Vegan millionaire’s shortbread

Vegan millionaire's shortbread

I’ve been seriously confused for a while about how to make vegan millionaire shortbread. How can you possibly replace that much condensed milk?! I’ve found a way, it changes the taste slightly, but not too much for it to be unrecognisable from the non-vegan version of millionaire’s shortbread. Whilst it tastes very similar, I genuinely think it tastes better, so yay, making it vegan improved it!

Makes roughly 12 slices

Ingredients:

For the shortbread

250g plain flour
100g caster sugar
175g vegan margarine

For the caramel

100g vegan margarine
125g light brown sugar
300g vegan peanut butter

For the topping

200g vegan chocolate

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180’C/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease/line a 30 x 20cm tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and caster sugar in a bowl.
  3. Rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Knead the mixture together until it forms a dough, then press into the base of the already lined/greased tin.
  5. Prick the shortbread lightly with a fork and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and very lightly browned. Cool in the tin.
  6. Whilst the shortbread cools, melt the margarine in a saucepan along with the sugar. When it has melted and combined, add the peanut butter and combine in the saucepan for about 5 minutes (it will thicken)
  7. Then spread the peanut butter mixture over the shortbread and leave to cool (approx. 1 hour, probably a little longer, as I got impatient towards the end and put it in the fridge)
  8. For the topping, melt the chocolate. Then pour over the cold (do not do this before it is cold!) peanut butter mix and leave to set. Cut into squares or bars.
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Apple and cinnamon waffles

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You will need a German waffle iron (heart shaped) for this recipe

This will serve about 2 hungry people!

Ingredients:

300g flour
75g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp oil
250ml soya milk (or other non-dairy milk)
50ml water
Oil/vegan margarine to grease the iron
1 medium sized apple
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Wash the apple then peel, core and slice it
  2. Bring the apple to the boil, then gently simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain the apple, then, using a hand blender/potato masher or spoon, mash the apples into a thick puree, then add the cinnamon and mix well
  4. Place in the fridge to cool
  5. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients
  6. Then add the soya milk, apple sauce, water and oil and stir well. The mix should be fairly liquid, so add a little more soya milk if you need it.
  7. Turn on the waffle iron and leave it to heat, lightly grease the iron using oil or margarine
  8. Using a ladle, scoop the mixture into the middle of the waffle iron and bake (only put one scoop in and not enough to cover the whole iron as it will expand)
  9. When finished, take the waffle out of the iron, serve with whatever topping you like then eat and enjoy!

Vegan coconut cookies

Vegan coconut cookies

I’m not a massive fan of coconut but I really love these cookies, so they must be good. Sam approves too, and he loves coconut, so you now must be getting a feeling for just how delicious these cookies are.

Ingredients:

150g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
¼tsp salt
2tbsp oil
125g vegan margarine
100g light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
100g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c/gas mark 4
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, vanilla essence, brown sugar and caster sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt mixture
  5. Mix in the coconut
  6. Take small handfuls of dough and shape into biscuits, place them on a lined baking tray, they should be a lot of space between each cookie as they will expand a lot
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then eat and enjoy!

Vegan vanilla cupcakes with raspberry icing

Vegan vanilla cupcakes

Makes 16 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cake

250g plain flour
3tsp baking powder
200g sugar
75ml oil
250ml soya milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp vanilla essence

For the icing

100g vegan margarine
150g icing sugar
1 handful of raspberries

Method:

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. Pour the soya milk into a jug and add the cider vinegar, set aside to curdle
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl
  4. Add the sugar and mix well
  5. Put 16 cupcake cases in a muffin tray
  6. Pour the jug of milk/cider vinegar, the oil and vanilla essence into the flour and mix well until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  7. Divide the mixture equally between the cupcake cases (they should be 3/4 full as they will rise)
  8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (the cupcakes will be ready when a toothpick comes out clean or when it springs back when touched)
  9. Take the cupcakes out of the tray and leave to cool for 30/40 minutes on a cooling rack before icing

For the icing

  1. In a blender, put the vegan margarine, icing sugar and a handful of raspberry (or you could use another berry) and blend until you have a thick paste
  2. Put the icing on the cupcakes, then eat and enjoy!

Vegan chocolate covered flapjack

The last flapjack recipe I posted was more sweet, crisp and crumbly, you can find that recipe here. I decided to experiment with the recipe and I have made the most perfect (really you could definitely sell it in a cafe) flapjack recipe, and added some chocolate on top. It’s both chewy and crunchy at the same time, finding the right balance between the two is usually impossible. In the words of Sam “it’s a very good flapjack” 😉

Makes about 16 slices

Ingredients:

250g porridge oats
125g vegan margarine
100g light soft brown sugar
3 tbsps golden syrup
125g vegan chocolate

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. Pour the oats into a large bowl
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, sugar and the golden syrup and mix well
  4. Pour the melted mixture over the oats and mix well
  5. Put the mixture into a lined or greased baking tin and press down until smooth
  6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your tin (or until golden brown)
  7. Once the flapjack has been baked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes (do not take out of the tin yet)
  8. Melt the chocolate, then pour the chocolate on top of the flapjack
  9. Leave to cool on the side or in the fridge until the chocolate solidifies
  10. Take the flapjack out of the tin and cut into small slices
  11. Eat and enjoy!

Vegan apple crumble cake

Vegan apple crumble cake

Ingredients:

For the dough (and crumbles on top)

300g flour
100g sugar
200g margarine
1 small banana

For the filling

8 apples (preferably gala)
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. Take a 28cm/11″ round tin and grease it with vegan margarine
  3. Mash a banana in a little bowl (the banana shouldn’t be too ripe because it is used to bind the dough, so it shouldn’t taste too much like bananas)
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, margarine and mashed banana until you have a firm dough
  5. Take 3/4 of the dough and line the baking tin with it, on the bottom and the sides (only half way up the sides)
  6. Using a fork, poke some holes in the dough, then bake the dough in the oven for 5 – 8 minutes
  7. Peel, core and slice the apples and put them into a saucepan, then add some water (enough to cover), 3 tbsp sugar and 1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon (depending on taste)
  8. Stir it continuously until the apple rise top and the apples start to go a bit mushy
  9. Put the stewed apples onto the dough, spread it evenly, then use the rest of the dough to make crumbs, and spread them on top of the apples on the cake
  10. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (until the crumbs and the sides are golden brown)
  11. Eat and enjoy!

The best vegan chocolate cake

Ultimate vegan chocolate cake

This is a big claim to make I know, but honestly, this cake is glorious. After numerous chocolate cake failures (see here) I have managed to make the most delicious chocolate cake ever. I made it for my engagement party (I’ll post more about that soon with pictures of the yummy things I baked) and everybody loved it. It’s quite sweet, so be warned, but its a great cake for parties (people will be very impressed when you tell them it’s vegan!)

Ingredients:

For the cake

250g/9oz plain flour
250g/9oz sugar
3tsp baking powder
75ml oil
75g/2.5oz cocoa powder
250ml soya milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla essence

For the icing

100g/3.5oz vegan margarine
125g/4.5oz icing sugar
25g/1oz cocoa powder

Method:

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f
  2. Pour the soya milk into a jug and add the cider vinegar, set aside to curdle
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl
  4. Add the sugar and mix well
  5. Line a 23cm/9′ tin (it will work with a slightly bigger tin but NOT with a smaller one as the middle will collapse
  6. Pour the jug of milk/cider vinegar/oil and vanilla essence into the flour and mix well until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  7. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes (the cake will be ready when a toothpick comes out clean or when it springs back when touched)
  8. Let the cakes cool in the tin for 20 minutes before taking them out of the tin
  9. Leave to cool for another 30/40 minutes before icing

For the icing

  1. Combine the vegan margarine and icing sugar
  2. Add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth
  3. Put the icing on the cake, eat and enjoy!

Vegan rocky road

Rocky Road

Ingredients:

225g/8oz vegan digestive biscuits
115g/4oz vegan margarine
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
125g/4 1/2 oz melted vegan chocolate
Vegan marshmallows (Optional as they’re difficult to track down)

Method:

  1. In a plastic bag or a medium sized bowl, break up the digestive biscuits
  2. Melt the margarine, golden syrup and cocoa powder in a saucepan
  3. In a medium sized bowl add the biscuits (if they’re not already in one) and then the ingredients from the saucepan, mix well.
  4. (Optional) add the marshmallows and mix well
  5. Put the mix from the bowl into a baking tin and press down well
  6. Melt the chocolate in a pan, when it has melted, pour it over the other ingredients evenly
  7. Place the tin in the fridge for 15 minutes (or until cool)
  8. Slice into bars, then eat and enjoy!

Vegan Victoria sponge cake (with raspberries)

 

I didn’t think that  making a vegan Victoria sponge cake would be possible as you may have read about here. I admit it, I was wrong, I have just made the best victoria sponge cake ever. It was so good, I may be slightly biased because I’ve only just finished eating it, but wow, it was good. You can replace the raspberries/raspberry jam with strawberries/strawberry jam if you prefer (but I think it’s better with raspberry). You will need two 20cm tins for this recipe.

Ingredients:

For the cake

250g plain flour
3tsp baking powder
250g sugar
75ml oil
250ml soya milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla essence

For the filling and icing

100g vegan margarine
250g/10oz icing sugar
6 heaped tbsp raspberry Jam
Handful of fresh raspberries to decorate

Method:

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. Pour the soya milk into a jug and add the cider vinegar, set aside to curdle
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl
  4. Add the sugar and mix well
  5. Grease two 7inch/20cm tins with plenty of vegan margarine (do not make the whole cake in one tin, it won’t work)
  6. Pour the jug of milk/cider vinegar and the oil and vanilla essence into the flour and mix well until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  7. Divide the mixture equally between two tins and bake for 25 – 30 minutes (the cake will be ready when a toothpick comes out clean or when it springs back when touched)
  8. Let the cakes cool in the tins for 20 minutes before taking them out of the tin
  9. Leave to cool for another 30 minutes before icing

For the filling/icing

  1. Combine the vegan margarine and icing sugar
  2. Spread 3/4 of the butter icing on one of the sponge cakes
  3. Spread the raspberry jam evenly on top of the butter icing
  4. Then add the other sponge cake on top of the raspberry jam/butter icing covered first cake
  5. On top of the second layer of cake spread the remaining 1/4 of the butter icing on top
  6. Add fresh raspberries on top to decorate

The ‘fussy eater’ food blog

When I was a child I was a ‘fussy eater’. I wouldn’t eat anything that had sauce on it, my baked beans couldn’t touch the rest of my food and I mostly ate frozen meals. My mother wasn’t a cook, so my sister and I lived on potato smiley faces, dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, fish fingers and tasteless frozen vegetables. When I was younger, my mother would tell me “no, Laura don’t eat that, you won’t like it” and this fed into my unhealthy eating habits. The lack of vegetables and the high quantity of red meat that was on offer meant that I had been completely put off food at a young age. I became a vegetarian after volunteering on a farm, I didn’t want to eat meat any more. You would assume that I would transition to a more plant-based diet, but that was not the case, instead my mother replaced processed meat with processed vegetarian sausages, burgers and sausage rolls. Whilst this wasn’t worse, I still wasn’t getting the fruit and vegetables that I needed.

When I got older, the only things that I would eat were plain pasta and plain potatoes. I went to a friend’s house when I was 16 and she was having something exotic called tomato pesto, I asked her if it would be OK with her if I just ate plain pasta with olive oil (the olive oil being very adventurous for me as I usually ate pasta completely plain). At school, in food classes I wasn’t sure what was going on, I didn’t really understand how to do the basics, I couldn’t follow a recipe, and there was no chance that I could actually improvise when making a meal. In one of my classes we were allowed to make a recipe of our own choice, and I decided on making the exotic  pesto, I didn’t realise that simply pesto (just ordinary basil pesto) and pasta without any vegetables did not constitute a full meal. I thought that it was something new and exciting to make and didn’t even realise that this was a fairy ordinary and incomplete meal.

Yum peppers

I was a vegetarian when I went to India, I was 18 years old and I had never even tried a pepper before. I tried it in India, along with many other things such as hummus, and it was such as relief to eat more like a ‘normal’ person. But I was still known as the ‘fussy’ one.

Even today I am reluctant to try new food, I just have to be in the right frame of mind to try something new. People tease me a bit about being a ‘fussy eater’, but I’m nowhere near as bad as I used to be. There are so many amazing types of food that I never tried as a child, so many vegetables that I’m sure I would have loved had I been given the chance. I read an article about giving new food to children it said that they are unlikely to like it unless you repeatedly give it to them, perhaps about 15 times, I wish my mother would have done that for me with vegetables.

Lemon drizzle cake

Before I became a vegan I never really baked, I made my first cake when I was 19 and at university. It was a lemon drizzle cake and it was made in a microwave oven, my friend taught me how to do it, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I made a couple more cakes, but I tended to avoid baking. On the cooking side I was getting less fussy, I tried new and exciting things like bean burgers, I got over my hatred for tomato sauce and I even learnt how to make pancakes, something I had once thought was incredibly complicated and so got used to having them ready-made in packets from Tesco.

Vegan cooking

Just over three months ago I became a vegan. My family reacted with their traditional response of “oh Laura, you’re such a fussy eater, what can we possibly feed you?” I want to respond to this by  telling them that there are many different types of food that you can eat that are vegan, and it’s not just me who is fussy, it’s also you for not being willing to try vegan food.

Things I've made as a vegan

When I became a vegan I realised that I had a lot to learn about food. By now I could cook fairly good vegan meals like curries,  pasta, stews and all the basics really, so that was no longer a problem. The problem was baking, I realised that I would no longer be able to buy different types of snack food, I couldn’t really just grab a cookie from a supermarket or bakery as they simply didn’t make them vegan. So I learnt to bake, and I set up this blog as a way to document this for myself, to show myself how far I’ve come, what I’ve learnt, and to measure my progress. So these recipe on this blog are for everyone who is new to baking, is scared and confused by it, who wants to become a vegan, but also doesn’t want to miss out on the occasional treats. This blog is a beginner’s guide to vegan baking. I hope it helps.