Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sweet potato pancakes

Sweet potato pancakes

The first school term is over, and now I have a five days long break to recover from that horrible invention called exam. Well, actually not: we must give the first draft of a fifty pages long (very important) project we are supposed to have begun in summer. I still have wrote twenty pages so far.

So, instead of apologizing for being during almost a month in hiatus, I think you will appreciate something more….ehm, useful than my excuses and complains about how difficult is a student’s life and blah blah.

Do you like Photoshop? I must confess that I hated it for a long time; it was too complicated, too heavy, with too many things I didn’t understand and I didn’t need. I was already happy with my lighter and less fussy Paint Shop Pro. I suppose I was on safe ground and I just didn’t want to leave it. Now I discovered many of Photoshop’s advantages and I cou ldn’t live without it.  One of the things I learnt some days ago is how to use actions. For example, this one gives to your photo a fresh and original comic style. Compare.

Photoshop is wonderful. We know that. But some people make the mistake of thinking that it can transform a disastrous photo in a wonderful one. First of all, I would recommend shooting in RAW format whenever possible because it gives you much more control over the photo (because the data lost is minimum). Second, NO flash please; natural light is the best you can use, but sometimes is not enough. To solve this problem I use a homemade reflector. Actually, just a cardboard with some silver paper glued on it.

My homemade reflector

And the difference can be substantial. Look at this two photos I took for my previous Cauliflower and green peas dry curry post: in the first one a reflector was used; in the second, not.

And you? Do you love it? Or its huge amount of tools scares you? Do you prefer using natural light or you are lucky and have one of those powerful external flashes (which have nothing to do with the flash included in the camera)?

I have got into the habit of doing everything with music….I even study and do homework with music! Because listening to the same songs one time and another is boring, I had to look for something new (I know it is supposed to be a vegan food blog and has nothing to do with music, but I just wanted to share it with you), and I found it: Evans Blue and Sick Puppies (no Lady Ga Ga for me, please). In case someone is interested, here is two of the songs I have been listening the most (I have just discovered that an embedded music player is trickier than I thought)

Cold (but I'm still here) (Evans Blue) -->

You're going down (Sick Puppies)-->

Ok, what I suppose you were looking for when you entered in a food blog: the recipe. By the way, this recipe is my December’s contribution to Tried&Tasted event (originally created by Zlamushka) which featured one blog every month; this time Closet Cooking by Kevin was chosen as the featured blog and Salt to Taste by Hema as the hostess. You just have to choose one of the many recipes from Kevin’s blog and send the information to Hema. You can use this logo, which I was pleased to design (you know that I am crazy about graphic design) and link it to Salt to Taste blog entry about the event. It would be also nice if you could give me credit and link to this blog too.

Feel free to use this logo (I am the official T&T designer…yay!),but it would be nice if you linked back to Tales of a Spoon ;) It’s the only thing that I ask in return.

Sweet potato pancakes

Sweet potato pancakes
Original recipe form: Closet Cooking

Serves: four large pancakes and lots of small one (sorry, I couldn’t count them because I ate them to quickly)

I don’t know why it didn’t try it before, because the combination is perfect. The sweet potato makes the pancakes dense, giving them a sweet (and unmistakable) flavor. The original recipe had eggs and buttermilk in it, so I had to change some things in order to veganize it:  I used soymilk with vinegar instead of buttermilk (tofu would have worked too. Check Go Dairy free for more buttermilk vegan alternatives), ground flaxseeds instead of the egg and olive oil instead of melted butter. I reduced the amount of sugar, used only whole wheat flour and finally did small pancakes instead of big ones. I froze most of them to enjoy them for breakfast during the next weeks.

-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-2 Tbsp brown sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-½ tsp nutmeg
-1 cup vegetable milk + 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
-½ cup cooked & mashed sweet potatoes (about one small potato)
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds + 2 Tbsp water
-½ tsp salt

Cook ahead the sweet potatoes; I baked them because I love the flavor of the charred skin, which I left for the texture.
Mix the milk and the apple cider vinegar (you can also use lemon juice) and leave it to stand for ten minutes. In another small bowl mix as well the ground flaxseeds and the water and do the same.
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, spices, salt, sugar) in one bowl and the wet ingredients (butter milk alternative, flaxseeds, sweet potatoes and oil) in another. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones slowly, mixing well but do not overmixing.
I recommend using a non stick saucepan and no oil at all. You can make a few big pancakes or a lot of small ones; I did the last. The mixture must be dense  but not too much, so you can pour them easily. Cook them on a medium heat and wait until some air bubbles appear on one side before flipping.
Serve with some jam, tahini, lemon juice, or margarine and sugar. I ate them with the compote de pommes my French partner gave as a present when I did the students exchange.  Magnifique
!They freeze very well and can be kept for several month (but I doubt if they are going to last you so long….)


Maya said...

Sweet and nutritious!

Hema said...

Those pancakes look yummy.. Thanks for designing the logo and for sending your recipe to the T&T event.