Saturday 23 December 2017

Blueberry cheese cake

This is a no bake cheese cake

vegan whipped cream
the water of 1 tin of chick peas

1/4 tbs cream of tartar
2 spoonfuls of sugar pulsated in powdered sugar (icing sugar)

Simple vegan butter with no special ingredients. If you sterilize your utensils with boiling water first, you prolong the shelf life of the butter - which should be about 7 days (except first time you make it, then it will be around 5 minutes from taking the first bite). You want the aquafaba to be slightly chilled and the oil to be around room temperature when you mix them.
Giver: ½ C
  • 3 tbs (45 ml) aquafaba (yes, it's chickpea water)
  • 1/3 C + 1 tbs (1 dl) coconut oil (I prefer virgin coconut oil but you can taste the coconut. Odourless coconut oil will make it VERY buttery)
  • 1tbs + 1tsp (20 ml) cold pressed rapeseed oil, canola or olive oil or a similar oil that you like the taste of. Or try a blend!
  • 2/3 tsp Apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice (or if you have, ⅛ tsp of lactic acid)
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  1. Let the coconut oil melt gently until it's almost all liquid. Remove the pan from the heat and let the rest melt. Add your rapeseed or other preferred oil. Let the oil mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Pour the (just under room temperature cold) aquafaba in a narrow container with the salt and vinegar. Start blending it with an immersion blender/stick blender.
  3. With the blender running, slowly pour the oils in, all while making sure all oil thoroughly incorporated before you add more. It should take a couple of minutes to add all the oil and achieve a thick mayo like consistancy. (If you live in a hot area I suggest you place the container on a bag of frozen peas when pouring in the oil, to help the process along)
  4. IF you taste test it, know that it will taste pretty salty and tangy. This will be numbed a bit when it has chilled and remember, that you normally eat butter WITH something and not on it's own (right?) so it will be easier to make final judgements when spreading it on toast...mmm...
  5. Pour it in a suitable container - DO NOT COVER IT - and put it in the fridge (or maybe a short while in freezer if you're in a hurry). It will take some hours for the butter to solidify, I recommend leaving it one night in the fridge.

    Store it in the fridge, especially if you live in a hot area. Depending on what blend of oils you used (unrefined coconut is softer then the refined one) you should be able to spread it directly from the fridge. Leave it on the counter for 15 minutes to make it even softer.
- It is very important to not cover the butter while it solidifies. If you want you can put a clean piece of cloth over it, but do NOT put it in an air tight container (or it might take forever to reach solid, buttery state). Once solid, cover it as much as you like.
Note that when you spread it it will look a little flaky (in the truest sense if the word). Don't worry it will still feel velvety soft while melting on you tounge! And if you wipe it once or twice with your knife while buttering, it will loose the flaky look.
- I prefer to use cold pressed rapeseed oil, since it adds a buttery taste to the butter. But just be aware, that the oils will add flavor to the final butter.
- When taken from the fridge and warming up a bit, the butter might shed some drops of aquafaba. No biggie, It's just, I don't want you to feel awkward - mine does it to. Ignore them or gently remove them with papertowel.
- Using other than an immersion blender - please read FAQ below.

Friday 22 December 2017

Vegan Mayonnaise -because I ran out of eggs

Today I am planning a big cooking day to get ready for the festive season, so that I don't need to cook all the time and can enjoy time with the family.

I had some puff pastry left from the Camenbert snowflake making, so decided to use it up to make a Mediterranean puff pastry treat, unfortunately it needed mayonnaise and as I don't use that very often forgot to buy it.  Then I noticed that the eggs I had bought yesterday are all needed for other recipes so  to call on my Vegan Mayonnaise recipe. It is fantastic, just don't make the mistake to drizzle in the oil. put all the ingredients in at once and you will find that within 3 seconds the mayo is made.
My own Christmas miracle without an egg in sight.

Monday 18 December 2017

From Spade to Plate: vegan smoked salmon

This week was the last before Christmas so not many of the usual members were able to make it, but together with Carmen, Jing and Simone we had a lovely morning.

First we made the Camenbert and cranberry snowflake

and a pot of tomato and lentil soup.
Another quick and hearty soup in our soup repertoire.

Liz Thomas’ lentil and tomato soup (4-6)

1 small onion
1 can of tomatoes
2 tbsp oil
4 oz lentils
1 ½ pt vegetable stock
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp yeast extract  (marmite)
Salt and pepper

Chop the onions and sauté until transparent
Add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 30 mins
Adjust seasoning for taste.
When we put the 'snowflake' in the oven we also added one par boiled (in very salty water) carrot to roast in the oven. This was later used to slice very thinly to use into the vegetarian' smoked salmon recipe. I came across is wonderful idea and think it is great for those who are vegetarian/vegan and who love the taste of smoked salmon.

For those who want to have the recipe for vegan butter just click on the link

It looks and tastes very authentic too.

I am grateful for The happy Pear team who came up with this recipe.
Lovely with a slice of lemon and some dill and mustard sauce on a cracker or toast with cream cheese.


Whilst the soup was bubbling away we decided to make some table decorations with greenery given by St John's college. We made them to give to the local retirement home to bring a bit nature into their rooms. We had a lovely time and even had enough to take one home for each of us.

Sunday 10 December 2017

Monday 11th December: From spade to plate: bread share, broccoli soup

We started with the making of the bread balls (that were made the day before to speed up time)
once this was done, we then started making another lot of bread dough, that I will use tomorrow for another breadpiece, in the shape of a wreath.

Last week we used a lot of broccoli to make our raw vegetable christmas tree. Although we ate most of the vegetables, there was a lot of broccoli left. Rather than eating 3 broccoli heads myself, I decided to blanch them and then freeze for a day like today.

The broccoli is used to make this Broccoli and Blue cheese soup.

As a desert we made Monique's apple crumblies.  The apples were picked in Autumn and are now coming out of storage. We switched the sugar and raisins for the same quantity of mincemeat and a grating of orange to give it a Christmas feel.