Saturday, 22 June 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

What do you do when you've got half a tub of vegan cream cheese and a handful of raspberries that both need to be used up? Make delicious brownies of course!

These brownies turned out better than I hoped! Apart from being beautiful to look at (just check out the close up of the brownies before baking below!) they are also super fudgey, gooey, sweet and delicious! 

Recipe adapted from this book
Serves 8 greedy folk

1Tbsp ground flax seeds
3Tbsp warm water
2C plain flour
1/2C cocoa powder
1 1/2C sugar
1/2C golden caster sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2C water
1/3C + 4Tbsp almond milk
1C + 2Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2C dark chocolate chips
1/2C vegan cream cheese
1tsp almond milk
1/4C sugar
1tsp egg replacer
A handful of raspberries

Line a brownie pan with grease proof paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Mix the flaxseeds with the 3Tbsp warm water and set aside for 5-10mins. 

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugars and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add the water, almond milk and vegetable oil. Mix until the mixture is smooth and pour into the lined baking tray.

In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg replacer and almond milk and mix until smooth. Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie mixture and then use a knife to swirl the cheesecake mixture. Pop the raspberries on top of the brownies and sprinkle over the chocolate chips.

Bake for 25mins, remove from the oven and leave in the pan to cool completely before cutting and devouring! The brownies will look like they aren't properly done, but trust me, once they are cooled they will be the gooey-est, fudgey-est, most heavenly brownies you've ever had!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I know this is insane. I know. But it's just too good to pass up.
Soft and squidgy Cinnamon Rolls, slathered with Cream Cheese Frosting and then topped with succulent chunks of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! 
Why? Why on earth not?

Recipe adapted from here

For the dough
1 heaping teaspoon yeast
1 1/2tsp sugar
1/4C warm water
3C flour (or more)
3/4C dairy free milk
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
1Tbsp vegan butter
1/2tsp salt

For the filling
3Tbso vegan butter
1/2C light brown sugar
2tsp cinnamon

For the frosting
2Tbsp vegan butter
2Tbsp vegan cream cheese
4-5C icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
dairy free milk

For the cookie dough
1C flour
1/2C sugar
1Tbsp vegan butter
1Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2C vegan chocolate chips
dairy free milk

First make the dough. 
Mix the yeast, sugar and water together in a small bowl and set aside until foam gathers on the top. (My top tip is to fill the 1/4C measurement half with boiling water from the kettle and then top up with cold water from the tap, this seems to produce the perfect temperature of water for your yeast to grow! If after 5mins there is no foam on top of the mixture, tip it away and start again!) Throw the rest of the dough ingredients into an electric mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid, but you can of course just do it by hand!) and mix well until everything is combined. Add the yeast-y mixture and mix again, then knead until the dough is smooth and elastic! (If the dough is too sticky feel free to add more flour until its a soft but not wet to the touch.) Form the dough into a ball and cover tightly with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for an hour, until the dough has doubled. 

Once the dough is nicely doubled turn it out onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle. Mix together the filling ingredients and spread them evenly over the dough. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape and pinch the ends together. Cut in half and then each half into four pieces. Place them onto a lined baking tray and squish down slightly. Cover tightly and leave to rise for another hour, until doubled in size again. 

Preheat your oven to 350/175 and bake the rolls for 20-25mins, until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet while you make the frosting.

Make the frosting.
In an electric mixer cream together the butter and cream cheese until completely combined. Add the icing sugar and whisk at a medium speed until smooth, adding milk if the frosting gets too dry. Once everything is combined whip on high speed for around 2mins until the frosting is a light color and is nice and fluffy. Spread lashings of frosting over each cinnamon roll once cooled.

Make the cookie dough.
Cream together the vegan butter and sugar until combined. Add the flour, vanilla and chocolate chips and mix, adding milk as needed until a soft but non-sticky dough forms. Pinch chunks of dough and stick them on top of the frosted buns!


Saturday, 1 June 2013

Get Well Soup

I don't know about you, but one of the things that I find makes me feel better when I'm under the weather is soup! As someone who suffers from ME/CFS, I often find myself with colds and sore throats, and as well as dosing up on vitamin C and drinking lots of ginger tea, I like to make a big batch of my Get Well Soup so I can keep it in the fridge and then just heat up a mug-full any time I need it!

Here's my basic recipe, you can really add whatever vegetables you like to this, but this is what I tend to use! 

Makes 5-6 portions

1Tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion
3 stalks of celery
1 large leek
5 carrots
1 punnet of mushrooms
As much garlic & ginger as you can handle!
1 can of white beans
1 1/2C mini pasta (how cute are these little stars?)
Boiling water
5 vegetable stock cubes
Seasonings to taste:
Braggs Liquid Aminos
Liquid Smoke
Dried herbs (I used dill & thyme)

Start by chopping all of your veg into roughly the same sized pieces. 
Place a big pan with your oil in it over a high flame and fry your onions, celery and leek until softened and translucent. Finely chop your ginger and garlic (try to have a LOT of these two, as they are what will really help you feel better and fight off that cold!) and add to the pan. Sauté for a further 2-3mins, making sure not to allow the garlic to burn. Add your carrots and mushrooms and stir. Pour in enough water to cover all of the veg (you can add more as you go) and add the stock cubes and seasonings (if using). Cover the pan and simmer for 10-15mins, until the carrot is nearly soft enough to eat. Add the whole tin of beans, water and all, and your mini pasta (and extra water if necessary), cover and simmer on high for a further 10mins, until the pasta is cooked. 

Ladle spoonfuls into a big bowl or mug and top with a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast (for extra flavor and goodness!)