Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

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!