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!


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!


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!


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.


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.



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!


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)

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.

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



Naughty Jen/Thanks for the treats! My first vegan food swap.

OK I’m about a week late on this post. I feel like a TERRIBLE member of the vegan community after signing up for a vegan food swap through tohappy vegans ( receiving an amazing box of goodies and NOT SAYING THANK YOU.
A lovely lady called Kadian emailed me to check my address and any dietary requirements then went and got me loads of wonderful foods I hadn’t had before.
A few days after the email, I got home, slightly drunk, after going out for drinks with work people and not having any food. On the sofa was a big box, which I tore into and found inside:
So many exciting things!! I immediately ripped open the Lucy’s chocolate chip cookies. I love Lucy’s cookies and hadn’t had the chocolate chip ones before- they did not disappoint! I also had some dried pears (yum) and coconut chips (weird, but also yum).
I have been using the amazing chilli salt flakes in a lot of my cooking and salad dressings and they give a really great flavour.
The snapea crisps were hoovered up by me another evening- they are awesome!! Like dried out sugarsnap peas with salt I guess but with that texture you get with crisps like wotsits? Hard to describe but I need to find a supplier!!
I haven’t yet tried the chreese sauce but that will come soon, and I also got some nice little teas (great for taking to work)
So thanks, Kadian! I loved my pile of vegan goodies!

Excuses for being so rubbish:
1. I left my old job and started a new one 2 weeks ago, with just a weekend in between on which I was on my hen weekend!! Here is the giant vegan jaffa cake I made for my last day at the old job:


I’ve had to go through loads of training for the new job and have to take a test on what I’ve learnt tomorrow. Eek!!!

2. I’m getting married in less than 3 weeks!!! I have been organising like crazy and this weekend I made an 11″ parkin and a 9″ fruitcake (both nearly 4″ deep!) for the wedding cake! I’m having it professionally iced and will do a post on my recipes (also for the sponge on top which I’ll do 2 days before) but here’s a sneak peek of the fruit cake:
Am I forgiven yet? xxx


Mexican wedding cookies

Another post I’ve been meaning to do for a while. At some point last year I went through a phase of making loads of these little nutty cookies that are known as either mexican wedding cookies or russian tea cakes. I decided that a box of these would make a nice gift for my brother’s girlfriend’s mother over Christmas, and I do believe they did!

100g vegan margarine (I used pure)
40g icing sugar
pinch salt
100g finely chopped nuts- I use almonds or walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g sifted plain flour
3 tbsp soya milk
5 tbsp more icing sugar for rolling

Cream together the margarine, sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy and creamy. Combine the dry ingredients and then mix into the margarine about 1/4 at a time, adding the soya milk as necessary. It should form quite a soft dough, but you may need to get your hands involved. Form into golf ball sized balls and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180’C, until lightly browned. While still warm, roll in icing sugar and allow to cool. Great with a cup of coffee.


White chocolate ginger torte

As soon as I saw this post, I was determined to try making a white chocolate torte. Unfortunately they stopped selling both the white chocolate buttons and the cream used!
I did find some white chocolate buttons from Alternative stores and decided I’d try it with them.

I tried them ‘raw’ and they were quite nice but did have a slightly ricey taste to them- definitely needed some vanilla. So, the recipe.

60g vegan margarine (vitalite)
150g ginger nut biscuits

200g vegan white chocolate drops
few drops vanilla essence
100ml oat dream cream (or any other vegan cream alternative)
50g silken tofu

First make the base by melting the margarine, crushing the ginger nuts and mixing together. Press into the bottom of the tin you’re using (I used a foil pie dish)
Melt the white chocolate drops in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. I decided that stirring lots was the best technique here as when I didn’t it seemed to stick to the bowl and stay solid.

Once melted take off the heat and quickly throw in the vanilla essence,  tofu and cream. It all seems like a big mess at this point so get in there with a hand blender and blend until beautiful and smooth and creamy.
Pour over the biscuit base and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.


Vegan-nese Whirls

This recipe is adapted from my friend Suzie’s post

Shortbread ingredients

250g vegan margarine (I used vitalite)

few drops vanilla extract

50g icing sugar

50g cornflour

250g plain flour

(you can halve the ingredients if you like but you won’t make enough…)


4 tablespoons raspberry jam

50g vegan margarine

100g icing sugar

few drops vanilla extract

I’m currently food processer-less so I started by whisking the margarine, vanilla, sugar and cornflour with an electric whisk and then adding the flour bit by bit until I had a biscuit dough.

Put this in a piping bag and pipe some flattish whirls onto a baking tray.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 180’C until lightly browned.

Allow these to cool and then heat up the jam in a saucepan until it bubbles and allow to cool slighty, before spreading on the underside of the cookies.

Once the jam is cool and, hopefully, nice and firm and sticky, whisk together the icing sugar, margarine and vanilla for the filling and pipe onto half of the biscuits on top of the jam.

Sandwich together and serve before they fall apart.

Whatever you do don’t try to travel on the London underground with these babies- they’re delicate!!!

Thanks, Suzie!!!