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Strawberries & Peaches with Einkorn Shortcake

Strawberries & Peaches with Einkorn Shortcake

Enjoying the fruits of spring with sweet strawberries and fragrant peaches, served on warm einkorn shortcake. 

Einkorn is an ancient grain.  It's a unique, tasty four.  I whipped it into a buttery shortcake using a modified version of the biscuit ratio: 3:1:2 (flour:fat:liquid).  I used all-purpose and fresh-ground einkorn (300g) and mixed it with a vegan buttery spread (80g).  I used a "lite" version of the product which contained more water than fat, so it clumped when I cut them together.  Then I added in the almond milk (200ml) and mixed thoroughly.  Einkorn has less gluten than wheat, so it doesn't tend to get tough when it's mixed. 

I piped the thick batter with a large star tip into a few small springform pans, and baked it for ~20min at 400˚F.

While it's baking, I hacked up some strawberries and fragrant peaches.  Saving a few for garnish, I smashed up the rest with some agave syrup, vanilla and a whisper of ultra gel for thickness. 

When the shortcakes were golden brown, I removed and let them cool for a minute before cutting them in half. 

Spoon on the fruit and enjoy!

Chocolate Cake - Valentine's Day 2016

Chocolate Cake - Valentine's Day 2016

Woah!  It's been a while!  I missed blogging so much.  I'm still insanely busy, but I'm going to post something at least once a month.  

What better way to make an awesome Valentine's Day than to make chocolate cake!?  I'm using a modified recipe from Joy of Cooking  This is the Devils Food recipe.

I substitute butter for coconut oil and Earth Balance; blended flax seed for eggs; and soy milk for butter milk.  

Mix the cocoa powder and the wet ingredients (except the milk and vanilla).  Stir to ensure the cocoa has no lumps - then mix in the milk and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and gently stir until incorporated.  Don't over mix or it'll be tough.  ... Well, I added more cocoa than the recipe called for and the mix was a little dry.  So, I tried to blend in a little apple sauce to compensate.  It worked.

Then spread the batter into a parchment lined baking pan (9"x13").  Bake at 175˚C (350˚F) for about 25 - 30 minutes; until a toothpick comes out clean.  

While it's baking, prepare some shimmering ganache and crack open a pomegranate.  

Ganache is easy: chocolate (or cocoa powder), fat (coconut oil and margarine), glucose (or light corn syrup) and vanilla.

Allow the cake to cool and cut into squares.  Why little squares?  Because it increases the surface area, which means more hot ganache!  

Place the squares on a wire rack and pour over that liquid chocolate.  Then top with pomegranate arils and flecks of edible gold.  Bam, it looks like like a million bucks!

Serve this sexy dessert to your loved one.  Or just eat a pile of this chocolate cake to drown your sorrows.  I mean cocoa is technically a fruit and it's topped with pomegranate AND it's vegan.  It's totally health food ;-)  

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower Soup

A warm curried cauliflower soup is the perfect thing for cold gray days. I first tried a curried cauliflower soup at a restaurant called Greens.  It's a wonderful vegan-friendly place where all the dishes are elegant and served with panache.  I whipped up an easy Vitamix soup in recollection of that tasty meal.

Start by roasting the florets of a cauliflower and a medium starch potato.  I like to drizzle with a bit of olive oil and place in the cold oven.  Then, allow the oven to preheat to 400˚F and continue baking until the potatoes are cooked through.  This method causes nice browning on the cauliflower and potatoes.  While thongs are roasting, dice and sautee a red onion in olive oil.

Allow the ingredients - onions, cauliflower and potatoes - to cool slightly before adding them to the Vitamix.  Add in a hand full of cashews and enough water to cover all the mix.  Blend on medium to allow the ingredients to break down.  Then, add salt, curry powder and adjust the water to your desired thickness. (Clearly, this is a very flexible recipe, so make it your own!)

Serve garnished with chopped roasted cashews and tarragon.

Apple Galette

Apple Galette

This is the easy version of pie; galette!  It also has a higher crust to filling ratio.  So, if you love pastry and hate the work required for pie, this is the dessert for you! Start with the pastry ingredients: flour, fat and ice water (and a pinch of salt).  I use the 3:2:1 ratio 300g flour; 200g EarthBalance and/or coconut oil; 100ml ice water.

Combine the four, salt and fat in a food processor and pulse until combined in a bread crumb consistency.  Then add in the water and pulse just until combined.  Scoop out the dough and press it together in a flattened-ball. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. *Coconut oil sets up completely ridged when refrigerated, so getting the temperature just right can be tricky.  Using More EarthBalance can make the dough more workable while it's cold.

While the dough is resting in the 'fridge, peel and thinly slice two or three medium apples.  I used two apples because I really love the tasty pastry - I wanted it to be almost equal in portion to the apples.

Mix the really tasty parts: the sugar and spices.  I like brown sugar and cinnamon to be the primary flavours, but a dash of salt, a bit of nutmeg and vanilla bean created a sublime rounded flavour.  I also used a bit of granulated sugar and cornstarch to help gel any runniness the apple juice might create.  All of this, of course is based on your palate:  I use about 1/2 cup of brown sugar; 1/4 cup granulated sugar; 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon; a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of salt.  One teaspoon of cornstarch/cornflour and a splash of vanilla work well, too.  I prefer vanilla bean, but, ya know, whatever you got works.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and - this may be "controversial" - trim the edge.  Most galettes are rustic - that's their essence.  All the same, I like a tidy edge.  I also like to sprinkle a bit of oatmeal on the pastry before adding the apples to make double sure that the juice from the baking apples gets absorbed, rather than making a soupy mess.

Evenly pile the apples across the dough, leaving an inch or two for folding space.  Then carefully work around the circle of dough, folding a few inches inward until the edge is fully formed.  How much dough is used for the fold-over is a personal choice.  Again, I like that chunky pastry so I fold-over a lot!


I keep seeing all my heroes on the Instantgramz using stamped and cut dough.  So, in my attempt to be like the cool kids, I got these autumnal dough stamping/cutter combos.

Bake at 350˚F until the apples are soft and the pastry is browned - about 30-45 minutes.  Allow to cool and dig in! I like to serve mine with nondairy ice cream.  To add a whisper of extra sweetness, drizzle with a good maple syrup.

Tom Kha

Tom Kha

This is some of my favourite soup.  The first time I ever tried Thai soup is very memorable. I was traveling and had settled for my regular pad thai dish at the restaurant. Then, on a whim, I decided to try Tom Yum soup. I was in a different place seeing different things and I'd adventured out to try different food.You see, I didn't always love food adventures. I was very slow to embrace new cuisine. So that night, ordering that hot and sour soup, I began my journey into food exploration.

I never would've guessed that a few years later, I would actually have the opportunity to visit Thailand and Tom Yum soup would be considered regular faire - even so, my comfort food.

I like Thai food so much that I actually cultivate the spices: kefir lime, lemongrass, ginger, Thai chili peppers, Thai basil and garlic. You see, there's only so much curry paste can do for you. To get authentic Thai food, you need to have access to the freshest ingredients.

Tom kha is slightly different than tom yum. Where tom yum is bright and acidic, tom kha it's made with coconut milk and has a mellow sweetness to offset the lime juice.

Start by frying a bit of tofu. I find it's the quickest and easiest way to fry up tofu using a waffle maker. It works best in a locking waffle maker. Simply halve the block of tofu, coat with a bit of cooking spray and place the tofu in the cold waffle iron. I find mine works best by placing on the highest setting, your mileage may vary. Of course, you can always fry it in a traditional skillet. Then, mince garlic, ginger and onion. Add them to a hot pan with a bit of coconut oil and sauté until they've just begun to color. Then, add a bit of tamari sauce. I also like to add sriracha sauce and red curry paste. Pour in a few cups of water and coconut milk. Remember, this is a soup rather then a curry, so it will be slightly thin.

Add in a couple stalks of bruised lemongrass and finely minced kefir lime leaves. Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors infuse. Then, add sliced carrots, bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and the tofu. I like to coarsely dice the tofu so that there are some good meaty chunks. Also oyster mushrooms, if they're available, are absolutely delicious in this dish. Remove the soup from the heat to keep the vegetables from turning mushy.

Finally, add a shot of lime juice and give it a good stir. Serve the soup garnished with fresh Thai basil leaves. I also like to add a bit of ripe tomato to add to the brightness.

This is become one of my favorite dishes, and I hope you love it too.

Irish Stew

Irish Stew

I have been sick... for a while.  This is a soup my grandma used to make for me.  We always called it Irish stew, but it's really a very simple, five ingredient, soup.  I haven't had this dish in years. Start out with about 4-6 medium potatoes and a medium yellow onion.  Peel and chop the potatoes.  They don't need to be perfectly cubed or diced.  Grandma kept them coarsely chopped - kinda rectangular pieces.  Dice the onion fairly finely - no big chunks.

Add them all to a large pan and add water and salt.  The water should cover the ingredients with at least an inch of water.  Start with a modest amount of salt to keep things evenly seasoned.  Boil until the potatoes are fully cooked and tender.

Before serving, be sure to adjust the salt to your preference.  Grandma used to add evaporated milk when serving the soup.  But, that would turn my insides into outsides, so, I use almond milk.

She would serve it with her homemade bread.  This is the type of food I grew up eating; simple, ungarnished, unadorned, comforting food.

Okra Cornbread

Okra Cornbread

Combining two things I like: savoury cornbread and okra. So often, cornbread is sugary or bland.  I like to make it flavourful and savoury by adding diced onions.  I also like to grind my own organic cornmeal.  I find that popcorn gives a subtle, unique flavour.

In to the Vitamix grinder jar, I add equal portions of popcorn and yellow corn, along with a bit of flax seed.  Flax helps bind the bread to prevent crumbliness.

Grind the corn according to the grinder instructions - or, ya know, just buy cornmeal. It'll be a little different, but it's still going to taste good. Sift the cornmeal to get rid of any chunks.

Then add things to make cornbread: the baking soda, salt, a bit of olive oil and liquid. You can add water, but I like to use almond milk. To take this beyond plain cornbread, add in diced onions and sliced okra.

Add it all together. Mix it all up. The thing about cornbread is it's forgiving. There's no gluten to toughen, so you can make adjustments and keep mixing.

To get the perfect crust on cornbread, bake it in a preheated cast iron pan.  Simply place a seasoned cast iron pan in the oven when the preheat cycle starts.  I like to bake my cornbread at ~425˚F

After the pan is hot, remove it form the oven and add a glug of oil.  Carefully tilt the pan around so that the oil covers the entire bottom and some of the sides.  It's important to add the oil after the preheat to minimize smoking.

Pour the batter in the pan and place it (almost) immediately in the oven.  I added a bit of garnishment - halves of okra and slices of onions - to the top.

IMG_7606 Bake until the top is golden brown ~25 minutes.  When it's done, invert the pan over a plate.  Leaving anything in a hot cast iron pan will cause it to continue cooking past the optimal point.

IMG_7612Golden brown crust from preheating the pan

Thai Spicy Green Beans With Tofu

Thai Spicy Green Beans With Tofu

After touring Thailand, I'm addicted to Thai food.  I mean, I was before, but now it's a daily kinda addiction.  It's just so flavourful and so easy to make vegan and/or gluten free. Lots of fresh veg and tofu make this a plant-based delight. First, saute the tofu - about 10-15 minutes on each side - and set it to cool.  It's kinda tricky to dice when it's wobbly and searing hot.

In the same hot pan, saute a medium onion and bell pepper.  When they're translucent, tip them out of the pan.  Keeping the same hot pan, add a couple cups of chopped green beans.  I prefer long beans, but I couldn't find any I liked at the market.  So, I used "French style" beans, whatever those are.  I like to get the pan quite hot and put a nice sear on the beans.  When they have a few specks of brown, put them with the onion and pepper.  In the hot, hot pan quick sear some diced portobellos.  Again, add them with the other cooked ingredients when they have a bit of colour development.

Make a quick spicy sauce out of:

  • A few hundred mL of coconut milk
  • Tamari sauce - to taste
  • Siracha - ya know, however spicy you like it
  • Red curry paste - a spoon or so
  • Crushed peanuts - also, a spoon
  • Water - enough to thin it down, 100-200 mL

Add the sauce to the hot pan and allow it to settle for a moment, then add in a pile of bean sprouts and turn off the heat.  Add in the, previously set aside, vegetables and mix thoroughly.  Add the diced tofu and a big handful of Thai basil.  Give it one final stir.

Plate it with a nice portion of rice.  I like to use black Thai rice mixed with Jasmine rice.

Baklava Tartlets

Baklava Tartlets

Baklava is a delight, but it takes a while to get all the layers put together. This recipe doesn't completely eliminate the hassle of laminating the filo dough, but it reduces it by 50%. Start by melting down a portion of refined coconut oil. Take a sheet of thawed filo dough and brush it with the melted coconut oil. Repeat, ya know, about a dozen times.  Then, using a small cookie cutter, cut circles of dough and press them into a mini-cupcake tin.

To prepare the filling, start by coarsely chopping equal portions of pistachios, almonds, walnuts and pecans.  Add a pinch or two of salt to counterbalance the sweetness of the syrup.  Place a spoon of the chopped nuts into each cup.

Bake at 180˚C (350˚F) until the shell is golden brown.

Then, prepare the syrup by adding turbinado sugar to a heavy medium-sized pan.  Add to that, 25% by mass, water (25mL water for each 100g sugar).  Then add a few cloves, a cinnamon stick and a whisper of orange blossom water - or - rose water.  Bring to a boil and ensure all the sugar has melted.  Then strain out the cloves and cinnamon stick.

* The syrup needs to be hot when it's poured on the tartlets, so be sure to keep it toasty.

When the shells have reached that perfect golden brown colour, remove them from the oven and immediately pour a bit of syrup on each one.  It should basically cover the chopped nuts, but it shouldn't drown the pastry.  About a tablespoon should be enough.

Allow them to cool and carefully remove them from the muffin tin.

Enjoy these with a piping hot cup of coffee.


Tofu Pad See Ew

Tofu Pad See Ew

This is one of my favourite dishes.  It's so flavourful and it's carb heavy :) First, this isn't totally authentic.  Fish sauce plays a major role in Thai cooking.  I like to substitute tamari sauce - its vegan and gluten free.

Start with wide rice noodles.  Soak them in warm water until they're rubberband-like.  They should be flexible and have a bit of stretch.  While they're soaking, fry up some extra-firm tofu.  It's not essential to fry it, but it keeps the tofu from crumbling so much.  Also, fried food is delicious.

Then mix up a seasoning blend.  I use: tamari, tamarind, palm sugar, a whisper of red curry paste and some coconut milk to keep it all liquid in the pan.  I experimented with black soy sauce in this dish.  It's basically soy sauce with molasses.  It's tasty, but contains gluten.  If that's a deal breaker for you, skip the black soy sauce in favour of tamari and a smidgen of molasses.

Add the seasoning and coconut milk mix to a hot pan and drop in the noodles.  Stir it, jostle it, shake the pan a bit.  Be sure to keep the noodles moving to prevent them from clumping.  Coconut milk is high in fat and it helps keep the noodles moving.

When the rice noodles are starting to get tender, add in some chopped vegetables.  I use bok choi, green onions and carrots.  Continue to cook until the vege is slightly cooked - it should still have some bite; not at all mushy.

Finally, add the tofu.  Adding it last will keep it from getting smashed and crumbly.  Give it a final stir and plate it up with some fresh Thai basil.

Chocolate Pretzels

Chocolate Pretzels

Chocolate and carbs!  How could you go wrong?!  This is the perfect quick and fairly easy snack. Start by melting chocolate over a water bath.  I like to use a vegan dark chocolate.  I like to temper the chocolate by reserving half the chips and seed-tempering:  simply remove the chocolate from the heat and add the remaining chips.  This should cause the cocoa butter crystals form properly and ensure that the chocolate stabilises at room temperature.  This isn't necessary, but it makes for a better end result.

Simply dip the pretzels and affix your favourite toppings before the chocolate solidifies.  Go wild!  I tried pecans, peanuts, and matcha powder.  I also tried drizzling chocolate over almonds and pistachios.

My favourite?  Peanuts!  There's just something magical about peanuts and pretzels and peanuts and chocolate.  But the trio, overtakes them all!

Happy snacking!

Peaches Shortcake

Peaches Shortcake

An adaptation of strawberry shortcake, this dessert captures the fragrant nature of ripe peaches.  Using the biscuit recipe outline found in Ratio, I made the dough from spelt and white flour, coconut oil and almond milk.  I enhance it with little sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. I like to prepare the dough in a food processor.  It's quick, but can overwork the dough.  Just be sure to agitate the dough as little as possible.  I take the easy route and cut the dough into squares.  Bake on parchment paper at 400˚F until golden brown.

While the pastry bakes, prep the peaches by chopping about 4 medium-large peaches.  Simply sprinkle them with castor sugar and mix until all the pieces are coated.  If the peaches won't be served right away, also mix in a splash of lemon juice.

While the shortbread is still warm, cut in half and pile in peaches.  Add the other half of shortbread and top with slices of peaches.  Garnish with a sprig of mint.  Some vegan ice cream or whip can kick it up a notch, too.


Sparkling Cherry Limeade

Sparkling Cherry Limeade

This isn't some artificially flavoured sugary fizzy drink.  It's made from ripe dark cherries and fresh squeezed lime juice. First, either use a cherry pitter - or just halve the cherries and pick out the pit.  This birdbeak knife is handy for things like this.  I use a couple handfulls of cherries per litre of water.  Then juice, or muddle, the cherries.  Since it's just a few cherries, I don't like to dirty up a juicing machine, so smashing with a muddler works easiest.  Then, add the juice of two limes to the smashed cherries.  Strain out the pulp and set aside the juice.

It does need just a little sugar to add some sweetness.  I use about half as much sugar as juice.  Add the sugar and juice to a bit of water.  Then top it off the mixture with seltzer.  Adjust the ratio of all the items to suit your taste, because, ya know, everybody likes things a little different.

Grilled Garden Vegetables

Grilled Garden Vegetables

When the vegetables in the garden are fresh, they don't need much help to taste delicious.  I like to put them on the grill and dress and season them lightly. Most vegetables grill fairly well - as long as they're big enough not to fall through the grate.  Here, I'm using bell pepper, long beans and aubergine.

First, I like to coat everything lightly with olive oil and season with salt.  It tastes great and keeps things from sticking.  Then I like to get a good char on the peppers so that the skin slides off easily.  The beans and eggplant need to grill just long enough to become tender - not mushy.

Plate it up fancy!  So many vegetable dishes tend to be simply piled on the place.  Take a moment to arrange the ingredients to be visually appealing.  I like to serve it with fresh tarragon, basil and cherry tomatoes.  Then, drizzle a bit of aged balsamic and olive oil for extra flavour.  Happy Summer!

Blueberry and Dark Cherry Youghurt Parfait

Blueberry and Dark Cherry Youghurt Parfait

Happy Birthday America!!! This Fourth of July, stay cool with a chilled fresh fruit and youghurt parfait! I make homemade soy youghurt, and flavour it with vanilla bean.  It's fairly easy and really tasty.  

The rest of the ingredients are simple and wholesome: dark cherry halves, rolled oats and blueberries. When I'm in a rush, I just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and stir, but today's special, so let's get fancy!

First, I like to add a layer of youghurt, then oats, then berries.  The oats help keep things in layers - they add a dryness and stability. Sometimes, the sugars in the fruit draw out moisture from the youghurt, making a watery pocket in the parfait.  The oats soak up the separating water and keep things texturally consistent. 

Keep layering the youghurt, oats and fruit until about an inch from the top.  Then, place a row of cherry halves around the top of the glass, followed by a bit more youghurt and a row of blueberries. You could add a sprig of mint, or a few oats to the top.  My favorite thing, however, is a few toasted slivered almonds.  

You can customize this for your tastes.  Use strawberries or raspberries instead of cherries.  Try granola instead of oats.  Any way you make them, parfaits are refreshing summer treats.  

*Despite my European, Asian and Brittish tendencies, I'm really proud to be American.  Happy Fourth!

Savoury Scones

Savoury Scones

I have heaps of courgette frim the garden.  I'm thinking of every way to work it into my cooking.  These savoury scones pack in garden-fresh zucchini. Normally, I don't like fake food.  But, Daiya has a fairly good imitation cheese.  Adding a bit to this dish adds a nice flavour.

Using the ratio recipe found in the Ratio Cookbook, I use 300g spelt-wheat flour blend, 100g coconut oil and 200g almond milk.  And, baking powder. To make it savoury, smoky and flavourful, I use: smoky paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and an extra bit of salt.

In a food processor, add the flour, baking powder and solid coconut oil.  Blend until crumbly.  Then, add in the almond milk, spices, salt, "cheese," and grated zucchini.  I also added chopped onion and tarragon.

Blitz a few seconds - just until the ingredients are mixed.  Any more mixing and it'll make a tough a tough scone (and it would completely smash up the zucchini).

Gather the dough and press into a parchment lined baking round.  Bake at 180˚C (350˚F) until the tops are golden brown.

Serve warm, garnished with a bit of "cheese" and chives.

Fresh Courgetti Salad

Fresh Courgetti Salad

I just got a Spiralizer! I love it.  Here's a light and flavourful dish using summer squash from the garden.

Start with a couple medium sized courgettes (zucchini) and run through the small spiralizer blades.  Halve, or quarter, a dozen cherry tomatoes.  Dice half of a small red onion.  Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and season with salt.  Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the mixture and toss lightly.

Garnish with fresh herbs: parsley, tarragon and basil.




With grapes on the vine and leaves to spare, it's time to make dolmades!  There are several types with different filling.  I like a nice savoury eggplant and rice filling to make the perfect doma. Start by roasting an eggplant (aubergine).  I like to score it, salt it and drizzle on olive oil.  While it's roasting, plunge the grape leaves in boiling water.  Continue to cook them until they're tender.  Also, prepare a bit of rice to add to the filling.  I like to use brown jasmine rice.  It imparts a nice texture and a subtle, delightful flavour.

When the eggplant is mushy and browned, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.  When it's cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and combine it with a bit of rice.  I use nearly equal portions of each.  Then, mix in a bit of turmeric, onion powder, lemon juice and salt.

Place a spoon of the filling mixture onto a grape leaf and roll it up - kinda like a little burrito.  Garnish with dill and drizzle with olive oil.

Smoky Hummus

Smoky Hummus

Smooth, smoky and tasty; this hummus tastes like summer. I hesitate to liken this hummus to "barbecue" flavour since it can mean so many different things.  But, it's kind of like barbecue potato chips (my weakness).

Start with the spice blend and the basic hummus ingredients:  garlic powder, smoky paprika, onion powder, salt, olive oil and lemon juice.  I use tinned chickpeas, but I always make sure to wash them.  This rinses away the thickeners and some of the gas producing compounds.

Add all the spices, the oil and lemon juice to a food processor, or high powered blender.  (I used a Vitamix).  Then add a bit of water ~250ml, and half the chickpeas.  It's important to add only half if you're using a blender.  It allows the ingredients to liquify, which makes it easier for the rest of the chickpeas to integrate in the blender.

Puree until the ingredients are liquified, then add the last half of the chickpeas.  Blend until smooth, adjusting the seasoning and liquid (oil and water) to suit your tastes.

Enjoy this smooth, smoky spread with pita bread, or in a veggie wrap.

Coconut Baklava!

Coconut Baklava!

Baklava is one of those things I never really liked.  I was accustomed to the pre-made slobbery, greasy, over-sugared, store-bought baklava.  It just isn't the real thing.  After visiting Turkey, I got a better idea of what makes a good baklava, so I perfected a recipe.  But it was laden with butter.  I wanted to make a version that was completely vegan and tasted just as good.  I didn't capture all the sequence of photos for this batch.  Check my original baklava recipe for more detail: Start with a blend of nuts and coconut.  I like pistachios, pecans, walnuts and almonds, all in equal portions.  Chop them a little bit coarsely in a food processor and set aside.

The time consuming part of baklava is in the pastry.  It's easy enough to buy filo dough, but it has to be layered and brushed with coconut oil.  I start out by brushing the pan with oil, then a sheet of dough, then brush with oil.  I like to have 10-12 layers of dough for the bottom crust.  Then, add the nuts, about a centimetre deep.  The top pastry is the same procedure as the bottom crust, 10 layers of filo dough, brushed with coconut oil.  It's important to cut the baklava prior to baking. Then bake ~20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, at 350˚F.

The syrup is the thing that brings the baklava together.  The traditional recipe calls for honey, but to make it strict-vegan I use turbinado sugar.  It's sometimes called "raw," demerara or unrefined sugar.  I use equal portions of sugar and water - about a cup of each.  Then, I add a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves and orange blossom water.  Bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar crystals have dissolved.  Set aside until the baklava is done baking.  Just before removing the baklava from the oven, return the syrup to a boil and strain our the cinnamon stick and cloves.

Working quickly, remove the baklava and pour the hot syrup over the pastry.

I wanted to add a bit extra to these, so I drizzled the top with vegan Belgian chocolate and added a sprinkle of shredded coconut.