Baked Doughnuts Four Ways! – VeganMoFo Day 25

For today, we need to impress Paul Hollywood and make a showstopper dessert. Ah…you guys know me, I really am not one for pretty food. I have trouble enough taking good photos for this blog (having a good camera helps!). Paul Hollywood would really not be impressed by anything I make, I’m afraid. But I do my best!

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So, for my showstopper, I decided to make baked doughnuts, four ways! I have a mini doughnut tin, a bit like this one, which I actually got from a charity shop, and it makes the cutest small doughnuts! This recipe starts with making one base mix, then splitting it into four and adding ingredients to make the different flavours. You end up with six mini doughnuts of each flavour.

Clockwise from top left: Bakewell Tart doughnuts, Lemon Drizzle doughnuts, Double Chocolate doughnuts, and Apple Cinnamon doughnuts.

I actually did a little vote on my instagram to choose the final flavour. I knew I wanted to do chocolate, apple, and bakewell, but I couldn’t decide between coffee and lemon. Sorry to all the coffee voters – but lemon came out tops! So lemon doughnuts it is! Maybe one day I’ll treat you to a coffee doughnut recipe.

If you wanted to make just one flavour of doughnuts, just multiply the “add in” ingredients to fit!

Base Doughnut Mix

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
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Ingredients

  • 300g flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50g vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 400ml nondairy milk

Directions

    Preheat your oven to 175C/350F
  1. Begin by placing the flour, sugar, bicarb, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mixing to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, cider vinegar, and melted butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Split the batter into four bowls.


Apple & Cinnamon Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
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Ingredients

  • 100g apple, grated (approximately 1 small)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 25g oats
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 tbsp cold water
  • cinnamon, for shaking

Directions

  1. In one of the bowls of doughnut batter, stir through the apple, the cinnamon, and the oats.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Mix together the icing sugar and vanilla, and enough water to make a smooth icing.
  5. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Whilst the icing is wet, shake cinnamon over the top. Leave to set.


Bakewell Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
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Ingredients

  • 50g glace cherries, chopped
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 50ml nondairy milk
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3-4 tbsp cold water
  • flaked almonds, to top

Directions

  1. Into one of the bowls of doughnut batter, add the cherries, ground almonds, almond extract, and milk. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Mix the icing sugar with the almond extract and enough water to form a smooth icing.
  5. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Whilst the icing is wet, sprinkle flaked almonds over the top to decorate. Leave to set.


Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
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Ingredients

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice

Directions

  1. Into one of the bowls of doughnut batter, add the juice and zest of your lemon. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice to form a smooth icing.
  5. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Leave to set.


Double Chocolate Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
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Ingredients

  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 50ml nondairy milk
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp nondairy milk
  • chocolate to grate on top

Directions

  1. Into one of the bowls of doughnut batter, stir through the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and nondairy milk.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until firm. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl.
  5. Add the icing sugar and milk, and stir to combine into a smooth icing.
  6. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Whilst the icing is wet, grate some chocolate on top for decoration. Leave to set.

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5 Ingredient Cinnamon Biscuits – VeganMoFo Day 19

What can you make with five ingredients or less? Something simple like pasta? Or even just toast, perhaps? I decided, for today’s VeganMoFo prompt, to make it a little trickier and do some baking. I’ve been wanting to make some cinnamon biscuits for a while – I’m in a bit of a cinnamon kick at the moment – and this seemed like the perfect excuse.

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These biscuits are crispy and crunchy, spiced with plenty of cinnamon and packed with oats – which I think go really well with the cinnamon flavour. They’re rolled in sugar before baking which helps get that crunch through them.

Cinnamon Oat Biscuits

  • Servings: 16 cookies
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Ingredients

  • 200g vegan butter
  • 175g sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 200g flour
  • 75g oats
  • to roll in

  • extra sugar

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the cinnamon and flour, and stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Next, stir through the oats.
  4. Pour a small amount of the extra sugar onto a plate.
  5. Break off walnut size balls of dough, and roll into balls in your hands. Roll each ball in the sugar, and then place on a baking sheet, flattening slightly with your palm.
  6. Repeat until all the dough is used.
  7. Place in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until the biscuits turn golden brown at the edges.
  8. Leave to cool on the tray.

Homemade Vegan Truffles – VeganMoFo Day 17

Mmm, chocolate. Yes, I know chocolate is tomorrow’s prompt. But who says I can’t do two days of chocolate in a row?

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When I saw the “boozy” prompt, I knew I had to make something like this. You see, I have a lovely bottle of creme caramel liqueur that is all vegan, and very delicious, and I knew how well it would work with chocolate in a dessert.

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I picked this up from Aldi actually – the budget chain is surprisingly good for alcoholic drinks – and they have a vegan list  so you can check that anything you buy is vegan. It’s great in hot chocolate.

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These truffles are actually really easy to make. They are made with a surprise ingredient –  broken biscuits! That’s right, biscuits, like the ones you have with a cup of tea. Kind of like what Americans call cookies, only not quite. You crush the biscuits until they’re pretty much a powder – I like to do this in my food processor, but you could just put them in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin, like I did when we made these as children (without the booze, of course). Then, chocolate, butter, and golden syrup all gets melted together and mixed with the biscuits, along with some icing sugar, and your booze of choice. The mixture sets for a while in the fridge, until you can mould it into balls, and then you can roll it into truffles!

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I rolled my truffles in three different toppings – caster sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate strands. It can be hard to find vegan chocolate strands, but I got mine from The Range here in the UK!

If you’re not an alcohol drinker (or eater, in this case?) you could experiment with replacing the liqueur with other liquids – coffee, or smooth orange juice, or anything else strongly flavoured!

Chocolate Truffles

  • Servings: makes 35 truffles
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Ingredients

  • 300g vegan biscuits
  • 200g vegan chocolate
  • 75g vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup (sub maple if you need)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100ml liqueur of choice
  • cocoa powder, caster sugar, and sugar strands to decorate

Directions

  1. Begin by crushing the biscuits in a food processor until they are mostly a powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, melt together the chocolate, butter, and golden syrup, either in the microwave or over a double boiler.
  3. Stir the crushed biscuits into the melted chocolate mixture, along with the icing sugar and liqueur. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is firm enough to be formed into truffle sized balls.
  5. Place your toppings of choice either on plates or in bowls, ready to form the truffles.
  6. Using your (clean!) hands, take a bit of truffle mix and roll it into a ball. Next, roll it in one of the toppings until completely coated.
  7. Place the coated truffle on a baking tray, and repeat until finished.
  8. Place the truffles in the fridge to completely set before eating.

Vegan Meringues! – VeganMoFo Day 13

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is all about repurposing food – using food you’d otherwise throw away. I’m going to write about something that took the vegan food world by storm a few years back – aquafaba!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember it being used in my hot chocolate cupcakes last winter to make a marshmallow fluff topping. Today I’m showing you how you can make vegan meringues from it!

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Aquafaba is, quite simply, the liquid you get in a can of beans. The stuff that you throw down the sink when you’re making a curry. Well, stop throwing it down the sink! The proteins in this liquid make it great for whipping up just like egg whites – and it doesn’t even taste like chickpeas at all.

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You add vanilla, and cream of tartar (to help stabilise it), and just whip it up until it becomes light and fluffy and creates nice stiff peaks – unlike with egg whites, you can’t whip it too much, so you’re safe to just keep whipping away.

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Once it’s good and whipped up, you gradually add sugar and keep whipping until you have a lovely glossy mixture. This goes into a piping bag, onto a baking tray, and into the oven on a very low heat for two hours. After the two hours are up, you turn the oven off and leave the meringues to dry through in the oven until completely cool. And there you have it – vegan meringues! If you like, you can put sprinkles on them before they go in the oven, like I did in my pictures. Just make sure your sprinkles are vegan!

Vegan Meringues

  • Servings: 2 large trays
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Ingredients

  • Liquid from one tin of chickpeas (“aquafaba”)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 200g sugar

Directions

    Preheat your oven to 95C/200F
  1. Begin by, in a large, clean, preferably not plastic, bowl, adding the aquafaba, cream of tartar, and vanilla.
  2. Using either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, mix until the liquid fluffs up.
  3. Keep whisking until you reach the “stiff peak” stage – where you can create peaks in the mixture that don’t fall over. Classically, this is where you can hold the bowl upside down over your head and it won’t fall out on you!
  4. Once you reach the stiff peak stage, begin slowly incorporating the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, continually whisking.
  5. Whisk until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  6. Use a piping bag, or a spoon if you prefer, and put meringue mix on your trays in the shape you’d like them to be. Experiment – but don’t make them too big or they’ll need to dry out for longer!
  7. At this point if you want to use sprinkles on top, do so now.
  8. Place the tray in the oven for two hours.
  9. After two hours, turn off the heat, and leave until the oven is completely cool.
  10. Remove and store in an airtight container.

Filthy Rich Vegan Muffins Review! – VeganMoFo Day 13

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt asks us how we would sell our food. I, being the exceptionally lazy person I am, decided not to bother with my own food, and found someone else who sells food to talk about. To my endless happiness they even let me eat their food so I could review it! How great is that? So here you have it, introducing the latest vegan business about to take the East Midlands by storm, Filthy Rich!

review2Filthy Rich, who you can find on Instagram and Facebook, are a company who specialise in vegan muffins of all sorts of amazing flavours – including “Candy Shop”, “Death By Chocolate”, “Lemon Popsicle” and so many, many more.

I got a chance to catch up with founder Chrissie and quiz her about Filthy Rich and veganism in general, before tucking into the muffins pictured above!

E: Why “Filthy Rich”? Where did that name come from?

C: I wanted to create an unapologetic vegan brand that’s strong and memorable. And I always wanted the muffins to be really indulgent and sinful (in terms of calories!), so the name seemed perfect. I think it represents the product quite well.

E: What made you want to open a vegan muffin business?

C: I have been on a gradual transition from vegetarian to being a vegan over the last four years and eliminating dairy from my diet has meant it’s more difficult to find indulgent things to eat. I guess I wanted to be part of what’s a really positive movement and do something proactive, most of all giving vegans great sweet food that they can spoil themselves with!

E: How do you come up with all the flavour ideas you have?

C: I am quite creative by nature so I find it fairly easy to come up with interesting flavour combinations. I consider the flavours that I would like but also try to adapt popular cake classics so there’s something for everyone. They all must have a fun twist though, even if it’s just in the name!

E:  What’s your own favourite flavour? 

C: I think Death By Chocolate. I get a bit sick of trying them myself day in and day out, but this one still tempts me! It’s just so rich and chocolatey with a nice depth of flavour.

E: What would your advice be to anyone looking into veganism?  

C: Adopt a positive view of what you can still eat instead of what you can’t! There is always more choice than you think. Also don’t assume you need to shop at wholefoods or health shops. The supermarket free-from ranges are growing rapidly and it’s important we maintain a continued demand there, as that’s how veganism will become mainstream.

And I agree entirely! Veganism is a lot easier than most people imagine – especially when you can eat food like this! So without further ado, lets get on to the bit you’re all waiting for, the muffins!

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I started with the muffin I was most looking forward to – “Candy Shop“, described as “Strawberry muffin with a strawberry centre finished with candyfloss buttercream, gummy bears, cola bottles & sour cherries”  – sounds absolutely perfect for a sweet addict like me! And it did not disappoint, not at all. The great thing about muffins is that they’re not as sweet as cupcakes – this flavour might have been a little sickly if the cake was super sweet too, but as it was, it was perfectly balanced. The candyfloss icecream was absolutely delicious!

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Next is the “One Of Your Five A Day” which I jumped at the chance to review. It’s described as “Carrot & walnut spiced muffin with vanilla buttercream, caramelised carrot and toasted walnuts”. Now, I really like carrot cake, walnuts, and so forth. I just happen to live in a household where I’m the only one who does like nuts and veg in cake – so I don’t get to have it often. So, when I got to try this flavour, I was so pleased. The muffin itself is perfectly spiced and feels like it should be accompanied with a hot mulled cider and a snowy winter landscape (if only we got that here…) and the creamy icing complements it in a wonderful way.

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Finally we have Death By Chocolate! It’s saying something about these muffins that the chocolate one is the last one I come to – I’m practically made of chocolate myself! Death by Chocolate is “Triple chocolate chip muffin with dark chocolate buttercream & finished with shards of milk, white & dark chocolate“. I’m of the opinion that you can never have too much chocolate, right? This muffin agrees with me, and gives you the best chocolate fix you could ask for!

Veganism is on the rise in the UK, and with companies like Filthy Rich providing great vegan food it’s sure to keep rising. Anyone, vegan or not (me included!) would be happy if you bought them a box of these muffins for their birthday, or any other occasion.

If you’d like to order a box of muffins from Filthy Rich, shoot them a message on Instagram or Facebook, or send them an email! You won’t regret it, I promise 🙂

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Marble Cake – VeganMoFo Day 10

Today’s VeganMoFo Prompt is “secret ingredient” – what ingredients do us MoFo-ers use that you may not suspect?

My “secret ingredient” is – well, I don’t know if you’ll think it’s weird or not. For some, it may be totally normal – if you’re familiar with the depression-era wacky cake for instance. For others (and I’ve had this reaction before), you may be going “you put what in your cakes?

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The secret ingredient – the one that makes my cakes work even without eggs and butter – is vinegar! Cider vinegar is the best as it has a neutral-sweet taste, but most white vinegars would work (don’t use the stuff you put on your chips!). You mix it with non-dairy milk and let it curdle (making a kind of buttermilk) and this helps give the cake rise.

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You can’t deny, it makes a pretty nice looking cake. You don’t even taste the vinegar at all, as it neutralises out with the baking soda (that’s what produces the rising reaction). So, here is a guide on how to make a delicious vegan marble cake!

First, you make your batter, by combining your milk and vinegar mix in one bowl, and your dry ingredients in the other. Mix them all together, and split it in two. In one bowl, you add cocoa powder, in the other, you leave it plain.

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Then, you spoon the batter alternately into your cake tin. One blob vanilla, one blob chocolate. Repeat until it’s all used up.

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Once the batter is all in the cake tins, get a knife and gently swirl it around. This creates the “marble” effect.

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Then, bake the cakes in the oven until lovely and golden brown, and leave them to cool completely.

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Once the cakes are completely cool, you’re ready to ice them. You need to prepare them by cutting their tops off to make them flat (otherwise your cake will be wobbly). I have this handy gadget that I got fairly cheaply from a local shop but you can also use a long serrated knife. Eat the cake scraps, they’re tasty.

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To fill the cake, pipe circles of icing in alternate colours on the inner layer of cake. Then, pop the top layer on top of it. Pipe alternate colours of icing around the outside of the cake, and smooth it all with a long knife or an offset spatula.

For the top of the cake, I just put dollops of different icings on top and swirled it all around with a butter knife to make little peaks.

Marble Cake

  • Servings: 1 two layer 9 inch cake
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Ingredients

    For the Cake

    Wet Ingredients

  • 600ml dairy free milk
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 300g sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 150ml oil
  • Dry Ingredients

  • 550g self raising flour (or use plain flour and add 2 tsp baking powder)
  • 1 tsp bicarbanote of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • For the chocolate cake

  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100ml dairy free milk
  • For the Icing

    Vanilla

  • 100g vegan butter
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp dairy free milk
  • Chocolate

  • 100g vegan butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tbsp dairy free milk

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 170C
  1. Begin by mixing the milk and cider vinegar in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Next, in another large bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
  3. Going back to the wet ingredients bowl, add the sugar, oil, and vanilla, and whisk with a fork until well combined.
  4. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until no flour pockets are left.
  5. Split the batter between two bowls (don’t worry too much about being precise!).
  6. Into one of the bowls, stir the 50g cocoa powder and 100ml milk.
  7. Into your prepared cake tins, alternate between spooning the vanilla batter and the chocolate batter, until all the batter is used up.
  8. Using a knife, swirl the mixture around in the cake tins to create a marbled effect.
  9. Place the tins in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool fully before the next steps.
  11. To make the icing, put the ingredients for the vanilla and chocolate icing in separate bowls. Either using an electric mixer, or a spoon and some muscle, mix each bowl until fluffy and creamy.
  12. Once the cakes are cool, trim the tops until they are flat.
  13. Pipe alternate rings of chocolate and vanilla icing on top of the bottom layer of cake, then put the next layer on top.
  14. Pipe alternate rings of chocolate and vanilla around the outside of the cakes, smoothing with a knife or a spatula.
  15. For the top of the cake, dollop the remaining icing on top, and swirl with a knife for the desired effect.
  16. Leave to set in the refrigerator.

Vegan Rocky Road Bars – VeganMoFo Day 5

People have some weird ideas about vegan foods. If you’ve been following VeganMoFo participants’ posts the last few days, you’ll be familiar with all sorts of strange foods we’ve been fed. Boring, unimaginative, or just odd, it’s all there. So, in making food for non-vegans, I like to prove their perceptions wrong – show them that vegan food can be really good.

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These are super decadent and delicious. Full of chocolate, biscuits, and marshmallows, they make the perfect gift, cut into bars (you can cut them whatever size you like!) and offered to people who aren’t sure about vegan sweets. “Are you sure these are vegan?” they’ll ask, whilst they reach for another helping…

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For this recipe, I used Freedom Marshmallows, which you can get from Holland & Barrett here in the UK, but any vegan marshmallow would work – if they’re large, chop them into pieces first! The rice crispies I used came from Lidl, as they’re vegan there, but whatever vegan version you can find will be great! I also used Oreos as my biscuit as I think they’re really tasty, but any vegan biscuit would be lovely.

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Make these and show off how great being vegan can be!

Rocky Road Bars

  • Servings: makes 28 bars
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Ingredients

  • 300g vegan chocolate
  • 100g vegan butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 150g oreos (or other vegan biscuit), chopped up
  • 60g rice crispy cereal
  • 50g vegan marshmallows (chopped if necessary)
  • For the topping

  • 300g vegan chocolate
  • 50g oreos, chopped
  • 40g vegan marshmallows

Directions

  1. Begin by melting the 300g dark chocolate and the butter together, either over a double boiler or in the microwave.
  2. Next, sift in the icing sugar, and stir until combined.
  3. Stir in the oreos, rice crispies, and marshmallows.
  4. Press the mixture into a lined tin, making sure to pack it down into the corners!
  5. Next, make the topping. Melt the remaining 300g of chocolate and spread it over the rocky road mixture.
  6. Sprinkle over the chopped oreos and marshmallows.
  7. Place the tin in the fridge to fully set before slicing into bars!

 

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there much better than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie? Not really. Cookies are perfect to just eat as they are, or to bake up and take to an event. That’s where these cookies come in – and this month’s MiniMoFo too! These cookies are great to pack up and eat outdoors, I took them to a family do and everyone enjoyed them.

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I’ve spent years perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ve cycled through many variations – ones that are soft and cakey, ones that are crispy, ones that are all brown sugar, ones that are all white….and so on. All of which are good, but they’re not this recipe. My husband even declared this to be his favourite, which is quite a compliment!

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The idea for these cookies actually came from Reddit, of all places, where I saw a recipe that used a mixture of baking powder, water, and oil as an egg replacer. They mixed it all together and then poured it into the dough, but I found it worked just as well – if not better – put straight into the mixture.

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These cookies are perfectly crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the middle. When you first take them out of the oven, they look a little puffed up and underbaked – but don’t worry! Leave them on the tray for five minutes and they turn into the delicious cookies you can see in the pictures.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: makes 30 cookies
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Ingredients

  • 175g vegan butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 150g white sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 350g flour
  • 200g chocolate chips

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 170C/340F
  1. Begin by creaming the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the baking powder, oil, and water, and stir until well combined.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Stir through the flour until you get a stiff dough.
  5. Fold through the chocolate chips until well distributed through the cookie dough.
  6. Place walnut size balls of dough on baking trays, leaving space for them to expand.
  7. Put in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool on the trays for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Strawberry White Chocolate Bars

I am absolutely loving the amount of fresh fruit that is in season right now. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries… all sorts of delicious little morsels to snack on. Which is why it’s exciting that this month’s MiniMoFo theme  is fruit. Fruit is something that can sometimes seem a little uninspiring and “healthy”, but it can also sometimes seem exciting and fresh and tasty!

I’ll start off by saying, if you’re looking for a super-healthy fruit recipe… this is not your place. But I imagine most of you know that by now. This recipe is sweet and tasty, stuffed full of lots of strawberries (it’s a great recipe to use any you haven’t got round to eating yet) and topped with a gorgeous white chocolate crumble.

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If you’re in the UK, you can get vegan white chocolate fairly cheaply from Tesco or Sainsbury’s, and the Co-Op do white chocolate buttons in their free-from section too. Or you can splurge and buy the wonderful iChoc white chocolate which is absolutely delicious.

The way I “crumble” the chocolate actually was born out of my laziness. I like to make chocolate chip cookies but sometimes I have difficulty finding vegan chocolate chips, so I often use a bar of chocolate chopped up for chunks. In my laziness, however, this sometimes translates to me bunging the bar of chocolate in the food processor and blending a few seconds to chop it up. Once, I blended a few seconds too long and ended up with crumbled chocolate…and it works perfectly in this recipe.

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The crumbled chocolate gets mixed with flour, (vegan) butter, sugar, and oats to make a crumbly topping for the strawberry bars. You bake the shortbread first, then top with the strawberries, then the crumble, and finally bake again until it’s nice and golden brown.

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The strawberry topping is made by chopping strawberries, mixing with a little vanilla and sugar, and leaving them aside to macerate for half an hour. This allows some of the juices to drain so they’re not too soggy for your bars. Then you drain the juice (keep it – it’s tasty!) and put the strawberries on top of the cooked shortbread.

These bars should be kept in the fridge because of the fresh fruit, and they’re delicious on a warm sunny day, such as the one we’re strangely having right now in the UK!

Strawberry White Chocolate Bars


Ingredients

    For the Shortbread
  • 150g vegan butter
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 35g cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • pinch salt
  • For the Strawberry Filling

  • 500g strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For the Crumble

  • 150g vegan white chocolate, blitzed in a food processor to a crumbly texture
  • 50g vegan butter
  • 25g oats
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 100g plain flour

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. First, make the shortbread. Cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed, then mix in the vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and cornflour to the butter/sugar mix and combine. The mix will be quite dry and crumbly – use your hands to bring it together into a dough.
  3. Press the dough into a baking tin – mine is 9×13 inch – and squash it down to make it level.
  4. Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. While the shortbread is baking, prepare the strawberries. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped strawberries, the sugar, and vanilla. Set aside for 30 minutes, and then drain the liquid off.
  6. Next, make the crumble topping. In a bowl, add all the crumble ingredients and rub together with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to use.
  7. Once the shortbread is baked, spread the drained strawberries on top of it, making sure to cover the biscuit evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the strawberries, again covering it evenly.
  9. Place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes until the crumble is golden brown.
  10. Cool in the tin, then slice and serve! Store in the fridge.


 

 

Apple Crumble Bars

When I was a child, we had a great big apple tree in our garden. It grew Bramley apples, which are a cooking variety of apple, so super sour. Every autumn, when apple season arrived, we would climb the tree and pick apples. My mum worked (and still does!) as a childminder, and so we always had loads of kids around to help us climb the tree. I was the tallest so I climbed the highest and reached the top apples, and threw them down to whoever was waiting on the floor to catch them. My brother, lover of all things sour, would eat the apples raw despite warnings, and then moan of stomach ache later. We might also go and pick some blackberries from the bushes in the fields behind our house – or maybe not, and just have the apples on their own in a pie or a crumble. The apple tree is long gone now, but there’s something unmistakably autumnal about baking apples.

applebars1

The final #MiniMofo challenge is to make something to welcome in Autumn, and I knew I had to do something with apples. A pie, or a crumble, would be the obvious choice, but I wanted something a little more portable and snackable than a big dessert. One flavour combination that is a classic is apples and caramel – and I decided to incorporate that into my dish too.

applebars3

These bars are made with a shortbread base, which is baked while the apples are caramelised on the stove top, and then spread on top of the freshly baked biscuit. To finish it off, an oaty crumble topping is added and the whole thing is baked until crispy and golden brown. The tarter the apple you use in this recipe, the better, to balance out the sweetness of the caramel. If you don’t have golden syrup, use corn syrup, or agave, or even maple, but the latter will give it a more distinctive taste.

Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

Ingredients

    For the Shortbread

  • 150g vegan butter
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 35g cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • pinch salt
  • For the Apple Filling

  • 50g vegan butter
  • 350g peeled, cored, and small-diced apple (about 4 apples)
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 2tbsp golden syrup (or substitute corn syrup)
  • pinch salt
  • For the Crumble Topping

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g vegan butter
  • 50g oats
  • 50g brown sugar

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. First, make the shortbread. Cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed, then mix in the vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and cornflour to the butter/sugar mix and combine. The mix will be quite dry and crumbly – use your hands to bring it together into a dough.
  3. Press the dough into a baking tin – mine is 9×13 inch – and squash it down to make it level.
  4. Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Now, make the apple filling. In a medium saucepan, melt the vegan butter.
  6. Add the apples, sugar, syrup, and salt to the melted butter, and cook, stirring regularly, for 15 minutes until the apples are soft and golden. Taste to adjust sweetness, and remove from heat.
  7. Now, prepare the crumble topping. Add all the crumble ingredients to a bowl, and mix together with your fingers until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
  8. Once the shortbread is cooked, pour the apple mixture over the still-warm biscuit, and spread, making sure it’s all covered.
  9. Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the apples, again making sure it’s all even, and put the whole thing back in the oven for 30 minutes, until the crumble is golden.
  10. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on the countertop before transferring the whole thing to the fridge. Let cool completely before slicing.