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I made these cinnamon scrolls! They were yummy. Also very filling. The recipe I used was from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I didn’t bother drizzling any icing though. As suggested in the recipe, I made the dough the night before, rolled everything up and left it in the fridge overnight: this makes it a lot quicker to provide breakfast in the morning.

Next time I might try rolling out the dough a little thinner, to get more turns in each scroll. But these slightly chunky scrolls were also fine.

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This is the first recipe I’ve tried from Julie Piatt’s book This Cheese is Nuts. Many recipes in the book involve a dehydrator, but I don’t own a dehydrator. (Do you own a dehydrator? Are they worth it? I’m very interested in any comments you may have.)  So I tried a “form cheese” which doesn’t require a dehydrator.

This is the cashew cheddar. The colour comes from emptying out beta-carotene capsules. You mix up all the ingredients in a blender and then stir it around in a saucepan until it reaches a particular temperature and starts pulling away from the sides of the pan as you stir.  I didn’t use a thermometer but I did stir and stir and eventually, the magic happened.  Hooray! Then, the mixture firms up in the fridge.

Even when chilled, the cheese wasn’t as solid as I expected. It was good on sandwiches or on top of chillis. But I had also put some of the cheese in the freezer (I used four ramekins, because I didn’t have a larger container of the right size). Freezing the cheese changed the texture and it became more solid, as pictured. After freezing, the cheese was sliceable but still easily spreadable.

If I made this again, I would add some more flavourings, like pepper and garlic. The strong and gorgeous flavours of (my sister!) Leigh Drew’s cashew cheese recipe has set the bar really high, I guess.  I’d also like to try some of the other recipes in the book, and may try using the oven on a very low temperature for a very long time, as an alternative to a dehydrator. (Have you ever tried that?  How did it go??)

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This ginger cake was tasty and easy to make. The recipe, from fuss free flavours, suggests mixing all ingredients at once in a food processor.  I prefer the old-fashioned method of mixing all dry ingredients together in one bowl, wet ingredients in another, then combining.  I will confess that lately, I put the wet ingredients in the larger bowl and tip the dry ingredients into the wet: this way, you don’t end up losing lots of precious moisture on the side of a bowl. It seems to work fine.

This sort of cake can be finished with a dusting of icing sugar, but I didn’t bother and I don’t think it’s necessary. Just eat it.

 

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We are really enjoying Vegie Delight’s Bacon Style Rashers, which we buy from our local supermarket.  I’m not sure how long it’s been available, but we only discovered it a few months ago.  One very easy meal is to prepare a simple pasta sauce (fry up some onions and garlic, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, some kalamata olives, fresh basil if you’ve got some + chopped up kale for added goodness) and fry up a few of these bacon strips to chop up and stir through the sauce: then pour over gnocchi.  Really easy and delicious, good for a mid-week meal. (No photo yet.)

Another option is breakfast-for-dinner: pictured here we see Linda McCartney sausages, avocado, chips, garlic mushrooms, baked beans with slow-cooked tomatoes and some chopped-up kale stirred through, and topped off with some yummy bacon strips. Mmm, just thinking about it makes me hungry.

Tonight I’m going to fry up some of these strips, chop them up and use them in a vegan quiche.  Better buy some gnocchi while I’m at it, for the leftovers.

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I had a couple of avocados that needed to be used, so I tried another avocado chocolate mousse recipe, this one from Well Plated. Unlike my first attempt, this recipe has no nuts: it’s really just melted chocolate, avocado and a few other flavours. To serve I added a blob of vanilla-flavoured coconut yoghurt, and raspberries.

I followed the recipe, though I knew that the chocolate flavour would be very strong. Sure enough, kid #1 said it was too strong for her. I had concerns that reducing the amount of chocolate would let the avocado taste through. But there’s absolutely no trace of avocado flavour with the recipe as written. (I did add the optional agave nectar.) When I make this again, I’ll reduce the amount of melted chocolate a bit (maybe 3/4 or 2/3 of the stated amount).  I like the texture of this mousse, which I made very smooth in my high-speed blender. I didn’t find the flavour too strong myself, though it might be a bit overwhelming without the addition of some coconut cream or coconut yoghurt, and fruit.

 

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Kid #1 is 11 years old and has become interested in cooking. So far she has learnt how to make pancakes (mostly so that she can eat them more often) and last weekend she asked to make cupcakes.  We used Dreena Burton’s banana-scented vanilla cake recipe, except I replaced all the gluten-free flours by wholemeal plain flour, because we eat gluten and I didn’t have the gluten-free ingredients. This recipe is great for full-sized cakes so I thought we’d try it as a cupcake.

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The design decisions were made by kid #1, including the fact that some cupcakes were blue and some were green. We have some cute silicon cupcake containers with feet, which we used, and the rest of the batter went into normal cupcake papers. My role was quite limited: kid #1 made the cupcake batter herself, measuring all ingredients and mixing them.  I scooped the batter into the cupcake bases/papers, and I made and spread the icing after kid #1 had coloured it (blue and green). Then kid #1 added sprinkles and stars. The cakes tasted really nice and had a good texture: she did a great job!  I am proud.

This also gave me a great opportunity to fulfil a promise I’d made last year to bake a vegan cake for a colleague of mine at work. The topic of vegan cakes had come up at a meeting last year, and I told my colleague I would make her one so that she could see that vegan cakes are great.  After eating this cupcake my colleague emailed me to say “That was… not bad at all!” and to ask what I used to replace the eggs. Let’s call that a win.

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This was dinner one night last week, starring crispy smashed potatoes from Oh She Glows and roasted carrots, following this recipe (but I substituted agave nectar for maple syrup since I was out of maple syrup). Also on the plate we see some steamed snow peas, some corn on the cob, and a small pile of chopped-up homemade seitan sausage. The finishing touch: a thick drizzle of Dreena Burton’s raw aioli from Let Them Eat Vegan, made from cashew nuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts, garlic and some other flavourings. I am happy to report that the recipe for raw aioli is available online.

You know what?  It was a yummy and satisfying dinner.