Vegan by Nature

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Archive for Vegan

Daring Bakers: Steamed Pudding!!

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

For my vegan, wheat free version of this pudding I took this recipe and made a few alterations.I omitted the hazelnuts, dates and date syrup. Instead I popped in some agave, fresh raspberries, spelt flour and cranberry jam in the centre.

The steaming contraption:

My puddings took slightly longer to cook than the recipe suggests but I think this is simple characteristic of my oven. That aside, it produced a lovely, fluffy pudding with just the right amount of cocoa to compliment the sharp raspberries. Do give it a go!


Daring Bakers: Tiramisu

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

Well this one was going to be a challenge indeed. To make a tiramisu which depends so much on eggs into something Vegan and Gluten Free. But deterred, is not me!

As usual I kind of did some research then did my own thing.

A couple of days in advance –

For the Marscapone:

1 block of homemade tofu (featured in an earlier post except not pressed; just drain away the liquid)

OR 1 block of silken tofu

2 Tbs lemon juice

pinch salt

1. Mix all together in a food processor and leave to one side.

Pastry Cream:

1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup beet or other vegan sugar
2 cup soymilk
1 vanilla bean, scraped
pinch of salt

1. Mix together the corn starch with 1/2 soymilk until well combined

2. In a saucepan mix together the other ingredients, bring to the boil on a medium heat then reduce to a simmer.

3. Slowly pour in the corn starch mix whisking constantly to prevent the mixture going lumpy. This will thicken very quickly.

4. Leave on heat until resembles the consistency of a thick custard.

5. Set aside to cool.

For the cream layer of the tiramisu:

1. Combine the marscapone, pastry cream and some chocolate liqueur (traditionally you use marsala wine but I didn’t have any so Tia Maria was a good substitute)

2. Leave in the fridge, at least over night.

For the ladyfingers:

I found mine were quite cakey and less crispy but tasty and they were sufficient for this recipe since they get soaked later on anyway.

1 Cup gluten free flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Pinch Salt
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
1/4 water
1 Tbs Lemon Juice and Zest from the lemon
3 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to Gas 6. Line a square baking dish with greased parchment paper.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the remaining ingredients in another.
3. Mix the two together, mix should be a pourable cake batter but not as thin as crepe batter.
4. Bake for approx. 10-12 mins until just golden.
5. Leave to cool in the dish for 5 mins then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
6. Once cooled cut to desired shape.

On the day of assemblage:

Coffee mix:

1/2 cup brewed espresso
1/4 cup of sugar (or to suit your tastes)
3 Tbsp Tia Mia (or other liqueur)

To assemble:

Soak each of your ladyfingers in the coffee mix for a few mins each.
Layer these in alternate stratas in your desired serving dish with the pastry cream/marscapone mix.
Leave in the fridge overnight to get the best out of it.
(I know the waiting times are insane!)

Before serving sprinkle with cocoa powder and dig in, serve chilled!


Spelt Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels

I used a recipe from Fernley-Whitingstall’s River Cottage Bread Handbook and substitued the bread flour with spelt. I also used the overnight rise method. First time success 🙂

The key is to poach them in some molasses water first and then bake them. Really beautiful.

Hello Sunday 🙂

Daring Baker’s October French Macaroons!

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

To make the Vegan version of this, I used ener-g egg replacer instead of eggs, ground almonds instead of almond flour, and used my home made powdered sugar which uses fructose. I also reduced the recipe to yield a smaller batch.

Mine were Vanilla flavoured with a choco-currant filling.

For the filling:

cocoa powder
soya yoghurt
blackcurrant jam
(this bit was less measured I’m afraid)

Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.

Yield: 10 dozen.





Caramel Experimentation

I have been meaning to try this caramel recipe for some time and eventually got round to playing with it. The results were pretty good!

The macaroon is made from potato, icing sugar and coconut topped with chocolate and coconut.

Dried apricots produce a lovely sticky consistency when soaked and blended in a processor.

Add in 1/4 cup of margarine, I like to use the vegan kind and a touch of barley malt syrup is also a nice addition.

Continue processing and as the mixture is spinning, slowly pour in some milk of your choice, I like soya, just enough to make it smooth.

Suit yourself on that one.

Once made it is lovely spread on anything: biscuits; toast, baked apples… me I made caramel shortcake.

Furthermore, if you have time heat the caramel in a pan over a low heat, continually stirring to prevent burning. This will make it sweeter and stickier. Plus sweet things warmed up on rainy mornings like today are always welcomed.


Un-cheese cake! Blackcurrant and cherry.

This is a big achievement for me and I finally feel like I have perfected the recipe without the use of fake cream cheese. Hooray!


Here goes:

1 avocado

1 packet of silken tofu approx 300g (I used homemade from 2litres of soy milk)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp barley malt syrup (could sub with maple or rice syrup here but if using maple increase arrowroot quantity)

juice of 1 lime

fresh vanilla or 2 tsp good vanilla extract

4 tbsps fructose (it is 3 times sweeter than ordinary sugar so adjust accordingly)

2 tbsps arrowroot

For the base:

I made a random graham cracker recipe with a basic biscuit recipe subbing some gram flour and wholemeal spelt for the ordinary flour. This one’s good

1/3 cup melted dairy free margarine

1/3 cup fructose

1 tbsp barley malt syrup

1. Once baked and cooled whizz the biscuits in a processor until it resembles sand.

2. Slowly pour in 1/3 melted dairy free marg followed by the fructose and then stop the processor. Add in the syrup, then back on until combined.

3. Press into a springform cake tin and refridgerate while making the filling.

4. Whizz all the ingredients together in a processor until thick creamy consistency. Pour on top of the base and cover with topping of your choice. I like blackcurrants and cherries myself.

5. Refridgerate overnight minimum, but if you can wait longer it’s soo worth it.


Sunday Sticky Apple and Spelt Cinnamon Buns

I was originally quite dubious about making these since I normally have bad experiences with yeast breads, but seriously these work a treat. They are also free from refined sugar, wheat and low in fat but super sweet! I used fructose and other various substitutions in my recipe but feel free to replace these with a sweetener of your choice.


(Makes approximately 6 rolls)

For the dough:

1 Tbsp dried yeast

1/2 tsp fructose

1/8 cup warm water

Mix these together in a bowl and allow to sit until nice and frothy, about 10 mins

1/4 cup dairy free milk

1 Tbsp fructose

3 Tbsp applesauce

Mix these into the yeast mix until well combined.

1 1/3 cups wholemeal spelt flour

3/4 tsp salt

Gradually mix in the flour and the salt until combined.

2 Tbsp dairy free margarine

2 Tbsp applesauce

Finally add the marg and the applesauce into the mix, ensuring the marg is all mixed in.

Dough will be pretty sticky. Turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead in more flour (about 1/2 cup) for about 8-10 mins. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dish cloth. Set aside to rise in a warm place for around 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.

For the Filling:

1/4 cup fructose

1 Tbsp Barley Malt (or 1/4 brown sugar)

1/2 cup your favourite nuts, I used pecans and almonds

1/2 cup raisins

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cloves

1 Tbsp Barley malt syrup + 2 Tbsp water or 1 Tbsp maple syrup

4 Tbsp melted dairy free margarine

1/2 tsp fresh vanilla bean

While the dough is rising make the filling. Mix all the ingredients above and set aside. Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a well floured surface, it will still be sticky so feel free to use flour as needed. Knead for about 4 mins. Cover with a cloth and allow to rest before rolling out.

Flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 30cm x 15, not too thin or the filling will escape!

1/2 cup chopped apples

Spread the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. Spread the chopped apples evenly over the filling and press gently into the dough.

It gets a bit messy here. Carefully fold over one of the 15cm edges and begin rolling the dough into a sausage.

Using a sharp knife cut into 6 equal sections and arrange onto a greased pan, all snug together. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest either in a warm place for arounf 2 hours/doubled in size or in the fridge overnight. I rest mine overnight. If doing this be sure to leave the buns out of the fridge for around 20 mins before baking.

Pre-heat to gas mark 5/375 f/200 c. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.