Vegan by Nature

inherent recipes from a passionate cook

Archive for August, 2009

Monome Birthday Cake (Vanilla with Sour Cherry Buttercream/Frosting)

For my brother’s 23rd I decided to make a cake in the shape of a lovely device known as a monome. It is used in music making and more information about this can be found at his site

I can however bring you the other lovely details about how I made this cake:


Sponge recipe
2 cups flour (I used a gluten free mix if using ordinary flour add an extra 3/4 cup)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsps xanthan gum (if using gluten free)

1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer

2 Tbsp water

1 3/4 cups Non-dairy milk Milk

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup non-dairy margarine

1 cup fructose ( or 1 1/2 cups sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract + seeds of one vanilla pod

3/4 tsp almond extract

1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 375F/Gas 5

Grease two 8″ cake tins

Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the ener-G with 2 Tbsp water with a small whisk or a fork. Mix for 30 seconds to a minute, until smooth and creamy. Mix the ener-G mixture with almond milk and 1/4 cup water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. I like to use electric beaters for maximum air incorporation. Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and 1/4 cup water, beat until smooth and combined.

Add the flour and the almond milk to the margarine. Be sure to combine well if using gluten-free flour but with regular flour do not over mix as the cake may come out more chewy (unpleasant?!) In both cases fold the mixes together instead of beating them to ensure the cake stays light.

Pour 1/2 the mixture into each cake pan. Bake until the centers spring back noting that it may not brown much on top. Remove from oven and cool for about 2 minutes. Invert cake onto a rack. Cool completely before frosting, about 1 1/2 hours.

Sour Cherry Frosting

3 tbs non-dairy margarine

9 tbs soy protein isolate powder (found in most health food shops)

1/2 cup cherry jam

2 tbs lime juice

1 cup fructose (or 1 1/2 cups sugar)

Beat the margarine until it turns white and fluffy (electric beaters work best)

In small batches, beat in the soy powder until combined (your mix may be quite dry)

Add to this the jam and lime juice, beating some more.

Then add in your choice of sweetener.

Beat for around five minutes until well combined. If the mix is still quite dry add in some more jam (Jams will vary in water and fruit content) until it resembles a stiff but spreadable mix.


August Daring Bakers! Chocolate, mmm

The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful
of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos
Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite
Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

My torte is both vegan and gluten free. It is chocolate and lime flavour. I served it up with lime nougat and vegan raspberry ice cream. I used Karina’s recipe for the sponge from her blog as the gluten free goddess and used substitutions for the original recipe elsewhere. Enjoy!

Making home made tofu

In my area it has become increasingly difficult to purchase silken tofu and I was getting very aware of not having had “cheese”cake in quite some time. My only options were to pay a fortune in the city or, of course, make my own.

So I began researching the process involved in making tofu and found further obstacles. Most recipes called for a product called ‘nigari’ (a natural coagulant) which I could only find online. Others used epsom salts which I found in my local pharmacy but after some research discovered that too much magnesium (the epsom salts) could be harmful to your health. Not keen to take that risk I opted for the less popular use of lemon juice which ‘tends to produce a more sour taste’. This time I only made a small batch due to the uncertainty of my results. But it came out so good I will definitely be making more, and my nigari is in the post.

Here’s a rough recipe with instructions below:

Scald 400ml soya milk
simmer for 5 mins
turn off the heat
add 150ml lemon juice
allow to sit for 15 mins
pour into cloth covered/pierced box
put weight on top
leave to drain for a while.


This produces a silken type tofu and is ideal for cheesecake or other cheeses.

Craftster Edible Challenge

I decided to go savoury on this one. I am very used to making things from cakes and really wanted something to challenge this routine. The bread is made from a hand made loaf that I made earlier in the week. The rest are vegetables. The cross stitch is really threaded through some holes. I ate all this at the end. It was a very edible sewing box!