World Vegan Month Recipe 2: Golden Vanilla Cupcakes and Cinnamon Crunch

Do you have cravings for cinnamon and spice at this time of year? I do! And when I walk around the Christmas market next month I will inhale deeply and tuck into some warm roasted almonds, some spicy mulled wine and maybe a cinnamon crepe pancake too! This cupcake/muffin embodies those fine aromas: vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and allspice are in here – enough to pack  a real  punch of flavour as well as making the kitchen smell delicious.

And guess what – they are vegan too!

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The basic recipe for the golden vanilla cupcake comes from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. But the filling/topping is my own “invention”.

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Crunch

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For 9 muffins or 12 cupcakes

Prepare your muffin tins and cases, preheat oven to 180°C

First make the cinnamon crunch:

Mix together 50g (1/4 cup) brown sugar and 35g (1/3 cup) chopped walnuts with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/2 tsp cardamom.

Cupcakes

In a large bowl mix together and set aside

  • 250 ml (1 cup) soya milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Into a small bowl sift together:

  • 150 g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Now add to your milk/vinegar:

  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil – I used neutral tasting rapeseed oil (canola in the US)
  • 2 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar

Mix well with a fork and then add the dry ingredients, whisking to remove any lumps. (No mixer required! 🙂 )

Spoon half the mixture into cupcake/muffin liners. Spoon half the cinnamon crunch on top, then pour the rest of the mixture over the tops of the cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with remaining crunch.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Leave to cool on a rack, or even better – eat them warm out the oven! 🙂

Look at that gooey centre and crunchy topping! Yum!

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Enjoy!

World Vegan Month Recipe 1: Tofu Wraps

Although I am vegetarian, and not vegan, World Vegan Month seems a good month to share a couple of  good vegan recipes with you.

Over the past year I have been trying to cut down on dairy produce, and the result has been a lot of experiments… some more successful than others! Seitan and similar meat substitutes are completely superfluous to someone who hasn’t eaten meat for over 20 years; cheese substitutes are mostly inedible (my opinion!); tofu, however, is a lifesaver – I love it! This first recipe I want to share uses tofu and has become a favourite, partly because it is such an informal affair… i.e. you get sticky fingers eating it! 😉

Tofu Wraps

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For the marinated tofu you will need:

  • 200g (7 oz) firm tofu, cut into narrow strips
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • 4-5 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
  • plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  • any other herbs or spices you fancy adding, such as chilli, coriander, onion powder etc

Spread the tofu strips over the base of a large dish or baking tray and cover with all the marinade ingredients. Do this as early in the day as possible, or even the night before, so the tofu can absorb all the flavours. Stir a few times during the day. I give mine about 10-12 hours to marinate.

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For the wraps:

  • 4 large soft tortilla wraps, warmed
  • 1/2 an iceberg lettuce, cut into smallish chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

For the tsatsiki, mix all the following ingredients together and let stand a few minutes before serving:

  • 220ml (1 cup) (soya) yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 small cucumber, cut into very small chunks
  • salt and pepper

Just before you are ready to eat, heat a little sunflower or olive oil in a skillet/frying pan and on a medium to high heat fry the tofu, marinade and all, turning frequently, until warmed through and slightly crispy.

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Now the fun part! Place a wrap on a plate, sprinkle lettuce on the centre and then bits of tofu, salad and finally tsatsiki. Then wrap!

The packet showed us how…

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… but I will spare you the photos of us eating! 😉 The challenge is to eat this without any sauce dripping out… practically impossible, but that’s what makes it such a fun meal. 🙂

What do you do with wraps?

Peach Crumble Cake

I was actually planning on making a peach crumble the other day, but then afternoon cake for a visitor was required and this arose from the crumble plans!

I’ve been blogging for almost three years now and as I mentioned on Tuesday I have just topped 700 posts! So please help yourselves to a slice and celebrate with me, and thanks for being out there everyone! 🙂

Peach Crumble Cake

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  • 225g SR flour
  • 50g ground hazelnuts
  • 50g oats
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 100g sugar
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 175g butter

Grease and flour a 9-inch/23cm square cake tin. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and then rub in the butter with fingertips until nice and crumbly. Mix in about 1-2 tbsps water and put a third of the mixture in a separate bowl: this is the crumble topping. Press the rest firmly into your prepared tin. Chill both the base and the topping while you prepare the fruit filling.

For the filling:

  • approx. 700g  prepared peaches (this was 6 large ones for me), diced but not peeled
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 75g brown sugar

Mix the filling ingredients together and spread over the base. Sprinkle the lumpy crumble topping over the top and bake for 45 minutes or until lovely and brown on top and bubbling.

Leave to cool in the pan a little before slicing, and then allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

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Deliciously sweet and sticky too, I’d recommend this cake with a blob of cream or ice cream. I bet it’s good served warm too!

🙂

What do YOU do with peaches?

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

It’s been too hot and humid for cooking or baking recently, but then last week we had a couple of cooler days as a breather, AND a visitor was expected, so I made one of my favourite cakes… blueberry and cardamom with buttermilk. 😉

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I made this one pictured with double quantities as a small Bundt cake, and have even tripled the recipe for a large/standard Bundt cake that I took to a party, but here’s the recipe for the smaller version, using a small 9-inch/23cm square cake tin.

BLUEBERRY CARDAMOM BUTTERMILK CAKE

  • 1/2 cup (60g) plain flour and 1/2 cup (60g) SR flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsps cardamom
  • 1/2 stick (55g) softened butter
  • 2/3 (130g) cup sugar + a 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 (120ml) cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch (23cm) cake pan.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and salt. In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and sugar and vanilla sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat well.
In three batches, add the flour, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in gently until just combined. Stir in all but a few blueberries. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Scatter the remaining blueberries on top (and extra vanilla sugar if you like!).
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Enjoy blueberry season while it lasts!

Treacle Tart

This is a recipe post I’ve had in my folder for some time now… the cold weather this week reminded me of it. A great dessert for a cold night!

GoldenSyrupAren’t the Tate and Lyle tins of Golden Syrup stylish?!

Since I’m the only one who likes treacle tart in our house (well, the dogs haven’t been given the chance to test it anyway!) I decided to add some cardamom as well as the traditional ginger…. divine! Otherwise this is the pure and simple traditional English recipe.

Treacle Tart

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  • 100g (4 oz) plain flour
  • 75g (3 oz) wholemeal flour
  • 75g (3 oz) vegan butter/margarine
  • 250g (10 oz) Golden Syrup
  • 1 tsp ginger (or 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/2 tsp cardamom)
  • 100g (4 oz) fresh (wholemeal) breadcrumbs
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Make the pastry first: rub the vegan butter into the flour until fine and crumbly. Stir in a little cold water – just enough to bring the dough together. Roll out and press into a greased flan dish. Prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake the pastry case blind for about 5 – 10 minutes.

Meanwhile warm the golden syrup in a pan and add the spices, lemon juice and breadcrumbs. Stir well. Pour the mixture into the prepared flan case and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Delicious with cream, crème fraîche or custard!

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A British classic!

😀