Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vegan Baking

In Holland it is traditional to celebrate your birthday by treating others to cake, tart, borrel, or dinner. For example, on your birthday you bring in something like vlaai, appeltaart, or cake (usually purchased from the baker) for your co-workers. I always bring in homemade cake, quickbread, and/or cheesecake.

One of my colleagues is vegan, and doesn't  normally get to enjoy the treats people bring in, so I went hunting for some recipes that would work for him too. I started with the basics—banana bread and chocolate cake.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dulce de Membrillo

I've seen them in the Turkish grocers and wondered what they were, and only recently discovered that they are quinces (kweeperen in Dutch). A South African colleague said he used to eat them sliced with a bit of salt, and apparently the Chinese and Turks also eat them this way. The Spanish and Portuguese, however, make them into dulce de membrillo. This is a firm, jelly-like paste that is traditionally sliced and served with a good cheese, such as the Spanish sheeps cheese manchego. The sweet and salt combination really works for me!

I recently acquired a new cookbook called Comfort Food by Janneke Vreugdenhil, which despite its name, is in Dutch. This recipe comes from her, but I've also seen recipes that call for some lemon juice and/or rind, a vanilla bean, and lots more sugar.  Although I like the idea of the lemon rind, I can't imagine using more sugar. This is plenty sweet enough.

Apparently membrillo is supposed to be a very rosy pink or red color. For whatever reason, my mebrillo turned out to be a caramel colour. It tastes fine, but I'm sorry it didn't turn pink. I wonder if it has to do with the variety of quince.