Posts Tagged ‘veganism’

My Top 10 Vegan Desserts of 2015: a Very Important Blogpost.

Monday, January 4th, 2016

I absolutely love year-end round-up posts! They help me to say thanks for all the great stuff that happened to me in each year, and clear out my head to look forward to what’s next. I’ve already done one for the books I read in 2015, and last year I listed my top 10 vegan restaurants and my top 10 indie bookstores of 2014. This year I wanted to cut through to the really important stuff of my life: the best cakes I ate in 2015. Here you go.

Vegan chocolate cake at the Secret Herb Garden

Vegan chocolate loaf at The Secret Herb Garden, Midlothian
TSHG is one of my absolute favourite places. My dream day is basically this: get the bus out there, wander down the road from the bus stop to the garden entrance, foraging elderberries as I go (no really, I am this whimsical). Mooch around the huge greenhouses, go and see the pigs, dogs and chickens, and visit the bee observatory. Then order a shabby enamel mug of their Duchess Grey tea, with a slice of this chocolate loaf on the side. Find one of the squishy sofas hidden among the plants in the greenhouse, and settle in with a book. Only leave when it’s kicking-out time, or when I have to run for the bus.

Vegan eats

Vegan pecan pie, Peter’s Yard, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
I used to avoid Peter’s Yard because I’d had bad experiences in the one on Middle Meadow Walk, which is always rammed with students. Then this year, my very wise friend Lucy came to visit, happened to mention the PY pecan pie, and asked what I thought of it. I demanded to go and hunt down a slice immediately, and we ended up having a very civilised time at the Stockbridge branch. It’s a bit pricey, but highly recommended.

Recent vegan eats

Rhubarb and almond loaf, Earthy, Canonmills, Edinburgh
Earthy have got so much better in the past year for providing vegan options — I salute them! These days you may find two or three tasty desserts to choose from. They rotate their vegan cakes, so this rhubarb one is not always on offer. Though this one is my favourite, I also recommend the chocolate/coffee/coconut cake they do.

Delicious cake at Shore Poets March!

Chocolate almond cake, Henderson’s, Edinburgh
I scoffed this cake at Henderson’s at St John’s, which has now — very sadly — shut down. But I am pretty sure it’ll make an appearance again in at least one of the other Henderson’s outlets around town. It was a really light cake, especially for a vegan offering, and it tasted just like Maltesers! If they don’t happen to have this one on the day you visit, check out the vegan cherry pie, which is more routinely on offer.

York March 15 (24)

Citrus drizzle cake, El Piano, York
I’ve waxed lyrical about El Piano before, but last time, I mentioned that the desserts were the one thing that could maybe improve. However, I visited again this year and was pleasantly surprised by this citrus-y fruit cake, which comes with a D-I-Y drizzle on the side. You should absolutely head to this place anyway… but now you can also enjoy dessert! Gold star for improvement, EP!

Vegan raspberry & chocolate sorbet at The Chocolate Tree!

Vegan fruit and chocolate sorbets, The Chocolate Tree, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh
Again, you may already know about my love affair with The Chocolate Tree — they love vegans almost as much as they love chocolate, and there are always vegan cake and drink options available. But in the summer a massive slab of chocolate cake is just not an option. Eat sorbet instead. It’s cold, for a start, and you can pretend it’s virtuous and healthy as well…

October adventures (6)

Peanut butter cookies, Sugar Daddy’s, Canonmills, Edinburgh
This place is brand new and ten minutes’ walk from my house, so it’s official: I will never be thin. SD’s offer gluten free and vegan treats, as well as options to accommodate other dietary requirements, e.g. nut free and lactose free. As well as choosing from a cabinet full of takeaway delights, you can also order large cakes for special occasions… they even do a line in intricately-iced all-vegan, all-GF Christmas cakes. Oh, and their logo is the coolest.

York March 15 (2)

Vegan fruit scones, Goji, York
Do you know how hard it is to find a good vegan scone? It’s hard. I had to go all the way to York. And that’s silly, because it’s really easy to veganise scones. Anyhoo, Goji — which is so good that it featured twice on my top ten last year — do a mean scone, alongside lots of other delicious things (vegan Sunday roast OMG)… and their staff are absolutely lovely. Worth going all the way to York for.

October adventures (3)

Pumpkin pie, Henderson’s Vegan, Edinburgh
Yes, Henderson’s again. They opened Edinburgh’s first ever all-vegan, all-the-time eatery, so they deserve special praise. And everything they cook is brilliant… it’s not just the desserts. Great service happens here, too. But book, because everyone wants to eat there and the place is super small!

Vegan peanut butter blondies (2)

Vegan peanut butter blondies, Lovely Boyfriend via The PPK
Yep, you can’t buy these blondies… you have to bake them yourself. Or better still, do what I did and have a cute Scotsman bake them for you. We were inspired to try making these by Sugar Daddy’s vegan PB blondies, and now we’ve tasted the home-cooked version we’re pretty sure SD’s use the same recipe. You’ll be pleased to hear that Saint Isa of The PPK makes all her recipes absolutely idiot-proof — if I can make every single one without any disasters, then anyone can! So have a bash. Next time you have vegan friends round, you’ll knock their socks off.

Know of any other good vegan cake places? Please do tell me where I can go for my next cruelty-free sugar fix!

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I wrote a book of poems! It’s called This changes things, and you can order it here!

You can now get more content from me — and help me pay the bills! — by supporting my Patreon. Get a monthly writing support pack for just $5 a month! It’s like buying me a pint.
You can also support me by checking out the many sweet and sparkly things at Edinburgh Vintage, my Etsy-based store for jewellery and small antiques.
If you just want to say hi, you can find me on Twitter, or email me via claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. You’ll get a fairly good sense of the kind of person I am by checking out my Tumblr.

Things I Love Thursday 105: ALL OF AUTUMN edition

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

So it looks like TiLT has become seasonal, as the last one of these I did was summer! Oh well. Here are some things I’ve loved over the past few months…

Foraging!
This was in my 30-before-30 list, and I think I’ve done pretty well this autumn on the Free Food front!

Foraged hazelnuts

Foraged hazelnuts

^ Hazelnuts from Canonmills!

Foraged salmonberries, raspberries and brambles

& yet more foragings... brambles and wild raspberries

First bramble haul of the foraging season!  Plus a few hazelnuts I found.

October adventures (52)

^ Salmonberries from Canonmills, brambles from all manner of places (so many brambles this year!)

Vegan eats

Another one from my 30-before-30 list

October adventures (2)

October adventures (3)

^ Have you been to Henderson’s Vegan yet? Go!

October adventures (53)

^ Lovely Boyfriend’s very best autumn stew.

Vegan breakfast nachos

^ Vegan breakfast nachos (yes, yes you read that right), also made by Lovely Boyfriend, aka personal chef.

Halloween 2015 (5)

^ Here’s this year’s pumpkin pie. (Yes, this one.)

October adventures (51)

^ Best present I ever bought my man? Possibly the waffle iron. OK, definitely the waffle iron.

Vegan peanut butter blondies (1)

^ He also made me peanut butter blondies this autumn. Yeah… I’ll never be thin.

October adventures (6)

^ …especially not since Sugar Daddy’s Bakery has opened only about four blocks from my house!

Edinburgh

a.k.a the most excellent city ever.

October adventures (19)

October adventures (20)

October adventures (43)

October adventures (46)

^ The shops in my neighbourhood got well into Halloween!

October adventures (27)

October adventures (29)

October adventures (37)

October adventures (44)

October adventures (47)

October adventures (48)

October adventures (49)

^ I went for many a good autumnal walk in Edinburgh and its environs…

Botanic Lights (39)

Botanic Lights (36)

Botanic Lights (34)

Botanic Lights (24)

Botanic Lights (11)

^ …and that included the beautifully illuminated Botanics!

Cumbria

OK, I already spend tons of time there but you guys, I just want to live there. I’m sorry, Edinburgh… I’m starting to cheat on you! I mean, just look at the Gelt Woods (near Brampton):

Gelt Woods (2)

Gelt Woods (1)

Gelt Woods (3)

Gelt Woods (4)

Gelt Woods (7)

Gelt Woods (8)

^ IT’S LIKE LIVING INSIDE TUMBLR.

What have YOU been up to this autumn?

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You can now get more content from me — and help me pay the bills! — by supporting my Patreon. Get a monthly writing support pack for just $5 a month! It’s like buying me a pint.
You can also support me by checking out the many sweet and sparkly things at Edinburgh Vintage, my Etsy-based store for jewellery and small antiques.
If you just want to say hi, you can find me on Twitter, or email me via claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. You’ll get a fairly good sense of the kind of person I am by checking out my Tumblr.

Zombie (vegan) pumpkin pie: the same recipe as last year, resurrected!

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Vegan pumpkin pie!
This post has appeared at One Night Stanzas every Halloween since 2012. It’s now a ONS tradition!. But it’s Halloween, so you need a pumpkin pie recipe… and if it’s vegan, EVEN BETTER.

Folks, Halloween is TOMORROW, and if you haven’t yet made yourself a pumpkin pie then U R DOIN IT WRONG. Happily, I am here to help you. I stitched together this recipe from bits and pieces of several other recipes I found online but didn’t like 100%. It results in a truly finger-lickin’ pie, even if I do say so myself.

Fiendish all-vegan pumpkin pie
(Serves 8-10.)

Pie crust base:
125g (half a pack) Lotus caramelised biscuits
A quarter of a cup of rapeseed or groundnut oil
A splash of sweetened soy milk

Pumpkin filling:
Half a cup of dark brown sugar
One third of a cup of icing (confectioner’s) sugar
Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg
Ground ginger
The zest of one lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Half a cup of sweetened soy milk
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil
250ml soya cream
1 tin of pumpkin puree
Half a tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat your oven to 220°C, 425°F, or gas mark 8.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

OK, first — the base! Lotus caramelised biscuits are fantastic, because they’re totally vegan and extra super tasty. To make the base, the first thing you need to do is whizz up roughly 125 grams of these biscuits — or roughly half a pack — until they’re broken down into a fine, sandy powder.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

Tip the biscuit crumbs into a large bowl and stir in the rapeseed or groundnut oil (personally I prefer groundnut, but if you’re potentially feeding a person with a nut allergy as I often do, it’s good to have an alternative). Add your splash of soy milk and you should end up with a shiny, sticky, but not-too-wet paste. Press this into the bottom of your pie dish to form your crust base, and stick it in the fridge while you create the filling!

Vegan pumpkin pie!

In a large, clean mixing bowl, sieve and mix the brown sugar and icing sugar together, then add ground spices to taste. If you’re unsure, I’d say one teaspoon of cinnamon and one of ginger, and maybe half a teaspoon of nutmeg. But personally I like my pie spicy, so I’d up the cinnamon and nutmeg, personally! Once you’ve sorted your spices, grate in the lemon zest, and add the salt and baking powder. Mix everything thoroughly!

Vegan pumpkin pie!

OK, slightly tricky bit now: this pie is vegan, so no eggs allowed. But you can mimic the consistency of eggs! Grab your sweetened soy milk, stick it in a pan and put over a low heat. As the soy milk begins to warm, add to it the teaspoon of cornflour and continue to heat, stirring constantly. As the milk heats, it should thicken up. When it gets to roughly the consistency of beaten egg, remove from heat and pour into the dry mix. Add the tablespoon of oil and mix thoroughly. Once mixed, pour and mix in the soy cream, too.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

It’s finally time for the essential ingredient — pumpkin! Some recipes insist that you use actual hollowed-out pumpkin, and yes, if you’re hollowing a pumpkin anyway, it’s smart to make use of the flesh for this. But if, like me, you have three hours before your Halloween party starts and you need to get a move on, then reach for the canned stuff! I use Libby’s myself as it’s relatively easy to get hold of. Pour the can of pumpkin into the mix and add the dash of vanilla. Mix, mix, mix — once you have a thick, gloopy batter, your filling is done!

Vegan pumpkin pie!

To bake, pour the pumpkin batter over your refrigerated base and place in the top half of the oven at 220°C for fifteen minutes. Once that time has passed, and without opening the oven (however tempting!), turn the temperature down to 180°C and bake for another 50-60 minutes.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

Your pie should come out looking only ever-so-slightly wibbly, and golden brown right across the top. It should be allowed to refrigerate for several hours — ideally overnight — to firm up. Then you can carve up and dig in!

Happy Halloween!

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Check out Edinburgh Vintage, a totally unrelated ’sister site’ full of jewels, treasures and trinkets. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

30 before 30: the first six months! 21. Discover new vegan eats

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Hungry…? You will be in a minute when you see these vegan eats!

PhD grad weekend adventures (3)
Cashew and aduki bean pie at David Bann.

glasgowaug (3) Stereo flatbread Stereo
The Stereo flatbread at Stereo.

glasgowaug (4) Special Oolong Tchai Ovna
Special oolong at Tchai Ovna.

glasgowaug (10) Special burger mushroom and tarragon The 78
Mushroom and tarragon burger at The 78.

glasgowaug (1) choc hazelnut brownie The 78
Chocolate hazelnut brownie at The 78.

Edinburgh Aug 14
Aubergine, courgette, mushroom, asparagus, tomato and pine nut pizza, made by me!

Edinburgh Aug 14
Maple, vanilla and roasted walnut vegan cupcakes, made by me!

Here’s to the next six months of scoffing…!

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Like shiny things? Check out Edinburgh Vintage, a totally unrelated ’sister site’ full of jewels, treasures and trinkets. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

ONS recipe corner: super easy cashew cream

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Make your own cashew cream!

I’ve posted a few recipes for vegan desserts here now, and hopefully you’ve tried your hand at making some of them! Since becoming vegan just over a year ago, I’ve been thrilled (REALLY) to discover just how many dessert options are still open to me and my chronic sweet tooth! However, we vegans do sometimes lose out when it comes to tasty dessert accompaniments. I miss very few foodstuffs, but one of the things I do miss is, weirdly, custard. For a good while I was desperately seeking a tasty, cruelty-free custard substitute… and then I discovered cashew cream.

The revelation happened at the wonderful Zeffirelli’s, where I ordered a vegan summer pudding (OMG) and it came with lashings of what I can only describe as “freakin’ delicious cashew goo” on the side. I have since learned that cashew cream is basically the best thing ever to go with any kind of fruity dessert — especially a good old fashioned apple pie.

So if you have vegan guests coming over and you want to make sure they don’t just have to look sad while everyone else tops their tasty dessert with ice cream or custard, TRY THIS. It is so, so easy.

Ingredients

200g of cashews (pro tip: buy cashew pieces from your local healthfood store. Cheapness!)
A 200g block of creamed coconut
400ml water
1/2 cup of agave nectar
Vanilla extract

Make your own cashew cream!
First, roughly chop your cashews. They don’t have to be evenly sized, or cut too small. Basically just make sure there are no whole cashews left.

Make your own cashew cream!
Soak ‘em in cold water for a little while. I did mine for about two hours and that was plenty. Once they’re good n’ soaked, put them into the blender or food processor, along with the creamed coconut, which you should break into small chunks. Pour in the 400ml of warm water, and whizz for a good while.

Make your own cashew cream!

You’ll end up with a mix that looks a bit like this. ^ (Warning: you will not get it to go totally smooth, ’cause yaknow, nuts. It’ll still be a little gritty. To reduce the grittiness, soak your cashews for longer.) At this stage, you can stir in your agave nectar and add vanilla extract to taste. That is LITERALLY IT.

NB: your ‘cream’ may seem a bit watery. If you want to eat it right away (as I did, obv), you can seive off some of the liquid (useful for vegan milkshake?). However, know this: the cream will firm up quite a bit in the fridge, so maybe prepare it a little ahead of time so it has a while to chill out.

Best served with pie, if you ask me! Enjoy!

Make your own cashew cream!

You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

Things I Love Thursday #76

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

What have I been up to…? More baking.

When it comes to toppings, MORE IS MORE

These are triple orange vegan cupcakes. Zesty orange sponge, orange fondant filling (and some on the top), not-butter-not-cream icing, made uber-yellow by Lovely Boyfriend’s fancy-ass confectioner’s food colouring. And chocolate ganache. And fresh orange. And sugar stars. I basically decided that when it came to topping these babies, more was more. They were certainly appreciated by the gaggle of hungry board-gamers who sampled them!

Vegan peanut butter cupcakes

Lovely Boyfriend requested these instead of a birthday cake. They’re vegan peanut butter cupcakes with not-butter-not-cream icing, chocolate ganache and a smidge of added peanut butter. We snuck them into the pub and enjoyed them over birthday pints with friends. The best way to spend an evening!

Vegan double chocolate cupcakes

These were another request: my lovely sister wanted DINO CAKES for her birthday. These are classic double chocolate with chocolate ganache filling, not-butter-not-cream icing, and the required dinos. They look like they’re frolicking on tiny, daisy-spotted hills.

Vegan espresso cupcakes

And these are espresso cupcakes with espresso icing and dark chocolate flowers. For when you’re really, really tired and you need a caffeine hit AND a sugar high! These were produced, again, for a bunch of ravenous board gamers, and saw them through a particularly epic session of Eclipse!

Like-your-gran-used-to-make apple pie

Aaaand as well as cupcakes, I’ve also got well into baking pies. Yet again, this is thanks to my personal GODDESS, Isa. They’re weirdly difficult to photograph, so my previous efforts (all-American cherry, and blueberry-and-maple) have gone sadly undocumented. This baby is a classic, like-your-gran-used-to-make apple pie, and I think was my best effort yet (BRAG BRAG BRAG). So good with soy whipped cream, which I have just discovered exists… and it’s so good!

Want to see what else I’m eating? I started a Flickr set for all the things that are making my belly happy. PROOF THAT BEING VEGAN IS TASTY.

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

Things I Love Thursday #73

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Glitterowl

Sparkle.

Scruffy presents

Festive typewriters

Cute cards (thanks!)

Best self-portrait ever?

So happy I didn't sell this.

Vegan mince pies!

2012 journal... nearly done!

What are YOU loving this week?

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

Things I Love Thursday #68

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Some stuff I’ve been loving lately.

Autumnscape
Autumnscapes.

Molliecat!
Cute kitty cats! (Internet, meet Mollie.)

Delish vegan carrot and coriander soup, made by Lovely Boyfriend
Delish vegan carrot and coriander soup, made by Lovely Boyfriend.

Leon making his Halloween costume
Halloween costume making nights!

Pumpkins
Pumpkin carvery!

Lovely Boyfriend is awesome
Lovely Boyfriend’s BADASS zombie-Christopher-Marlowe costume.

Insane family portrait...
Insane family portraits!

Edinburgh Vintage
Lovely new stuff about to appear at Edinburgh Vintage.

Vegan cake, always
Cups of tea and vegan cake.

Honourable mentions: coming across amazing DIY life-hack ideas like this one // Shore Poets: October. I just joined the Shore Poets committee! // Kicking through autumn leaves in the Meadows — so many on the ground now // Lovely Boyfriend taking me out to dinner at our favourite restaurant, and getting sat at “our table”, where we had our first big, nerve-wracking, super-cute date! // the incredible effort EVERYONE at my Halloween party went to with their costumes… sadly due to camera fail I could not photograph them. Sad trombones. But… memories // Getting my vegan advent calendar in the post, OMG! // Mega cute animal-themed jewellery // My sister’s brand new Etsy store! I keep going and clicking on it. Proud sis // My hot water bottle. And slippers.

What are you loving this week?

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

Fiendish all-vegan pumpkin pie

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Vegan pumpkin pie!

So, my easy peasy vegan profiteroles have proven so popular with everyone I’ve made them for, that I decided to post another of my recipes here for your reading pleasure. Halloween is TOMORROW, and if you haven’t yet made yourself a pumpkin pie then U R DOIN IT WRONG. Happily, I am here to help you. I stitched together this recipe from bits and pieces of several other recipes I found online but didn’t like 100%. It results in a truly finger-lickin’ pie, even if I do say so myself.

Fiendish all-vegan pumpkin pie
(Serves 8-10.)

Pie crust base:
125g (half a pack) Lotus caramelised biscuits
A quarter of a cup of rapeseed or groundnut oil
A splash of sweetened soy milk

Pumpkin filling:
Half a cup of dark brown sugar
One third of a cup of icing (confectioner’s) sugar
Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg
Ground ginger
The zest of one lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Half a cup of sweetened soy milk
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil
250ml soya cream
1 tin of pumpkin puree
Half a tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat your oven to 220°C, 425°F, or gas mark 8.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

OK, first — the base! Lotus caramelised biscuits are fantastic, because they’re totally vegan and extra super tasty. To make the base, the first thing you need to do is whizz up roughly 125 grams of these biscuits — or roughly half a pack — until they’re broken down into a fine, sandy powder.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

Tip the biscuit crumbs into a large bowl and stir in the rapeseed or groundnut oil (personally I prefer groundnut, but if you’re potentially feeding a person with a nut allergy as I often do, it’s good to have an alternative). Add your splash of soy milk and you should end up with a shiny, sticky, but not-too-wet paste. Press this into the bottom of your pie dish to form your crust base, and stick it in the fridge while you create the filling!

Vegan pumpkin pie!

In a large, clean mixing bowl, sieve and mix the brown sugar and icing sugar together, then add ground spices to taste. If you’re unsure, I’d say one teaspoon of cinnamon and one of ginger, and maybe half a teaspoon of nutmeg. But personally I like my pie spicy, so I’d up the cinnamon and nutmeg, personally! Once you’ve sorted your spices, grate in the lemon zest, and add the salt and baking powder. Mix everything thoroughly!

Vegan pumpkin pie!

OK, slightly tricky bit now: this pie is vegan, so no eggs allowed. But you can mimic the consistency of eggs! Grab your sweetened soy milk, stick it in a pan and put over a low heat. As the soy milk begins to warm, add to it the teaspoon of cornflour and continue to heat, stirring constantly. As the milk heats, it should thicken up. When it gets to roughly the consistency of beaten egg, remove from heat and pour into the dry mix. Add the tablespoon of oil and mix thoroughly. Once mixed, pour and mix in the soy cream, too.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

It’s finally time for the essential ingredient — pumpkin! Some recipes insist that you use actual hollowed-out pumpkin, and yes, if you’re hollowing a pumpkin anyway, it’s smart to make use of the flesh for this. But if, like me, you have three hours before your Halloween party starts and you need to get a move on, then reach for the canned stuff! I use Libby’s myself as it’s relatively easy to get hold of. Pour the can of pumpkin into the mix and add the dash of vanilla. Mix, mix, mix — once you have a thick, gloopy batter, your filling is done!

Vegan pumpkin pie!

To bake, pour the pumpkin batter over your refrigerated base and place in the top half of the oven at 220°C for fifteen minutes. Once that time has passed, and without opening the oven (however tempting!), turn the temperature down to 180°C and bake for another 50-60 minutes.

Vegan pumpkin pie!

Your pie should come out looking only ever-so-slightly wibbly, and golden brown right across the top. It should be allowed to refrigerate for several hours — ideally overnight — to firm up. Then you can carve up and dig in!

Happy Halloween!

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

Easy peasy vegan profiteroles!

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Vegan profiteroles

So, I mentioned last week that I kind of out-of-the-blue invented my very own recipe for vegan profiteroles! I say ‘kind of’ because the process was actually this: I recalled a fancy vegetable bake with a cheesy choux-pastry-type topping that I used to make… then I successfully veganised it for a dinner party. That night I lay awake toying with the idea of making the now-vegan choux-ish pastry sweet somehow. Next day I tried it in a small quantity, baked a few small, vaguely-biscuit-shaped pieces as a test, and melted some odds and ends of dark chocolate I had around the place on top (because, you know, chocolate). Initially, still-warm and choco-melty, I thought they were tasty but slightly odd, so I shoved the remaining ones in the fridge. Next day, I took a bite and suddenly, I knew what they were. Vegan profiteroles! And what’s more, they’re SUPER EASY and don’t make a ton of washing up! Here’s the deal:

Easy peasy vegan profiteroles
(Makes 12 profiteroles)

4 level tablespoons of vegan margarine (I think Pure Sunflower is the most flavoursome one)

5 floz hot water

3.5 oz of self raising flour

2 oz soft dark brown sugar

1 level teaspoon of baking powder

Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Dairy-free chocolate for the topping

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, 175°C for fan-assisted ovens, or gas mark 6.

Melt the vegan margarine in a large-ish saucepan. Once melted, add the water and allow the liquid to come to the boil. Once this happens, remove from the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Sieve in 2.5 ounces of the self-raising flour and stir slowly, allowing the mixture to thicken. You should end up with a thick, glossy paste that cleans the sides of the pan.

To make the mixture sweet, sieve in the 2 ounces of sugar and mix until the dough is an even colour. The mixture will become stickier, so to regain the original consistency, at this point add the last ounce of flour and stir in. At the same time, mix in the baking powder and vanilla.

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Grease a shallow baking tray, or line it with greaseproof paper. Break the dough in the pan into twelve even pieces, and gently pat them into ball shapes — try not to squidge them too much! Place them on the tray, leaving space between each. Place in the top part of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

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The profiteroles should come out feeling crispy on the outside but still squidgy on the inside. Put them on a cooling rack and let them cool completely. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate to add as the profiterole topping. The amount is up to you — depends how chocolate-y you like your profiteroles! I used about half of one 100g bar for these babies.

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A tip: I always always melt mine the way pros do before they temper chocolate. That is, put the chocolate in a bowl and suspend it over boiling water, rather than melting it in a pan or in the microwave. This results in much smoother chocolate that won’t burn and pours easily. As for choosing your chocolate, as long as it’s vegan it doesn’t really matter. My chocolate of choice always comes from The Chocolate Tree, but I’ve also used Green and Black’s and Lindt in my baking.

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It will be SUPER TEMPTING to eat these little delights once they are chocolate-d up, but as I said before, they’re not at their best warm. Stick them in the fridge for two hours minimum to let them cool down and firm up. THEN you can scoff them any way you like!

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A final note for non-vegans: when you veganise something, it’s never quite the same as the original (often it’s better!). Therefore, the texture of these babies is not like classic profiteroles. They are not hollow or flaky — see the photo above! BUT they do taste exactly like the real deal, which I think is the main thing. Sure — there are veganised recipes out there that involve all sorts of jiggery-pokery to try and get close to the ‘real profiterole’ texture and appearance. But personally, I’d rather have less washing up, less ingredients to buy, and more time to read books. So this recipe suits me fine. Try it yourself and see what you reckon!

Om nom nom.

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!