“Once a month we have “Cake-day” at the QLD Symphony Orchestra. It’s an opportunity for us all to gather for morning tea and try a lavish selection of baked delicacies by our industrious members. I’ve taken on the role to provide cakes for the vegan members of the orchestra, so I’m always looking for new recipes that taste just as good as their non-vegan versions. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the recipe up to the standard I want but some are so delicious on the first attempt that I don’t need to change anything. For this recipe I found a basic vegan cupcake recipe and changed it into this zingy little number with the addition of carrots, currents and walnuts. Enjoy!”
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup soy or almond milk
Juice and rind from 2 lemons
1 carrot, grated
1 cup currents
3 cups self raising flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the glaze
1 cup icing sugar
Juice and rind from 1 lemon
Place coconut oil, soy or almond milk, bananas and lemon juice and rind in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Mix together the grated carrot, currents, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and mixed spice.
Add the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Line 2 cupcake tins (makes about 20) with cupcake papers and fill 2/3 full with the mixture. Sprinkle the walnuts on top.
Bake in a 180 degree celsius oven for 20 minutes.
While the cupcakes cool, mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and rind until smooth. Top each cupcake with a small wedge of lemon, then using a teaspoon drizzle with the glaze.
“I recently made a delicious fruit and nut loaf from one of Bill Grainger’s beautiful cookbooks. It was light and fragrant with nice chunky pieces of dried fruit and crunchy nuts. Because it didn’t have a lot of butter or eggs in it I decided to try and convert it to a vegan version. After a few attempts I got the right balance that doesn’t lack any of the flavours or textures of the original. It also works great toasted after a few days and freezes well. Of course I do have it smothered with butter, but you can always find a vegan alternative. Enjoy!”
“I love a recipe that is born from necessity. In this case it was from trying to make room in my freezer for some kick-ass chilli con carne I’d made. So it was time to use the numerous over-ripe bananas that I’d frozen so I wouldn’t have to throw them out. The first loaf I made was delicious but lacked a certain something. Chocolate of course! After a few more attempts I settled on this combination. I can highly recommend taking it straight out of the oven, slathering it in butter and devouring a couple of pieces before anyone else finds out. Enjoy!”
2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp bicarb
1 tbsp mixed spice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 over-ripe bananas
1 cup milk
100g dark chocolate chips
50g dried figs
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C
Mix the flour, bicarb, mixed spice, sugar and cocoa together
Process the bananas with the milk and eggs
Add to the dry ingredients.
Cut up the dates and figs and stir into the mixture along with the chocolate chips.
Grease and line a loaf tin and fill with the mixture
Bake for 50 – 65 minutes until the loaf is cooked in the middle. (The chocolate makes this cake very moist so when a knife is inserted it will still come out with some moisture on it. It’s trial and error I’m afraid.)
Eat hot with lashings of butter then go straight to the gym!
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!