Category: Desserts

It’s a celebration month! After nearly a year (and nearly seven years together) I finally had my interview at the US embassy for my spouse visa. I’m happy to say it was approved! So I’ll be making the move across the pond in the next few months. I’m excited to see what blogging stateside will be like – especially since there are SO many delicious vegan products available.

In other news, I got a new popsicle mold! It’s a Norpro Frozen Ice Pop Maker and it’s amazing.

To make mine I’m using maple water as the liquid but you can use coconut, birch or bamboo if you wish. Maple water is ever so slightly sweet – so these popsicles aren’t very sweet themselves. If you’re looking to make it sweet you can add some maple syrup or agave nectar to taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g watermelon, roughly chopped into chunks
  • 150g strawberries, hulled
  • 16 fl oz/470ml maple water
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of half a lime
  1. Add everything to a blender and blend on high until very smooth.
  2. Pour carefully into a popsicle mold. If using the Norpro model, insert the wooden popsicle stick into the openings on the lid – otherwise proceed as you would with your mold.
  3. Freeze the popsicles for 6-8 hours or until completely solid.
  4. To release them from the mold, remove from the freezer and gently submerge the bottom of the mold in warm water. They should pull out smoothly.

 

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Watermelon and I have never gotten on well but now I’d like to take the time to apologise to watermelon. I’m sorry that I lumped you in with all the other melons (I’m looking at you, disgusting honeydew) when you are infact delicious. Also apologies to my husband Brian who has been telling me that watermelon is the greatest ever for like the last six years and I refused to believe him. He is right about food almost all the time and I really should just listen to him!

Now that’s out of the way – I have another snack food to review. The kind folks over at Ape sent me some of their coconut curls to try. They come in two flavours, lightly salted and lightly peppered.

They have no added sugar, are gluten-free, high in fibre and they’re dried into the curls instead of being fried! They are also under 110 calories if you’re into that sort of thing.

I really enjoyed the coconut curls – especially the lightly salted ones. They’re crunchy but not too chewy and not overly salty. After I shot the photos for this post I stuffed the rest of them into my mouth. I think they would make a really great crouton on top of a savoury salad – especially the lightly peppered ones!

I decided to make a fruit salad with the coconut curls – a nice texture change between soft mango and the icy crunch of watermelon. Watermelon, salt and lime go very well together so the lightly salted coconut curls work really well here. A refreshing summer breakfast or dessert.

You can find Ape on their website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g watermelon, cut into small chunks
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 packet of Ape lightly salted coconut curls OR 20g coconut chips + 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • Juice of half a lime
  1. In a bowl combine the watermelon, mango and lime juice. Toss together until coated. Sprinkle over the coconut curls and dig in!
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It’s nearly Christmas!! Meaning I’ve basically had time to do nothing. I really wanted to make some vegan gingerbread this year and I finally found some time to do it. I was a bit wary because this was my first time baking anything in our new oven – our old oven sadly died a couple of weeks ago (we had it for 20 years and it was here when we moved in!). The new oven is all in centigrade and has a fan so everything cooks a lot quicker.

These turned out great however! I’ve used wholegrain spelt flour because I wanted a deeper darker cookie but if you want to you can use regular flour. If you want to use these cookies as christmas tree decorations make a small hole in the dough before baking – then thread through some ribbon after they are chilled.

INGREDIENTS

Recipe adapted and veganised from here

  • 400g  wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 125g vegan butter
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f/180c. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silpat mats and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium to cream together. Drizzle in the golden syrup and maple syrup. Add the aquafaba until everything is well mixed
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture bit by bit until the mixture comes together in a dough.
  5. Tip the dough out onto some clingfilm and knead lightly for about 3 minutes. It will be sticky – kneading it in the clingfilm will help reduce some mess!
  6. Wrap the dough up in the clingfilm and leave it in the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the dough from the freezer. Tip it out onto a well floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin roll the dough out thinly, to around 1cm thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes until all the dough is used up. I used a mixture of star shapes, christmas tree and holly leaf cutters.
  8. Carefully place the cookies onto the prepared baking trays – making sure to leave a good distance between them as they will expand outwards when cooking.
  9. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Leave the cookies to cool on the parchment before peeling off and dusting with icing sugar.

 

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It’s Thanksgiving on Thursday! So it’s prime pumpkin pie time. Now that I’m pretty much half American it’s time to make my own. I never made one of these pre-vegan so I had to come up with a way to make the same eggy custard that the “normal” pumpkin pie has.

It was pretty much the worst day ever weather wise when I took these photos so it’s a really moody looking pumpkin pie!

I’m using my aquafaba sweet pastry from my cherry pie that I made back in the summer.

This recipe makes one 9 inch round and 2 inch deep pie. I use this dish from Le Creuset. The pie needs to cool completely before serving because of it’s custard like nature. Serve it cold with coconut whip or soya cream! It’s also yummy with a little bit of coconut sugar sprinkled on top.

INGREDIENTS

For the pastry

  • 8oz plain flour
  • 4oz vegan butter
  • 2oz aquafaba
  • 1oz caster sugar

For the pumpkin pie filling

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder

  1. Start by making the pastry. Add the flour and butter to a bowl and either using your hands or the dough hook on a stand mixer, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse sand. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the aquafaba. Mix well with a wooden spoon or beat with the dough hook until the mixture comes together in a dough. Either continue beating with the dough hook for another 3-4 minutes until smooth or tip out onto a well floured work surface and knead until smooth – about 5 minutes.
  2. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350f. Whilst the pastry is chilling, make the pumpkin pie filling. Drain and rinse the cashews and add to a blender with the 3/4 cup coconut milk. Blend on high until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, water, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, salt and arrowroot. Blend again until everything is well incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Tip out onto a well floured work surface and using a floured rolling pin, roll it out into a 10-11 inch diameter circle. Using the rolling pin to help, carefully lay the pastry over the pie dish, letting the excess hang over the sides.
  6. Carefully press the pastry into the bottom of the dish. Prick the bottom of the pie dish all over with a fork – paying particular attention to the areas near the sides of the pie crust.
  7. Fold the pastry over the edges of the pie dish and cut away any excess pastry. Carefully press the pastry onto the sides of the dish – here you can add a fluted pattern to the edges if you like. Any excess pastry can be frozen or used as decoration!
  8. Line the pastry with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with baking beans – making sure to push them right to the edges to support the pastry. Bake the pie crust in the oven for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and baking beans then bake for an additional 5 minutes to crisp up the bottom.
  9. Remove the pie crust from the oven and pour in the pie filling, using a spatula to smooth it out.
  10. Bake the pie in the oven for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 20 minutes. The top should have formed a crust and have a golden brown appearance. It will still have a bit of a jiggle to it but should not be completely liquid in the middle. If the middle seems too wet still, move the pie to the bottom shelf and lay a piece of parchment paper on the shelf above – this will stop the pie from catching too much and bake for additional 5-10 minutes.
  11. Remove the pie from the oven and leave to cool completely before placing in the fridge. The pie may crack as it cools – this is purely cosmetic and it tastes fine!

 

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Happy World Vegan Day!

What better way to celebrate than with treats? These are almost raw besides the dark chocolate layer. No bake and done in about 20 minutes.

You may notice a couple new little banners on the side of the blog…I’ll be making a post about that soon! Stay tuned.

INGREDIENTS

For the base

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 10 soft pitted dates

For the date caramel

  • 20 soft pitted dates
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (depending on how salty you like it)
  • 2-3 tbsp water

For the dark chocolate layer

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  1. Line a 10 inch x 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add the pecans and pulse until they resemble a coarse soil. Add the pitted dates and pulse again until the mixture comes together.
  3. Press the dough into the pan in a thin layer and place in the fridge to chill.
  4. Make the caramel, add the dates, vanilla and salt to the food processor. Add 2 tbsp of water. Pulse until smooth. Add some more water if the caramel needs thinning.
  5. Set the caramel aside. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil.
  6. Spread the caramel over the cooled base in a smooth layer. Pour over the melted chocolate mixture.
  7. Place back in the fridge to chill until the chocolate is solid.
  8. Remove from the fridge, using the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the tin. Using a sharp knife cut the bars into squares.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

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I know, I know…another pumpkin recipe. I hope you’ll forgive me! These are mad good!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree

  1. First prepare the chocolate. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler on a medium heat.
  2. Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cups. Divide the melted chocolate in half and then using a teaspoon scoop the melted chocolate into the muffin cups. Make sure the chocolate is spread evenly on the bottom and then put the tray into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to harden.
  3. Whilst the chocolate is hardening prepare the filling, in a bowl add the peanut butter, pumpkin and vanilla powder, stirring well with a spatula until fully incorporated. Taste and add sweetener if desired.
  4. Remove the muffin tray from the fridge and using a teaspoon spread the peanut pumpkin filling over the chocolate. Use the spoon to smooth it out slightly.
  5. Cover the filling with the other half of the melted chocolate and place in the fridge to set completely.
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It’s PUMPKIN TIME!

Now that I’m one half of a UK-US power couple I figured it was time to bring out the big guns. I definitely bought 4 cans of pumpkin this week.

These are overnight cinnamon rolls, meaning you mix up the dough the night before and leave it to rise in the fridge over night. In the morning, with a little bit of time and patience you can have fresh cinnamon rolls which is perfect for lazy people like me.

INGREDIENTS

For the cinnamon roll dough

  • 3 tbsp vegan butter (I use Pure or Earth Balance)
  • 170ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 340g self raising flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp dried active yeast

For the filling

  • 3 tbsp softened vegan butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the cashew frosting

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 1 hour in boiling water
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 140-150ml  almond milk

  1. The night before you wish to eat the cinnamon rolls begin the dough. In a small pan on a low heat melt the butter. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the flour, salt and yeast to a big bowl and mix well. In a jug add the cooled butter mixture, pumpkin puree, vanilla and almond milk. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Make a well in the flour, add the pumpkin mixture and mix using a wooden spoon. The dough will be sticky.
  4. Once the dough has come together, tip onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in the fridge over night.
  6. The next morning lightly flour your work surface and remove the dough from the fridge. It should have doubled in size. Using your fingers punch the dough down to remove the air.
  7. Roll the dough out into an approximately 18 inch rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough making sure to reach the edges. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it evenly over the butter.
  8. Starting from one end, roll the dough up into a large sausage shape. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 1 inch sections. Repeat until you have used all the dough.
  9. Grease a baking dish and arrange the rolls so that they are touching. Cover the rolls with a dish cloth and leave for 1 hour to rise.
  10. Whilst the rolls are rising preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Prepare the glaze, drain the cashews. Rinse them and add them to the blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla. Slowly add the almond milk until the frosting is smooth.
  11. Scrape out the frosting into a container and refrigerate until time to use.
  12. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Pour over the cashew glaze!
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Ever since I made the meringues with chickpea brine I’ve been wanting to experiment with different sugars. I’m not anti-sugar in the slightest but I felt like the taste of the meringues could be improved by the flavour of the sweetener. I’m a huge fan of maple syrup so I wanted to see if it would work in place of the icing sugar! It does!

I’ve dipped these in chocolate – the caramelised maple meringue and the dark chocolate reminds me a lot of Cadbury’s Crunchy Bars – minus the dairy.

INGREDIENTS

For the maple meringues

  • Chickpea brine drained from 1 can of chickpeas – approximately 1 cup of liquid
  • 3/4 Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For the chocolate dipping

  • 50g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 200f. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silpat mats.  First reduce the chickpea brine. Pour it into a saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes until reduced 2/3 of a cup. Set aside to cool for at least ten minutes.
  2. Once the brine is cool, add it to the stand mixer and beat on high until foamy. Once soft peaks form, add the cream of tartar. Beat for 3 minutes.
  3. Start adding the maple syrup in 1/4 cup increments, pouring slowly and beating until fully incorporated. The meringue will form stiff peaks.
  4. Beat in the vanilla bean paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the meringue into medium sized rounds.
  5. Repeat until there is no more space on the trays. Bake the meringues in the oven for 2 hours.
  6. Remove the trays from the oven and allow the meringues to cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Whilst the meringues are cooling, prepare the chocolate dip. In a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring to incorporate.
  8. Once the meringues are cooled, carefully peel them off the paper and dip half of each into the chocolate mixture.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I had some extra meringue mixture leftover so I mixed it up with some raw cacao powder and drizzled through some of the chocolate dip and froze it! Chocolate ice cream! 

 

 

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Ever since the dawn of aquafaba I’ve been thinking of other ways to use it as an egg replacer. I’ve used it to make meringue and to give body to ice cream without using an ice cream maker.

Here I’m using it to make a simple sweet pastry (one used by my grandma) without the need to use any expensive exotic ingredients. Obviously, the pie is filled with cherries because there’s a damn fine crop of cherries popping up this year!

A tragedy befell us in the kitchen. My beloved Salter digital scales got water in them and died! So I’ve gone back to the old school with this recipe and measured them using my great-grandma’s weighted scales which are in ounces. I’ve done my best to convert to grams but be aware!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8oz/226g plain flour
  • 4oz/113 fat (I used a half/half ratio of vegan butter to vegetable fat)
  • 2oz/56g aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chickpeas) + more for brushing
  • 1oz/28g caster sugar
  • 300g cherries, pitted
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f. Get a 7 inch pie dish ready.
  2. Start by making the pastry. In a large mixing bowl add the flour and fat. Using your hands rub the fat through the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse sand.
  3. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the middle of the flour then add the aquafaba, using a wooden spoon to mix it all together.
  4. Lightly flour your kitchen surface, then plop the dough out of the bowl. Knead lightly for around 5 minutes until the pastry is smooth. Roll into a ball and place in a ziplock bag. Chill the pastry in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. Whilst the pastry is chilling, start on the cherry filling. Pit the cherries – I find the easiest way is to use an empty wine bottle and a chopstick. Place 1 cherry in the opening of the wine bottle and use the sharp end of the chopstick to push out the pit.
  6. Once all the cherries are pitted add them to a saucepan with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla extract. Cook on a medium-low heat until the juices run out and the fruit is soft. Set aside to cool.
  7. Divide the pastry into two equal parts.Flour your surface and roll out one piece of pastry into an 8 inch circle and carefully lay it over the pie dish.
  8. Using your fingers press the pastry into the dish. Cut away the excess pastry. Scoop out the cherries using a slotted spoon, making sure not too take too much of the juice, into the pie casing.
  9. Roll out your second piece of dough and carefully lay it over the top of the pie. Using your thumb press all the way around the edge of the dish to seal the pastry. Cut away the excess pastry.Then using your finger, press the thumb sealed part inwards to make a little flute.
  10. If you want to, you can use your excess pastry to make a little decoration! Cut two slits in the top of the pie crust then brush it with a little aquafaba.
  11. Bake the pie in the oven for 25 minutes  or until golden brown, rotating half way.

 

 

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As this is my first 4th of July married to my lovely American husband I felt like a little celebration was in order. Coincidentally we got our first bumper crop of blackcurrants from the garden! Ten minutes later and my mum and I had dessert for what turned out to be the hottest July day on record!

Happy Independence Day to all the Americans out there!

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 50g blackcurrants, stems removed (sub blueberries to keep the red, white & blue theme!)
  • 50g strawberry mixed grain muesli or muesli/granola of your choice
  • Coconut cream scraped from the inside of 1 can of refrigerated coconut milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tbsp Grade B maple syrup

  1. The night before place your coconut milk in the fridge. When you are ready to make the coconut cream, remove it from the fridge and turn it upside down. Scrape out the coconut cream into a bowl and save the water for a smoothie.
  2. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the vanilla to the bowl with the maple syrup. Using a hand whisk or an electric mixer beat until fluffy.
  3. Layer your parfaits (we used tumblers) starting first with the strawberries, then 2 tbsp of coconut cream then blackcurrants, muesli, coconut cream and so on until your glass is full. Top with more strawberries. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
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