A vegan Panettone… sort of…

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So the last few days have been full of baking, most of which I will post on here over the next few days, but since the rest of the things I have baked are to be presents I wont post about them until after I have given them, we dont want to give the magic away too soon!

This however was an experiment in more ways than one… firstly I had never baked a panettone, but more to the point I have never tried one either! Having never eaten one before I was not really able to know if it hit the spot, however it was nice, although I think it needs a little refining… that said I have seen some traditional recipes that call for it to be baked over 3 days, so maybe it will never be perfect! My partner thought it was ok, but didnt have the right texture, my father in law said, “It tastes like one of those Italian breads, pan something maybe?” So it must be close to the mark!!

Since I had no idea were to start I used this recipe as a guild, but as you can see it is not very detailed, maybe if you are Italian you dont need the detail, its just in the blood? http://www.vegitalyguide.com/2012/12/24/vegan-panettone/

What you need (taken from the above website)

For the dough:

250 grams of white flour
50 grams of corn or tapioca starch
50 grams of natural cane sugar
3 tablespoons of hazelnut paste
juice of one orange
grated orange peel (1 orange)
40 grams of yeast
one cup of ricemilk
1 handful of raisins, soaked in water

For the chocolate glaze:

100 grams of melted chocolate
4 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of natural cane sugar

How to Bake a Vegan Panettone:

Since the website has very vague instructions I did a lot of research into how you bake a normal panettone, and so here is how I made mine… (this is the 3 hour rise not the 3 days rise version!)

  1. Warm the rice milk (or soya milk, I used soya because I had it!) until it is tepid, add the yeast and sugar, set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, corn or tapioca starch, plus the 3 tbsp’s of Hazelnut paste… since I couldn’t find hazelnut paste in any of the shops near me, I used a 3 Nut paste, which had cashew nuts, hazelnuts and peanuts!
  3. Add the orange rind, and orange juice. Then add the yeast mixture.
  4. Mix together and add a little more flour if needed to enable you to knead the dough gently for a few minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a clean lightly floured bowl and cover, leave to rise in a warm place for 3hrs.
  6. Soak the fruit in water.
  7. Once the dough has risen, drain the fruit and knock back the dough, adding the fruit.
  8. Place dough in a prepared cake tin, and leave to rise for another 30mins (Preheat your oven 150c)
  9. Bake for between 30-40mins
  10. Once cool, combine the ingredients for the glace (which is definitely more of a chocolate coating!)
  11. Cover your panettone in chocolate, leave to set, and then enjoy!

Be aware that this didn’t keep very long, it might be worth adding oil to the mix to preserve it, I also might consider adding egg replacer next time, just to see if I can change the texture a little?

Any additional advice on making vegan panettone welcome!!!

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Cheeky cheaters mince pie!

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I love baking, but to be honest this doesn’t really count… But it is quick easy and tasty, plus finding vegan mince pies can be difficult with the whole world wanting “full butter pastry” so this is my little cheeky guide to mince pies…

What you will need:

  • Ready roll puff or short crust pastry
  • Jar of mince meat
  • Icing sugar to dust

That’s it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 170c
  2. Roll out your pastry, use pastry cutters to get your disks of pastry, use two sizes one for the base and one for the lid
  3. Prepare your cupcake tray with a little oil (I use 1cal spray because it is easy!)
  4. Line your tray with the large pastry disks
  5. Fill with 1 heaped tsp mince meat (don’t over fill or the mince will go everywhere!)
  6. Wet the bottom of your pastry lids, place them on top of your mince pies and crimp the edges.
  7. Bake for about 15-20 mins
  8. Dust with icing and enjoy!!

Earl Gray Tea Cake!

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So this cake is still at the experiment stage, and if anybody tries  it please let me know how it turns out and if you changed the recipe in anyway, I am not 100% sure this cake is yet perfect… but I am willing to try it a free times, since the first experiment was very very good!!!

What you Need: Earl Gray Tea Cake

  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 a cup sugar
  • 1/2 a cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 a cup cold earl gray tea (strong earl gray tea with loose leaf tea, keep the tea leafs in it, they make the cake look great when mixed inside)
  • 1/2 a cup soya milk with 1 tbsp Cinder Vingar (combined)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp egg replacer with 3 tbsp warm water (I am not sure was is necessary but I used it anyway!)

What you Need: Lemon Butter Icing

  • Icing sugar
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Vegan margarine (I use Pure Soya for baking since it has a much milder flavor than something like Vitalite, and is less greasy than Pure Sunflower)

How to make it:

  1. Pre Heat the oven to 170c Prepare your cake tin
  2. Combined the soya milk with the cider vinegar to create vegan butter milk.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients together.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together slowly.
  6. Pour into your tin, bake for 30mins or until a toothpick will come out clean.
  7. Once baked place your cake on a cooling rack and leave for at least 1hr
  8. Mix together your ingredients to make the icing, since I always make this by eye and mood, and wont say how much to use, but remember the more liquid you use the more icing sugar you will need!!
  9. Ice cake, maybe a little lemon zest on top to decorate… Enjoy!

The cake I made was good… I think the texture was a little strange, so maybe no egg replacer next time, or maybe more baking powder, or maybe the cooking time was wrong… possibly making the earl gray tea in warm soya milk might work… once I try this again I will know more! An if anybody else does make it let me know how it worked for you!!

Christmas lentil roast

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So a little seasonal one to start with since it is the season and all! I first saw a recipe for this a few weeks ago, having tried it and tweaked it here is my vegan made easy version! Total cook time 50mins, (20mins prep time and 30mins in the oven)

Quick shopping list:

  • 1 pack ready roll puff pasty (double check the ingredients, but most ready roll puff is now vegan!)
  • 1 cup cooked green lentils (easy cheat buy a packet of “Merchant Gourmet” Puy Lentils)
  • 1/2 pack Mushrooms
  • 1 large Red/Yellow Pepper
  • 2-3 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 small handful dried cranberry’s
  • 3-5 sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 onion (optional, I am allergic to onion so never cook with it, but understand many like them!)
  • tomato paste (to taste, I use about 2 tablespoons worth)
  • 1 small handful chestnuts
  • 2 handfuls mix nuts (suggest walnuts and brazil nuts)

How to cook:

  1. Take the ready roll puff pasty out of the fridge, it will need to sit for at least 10mins before you use it.  Pre heat your oven.
  2. Prep all your fresh veg (plus your chestnuts and sun-died tomato), cut it small you dont want too many lumpy bits. Cut your chestnuts a little larger, they are very soft when cooked so add great texture.
  3. Fry all your fresh veg, minus the spinach this will be added later. Add mixed herbs as many as you like and whatever you like, personally basil and oregano are my fave.
  4. Once your veg, partially the mushrooms have started to soften add the sun-dried tomato, chestnuts, tomato paste and lentils. Cook on a medium heat for a few mins before adding the Spinach. Leave to simmer for a few minutes
  5. Prep your nuts, you can easily cut them to the required size in a normal food processor. I would suggest you want small to pea sized lumps of nut.
  6. Take your pan off the heat. Add the nuts and mix them through. The mix should be moist and soft, but almost stiff, you dont want a wet mix.
  7. Take your ready roll puff and cut it in half. You should have enough mix to make 1 very full bake, or 2 medium sized!
  8. First work out which way you are going to want to roll the pasty, I find it easier to roll away from me, so I take my pastry, and pile the mix up in a long line, on the side furthest away from me, about 1inch away from the far side. You do this so that you can roll the remaining pastry over the top, wet the edges of the pastry so that you can join the line, and gently push the whole bake over a little  so that the joining line is at the bottom of the bake. Dont worry if this isn’t perfect, so long as it is mostly joined the bake shouldn’t split too much!
  9. slice the top of the bake into segments that you will then use to guide you when you plate up later! (I only do 3 even slices, this gives 4 even pieces.)
  10. Put into the oven and bake for 30mins at 180c
  11. Enjoy!! (great with tasty roast potato and gravy the works, can also be pre-heated if you dont eat it all in one sitting.)

Come Veeg with me…

A few years ago when on tour, our show was stationed in the same venue for 2 weeks, giving us the chance to get a flat with a kitchen, although the rest of my cast ate meat, they suggested that for fun we would do our own version of the popular tv show, “Come dine with me” and instead we would call it. “Come Veeg with me” were every night for a week we would take it in turn to cook a 3 course vegan meal. This was the first time that any of the rest of the cast had ever cooked a vegan meal! We had a lot of fun, a lot of bad food, and some very good food, vegan chocolate fondue was particularly good! 

Ever since that week, whenever I have cooked for friends or family the term come Veeg with me has stuck, since for so many it will be the only time they ever knowingly eat fully vegan meals. In this blog I hope to keep track of some of my favorite vegan meals, and because baking is what I do best, my favorite cakes!!