Sunday, 31 October 2010

Pear Tart

This was a tart we made from pears grown in our back garden. The fruit were a bit sour but nice, and the tart came our really well. The recipe: Put a big handful of raisins into a mug and fill it up with hot water. Leave them to soak. Take 5 pears and slice them into very thin wedges. Mix half a jar of vegan yoghurt with the soaked raisins and some pear syrup. If you don't have pear syrup, use golden syrup, maple syrup, or runny honey. Take an oven tray with raised edges, grease it if necessary, and line it with puff pastry. Blind bake for 5 minutes, then arrange the pears in an overlapping fashion. Pour the yoghurt/syrup/raisin mix on top evenly and put back into the oven until the pastry is brown.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Extended Edition Salad

Vegans, as we all know, eat vegetables, and vegetables means salads. Salads do not have to mean health food, however! We recently had a salad made from the following ingredients:

  • head lettuce
  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • humous
  • pesto
  • doritos (Yes, they're vegan. They may not technically be classed as food, but they are vegan.)
With a sauce made of:
  • 1 part olive oil
  • 2 parts balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Monday, 25 October 2010

International Almond Cupcakes of Mystery

A stack of un-iced almond cupcakes.

Adapted from Peanut Butter Cupcakes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

My friend Martin gave me this amazing book for Christmas and Dave and I have been slowly working our way through it since. I made the Gingerbread Cupcakes at the weekend -- they were delicious -- and wanted to repeat them tonight. Unfortunately, once I'd sieved the flour into the bowl I realised we were missing some key ingredients. I flicked through to find something I could bake instead. The substitutions I had to make gave a certain international aspect to the recipe!


3/4 cup soya milk
2 tsp sushi vinegar
1/2 cup whole nut almond butter
1/3 cup vegan margarine
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C and line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners.
2. Add sushi vinegar to soya milk and put to one side to curdle. (Finally, a recipe where you're meant to curdle the soya milk!)
3. Mix the almond butter, margarine, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla together in your main mixing bowl. Add the soya milk and vinegar and mix them in well.

Mixing the wet ingredients.

4. Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a smaller bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the main bowl and mix.
5. Fill the cupcake liners equally and bake for 20-25 minutes (ours were done after 20 minutes). They're ready when you can poke a skewer into the middle and it comes out clean.

Adding the batter to the cupcake liners.

Dave made a chocolate "buttercream" icing to put on top from margarine, lots of cocoa, some icing sugar and a little soya milk.

A cupcake with a thick layer of chocolate buttercream icing on a blue plate.

The cupcakes were tasty and very satisfying. The recipe called for plain white flour and next time I would use that instead of the wholemeal, but it didn't really matter because the almond butter had a strong enough flavour to stand up against it.

These were so good, I may never make the peanut butter recipe in the book -- unless I run out of almond butter, of course.