Category: Desserts, Sweets & Treats

Blackberry and Apple Galette [vegan]

Apologies for my long time absence. Things have been hectic over here mainly because I’ve been moving house. But, now things are starting to bear a semblance of normality, and I’m getting my butt back into blogging. How’s things with you guys, what have I missed?

Looking back at my last post, we were well and truly in summer, but those days definitely feel over so I’m going to embrace these more autumnal days. The other weekend I went out and picked some blackberries and if you’re quick you can still get some too! My parents have an awesome apple tree and they’re so tart…so apple and blackberries scream pie or galette (posh sounding easier to make pie)!vegan_galetteblackberry-and-apple-galette-vegan  

Blackberry and Apple Galette [vegan]
170g spelt flour
85g margarine
75g xylitol or sugar
70ml cold water
1 apple
200g blackberries
1 tspn ground cinnamon

  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour and margarine and rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, add 25g xylitol or sugar.
  • Add the cold water (the colder the better)and stir until it comes together to form a dough.
  • Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, until about 5mm thin.
  • Grease a baking tray, and transfer the rolled out pastry onto the tray.
  • Peel and thinly cut the apple and lay onto the pastry along with the blackberries and coat with the remaining xylitol or sugar.
  • Fold the pastry edges into the edge of the filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • I served with dairy free ice cream. 

Enjoy!

Veronica x

 

Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies [vegan]

You may have noticed some changes over these sides – if anyone does read these ramblings! Amy has taken a step back from the blog, she is no longer fully vegan (due to some health reasons) and felt the time was right to step away. You can read more about it here. So, now you’ve just got me and I hope we can get to know each other a bit better! 

When I made these ice lollies we were in the midst of a sunny spell. These sunny spells don’t last long in good old Blighty and it’s definitely not the weather for these refreshing ice lollies.

I bought myself some the ice lolly moulds for the summertime and then they took about two months to arrive, just in time for Autumn, that’ll teach me for resorting to Amazon! Anyway, if the warmer weather does make a reappearance get your melons out and try these bad boys! 

Watermelon and lime lolliesWatermelon and lime ice lollies

Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies

800g watermelon
1 lime juice
1 tbsp agave syrup

  • Slice and de-skin the watermelon, then in a food processor blitz until smooth.
  • Add the lime juice and agave syrup and blend together.
  • In your ice lolly moulds pour the liquid and freeze overnight.
  • Makes 6 ice lollies.

Veronica x

Blueberry and Nectarine Upside Down Cake [vegan]

I’m not sure if this is best described as a cake, it is probably more of a pudding. Whether you’ve got peaches or nectarines to hand, this tasty upside down cake is so fruity, plus the lemon zest gives the sponge an extra zing! I think it is definitely best eaten whilst warm from the oven, but you can always add some custard to warm a cold slice up.

We are in the midst of the british blueberry season, so make sure you grab a couple of punnets and stock up your freezers.

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Blueberry and Nectarine Upside Down Cake
120g spelt flour
120g self-raising flour
60g caster sugar
1 tspn baking powder
200ml oat milk
70ml vegetable oil
2 x nectarines
2 x handful blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • Line the bottom of a 7 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and oil the sides of the tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Slice the nectarines and lay them and a handful of blueberries in the bottom of the tin.
  • In a mixing bowl – add the flours, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the oat milk and oil and add the juice and zest of the lemon, plus another handful of blueberries. Once mixed together pour over the nectarine and blueberries.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

πŸ™‚

Veronica x

Raspberry Cheesecake [vegan and gluten free]

What’s going on with this heat? Last week we were moaning that it felt like winter, now we’re in the midst of a bloomin’ heatwave! I’m definitely NOT complaining. I love the heat. I love having all the doors and windows open. Love the amazing sunsets. And love actually wearing my summery clothes. When the weather reaches these dizzy heights I cling onto my childhood memories, when I’m sure summer holidays were definitely sunnier than they appear to be these days. Perhaps I have a rose tinted view of those idealistic days, when the only care was what time the ice cream van was rocking up, or which tree we’d be climbing. But, summer memories definitely involve summer berries that’s for sure. And what better way to enjoy the raspberries you’ll be a picking than in this super tasty Raspberry Cheesecake. 

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Raspberry Cheesecake
For the base:
150g medjool dates
100g almonds
60g oats
50g coconut oil (melted)

For the filling:
1 block firm tofu
225g raspberries
50g coconut oil
1 tbsp rice/fruit/agave syrup

  • In a food processor, blend the dates, almonds and oats until thoroughly chopped. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on a low heat and blend with the nut mixture, it should combine slightly.  
  • Add to your tin (I used mini tart tins), press down firmly using your hands and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  • Drain the tofu, and blend in the processor until smooth. Add the raspberries, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Melt the coconut oil and add along with the syrup and blend once more until combined.
  • Spread evenly over the base and leave in the fridge for another few hours until firm.
  • Top with fresh fruit.

Get picking those raspberries πŸ™‚

Veronica x

Strawberry Ice Cream

Despite the weather being a bit very crappy during June it looks like Summer has started to arrive. Wimbledon marks the start of Strawberry season for me, and hopefully all the rain won’t ruin crops this year, because we’ve got A LOT of strawberries to eat!

This creamy strawberry ice cream is the perfect dessert to cool down on a hot summer’s evening especially with some more strawberries PLUS it’s so easy to make. I always thought of ice cream as being a pain in the butt to make, but this is super simple. Just make sure you’re not rushing out so you can keep going back to the freezer for the first few hours to whip it up and ensure you have a creamy ice cream.

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Strawberry ice cream
600g strawberries
800ml (2 tins) coconut milk
100g xylitol
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tspn vanilla extract

  • Wash and de-stalk the strawberries.
  • In a food processor, empty the coconut cream and mix until smooth.
  • Add the strawberries and mix together with the coconut cream until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the xylitol, agave syrup and vanilla extract and blend through.
  • Empty into a suitable tub/tin that will survive in the freezer and pop in the freezer.
  • Every 30 minutes, stir through to stop large crystals forming, you’ll need to do this four or five times, basically the more times the better – you’ll get a smoother creamier texture and thank yourself when eating it.

Happy summertime πŸ™‚

Veronica x

Citrus Carrot Loaf

It’s so nearly almost kind of Spring that it’s just mean! Tuesday was insanely warm and sunny, it was the kind of early Spring day that makes you remember how awesome warm weather and sunshine is! Remember those days of leaving the house without a coat and wearing sunglasses! 

So whilst we await the full bloom and warmth of Spring, here’s a yummy, sunny citrus carrot loaf to keep us going. Good old carrots are always in season and you really can’t beat a good carrot cake! There’s plenty of delicious citrus fruits to be found at the markets from sunny Spain and when combined with carrot cake, add a delicious zesty note. Be sure to hunt out organic oranges and lemons otherwise you’ll be zesting in nasty wax likely to be made from shellac, yuk!

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Citrus Carrot Loaf

1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water
125g ground almonds
100g spelt flour
50g oats
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
40g coconut sugar
2 medium carrots, grated (approx. 110g)
60ml coconut oil, melted
Zest of 1 organic orange
Zest of 1/2 an unwaxed organic lemon

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil.
  • Whisk the ground flax and water together in a cup and set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir together.
  • Place the grated carrot in a separate small bowl, add the melted coconut oil and the flax mixture which should have formed a gelatinous consistency. Mix together and add into the dry ingredients, stirring together until just combined.
  • Pour into the loaf tin and top with a few thin slices of lemon and orange.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer or knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Enjoy! Amy x

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

I feel like I’m writing a similar post to one I wrote about this time last year. It goes along the lines of, I’m in training for the marathon…I’m knackered…work is busy….life is hectic…time is flying by. And there doesn’t seem to be any sign of the craziness letting up soon. I’ve taken the week off work to try and gain a little perspective. I’ve been resting, enjoying dog walks, catching up with friends, shopping, having my hair cut – you know fun things.

Training means I spend A LOT of the time eating and A LOT of the time tired. I try to make sure that I’m eating the right sort of foods that will ensure my body can endure what I’m putting it through (oh god why am I putting it through this again?!). You know, the usual stuff, slow releasing carbs (pasta party anyone?), and refuelling on protein (usually homemade beans on toast). After my long weekend run I’m literally hunting the cupboards to see what I can find. And I can’t wait to make another batch of these tasty treats that will get me through the post running slump.

These little beauties are made using avocado. If you’re like me and absolutely love them, it may feel a waste of a good avocado to make it into something completely different (even if it is chocolate based) after all there does seem to be too many occasions where I’ve opened one up to be greeted by gross brown inedible flesh (mega first world problems). Why not hold back you bad avocados for this recipe?! Problem solved.

Raw Cheesecake

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
Makes 5 mini cheesecakes 

125g Almonds
100g Medjool dates (or soak dried dates)
40g Coconut oil (melted)

3 small Avocados
2-3 tbsp Raw cacao powder 
1 tbsp Coconut oil (melted)
2 tbsp Agave syrup (or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional for decoration:
1 tbsp toasted Hazelnuts (chopped)
1 tbsp cacao nibs

  • In a food processor blitz the almonds until roughly chopped. Add the dates and melted coconut oil and it should come together.
  • Spoon the mixture into mini tart cases or ramekin dishes and refrigerate whilst you make the chocolate mixture.
  • Wash up your food processor (unless you have two)
  • Scoop out the avocados and blend until creamy.
  • Add the cacao powder, coconut oil and agave syrup and blend until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  • Remove the almond bases from the fridge and evenly distribute your avocado chocolate mixture. Place in the fridge to set the filling.

These are definitely ones to try.
Enjoy!

Veronica x

Black Bean Chocolate Orange Mousse

Today I want to share a delicious, nourishing dessert with you. I also want to share a little more of myself. We began blogging here over two years ago to share our story of how rescuing four little hens turned us from omnivores to vegans in a matter on months. As time has gone on, we’ve focused more and more on the food than ourselves. I guess we’re a little bit shy. But with a new year upon us we thought it would be nice to share more of ourselves with you; our struggles and challenges, our ambitions and dreams. So here it goes…

My new year has gotten off to a pretty good start and I know it’s down to setting a positive intension for the new year; to look after, nourish and heal myself.

Often, after the fun and time-off over Christmas, my new year starts with a sense of dread. Three more months of cold, dark, bleak days. Another year has passed by and I’m still thinking where am I going, what am I achieving. But not this year. This year, I’m excited for the year ahead. For the adventures I will take, the food each season will bring, the people I will meet, the friends I will visit, the recipes I will create, the sunrises I will see. I have a sense of anticipation about all of the things to come.

I’m thinking it myself… what has sparked this sense of optimism within my cynical, pessimistic self? The answer, self-care. It started when I was diagnosed with mild depression (although it didn’t and has never felt very mild to me) which was also around two years ago. It was then I realised I couldn’t take myself for granted. It was when I took a permaculture course last summer that someone first taught me that before we can do anything we must look after ourselves. It was when I was ill in the autumn that a film told me happiness was in my own hands. It was at the beginning of this winter that a podcast prodded me to take meditation and mindfulness more seriously. And it has been small self-care rituals I have practised everyday of this new year that has revived my outlook on life.

It’s not ground breaking, it’s not a miracle, it’s just little things, everyday. Gratitude, meditation, visualisation, exercise, mindfulness. Not all at once, not all everyday but at least one everyday. And then there’s slightly bigger things, things this year I hope to do, hope to be. To be brave, to be happy, to travel, to accept myself. These are just kinda out there, floating around in my consciousness. I hope that through my little things I’ll be able to tackle those bigger things. But all of these things are grounded in my intension for the year; to look after, nourish and heal myself. And obviously nourishing myself includes eating delicious, indulgent but always mildly healthy dessert. Oh and I’ve done it, we’re back to food. Wohoo!

Vegan-chocolate-orange-mousse

The new year has finally brought some cold winter weather to us (see, no sense of dread for cold days!). But not before some daffodils have bloomed and some trees have blossomed. The plants are confused and it could well mean a bad season ahead for our fruits.

For now, there are still plenty of apples knocking about at markets but we’ve shared a fair few apple recipes since autumn so I won’t share another one today. I eyed up some Spanish blood oranges at Borough Market this week and knew exactly what to make with them the moment I saw them… chocolate mousse!

Black-bean-chocolate-orange-mousse

Vegan-black-bean-mousse

Veronica made this heavenly mocha and black bean mousse cake from Green Kitchen Stories over Christmas. So I was inspired to ditch my tried and tested vegan mousse bases (cashews or avocados) and try out black beans. And it was a totally awesome decision! This mousse is mega rich and super delicious. No trace of a bean-y taste left, just a smooth and creamy texture and a filing, protein packed treat. It does have a fair amount of syrup in it to make it totally indulgent but you could easily leave a few tablespoons out and still have yourself a yummy treat!

Black Bean Chocolate Orange Mousse
Serves 5-6

1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
50g pitted dates (soaked if using dried dates)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
8 tbsp brown rice or maple syrup
5 tbsp raw cacao powder
4 tbsp plant milk
zest of 1 organic orange
1 tsp raw cacao nibs (optional)

  • Put the black beans and dates in a food processor and blend on high for a minute.
  • Add the coconut oil, brown rice syrup, cacao powder and milk, and blend again for another minute.
  • Finally stir in the orange zest.
  • Spoon the mixture into 5-6 espresso cups, sprinkle with cacao nibs and a little extra orange zest.
  • Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

So here’s to a truly, happy, new year.

Amy x

Gingerbread Granola Bars

It’s nearly Christmas!!!! Woohoo! I’m mainly excited about the time off work – not having a routine, going for dog walks and watching loads of films. I know my motto most Christmasses has been to eat, drink and be merry, but that does nothing for my tummy and I end up in agony and feeling pretty unmerry. I’m running the London marathon again next year so I’ll be starting my training over the festive period, which will mean I won’t just be feasting in front of the telly. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve started a 5k to Couch training programme at my work, in the hope of raising a bit of money to go towards my fundraising target and to help get people moving. After all, anyone can run you just need to start and it’s always a bit more fun in a group! I think it will definitely get a bit more popular in the new year, but there is no reason to put it off until then especially when you’re loafing around the house over Christmas. These tasty gingerbread granola bars are perfect to fuel your runs, and I’ll be eating them at work to fuel my 5k to couch sessions.

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Gingerbread Granola Bars

100g Rolled oats
20g Pumpkin seeds
20g Sunflower seeds
50g Almonds
2 tsp Ground ginger
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground cloves
1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
150g Almond butter
1 tbsp Ground flax seeds
3tbsp Water
2 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Maple syrup

  • Whilst the ground flax seeds and water together in a cup and set aside.
  • Roughly chop the almonds and mix together with the rest of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Gently heat the almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil together in a saucepan on a low heat until well combined.
  • Remover from the heat and stir in the flax seed mixture.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together well.
  • Spoon the mixture out onto a lined baking tray and press down firmly.
  • Bake for 20 mins in a pre-heated oven at 180C.
  • Remove from the oven, cut into bars whilst still warm and leave in the tray to cool.  

Enjoy a fabulous Christmas!

Veronica x

Vegan Christmas Cake

Christmas is coming and the goose won’t be getting fat in our house (well Turkey, we always used to have Turkey). This will be our third vegan Christmas and we’re slowly starting to plan what we’ll be serving up on the big day, Amy’s Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Salad will definitely be going down a treat, and I’m sure we’ll have some other tasty recipes to share with you before the 25th!

Christmas-cake

I feel like Christmas has definitely creeped in earlier this year, in fact we made this cake a few months ago, we were really excited to be asked to contribute to Gluten-free Heaven magazine so we got our festive on a little earlier than planned.

The cake is refined sugar free, so I will definitely be making this at Christmas, but the icing is far from sugar free, and has plenty of icing sugar, plus some delicate sugar coated cranberries, so feel free to eat your yearly intake of sugar in one sitting! Or you could always cut down the sugar or leave it un-iced – it is tasty enough not to need icing, but then you wouldn’t get to try the wonder of aquafaba. Yep – aquafaba is the juice in the tin of chick peas…who knew?! This wonder ingredient is making shockwaves through vegan baking….royal icing…meringue….macarons, there appears to be an eggless revolution happening!

Cranberry Christmas Cake
200g chopped dates
250ml water
150g raisins
150g sultanas
75g chopped walnuts
75g cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
150g ground almonds
150g rice flour
1 tbsp + 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
150ml orange juice

For the icing and decorations
The water from 1 tin of chick peas (aquafaba)
500g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vegetarian glycerine
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml water
100g caster sugar
cranberries
3 tbsp granulated sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • In a saucepan, bring the dates to the boil with the water and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the raisins, sultanas, walnuts, cranberries and mix through all the spices. Stir through the ground almonds, rice flour and baking powder.
  • Once the dates have softened down, add them to the mixing bowl along with the orange juice, and combine until everything is mixed together.
  • Grease the cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Pour in the cake mixture and spread evenly. Wrap the tin with newspaper so the edges don’t burn and bake in the oven for 1 hour until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin before turning it out onto a wire rack.

For the icing:

  • In a bowl, whisk the aquafaba until frothy, add the icing sugar a tablespoon at a time until it has a meringue like consistency.
  • Add the lemon juice, glycerine and vanilla extract and stir through. Spread a crumb coating over the cake, and ensure it is even.
  • Leave to set for an hour before covering with a thick layer. Leave to set overnight.

For the sugar glazed cranberries:

  • In a saucepan, melt the caster sugar in the water over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • In a bowl, cover the cranberries in the sugar syrup, drain the excess sugar syrup and leave until tacky, sprinkle over half of the granulated sugar and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours, turn them over and sprinkle with the rest of the granulated sugar. Leave overnight.
  • The next day, the icing will be firm enough to allow you to decorate with the sugar coated cranberries.

If there is a time to feast on a sugar laden cake then Christmas is definitely that time. I’ll be enjoying this cake just when I think there isn’t another morsel of food that I can possibly eat, but come 7pm I’ll be on the hunt for some more food!

Enjoy the festivities December brings!

Veronica x