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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

Vegan cake in the workplace

When you work Monday-Friday, Mondays are a sack of shit, aren’t they? But, a Monday where a work friend brings in a homemade vegan chocolate cake? That’s a pretty good Monday.

Vicky isn’t even a vegan – in fact I’m the only person in the team who is, but she’s awesomely kind and so made a cake which I’d be able to eat too. Nice eh? Lucky me 🙂

I was too eager to get the cake in my facehole to take a photo when it looked all nice, so here’s a terrible photo from after it had been cut…

IMG_3044

This cake is SERIOUSLY GOOD. Yum.

Here’s Vicky’s recipe…

Chocolate cake

  • 420g plain flour
  • 400g muscovado/ dark brown sugar
  • 6Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 500ml water
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and stir together.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the remaining  ingredients.
  4. Mix until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into cupcake cakes or a greased and lined tin.
  6. Bake – 20 mins for cupcakes or 1 hour for cake (or as I did the mixture in two tins, it was about 40 minutes).

COMMENT: Let it cool for a while in the tin when you take it out the oven. I left it for about ten minutes, which is all I usually do, but it was still very delicate when I took it out of the tins. One of them actual broke in half! Fortunately not noticeable when covered in icing 😉

Chocolate icing

  • 1 cup/225g Vegan margarine
  • 1 cup/125g icing sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 145g quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
  • Âź cup almond or soy milk
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine the icing sugar and margarine and beat with electric mixer on low speed, about 1 minute.
  2. Add vanilla and beat on low until well combined.
  3. Add the melted and cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add almond milk and salt, and beat on medium speed for another minute.

COMMENT: It’s very sloppy so it isn’t great for spreading. Could add a bit less soy milk, I reckon.

Coffee walnut icing/filling

  • 200g butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2 tsps instant coffee granules
  • 60g walnut pieces
  1. Beat the butter till soft and pale with an electric beater, then add the sugar and beat till smooth and creamy.
  2. Stir 1 tbsp boiling water into the coffee granules then mix it into the buttercream.
  3. Fold in the walnut pieces.
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Banana choc chip cake

I don’t know if I have ever made banana cake before, but since there were some sad (and I mean SAD) looking bananas in the kitchen, I decided to give it a try. I looked at a few recipes online and came up with this (adding chocolate chips was my own rather brilliant idea. I know, I’m modest.). It came out really well 🙂 and it was super quick and easy to make.

Preheat oven to 175 oC

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soya milk
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil (rapeseed or other mild flavoured vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 small very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (or more) vegan chocolate chips (I used waitrose dark chocolate chunks)
  1. Mix together the soya milk and vinegar and set aside
  2. In a blender, or with a handheld blender, whizz up the bananas, oil and sugar
  3. Mix dry ingredients together (flours, baking powder and soda, salt)
  4. Put the milk mixture in with the blended banana mixture and whizz a bit more
  5. Mix the wet into the dry
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Pour into a baking tin
  8. Bake for 25-30 mins, until a skewer jabbed in the middle comes out clean
  9. Leave to cool
  10. Dust with icing sugar, if you can be bothered
  11. Cut
  12. Eat

Yes I made a heart shaped cake

Yum

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Vegan Welsh Cakes

As I mentioned previously, my friend Becky made me welsh cakes for breakfast when I stayed at her house recently. The recipe would usually have one egg but she was confident it would be fine without (she added extra soya milk for moisture) and they were awesome! I have never had them before, and they were a wonderful treat for breakfast. Possibly the best breakfast anyone has ever made for me.

I’m not actually sure if I even really knew what they were before – they are like a cross between a scone and a pancake. She made making them look so easy, I am definitely going to make them myself sometime. I wish I’d taken a photo of her making them because she was wearing a lovely apron…

  • 8oz (225g) plain flour (I suspect self raising flour would be fine, just omit baking powder)
  • 4oz (115g) vegan margarine
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4oz (115g) sultanas/currents/rasins/the like
  • 3oz (85g) sugar
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • nutmeg
  • 3-4tbsp soya/rice milk
  1. rub margarine into flour until you have breadcrumb consistency
  2. add all the other ingredients and mix together
  3. roll out on a floured side (quite thin – around half a cm thick)
  4. cut into circles and pop into the frying pan until nicely toasted on each side
  5. spread margarine on, scoff hot

If you have more mixture than you need, they keep in the fridge fine and just cook them when you’re ready.

Thanks Bex! 🙂

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These cookies are so good, they once prompted a dude at work to propose to me. It was awkward.

They are super easy and tasty, and have hardly any ingredients or washing up. Brilliant!

  • Preheat oven to 175 oC
  • Makes about 15-20 cookies
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unrefined golden sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or rapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup soya milk
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips
 

You know what I hate about winter? No natural light = crap photos.

  1. Mix together the sugars, oil, milk, cornflour and extract
  2. Add 1 cup of the flour, and the baking soda and salt
  3. Mix in the rest of the flour
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips
  5. Roll dough into balls (about the size of a table tennis ball) in your hands
  6. Put onto a tray and flatten a little bit (to about 3 inches across)
  7. Space a couple of inches apart (I put about 5 per tray – they do spread out a bit)
  8. Bake for about 8 minutes until a little bit brown at the edges
  9. Leave to cool
  10. Eat! And share with people you love.

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Date and Oat Slices

No photos with this recipe I’m afraid (I know it’s rubbish – I’m always more inclined to make something if there’s a pic of the finished product) because it was made when I had no working camera (mine died, and my wonderful parents have now given me their old one on a long-term loan). But these slices are really nice – like super fruity flapjacks. And they are really easy.

Date and oat slices

  • Makes 8 (or however many you want to cut it into!)
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the base of tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment (no need if like me you’re obsessed with silicone bakeware)
  • 120 ml  boiling water
  • 1 teaspoons  (level) Vanilla Extract
  • 220 g Dates stoned and chopped
  • 150 g Spread,  Low Fat
  • 150 g oats
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons  Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 tablespoons  Sesame Seeds
  1. Place the dates in a heatproof bowl and pour on the boiling water. Leave to stand and soften for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla essence and beat to a smooth puree (or if you’re feeling a bit lazy like me, blend with a hand-held blender).
  3. Gently melt the spread in a saucepan, or in a bowl in a microwave oven.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Spoon half of the oat mixture in the tin, pressing it down well with the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Spread the date puree over the base and top with the remaining oat mixture.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the surface is golden.
  8. Allow the mixture to cool in the tin before cutting into 8 squares (let it cool completely or it’ll fall apart)
  9. Store in an airtight container

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Sweet Potato Maple Muffins

From the Happy Herbivore site, these sweet potato maple muffins are really easy to make, super healthy and taste lovely, as well as being wonderfully moist. The original recipe called for “pumpkin pie spice” which is one of those things that just doesn’t exist in the UK, so I just used mixed spice* – luckily it worked perfectly and the spice level was great. And no, the muffins don’t taste of potato 🙂 I’d recommend making them at the same time as sweet potato mash for a meal, so you don’t have to specially faff about with sweet potatoes!

I’m having one of “those” days today – you know, the ones where everything you touch ends up on the floor, and you spend most of your time cleaning things up or jumping out of your skin because yet again, you turned your back and something jumped off the worktop onto the floor? Quite frankly it’s a miracle I managed to make these.

Here’s the recipe (based on the recipe from Happy Herbivore – I’ve made slight adjustments):

Preheat oven to 180 oC

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • Âź tsp salt
  • ž cup brown sugar
  • Âź cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce (I used sainsbury’s smooth one)
  • 1 cup mashed/pureed sweet potato (I blended it with a hand-held blender to make sure it was smooth)
  1. In a big bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, mixed spice, salt)
  2. Add sugar, maple syrup, apple sauce and sweet potato
  3. Put into 12 muffin papers in a muffin tray
  4. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until a skewer jabbed in the middle comes out clean

* I have investigated the difference between pumpkin pie spice and mixed spice, and there’s quite a bit of different info on the internet but it seems that they are pretty similar – both mixtures of “warm” spices, with cinnamon as the main one.

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Awesome Vegan Carrot Cake

I’ve made this recipe so many times, I thought it was about time I shared it. It’s gorgeous – dense and tasty, and super easy to make (grating the carrots is the most time consuming bit).

  • Preheat oven to 180 oC

The cake:

  • 3 cups of finely grated carrot
  • 1 and a 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (either juice oranges yourself or buy some nice organic orange juice)
  • 3/4 cup oil (I used rapeseed, but any vegetable oil with a mild flavour is fine)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Mix together the carrot, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon
  2. Add the orange juice and oil
  3. Fold in the raisins and walnuts
  4. Grease a cake tin with a little oil (not needed if like me you use silicon bakeware)
  5. Pour batter into cake tin
  6. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until a skewer jabbed in the middle comes out clean

And once the cake is out of the oven and is cooling, you need to make the icing:

  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I use tofutti)
  • 1/4 cup dairy free margarine (I use pure)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Either by hand with a big spoon, or with a food processor / hand-held blender
  2. Once the cake is completely cool, spread the icing all over the top. Make sure the cake is totally cooled (you can put it in the fridge to speed this up), or the icing will melt all over the place! I may or may not have made that mistake before…

Here’s one I made for my friend:

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