Baked Lemon and Sultana Almond Cheesecake

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Here, I am trying to recreate one of my favourite childhood desserts- Marks and Spencer lemon and sultana cheesecake. It was my mum’s favourite too but then I think they changed the recipe and it got too sweet and she went off it. I think it would still be nice if you omitted the brown rice syrup but I do like to add a bit of sugar!

I based it on this recipe for almond feta which was very successful for me!

Ingredients

200g ground almonds

Juice and zest of 3-4 small lemons (mine yielded about 100ml juice)

100ml water

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp brown rice syrup

50g sultanas

Put all the ingredients except for the sultanas in a blender and blend into a thick cream texture.

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Mix in the sultanas and put in a muslin cloth within the bowl that you will bake it in.

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Tie up the muslin cloth and leave in the fridge for several hours. A small amount of liquid will drain off.

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Unwrap, place the block of cheesecake back into the bowl and bake in the oven at 180’C for half an hour.

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Allow to chill and serve sliced!

2012-10-04 07.22.33I think it’s quite close to the original Marks and Spencer cake I was recreating, with a nice almondy edge!

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Studenty spaghetti

Not really sure what to call this dish. Similarly to the courgette noodles, it’s a bit of a concept that you can do what you want with. It comes from a friend of mine from university who said to me once:

“Hey, if you’ve ever got nothing to eat, try making a sauce for spaghetti out of peanut butter and soy sauce, it’s great”

It is!!!!

Ingredients (serves one)

100g Spaghetti

½ clove minced garlic

5-6 mushrooms, chopped

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

3 tbsp water

 

Boil the spaghetti in salted water until cooked. While it’s cooking, fry the garlic in some oil and add the mushrooms (or other vegetables) and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce and water and mix together into a sauce.

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Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce. Eat.

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Home-made pan-fried potato gnocchi

Now I did mean to post this a week ago when gcse results came out. It’s been ten years since I got my gcse results! One thing I, and my parents, remember from that time is my food technology coursework. I can’t remember exactly what the theme was, I think I managed to choose something vague like “vegetarian dinners” and my dish that I made over and over again (improving each time!) was potato gnocchi with a roasted tomato sauce. I’ve tweaked my recipe a little bit over the years but I am a huge fan of gnocchi.

Ingredients

4 medium sized baking potatoes

1 tablespoon vegan margarine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

150g “00” (or just plain) flour

Salt and pepper

Little bit of coarse semolina

Bake the potatoes in the oven at 150’C for an hour and a half until cooked through.

Scoop out the flesh (or peel after dropping into cold water), allow to cool slightly and mash really well with the margarine , chives, salt and pepper.

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Add half the flour and stir in until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and get your hands involved, bringing together into a dough.

Roll the dough into long sausages and then chop into small dumplings using a wet knife.

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Use a fork to leave an indent in each one and roll in semolina.

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Chill or freeze until ready to cook.

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To serve:

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the gnocchi. After a few minutes, the dumplings should rise to the surface. Retrieve from the water, drain and then fry in hot oil and serve with your favourite pasta sauce.

Noochy courgette noodles

This is more of a concept than a recipe: courgette noodles. I love my spiralizer! It’s a fab machine that turns any vegetable into noodles using a turning handle and a clever grater!

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You could get a similar effect by using a vegetable peeler and slicing the pieces into long strips. Anyway, dress with ANYTHING (soy and chilli, lemon and garlic, ‘cheese’ sauce) and you’re good to go. Keep them raw for a bit of bite or fry in a wok for a softer noodle.

Ingredients

1 large courgette (per person as it loses a lot of liquid when fried)- 27 kcal

A few sprays of spray oil- 4 kcal

About a clove of minced garlic- 4 kcal

½ tsp chopped fresh chilli- 3 kcal

2 tsp tomato puree- 14 kcal

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast- 18 kcal

1 tablespoon gram flour- 30 kcal

Pinch of salt

Total Calories: 100 kcal

Spiralize the courgette.

Fry the garlic and chilli in a little oil and add the courgette.

As the courgette starts to lose water, add the tomato, nutritional yeast, gram flour and salt. Let this form a sauce with the liquid from the courgette.

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Serve! Add some breadcrumbs for extra texture.

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Three cheers for Mr Tofu!

Am I really that soppy? Erm, yes! My amazing husband ❤ for the past few days he’s been on a bit of a culinary mission. First on Saturday there was the pizza and tiramisu night. R is famous for his pizzas as he always gets a good crispy base with the pizza stone. We managed to find some Mozzarisella in Wimbledon so I had a pizza with this. It was pretty awesome! It melted nicely and had a good mild mozzarellay taste. It’s up there in my top vegan cheeses and I’m so happy the quality of vegan cheese has improved so vastly in the past 5 years!

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The tiramisu was amazing! No photo because, ahem, I ate it all. My only criticism would be that it could have been more boozy, but then I am a booze-hound and just chucked some ouzo on mine for that kick.

Also not a real recipe because Mr tofu doesn’t roll like that but basically a nice light sponge on the bottom- he used my standard sponge recipe (100ml oil, 200ml soy milk, 180g caster sugar, 280g SR flour, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt) soaked in 300ml strong coffee and a couple of shots of coffee liqueur (this is where I would also have added my brandy/sambuca/any other alcohol.)

Next he very cleverly made a sweetened marscapone-style topping with silken tofu, agave syrup and lemon juice and, as it was the best he could find in Balham, sprayed soyatoo spray cream over the top of this just before serving.

Then yesterday there was the wonderful rice pudding- pudding rice, soya milk, alpro single cream, vanilla extract and ST LUCIAN NUGMEG mmmm.

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Since I raved about my amazing mighty fork hotdog a couple of weeks ago, he decided to give my hot dog night tonight. Home-made wholemeal buns, vegi-deli hotdogs, fried onion and green chilli, tomato ketchup and vegan mayo.

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Followed by more rice pudding with apple and plum in calvados.

Good boy.

 

Maple Spice cookies

I fancied something maple flavoured today so whipped these up. This recipe made 7 cookies (if I make too many I eat them all!) but I strongly recommend scaling it up!

Ingredients

30g vegan margarine (vitalite)
30g sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

100g SR flour
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)

Method
Preheat the oven to 180’C and line or grease a baking tray.
Heat the margarine, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extractin a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved and margarine melted.
Allow this to cool for a few minutes while combining the flour, spices and salt in a bowl.
Make a well in the centre and poor in the mixture from the saucepan.
Mix together into a soft dough.
Take walnut sized balls of the mixture, roll into balls and flatten.

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Place on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
Cool on a wire rack and enjoy.

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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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