Creamy French shallot pasta bake

Recipe Gallery Share the Love Recipe Prep Time 0 Cook Time 0 4 – 6 People Serves 4 Beginner Difficulty  0 Ingredients • 4 tbsp vegan butter• 3-4 shallots sliced thinly• 2 tsp honey or agave or just soft brown sugar• 1 cup dry red wine, such as Cab Sauvignon• 2 cloves garlic or 1 tbsp garlic flakes• 2 cups wild mushrooms of choice• 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)• Pink salt and black pepper• 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth• 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (or use soy sauce)• 2 leaves bay leaves (optional)• 500g of your favorite shortcut pasta• 1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with water• 1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper using more or less to your taste• 1 1⁄4 canned coconut milk or 1 cup vegan cream cheese• 1⁄3 cup crumbled vegan feta cheese• 2 cups parmesan cheese• 1 cup crispy onion crumbs Method Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Melt the butter, and add the shallots, and honey together in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the wine, until the wine cooks into the onions. Continue to cook another 8-10 minutes until you’ve used the 1/2 cup of wine and the onions are deeply caramelized.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and season with salt and pepper, cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine, the vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and cornstarch slurry and lastly Add in the cooked and drained pasta. Stir frequently until the pasta is al dente and the broth has been absorbed about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the cayenne, coconut milk, and parmesan. Transfer the pasta to a baking dish. Top with the cheese and onion crutides. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned on top. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with dollops of cream cheese and fresh thyme.Enjoy! Photo Gallery Hope you love this creamy and filling recipe! M*

Raspberry Frangipane tart

Recipe Gallery Share the Love Recipe 0 Prep Time 0 Cook Time Serves 6 4 – 6 People Difficulty  0 Beginner Ingredients Pastry* 1 batch vegan shortcrust pastry* 50 g berry jamFrangipane* 60 g vegan butter (block-style) room temperature* 50 g castor sugar * 40 g vegan aquafaba (canned chickpea brine) * 1 tsp vanilla extract* 60 g ground almonds* 30 g all-purpose flour * ½ teaspoon baking powderTopping* 1 1/2 cup raspberries * 1/2 cup shredded coconut * 1 tsp vanilla extract  Method  Make a batch of the vegan pastry (recipe below) and par-bake per recipe instructions. Allow the pastry to cool to room temperature. Gently heat the 50g  jam in a saucepan and using a pastry brush, brush it over the base and inner sides of the par-baked pastry shell. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 175•c For the Frangipane, in a large bowl, with an electric whisk beat the vegan butter for 1 minute until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and whisk again for 1-2 minutes, until it has creamed into the butter. Add the aquafaba, one tablespoon at a time, whisking to incorporate each one. Lastly, add the vanilla extract and whisk to combine and beat for another 30 seconds until incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (ground almonds, flour, and baking powder). Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture using a spatula until combined, add in the vanilla and the last bit of jam.  Transfer the frangipane into the cooled pastry shell in an even layer.  Press the raspberries into the frangipane and sprinkle over the shredded coconut and sugar.  Bake at 175°C for 25-30 minutes, until the raspberries have reduced in size and appear slightly caramelized. If the edges are browning too quickly, take the tart out and carefully cover the outer crust with some foil.  Allow the tart to cool completely before removing it from the tin. For best results chill the tart for a couple of hours before serving and top with flaked almonds for garnish if desired. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate. Consume within 2-3 days for best results.   Photo Gallery Hope you love this amazing tart!! Its a favourite;) M*

Salted caramel apple galette de rois

Recipe Gallery Share the Love ]Salted caramel apple galette de Rois is my vegan spin on the traditional French pastry that is in almost every bakery in France. This age old tradition has quite a bit of history behind it and I am pretty sure that the original pastry is the king of all kings, but my version came pretty close. There are quite a few varieties that you can make, but I thought the best kind of filling must be salted caramel with apple and a frangipane filling. What can beat almond, apple and caramel laced in a flaky dough.   Salted caramel apple galette de Rois is my vegan spin on the traditional French pastry that is in almost every bakery in France. This age-old tradition has quite a bit of history behind it and I am pretty sure that the original pastry is the king of all kings, but my version came pretty close. There are quite a few varieties that you can make, but I thought the best kind of filling must be salted caramel with apple and a frangipane filling. What can beat almond, apple, and caramel laced in a flaky dough? I made another galette a couple years ago, filled it with Nutella and strawberries, but it wasn’t quite the right kind of fit for this season. It was when we just arrived in France and I was smitten with the combination of puff pastry and it’s royal love affair with almond frangipane. The French are the connoisseurs of pastry and that is a for sure a fact. I really always wanted to dive into making their decadent pastries, but since becoming vegan getting qualified the vegan way is very very difficult in France. Veganism slowly but surely getting more and more known for the French culture, just as it is the same in South Africa. So it might take a couple years to catch on. It is really a passion of mine to have my very own cafe or even vegan baking school to equip and provide these services, or even to make the traditional food that I know and love from France and South Africa in a more plant-based friendly manner. A Girl can dream am I right? It will take a while though before this will become a reality and I have to say that since the year has started two of my goals has already been realized. So it’s good setting goals and just taking the plunge and believing that you are capable to make things happen. Sometimes it just takes time and mostly when the time is right, otherwise, you won’t be ready. One thing you won’t need a lot of time waiting for is this amazing galette de Rois. I asked a few Frenchies and not a lot of them know the exact reason for the whole tradition, to know more click here. Any tradition that involves food is a def go in my book, especially pastry!   Recipe 0 Prep Time 0 Cook Time Serves 4 4 – 6 People Difficulty 0 Beginner Ingredients Two sheets of vegan puff pastry (for homemade click Here) 2-3 sliced granny smith apples 1/2 cup Vegan caramel sauce Flaky sea salt   Vegan frangipane filling 1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil melted 2/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup 2/3 cup gluten-free flour or plain all purpose flour 1/4 cup aquafaba (chickpea brine from a tin) 2 cups almond meal 1/2 tsp almond essence or vanilla essence Pinch of salt Method Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Start by making the frangipane filling, mix together the almond flour, flour, oil, aquafaba, salt and vanilla essence. Whisk very well until the frangipane comes together and then set aside. Spread out the puff pastry and cut into a circle by using a plate or tart base. Smear on the frangipane evenly on the bottom layer, leaving about one and half cm open on the edges of the puff pastry and then layer the sliced granny smith apple. Then brush over the cooled vegan caramel, sprinkle on some salt flakes and then wet the sides of the puff pastry of the bottom layer and then add the second layer of puff pastry on top. Make designs on the top part of the puff pastry with a very sharp knife, be careful not to push all the way through. Brush the top with melted vegan butter and then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Wait to cool before slicing and serving, you can serve this galette with some vanilla ice cream or whipped coconut cream. Place in an airtight container for up to one day, after that the pastry isn’t as fresh so best to serve it the day you made it. For the vegan caramel recipe Photo Gallery Hope you love this quick and easy pastry that is so filling and healthy at the same time, who said skimping on some sugar would taste this good. Ps: add a little folded crown on the inside to find out who will be king and who should provide the next galette de rois party! M*

Starting your life France

Starting your life in France is just my summary of our four-year journey so far. If you’re one of the lucky ones moving to France then this post is for you. The four-year mark of us moving here will be rolling around November and I certainly can’t believe how fast it has gone and how much I have learned and am still learning. Come and read more about how to survive and actually live well in France as a foreigner.