Orange-rum loaf cake

R attempted to make marmalade the other day (unfortunately it didn’t set, but that’s another story!)

With some leftover oranges I thought I’d have a go at an orangey cake, which I loosely based on the orange-run tea cake  from  Vegan with a vengeance*

As the batteries were dead in our scales at the time, I had to do it based on volume measurements!

Cake Ingredients:


100ml light oil- sunflower, vegetable, canola

110ml soya milk (other non dairy milks do work but the texture is stronger and springier with soy)

100ml orange juice


2 cups self raising flour

1 tablespoon maize/corn meal

1 tablespoon semolina

1 cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Grated rind of 2 oranges

pinch of salt

Syrup Ingredients:

100ml  orange juice

2 tablespoons rum

2 tablespoons caster sugar

Flaked almonds for decorating.

Whisk wet cake ingredients together, combine dry ingredients and mix together.

Fill prepared cake tin (I used a loaf tin- about 9” by 4”)

Bake in oven at 180’C for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool.

To prepare syrup, put  ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes then turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Pour the syrup over the cake while still in the tin, and sprinkle the almonds on top.

*Vegan with a vengeance is a brilliant cookbook and I highly recommend it. Available from amazon here:

It includes some great easy and quick recipes including the tastiest “fronch” toast.


Edinburgh- Fringe and food

I recently spent a few days in Edinburgh for the Fringe fetival- which was awesome!!

Acts to look out for include poet/singer Lucy Ayrton, comedians John Kearns, Matt Rees, Chris Turner, Matt Parker (stand up mathematician), Steve Mould, Helen Arney and a guy called Tom, an amazing piece of physical theatre called Leo where a man performed in a room and was projected onto a screen at a 90′ angle- hard to explain but very impressive and entertaining.

Now food…

Hendersons, Hanover Stree/Thistle Street

Official Website:

Hendersons have a canteen-style restaurant, a deli and a bistro- all vegetarian. This time, we chose to eat in the bistro when I was starving after spending most of the day in shows.

R went for a light meal of spiced lentil and tomato soup with lots of bread and bean pate.

I had the bean burger.

The soup was very hot when it came but tasted good with a nice amount of spice and a big bowl! The pate was chunky but I thought it worked well and it was tasty and clearly made in house.

The bean burger, served in a bun with salad, slaw, guacamole and salsa was lovely and very filling!! The guacamole was great too- very smooth and creamy with plenty of flavour.

I couldn’t resist having a big slice of the vegan chocolate cake for pudding which was amazing!!! It had lots of gooey chocolate ganache , moist sponge and nuts and was served with soya cream.

Last time we very much enjoyed the Haggis, neeps and tatties from the Restaurant and there’s plenty left on the menu to try next time as well as vegan goodies in the deli!!!

David Bann, St Mary’s Street

Official Website:

David Bann is a gourmet style restaurant which I like very much. I have heard it criticised for its lack of choice for vegans, but I think there’s plenty!

We started with some lovely plump green olives, bread and basil oil for dipping.

R had something that involved smoked cheese so I didn’t pay much attention but I went for aubergine, cashew and chick pea koftas which were lovely. They were served with rice and some nice pineapple which was a bit different but worked well. The Koftas had a great texture and the sauce had a good amount of spice. Very tasty.

I then went on to have the vegan dessert- orange segment jelly on lemon cake with coconut rum sorbet. The sorbet was great but I found the jelly a bit strange. It had a very firm texture and the lemon cake, which was lovely, was about an inch thick with 4-5 inches of jelly. I guess it’s just not what I’m used to but it was pleasant enough. They also do vegan chocolate ice cream.

The atmosphere in David Bann is lovely and it’s quite big so we had no trouble getting a table during the no-reservation festival time. I would recommend it for anyone after a special meal while in Edinburgh.

We managed to have plenty of other nice food like falafel wraps, soup and gnocchi in non-vegetarian places.

I really love Edinburgh. Don’t miss out on a walk up Salisbury Crags/Arthur’s seat!

Mushroom risotto cakes

After mentioning them in the last post, I thought I’d show how easy it is to make a good-looking vegan meal with minimal ingredients.


A few dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in water for an hour or so before cooking (reserve soaking liquid)

vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

125g mushrooms

150g risotto rice

1 large glass dry white wine (and another for drinking)

500 ml vegetable stock (I dissolve 1 green oxo cube in boiling water)

salt and pepper

A sprinkle of Florentino Parmazano

Start by frying the onion gently in oil in a large frying pan until soft, then add the fresh mushrooms and fry for a few minutes.

Add the risotto rice and fry in the oil for about a minute. Add the soaked dried mushrooms.

Start adding the wine, stock and soaking liquid from dried mushrooms a cupful at a time and stir until mostly absorbed before adding more liquid. I like to add half the wine at the beginning and then half near the end.

Throw in some vegan parmesan towards the end too. I love Florentino Parmazano sprinkled on most italian dishes.

Once all the liquid has been absorbed, use some cooking rings to shape the risotto into cakes, place on a baking tray and cook in a hot oven (about 180’C) for 15 minutes, turning halfway.

Ready for the oven

Slide out of the rings and serve with whatever fancy garnishes you can find- I got some pea shoots off the balcony and some limp lettuce from the fridge.

I even had one the next day in my lunchbox:

This technique also helps my portion control, as normally I would happily eat risotto from the pan…all night.