I finally bought a sofa. In case you are wondering, yes, I have been in Brussels for over a month now and have been without a sofa the entire time. That current state of affairs will likely continue until the end of June as that is approximately when my sofa will be delivered. But I don’t care. It took me forever to pick a sofa (I am the most indecisive person when it comes to decisions with a hefty price tag attached), but I am super happy with my choice. After weeks of looking at sofas in furniture stores, browsing pinterest for inspiration and googling sofa beds for hours after work I finally managed to pick one. I test sat it in store once more on Saturday and had another look at the colours on offer before finally buying it. I chose a beautiful three seater sofa in a salt & pepper coloured wool covering and that just happens to also be a sofa bed (without any of the normal sofa bed uglies).
I picked up a few more bits and pieces to decorate the new flat, finally hung up a photo I had been meaning to hang and even went and joined a new gym. There was also some writing and recipe testing and a big pot of this oatmeal which you should definitely make as well – it is as luxurious and creamy as Molly says it is. A productive weekend all around.
After handing in the article for Chickpea Magazine on vegan meringue late last year I stopped playing with flax seed gel completely until very recently. Although flax seed gel is a great replacement for egg whites in a number of recipes it does not work everywhere and as exciting as it is to play around with a new ingredient it is also pretty frustrating when things don’t work at all. Also, every batch of flax seed gel leaves me with a large pile of flax seeds to use up and there is only so much seeded bread or seeded porridge one person can go through before getting bored.
My first forays into desserts made with flax seed gel (maybe I should say flaxwhite?) happened around the same time I was experimenting a lot with financiers. But it took me until now to try and bake with flax seed gel and to see whether it could be used for a vegan financier recipe. I had a hunch it might just work as financiers typically do not rise much in the oven and the egg white’s roll in financiers is as much about holding the different ingredients together as lending the small cakes some moisture, something I knew flax seed gel was able to do well from other vegan baking experiments.
My hunch was right – these financiers are as rich and nutty as their non-vegan counterparts. And assuming you already have some flax seed gel to hand, they come together as quickly and easily as my regular financier recipe as the flax seed gel replaces the egg whites one for one in terms of weight.
Coconut and mixed berry financiers (vegan)
Note: While this recipe is vegan, if you would like to bake regular financiers, just swap the flax gel for 3 egg whites and replace the coconut oil and water with 90g melted butter. If you don’t care for the flavour of coconut, you can use refined coconut oil which is neutral in flavour and replace the desiccated coconut with a nut flour of your choice (pistachio would be lovely with the berries I think – just omit the nutmeg).
90g flax seed gel*
75g coconut oil
1 tbsp water
90g wholemeal spelt flour
20g desiccated coconut
75g muscovado sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of nutmeg
125g mixed berries
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. In a bowl whisk the flax gel until frothy and just starting to turn opaque (2-3 minutes if using an electric whisk). In a small pan melt the coconut oil. Pour the coconut oil and water over the whipped flax gel. Add the dry ingredients followed by the berries and stir to combine.
3. Divide the batter between ten paper cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cakes are firm to the touch and just starting to colour.
*For the flax seed gel: bring 50g flax seeds in 450ml water to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about a third and is gloopy and somewhat stringy – once strained you should have roughly 100ml of flax seed gel which should look almost identical to raw egg white (it might be a little foamy and/or appear slightly yellow/light brown). The gel will keep for 1 week in the fridge.