25 November 2008

BAKE MY DAY: a taste of asia

I know I'm quite behind on posting, and this isn't really helping much. But, I have too many pictures on my computer, and, in an attempt to clean up my hard drive, I have to post and delete. So, although there are no recipes at the moment (and although I have yet to post many of the recipes from past posts), I'm going to post these pictures anyway. And maybe (if I somehow find a break between the craziness that will ensue for the next five days...20 relatives, a couple friends, a research paper due the following Tuesday...did I mention cooking Thanksgiving dinner?), maybe I will post them soon.

This week's BAKE MY DAY was inspired by the wonderful performance of so many of my friends at ACU's Culture Show. The international students worked so hard choreographing amazing dances and songs with outstanding costumes (hooray Haruka!). I wish I had some pictures of that! So, to celebrate their hard work (and their return to BMD now that Culture Show rehearsals are over), I decided to try to make some traditional(ish) Asian desserts.

yakgwa (korean)

manju stuffed with anko (japan)

almond cookies (china)

kaju katli (india)

mi gao (china)

bite-sized dorayaki (japan)

And, although they aren't traditional or authentic, I couldn't resist...

fortune cookies (fake china)

At least Shiwon approves...

22 November 2008

iron cupcake earth: cranberry cupcake petits fours glacés

cranberry cupcakes petits fours glacés

For my first round of Iron Cupcake, I felt inspired to try something a little different. It seemed like a good idea, but it turned out to be an Iron Cupcake failure. I think, however, with a different recipe and quite a bit more practice, it could be a really good thing.

I based my cupcake recipe off of Shmooed Food's Fluffy White Cupcakes.

I changed a bit of the ingredients and the amount, and I only came up with 18 cupcakes (instead of the original recipe's 22). Here is what I did:

Light Almond Cupcakes:
scant 1 cup vanilla almond milk
6 oz plain soy yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (evaporated cane juice)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or spray a cupcake tin for 18 cupcakes.

Pour the lemon juice into the cup measuring cup and then fill the rest of the way with the almond milk. Mix together in a bowl with soy yogurt and set aside.

Mix together all the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.

Add oil, vanilla, and almond extracts to milk/yogurt mixture.

Add wet mixture to dry and stir with a fork. Stir just until everything is well combined, and then divide the batter between the prepared cupcake tins. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I ate one (or two) before trying to turn them into petit fours, and they were delicious. They were really light and fluffy (maybe I've become too accustomed to whole grain baked goods), and although that isn't the best textured cake for a petit four, I decided to continue anyway.

I refrigerated the cooled cucpakes, sliced them in half horizontally, and filled them with my Port Cranberry Sauce.

Port Cranberry Sauce:
about 12 oz cranberries
1/2 cup ruby port
1/2 cup sugar sugar

Put everything in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for about 25 minutes, until it reaches your desired consistency. If necessary, add more port or cook for longer to adjust.

I also used the Port Cranberry Sauce to coat the sides of the cupcake.

Finally, I tried this poured fondant recipe to top the cupcakes.

That was the big mistake. I was trying to make things easier for myself by not having to grind massive amounts of my sugar into powered sugar (per all the other poured fondant recipes I'd seen). So, I got out my candy thermometer and got to it.

I should have never tried to blend the mixture. Perhaps I heated it too much (past the soft ball stage), because even though I have a really good blender, it wasn't working well. I added some of the leftover cranberry sauce, and still, the blender was having a difficult time. As you can see from the picture, it isn't a pretty sight.

Things I would change:
-make mini cupcakes instead (or, really, just make cake and cut it the real way)
-use a denser cake recipe
-blend my jam so there are no cranberry chunks
-use a different poured fondant recipe

Despite all these problems, I feel like I've learned a few things, and at least I'm not completely discouraged. Next month I'll start a little early, and hopefully have something that looks a little better.

18 November 2008

finally that meme...

Well, it's been several days since A Place for Us tagged me for a MEME. Finally, although I probably should have been focusing on other things at the moment, I've finished it.

And, I'm almost ready to post that poblano cupcake recipe (it gets a post all of its own because they were that good). When I get around to doing that, I'll tag someone else for the MEME.

1. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?
Everyone in my digital graphics class... it's so sad; I have no time for a real social life now!

2. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
Graduating! And then figuring out where to go and what to do with my life!

3. Who was the last person you called?
My mom; I was baking cookies and wanted to talk while I was rolling balls of Chinese almond cookies (this week's BAKE MY DAY...hint, hint)

4. What were you doing at 12am last night?
Working on a poster in the art lab

5. What did you fear was going to get you as a child?
Lots of things! Mostly a burglar under my bed. Or under the car when I was stepping in. (I'm still afraid of that, to be honest. At night when I'm alone I can't get into my car unless I first check underneath it [from a distance!] and inside it through the windows) Paranoid? Maybe...

6. When did you last see your mom?
A few weeks ago when I went home for the weekend. My health insurance it about to expire when I graduate, so I had to go to the doctor.

7. What are you wearing right now?
My bathrobe; I just got out of the shower.

8. Where is your favorite place to be?
This week it has been my apartment. Maybe because it's cold outside? Or maybe because I know I'm moving soon. But I just want to stay home and bake and read and sleep all day. Oh, if only...

9. Where is your least favorite place to be?
In my 8:00 TR class. I'm just so sick of school and I don't know why I ever decided to study English. I enjoy reading, but 4 years of writing the same paper about post-colonialism or marxist feminism is killing me! It's interesting, yes, but I'm ready to talk about something new. (Gosh, I feel like I'm being a little complainy in this MEME...I'm not a negative person!).

10. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
London! I miss it everyday and I would do almost anything to be able to go back there. Stupid immigration and tier system nonsense!

11. Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years?
Maybe San Francisco or Portland (that would be nice!); in an apartment with a kitten and hopefully several very dear friends close by.

12. What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
I can't remember; I laugh all the time (too often, in fact; sometimes I feel like it's cheap because I laugh so much). Earlier I was talking with a friend who had to take a ridiculous survey to apply for a job and that was pretty funny.

13. What cities/towns/villages have you lived in?
born in San Antonio, TX on vacation
Houston, TX
Louisville, KY
Herndon, VA
Houston, TX
Abilene, TX
Oxford, UK
Abilene, TX
Portland, OR (only for a summer)
Abilene, TX
London, UK
Abilene, TX

14. Are you a social person?
I'm about 50/50 introvert/extrovert. I love hanging out with friends and sometimes I feel full of energy and I just want to have giant dance parties every night. But other times I just want to be alone or with only one other person, curled up with a book or the first season of Peep Show (or Wallace and Gromit, if I'm feeling it) and a good cup of tea.

15. What do you like about winter?
I agree with A Place For Us about the hot chocolate and soups, and especially about hibernation and rest! I love taking a break from school (even if I am working still). I love holiday smells and baking. I love shorter days and the way the colors look different outside (even if we don't have a very picturesque winter in Texas). I love bundling up in tons of layers, and I love that it finally isn't hot and that we don't have mosquitoes!

14 November 2008

BAKE MY DAY: some like it hot

spiced apple cake with chili de arbol caramel

cayenne persimmon tart

sugar-free chocolate chili truffles

chocolate chili truffles

anaheim lime coconut pie

Linkpoblano almond chocolate cupcakes

For this week's BAKE MY DAY* I decided to use chilis to heat things up a bit. I wanted to try to use a variety of peppers from the Capsicum genus to provide different flavors and different levels of heat.

*BAKE MY DAY is a weekly event I host where I choose an ingredient or a theme and try to make several baked goods, accordingly. It gives me a great excuse to try a lot of new things!

Spiced Apple Cake with Chili de Arbol Caramel Sauce:I started off with this Holiday Bundt Apple Cake from Dessert, Diet and Dogs. I was happy to find a recipe that was using whole grain flours and agave and brown rice syrup for most of the sweetness. Unfortunately, I didn't have barley flour, so I substituted with whole wheat flour. The only other difference was that I added 1/4 teaspoon cayenne to the apples. When I mixed up the batter, it seemed a bit dry, but I baked it anyway. Perhaps I messed up somewhere (but I really couldn't figure out how), or perhaps I just slightly overbaked the cake, but it seemed the slightest bit dry. I'm taking full responsibility for that, though, and, otherwise, it was such a lovely cake, that I still recommend it.

I only added 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne because I didn't want the cake to be too spicy (only some like it hot, and I wanted to make sure everyone could enjoy the desserts). So, I chose to put most of the spice in the caramel sauce.

For the caramel sauce, I used this recipe because I wanted to use up my maple syrup. It tasted good, but it wasn't quite like caramel. I've used another recipe in the past that looked much more like caramel, although now I can't remember what recipe that was. (Does anyone have a caramel sauce recipe that you absolutely love?) I did add 2 dried chili de arbols (stems removed, but I added the seeds), chopped into little pieces. The sauce was spicy and delicious, and poured over lightly toasted spiced walnuts, it really made the cake (and totally made up for any dryness).

Cayenne Persimmon Tart:
When I was thinking about foods that chilis would go well with, one of the first things that came to my mind was mangoes. I love a mango with a little kick. Unfortunately, the mangoes this time of year just aren't good enough to cut it, so I decided to try something with persimmons, which have a similar flavor and happen to be in season now. I found Delicious Coma's recipe for a persimmon tart and decided to give it a try.

I used cold shortening in place of the butter and added cayenne to the spices to be sprinkled on top of the persimmons. The crust turned out quite good; however, the persimmons were not so good. My persimmons weren't ripe enough (and if you've ever had an unripe persimmon, you know how bad they are). I thought they might take on a sweet flavor when baked (much like a quince), but they remained incredibly astringent. But, the tart looked lovely and it would have been great had my fruit been better (and that's the easiest thing to fix, so I'm alright with that).

Chocolate Chili Truffles & Sugar-free Truffles:
recipe here

Anaheim Lime Coconut Pie:
recipe coming soon

Poblano Almond Chocolate Cupcakes:
recipe coming soon

11 November 2008

chocolate and chili: the good, the bad, and the ugly

the good, the bad and the ugly

For BAKE MY DAY this week, I decided to work with chili peppers (any member of the Capsicum genus). I guess I liked the idea so much, that I decided to get started a little early, and it seems like the past few days have been all about chilis. And what better to pair it with than chocolate? So, here they are: The Good, The Bad (well, at least the "not great"), and The Ugly.

chocolate chili truffle

Chocolate Chili Truffles:

After making my Chocolate Matcha Truffles several weeks ago for the first time, and realizing how simple and wonderful it is to make truffles, I decided to try again, this time using cayenne, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to flavor my truffles. The result was delicious! It takes a couple seconds for the spice of the cayenne to hit, but it provides a nice "after spice," as one of my friends called it. Just as you've realized the flavor of the chocolate, your brain is suddenly hit by the heat, providing quite a pleasant sensation. I used this basic recipe from RecipeZaar and added 1 teaspoon of cayenne, one teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. I also rolled them in cocoa powder mixed with a little bit of cinnamon, and then, using a drop of melted chocolate, stuck on thinly sliced pieces of (mild) dried chili peppers.

sugar-free truffles, ready to be delivered

Sugar-free chocolate chili truffles:

Well, they actually weren't too bad, but they aren't nearly as good as truffles with a little sugar. My friend is on a sugar-restricted diet and she also has an allergy to soy, so she's definitely been wanting something a little sweet in her life. I used the same basic recipe for my truffles, but instead of using my regular bittersweet chocolate chips, which contain sugar and soy lecithin, I melted a bar of 100% cacao. I was hoping that the natural sweetness of the cashews would at least kind of help to counter the bitterness, but unfortunately, the cocoa was still too strong. My friend said that she can use small amounts of stevia on occasion, so I added a couple of teaspoons. I'd never used stevia before, and perhaps I used a little too much (a little of it goes a long way), because it seemed to have a slightly off flavor, something I'd usually associate with artificial sweetners. I also lightly toasted some coconut shavings to bring out their natural sweetness and rolled the truffles in the coconut to (hopefully) add a little sweetness. The stevia flavor wasn't too noticeable, and the taste was less bitter, so it did help a bit.

The result: not great. But not terrible.

I do think this recipe is worth experimenting with, especially if you have soy allergies of if you would like to use more natural sugars. If you aren't on such a sugar-restricted diet, I think it could still be worthwhile to make these with agave nectar; that way you are using a sugar that won't spike your blood sugar as much, and you can control the sweetness of the truffles to your liking.

Chocolate Chili:
After putting some chili in my chocolate, I decided it was time to put a little chocolate in my chili. I remembered this post from The Urban Vegan and threw in a couple handfuls into my chili recipe. It may not look very pretty, but it sure was a delicious way to end the past few chilly nights.

09 November 2008

vegan ventures: banana cupcakes with peanut butter icing (soy free)

banana cupcakes with peanut butter icing

It's November and even though MoFo is over, I'm finding more excuses to post. Currently, it's for Vegan Ventures, which is hosted by Tasty Palettes. In honor of November, which is the National Vegan Month for those living in the UK (and really, I'm there in my heart), Suganya is encouraging people to post vegan entries on their blog this month, and she's compiling a list of all the entries (I can't wait to see what else people come up with)! Here's to more vegan posting!

When I come home for the weekend, it always feels like the holidays. I wake up early and the first thing I do (after getting dressed, fixing a bowl of millet porridge, and brushing my teeth), is go to the grocery store with my mom. Around the holidays, grocery shopping is always a big event; in the past, we took the "divide and conquer" method: dividing the giant list between my mother, my sisters, and myself, each of us taking a cart and going separate directions throughout the store. But since we've moved farther out of town and our trips to the bigger grocery stores have become less frequent, we've started to spend more time in the store, walking slowly down each aisle, looking at all of the different produce and all the new products lining the shelf walls. Pomegranate and acai gumdrops? Don't mind if I do. Peppermint marshmallows? They look lovely. I'll be making a vegan version soon...

Our trips to the grocery store may have calmed down, but the kitchen is still full of an excited energy. I'm always thrilled about my purchases; I'm supposed to be making lunch, but I can't help myself from doing a little baking too. Angela is asking for something sweet, and she gives me a suggested ingredient list that would horrify any diabetic: chocolate, caramel, marshmallows, bananas, peanut butter...oh yes, and sugar. Lots of it, she said.

I didn't want to go dessert overload, so I decided to make something that would appease her sweet tooth, but not without some nutritional value. I decided on banana cupcakes with some healthier flours, using the sweetness of the bananas to really make the cake (that's a pun, dear). Not one to follow recipes well, I looked at these (1, 2, 3) recipes for inspiration, but then decided to throw caution to the wind and do my own thing. I topped them off with some deliciously rich peanut butter icing and a bit of shaved dark chocolate. The result: an Angela-approved dessert. Oh yes, and they're completely soy free.

If you aren't a sugar fiend like Angela, you may find that you prefer to reduce the sugar a bit. Especially since these cupcakes will be covered in the icing, they really don't need to be that sweet. They're also very banana-y, and even though I used half pastry flour, they're still a bit dense (not nearly as much as a banana bread, but perhaps more than a cupcake should be). They did however rise very nicely, as you can see from the picture, and for a banana-dessert, they're surprisingly light. The peanut butter icing adds a really nice touch to these cupcakes. I'm trying to not use as much vegan margarine, because it just makes more sense to products that are more natural and less processed. In this recipe, I used coconut oil, which becomes solid at room temperature, and tapioca flour to thicken it. As the icing sits, it will harden, so if you aren't using it right away, blend it again before using. If you are topping iced cupcakes with chocolate shavings or other toppings, top quickly after icing before the icing hardens.


Banana Cupcakes:
makes 12
4 ripe bananas
115 grams (1 cup) whole wheat flour
100 grams (1 cup) pastry flour
55 grams (1/2 cup) whole spelt flour
1/2 cup turbinado (raw sugar)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a cupcake tin with baking cups.

Mix together bananas, oil, sugar, and vinegar. Really cream these together well, as this step is one of the most important in creating air pockets that will help give your cake a light, airy texture. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.

Divide the batter between the 12 cups. The cups should be almost full, but not quite. The cupcakes hold their peaks well and will rise nicely, so don't worry if the cups seem a little more full than usual.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from tin and allow to cool on a wire rack. Top with peanut butter icing (below) and fresh shavings of a good dark chocolate.

rising action

Peanut Butter Icing:
makes enough for 12 liberally-iced cupcakes
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup organic peanut butter, unsalted and unsweetened
1/4 cup nondairy milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil, brought to liquid form
1/2 tablespoon tapioca starch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Make sure coconut oil is at liquid form (place jar in a bowl of hot water) before beginning. With an electric mixer, blend everything together for a couple of minutes until completely smooth.

05 November 2008

spiced orange banana bread (soy free)

spiced orange banana bread with pistachios

When I was in Oxford several years ago, I used to bake banana bread at least once a week. The delicious smells of banana and cinnamon would float through the hall and down the stairs, summoning the boys on the floor below and the girls on my floor to gather in our third-floor kitchen. There we would talk and enjoy each other's company as we satisfied ourselves with warm slices of the sweet, moist bread on those chilly autumn afternoons.

Since one of those housemates is in town this week from NYC, she asked me to make some banana bread for her. I know she's up for trying new things, so I decided to play with this recipe and make this banana bread extra special for her. I used a combination of spelt and whole wheat flours for all their healthy goodness, and I mixed in a little bit of teff and blackstrap molasses to add a mild earthy flavor with a subtly nuttiness. I balanced those flavors with a zing of orange zest and warming spices, and then I sweetened the whole thing with agave nectar and brown rice syrup. I divided the batter between four mini-loaf pans and topped each one with a different flavor that I thought would compliment the other flavors nicely. The result was a delicious, moist bread, packed with nutrition and flavor.

toppings (clockwise from top left): ground pistachios,
shredded coconut, sliced almonds, chocolate chips

Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list; you probably have most of the spices in your pantry, and if not, you can substitute with extra cinnamon or add some allspice. The teff flour may be more difficult to find, and although you can substitute whole wheat, spelt, or some other flour in its place, it really is worth the extra effort to get your hands on some teff. I was able to find it at Whole Foods, or you can order online here. Teff gives a unique sweet fragrance and nutty flavor, and it is one of the most nutrient-dense grains, so give it a try!

an inside view

Spiced Orange Banana Bread:
makes 4 mini (5.5" x 3") loaves

105 g (1 cup) whole spelt flour
85 g (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
40 g (1/4 cup) whole teff flour
3/4 cup agave
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (gently warmed, if necessary, until in liquid form)
1/4 cup nondairy milk, if necessary
4 bananas*
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
crushed pistachios, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, sliced almonds to sprinkle on top

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 4 mini (5.5" x 3") or 2 regular (8" x 4") loaf pans.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients (except for milk). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. The consistency should be like a smoothie. If it is too dry, add some of the nondairy milk until it is wet enough.

3. Pour batter into pans and sprinkle with desired toppings. I used crushed pistachios, chocolate chips, shredded coconut and sliced almonds. I think crystalized ginger would also be delicious.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. They may appear a little darker in color than typical banana bread because of the teff and molasses, so don't take them out too soon.

about to go into the oven

About the nutrition of this recipe:
  • Teff has a very high calcium content, and contains high levels of phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, and thiamin. It is considered to have an excellent amino acid composition, with lysine levels higher than wheat or barley. Teff is high in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.
  • Spelt Flour is made from the spelt grain, which is a good source of protein, fiber and vitamin B3. Although some of these nutrients are lost as the grain is processed into a flour, using whole spelt flour ensures that you are still retaining much more of those nutrients than if you were using a more refined flour.
  • Blackstrap Molasses is the most nutrient-dense (and also the least sweet) type of molasses. Just 2 teaspoons contains about 18% the RDA of manganese, 15% the RDA of iron, plus copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6)
  • Virgin Coconut Oil has received a lot of press in the past decade. Make sure to select one that is free from trans fats. Coconut oil does contain saturated fat (in fact, it is mostly saturated fat), but studies have shown that plant-based saturated fats are an important part of our health and they may reduce the risk of certain cancers, strengthen the immune system, increase metabolism, and actually lower cholesterol. For more information, start here.
  • Agave is an all-natural sweetener that is low on the glycemic index, so it won't make your blood sugar spike as easily.
  • Brown Rice Syrup contains complex carbohydrates from brown rice and sprouted brown rice or barley, which also help inhibit dramatic shifts in blood sugar levels, and is much better than using refined sugar.
all wrapped up

Nutrition Information:
per mini loaf
calories: 704, fat: 15.5 g, carbs: 137 g, sugar: 85 g, fiber: 11 g, protein: 8 g, iron: 19%

per 1/4 of a mini loaf
calories: 176, fat: 4 g, carbs: 34 g, sugar: 21 g, fiber: 3 g, protein: 2 g, iron: 5%

Nutrition information is based on information provided by Bob's Red Mill Whole Spelt Flour, Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Teff Flour, Almond Dream Unriched Unsweetened Enriched Almond Milk, Plantation Unsulphered Blackstrap Molasses, Madhava Organic Amber Agave Nectar, Lundberg Sweet Dreams Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Spectrum Organic Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil.

01 November 2008

hearty rye bread

hearty rye bread with pumpkin seeds

Ooooh, rye bread. One of my favorites. This recipe uses dark rye flour, blackstrap molasses, and a bit of cocoa powder to make an especially hearty loaf. Paired with the pumpkin seeds, which become perfectly toasted while the bread is baking, the result is a rich and complex flavor that can best be described as . . . addictive.

I based my rye bread recipe off of this one, but I changed it a little bit, so I'm rewriting it with my changes and with instructions for making it without a bread machine.

Dark Rye Bread:
makes one loaf
1 1/4 cups warm water, divided
4 tablespoons agave, divided
2 1/4 dry active yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon caraway seed
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds for topping

Proof yeast with about 1 teaspoon of agave in 1/4 cup of water. Set aside for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients. After about 10 minutes, the yeast mixture should puff up. Add it to the flour mixture, and also add additional water, oil, and 3 tablespoons agave. Mix until well combined and then knead for about 8 minutes. Place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a wet tea towel or cling wrap. Set in a warm place, away from drafts and allow to rise for about 1.5-2 hours, until dough size has doubled.

Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf. Place loaf onto a baking sheet; then, using a small, sharp knife, make a clean incision about 1/2" deep across the top of the loaf. Cover the loaf again and allow to rest 30 minutes - 1 hour; meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F. Just before you put the bread into the oven, lightly brush the top of the loaf with the remaining tablespoon of agave. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and then place in the oven.

Bake for about 40 minutes. The color will be dark because of the molasses, rye and cocoa, but don't take the bread out too soon. Measure the internal temperature of the bread (it should be at about 190F) to make sure it has fully cooked. If after 40 minutes the bread isn't quite fully cooked, you can turn off the oven and leave it in for a couple minutes longer, allowing the residual heat to finish cooking the loaf.

And, my Pumpkin Buckwheat Silver Dollar Pancakes were featured on vegan.com! That was quite a surprise. View the post here.