Fluffy Cacao & Date Swirls

Hello and happy Sunday!

Baking with yeast is one of my absolute favorite things to do in the kitchen, for the simple reason that it’s so rewarding. Taking that extra bit of time (the rising!) and effort (the kneading!) is well worth it in my opinion, when you consider that sense of accomplishment of seeing your dough rise, and the delight of that first doughy bite (and all the next 😉 ).

Today I’m sharing a recipe with you for super soft swirl buns with a sweet cacao-date filling. They’re perfect for brunch or a snack – eaten as they are or with some nut butter on top 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Makes: ca. 10 buns

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 465g Zopfmehl (this is a mix of plain white flour and spelt flour that the Swiss like to use for making the traditional platted loaf Zopf; if you can’t get this, I’d suggest mixing ca. 90% plain white flour with 10% spelt flour)
  • 15g cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1/2 40g cube fresh yeast (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2.5 dl rice milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 80g margarine; soft
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Filling

  • 300g soft dates (I used the Sukari cooking ones from Palmyradelights.ch)
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter/ other nut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 4.5 tbsp cacao powder 
  • 4.5 tbsp rice milk
  • optional: dark chocolate chunks, chopped nuts (e.g. pecans)

*Note: Due to a collaboration with Iswari you can get 5% off orders from iswari.ch using the discount code “blueberrysmiles” (I earn a small commission on such orders). I’m loving the quality of their products – from “superfood” powders to their unique mixes such as the Breakfast Protein. I linked the cacao and lucuma to the website as I used the Iswari products for this recipe.

Instructions

Dough

  1. Lightly heat up the rice milk so that it’s lukewarm (not hot), add 1 tbsp of maple syrup and crumble in the 1/2 cube of fresh yeast. Leave for a few minutes.
  2. Measure the flour and cacao into a large bowl, add the lucuma and mix well before adding the salt on the side (not mixing in, as you don’t want it to come in touch with the yeast yet). With your hand, create a well in the center of the bowl.
  3. Pour the yeast/rice milk/maple syrup mixture into the middle of the flour well, sprinkling a little bit of flour on top. Leave for ca. 5 to 10 minutes – you should see some bubbles form.
  4. Next, add in the margarine and the remaining 2 tbsp of maple syrup and mix together using your hands until it all comes together. Knead the dough until elastic (ideally it should stretch until almost transparent – if it breaks apart instead of stretching it needs some more kneading). It took me a good 15-20 minutes by hand (alternatively knead it by machine using a dough hook, for ca. 10 minutes on low).
  5. Shape the dough into a round, place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave somewhere warm to rise for ca. 1 hour 45 minutes.
  6. Filling – Blend together the ingredients for the filling (dates, peanut butter, maple syrup, lucuma, cacao powder and rice milk) until a thick, sticky paste forms. (My dates were so soft I could just mash them with a fork and mix everything together without having to use extra equipment – always great when there’s less washing up to do 😉 ).
  7. The dough should have at least doubled in size. Punch the air out and roll it out to a rectangular shape. Spread the sticky cacao-date mix onto the dough evenly. At this stage you can also sprinkle some dark chocolate chunks and/or chopped nuts on top of the filling.
  8. Roll the dough inwards, starting from one of the longer sides of the rectangle, gently but also firmly, so that you form a compact log. With a sharp knife slice up the log into even slices and place these on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  9. Bake the swirl buns in an oven preheated to 200 °C for about 20 minutes (oven time may vary, so keep an eye on them. They should be lightly browned on the top and bottom, but still spring back a bit when you press the sides).
  10. Leave to cool on the baking tray and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Celine

xoxo

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Plant-Based Eating – Zurich, Part II

Hello and happy Monday!

I’m finally back with some more plant-based food recommendations.

Work and moving has meant less time and energy for hobbies. But eating as much good plant-based food as possible is still very much a passion, so here are some more recommendations for vegan food in Zurich (for the first part of this series check out this post).

 

For every daySimply Soup

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This has become one of my favorite go-to’s for a quick & healthy lunch during the week. Their aim of making ‘delicious but healthy fast food available to everyone, everywhere at any time!‘ and their belief in fresh, seasonal andhomemade food definitely comes across in their dishes. Besides the obvious option of soup (always including a vegan choice, such as ‘lentil green-curry’ or ‘indian dhal saba’) they have salads, sandwiches and – the main attraction for me so far – their buddha-bowl style bowls. Currently they have a ‘Crunchy Kale Quinoa Bowl’ that I haven’t yet tried, as I’m too obsessed with the ‘Asian Soba Noodle Bowl’ (soba noodles, edamame, mango, avocado, carrots, broccoli, sesame seeds and a wonderfully flavorful sweet tahini dressing). They also sell delicious sweet snacks by Joeli’s (@hellojoelis) in cute little tubs: Raw Brownie Bites, Coco Kisses and Cacao Energy Balls (super yummy and they went down well with my work colleagues).

I like the bright interior, the positive and healthy vibe and the fact that Simply Soup is active on social media so you can always see what’s going on and what new items they have

Locations: There is one near the tram station Kalkbreite/Wiedikon (Kalkbreitestrasse 10), one near Stauffacher (Hallwylstrasse 24) and the most central one at Pelikanstrasse 19 (haven’t been to that one yet).

 

For special occasionsMarktküche

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For vegan haute cuisine/fine dining this place is a MUST! All-vegan and all out amazing, this place is worth the hefty price tag. I took my boyfriend here to celebrate getting the job I wanted, and we were in heaven eating 5 courses of beautifully arranged dishes that were absolutely bursting with creativity and flavor. The service reflected the high quality of the place and added to our experience. If you’re visiting Zurich or have something to celebrate definitely make a reservation and let yourself be delighted by the amazing combinations of tastes and textures. (On the last Friday of every month they’re also open for lunch).

Location: Feldstrasse 98 (near Bäckeranlage)

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Vegan buffetVegelateria (The Sacred)

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I first found out about this fully vegan eatery and gelateria (!) via my HappyCow App, but only ended up going when one of my work colleagues mentioned it recently. Once there I kicked myself for not going earlier – this place is like a less stylish version of trendy vegetarian eatery Hiltl, but more exciting. The buffet is fully vegan and, while smaller than the one at Hiltl, has all kinds of interesting dishes (once you’ve been to Hiltl a few times, you tend to recognize most things). I was in heaven walking around, deciding which items to pick and piling a bit of everything on my plate. A serious highlight was also the chocolate truffle I got for dessert – the most satisfying chocolately experience I can remember. There are also cheesecakes and all kinds of other sweet treats, not to mention a large array of vegan ice creamsthat I can’t wait to try, now that the weather has gotten warmer.

Location: Müllerstrasse 64 (near Helvetiaplatz)

 

Le Cèdre

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If you like Lebanese food, you should definitely give this a go. This place is quite well-known, and I’ve been loving it since before going plant-based. I went there again recently after my graduation ceremony, and was hit again by just how delicious everything is. There are many nice Lebanese places in Zurich, but this is the best in my eyes. My favorite thing is to order vegetarian mezze (most of it vegan, and they’ll tell you which ones are not) to share and then feast on the creamiest hummus, delicious falafel, moutabel etc. Be sure to make a reservation, to be on the safe side.

Locations: one near the tram stop Bellevue (Schifflände 5) and one near the stop Bezirksgebäude (Badenerstrasse 78)

 

Neni 

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Now while Le Cèdre (above) is definitely the place to go to for Lebanese food, I have to mention the delicious (!) hummus and falafels I had at the Neni (within the 25hours hotel Zurich). Some friends and I originally went there because we’d heard they do a great, veggie-friendly brunch. To me the brunch (around CHF 36) looked like a typical European hotel brunch, with Zopf, butter and jam, cheeses and meats, and I would have struggled to get a proper meal in. Luckily we were there just in time for the lunch menu (around 11.30 am), and we all ended up going for hummus and falafels while sharing super satisfying and crispy sweet potato fries. While I’d not specifically recommend it for brunch, the lunch dishes we tried were so delicious and I’d definitely order them again!

Locations: Zürich West (Pfingstweidstrasse 102; near the Toni-Areal) and Langstrasse 150

 

Vegan PizzaAvanti

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This (from the outside) not extremely impressive-looking Italian joint was a completely accidental discovery. When I was driving into Zurich to bring more of my things to my new place, we took a wrong turn. Somewhat grumpy by that point, my mood immediately changed for the better when I saw the words „vegan pizza“ – all irritation at the traffic and false turns vanished as I delighted at the prospect of a new place to try. I went there on Friday evening around 8 pm and was surprised to see the place completely crowded, with young couples and groups of friends sitting in the tiny dimly-lit restaurant, the TV on in the background, and a queue of people ordering takeaway while an authentically rotund, Italian-looking guy was preparing pizza after pizza. I was so impressed that this (non-vegan) Italian place had specifically designated vegan options. I went for a vegan vegetable pizza (they use a soy-based cheese) and enjoyed every bite. While no Pickywops or Fed by Watersensation you can get in London, this is definitely the place to hit up in Zurich for pizza cravings – both vegan and regular.

Location: Stationsstrasse 1 (near Kalkbreite/Wiedikon)

 

That’s it for part II of my Zurich recommendations – as vegan options are becoming more and more widespread here, I’m sure I’ll be back with another part in the not-too-distant future

Have a lovely evening and a great start to the week!

Celine

xoxo