Recipe: Cranberry & Orange Florentines (Vegan) + Book Review

Cranberry & Orange Florentines | Vegan

One of the (many) great things about veganism’s recent surge in popularity is the huge range of new vegan cookbooks arriving on the shelves.  If you follow this blog you won’t have been allowed to miss the news of my book Vegan in 15 being published in January, (sorry!), and today I’m sharing with you a new book from fellow blogger Sharon from Bit of the Good Stuff.

Sharon’s book Bit of the Good Stuff is subtitled “over 100 plant-powered recipes for all the family to enjoy”, and it does exactly what it promises – Continue reading “Recipe: Cranberry & Orange Florentines (Vegan) + Book Review”

Recipe: The Ultimate Vegan Mince Pies (with Cream ‘Cheese’ Pastry)

Ultimate Vegan Mince Pies

I hadn’t planned to post so close to Christmas, but these mince pies were just too tasty not to share!  I’ve always loved homemade cream cheese pastry as the ‘ultimate’ pastry for mince pies, as it is rich, crumbly, sweet and totally delicious, and this year decided to have a go at making a vegan version.

It really isn’t rocket science, as good quality dairy-free cream cheese is now so readily-available in most supermarkets.  Substitute in a good dairy-free block margarine in place of butter and dairy-free milk as a glaze, and Bob’s your uncle.

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Recipe: Easy Beetroot & Hazelnut Mincemeat

Easy Beetroot & Hazelnut Mincemeat

You might think it is fairly late in the day to start making your own homemade mincemeat, but look carefully at the recipe details below…. cook time = 0 mins, prep time = 10 mins, (and even that is a generous estimate, I’m sure you could do it in 5 if you put your mind to it!).

This really is a cheat’s quick and easy way to make your own mincemeat, and couldn’t be easier.  The addition of beetroot and hazelnuts are my little twists to make sure people definitely know it is homemade, (there’s no point replicating the ingredients of shop-bought mincemeat exactly or you might as well just go and buy some!), but also because they add in turn a sweet earthiness, a bright festive pink colour, and a lovely sweet crunch.

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Recipe: The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Cake (Part 2)

Ultimate Vegan Christmas CakeWhat a brilliant response there has been to ‘Part 1‘ of this post – a recipe for the ‘Ultimate Vegan Christmas Cake‘.  It seems that quite a few of you have made the cake, and have been eagerly awaiting instructions on how to marzipan, sugarpaste and decorate it – so here goes.

My own cake has been sitting patiently in a tin on top of the fridge, double-wrapped in baking parchment, and being fed regularly with amaretto.  Living the dream!  The waft of boozy, fruity cake is getting stronger each time I open the lid, in eager anticipation of Christmas.

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Recipe: The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Cake (Part 1)

Ultimate Vegan Christmas Cake

Christmas is a time of year when vegans can face pitying looks for not being able to ‘join in’ with so many traditional foods of the season.  But with just the smallest of tweaks, much festive fayre can easily be made vegan, and this traditional rich, moist fruit cake is a perfect example.

I’ve split this post into two parts, as they will need attending to a few weeks apart.  First, make the cake using the recipe below, (and don’t be put off by the long cooking time – this is one of the easiest fruit cakes I’ve made, and the ‘hands on’ time is actually fairly minimal),  Then, after feeding the cake with your choice of tipple over the course of a few weeks, part 2 will show you how to marzipan and ice the cake, just in time for the Christmas festivities.

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Recipe: Lemon Drizzle & Blackberry Cupcakes (Vegan)

Hands up if you’ve been blackberrying recently? We’ve found a top-secret spot with the biggest, juiciest berries you can imagine, and have been picking, baking, smoothie-making and freezing them for a few weeks now.

Inspired by week 1 of the Great British Bake Off, (I know, I”m a bit slow off the mark on this one), here are some tart and juicy Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes, served with a swirl of lemon buttercream and topped with blackberries.  (Oh, and they’re vegan too, not that you would guess from tasting them!).

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Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato & Pine Nut Scone Fingers (with homemade sun dried tomatoes!)

Sun Dried Tomato & Pine Nut Scone Fingers

Here’s a really gorgeous savoury scone recipe, which I’ve cut into fingers for the sole purpose of dunking into a nice big bowl of soup.  By all means cut these into rounds or squares instead, (in fact little round ones halved, with something lovely on the top would make a really gorgeous party nibble or canapé.).  The flavours are punchy, just how I like them – along with the sun-dried tomato is cayenne, mustard and garlic, then the crunch of pine nuts.  These are just as good, (in fact better!), than any cheese scone I’ve had recently!

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Recipe: Mushroom & Merlot Posh Pasties

Mushroom & Merlot Posh Pasties

This is a sponsored post

In preparation for National Vegetarian Week (16th – 22nd May), Cranks challenged me to come up with a recipe suitable for Sunday Lunch – something comforting, tasty and filling, which could be served alongside roast potatoes, lots of veggies and lashings of gravy.

For me, a vegetarian option for Sunday Lunch should be big, bold, tasty, and enough of a ‘showstopper’ to make the meat-eaters insanely jealous.  Let’s just say that I’ve never found a nut roast recipe which has ticked all of those boxes.  So instead, here are my ‘posh pasties’ – posh in that they contain merlot, flat-cap mushrooms, puy lentils and thyme, all wrapped in a layer of fabulous, (hopefully homemade), pastry.

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Recipe: Oaty Apple Traybake (Vegan)

Oaty Apple Traybake - Vegan

Here’s another vegan baking experiment which worked really well – a rustic, oaty apple traybake, with crunchy demerera topping and a super-moist apple & sultana cake underneath.  This won’t win many points in the cake beauty contest, but more than makes up for it with its lovely combination of textures, and great big slabs of apple and soggy sultanas tucked inside. Continue reading “Recipe: Oaty Apple Traybake (Vegan)”