Let Me Invite You for Tea

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Let me introduce you to our new Guest editor, Larissa Brachvogel, who will occasionally cook for IRMA on irmasworld.com.

MUNICH: Having lived in England for three years where afternoon tea is a must, I have come to really appreciate this tradition. Enjoying a steaming hot cup of tea, preferably with a dash of milk and along with a crumbly biscuit is like taking a short time out from the busy everyday life and allowing oneself to cherish the little things.

Now, with Christmas being just around the corner and as we find ourselves in a rush between work and last-minute Christmas shopping, I have invited IRMA for tea. In England, a proper afternoon tea is accompanied by little cakes, pastries, scones and sandwiches. My take includes all of that, just a bit healthified and of course, vegan: think traditional scones with jam, lush hazelnut berry tartlets, whole wheat banana muffins that aren’t too sweet and creamy avocado sliders… Let me show you what I have prepared.

RECIPES for a vegan high tea

Scones

Ingredients (makes about 8)

  • 170g flour
  • 5 tbsp cold vegan butter, like Alsan or Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 125 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • a pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a tray with baking paper.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the butter and mix into the dry ingredients using the dough hook of your mixer until you have a crumbly texture.
4. Now add the milk and stir using a fork. You should be left with a soft dough, don’t worry if it’s a little sticky.
5. Using your hands, make 8 equal balls out of the dough and place onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with jam!

Avocado sliders

Ingredients (makes 6)

  • 6 miniature bread buns
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 6 thin tomato slices
  • 12 thin cucumber slices
  • a handful of arugula
  • a handful of thinly sliced red onion
  • a handful of shredded red cabbage
  • a squeeze of lime
  • salt & pepper

1. In a small bowl mash the avocado with a squeeze of lime and salt & pepper to taste.
2. Cut the bread buns ¾ of the way open and fill each one with a few leaves of arugula, a generous dollop of avocado mash, a slice of tomato, two slices of cucumber and a little bit of red cabbage and onion – voilá!

Banana walnut muffins

Ingredients (makes 6-7 little muffins)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 2 tbsp melted vegan butter, like Alsan or Earth Balance
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • a handful of crushed walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and prepare some muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl mash the banana using a fork or small whisk. Add the sugar, baking soda and salt and whisk until combined.
3. Now stir in the melted butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
4. Divide the batter equally into the muffin liners and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes. Taste great warm or cold!

Hazelnut berry tartlets

Ingredients (makes 4 tartlets)
For the crust:

  • 50g flour
  • 40g whole wheat flour
  • 60g cold vegan butter, like Alsan or Earth Balance
  • 60g sugar
  • 60g ground hazelnuts
  • 15g finely chopped almonds
  • ½ tbsp of ground chia or flax seeds
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • zest of half a lemon
  • a pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 125ml of almond milk
  • 10g of starch
  • 1 tbsp of agave syrup
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon zest
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 punnets of fresh berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350F and grease four little tartlet moulds. Mix ½ tbsp of ground chia seeds with 1 ½ tbsp of water in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, nuts, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt. Add the cold butter and the chia mixture and mix using the dough hook of your mixer. Then use your hands and kneed the mixture until you have a smooth dough.
3. Press equally into the moulds and don’t forget the sides. (you might not need all the dough!) Prick each tartlet with a fork a couple of times, cover with baking paper rounds and fill with dried legumes (e.g., chickpeas or beans). Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
4. Once the tartlets are out of the oven and cooling, prepare the pudding filling: Mix 1 ½ tbsp of almond milk with the starch and salt and set aside. In a small pan heat the rest of the almond milk on medium heat and add the agave syrup, a little bit of lemon zest to taste and a drop of vanilla extract. Once the milk is boiling, add the starch mixture and quickly stir with a whisk (it will thicken very quickly)
5. Top each tartlets with a bit of jam and pudding and all the berries you want! To finish, dust with some powdered sugar!

About Larissa Brachvogel

Larissa Brachvogel was born and raised in Munich. Her mother being a flight attendant raised Larissa’s passion for travelling at a very young age and she has since visited countless countries, both with family and friends and by herself. Her most recent travels include pilgrimages through Portugal and Spain, volunteering in Ethiopia for three months and as of next January, she will be continuing her studies in media & communications in Norway.

Food has always played a very important role for Larissa, she loves to eat healthily and to cook and bake herself. Her recipes are wholesome, nutritious and plant-based and are often inspired by her travels. Larissa shares her recipes, travel stories and life on her newly launched blog and on Instagram. Join her every now and then on IRMASWORLD.COM, where she cooks her latest recipes for IRMA.

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Larissa Brachvogel was born and raised in Munich. She has a strong passion for travelling and has visited countless countries. Her most recent travels include pilgrimages through Portugal and Spain, volunteering in Ethiopia and studying media & communications in Norway. Food has always played a very important role for Larissa, she loves to eat healthily and to cook and bake herself. Her recipes are wholesome, nutritious and plant-based and are often inspired by her travels. Larissa shares her recipes, travel stories and life on her newly launched blog and on Instagram.

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