UK vegan food swap- June!

I had a month off for, y’know, wedding and honeymoon and stuff, but was back for June’s vegan food swap! I happened to be at Ms Cupcake at the beginning of the month so picked up some extra treats in anticipation. Then the email comes from my swapping partner, Mel, “…I do try and steer clear of sugar as much as possible…” Oops, better eat all those marshmallows and gummy bears myself then (probably would have done anyway!)

My parcel came from Sasha from To Happy Vegans and here is a picture of the contents:

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Yum yum. I love the new nakd mocha bars but they’re quite hard to find- my only supplier is As Nature Intended in Balham and I don’t make it there very often so this was much appreciated!

The dark chocolate nougat bar was loooovely. The muesli made a good breakfast (I LOVE muesli and breakfast cereals!) Cola bottles, standard gummy sweets, eaten in one sitting. Nice trail mix and popchips (black pepper flavour- hadn’t tried before but will have again!) for work-snacks.

The vanilla and strawberry Tings were interesting- I’ve seen them in Vx and some online reviews. They’re good for a little sweet treat and I think they’re sugar free. Slightly unusual tasting but not unpleasant- kind of like a vanilla and strawberry yoghurt? I’m keen to try the lemony ones now.

And finally the cob of corn!!! It’s like popcorn but not taken off the cob, so you put it in a bag and microwave and end up with popcorn! Unfortunately my bag burst in the microwave towards the end so I had a little bit of cleaning up to do and maybe 1/5 of the cob didn’t end up popping but I got plenty of popcorn off it and I am a huge popcorn fan so it pleased me greatly!!! I had half with nutritional yeast sprinkled over it and the other half with cinnamon and sugar 😀 i also enjoyed the freak popcorn that had popped and still stayed attached to the cob (yes, I gnawed it off…)

Good times 🙂

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Curried vegetable gramcake

OK that’s probably a really bad name for this creation but I thought of it like a gram flour pancake.

I felt quite inspired to make onion bhajis the other day and followed a recipe on the side of my gram flour bag to make some. Then I ate them like I used to at university- as a burger in a bun with mango chutney. YUM

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Inspired by the same recipe, I made my gram-cake which I guess is kind of a bit like a vegan omlette.

Ingredients

1 small onion, finely sliced

1 cup chopped cabbage

1 carrot, finely sliced

vegetable oil

1 cup gram flour

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon dried chilli

Start by gently frying the sliced onion, cabbage and carrot (or in fact any vegetables you fancy!) in a flat bottomed frying pan.

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while the vegetables are cooking, put the cumin seeds, corriander seeds, salt and chilli into a pestle and mortar and grind. Mix together with the gram flour and water and mix in the lightly fried vegetables.

Add some more oil to the pan and pour in the mixture. Spread out with the back of a spoon.

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Once the top of the gram cake is no longer wet, fold in half using a spatula and cook for a few more minutes, flipping if necessary to cook on both sides.

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I served mine with baked beans and brown sauce.

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Wedding cake!!

Finally, I’m going to share my wedding cake recipes with you. I only actually got a photo of the fruit cake uniced but the sponge looked amazing (and really tall!!!) and they all tasted great!

I had them decorated by a professional with vegan regal ice, which she also made some flower and petal decorations from.

Here we are about to cut the cake!

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Bottom layer: 11” Parkin

12oz margarine (vitalite)
12oz black treacle
12oz golden syrup
24oz self-raising flour
24oz medium oatmeal
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoon mixed spice
360ml soya milk

1. Grease 11” round cake tin and preheat the oven to 160’C

2. Put margarine, treacle and syrup in a saucepan and melt over a low heat

3. Combine all the dry ingredients

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, adding soya milk/water if necessary for a fairly wet cake batter. Mix well.

5. Pour into prepared tin and bake at 160’C for an hour to an hour and a half until firm and brown and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

Middle layer: 9” fruitcake

10oz currants
10oz sultanas
10oz raisins

sherry or brandy (optional)
3oz glace cherries (chopped)1oz mixed peel (chopped finely)

24oz  self-raising flour
12oz soft brown sugar
1 pint soya milk
5 oz / 70g vegan margarine
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp mixed spice

  1. Soak currants, sultanas and raisins in brandy or sherry for a few hours (optional step)
  2. Sift flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl and rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Mix in the sugar, soaked dried fruit and lemon zest
  4. Mix in all but 3 tbsp of soya milk and mix well
  5. Warm the 3 tbsp soya milk until about 60’C (not boiling but fairly hot) and mix in the bicarbonate of soda. It will fizz up. Quickly mix into the batter.
  6. Pour into prepared 9” round tin and bake in the oven at 180’C for an hour, then turn down to 155’C for another hour. Once cooked the cake should be brown and firm and a skewer should come out clean when inserted.

I decided to go with a different sponge recipe as mine is often a bit crumbly. This one is denser and moister and I think it carved well.

7″ sponge cake

9oz vegan margarine
9oz caster sugar
1lb 2oz self-raising flour
6 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1 x 500ml tub plain or vanilla vegan yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, melt the margarine and sugar until melted. Allow to cool slightly.

2. Sieve flour and baking powder and salt into a bowl. Pour in the margarine/sugar mixture, yoghurt and vanilla extract and mix well.

3. Spoon cake mix into 2 prepared 7” round tins and bake at 180’C for about 40 minutes or until risen and golden. A skewer should come out clean when inserted.

4. Allow to cool and sandwich together with raspberry jam and vegan buttercream (I creamed vitalite with icing sugar for this)

Things to look forward to

Hello!

Happily married and on the honeymoon comedown. 5 day working weeks?? Who thought of these things?

Luckily the internet is awash with things to be excited about: new vegan products etc. So to save me from the post honeymoon blues I have flung the diet (a long way!) and am going to get stuck in!

1. Cat and the cream have a new range of desserts available to Whole Foods, Kensington- including tiramisu!!!

2. These vegan churros are available in Soho.

3. I’ve discovered that the Oxo tower have a dedicated vegan/vegetarian menu.

4. My brother got us a voucher for Vanilla Black as a wedding gift.

5. I’ve discovered freedom mallows. Best marshmallows ever!

freedom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So life isn’t so bad!

I’ll leave you with the ingredients for my favourite honeymoon cocktail, the love affair:

rum, coffee liqueur, coconut cream, bitters and grated nutmeg blended with ice.

YUM it was like drinking ice cream!