Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Rocky Road Cookies

I love being a vegan. But there are a few little things I miss, one of which being marshmallows.
I've tried a few vegan marshmallows from the UK and I wasn't very impressed, but people have been raving about Dandies, so I ordered some from my favorite small vegan business Sarah's Place and they arrived this morning. They were a little sticky from all the travelling, but boy are they delicious! They toast so well too! I've got lots of ideas of recipes using these little nuggets of wonder, but these Rocky Road Cookies are just pure indulgence.

A dark chocolatey cookie packed full of dark chocolate chips, roasted and salted peanuts and of course, my new friends, Dandies Marshmallows! Treat yourself!

Makes 20 Cookies
Recipe Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

1/2C almond milk
2Tbsp ground flax
1/2C oil
1 1/4C sugar
1 1/2C + 2Tbsp flour
1/2C cocoa powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1/2C dark chocolate chips
1/2C roasted salted peanuts
1/2C chopped Dandies Marshmallows (or use mini ones)

Preheat oven to 175/350. 
In a mixing bowl combine the milk, flax, oil and sugar. Mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, nuts and marshmallow chunks.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop mounds of the dough onto lined baking sheets, leaving around 2 inches between cookies as they do spread. Bake for 10mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray for a further 5mins and then transfer onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

White Bean Cake with Fluffy Frosting

As you've probably gathered by now, I love cake.
Seriously, I can't get enough cake. 
But sometimes cake can be my downfall. I can eat a lot of it!
And then regret it! 

This is a healthier cake...that doesn't taste healthy. At all.
Please don't be put off by the fact that this cake has beans in it. I can't stress this enough.

It just tastes like really amazingly delicious cake.

Makes 1 Large Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from here

For the cake
3C plain flour
1Tbsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1 can (15.5oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4C vegan margarine 
2C sugar
4Tsp egg replacer (I used Orgran) + 3Tbsp water 
1C dairy free milk + 2tsp apple cider vinegar

For the frosting
1/4C vegan margarine
2-3C powdered sugar
Almond milk

Fresh strawberries to serve.

Preheat the oven to 350/175 and grease and flour a bundt pan.
Mix together the milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk with a fork. Set aside.
Using a hand blender or a food processor, blend the beans into a purée (don't worry if it's not completely smooth) 
Using an electric mixer, beat together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the bean purée and beat until everything is well combined. Mix the egg replacer with the water and add to the mixture, incorporating well. 
Add half of the dry ingredients and mix well on a low speed. Add the milk mixture and the second half of the dry and mix well until everything is as smooth as possible.
Pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 50-60mins, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake. 
Leave to cool for 20mins in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.

In an electric mixer, cream together the margarine with one cup of sugar. Then add the rest of the sugar a cup at a time, adding a little milk if it gets too thick. Keep going until you have a lovely light and fluffy frosting that is quite thick and smooth.

Spread the frosting onto the cooled bundt and top with fresh strawberries. 

This cake would be perfect for an afternoon tea! I promise you, nobody will know it has beans in it!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I can't express how happy I am about this cake. This was my favorite thing to bake (and eat) before I went vegan, and I haven't had it since! I've been thinking about adapting the recipe for a while now, but was convinced it wouldn't work because the original has whipped egg whites in it, but yesterday I threw caution to the wind and gave it a go, fully expecting a cake that would fall apart and be a disaster.

Oh boy, it's the complete opposite! I think this is actually the best cake I've ever made! It's moist, tangy and dotted with poppy seeds. Topped with a deliciously zingy lemon icing, this cake is absolutely perfect!

Makes one 8inch cake
Recipe adapted from The London Cookbook

110g poppy seeds
225ml almond milk
225g vegan butter
225g sugar
1/2C soy yogurt
1 heaped tablespoon ground flax seeds
225g wholemeal flour
1 1/2Tbsp baking powder
3Tbsp lemon juice

1-2C powdered sugar
Lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 8in cake tin.
Place the poppy seeds and the almond milk in a small pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave to soak for around 15mins.
In a medium mixing bowl cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the yogurt and mix well. Add the lemon juice, flax, flour and baking powder and mix until everything is well combined. Finally add the seeds and milk and mix well. (The mixture may look like its separating, don't worry!)
Pour into the greased tin and bake for 45mins-1hr, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely while you make the icing.

Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add lemon juice a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick icing that you can still pour easily. Once the cake is cooled pour the icing onto the center of the cake and spread out with the back of a spoon. Leave the icing to set and serve with a nice cup of earl grey tea!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting

I love simple recipes. Especially simple cupcake recipes! Here's one!
Moist, soft, chocolate sponge topped with fluffy, mild coffee flavored frosting and topped with a sprinkling of  demerara sugar and a single dark chocolate covered espresso bean. Simple yet delicious!

Yes I am aware that they kinda sorta look like boobs. Let's speak no more of this and move on.

Makes 12 Cupcakes

For the sponge
1 1/2C flour
1C sugar
1/4C cocoa powder
1/3C vegetable oil
1C water
1Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2tsp salt
1tsp baking soda

For the frosting
1/2C vegan margarine 
2-4C powdered sugar
3Tbsp strong coffee

Dark chocolate covered espresso beans
1tsp demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 175 and line a cupcake pan with paper cases.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the sponge ingredients and mix until smooth. Spoon into the cupcake cases, filling 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 25mins or until a skewer inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.

In an electric mixer or with an electric hand mixer cream together the margarine and the coffee. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and whisk on high until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, scoop mounds of frosting onto them using an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and top with a chocolate espresso bean.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sweet Tea Mochi Shortbread Cookies

Last week Pete and I spent a few days in London with my family, which was lovely!
I love visiting London, not only because I get to see my family and friends, but also because I get to visit all of my favourite food shops and stock up on goodies!

My mum took me to an incredible Chinese Supermarket in China Town, and I am totally in love with it! There were so many things I hadn't seen before, and everything was very cheap!

I bought lots of vegan goodies, and this recipe uses a Chinese flour called Mochiko Flour (Glutinous Rice Flour), the stuff that the deliciously chewy sweets Mochi are made of!

This flour gives a delicious flavour to these cookies, and a light and creamy texture, paired with fragrant tea (I used 'Notting Hill' Tea from Yumchaa, a black tea with apricot and cornflowers, but you could use any tea you like!)

These delicately sweet cookies would be perfect for a tea party, or just with your everyday cup of tea.

Makes 20 Cookies
Recipe adapted from here

1 1/2C flour
1/2C glutinous rice flour (mochiko flour)
2Tbsp tea leaves (use any tea you like)
Pinch of salt
2/3C vegan margarine
1/2C powdered sugar
2Tbsp cornflour 
2-4Tbsp water

Combine the flours, tea, salt, cornflour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl or a standalone mixer cream the margarine until fluffy. Add the dry mixture 1/2C at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl to ensure even distribution of the dry ingredients. When all the dry ingredients are combined, add a little water, as much as you need until the dough comes together and can be handled.
Halve the dough and form into two logs, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for around 30mins. 

Preheat the oven to 150 and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and peel off the cling film. Slice into 1/2inch rounds and press down slightly. Place the cookies on the baking sheet, they don't expand so you can put them close together. Bake for 20mins, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve with a nice cup of tea, store in an airtight container for up to a week.