My recent trips to Buenos Aires, Mexico and the US have made me absent from the Secret Recipe Club for months. I’ve missed the SRC band of bakers!
Life, right now, is a bit..fluid. Though in the UK, I’m still not settled. I miss my kitchen. I’m living life from a suitcase. There seems too many things to do and think about and conjuring up new recipes has, involuntarily, been put on the back burner. The SRC is forcing me to focus. This is good! World Baking Day is making me very keen to get in the kitchen too. Time to bake!
I was assigned the blog of two business partners, Serena Ball and Deanna – Teaspoon Of Spice . The gals are registered dieticians who specialise in nutrition messaging, with a culinary focus. Serena is a bit of a cheese fan. She searches out Illinois cheese makers with her husband and four children. She encourages everyone to try a new recipe or flavour every week. (I wonder if they’ve tried aged tree nut cheese, like this one by Dr. Cow ?) Deanna stays inspired to be creative in the kitchen for her husband and young daughter.
I enjoyed poking around in their virtual recipe library whilst hunting for a dish to try for the Secret Recipe challenge. I was all set to make a vegan version of their Cucumber Avocado Soup with Moroccan Chickpeas and then I spotted their shortbread with rhubarb. It being so close to World Baking Day too, I couldn’t resist. Serena and Deanna both write of their fond memories of a childhood where rhubarb was grown by their fathers and was an oft used ingredient. I thought their Light Strawberry & Rhubarb Shortcake looked like it could become memorable for me too. The rhubarb is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and a great source of fibre. Their recipe is not vegan though, so I changed up the Original recipe. The fragrant, blushing strawberries brightened up a (typically) dull sky, English day. I made shortbread instead of shortcake as I wanted the juxtaposition of the silky fruit compote and the cool melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cream cheese to the firm snap of the buttery shortbread. Not only is it dairy free but it is gluten and sugar free too. I hope you enjoy it!
1 stick of rhubarb
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup water
Vanilla Cream Cheese
Shortcake1/2 cup of vegan butter
1/4 cup coconut sugar
6 drops culinary lemon oil or 1 tbs fresh zest
3/4 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato flour
1/4 cup besan (chickpea) flour
1/3 teaspoon pink salt
Ready? Here we go…
Put the contents of the tub of cream cheese into a bowl. Pour on 1 tbs of vanilla essence (1 tsp if yours in concentrated..do it gradually, to taste) and sprinkle over your vanilla powder. With a spatula, mix to incorporate the black specks of powder and the carmel coloured essence.
Step 10 – Putting it all together. This is where you exercise your artsy side!