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dark chocolate espresso scones, coconut cream + jam

Before I tell you about these cozy vegan scones (based on my favourite spelt scone recipe), all flecked with ground espresso and shards of dark chocolate, I want to talk about small changes. Oh, and big, unexpected outcomes. Simple and serious pleasures that result from small and mindful movements.

Up until a month ago, this was a typical morning for me: dog busts through the door, jumps on the bed, starts relentlessly licking my face and whimpering excitedly. It’s cute, but I scrunch my face up and tell her to seriously quit it. Feeling super groggy and on the edge of barely-rested, I reluctantly get out of my warm bed. The floor is harshly cold. The super regimented movements of coffee production come next. A firm “nah” to a tall glass of water to hydrate my probably parched body–clambering for a giant cup of caffeine is at the top of my list. IT IS the list. And I live and die by the list. Once a piping hot sixteen ounces of dark roast are at my fingertips, I’ll watch the news or putter about on the computer, doing absolutely nothing in particular for way too long. Non-productivity reigns, still groggy/miserable, bound by caffeine’s chains, no breakfast to speak of quite yet… Ready to face the day? Ah, I guess I could rig something up…

I took coffee out of the equation and my world basically turned upside down.

Pup still comes crashing in all excited (and I couldn’t be happier about that), but now I feel seriously rested, like to the core. I remember to put on wooly socks. I have a bit of an early-morning-super-glow-y stride into the kitchen and get the tea kettle working. The first cup is always herbal, something with lavender or chamomile to keep the blissed-out-calm-upon-waking thing going. I get to look at the winter scenes out the kitchen window while I wait for the bubbles. Then I read a book (this one currently) and, for lack of a better descriptive phrase, I chill the most. Next, I move to some earl or lady grey, all filled out with some warm, vanilla scented almond or cashew milk, I start to get ready for the day ahead, actually eat a balanced breakfast, think about the many other delicious cups of tea I’ll probably consume… you get the idea. Different beverage = better life.

I still try to have one really good coffee on a day off–it’s one of my favourite things to do with my man, actually. And I’m not saying that cutting down coffee consumption is for everyone or that it will just solve your life’s problems. It very simply worked for me within the context that I needed it to. I knew that my morning routine wasn’t contributing anything actually good to my existence overall. Initially, I just hated feeling weakened by one, small habit; that I needed coffee to be somewhat agreeable towards other beings in the am. It was an issue of control, no doubt. I changed that one small thing and life kind of spilled and tumbled forward to a more abundant daily disposition. Stillness is more easily arrived at and I’m not a completely terrible person in the early hours anymore. Many wins.

Since tea is more my pace these days, I thought I’d make you something wholesome, but indulgent, to go with a calming brew. I’ve made this spelt scone recipe many times, always changing up the add-ins and aromatics based on the season and my own cravings. I used to love one in particular from a local bakery with ground espresso and big, dark chocolate pieces. I decided that a homemade version was needed, a coffee flecked indulgence that plays nice with tea. I had a dark bar of chocolate infused with espresso in my pantry that had to be used in this one glorious purpose. I thinned out my basic coconut cream recipe for a nice, fatty and sweet dollop of goodness to compliment the hearty structure and strong flavour of the scone. A dab of sour-sweet raspberry jam finishes this out nicely. Luxe breakfast or sweet snack, this part is up to you.

vegan dark chocolate + espresso spelt scones
Lightly adapted from the Babycakes NYC Cookbook
serves: makes 6-8
notes: I use a combination of whole and light spelt flour, but I’ve also made it with 100% of one or the other and it worked out great.

scones:
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 cup light spelt flour
1/2 tbsp ground espresso or coffee
pinch of fine sea salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup melted coconut oil + extra for brushing
1/3 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup, brown rice syrup etc)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water
50 grams of dark chocolate (this was 1/2 a standard bar for me), roughly chopped

to serve:
slightly thinned out coconut cream (recipe here)
jam of choice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the whole and light spelt flour, ground espresso, sea salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine. To the flour mixture, add the melted coconut oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Stir until a very crumbly/dry batter forms. Add the hot water to the mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped dark chocolate until evenly mixed throughout the batter.

Grease a 1/3 cup measuring cup and fill it with portions of the dough. Drop the portions onto the parchment lined sheet, giving each an inch or so of space. Brush the tops with melted coconut oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 13-14 minutes, flipping the sheet around at the halfway mark. Allow scones to cool slightly before serving with coconut cream and jam.

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Sophie {The Cake Hunter}06/02/2013 - 6:21 am

I’m in love! These look amazing. I want to put coconut oil in everything I bake because it’s just the best ingredient I’ve used in years. Definitely pinning this to my to do list.

Natasha06/02/2013 - 7:55 am

I love the idea of a vegan scone, especially one with coconut oil and chocolate. Although, I definitely don’t think I will be giving up my morning coffee anytime soon. It makes me feel like the day has begun! I for some reason am opposite with tea–I love it mid-afternoon. In any case, vegan scones are now next on my list. Thanks for the inspiration!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar06/02/2013 - 8:40 am

These are so pretty! And look awesome too. Yum!

thelittleloaf06/02/2013 - 9:33 am

I’ve never drunk coffee so haven’t had to contend with the problems it brings, but I always remember my Mum telling me how hard it was to quit back when she was my age. She now drinks herbal teas and infusions and feels so much better for it!

I love the look of these simple little scones and am also a fan of coffee in baking (even though I don’t drink it), so they would be my idea of the perfect breakfast.

erin06/02/2013 - 10:19 am

I’ve been back and forth with moving away from tea and I’ve found similar results (even down to the not being grumpy when the dog wakes you up in the morning!) But like you, I still enjoy a good cup every once and awhile.

These scones look absolutely perfect and I love that they are vegan (Oh and your photos, absolutely gorgeous- the lighting is just perfect!)

Michelle06/02/2013 - 10:22 am

You know my love of scones runs pretty deep lady! These look glorious! My morning routine is pretty much the opposite of yours (wake up, run, barely have enough time for breakfast/getting clothed before I run out the door). I don’t even have time for coffee until I get to the office! But I am feeling the effects of too much coffee throughout the day on my sleep patterns, for real. Considering switching to tea for the afternoon pick me up, for real. This is just a reminder to run down to tealish or David’s to pick up some sweet loose leaf options. What are your favourites mid-afternoon enjoyment?

Michelle06/02/2013 - 10:23 am

Also, realized I used “for real” in two consecutive sentences, and forgot a word. Can you tell I haven’t had my morning pick-me-up? :)

Laura Wright06/02/2013 - 10:51 am

Michelle! Here’s a little run down of my faves for mid-afternoon (for real haha):

1) This Moroccan Mint from Tealish. So fresh: http://www.tealish.com/product-p/morocc.htm
2) Hojicha in general. It’s a roasted green tea, so the caffeine is lower, but the taste is strong: http://www.tealish.com/product-p/hojich.htm
3) This Provencal Rooibos from Tealish-It’s hydrating from the rooibos and mad calming from the lavender: http://www.tealish.com/product-p/rooibo.htm
4) This Creme Brulee Rooibos from David’s Tea. It’s insane in the brain. Sweet and lovely for afternoon slumps: http://www.davidstea.com/organic-creme-brulee
5) And Genmaicha too. That roasted brown rice tea feels constantly appropriate for me.

Michelle06/02/2013 - 11:16 am

So many sweet recommendations! I LOVE Genmaicha and those others sound amazing (especially the Creme Brulee Rooibos, wowza). On it.

Kathryn06/02/2013 - 2:49 pm

I used to have a serious caffeine problem – not so much the quantity but that I would get to a certain stage in the day and NEED some. I’ve felt so much better since I just cut it out (apart from the minimal amount in chocolate obviously).

These scones sound just the perfect tweet – sweet but with a little bitterness and just a touch of wholesomeness. Love them.

Courtney06/02/2013 - 5:47 pm

Though I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, I do love a good coffee & espresso flecked baked good. These look like something I could get behind for breakfast. I love that you topped them with the coconut cream and raspberry jam. YUM!!

jillian {gingerspoon}06/02/2013 - 7:02 pm

I can relate in so many ways–trying life without coffee this past month, love of wooly socks and warm things, and an irrepressible affinity for the combination of dark chocolate and espresso. These look fantastic, and I’m so glad they play nice with tea…perfect.

Eileen06/02/2013 - 8:39 pm

Well, now I have an excellent idea of what might happen to the coconut oil that’s been languishing in my cabinet. :) These scones sound amazing!

Katie (The Muffin Myth)07/02/2013 - 2:28 am

I gave up coffee years ago because it makes me feel anxious and crazy, but I drink a lot (a LOT) of tea – particularly black tea. I haven’t slept well in ages, so I decided to cut waaaaay back on tea. Now I start my day with hot water with lemon, and then one cup of black tea. No black tea past 9am, maybe a cup of oolong or green tea a little bit later. I’ve only been doing this for a week or so, but last night I actually slept. I’ve also started an evening meditation routine, so that may be helping as well.

Anyways, these scones look great. I’ve got the remnants of a bag of spelt flour kicking around which I need to use up before I can justify buying a new one. These scones look like just the ticket! Thanks for another great recipe.

Caitlin07/02/2013 - 10:18 am

when i was college, i started out drinking two cups of coffee in the morning. fast forward 5 years, after i moved out of my parents house, and i was drinking half a pot of coffee in the morning- all within a one hour period of time. in the back of my mind, i always wanted to stop drinking it. as luck would have it, my coffee maker broke this past july, forcing me to stop drinking it cold turkey and switching over to green tea. the first few days of withdrawal were brutal- migraine headaches, depression, inability to concentrate. but, after that it was smooth sailing, and i’m so happy that i’m off that stimulant completely. espresso tasting goodies are the exception though, as i’d eat one of these scones in a heartbeat ;)

la domestique07/02/2013 - 11:50 am

I’ve been weaning off caffeine completely before starting a cleanse today, and the first few days were tough, but now I feel really good. I’m a real chocoholic and those scones look so good!

[…] roasted carrot salad with cashew labneh, avocado + frisée all the way and on the baking side, dark chocolate espresso scones w/ coconut cream + jam are calling my […]

Maria07/02/2013 - 6:14 pm

Scones are one of my very favorite breakfast treats. Can’t wait to try these!

Richa07/02/2013 - 7:46 pm

the only time i drank loads of coffee was when i was working in a the finance industry.. thank god i changed jobs after just a year and a half.
These scones look heavenly with that coconut cream and jam.!

Julia08/02/2013 - 2:09 pm

wow!! we had a snow day here today.. so that meant i got to play in the kitchen. just finished nibbling on a still-warm-from the oven scone!! this recipe rocks!! i’m a one cup a day gal. i periodically give up coffee for a few weeks at a time. always feeling great when i do.. much like you. i ALWAYS seem to come back to it though?! i love coffee everything!! so these scones are just brilliant. i’ll try to save one for monday morning, when i “give up” my coffee. again. thanks:)

[…] doing this Perfect Health Diet, I’d totally be all over these scrumptious-looking Dark Chocolate Espresso Scones with Coconut Cream & Jam (The First […]

Kristy08/02/2013 - 6:12 pm

I have been slowly weaning myself off coffee too and trying to save it for the weekends, making it more of a treat. I was actually toying with the idea of making espresso scones, though, and now I don’t need to look any further for a recipe! :-)

Kathryne10/02/2013 - 5:20 pm

First, let me say that these photos are spectacular, Laura. Second, I hear you on the coffee thing, but I swear, I really, I… can’t give it up. I’ve been thinking about spending my first hour awake reading instead of opening up my computer first thing. That counts, right?

sarah11/02/2013 - 12:29 am

I’ve given up coffee many times over the years, and always find myself crawling back to it at some point. I do hate the thought of needing it – I need it so I don’t get a headache, I need it to feel awake, I need it to be human. Tea is a much better choice! Really, but I don’t drink it.

Sigh.

Anyway, you’re awesome. I always feel challenged and encouraged by your good choices. And your scones! Beautiful. I love scones.

Nat @ the Apple Diaries12/02/2013 - 7:07 am

Absolutely delectable! What a great idea for a healthier, more creative scone recipe. I have a beautiful homemade rosella jam that would go perfectly with these ;)

Thanks!

Jacqui12/02/2013 - 4:18 pm

I love a good scone recipe; for breakfast or snack! And love the coconut cream/jam combo on top! I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but I do love the ritual of a morning (or all day long) cup of tea. Glad you were able to make the small change you needed to have a better start to the day : )

RootedVegan15/02/2013 - 1:25 pm

I love baking with coconut oil, but sometimes I can’t find it and I still want to make scones, etc. Have you ever used canola oil or grapeseed oil in place of coconut oil? Just curious if it can be swapped out with a similar effect? Thanks for any tips!

Laura Wright15/02/2013 - 2:30 pm

Hi there! I think canola or grapeseed would work just fine in terms of structure for these scones. I just love using the coconut oil because it gives off that buttery-coconutty flavour. With that in mind, canola or grapeseed might give the scone a lighter flavour in general.
-L

[…] und falls ihr jetzt lust auf scones zum frühstück habt, kommt hier das rezept (entdeckt auf lauras the first mess) […]

ellen19/02/2013 - 5:53 pm

Just pulled one out of the oven. I am not one to resist coffee and chocolate, but I don’t keep coffee in the house! I did add some cocoa nibs for the roasty flavor, and used whole wheat flour. They turned out awesome, and pretty moist. I used maple for the sweetener and sprinkled the tops with coarse sugar for looks and a little added sweetness. Can’t wait for tea time this afternoon :)

P.S. I think you mean allow scones to COOL before serving.

Laura Wright19/02/2013 - 5:58 pm

Your version with cacao nibs and maple syrup sounds delicious, Ellen! And thanks for catching that little error :)
-L

Kasey24/02/2013 - 8:52 pm

The day after I found out I was pregnant, I immediately stopped drinking coffee and I had a RAGING headache for 3 days. But, soon after, I felt less tired. I had fewer headaches and weirdly, I had MORE energy. I’ve slowly been getting back into it, but I find I’ll drink less than half a cup (just for the taste of it) and feel pretty happy and satisfied. Gorgeous scones, lady!

[…] over this dark chocolate espresso scones from The First Mess which is also my new found blog crush. I admire not only the recipes posted on […]

[…] over this dark chocolate espresso scones from The First Mess which is also my new found blog crush. I admire not only the recipes posted on […]

Ellie25/04/2013 - 10:54 am

Hi there, i really want to try this recipe but was wondering… will veg. oil work instead of coconut oil and all purpose flour instead of spelt flour? thanks so much!

Laura Wright26/04/2013 - 9:10 am

Hi Ellie! Those two substitutions should work just fine.
-L

Ellie26/04/2013 - 1:11 pm

thanks so much!

Kristen20/11/2013 - 3:00 pm

Hi Laura!

Is this recipe considered gluten free?

Thanks and can’t wait to make it :)
-Kristen

Laura Wright20/11/2013 - 8:28 pm

Hi Kristen, It is not considered gluten free because of the spelt flour. I would recommend subbing in 2 cups of a gluten-free all purpose flour mix for the whole + light spelt. There are lots of good ones out there these days and you can even make your own!: http://www.ohladycakes.com/2012/01/how-to-make-gluten-free-flour.html

Hope this helps!
-L

[…] is not really Kuchen, but it goes very well with the morning or afternoon-coffee (or both): “dark chocolate espresso scones“ (from the beautiful blog The First Mess). I actually had a serious scones-craving for weeks […]

mushroom + stout pot pies with sweet potato crusts

I decided that I wanted this year to be challenging and adventurous. Those are the only concepts/freeform goals that I’m taping up in the most visible spot of my mind for the time. Nothing quantifiable. Just things to work on and places to go–these goals can be rather expansive once you lay into them, which could explain why I’m telling you about my year two thousand and thirteen (wowzer, I know) goals on January 30th. Late to the party again, but totally fine with it this time. The extra consideration and space offered substance to those airy ideals.

Mark and I planned our first adventure of the year two days ago (just a little road trip–comin’ for you, America) and I started a bit of a challenge exactly yesterday. It’s a small and big undertaking at the same time. Up until a couple years ago, I ate strictly vegan foods. I gave up that way of living rather slowly when I moved away from the city, still maintaining a mostly plant-based diet, sure, but allowing for a bit more flexibility. Towards the end, I had qualms about the lifestyle, wondering if it was strictly a choice for the privileged. Why shouldn’t I be grateful for any form of wholesome food that came my way, animal-sourced or not? How a vegan diet, or any way of eating, aligns with or directly contradicts the ways of accessibility is varied across time, place and the community of people that surround.

I will say that eschewing animal-based products did bring an overall lightness in everyday being to my own life. My energy was even and good, perfect stillness in sleep, a freed mind in certain heady ways, lots of vegetables–undeniably good living on the whole. Slipping into some decidedly omni ways has more often than not felt like a denial of a truer nature to me. Rules and labels are not a part of my world and I certainly don’t conceive of anything spanning eternity, but a certain recognition has welled up within. I always do what feels right, based in thought or bodily intuition. In this particular moment, going back to that lightness is what I want most. There is that twinge of fear–of deprivation and judgment, but fear becomes a nonentity when you decide to take on exactly what you want with purpose.

And in the vein of intention and purpose, I made you these pot pies. I wanted to offer up something of this nature for a while, trying them with biscuit-y toppings and the like. This one is easily the best version so far. I basically filled out the mushrooms with all of the dark and more potent ingredients I had that would work together. There’s the mushrooms, all cooked down to a messy and unctuous jumble, leeks, shallots, garlic, thyme, stout, tamari, balsamic vinegar and bits of olives for a fruity-salty hit. The sweet potatoes get just the right amount of crispness from a visit in the oven and help to sop up the goodness below. It’s very hearty, peak-winter fare to see us through it all.

mushroom + stout pot pies with sweet potato crusts
serves: 4-6 (depending on how hearty you want the serving to be, what else you’re eating etc.)
notes: I think it’s important to use a stout that you would normally drink on its own for this. If you don’t like it in the glass, the taste of it reduced down will not appeal to you either. Feel free to use a mix of red wine and vegetable stock in place of the stout if you like (like 1/2 cup red wine + 3/4 cup vegetable stock). I would skip the balsamic vinegar or drastically reduce the amount to a tiny splash if you go the red wine route though. There should be enough acidity from the reduction of the wine.

3 tbsp grapeseed or other neutral oil + extra for greasing, divided
2 shallots, fine dice
1 leek (white part only), chopped
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed + extra for garnish
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 lbs mixed mushrooms (I used cremini, portobello + shiitake), trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
3 tbsp spelt OR wholewheat flour (or GF flour/flour blend of choice–I’ve read that sorghum flour is great for thickening sauces)
1 cup stout or other dark, heavy beer
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
5 sprigs of parsley, leaves removed + chopped
1-2 small sweet potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 4-6 ramekins with grapeseed oil and set on a baking sheet.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the shallots. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the leeks and all but a 1/2 tsp of the thyme to the pot and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and tomato paste to the pot. Saute until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pot all at once. Cook mushrooms until tender and glistening, about 8-10 minutes, stirring often and adding a bit of liquid or extra oil if necessary. Sprinkle the flour over top of the mushrooms. Stir and cook out the raw flavour of the flour for about a minute.

Pour the stout into the pot, scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until liquid is reduced slightly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the olives and chopped parsley. Season the mixture to taste.

Divide the mushroom mixture among 4-6 ramekins. Layer the sweet potato slices on top, overlapping the circles as you go. There should be 2 solid layers of sweet potatoes on top of the mushrooms. Brush the top of the sweet potato slices with the remaining oil, season the slices with salt, pepper and remaining chopped thyme. Bake pot pies for 30-35 minutes, or until mushroom mixture is bubbling and the sweet potatoes are browned and lightly crispy on the edges. Serve hot.

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Kathryn30/01/2013 - 5:35 am

I think choice of diet should be an intensely personal thing – only you really know what is best for you and your body and how food makes you feel. I’m the first to admit that I probably need to move to a more plant-based (and less cake-based) diet so I’m excited to see what you have in store here for us :)

ana cooks30/01/2013 - 6:20 am

you kill me with your shots…such a great inspiration for me and my work! love it!
thank you so much!

Claire Suellentrop30/01/2013 - 7:55 am

Lovely. Such a balance of hearty and light. If I don’t have small ramekins, do you think the recipe would hold up as one big pot pie in a glass baking dish? Or would I need to adjust the cook time?

Laura Wright30/01/2013 - 8:14 am

Hi Claire,
I think it would be fine in one big dish-probably an 8 inch square would be good. You might need more sweet potato slices to cover the top though. The cooking time will be roughly the same, since the filling is pretty much cooked when it goes into the pan. Hope that helps :)
-L

erin30/01/2013 - 9:14 am

The shots of these are just gorgeous, Laura! (Who knows, I’m working on becoming a mushroom eater and they definitely look delicious!)

(and better late than never with the goals, I think I’m still solidifying mine!)

thelittleloaf30/01/2013 - 9:23 am

I was vegetarian between the ages of 11 and 20, mostly for ethical reasons but also because I simply wasn’t a big fan of meat. Now I do eat both meat and fish, but in small quantities and only when I know exactly where they have come from and that the animals in question have had a good life, diet etc.

I wish I’d had a dish like this up my sleeve when I was veggie – it looks so hearty and filling and exactly the kind of thing to feed to a doubting meat eater!

Autumn30/01/2013 - 10:12 am

WOW this looks and sounds amazing! I’m not a fan of olives.. if I were to leave them out should I sub something else? Or do you think it would take too much away from the dish. Thanks! Can’t wait to try this :)

Laura Wright30/01/2013 - 10:24 am

Hey Autumn,
Thanks for your lovely comment! I think the dish would be just fine without the olives. I just enjoy the briny, salty bits here and there, but there’s plenty going on in these pot pies without them.
-L

Sarah30/01/2013 - 10:55 am

Hi Laura,
I love mushrooms—this is just gorgeous, I can’t wait to try it or something similar. Mushrooms are one of my favorite foods.

Re: food choices and intention: you’re spot-on. “Fear becomes a nonentity when you decide to take on exactly what you want with purpose.” I like that. –S

Melanie30/01/2013 - 11:14 am

This looks so appropriate for the cold rainy weather. It looks delicious!

la domestique30/01/2013 - 11:53 am

I’m feeling you, Laura. I just posted about making similar changes to my lifestyle on la domestique! Your photos are stunning and the recipe looks hearty and satisfying for these frigid winter days.

sara forte30/01/2013 - 12:57 pm

so stunning. I have to touch base with my eating habit too, especially when people ask, and I check in about how I feel. They are frequently broken rules, but on my watch, I eat what feels better. I don’t need a label or to classify it, but you gotta do what feels right. and if you can’t make crazy tasty foods like THIS, there isn’t much to miss. Gorgeous work lady and good luck with you goals. Please come to CA :)

dana30/01/2013 - 1:46 pm

You have outdone yourself – the recipe, the beauty of the ingredients, the photographs. Absolutely stunning. I WILL be making these soon – they look perfect for a dinner party. Lovely job, friend!

Suzanne @RollWithIt30/01/2013 - 1:57 pm

I love your photos! This recipe looks great – I just wish I could eat mushrooms (I could, but my husband would kill me for the gas that comes along with eating them!).

Thank you for your honesty with how you eat. It is something I have been struggling with lately. A big reason I don’t think I could ever go vegan…I love leather shoes…it’s a problem really :). I also don’t think I could follow the rules of being vegan and would be paranoid that I was breaking them all the time. Being paranoid about how to eat cannot be healthy…But I do stick to a primarily plant based diet and choose high quality meats in smaller portions.

Have a great trip! I hope it includes some cross boarder shopping – prices are pretty good down there!

Nicole30/01/2013 - 2:16 pm

These pot pies look amazing! Can’t wait to try them soon.

Eileen30/01/2013 - 3:27 pm

These little pies sound perfect for chilly nights! I really like the idea of using sweet potato slices for a sweet-savory crust.

Caitlin30/01/2013 - 5:24 pm

well, i’m all for you going back to your vegan ways(said the vegan), especially if it includes more recipes like this! sweet potatoes and mushrooms just so happen to be two of my favorite things in the world. plus, it’s pretty gorgeous ;)

What a phenomenal idea. I haven’t combined mushroom and sweet potatoes before in a dish and this seems like just the kind of adventure I’m looking for this year too! Thank you for the irresistible inspiration.

hannah30/01/2013 - 7:15 pm

sweet potato crust?! that is brilliant. i’ve got to try this soon.

Kristy30/01/2013 - 8:23 pm

I am happy for you and your choosing to stay true to your own nature when it comes to your eating choices. You explained your choice so eloquently.

Also, I want this real bad. Any kind of mushroom stew sort of concoction has my name written all over it, and the sweet potato crust is totally my kind of thing. I usually veer away from pot pies because I don’t care for the biscuity crust! I love it.

Jeanine30/01/2013 - 8:25 pm

Wow, these look amazing! As usual, I love every single ingredient you use. Here’s to a year of trips and adventures…

Sonja30/01/2013 - 9:44 pm

Laura, these are so cute! What a great idea with the sweet potatoes on top instead of crust – I love it! The flavors of the filling sound wonderful too.

I couldn’t agree with you more on avoiding rules and labels related to eating. (Though sometimes it makes it hard when you try to convey your philosophy to other people!)

sarah30/01/2013 - 10:30 pm

Beautiful, beautiful. Your photos are gorgeous, and your pot pies sound amazing. And, Minnesota? ;)

Angela31/01/2013 - 8:48 am

Your blog is beautiful and mouth-watering and you seem to be so positive person.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar31/01/2013 - 4:48 pm

I love that crust on top! What a fabulous, healthy, recipe :)

Hannah01/02/2013 - 12:48 am

Laura these are beautiful and the thought of those rich dark mushrooms is making me hungry even though it’s bedtime. Can’t wait to try this. I think your concerns about being thankful for food (whatever it may be) and conscious of food accessibility are valid. To my mind, the best way to address those concerns is to work towards all people having the same choices that you do. Denying yourself the opportunity to feel whole and nourished and healthy won’t help anyone … but figuring out ways to get education and access and real choice about food to everyone just might. I love that you’re conscious of what makes you feel your best – while also being conscious of the privilege you have in pursuing that. Thanks as always for sharing.

Elizabeth01/02/2013 - 3:43 pm

There is something about this time of year that begs for lightness, and I love that these sweet little pot pies strike the perfect balance of hearty and vegan. If your adventure gets you near Brooklyn, look me up! I’d love to grab a drink or meal of some sort.

sandra02/02/2013 - 6:20 pm

What a great idea. I was thinking of making a faux shepard’s pie with a couscous meal, left over from a few days ago for the base, and whipped butternut squash for the topping – but this looks equally good!!

Kevin02/02/2013 - 11:00 pm

These look amazing, can’t wait to try them! One question though, what size ramekins did you use? We only have smaller dessert sized ones so I’m looking to purchase 4 to make this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Ashlae03/02/2013 - 12:32 am

Love this, girl.

I’m a big fan of doing what feels right. I followed a strict vegan diet for two years then started eating animal products – full force – for a good six months. Craving my former plant based ways and I’m back to eating a mostly vegan diet. With a few eggs every now and then. But ahh, the lightness – I feel it. I crave it.

PS – hoping to the winds that Denver’s on your road trip list. ;)

Laura Wright03/02/2013 - 8:59 am

Hey Kevin!
I used 1 cup sized ramekins for this, but I think dessert ones might be more appropriate. I found the servings that I made a little on the hefty side, so I’d go with your smaller ones. Alternatively, you could assemble the whole thing in a 8 x 8 square dish and make one big pot pie. Hope that helps!
-L

Nat03/02/2013 - 4:32 pm

Yum, this recipe looks delicious! Such a creative way to use sweet potato, which is a vegetable that is often underestimated. I’ve only recently discovered sweet potato nachos and can’t believe I had never heard of them before!

Great photos as always :)

Victoria04/02/2013 - 4:08 pm

Have you read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver? It is a book about the importance of eating local – she is a beautiful writer, and the book travels through journalism, family-saga, and diary as her and her family struggle with eating only locally on their farm for a year.

It addresses your thought process on whether eating vegan (or plant-based) is really a responsible, sustainable food choice.

ps. these look awesome!

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)04/02/2013 - 8:20 pm

Just discovered your blog! It is beautiful (don’t know why it took me this long…). This dish sounds delicious. Definitely bookmarking this for the future!

Shira05/02/2013 - 12:57 am

What a fabulous post Laura! I wish you the best in your girls for the coming year, and better to get them done right than rush it! These pies look absolutely beautiful too.. I am so loving your blog and your outlook – after many years I have officially given up on labels too. Listening to the body is key, as hard as that is sometimes! Thanks for a refresher :)

Shira05/02/2013 - 1:00 am

Oh gosh, what a funny error – that was supposed to read ‘goals’ not girls!! Blurgh :)

Mushrooms Canada05/02/2013 - 9:47 am

What an excellent combination of delicious ingredients! I absolutely love the mushroom mixture, they compliment each other so perfectly. Thanks for sharing this wonderful winter recipe, I look forward to trying it out!

-Shannon

kaela10/02/2013 - 12:43 pm

I don’t even like mushrooms and this looks fabulous. And I love the look of that wooden mandoline – is it a Benriner? I’ve been in the market for a good one for a while, but fear-of-slicing-fingers-off keeps me from getting one.

Laura Wright10/02/2013 - 12:53 pm

Hi Kaela! It is a Benriner. Definitely a no-frills sort of mandoline, but it gets the job done and stays sharp. It comes with a finger guard if you’re scared!
-L

kaela10/02/2013 - 2:11 pm

Thanks! Maybe it’s time. 2013: Go Mandoline or Go Home. :)

Lorna11/02/2013 - 9:40 am

Hello. Thank you for this lovely recipe. I understand your comment about veganism possibly being a choice for the privileged. I’ve been vegetarian since I was a small child – over 30 years, and am increasingly becoming uncomfortable about it, especially since I was diagnosed as coeliac two years ago. I first became vegetarian from an ethical point of view – when I was 10 my teacher showed a video of veal calves in crates, animals going to slaughterhouses etc. and I was so traumatised I never ate meat again. I know it’s possible to buy meat from animals that were well looked after now, but I still can’t bring myself to eat it.I hate eating out, even at friend’s houses, because I feel like an awkward demanding prima donna. There is, for me, no solution – I can’t bring myself to eat meat, fish or chicken, and obviously can’t get round the ceoliac thing, so I cook – a lot. Websites like yours are a godsend. Thank you again!
Lorna x

Sarah12/02/2013 - 12:27 pm

This is so beautiful! I would never have thought to cook w/beer before… but this would be the recipe to start. Great pics :)

Relish Blogs – Week 2.1815/02/2013 - 11:12 am

[…] First Mess And then there’s The First Mess. If the idea of Mushroom + Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crust doesn’t reach out and grab you (yeah, right), the pictures of them will. We want those on our […]

[…] Mushroom and Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crusts from Laura of The First Mess […]

[…] Mushroom and Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crust from The First […]

Kaye05/05/2013 - 12:18 pm

This recipe looks beautiful and delicious! Amazing photography, too! I appreciate you sharing your story about your reasons for adding meat back into your diet. I disagree that being vegan is synonymous with living a life of privilege. I’m saying this because I’m a poor vegan and have found it cheaper to eat meatless! lol :) I think the opposite could be said, that eating meat is a privilege because one feels it’s okay to take the life of another living creature – against their will – when there are other options for nourishment that don’t rely on taking an animal’s life.

[…] ♔ This clearly has to be veggie heaven! It looks stunning and tasty, like the ideal food to dish up for some vegetarian food critics Mushroom Stout Vegan Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crust […]

Courtney18/11/2013 - 10:51 pm

Hi
Can you make the mushroom mixture the day ahead and put in the fridge overnight? Thanks!
Courtney

Laura Wright19/11/2013 - 9:18 am

Hi Courtney, you certainly can make it ahead. Just make sure you let it come to room temperature before cooking it in the oven for the final step.
-L

[…] 33. Mushroom and Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crusts A savory pie that combines beer, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms is the perfect melding of decadence and healthy food. As a Thanksgiving entrée, this dish is pretty simple and speedy, with just a few steps and minimal dishes to wash. […]

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[…] comforting fall meal: Mushroom and Stout Pot Pies by one of my favorite bloggers, The First Mess. So much flavor in these little crocks. Tip: place […]

Mary Christ14/01/2014 - 5:47 pm

this is one of the only times I have commented, this sounds amazing!! I eat healthy and everything…within moderation!

I love your ideas Laura, you just seem to take life way seriously, does it make you tierd? No criticism, just an observation.

Maree17/02/2014 - 5:07 am

Just cooked this for dinner tonight, beautiful! I’m so excited that I have found your site!

Cass Markovich06/07/2014 - 1:04 pm

Laura,
I am not a lover of beer. What do you think red wine or just broth would do to the recipe?
Cass

Laura Wright07/07/2014 - 5:37 pm

Hi Cass! For certain, red wine would add a bit more acidity but also some more depth of flavour. Broth would be the lightest option in terms of body. I think a half and half mix of each would be perfect :)
-L

[…] example for your kids to eat healthily? No worries, because we have found this amazing recipe for mushroom & stout pies with sweet potato crusts. Pastry free and full of veggies, this pot pie packs a punch without packing in high […]

Ken31/10/2014 - 11:20 pm

I was inspired to try this because of the shot of the mushroom stew in the pot. I envisioned it over potato dumplings (Klösse). My mushroom stew looked great, but I didn’t care for the taste. Maybe I just don’t like stout (I used Widmer Obsidian Stout), which had a smokey flavor that I was only so-so about in the glass. I did like the texture and the way the dish came together. I have a picture, but don’t know how to share it. I’ll retry with the red wine, or maybe just beef broth. It’s basically a good recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

Laura Wright02/11/2014 - 7:44 am

Hi Ken, thanks for this feedback. I found that the flavour of the stout came through strong in this, so if you aren’t a fan of it, might be best to stick with broth/stock for the future. You essentially reduce/concentrate the flavour of whatever liquid you add to this, so if you don’t like the taste of whatever you’re adding on its own, safe to say it won’t be good if you cook it. Hope you have better luck next time.
-L

Anna11/11/2014 - 2:03 pm

@Laura – Hi! Which particular stout did you use when you made this?
Thanks!
Anna

Laura Wright13/11/2014 - 6:43 am

Hey Anna! I honestly can’t remember which one it was. And when I make things like this, I never buy the same one twice. I usually just go to the liquor store and see what they have. Although, I don’t think I would use something like Guinness–it has too much of a burnt/lactic-ish flavour for this recipe I think. Aim for something with more of a coffee/nutty vibe! Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful/exacting.
-L

[…] especially when alcohol is involved. With the use of balsamic, soy sauce garlic and herbs, this savory dish introduces holiday decadence to healthy, vegetarian ingredients. But if you aren’t a fan of the […]

AnnMarie20/11/2014 - 7:29 pm

A friend of mine just told me about these & they’ve now become the centerpiece for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. They need to travel, though. How far in advance do you think I can make them and would you make any adjustments to the baking time if I’ve frozen & then thawed them? Or, would you not recommend freezing for travel?

[…] Supper Whole Roast Heritage Breed Turkey // Brooklyn Supper Roast Turkey Breast // Brooklyn Supper Mushroom and Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crust // The First […]

Thanksgiving Dinner23/11/2014 - 9:31 pm

[…] squash & apple latkes, GF dinner rolls, parmesan roasted cauliflower, salad, and mushroom & stout pot pies w/ sweet potato crust. I’m planning to make a couple of savory pumpkin pies for dessert, to balance out the […]

[…] Mushroom & Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crusts (The First Mess) […]

[…] course, being surrounded by so much beer I can’t resist throwing some of it in to my cooking. This recipe for mushroom and stout pot pies with a sweet potato crust from Laura over at The First Mess is one of my favourite things that I’ve made this year…you […]

[…] 1 Recipe of the day: Mushroom + stout pot pie with sweet potato crust […]

za’atar roasted carrot salad with cashew labneh, avocado + frisée

It felt like it had been a while, so I made you a salad. With fragrant za’atar roasted carrots, curly + gorgeous frisée, blood orange dressing, avocado and some raw and vegan cashew labneh on the side. Yes! That delightfully thick middle eastern yogurt-cheese that brings the dreaminess to every food it touches–all plant based and vibed out for your enjoyment. I’m so excited to share this one with you.

I know last week I was talking about baking on a Saturday night like the old lady I can sometimes be, but please rest assured that I am somewhat versed in the ways of wildin’ out. When the lovely Elenore from Earthsprout emailed me and a bunch of wonderful bloggers about a week-long party put on by her and Sarah of My New Roots, all centered on fermented foods, I started to think about the possibilities for some outright uninhibited adventures in my kitchen.

As a practice, fermentation is a fun thing to acquaint your vegetables, nuts, beans etc with. It brings a whole new dimension of flavour and as a bonus: it’s rather empowering to do it all yourself/witness nature just doing its thing. Kimchi, vinegar, soy sauce, miso, wine, beer, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, yogurt… all of those tasty things are crawling with make-your-belly-happy bacteria. If you want to read a little more about fermented goodies for your health, check out Elenore and Sarah‘s posts. It’s time to populate the gut!

I’ve made kimchi, sourdough and sauerkraut a bunch of times (nerd alert! I even gave a sauerkraut making demo to a bunch of students at the culinary school I attended with one of those wrap-around-the-head-mics), but I wanted to try something a bit different. I love having a batch of cashew cream on hand for savoury applications. I started thinking about making it into yogurt… and then making the homemade cashew yogurt into labneh–that amazing drained yogurt that is so thick, tart and perfect in the corner of a mezze plate.

So I tried a batch with foggy expectations and was so excited when it turned out on the first go. I let the cashew cream come alive in a warm place for a full 36 hours for the yogurt stage. It got properly sour, so I set to work on draining it for the labneh treatment. The results were so thick and creamy, the rich taste of cashews coming through in a pleasant and fatty way, all punctuated by a big squeeze of lemon juice. Rather indulgent.

The rest of this winter salad is a breeze to scheme up. I roasted some pretty heirloom carrots in za’atar, that pungent, sharp and warm middle eastern spice blend (although it is based in the cultivation of dried and powdered za’atar bushes that grow wild in mountainous regions of the middle east), tossed them with some frisée for a whisper of bitterness, and a light blood orange and olive oil dressing, Some creamy avocado and a scoop of the cashew labneh complete the plate. This salad = pure wildin’ out. Go crazy with it, friends :)

za’atar roasted carrot salad with frisée, blood orange dressing + vegan cashew labneh
serves: 4
notes: If you can’t be bothered to make some cashew-based labneh at home (takes 2-3 full days), feel free to drain 1 cup of your favourite plain yogurt (goat, coconut, sheep, soy, cow etc) overnight with the juice of half a lemon and a sprinkle of salt (don’t stir it up!). A nice spoonful of Greek-style yogurt or Icelandic skyr would be great too.

labneh:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
scant 1/2 cup water
pinch of sea salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon

salad:
1 lb carrots, washed + trimmed
2 tsp za’atar
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 head of frisée, cored, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
juice of 1 blood orange
1 ripe avocado
salt + pepper

Start by making the cashew yogurt: combine the cashews and water in the pitcher of a blender. Blend on high for a few minutes, scraping the sides down here and there. Purée the cashews and scant 1/2 cup of water until a smooth paste forms.

Scrape the cashew cream into a sterilized jar. Cover the jar with a couple layers of cheese cloth and secure it at the top with a rubber band. Set the jar in a warm spot (not too warm) for 24-36 hours or until the mix has started to sour. I put my jar in the boiler room of the house and it was ready almost two days later. Check it every 5-8 hours if you can. There should be some separation happening in the jar. If you see any mold on the surface, throw it out and start again.

Make the yogurt into labneh: Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Line the strainer with a paper towel or coffee filter. Scrape the cashew yogurt into the paper towel lined strainer. Squeeze the lemon over top and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Don’t stir it in! Cover the bowl and strainer with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. The resulting labneh should be quite thick and it should have indentations from the paper towel. It is now ready to eat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the carrots into 2-3 inch lenths, then cut those lengths into halves or quarters–depending on the thickness of your carrots. Toss the carrot batons with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the za-atar, salt and pepper. Arrange them on a large baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes. They should be lightly browned and tender. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

While the carrots are roasting and cooling, trim up the frisée and place it in a large bowl. Peel and pit the avocado, cut it into quarters and set aside.

Add the roasted carrots to the frisée. Squeeze the blood orange over top and add the remaining extra virgin olive oil to the salad. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste and toss it all together. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Add a quarter of the avocado and a dollop of labneh to each plate. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the labneh and give it a finishing sprinkle of za’atar if you like.

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Elenore Bendel Zahn23/01/2013 - 8:57 am

Holy cow!

Now THIS is food porn on a damn high level!
plus your writing is so brilliantly beautiful and wise and funny at the same time. I feel like I just wanna eat this whole post up (you included)

Big warm loving hug from sweden and thank god you decided you wanted to be a part of this bacteria revolution!

[…] My New Roots Green Kitchen Stories The Wooden Spoon Coconut and Quinoa Whole Promise Two Blue Lemons Golubka Eat It. Kyra’s Kitchen Ola Domowa The First Mess […]

thelittleloaf23/01/2013 - 9:24 am

This looks absolutely stunning! I’ve been reading a lot about cashew cream recently and am intrigued to give it a try, even though I don’t go in for a particularly low dairy or vegan diet. Photos as beautiful as this must be what inspire me :-)

Kathryn23/01/2013 - 9:37 am

Oh Laura, you are some kind of genius. Cashew labneh? Want it. And this whole salad.

Michelle23/01/2013 - 10:13 am

Picturing you with a Gwen Stefani mic talking about sauerkraut pretty much made my day. A beautiful dish too :)

Courtney23/01/2013 - 10:26 am

I LOVE everything about this salad, though I might love the cashew labneh just a tad bit more! I’ll be experimenting with this soon for sure! Blood oranges are one of my favorites this time of year so it’s good to see them in the lineup also :)

Ashlae23/01/2013 - 12:35 pm

Girl, you’re a culinary genius. Love the idea of cashew labneh! I’ve been working on a raw cheesecake with strained cashew cream (and a crap load of lemon juice) but never thought to let it sit overnight to sour. You rule.

Eileen23/01/2013 - 3:00 pm

Cashew labneh? WOW. I was sort of aware of fermenting nut cheeses before, but only just. It’s super exciting to think I could do it at home! The salad looks amazing too–I love the idea of sweet-spicy roasted carrots with crispy lettuce. :)

Katie @ figgy & sprout23/01/2013 - 3:24 pm

Absolutely stunning photos, Laura! Such a creative recipe as well. I too am taking part in the Fabulous Fermentation Week :) Yay!

Meg23/01/2013 - 4:45 pm

Oh WOW, I am totally making this today! What a fantastic post, thanks!!

Heather23/01/2013 - 7:08 pm

I feel ashamed to admit that I’ve never tried labneh. This is something that needs to change. A fermented foods party seems right up my alley. So fun!

Jessica23/01/2013 - 8:12 pm

This looks beautiful! Fantastic photos.

Blaine23/01/2013 - 9:43 pm

The carrots are gorgeous! Love the idea of creating a labneh with cashews. Love your creations, I always look forward to them!

Blaine

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar24/01/2013 - 10:29 am

This looks fabulous!

Nancy24/01/2013 - 11:50 am

Wow, this is my kind of salad. Your pics are absolutely gorgeous too. I’m intrigued that you do not need to add a culture to the cashew mixture, just wild all the way! Must try this soon.

[…] Coconut & Quinoa The Wooden Spoon Eat it. Kyra’s Kitchen Ola Domowa Mince & Type The First Mess The Holy Kale Healthy & […]

Stacy24/01/2013 - 2:16 pm

Like everyone else, I am highly impressed. You inspire me: with your creativity and willingness to just give things a go, and also generally, with your unbounded enthusiasm. I am super curious about this cashew labneh, and I love everything else in this salad, so hopefully this will make it to my table sometime soon!

Claire Suellentrop25/01/2013 - 12:40 am

Longtime follower, first-time commenter :) I am loving Fabulous Fermentation Week and the beautiful community of food bloggers it showcases, but I gotta say: of all the tasty recipes that have popped up this week, yours takes the cake. I cannot wait to make that labneh. Mouth’s watering as I type.

Nicola Galloway25/01/2013 - 4:57 am

What a stunning post. I look forward to trying this cashew labneh. Yum :)

Golubka25/01/2013 - 12:34 pm

This looks so so delicious, exactly what I want for lunch today :)

amy chaplin26/01/2013 - 12:09 pm

So happy to discover your site! Gorgeous photos and stunning salad.
I’ve never tried cashew cheese/labneh with just lemon juice….
Loooking forward to seeing more!

Alissa27/01/2013 - 2:16 am

Ahhh your photos are so beautiful!

[…] Lemons Coconut & Quinoa The Wooden Spoon Eat it. Kyra’s Kitchen Ola Domowa Mince & Type The First Mess The Holy Kale Healthy & Hopeful My Wholefood Romance Kale and Cardamom The Conscious Kitchen […]

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Christine28/01/2013 - 1:57 pm

This looks so delicious! I’m intrigued by the cashew labneh – I’m going through a bit of a ‘things you can make with cashews’ obsession at the moment. Awesome Laura!

Kate28/01/2013 - 6:28 pm

That top photo is so gorgeous. I could stare at it forever. What a delicious salad, too. Nicely done!

Nat @ The Apple Diaries28/01/2013 - 11:28 pm

Thanks First Mess for the great recipe and awesome food photography! I’m loving fabulous fermentation week. All this good bacteria is right up my alley ;)

Thanks again!

Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily29/01/2013 - 1:20 pm

I am a big believer in the benefits of fermented foods. I am in the process of making my mom’s recipe for fermented corn bread. Wish me luck! ;)

[…] the above of roasted carrots our guests arrived and the camera was stowed.) We started with her za’atar roasted carrot salad (I purchased cashew cream cheese and doubled the amount of avocado) and finished with the humble […]

[…] the cooking side, za’atar roasted carrot salad with cashew labneh, avocado + frisée all the way and on the baking side, dark chocolate espresso scones w/ coconut cream + jam are […]

Daria08/02/2013 - 12:41 pm

Hi, this looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! So I started with making cashew yogurt yesterday. I left in the oven with the light on and when checked it in the morning it had some dark layer on the surface. Is it the mold you are talking about? If it is, why is it happening?
I wouldn’t like to throw it away, but seems like it’s the only way(
Also, once I blended nuts with water the mixture was pretty thick. is it supposed to be so?
I’m sorry for so many questions but I’m a begineer in “nutty magic”.

Laura Wright08/02/2013 - 12:52 pm

Hi Daria,
Is the dark layer coloured at all? The general rule with mold and discolouration is: if it’s pink or black-ish grey, throw it out and start again. Perhaps try another warm area of the house? This style of fermentation is possible because of wild yeasts in the air/atmosphere around the jar. Maybe a location change would help? The mixture is rather thick from the start, so the viscosity of yours sounds about right. Hope this all helps a bit! Good luck on your next attempt–these fermentation things get easier with practice!
-L

[…] the above of roasted carrots our guests arrived and the camera was stowed.) We started with her za’atar roasted carrot salad (I purchased cashew cream cheese and doubled the amount of avocado) and finished with the humble […]

kms10/08/2013 - 1:50 pm

Trying to make the labneh. Is it ready to be thrown into the strainer when there are air pockets throughout the mix? And when you put it in the strainer, should you try to get those air pockets out via smooshing it a bit?

Laura Wright10/08/2013 - 4:10 pm

Hi kms, Air pockets are a good sign that it’s ready to strain! You can smush them out or not, up to you :)
-L

[…] the above of roasted carrots our guests arrived and the camera was stowed.) We started with her za’atar roasted carrot salad (I purchased cashew cream cheese and doubled the amount of avocado) and finished with the humble […]

Deena kakaya26/06/2014 - 4:15 am

The marriage of that labneh and those sweet and gentle carrots looks divine x

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