Vegan Chocolate Cake with Figs and Pistachios

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Figs and Pistachios

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Figs and Pistachios

The Crossroads Cookbook has been sitting in my shelves for quite a while now and I decided to take a look at it recently. It’s a vegan cookbook with lovely recipes such as homemade pasta, soups, and this decadent chocolate cake. I did modify the recipe a bit because I was too lazy to make all those different components at once. The figs and pistachios add an extra flair to the once simple chocolate dessert, and it tastes wonderful.
Vegan Chocolate Cake with Figs and Pistachios

The first time I made it, I didn’t drench the cake layers with syrup. That was a big mistake. Although the cake tasted good, it was much too dry. To save it, I drizzled maple syrup on the cut slices and it was much better. You might’ve also noticed that the frosting is a bit liquid and droopy. Heh. The problems of healthy frosting. The cake still is vegan, delicious and kind of healthy. Just avert your eyes from the frosting and all will be well.

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Figs and Pistachios

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Medium
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A vegan, moist cake with healthy frosting and figs is a delicious dessert. One small slice is very heavy, so don’t eat too much at once! And do not forget to drench the cakes in maple syrup, it changes the taste completely.
Adapted from: Crossroads cookbook by Tal Ronnen (Artisan, a division of Workman Publishing, Inc.)
Chocolate Cake:
5 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into very small pieces (vegan chocolate for vegans)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
2/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Healthy Chocolate Frosting:
1 batch of Healthy Chocolate Frosting
1/4 cup fig jam
Other layers:
1/2 cup fig jam
1/4 cup maple syrup
Decoration: Figs and pistachios


  1. Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 175 °C (350 °F). Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides very well.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine. Make a well in the middle.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the water, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pour it in the dry ingredients and fold in until smooth. Add in the chocolate and fold until well combined.
  4. Divide batter between pans and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans and flip the cakes upside down on a metal rack to peel off parchment paper after the cakes have cooled down (optionally slice off the domed part of the cake for a nicer presentation and easier frosting time).
  5. Healthy Chocolate Frosting: After you have made the frosting, blend it with the fig jam and refrigerate for another 15 minutes until a bit harder.
  6. Assembly: Flip a cake layer onto the cake plate so the domed side (or cut side) is facing up. Using a spoon, cover the cake with 1/8 cup of maple syrup so it soaks in. Put some frosting on the outer rim of the cake to create a border for the fig jam so it doesn’t leak out. Spread the fig jam on top of the cake and place the second layer upside down. Use the remaining maple syrup to soak the second layer. Cover the entire cake with frosting (might be a bit leaky) and refrigerate. To serve, take out the cake 30 minutes before to soften frosting and decorate with sliced figs and chopped pistachios. Cut with a hot knife (dip it in hot water then dry) to have nice slices. The cake can be refrigerated for a few days.

Berry Almond Quinoa Porridge

Berry Almond Quinoa Porridge

My brother recently took out a big stack of cookbooks we had stashed in a cabinet to find some creative ways to make breakfast and lunch. I think he gave up pretty quickly, as usual, but he never moved them back into the cabinet. Since the stack of books was right in front of me, I rifled through them and was intrigued by the concept of quinoa porridge in The Hungry Student Vegetarian Cookbook. This cookbook was gifted to me by a friend, and the recipes are quite easy and interesting to make.
Berry Almond Quinoa Porridge

The next morning, I made it and changed a few things, such as replacing the milk with almond milk, switching the sugar with maple syrup or honey, and changing the toppings.Read More »

Rhubarb Almond Ginger Cake

Rhubarb Almond Ginger Cake

Along with the Coconut Lavender Ice Cream recipe I shared with you guys, I also made this rhubarb almond ginger cake for my mom’s birthday. It is a simple recipe to make and is healthier than you might’ve thought.
Rhubarb Almond Ginger Cake

This is a moist and fluffy cake that has a mixture of the tartness from the rhubarb, the sweetness from the coconut sugar and the healthy addition of ginger. Instead of sour cream, I used Greek yogurt with great success.
Rhubarb Almond Ginger Cake

Also very easy to make and clean up since it’s a one-bowl recipe! I love one bowl recipes.

Read More »

Banana Acai Smoothie Bowl

Banana Açai Smoothie Bowl

Açai has been everywhere on Instagram so when I saw a packet of açai puree at Trader Joe’s, I jumped at the chance to finally make my own açai bowl. First of all, for those of you who wonder what açai is, it’s a berry that comes from Brazil and it contains a lot of antioxidants. I’m not sure about the rest of the claims, such as preventing diseases and weight loss, but açai sure is delicious.
Banana Acai Smoothie Bowl

I always thought it was pronounced a-KAY, but it’s not! The real spelling is açai, with a c-cedilla, so that means the ‘c’ is said softly and the ‘i’ is not silent. The correct pronunciation is ah-sah-EE. You’ll thank me in the future when you’re faced with the prospect of ordering something with açai and don’t want to embarrass yourself pronouncing it.
Banana Acai Smoothie Bowl

I added 1/2 cup almond milk in my açai bowl, which was a bit too much because it doesn’t have the consistency of scoop-able ice cream, so I revised the recipe and cut the milk down to 1/3 cup to make it thicker.
Banana Acai Smoothie Bowl

Banana Açai Smoothie Bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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A smooth and delicious bowl of creamy goodness. Made with bananas, blueberries, açai and spinach, this is sure to subside the sweet cravings for the day.
2 bananas, peeled
1 packet of Trader Joe’s açai puree, put under warm water for 5 seconds
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup spinach, washed
1/3 cup almond milk


  1. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and thick. It should have the consistency of ice cream. Divide smoothie into two bowls and enjoy right away with toppings such as berries, granola and coconut flakes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Almond Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Almond Cake

I made this cake to clear out the very ripe strawberries in our fridge and use up the last stalks of rhubarb. This is a gluten-free almond cake with strawberry and rhubarb and it is so delicious. It’s also healthy because it has fruit, coconut sugar (which is better for you than white sugar), and almond flour. I have to admit, the cake won’t win any beauty contests, but I have high regards for the taste.
Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Almond Cake

This recipe comes from a combination of an almond cake recipe from Well Plated by Erin and my own mixture of fruit on the bottom. The most famous upside down cake is probably the colourful pineapple one, but I would choose this one over the pineapple one any day.Read More »

Healthy Coconut Lavender Ice Cream

Healthy Coconut Lavender Ice Cream

Okay, I promise my vacation post will be up soon, but while I finish it up, I’m leaving you guys with an ice cream recipe. And it’s not just any ice cream recipe. This one is:

  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan
  • Healthy
  • Naturally sweetened
  • Flavoured with lavender and blackberry
  • No churn

Healthy Coconut Lavender Ice CreamWhen summer is hot, ice cream is the perfect way to cool yourself down. I really wanted to make something healthier than the normal ones, so I did! We have a bunch of lavender in the garden which dried out due to the heat, so it was perfect for the recipe. There’s also a lot of wild blackberries around our neighbourhood, so my brother and I always go out with a container in hand to pick them all. Well, all that we can take. There’s always this annoying little group of perfectly ripe blackberries just a bit too high and deep in the bush for us to pick.Read More »

Kohlrabi and Zucchini Fritters with Wasabi Mayo

Kohlrabi and Zucchini Fritters with Wasabi Mayo

I didn’t even know kohlrabi existed until a few months ago. It was my brother’s birthday, and someone decided to give him seeds to plant in the garden. I looked at the package, frowning at the foreign name, and that was my first encounter with kohlrabi. Fast forward to the present, and the seeds have transformed into lovely green bulbs with leaves on top. These fritters are the first time I used the vegetable, so I was quite surprised by how hard of an effort it took to cut into it! I also recognized a smell but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Of course, my mind needed to know, so one online search later and I came up with Martha Stewart’s definition of kohlrabiit’s like a cross between a radish, jicama, broccoli, and collard greens. And that was it! My nose had detected the radish smell. But when the kohlrabi’s cooked, it doesn’t really taste like radish but more of a mixture between broccoli, zucchini and potato. Strange, huh?
Kohlrabi and Zucchini Fritters with Wasabi Mayo

These fritters are a wondrous combination of the strange veggie named kohlrabi, zucchini, egg, breadcrumbs and spices. It’s crunchy and soft (oxymoron point in English class!) plus the fritters smell so good when they’re cooking in the pan. It’s excellent with the wasabi mayo, which gives it an extra pop that I love.Read More »

Fig, Banana and Peach Smoothie

After a 6-week long holiday in Europe, I’m finally back home. It was a beautiful trip, which I will post about later, but for now, you’ll have to content with a smoothie recipe. One thing about traveling is that you can’t always find the healthiest foods all the time, so I’m trying even harder to eat healthy now that I’m home. For example, this was my first smoothie in 6 weeks!!! And I think I passed my monthly quota of meat and potatoes by a mile. Whoops.
Fig, Banana and Peach Smoothie

This smoothie is the sweetest smoothie I’ve ever tasted, and this is without any additional sugars. The sweetness mainly comes from the figs, which came from our own fig tree! The rest of our garden exploded as well, including the lettuce and zucchini. The only thing that kinda turned for worse was the grass. Brown grass is not that nice… Anyways, I’ll try to finish up the vacation post soon (hopefully), and make more food!Read More »

Raspberry Dutch Baby Pancake

Raspberry Dutch Baby Pancake

Hey guys! Anyone want a fluffy and crispy on the outsides really easy pancake to make? I got a 12-inch skillet for my birthday a few weeks ago and this is the first time I made something with it. I wanted to do either a frittata or a dutch baby pancake but finally decided on the pancake. And it’s super delicious and fulfilling in the morning, but I’m sure this could pass for dessert too.

Raspberry Dutch Baby Pancake

Like I said, it’s super fluffy and crispy on the edges, plus has some sweetness from the raspberries and the raw cane sugar. I was so surprised when I looked in the oven because all I could see was that my pancake had billowed up to twice its size.Read More »

Greek Yogurt Healthy-Freddo with Berries

Greek Yogurt Healthy-Freddo with Berries

The day I’m done school the weather decides to be blistering hot. Well, blistering hot compared to the rest of the year. It’s 30°C here and I know that might not seem hot in other places, but trust me, here it’s incredible.

Greek Yogurt Healthy-Freddo with Berries

I decided to beat the heat by making a cold dessert, and what better than the Italian dessert Semifreddo, which literally means half-cold? I was looking at Elisabeth Prueitt’s cookbook, titled Tartine All Day, and I happened upon the most gorgeous picture of chocolate Semifreddo. I was so hyped to make it until I saw the ingredients and realized I didn’t have half of them and it wasn’t as healthy I would have liked.Read More »