Citrus sherbet for summer

Citrus Sherbet-7

Summer is really, truly here now! Sun and warm breezes, lots of cycling. Long enough days to stay up a little later and wake up a little earlier. Good times and sunshine call for a constant supply of frozen treats in this house, so I whipped up a batch of sherbet.

Citrus Sherbet-1

Shebet is nice because it has the refreshing qualities of a fruity sorbet, but a richer taste because of the “milk” added to it. It’s still lighter and slightly icier than full-milk ice cream, so I feel like it justifies eating some every night after supper.

Citrus Sherbet-3

Citrus Sherbet-4

This specific recipe departs from the usual orange sherbet to include notes of lime and grapefruit, preventing it from being too sweet or cloying. This scoops beautifully right out of the freezer without needing to be thawed at all – all the more reason to consume it often!

Citrus Sherbet-8

Happy summer!

Citrus Sherbet

An original recipe by Agent Minty


  • 1 large red grapefruit
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 limes, or 1 lime + 1/4 cup bottled lime juice
  • 1 cup drained, tinned mandating orange segments
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup (like Rogers syrup or dark corn syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup almond milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Juice all of the citrus fruits.
  2. Shred the zest from: 1 orange, 1/2 lemon, 1/4 grapefruit, 1 lime.
  3. In a food processor or blender, puree canned orange segments and citrus zest.
  4. Combine juice, zest mixture, syrup, and sugar in a large saucepan.
  5. Stir mixture over medium heat until sugar and syrup are dissolved.
  6. Add coconut milk and 1/2 cup almond milk and bring to a low simmer.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk together 1/4 cup almond milk and corn starch.
  8. While juice mixture is simmering, add in corn starch mixture and stir until glossy and slightly thickened, about three minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.
  10. Stir in rum and vanilla, then store in fridge for at least two hours until completely cold.
  11. Freeze ice cream in your machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Citrus Sherbet-6


Gloriously Orange Muffins


In case you haven’t noticed, I like making muffins. They were always in our home growing up: usually Mom would make a few dozen on a weekend and freeze them, and I would have them for breakfast before school. My mornings were populated by a parade of flavourful, interesting baked goods that were a much better than cereal: blueberry sunflower, orange bran, banana chocolate chip, apple cheddar, cherry pie, morning glory.

What a beautiful name for a muffin. My maternal grandparents had blue morning glories growing on an arch in their front garden, so every time I would eat one, I would think of the pleasant times I had spent at my grandparents’ house.

My family’s traditional morning glory muffin recipe contains crushed pineapple, but I am now allergic to pineapple. I’ve found a good sub in canned mandarine oranges. I have made several more changes to the recipe to reduce oil and sugar, but still kept it delicious. Because of the oranges and pumpkin, they’re a pretty shade of orange. Think of them as little suns to light up your mornings!


Gloriously Orange Muffins

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Makes 12 large muffins.


  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 240-280 mL can of mandarin orange segments, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat over to 350F. Grease your muffin tin.
  2. Combine flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to break up clumps.
  3. Combine dates, carrot, and pureed pumpkin.
  4. Allow to sit to rehydrate dates while carrots are grated.
  5. Add carrots, nuts, oil, water, flax, and milk to date mixture. Stir well.
  6. Add baking powder, stir quickly to combine, than add wet mixture to flour mix.
  7. Using a spatula, fold together until no dry pockets are left, but do not overmix.
  8. Divide between 12 well of muffin tin.
  9. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts: Per Muffin: 172 Kcal, 4g fat, 15g sugars, 2g fibre, 3g protein, 54% RDA Vit. A.


Tiger Tail ice cream – Vegan Potluck 2013 contribution


Hello Vegan Potluck visitors! It’s finally starting to warm up in Edmonton – last week we still had intermittent snow, but this week I could see a transformation across campus. People were wearing shorts and skirts, t-shirts and polos instead of jeans and sweaters. We have recently had several days with temperatures in the high twenties, and nothing’s better to complement a hot day than a scoop of cool ice cream.

Orange and black ice cream

Tiger Tail is a nostalgic flavour for me. I remember trying it for the first time when I was about six, when my family had walked to the corner store for ice cream cones. I liked the combination of tangy orange and interspersed with liquorice (yes, I was the kid that always liked black jelly beans).

Mrs Minty hadn’t had Tiger Tail ice cream in over a decade until we came up with this recipe together several months ago. This recipe uses my top-secret ingredient for intensely fruit-flavoured ice creams, icing, and cakes. Ready? It is…..

Kool-Aid Packet


Yep. Kool-Aid. If you’re the kind of person who abhors artificial colours and flavours, this ice cream probably isn’t for you. I originally tried to make an ice cream base using orange juice instead, and it just doesn’t take like the commercial stuff. Go ahead, double down and use the kool-aid powder, as well as the black food colouring in the liquorice ribbon. It tastes like childhood!

Tiger Tail Ice Cream – Original recipe by Agent Minty

It requires about half an hour of work the night before you intend to freeze the ice cream, and I would advise making the two components sequentially, or having a partner help you – both the caramel and “milk” bases need to be stirred at about the same time.

Milk base

  • 3 cups of almond milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c corn starch
  • 1 398-mL can old premium coconut milk, shaken, minus 1/2 cup (so ~1 cup +1 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp-2 tsp orange Kool-Aid powder
  1. Combine the sugar and 1 1/2 cups of almond milk in a large saucepan. Heat on medium until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup of almond milk and the corn starch in a small bowl, whisking until all the lumps are dispersed.
  3. Once the sugar/milk mixture has come to a boil, turn the heat  down to keep it at a simmer.
  4. Add the cornstarch/milk mixture, whisking vigorously.
  5. Cook, still stirring, until it reaches the consistency of a light pudding/custard.
  6. Add the remaining almond and coconut milks, whisking continuously.
  7. Once the mixture has started to lightly simmer again, remove it from the heat.
  8. Add in the vanilla, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  9. Add the Kool-Aid powder. I found that  1 1/4 tsp gave me a good flavour and colour, but if you need something that’s violently coloured, add more. Taste the mixture as you go, to make sure it is satisfactory.From this....                                          into this!
  10. Strain the hot mixture through a mesh sieve (to remove any corn starch lumps).
  11. Refrigerate overnight or until cold to the touch.
  12. Freeze the base according to your ice-cream maker’s directions. If this is your first time making ice cream, don’t get distressed if the mixture is about the consistency of soft serve ice cream. That’s normal, and it will harden up in the freezer.

    This is ready to freeze.

    This is ready to freeze.

  13. Layer with the liquorice ribbon as described below.

Liquorice ribbon

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (reserved from the can used for the milk base)
  • 1 Tbsp anise extract
  • Black paste-style food colouring
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Cook at medium-high without stirring. The sugar will dissolve in the water. and begin to boil.

    The syrup is boiling. Do not stir!

    The syrup is boiling. Do not stir!

  3. The clear sugar syrup will begin to heat up (warning: this is very hot can will burn if you touch it!). Allow it to cook undisturbed until it starts to become a light amber colour.
  4. Swirl the pot gently, without stirring, until it becomes a dark caramel colour (think the colour of a Werther’s, or dark brown sugar).
  5. Combine the anise extract and milk.
  6. Add the anise milk to the syrup. This will splatter a bit!
  7. Stir virgorously until smooth.
  8. Scrape out a small lump of black food colouring (I used about 1/3 of 1/8 tsp). Stir into the hot caramel. This may take a while to disperse.
  9. Stir in the molasses.
  10. Store in a fridge overnight.
  11. Before combining with the milk base, leave out for a few hours or microwave on low power until the caramel is room temperature.



Layering the ice cream

  1. Use a plastic container to store your ice cream. You will need once with a volume of at least 1.5 litres.
  2. Scoop out approximately 1/5 of your just-frozen ice cream into the container. Smooth it out on an angle.
  3. Drizzle 1/4 of your liquorice caramel on top.
  4. Add another layer of ice cream and more caramel, repeating until both are gone. This doesn’t have to be perfect.
  5. Cover your ice cream with plastic wrap and gently press down to unite all the layers.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before scooping, preferably overnight.

Thanks for stopping by as part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck! Enjoy every taste of the upcoming summer!

Orange and black ice cream

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Happy Birthday to Me!

I love cake and sweets.

How better to commemorate my quarter-century on earth than by bringing in a cake to share with my friends at work?

I wanted to make something impressive and fancy, but also tasty. In other words, I wanted to show off! It’s my day, dammit, so I’m allowed!

I decided to go with the flavour combination of Chocolate Orange – two great tastes that taste great together! I used the Vegan Chocolate cake and Vegan Orange cake recipes from Joy of cooking, as they are both easy and tasty. I made a 10″ (I think) round cake, because I don’t have an appropriately-sized rectangle pan, and I find round cakes require less trimming and waste.

There were two chocolate layers and one orange one, and each layer was split in half and filled. I made a whipped chocolate ganache to fill the orange layer.

I made orange curd for the first time as a filling for the chocolate layers. While I liked the overall texture and flavour of the orange curd, I expected it to be zestier (this could be remedied by substituting more orange juice for the water, and adding some lemon juice). As well, I used a peeler-style zester, which resulted in very long strings of zest. I would recommend using a grater or microplane-style zester instead.

I froze the cakes after making, splitting, and cooling them, since I think vegan cakes tend to stale faster than traditional ones, and I had made them two days in advance.

Everything was assembled with chocolate buttercream, and topped with a dark chocolate glaze. Yummy!

I was also fortunate enough to spend my birthday with my family. Knowing my penchant for carbohydrates, they made me a dinner full of my childhood favourites: macaroni and cheese, greek salad, and garlic bread! For dessert we had an old family favourite, Mud Pie

I felt so loved that my family took the time to get together, and make me dinner, on a work night. You guys are the best!

I especially want to thank my mom and dad for all of the love and guidance they have given me. I know now how lucky I am to have had such a great family life.

Here’s to another year of growth, learning and happiness!

Recipe: Orange-Chocolate Birthday Cake

Chocolate Vegan Cake (from Joy of Cooking) – For the cake I made, I repeated this recipe twice:


– 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour

– 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Sugar

– 6 tablespoons Cocoa powder

– 1 teaspoon Baking soda

– 1/8 teaspoon Salt

– 1/4 cup Vegetable oil

– 1 cup Cold water

– 1 tablespoon White vinegar

– 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare a 9 or 10-inch spring form pan by lining with paper and spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well “sifted.”
  4. Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry.
  5. Stir on medium-low speed until smooth.
  6. Scrape into your prepared pan. Drop on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven when a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes on the rack.
  10. Slide a knife around the edges of the pan. Remove the sides of the pan.
  11. Keeping the cake on the parchment paper, slide it off the bottom and on to a cooling rack.
  12. Wait approximately 15 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper liner.
  13. Cut the cake horizontally in half FIRST, then cut off the dome of the top. Doing it in this order gives you a stiffer top half when manipulating them.
  14. Place plastic wrap between the layers (multiple spatulas may come in handy at this point!) to prevent them from sticking back together.
  15. Wrap tightly and freeze, if desired.
  16. When thawing frozen cake, allow to come to almost room temperature (no more condensation on the plastic wrap) before removing the wrappings.

Ultra Orange Cake (from Joy of Cooking):


– 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour

– 1 cup Sugar

– 1 teaspoon Baking soda

– 1/2 teaspoon Salt

– 1/3 cup Vegetable oil

– 1 cup Orange juice

– Zest from one large orange (about 2 tablespoons)

– 1 tablespoon Cider vinegar

– 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare a 9 or 10-inch spring form pan by lining with paper and spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well “sifted.”
  4. Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry.
  5. Stir on medium-low speed until smooth.
  6. Scrape into your prepared pan. Drop on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven when a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool, cut, wrap, and freeze as described above.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Filling:


– 3/4 cup High-quality coconut milk (gold can, but room-temperature and SHAKEN before opening)

– 160g Dark chocolate chips


  1. Heat the coconut milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, on medium heat.
  2. Once the milk is simmering, remove from the heat.
  3. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl.
  4. Stir with a spatula until the ganache is a shiny, dark brown.
  5. Chill for an hour or more.
  6. Whip the mixture with the whisk attachment of a stand mixture until the topping is the texture of soft whipped cream
  7. Use to fill the orange cake layers.

Orange Curd Filling (original by Agent Minty):


– 1/2 cup Sugar

– 3 tablespoons Bird’s custard powder

– Zest of 1 large orange

– 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup Orange juice

– 1 cup Water

– 2 teaspoons Arrowroot powder

– 1 tablespoon Coconut milk


  1. Combine sugar, custard powder, orange zest, and half of the orange juice in a saucepan.
  2. Whisk over low heat until sugar and custard powder are dissolved.
  3. Add the water and stir.
  4. Bring heat to medium under saucepan.
  5. Bring the mixture to a low simmer.
  6. Dissolve the arrowroot powder in the remaining orange juice.
  7. Add the arrowroot-orange juice mixture to the saucepan. Whisk well.
  8. Add the coconut milk.
  9. Whisk wile heating until the mixture boils gently. You may need to increase the heat slightly.
  10. When the mixture is the consistency of yogurt (?), take it off the heat. It will continue to thicken as it cools!
  11. Whisk occasionally until the curd is lukewarm.
  12. Scrape into a container and store in the refrigerator until needed.
  13. Use to fill the chocolate cake layers.

Chocolate Buttercream (adapted from the Purity Cookbook):


– 10 tablespoons Softened margarine (use higher-quality stuff, like Earth Balance brand)

– 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla

– Pinch of salt

– 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

– 9 cups icing sugar

– 1/2 cup room-temperature coconut milk


  1. Beat the margarine, vanilla, and salt together until fluffy.
  2. Mix together the cocoa powder and the icing sugar.
  3. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the butter mixture.
  4. Beat on medium until incorporated.
  5. Add half of the coconut milk.
  6. Beat on medium until incorporated.
  7. Add another portion of the dry mixture.
  8. Beat on medium until incorporated.
  9. Add the remaining coconut milk.
  10. Beat on medium until incorporated.
  11. Add another portion of the dry mixture.
  12. Beat on high until fluffy.
  13. Adjust the consistency of the icing as desired by adding more “milk” or icing sugar.
  14. Use to paste together the cake layers, and frost the outside of the cake. An offset spatula really helps!

Chocolate Glaze (from Dad):


– 1 cup Chocolate chips

– 3 tablespoons Hot coffee

– 3 tablespoons Softened margarine (I used the high-quality kind)

– 1 tablespoon Orange liqueur, orange extract, or extra coffee.


  1. Melt the chocolate chips on low heat, preferable in a double boiler.
  2. Brew the coffee.
  3. Add the hot coffee to the melted chocolate and stir. This will look terrible, but don’t despair!
  4. Add the margarine and stir rapidly. Aha, you’re getting an emulsion!
  5. Add the flavouring and stir some more.
  6. If you want this runner, add more hot coffee.
  7. Drizzle all over the cake or anything else that could use some pizzazz.