Recipe: Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tarts

Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tarts

What do you think of when I say Cherry Bakewell?  The factory-made treats with a neat circle of fondant icing and sticky, bright red glacé cherry on top?  Or the proper Derbyshire Bakewell Tart, a sweet pastry case filled with jam and almond frangipane? These are very much the latter, with a lovely vegan almond sponge on top of fresh cherries and cherry jam.

These pretty little tarts are surprisingly easy to make, and are as good served hot with a dollop of soya custard or vegan ice cream for a crowd-pleasing dessert as they are cold for a cake sale or to take into the office.

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Recipe: Choc-Chip Macadamia Flapjacks (Vegan)

Choc-Chip Macadamia Flapjacks (Vegan)

Is there anything better than a nice cup of tea and a sit down? Yes…. a Choc-Chip Macacadamia Flapjack, a nice cup of tea and a sit down. I made a big batch of these to take along on a summer holiday with friends, to our old university stomping ground of Durham.

The lovely thing about holidaying in a city you know so well is that you don’t feel the need for round the clock sightseeing, or to tick off all the ‘must-see’ attractions, (of which there are so many in this beautiful little city).  Instead, during a couple of fairly epic afternoon rainstorms, we could just sit around the kitchen table, putting the world to rights with tea and flapjacks, and letting the small army of toddlers and babies we had brought along run riot next door.

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Recipe: Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream (Vegan)

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream (Vegan)

Two years ago I joined a lovely online community of 70 food bloggers from around the UK.  What began as a group to share ideas and discuss the latest developments in blogging and social media has developed into a close-knit group of friends who chat, share life’s ups and downs, laugh, banter, and dish out virtual hugs when necessary.

So it was with shock and great sadness that we learned last month that one of the gang, the lovely Isabella King of Coriander Queen had lost her battle with cancer at the age of 29.

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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 shows 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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