Cherry and Almond Biscuits

What’s this? A blog post? Outside of VeganMoFo?! Yep, that’s right. I’m as shocked as you. I made these biscuits and thought, hey, why not blog them! They came about quite by accident – I made a Bakewell tart and had leftover glace cherries and ground almonds, and thought I’d use those Bakewell flavours and make biscuits!

They’re pretty simple to make, with ground almonds and almond extract in the dough giving it that Bakewell flavour, and chopped up glace cherries folded through. Glace cherries are a little sticky to chop, but they are worth it!

The dough can be made in advance – it needs to chill for at least an hour, but will be happy left overnight if you like! This means you can just bake them at your leisure and have freshly baked biscuits ready for you. These are perfect with a hot cup of tea.

Cherry & Almond Biscuits

  • Servings: 20 biscuits
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 125g vegan butter
  • 150g white sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g glace cherries, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Begin by creaming the butter and sugars in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the almond extract, ground almonds, and milk, and mix well.
  3. Stir through the flour and baking powder to form a dough.
  4. Gently fold in the chopped cherries, making sure to distribute them evenly through the dough.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to chill.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F
  7. Roll the dough into small balls and place on a baking sheet, giving room for expansion.
  8. Place in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are golden at the edges.
  9. Leave to cool on the baking tray, then eat!

 

Advertisements

VeganMoFo Day 30 – Kitchen Tour!

Ok, I know I’m a day late for this one. I just…ran out of time for it yesterday! I took the photos, but couldn’t get the post up. But here it is!

The last time I did a kitchen tour was back when my kitchen was considerably smaller and not anywhere near as fun to cook in. Now, I have more room, and more space!



First, we have an overview of the room – I love that we now have space for a little table! – and my chalkboard, which I thought was going to have cool drawings and inspiring quotes on, but has ended up pretty bare with a few temperature conversions. The shelf I also had high hopes for – it was going to house all my cookbooks – but it turns out the wall is just not strong enough for cookbooks!

Turning around, my little windowsill plant area! It’s actually pretty bare at the moment, but I grow lots of seeds there in the spring. On the left, my geranium – I got a pack of seeds for about 75p from Wilkos and they turned out great! – on the right, basil, which I split and repotted from a pack I got in the supermarket. In the supermarket, they cram lots of basil into one tiny pot, so you need to carefully split them and put them into bigger pots, and they’ll thank you by growing! In the middle are my mystery pots, I think one is lavender, as it smells of lavender, but I didn’t label my seeds so who knows. I labelled what I planted outside this year, but the rain washed my labels off, so I just have blank sticks which is no help…


I am so pleased we got a house with a gas stove. The oven is electric, but I find the gas hob much easier to control than electric. And these jars are really handy for keeping things in, and much nicer to look at than the usual bulk packaging.

Here is our main ingredients cupboard. We have a few premade jars of sauces, but most of the stuff we cook comes from scratch. We stock up on jars of beans, tomatoes, coconut milk etc – and as you can see, a giant tub of vegetable stock!

 

Herbs and spices! We have jars on the bottom, and bulk spices hiding behind the salt and pestle and mortar.

This is my snacks and drinks cupboard. It’s actually looking rather bare at the moment! I have a couple of types of tea – I got the PG tips “made for dairy free milk” one to try, but I can’t say I notice much different. Yorkshire tea is my favourite!

This is where those cookbooks that couldn’t go on the shelf ended up. Plus the slow cooker, the mugs, some soup bowls, and a few other bits.

Finally, the fridge! Which is also slightly bare at the moment – it usually has some baked goods in there, but I’m on a break after MoFo!

We also have the usual pots and pans and cleaning bits, but they aren’t so interesting!

Chickpea Scramble – VeganMoFo Day 29

It’s the penultimate day of VeganMoFo 2018! Has September flown by, or crawled? A bit of both to be honest! Today’s prompt is “Brunch” – now, I love the kind of foods you have at brunch! Anything from pancakes to sausages are great with me. For this meal, I made scramble…not from eggs (of course) or tofu (though that is tasty) but chickpea flour!

I’ve already got a recipe for chickpea flour scramble on here, but it’s Indian spiced and has vegetables in. It’s really tasty, but this one is a basic one which goes really well with other brunch flavours – I had it here with bagels, fried tomatoes, and avocado.

Chickpea flour is a great source of protein and really good for making things like scrambles, pancakes, and fritters with.

Chickpea Scramble


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250g chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 500ml cold water

Directions

  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil in a large pan, until softened.
  2. Mix the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, stock powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Very gradually stir in the cold water, mixing constantly to avoid lumps.
  4. Pour the chickpea flour mixture over the onions and garlic and leave for a couple of minutes, until the edges start to set.
  5. Next, with a spatula, scramble the mixture for approximately five minutes until well scrambled and cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  6. Serve immediately.

Cheese & Marmite Pinwheels – VeganMoFo Day 28

When I posted a picture of these on my Instagram stories a while back, I got so many messages from people saying they liked the look of them! And to be honest, they are pretty great. Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is about making picnic food – and these would make you the star of a picnic for sure!

Now, marmite is a bit of a “love or hate” flavour, and apparently a lot of foreigners react negatively to it on their first try. I’m of the opinion that this is because they use too much.  They think of it like chocolate spread, or peanut butter, and put a huge layer of it on their toast/sandwich/whatever. And, of course, the flavour ends up being overpowering. Marmite is pretty strong, but it has such a lovely savoury flavour that it works really well in a lot of applications. Here, it’s balanced by the creaminess of the cheese, and makes a tasty picnic snack. Just don’t put an inch thick of it (or do, if that’s your thing)!

In the UK, a lot of puff pastry is “accidentally vegan”  – I used Morrison’s own brand for this, but the jus-rol brand is readily available. Check the ingredients first, of course, but most don’t actually use dairy butter and so are fine!

For the cheese, I used Violife cheese slices – I felt like slices were easier to layer over the pastry than grated cheese, but grated cheese would also work well, you could use your favourite vegan cheese.

Cheese & Marmite Pinwheels

  • Servings: 20 pinwheels
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of rolled puff pastry, approx 400g
  • 1 packet of vegan cheese slices OR grated vegan cheese, approx 200g
  • 1 tbsp marmite

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 180C/355F
  1. Begin by mixing your marmite in a bowl with a little warm water – just a few drops, enough to thin the marmite until it’s spreadable on your pastry.
  2. Roll out your pastry to a big rectangle, long side towards you.
  3. Spread the thinned marmite evenly over the pastry, making sure to reach the edges.
  4. Top the marmite with the cheese slices, once again trying to cover the pastry evenly.
  5. Roll the pastry tightly starting from the bottom. The cheese may crack slightly as you roll, this is ok.
  6. Once completely rolled, slice into twenty pinwheels and place on a lined baking tray (you’ll need more than one tray, as they puff in the oven).
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
  8. Leave to cool on trays, if they last that long!

Pizza Toasties! – VeganMoFo Day 27

Today’s recipe, if you can call it that, is simple and straightforward, for a simple straightforward prompt – the TV Dinner! I mean, we don’t have a dining space so we eat on the sofa every day anyway, but sometimes you want something comforting, easy to eat, and tasty for watching your favourite show.

Enter the Pizza Toastie!

I’m not going to post an actual “recipe” for this, as it’ll depend a lot on what you use yourself – but I’ll describe how I made it.

I made a batch of my gooey cheese sauce – which is really delicious and works great as a melty cheese for sandwiches – and used that as the cheese filling. I used Asda’s free from red pesto as a sauce, and added chopped up sundried tomatoes as well. You could add different flavours if you like – grilled mushrooms, sausages, basil, fresh tomatoes. I pressed these in my panini grill for about five minutes, until nicely golden.

Brussels & “Bacon” Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 26

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is about holidays, so I chose a holiday I love to make food for – Christmas! Now, it’s a bit early for me to be making mince pies or Christmas pudding truffles, so I chose to use the flavours of Christmas to make an everyday meal.

Brussels sprouts are an integral part of Christmas dinner, and if you cook them right (roast or fry – don’t just boil!) they are delicious. I often have a bag of frozen brussels in my freezer which I use year round. For this meal, I used those (defrosted first), but you could use leftover ones from Christmas too!

I used vegan bacon in this recipe too – yes, two days running with vegan bacon, but the recipe I use for seitan bacon makes enough for more than one lot, so I use the rest! It’s a great recipe and one I make regularly. Saves having to buy premade stuff (plus you get more to snack on here!)

Brussels & Bacon Pasta


Ingredients

  • Enough pasta for two
  • 400g frozen brussels, defrosted and chopped up (or use leftovers)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pack vegan bacon, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent.
  2. Add the brussels, bacon, and seasoning, and fry over a medium heat until the brussels begin to caramelise and go brown.
  3. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Serve with your cooked pasta!

Homemade Baked Beans with Vegan Bacon – VeganMoFo Day 24

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is about food to bring to a Pot Luck. Now I have never been to a pot luck, and I don’t even know if they’re a thing here in the UK, but from what I’ve seen, it’s a bit like a buffet only more hot food. People bring their own food and everyone helps themselves. Stews and casseroles seem to be a common thing. I wanted to inject a bit of a British flavour to it, so I made baked beans.

This may be a shocking turn of events, but I don’t actually like canned baked beans. I know, revoke my British citizenship (go for it, I don’t mind). But homemade ones are different. I added vegan bacon to these beans – I actually made my own using this recipe, which is my favourite, but shop bought vegan bacon also works well!

You could serve this as part of a breakfast, or on the side of a roast, or just like me have it on bagels. I’ll be honest, I think everything is better on bagels!

Baked Beans and Vegan Bacon


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 packet of vegan bacon, diced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tin white kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • salt + pepper

Directions

  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in a little oil until translucent.
  2. Add the diced bacon, and fry for a few minutes more until starting to brown.
  3. Add the paprika, herbs, and tomato puree and stir through.
  4. Stir in the kidney beans, stock, and chopped tomatoes, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Season to taste!


 

Mince & Potato Pie – VeganMoFo Day 23

From the title of this blog post, you may think I have gone Christmassy, and indeed despite it being still September, you can already find vegan Christmas mince pies in shops (Asda’s own are registered with the Vegan Society!). However, I haven’t started on Christmas quite yet, and this meal is of the savoury nature! The prompt for today’s VeganMoFo is “Sunday Dinner”, and whilst we don’t have a Sunday dinner tradition, if we did, this pie would be on it!

This pie is a proper pie, with a pastry top and bottom, which does come with a bit more work (you have to blind bake the bottom) but it’s definitely worth it for a good roast dinner. Use whatever size pie pots you have, or even smaller ramekins – mine are quite big so it made two pies, but smaller pots would make more.

The filling is a mix of mince – here in the UK, you can get frozen mince from the supermarkets that is vegan – and potatoes and is lovely and hearty!

Mince & Potato Pies


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegan worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 500g potatoes, diced
  • 300g vegan mince
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • 1 packet puff pastry (500g)
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice

Directions

  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in a little oil until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the worcester sauce, stock powder, potatoes, mince, and 500ml water.
  3. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are softened.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp cold water, and then stir it into the potato mix, mixing until thickened.
  5. Set aside and leave to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  7. Meanwhile, blind bake the bottom of the pies. Roll your pastry out to fit the pie dishes (with a little overhang), and top with baking paper and baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Trim the edges of the pies, and then add the cooled filling mixture.
  9. Roll out the remaining pastry and place on top of the filling. Seal the edges with a little milk.
  10. Brush the top of the pies with the remaining soy milk (this helps the pastry to go golden).
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
  12. Serve hot!

Marshmallow Fluff Brownies – VeganMoFo Day 22

So, today’s VeganMoFo is about Fancy, but Frugal. I don’t actually do a whole ton of “fancy” food – you know, haute cuisine, giant plates with teeny portions of food, exotic ingredients – most of my savoury food is firmly in the home cooking, comfort food genre. If you want something fancy from me, it’s going to be a dessert. And so, I made brownies.

This may be my fourth brownie recipe on this blog, but it’s SO worth it. It uses pretty much the base recipe from my fudgy brownies, but it’s topped with marshmallow! Vegan marshmallows are, as you probably know, a bit expensive, but this isn’t! It’s made using aquafaba, which you use in the brownies anyway, and you probably have leftover from chickpeas.

The brownies end up topped with a fluffy, gooey, sweet cloud of marshmallow fluff that’s toasted lightly under the grill (or, broiler to some – apparently they’re the same thing) to give it a caramelised top. When I say lightly, I mean it – sugar caramelises very quickly so you have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn, burnt sugar is nasty.

The marshmallow fluff is based on what I used for these hot chocolate cupcakes, though you make less fluff (the perfect amount to cover the brownies!). It has xanthan gum in, which is necessary as it gives the fluff that gooey, slightly stretchy texture that marshmallow fluff has, but also more importantly stops the fluff from losing its shape – if you don’t put it in, it’ll look fine for a little, but disintegrate very shortly, which is very sad. You only need a small amount of xanthan gum, and it lasts forever, so it’s a good investment, and it means you can always whip up fluff when you like! (it goes great on hot chocolate).

Marshmallow Fluff Brownies

  • Servings: 25 brownies
  • Print

Ingredients

    For the Brownies
  • 115g vegan dark chocolate, broken in to pieces
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 90g vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba
  • 360g white sugar
  • 50ml milk of choice
  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • For the Fluff
  • 100ml aquafaba
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. Begin by placing the chocolate, cocoa powder, and butter in a heat proof bowl and melting (I do this in the microwave, but a double boiler is fine too!).
  2. Once melted, add the vanilla, salt, bicarb, baking powder, aquafaba, and milk, and stir until combined.
  3. Whisk in the sugar well.
  4. Fold through the flour and chocolate chips.
  5. Press the brownie mixture into a lined tin – it’ll be quite thick, but that’s a good thing!
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  7. Leave the brownies to cool completely before making the topping.
  8. To make the topping, begin by placing the aquafaba in a very clean bowl (important – if it’s at all greasy it won’t whip!).
  9. Set aside 50g of the icing sugar, and add the xanthan gum to it, and mix well.
  10. To the aquafaba, add the vanilla extract and cream of tartar.
  11. Whisk the aquafaba with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks – up to ten minutes.
  12. Now, with the mixer running, add the plain icing sugar a spoonful at a time, allowing it to combine.
  13. Once the plain icing sugar is added, add the xanthan gum mixture a spoonful at a time, with the mixer still running.
  14. Once thoroughly combined, your fluff is done! Spread it evenly over your brownies.
  15. Preheat your grill (or broiler).
  16. Place the fluff topped brownies under the grill, and grill until turning brown on top (watch carefully, as they can turn very quickly!).
  17. Leave to cool, and then slice into individual brownies.

Tomato Dhal – VeganMoFo Day 20

It’s still budget week in VeganMoFo, and today I have one of our favourite cheap meals – dhal! Dhal is a really versatile meal, as you can put all kinds of vegetables and even different types of lentils in it. I usually use red lentils, as they’re cheap and quick to cook (you don’t have to soak them!). For this dhal recipe I used tomatoes – from a tin to keep it cheaper, but it’s also nice with fresh tomatoes in it too.

It’s a cold and rainy day here today, which makes it perfect weather to make a cosy dhal recipe! I served mine with rice, but I also like it with pita bread, chappati, or even toast (yes, curry on toast – you should try it!).

Tomato Dhal


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder (hot or mild – your choice!)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to season

Directions

  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in a pan with a little oil until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the spices, and stir for a minute to let them toast off.
  3. Stir through the tomato puree and red lentils.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and enough water to cover the lentils by about an inch.
  5. Cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring regularly, until the lentils are soft!
  6. Serve hot with your side of choice.