Categories
Egg Free Lacto Vegetarian Recipes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 200g margarine
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
  • 300g plain flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 100-120g Chocolate chunks (vegan chocolate if preferred)
  • 120-100g Caramel pieces
  • Freshly ground sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Cream margarine and sugar together in a mixer, until light and fluffy
  3. Slowly add sifted flour & baking powder to the butter mix, to form a dough
  4. Add the chocolate chunks and caramel chunks to the dough, and mix carefully
  5. Roll into small golf size balls, arrange on paper on a cookie tray, and press down slightly.
  6. Freshly grind salt on top of each cookie.
  7. Cook for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the oven (take out just as they start going golden, not when they’re all golden)
  8. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring to the cooling rack.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container when cool.

Notes:

  • In my experience, the best chocolate chunks are actually half or third a ‘square’ of chocolate, so you end up with cubes of chocolate around 1cm square (which are much nicer to eat within the cookie).  Chocolate drops are just a little too small, and so melt too much during cooking.
  • The cookies do not need cooking for quite as long as you may expect.  But if they’re just going golden brown, they’ll still be quite soft when getting out of the oven, but they’ll firm up nicely when cooling.
Categories
Baking Lacto Vegetarian Vegan

Vegan pancakes

Quite a few years ago whilst working from home, I intentionally didn’t buy chocolate, sweets, or anything similar.  That way I wouldn’t just eat the whole packet in a few minutes instead of a proper meal.  

Pancakes for a long time been my ‘go to’ option for those times I really wanted a sweet fix.  I’d always keep powdered milk, lemon juice, and sugar in the cupboard ready.  I can’t eat eggs, so I modified my own version with mainly just equal volumes of milk to flour, which worked pretty well by itself.

This is the latest incarnation of the recipe, that’s now vegan.  It also recently proved particularly popular to the build crews at kiwiburn, where there were a good dozen or so vegans (hence the group measurements).

Vegan pancakes

This makes those smaller, slightly thicker, American style pancakes.

If you’d like to make them more like the French Crepes style thin large ones, add a little more oil, a bit more ‘milk’ liquid, and use something to spread the mix gently around your pan as it starts to cook to help it get nice and thin.

Ingredients (to feed four, or there abouts):

  • 1 cup (250ml) plain flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (330ml) soy milk (or other milks)
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • about 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or other oils)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A little oil for frying (depending on your non-stick pan)

Ingredients (to feed around 12-15 people):

  • 3 cups (750ml) plain flour
  • 3.5 cups (875ml) soy milk (or other milks)
  • 4 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 heaped tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 3 tbls rice bran oil (or other oils)
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • A little oil for frying  (depending on your non-stick pan)

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl
  2. Whisk thoroughly with a fork (or an egg whisk if you have one).
  3. The consistency should be similar to double cream.
  4. If you can, leave the mix to stand for 20 minutes (or ideally much longer like a few hours, for the best results leave the mix overnight. This helps the mix gel together better).
  5. Have a pre-heated non-stick fry pan, medium hot.
  6. If it’s not that good a non-stick pan, add about a teaspoon of oil before cooking (you don’t need much).  Otherwise ideally no extra oil in the pan should be needed.
  7. Pour a little of the mix into three ‘corners’ of the pan (a couple of tablespoons per pancake).
  8. Fry until the bubbles burst on the uncooked top, and the base is a nice brown cooked colour (if the bubbles burst before the base goes brown, turn the heat up.  If the base goes brown before the burbles burst, turn the heat down).
  9. Flip over, and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute more.
  10. Stack on a plate, put in a pre-heated oven at about 70 degrees Celsius, and eat with whatever you like!

Some great toppings:

  • Maple Syrup (the genuine stuff, not ‘maple flavour syrup’)
  • lemon juice and sugar
  • Toffee sauce
  • sliced bananas
  • chocolate spread
  • bananas and chocolate spread
  • chocolate spread and cream
  • fruit purée / compote
  • frozen berries
  • finely sliced apple & cinnamon
  • slices of butter
  • everything  else you can think of!

Other Variations:

You can also use Buckwheat flour instead of the regular flour (although baking powder normally contains gluten too, so grab some gluten free baking powder from your local health food store).  I’m still playing around with my favourite variations to the gluten free option at the moment, but a variation on my vegan gluten free Belgian Waffle recipe, for pancakes, seems to work pretty well.

chocolate drop pancakes
You can also add chocolate drops to part of the mix, for a delicious sweet variation.
You can stack a bunch of crepes together, layered with whipped cream, syrup, fruit, and whatever else you like.
You can stack a bunch of crepes together, layered with whipped cream, syrup, fruit, and whatever else you like.
You can fill your thinner pancakes with a savoury filling too. This was a chickpea salad mix topped with finely grated cheese.
You can fill your thinner pancakes with a savoury filling too. This was a chickpea salad mix topped with finely grated cheese.  Delicious 🙂
Categories
Baking Lacto Vegetarian Vegan

Soft vegan chocolate brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain white flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup oil (ideally flaxseed or macadamia nut oil, but they are pricey)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 banana (optional for extra deliciousness)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C
  2. Put everything but the banana, nuts and raisins in a mixing bowl
  3. Mix thoroughly
  4. Add the banana and mix again so it mushes into the mix
  5. Add the nuts and fruit, and mix again
  6. Pour into a lined tray (or a silicone roasting tray for ease)
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes
  8. Leave it to cool for a bit (ideally about 5 minutes)
  9. Turn out onto a cooling rack and let it cool a bit longer.
  10. Chop it into squares
  11. Eat and enjoy!
Categories
Lacto Vegetarian Recipes

Butterbeer for adults .. the way I think it should taste

Butter BeerAfter a recent trip to ‘the making of Harry Potter’ at the Leavesden studios, I’ve been trying to track down a recipe that tastes the same (if not better) than the one on sale, and also one that tasted like I thought it would from the books!

(The recipes I found with variations of ‘rum essence’ really don’t work well, and some of the more complex versions just get way too involved!)

This one’s simple though, and it works like a dream!

Ingredients:

(serves two, 10 fl oz cups/glasses)

  • 2 teaspoons real butter
  • 2 big tablespoons toffee or butterscotch sauce (the ice-cream topping stuff)
  • Two big squirts of whipped cream  (I have a commercial aerosol whipper, but the ‘squirty-cream’ type one should work fine too)
  • 25ml  Baileys (optional, for adults only)
  • About 15 fl oz Cream Soda  (i.e. 2/3 of each serving cup)

Method:

  1. Put the butter and fudge sauce in a microwave dish, and microwave for about 30-40 seconds to melt and heat (mixing half way through, to help save the butter bubbling).
  2. Whisk thoroughly with a fork.
  3. Add the single measure of Baileys (optional), and then the two big squirts of whipped cream.
  4. Blend well with the fork (until it’s a consistent colour, it’ll look a delicious butterscotch colour)
  5. Carefully add the measures of cream soda to the cream mix  (it’ll froth up a bit).
  6. Then carefully pour into your serving glasses, and drink immediately.
  7. Don’t down it too quickly though!

This gives you a slightly warm, slightly warming, frothy, sweet, and delicious drink which tastes like you think it should after reading it in the books.

If all beer tasted like this, I would have started drinking years ago!

Categories
Lacto Vegetarian

The best Hot Chocolate

Today, I was fortunate to try out what has to be the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted!  (although be warned.. the measure below is for two people, not one.  As much as you might like to try and drink all of it, you will feel ill if you do!)

Ingredients:

  • 450ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 100ml whipping cream (whipped)
  • 120g milk chocolate, finely grated / chopped / blitzed (in a food processor)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dark chocolate drops

Method:

  • Gently heat about a 1/3 of the milk (150ml) in a pan, but do not boil
  • add the blitzed/finely grated milk chocolate, and whisk well but slowly until dissolved into the milk
  • add the cinnamon and salt, and then gently the remaining part of the milk, whilst still gently heating and whisking carefully
  • about 30 seconds before serving, add a little of the whipped cream, and whisk into the pan (still not letting the milk come to the boil)
  • carefully pour the mixture into your two large mugs (for two people, not one!)
  • top with a good squirt of freshly whipped cream
  • top that with a sprinkling of dark chocolate drops
  • You can then even sprinkle a little icing sugar / cocoa on top of that, for decorate purposes should you really want to!
  • Drink slowly .. it’ll be very rich, very sweet, very morish, and very sickly if you have too much! (the contrast of the hot chocolate milk and cold whipped cream is particularly nice though).
Categories
Baking Lacto Vegetarian Vegan

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favourite cookie recipe, modified and improved over the years.  For a while it was sold commercially as the base of the ‘cookie dough’ dessert option at the luxury boutique hotel I owned/managed for three years.  These days is a very popular choice for Pot Luck events.

Makes about 12 good (big) sized cookies, or 18-24 or so regular cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 200g margarine
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
  • 300g plain flour, sifted
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 200g Chocolate chunks (easy to make totally vegan using vegan chocolate)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Cream margarine and sugar together in a mixer, until light and fluffy
  3. Slowly add sifted flour & baking powder to the butter mix, to form a dough
  4. Add the chocolate chunks to the dough, and mix slowly and carefully
  5. If making larger cookies, roll into golf size balls, arrange on paper on a cookie tray, and press down slightly.  Otherwise divide the mix into about 12 – 18 cookies.
  6. Cook for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the pre-heated oven.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container when cool.

Notes:

  • In my experience, the best chocolate chunks are actually half a ‘square’ of regular chocolate bars, like ‘Whitakers, Dairy Milk, etc.’.  This way you end up with cubes of chocolate around 1cm square (which are much nicer to eat within the cookie).  Chocolate drops are just a bit too small, melt too much during cooking, and so become more of a background total flavour rather than a satisfying chocolate hit in most bites of the cookies.  The chocolate doesn’t always break evenly, so don’t worry about the irregular sizes, just put it all in the bowl.
  • The cookies do not need cooking for quite as long as you may expect.  If they’re just going golden brown, they’ll still be quite soft when getting out of the oven, but they’ll firm up nicely when cooling after a few minutes out of the oven on a cooling tray.  So also don’t try and take them off the hot baking tray too quickly.  Just give it a few minutes on the tray, before moving onto the cooling rack.
  • You can prepare larger amounts of ingredients in advance, and then freeze the raw cookie dough in batches to bake later.  To defrost, just move it from the freezer to the fridge the day before baking, and use as you would normally.  Or if you just want to make giant cookies one at a time on demand, just freeze individually wrapped portions, pre-flattened to size & shape.  You can also just make it up to a couple of days in advance, and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
  • Particularly when you’re making multiple batches of cookies, always place the raw dough onto a cool baking/cookie sheet, rather than one recently fresh out of a hot oven.  If you put it onto a hot baking tray, it starts to melt the margarine element before the flour starts cooking and binding, so you end up with very thin merged cookies that really aren’t so good in my opinion.
  • These times are based on a regular thin metal baking tray, lined with baking parchment / paper.  If you use one of those thicker reusable silicon baking sheets instead of the paper, the cooking time may need to be extended by up to 5 minutes (depending on your oven and the silicone sheet) and this slower cooking time will also result in drier and flatter cookies.

Cookie Dough to Share – Boutique Hotel Style

‘Cookie dough to share’ at the hotel was around 100g of raw mix, topped with four balls of ice-cream, about half a tub of then freshly whipped cream, fresh chocolate shavings, and a quick decorative lattice of melted chocolate as a type of sauce and decoration.

Each ‘cookie dough’ was cooked from frozen (a pre-wrapped portion, made in advance, weighed, shaped, and then individually wrapped in clingfilm before freezing), for 12 minutes into a commercial pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C.

It was pulled out just before it started going brown, transferred to a cool deep serving plate, topped quickly with the cold ingredients in a stylised way, and then served immediately.

It was always greatly enjoyed by the hotel guests.

Categories
Baking Lacto Vegetarian Recipes

Sunday Chocolate Cake

This is a recipe recently tried out from the ‘Green and Blacks’ Chocolate Recipes cook book, but with a few minor modifications for me (of course using egg replacement powder isn’t normally the way I try to do these things.. but this works well under the circumstances. I will work out a vegan version soon though):

Ingredients

Main cake:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 200ml milk
  • 100g margarine
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 40g vegan egg replacement powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Syrup:

  • 4 tablespoons of marmalade
  • 3 tbs lemon juice

Butter cream filling:

  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 50g margarine
  • 100g icing sugar

Icing:

  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 25g margarine

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C

‘butter and flour’ the cake tins, and/or use non-stick tins, but add baking paper to the base section

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and bicarb (from the main mix), and egg powder, three times, to thoroughly mix but also make it particularly light and fluffy.

In a separate small jug, mix in the lemon juice to the milk to curdle it.

Into another large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract, until fluffy. Then alternate the liquids and flour mix, mixing thoroughly all the time between each addition (not necessarily putting in all the liquids in, as it may start to  get too runny.  You can also add a little extra water though if necessary).

Divide the batter into the two tins, and bake for 20-25 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean, the cakes should also be slightly springy to the touch).

Once removed from the oven, leave in the tins for a short while, and then turn out onto a cooling rack (one face down, one face up).

 

To make the syrup, gentle heat the marmalade and lemon juice in a small pan, mixing well.  Then place the base part of the cake (flat side up) on your serving plate, and pour the syrup over the ‘top’ so it soaks in.

 

For the butter cream filling, first melt the chocolate over a double pan (or if you’re very careful, in a microwave, mixing well), and then allow to cool slightly (so warm, but not hot).  In a separate clean mixing bowl, blend the icing sugar and butter until fluffy, and then mix in carefully the melted chocolate.

Spread the butter cream mix over the flat base of the cake, and then sandwich it with the other cake as a topping.

 

To make the chocolate icing, melt more chocolate as before, and add a little melted butter.. mix well, leave to cool slightly, and then ice the very top of the cake.

 

Leave the whole thing to settle a little more (if you can wait), and then enjoy responsibly!

Categories
Lacto Vegetarian Recipes Vegan

Lentil, Carrot & Onion Soup

This is another of my favourite soup recipes, very warming, very filling, and very moorish.  Best served with some good hunks of fresh wholemeal bread.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (corsely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (corsely grated)
  • a small sprinkling of chilli flakes
  • 250 grams (1 cup) split red lentils
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock

Method:

  • Fry the chopped onion in a little oil/butter to soften until just turning golden.
  • Add the spices, the carrot, hot stock, and lentils, and stir well.
  • Put the lid on, and keep it on (otherwise you’ll need to add up to a litre more of water)
  • Bring to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer for around 10-15 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Other variations:

For a creamier soup (now my preferred taste), after cooking, put about half the hot soup in a blender (or a large bowl for one of those hand blender things), and process to a smooth liquid.  Then put this back in with the chunkier soup mix, and enjoy 🙂

Categories
Baking Lacto Vegetarian Recipes Vegan

Banana Victoria Sponge (Egg Free)

Ingredients:

  • 175g – margarine
  • 175g – caster sugar
  • 150g – Natural Yoghurt
  • 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 250g – Plain Flour
  • 5 tsp – Baking Powder

Icing:

  • Strawberry jam & Freshly whipped cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to around 180 degrees Centigrade (350F)
  2. Prepare two non-stick 8 inch round cake pans (or grease and line if not using non-stick)
  3. In a mixer if you have one, (or a large bowl if not), combine the sugar and margarine until creamy.
  4. Add the yoghurt and mashed bananas, and mix well.
  5. Add the sifted flour & baking powder, and fold in carefully.
  6. Split between the two tins (around 500g of mix per tin)
  7. Bake for around 40 minutes (until a skewer inserted into the middle, comes out clean).  Ideally leave in the oven to cool with the door open (to help reduce slight sinking).
  8. Add the middle filling when mostly cooled, and then dust lightly with icing sugar.

Notes:

  • This is a surprisingly sweet recipe, so don’t be tempted to add butter icing (like I did the first time), it’ll make it too sickly!

Printable PDF Version

Categories
Baking Lacto Vegetarian Recipes Vegan

Egg Free, Vegan, Moist Chocolate Cake!

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Being a lacto-vegetarian for health reasons (I can’t eat eggs, or any of the meat/fish/poultry stuff), I’ve been on the lookout for a great chocolate sponge cake for a while.

This is an adapted recipe from Lisa Glanville, but as she used eggs and cup measures, I needed to find an alternative way around, plus I use weights and ml. 🙂

This recipe has proved so successfully, it’s now available and rebranded as ‘metta cake’ (‘love and kindness cake’) after being picked up by one of the volunteers at the Vipassana training center.  So after 10 days of meditation, this is one of the items to help reground the participants.

N.B., don’t be put off by the fact it’s an egg free, vegan recipe.  Everyone I’ve had try it haven’t noticed, but they all comment on how deliciously rich, moist and delicious it is!

Printable PDF version

Makes 16 adult slices.

Ingredients:

Main Cake:

  • 225g – Plain Flour
  • 75g – Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp – Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 4 1/2 tsp – Baking Powder
  • 275g – Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp – Vanilla Essence
  • 300g – Egg Free Mayo (ie Mayola by GranoVita)
  • 250ml – water

Icing:

  • 250g – Icing Sugar
  • 4 tbls – Cocoa Powder
  • 100g – Vegan margarine
  • 1 1/2 tsp – Vanilla Essence

(you may want to multiply these icing levels, by 1.5 times, if you want to cover the cake fully more easily on the sides, middle and top).

 

Method:

Main Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to around 180 degrees Centigrade (350F)
  2. Prepare two non-stick 8 or 9 inch round cake pans (or grease and line if not using non-stick)
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, bicarb and baking powder, and mix lightly. Then set-aside
  4. In a mixer if you have one, (or a large bowl if not), combine the sugar, vanilla essence, and tub of egg free mayo.
  5. Mix together for a couple of minutes (but don’t be put off by the strong mayo smell.. that disappears quickly with cooking)
  6. Add the sifted dry ingredients slowly, alternating with the water, into the mixer, and combine slowly but thoroughly.
  7. Pour into the two prepared cake tins (about 550g of mix per tin), and bake for 35-40 minutes (until a skewer inserted into the middle, comes out clean).  Try not to open the oven too early though.
  8. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, before turning out onto wire cooling rack.
  9. You can eat it without the icing, but if you do want the icing, wait until it’s almost cool before adding (otherwise it melts).

Icing:

  1. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a clean mixing bowl
  2. Add the butter, and vanilla essence.
  3. Whisk thoroughly (ideally with an electric mixer on slow)..  It will seem too dry for a good few minutes, but keep with it, it will suddenly change to lovely smooth icing.
  4. Add about a third of the icing between the layers, another third on top, and the remaining icing around the sides.

 

Serving:

  • This cake seems to last 3 days without any loss to taste or texture, if kept in under cover (ie an up-turned large bowl).  I can’t tell you how much longer though, it’s always eaten pretty quickly!
  • Don’t try and eat too much too soon. It’s surprisingly rich, and very moorish, but pace yourself!
  • You could also add some thick clotted cream or rich vanilla ice-cream when serving, but it works just as well without too.