Thursday, 27 May 2010

Ooops.

I haven't forgotten you, dear blog, though it may feel like I have. I am busy writing and re-writing the blah blah part of the book, finishing off the recipe testing process, and ferrying the girls all over the place in preparation for their Highland Dance recital this weekend. I will have photos of them at that, and the cookies I plan to make to take as my contribution to the "tea" after the day.
Here's random photos of deliciousness (from the book mainly) to keep you drooling!
Loaded Banana Bread

Mango and Mint Upside Down Cake

No Bake Apricot Cookies

Rich Brownies

Friday, 21 May 2010

Custard Squares


Custard Squares, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

I cheated a little and used store brought vegan puff pastry, cut into squares and baked as the end pieces of these jiggly delights. You can use homemade pastry if desired, but the result is not quite the same. The custard is super thick (thanks to our friends tofu and agar) and holds in the hand without falling apart.

Custard Squares
Makes 16

One 12 oz packet silken Tofu
2 Cups Icing Sugar
1 Cup Soy Creamer
¼ Cup Custard Powder
1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 ½ teaspoons Agar Powder

1 400gm packet store bought Puff Pastry

Icing to drizzle

Line a 8” square cake tin with parchment paper.
Using a blender or food processor, blend together the tofu, icing sugar, creamer, custard powder, vanilla, and agar until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides as required.
Pour this mix into a medium pan and bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. By the time the mix is to the boil it will be very thick, allow to cook at the boil for one further minute, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat, and continue whisking off the heat for a further minute, then pour custard into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top, and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour, preferably more, until set firm.
Preheat oven to 400°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the pastry to less than ¼” thickness and cut out thirty two 3” squares. Place on baking sheets, and prick with a fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden and puffy. Turn off the oven.
Cool on tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to complete cooling.
Once custard is set and pastry cooled, remove custard from the fridge and slice into 16 equal squares.
Take a pastry square, spread a little icing on the bottom side, and place a square of custard on top. Ice the bottom of another pastry square, and place on the other side of the custard. Place on cooling rack to allow icing to set.
Once set, and before serving, either drizzle tops with a little Drizzle Icing, if you have leftovers, or sprinkle with a little icing sugar.
Store in a covered container in the fridge.

Variation
Cookie Custard Squares
Instead of using pastry for the end pieces of your custard squares, make thin 3” square cookies, and use these to make the squares as directed above.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Alicia C. Simpson

Did you just ask, who?

You may know her from her Vegan Guinea Pig blog, or from being the author of this book.
That would be Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food, available from Amazon here. I "borrowed" their photos so thought they could benefit from the sale if you are so inclined.

I made the Sugar Cookies, page 214 today and wanted to give her a shout out for this quick and easy recipe which kept the kids happy, and encouraged them to polish off a HUGE plate of vegetables first. Yes, I bribed them, shoot me. Here's the photo to show you what you are missing!
I made them with the smaller amount of applesauce specified, and they turned out super chewy and lovely. A little too sweet for my taste, but not for the children. Thumbs up all round from them, though R did ask where the chocolate chips were.
Alicia has another book in the works, which is to hit stores in the Autumn. Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations! Here's the link again.
I get no commission, or incentives, in case you were wondering. Just a PSA for a cookbook author I think is great!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Rocky Road Brownies


Rocky Road Brownies, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Got to love this!
Brownies loaded with peanuts, chocolate chips, dried cherries and mini Sweet and Sara Marshmallows!
Dessert with Vanilla Icecream anyone??

From the test kitchen for "Quick and Easy Vegan BakeSale" due to be published Spring 2011 by The Experiment!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

How and Why.

Every now and then I like to check my stats on the Google Analysis site, just to see where my visitors come from, and why they come here. I don't get any funny searches leading to this blog, probably because I don't post about weird combinations of things. What I do get is searches for food related things. Here are the top 10!

1 Homemade Soy Creamer
2 Vegan Pikelets
3 Vegan Icecream Sandwiches
4 Zucchini Torte
5 Rhubarb Recipe
6 South American Salads
7 Vegan Egg Salad Sandwich
8 Vegan Spinach Muffins
9 Fried Avocado
& Bakewell Muffin

Anyone searched for any of those things to get here??
Now for how everyone gets here. Not counting big search engines, or huge vegan type sites I thought I'd do a shout out to some of the bloggers who have me in their referrals list. The top 10 then.

1 Peace by Pastries
2 RadioActive Vegan
3 Vegan Appetite
4 Cardamom and Cast Iron
5 Vegan a Montreal
6 Heathen and Vegan
7 This is why you're thin
8 Just the Food
9 Back Yard Spot
& The Healthy Vegans

Follow the links to return the love!! Then there are a bunch more, but those were the top 10!

What about on your blog?? how do people get to you, and from which blogs?

Friday, 7 May 2010

A Book to review!

Though this one isn't all that new to me. I made all but 1 recipe available for testing in testing last year (and the one I didn't make was an alcoholic drink and I don't) so I can safely say that this book is a total winner. Which book?? Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan of course!!
Go here to buy a copy!
Now I have the actual book in my hot little hands (thanks for the tester copy, Terry!) I can review more than just 1 recipe at a time!


First Impressions are great. Terry makes a lovely cover model, and the photos in the middle of the book are ever so pretty. I like that there is the red so it looks more interesting, shame the recipes run over pages, but there are loads, and you have to fit them in somehow.


One thing I noticed was that in the text sometimes there are references to recipes that aren't there! I guess they were (and I made them so I know they exist) but got cut at the last hurdle.

The food itself is sublime, and not all spicy if you've got that as a preconcieved idea about Latin Food, so there's no excuse. Here's some links to the photos from testing.

Potato cakes and peanut sauce. Soup and Chiccarones. Assorted yumminess. Tamales. Sancocho. Arroz con gandules. Pupusas and extras. Stuff with Seitan. Salads. More stuff. Tostones and Ceviche. More yummy food. With Quinoa (the tacu tacu is one that didn't make it). Sorbet. Cake. and those are just the ones I took photos of and blogged about!

Now, maybe I could get Terry to review my book when its done???

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

I got my tester copy!!

So watch out for a review of Viva Vegan! coming soon!! I tested LOADS for this book, as you may remember, so it will be a link-o-rama to all those old posts!
Photo borrowed from Amazon. Thanks Amazon.

Monday, 3 May 2010

More from AVK

American Vegan Kitchen, by Tamasin Noyes that is, as seen in my last post!

I made a couple more things from the book over the weekend, and these recipes were super impressive too.

Firstly the Portobello Sticks on page 59. I'm not usually a deep fryer, so we don't have one and had to use a pot, but it worked out great. The mushrooms are moist and tender, and the batter crispy and a little spicy! Nice. The sauce is lovely, and would make a good Coleslaw dressing.
Then later for dinner the Tuna-free Noodle Casserole on page 133. More steps in this one but I did a step while making lunch, then something else, then came back and finished it all off later. I love recipes that you can do that with! Doesn't look the most appealing, but these things often don't!
I halved the salt in the recipe, as we are quite salt sensitive, and I am glad I did as it was still borderline too salty for our tastes. Yummy otherwise!