Saturday, 13 July 2013

Rhubarb Crumble Cake (vegan) from "The Book of Egg Free Cakes"- "From Cookbook" Event

Check out my well-thumbed copy!

Apologies for  the terrible picture, taken several years ago in a half-finished kitchen with a mobile phone. If you look hard, you can just about make out the cake layer, rhubarb layer and crumble/ nuts layer. You can also see how the cake always comes out just as good as the picture in the book!
 One of my favourite cookbooks ever is "The Book of Egg Free Cakes" by Cintia Stammers. When I got it my cake-baking skills were in their infancy to say the least, but by the time I'd worked- and eaten- my way through some of her recipes I'd learnt some important skills, even if my waistline had slightly expanded... Now I am able to devise my own cake recipes based on the baking science I learned from that book, so I am truly indebted to Ms Stammers. Good cakes are a really useful thing to be able to make- there is always an occasion to bake for or a loved one to please, so it makes sense to have a never-fail recipe in your repertoire. The following cake, from said book, is one such recipe. I love the way it manages to both look and taste good without recourse to fancy icing or cream and most of all I love the way it never goes wrong!
This post goes to Gauri's "From Cookbook" event at Runner Girl in the Kitchen , a great concept for sharing  cookbook recipes. I know she originally asked for recipes we have never made before, but I couldn't resist sharing this one-it's so good! Hope you all enjoy this bake...

100g vegan margarine
150g caster sugar
4tsps vanilla sugar/ 1 tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
4 tsps baking powder
200ml soya milk
2 cups (1 cup=250ml) rhubarb, cut into pieces 1.5cm long
50g flour
50g caster sugar
25g vegan margarine
50g chopped almonds

  • Grease and flour a 25cm (10") springform cake tin, and preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add vanilla.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  • Mix in the milk and the margarine mixture gradually.
  • Turn into the prepared tin and cover with the rhubarb pieces.
  • For the topping, mix the flour, sugar and margarine together and crumble it on top of the rhubarb. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before removing it from the tin.
The Yogi Vegetarian Notes:
  1. Make the crumble topping and chop the almonds before you make the cake batter. That way you can get the cake together and in the oven faster for a perfect rise.
  2. We always use unrefined demerara sugar instead of caster sugar, as cane sugars are usually refined using a bone charcoal filtration system (Yuck! Not even vegetarian, let alone vegan!)
  3. We use wholemeal flour for the crumble topping, and often for the rest of the cake. 
  4. You can use apple instead of rhubarb if you prefer, and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Indonesian Coconut Sauce- vegan, can be gluten free

Shown here with roasted courgettes, but good with any veggies especially mangetout and French beans...
 This has to be the simplest-ever sauce to make; there is absolutely nothing that can go wrong- no risk of lumps, burning etc. We have used it in stir-fries, with soba noodles, on steamed or roasted veggies, with tofu and cashews:  it's lovely with all these, and there are probably even more possibilities. (If you think of anything else, let us know.)

To make about 500ml:
1  can (400ml) coconut milk- the less added ingrdients, the better
2 tabs good-quality dark soy or tamari (gluten free soy) sauce
1/2-1 tab Malaysian curry powder (we found ours in a Chinese grocery) or Madras- mild, hot or medium- if you can't find that. How hot you make it is up to you; we prefer it milder to let the flavour of the soy sauce through.

  • Whisk it all together in a bowl or pan.
  • Serve cold or heat very gently.
  • It's especially good with steamed mangetout (sugar snap) or French beans.
The sauce is creamy but not too thick.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Mediterranean Tomato Dressing- vegan

How much nicer this dressing will be when we can make it with our homegrown tomatoes...
We were having veggieburgers, salad and baked potatoes for dinner and I wanted to make a different salad dressing that was also tasty enough to double as a relish/ sauce for the burgers. This proved to be a big hit with everyone and transforms your lettuce leaves into something far more appetising...
I made about 2/3 of a jam-jar; sorry there are no quantities; it really was an experiment this time, so maybe when I make it again I'll get it written down! For now, here' what I used:
Equal parts extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice
Passata (sadly not homegrown and made this time)
1-2 tabs yeast flakes (called nutritional yeast if you are in the States)
Seasalt to taste
Agave nectar to taste
Hing/ dried mixed herbs/ coarse black pepper to taste
  • Start with the oil, lemon juice and passata.
  • Then shake everything together in a jar - don't forget to put the lid on tightly :)
  • Store in the fridge.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Brownie in a Cup- vegan

This makes enough to share with a friend...
 Now the post-exam Summer holidays are here for our teenagers their days seem to be filled with sleepovers, snack-making and long evenings on Fb or Twitter. Last week my daughter decided to make something she'd seen online, so this recipe came into the house. I loved the sound of it; a "cup cake" including the cup! And it's such a quick and easy sweet treat/ snack to put together-  use a spoon to measure ingredients straight into a mug then pop into the microwave for a minute or so and you're done! But I did think the original one was a little too sweet, and I saw at once that here is an opportunity to add some healthier ingredients so it is not completely junk food: so our version uses coconut oil instead of refined vegetable oil,  less sugar and wholemeal flour.

Really fudge-y when eaten hot!
For one cup or mug:
2 level tabs wholemeal flour (next time I will sift the larger pieces of bran out or use half white, half wholemeal)
1 1/2 level tabs unrefined brown sugar
1 level tab cocoa powder
1 tab liquefied coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tabs warm water/ plant milk of your choice
  • Simply add the ingredients to a mug or cup in the order given above and stir well to mix.
  • Pop into the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on full power and you're done!
  • Decorate with nuts/ sprinkles/ chocolate shavings if you like.
  • For an even more fudge-y texture add some small pieces of dark chocolate to the mixture. If you want a more cake-y experience, add 1/2 tsp baking powder.