Bake It Till You Make It

Cooking is something that comes very natural to me. In my mind, its just like making art – each time you make it it’s a little different, you add things along the way, you substitute, and if you make a ‘mistake’ you can always find a way to make it work. Baking on the other hand is a whole different story.

In contrast to the old adage ‘fake it till you make it’, you can’t actually fake any part of baking. This is why I usually stay clear of anything that involves measuring cups or a whisk. Ironically though, even though I don’t always enjoy the parameters baking puts on my creativity in the kitchen, I do appreciate that it requires persistence and a whole lot of patience.

One of my go to baked goods is the ever popular banana bread, but lets be honest, aren’t we all just a little sick of it? Instead, I’ve recently been more interested in locking down a successful recipe for something a little different, and then make substitutions in that recipe for an alternative option.

Below are two very similar recipes for Zucchini Bread and Carrot Bread. I often make them at the same time because the method is almost identical, and Jeff and I role through the final product pretty quickly. These breads are not particularly sweet, which makes them a great option for breaky with a cup of coffee, a midday snack with a glass of milk, or even dessert with a dollop of cream or custard.

The zucchini and carrot breads are best served warm 15mins after they’ve been taken out of the oven, or later toasted with a panini press. I’ll usually eat them with a thin layer of butter and almond butter for added moisture and flavor. They can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Note: In the carrot bread recipe the * represents a change from the zucchini bread recipe. It is either a substitute or added ingredient.

Trail Mix Zucchini Bread

[8 x 4 inch pan] – roughly 60mins cooking time

Dry
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet
1/2 cup of Earth Balance butter (vegan) – you can trade out for vegetable oil
2 tbsp almond butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Flavor
3/4 cup of grated and strained zucchini (strain through sieve to get rid of excess liquid)
1/2 cup combination of walnuts, dark chocolate and craisins

Method
Grease 8 x 4 inch rectangular pan. Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C)

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg in bowl.

Melt EB (butter), then add beaten eggs, essence, and sugar in large bowl. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and stir together well.

Grate zucchini and then place in sieve over a bowl. Push down to strain all excess liquid. Measure a packed 3/4 cup of zucchini and add to mixture.

Chop up a combination of walnuts, dark chocolate and craisins to same size and then sprinkle with flour to lightly coat (this will help them not sink to the bottom) Measure 1/2 cup and gently fold into mixture.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 55-60mins (or until skewer comes out clean). Cool in pan on rack for 15mins before eating.


Coconut Almond Carrot Bread

[9 inch round pan]* – roughly 40mins cooking time

Dry
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet
1/2 cup of Earth Balance butter (vegan) – you can trade out for vegetable oil
2 tbsp almond butter
2 eggs
1 tsp almond essence*
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 light brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk* (almond milk if you want to keep things dairy free)

Flavor
3/4 cup of grated carrot* (don’t need to strain)
1/2 cup combination of flaked almonds*, shredded coconut*, and chopped white chocolate*

Method

Grease 9 inch rounce pan. Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C)

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg in bowl.

Melt EB (butter), then add beaten eggs, essence, sugar, milk in large bowl. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and stir together well.

Grate carrot until you have a packed 3/4 cup and add to mixture. Chop up a combination of flaked almonds and white chocolate. Add coconut to the nuts and chocolate and sprinkle with flour to lightly coat. Measure 1/2 cup of the crunchy combo and gently fold into mixture.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-40mins* (or until skewer comes out clean). Cool in pan on rack for 15mins before eating.

If you give these recipes a go, I’d love to here your feedback via Instagram. Any avid bakers have any advice? Did the non bakers churn out a successful final product? Did you make any further substitutions and flavor changes yourself?

As always, thank you to my readers for following along with Heid & Seek. I hope you all have a productive and passionate week.

 

 

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