a microwave-safe bowl with lemon juice and water, turning to coat the pieces. Nuke on high 45-60 seconds. Remove from microwave and set aside. If making cupcakes, it is desireable at this point to chop the apple more finely to better fit the smaller cake.

Combine remaining topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream together the margarine and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Incorporate the milk and applesauce at low speed. Scrape the bowl down before sifting in the flours and baking powder. Mix at low speed just until combined.

Portion the batter into prepared pan or baking cups. Arrange apple slices on top of cake in concentric circles and spread topping evenly over the fruit. For the cupcakes, divide the apple pieces between cupcakes and top each with a tablespoon of topping. Alternatively, fold the diced small pieces into the batter, portion as above and top with brown sugar only.

Bake 30-40 minutes for the cake, 15-25 for the cupcakes. The kuchen are ready when the internal temperature exceeds 190ºF and/or a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans 10-15 minutes before unmolding. Let cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

vegan apfelkuchen

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cinnamon Buns & Banana-Walnut Cinnamon Buns - Vegan

Not-too sweet rolls with a cinnamon-rich brown sugar filling and a four-ingredient frosting - best breakfast around. Even more delicious is the Banana Walnut Filling, way down there at the bottom of the post.

cinnamon buns

Cinnamon Buns
makes an 8-inch round of 9 rolls

The recipe may seem complicated on first review, but you’ll find that the process itself is not highly demanding. Making the rolls the day or night before you intend to eat them (see the “overnight rolls” note) makes everything even easier.

the dough
1 C WWW flour
2 T sugar
1 t yeast
.5 C water, 110ºF

1.5 C AP flour
1 t salt
2 T canola oil
3 T water

water and AP flour as needed

the filling
2 T non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
4 T sugar
1 t molasses
.5 t brown rice syrup
pinch salt
2 t ground cinnamon

the topping
2 T non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
1 T non-dairy milk
.5 t vanilla extract
1-2 C confectioner’s sugar

the method
Combine .5 C water and the WWW flour with the yeast and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and let stand, covered, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Fit bowl into mixer and attach dough hook. Add remaining ingredients and mix on medium-low until combined, incorporating more water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed to create soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a springy, slightly tacky dough forms, about 10-15 minutes, adding more flour to the dough and surface as needed. Form dough into a round and turn to coat lightly in flour. Place the round on a clean plate or sheet pan and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

Meanwhile, oil an 8-inch round cake pan. Also, prepare the filling. Combine all of the filling ingredients except for the margarine in a small bowl. Use a fork or spoon to work the mixture into a uniform, slightly pasty, brown sugar. Set aside.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press evenly with knuckles to disrupt and evenly distribute air pockets. Use a rolling pin to form the dough into a rough rectangle of about 8”x16”, with the long side parallel to your body. Brush the melted margarine over the rectangle, leaving a .75” border on the long side farthest from you. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the margarine and pat down lightly. Roll the dough tightly away from you so that the edge without the margarine forms the outer seam of the roll; press this seam to seal. Cut the roll into thirds, and each third into thirds, forming a total of 9 pieces. Fit the buns into the prepared pan and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap.

Let rise 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls 30-50 minutes, until the internal temperature of the rolls reaches 180ºF and the tops of the rolls are golden brown*. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting. Use a fork to whisk together the margarine, milk and vanilla. Add as much confectioner’s sugar as is needed to form the correct consistency; a thicker frosting will sit higher on the top of the roll, which a thinner icing will seep into all the nooks and crannies.

Turn the round out onto a wire rack and then transfer, right side up, to a plate for serving. Pour or spread the frosting over the warm rolls and serve immediately.

Unfrosted rolls will keep a day or two, but frosted rolls will be a bit off after a couple of hours.

*depending on the thickness of the dough and the type of filling used, it may be necessary to cover the rolls with foil while they are baking to ensure they are cooked through without burning them. If the rolls seem to be browning too quickly, cover tightly with a sheet of foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking. Remove the foil in the last minute to avoid sogginess.

banana walnut rolls

Banana-Walnut Rolls
Throw some toasted chopped walnuts on the frosted rolls for style and crunch.

the filling
2 T non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
4 T sugar
1 t maple syrup
.5 t brown rice syrup
pinch salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1 banana, thinly sliced
.5 C walnuts, lightly toasted

Combine the sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, salt and cinnamon to form a pasty brown sugar. Spread three quarters of this mixture over the dough after you’ve spread the margarine as directed in the recipe. Evenly distribute the banana slices and walnuts over the covered dough before sprinkling the remaining sugar mixture over top. Proceed with the recipe.

With this filling in particular, it may be necessary to cover the rolls with foil during the final 10-15 mintues of baking to prevent burning. The overall baking time may also increase by up to 10 minutes. Be careful when taking the temperature of the dough not to hit the filling, as the banana may appear to be uncooked dough.

overnight rolls
After fitting the rolls to the pan and covering, place the pan in the refrigerator overnight, up to 24 hours. Remove the pan from the refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking time. Proceed with baking instructions.