Monday, November 16, 2015

Gingerbread and reflections

Today I considered not posting. I had planned this post since last week but somehow in light of what's happened in Paris and Beirut somehow happy seasonal food recipes just don't seem as important anyway. However this morning I decided it would be better to post and talk a little about the many many wonderful times I have spent in Paris.

So, it being the middle of November, it is starting to feel seasonal but yet it's not really reasonable to start indulging yet. These gingerbread bites are the absolute business. They are vegan, wholegrain, fat-free, and (unless you cover them with icing sugar for aesthetic purposes) refined sugar free!! They taste really good too and they hit that cake craving nicely! I also used the lovely Sweetpea Pantry ginger giggles mix that includes barley and rye flour. But before you eat me for using pre-made mix on a baking blog, know that it's just an ingredient and my own recipe!

The last time we went to Paris was very funny! My boyfriend and I have a habit when we go away of getting a little apartment style hotel room or hostel place and walk around everywhere to learn the area and pretend for a week that we live there. Paris is such a lovely place to do this because you can establish your local boulangerie/patisserie for a week and even within that limited space of time I get the impression that the boulanger will get to know you, which adds to the experience massively! Another wonderful thing about the pretending to live there part is that you have oodles of time to sit around in parks observing people and really soaking in the culture. Some of my happiest moments have been in france and sitting in a park with my bf just taking it all in forms the basis of a good few of those.

Back to the recipe

Vegan, Wholegrain Barley and Rye Gingerbread Bites (makes 15 inch square cubes)

200g Ginger Giggles Mix
Egg- replacer (use your product directions for the equivalent of 1 egg)
150ml Apple sauce                                                                

1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp Agave Nectar

1- Preheat oven to 180'C/ 350'F/ Gas mark 4.

2- Mix everything together  (could it be simpler)

3- Line a bread tin and pour in the mixture

4- Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown on top

5- Let cool and slice into cubes to enjoy

So I'll finish off with one of my favourite memories of paris and the wonderful people who live there. On our last visit there myself and my partner were walking around trying to find a great place to eat. We had been walking for a couple of hours sight-seeing and the like and we were pretty hungry. You know the type of hungry that takes on a life of it's own?! Well our seperate hungers were leading and each had a different goal in mind. We searched and searched and looked at so many delicious restaurants but each time, either I wasn't satisfied or he wasn't. Well, this had been going on for about an hour and the hunger was bad when we finally found a place that met all the criteria, Halleluia! But..... the kitchen was closed, in fact all the kitchens were closed until dinner time! Devastated!! We alked away starving and depressed and headed to the only thing we could see that was still open - McDonalds. You can imagine how unexcited I was, except I was forgetting that this was France. My McDonalds meal was the freshest and most delicious Mc Donalds I had ever had, with real dijon mustard and a much needed coffee on the side! Not only that but there was some tables outside and a group singing for some reason I never gathered. Now I'll grant you, my hunger may have added to the flavour but one thing cannot be denied - Parisians can add class to anything!! Which is exactly what we have seen in the wake of this tragedy! Parisians out holding their heads up in the face of terrorism and calling on others not to allow the acts of a few extremist segregate the muslim community in France. Now this is not and never will be a political blog and I am aware that there are several aspects of this situation that are more complex. However I would like to focus on the good and on my happy memories of paris, while I pray for all those involved and affected this weekend!

Look after yourself and enjoy this little post, til next week, a bientot =)

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