pomegranate cake

I want to introduce you to one of my favourite vegetarian cook books. Although not officially ‘vegan’ this cookbook omits dairy and egg from its recipes. Occasionally the use of honey makes it in, but this is easy to substitute for animal friendly alternatives.

Enter ‘The Vegetarian Kitchen’ by Mellissa Bushby.

The-Vegetarian-Kitchen-Bushby-Melissa-EB9781432300555

This little South African gem was discovered while I was perusing my aunt’s cookbook collection one Sunday lunch.

We have tried many of the recipes in this book and every single one of them has been a success. Many of my cook books, although great; have weak or poorly planned recipes in them that never entirely work. This on the other hand has become a firm favourite, and portions of the book are now covered in haphazard splashes and smudges.

Here’s an all time favourite, and my most requested vegan cake recipe.

Pomegranate Cake

Ingredients:

375 ml (1.5 cups) cake flour (this can be substituted for gluten free flour
5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder
5 ml (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
15 ml (1 tablespoon) of grape vinegar
15 ml (1 tablespoon) vanilla essence
60 ml sunflower oil
125 ml sugar
250 ml of pomegranate juice (Woolies sells pomegranate juice)
seeds of half a pomegranate
juice of 1 orange
5ml (1 teaspoon) poppy seeds
5ml (1 teaspoon) castor sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and flour a 20cm cake tin.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.Make a well in the centre and add the vinegar, vanilla essence, oil, sugar and pomegranate juice. Mix well.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Turn out on to a wire rack to cool.
Once the cake has cooled, put the pomegranate seeds, orange juice, poppy seeds, and castor sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil stirring constantly.
Allow to thicken and pour over the cooled cake.

photo

This was a gluten free version I made.

Standard

laos

Last June we travelled to Vietnam and Laos. Who knew Laos would steal my heart the way it did.

 photo 5

 photo 1(1)

I’ve always wanted to travel along the Mekong river. There’s something about the fascinating connection between water and people, everywhere I’ve been in Asia there has and always will be an intangible reverence of rivers and water in general. Known in Laos as Mae Nam Khong, literally ‘mother of water.’

photo 3

Cats happen to be lazy all around the world, even in countries where their status as a pet can be somewhat precarious.

photo 1

Being a vegetarian in Asia can be challenging, but this Green Curry soup still haunts me as one of the most flavoursome, delicious things I’ve ever eaten in Asia.

photo 2(1)

A vegetarian vendor at the night market in Luang Prabang.

photo 4

Kuang Xi Waterfalls are just a short drive from Luang Prabang and totally worth it if you can find a quiet corner minus the millions of American tourists that stream into Vietnam and Laos. Ironically their presence isn’t met with hostility.

photo 2

After a day of riding a scooter around Luang Prabang, visiting temples and local shops we decided to stop at a small art gallery for a snack and drink. In my mind this may have been the most perfect day, dust caked, sun burnt and still in shock from crossing a bizarre bridge only a plank wide at full speed with a bunch of locals right behind me.

Pineapple juice, roasted peanuts, dried chilli mushrooms and the most glorious of exotic fruits. The langsat. The small fruit grows in clusters, and produces a sticky, almost litchi like fruit inside its skin. The flavour is the most perfect match between a litchi and a grape fruit.

Should you ever get the opportunity to go to Laos, do it. And sooner rather than later. Plus the beer is good, cheap and locally brewed.

 

 

 

 

Standard

ldn

photo(1)

In December of last year I got to travel to London for a shoot. I took this photo while running across Lambeth Bridge towards the South Bank with a tripod on my shoulder in the freezing cold chasing the ‘sunset’. I say sunset but the sun doesn’t really set, the light just slowly goes out. I got a few minutes while shooting the Houses of Parliament to breathe in the experience of being in London, directing my own project.

It was surreal.

Standard