Recipes


Try this Finnish mustard if you want to add some oomph to the christmas table. It has to be said, it’s quite hot and quite sweet, but if you prefer you can make it milder/less sweet by upping the cream a little. This recipe is easy to make and adapted from “Falling Cloudberries” by lovely Greek-Cypriot-Finnish food fairy Tessa Kiros. Here goes:

20g (2tbsp) Hot English Mustard Powder

50g (1/4cup) Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

125ml (1/2cup) Vegan Pouring Cream

1tbsp Olive Oil

1tbsp Good Vinegar

Juice of half  Lemon

Mix mustard powder, sugar, salt in a bowl, squashing out any lumpy bits with a wooden spoon. Put the mixture in a small saucepan over a low heat with the cream, oil, vinegar, lemon juice and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 7-8 mins, stirring often and then remove from the heat once it darkens and thickens a little bit. Presto!

This keeps in the fridge for a few weeks which means it can be made in advance and leave time for other more important things nearer to Christmas. Have a lovely week!

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Hello hello; it’s Sticky Toffee Apple Bun time! These are really nice and cinnamony, as a bun should be, but with the added lovely gooeyness of cooked apples.

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These buns were inspired by last weekend’s “How to bake” column by Dan Lepard, in the Guardian above (click and zoom for ingredients). We veganised it and made some changes depending on what we happened to have at home at the moment and these were the result:

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We used veg margarine instead of butter and skipped the salt, as the margarine already had salt added to it. We used soy milk instead of cow’s milk. We skipped the yoghurt as we hadn’t any at home and added the same amount of extra milk instead. The egg; we just plain skipped. We used a mix of walnuts, almonds and pistachio nuts instead of just walnuts and that actually worked really well. Last, but not least the recipe called for “dessert apples” but we used Bramley apples (cooking apple) and it worked out deliciously. Although it might have made the final bun a bit less sweet than the original, I say I like a bit of  tart bite in my apple-y bun so I think it was just perfect!

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Instructions:

Put the flour, cinnamon, sugar (+salt, if using) in a bowl and rub in the margarine. Whisk the yeast into the milk then add to the bowl along with the nuts. Mix eavenly, then leave for 30 mins. Knead on a lightly oiled worktop for 10 seconds, cover and leave for an hour.

Cut the apples into 1cm cubes. Heat the caster sugar in a frying pan with a spoonful of water until it turns into a golden caramel, add the apples and another spoonful of water and cook until the caramel becomed a thick syrup. Drain, cool and save the apple syrup for later.

Roll the dough into a 30cm square, spoon the apple mix on the top and roll up tightly. Cut into nine slices and place three by three in a deep, 30cm square tin lined greased foil. Cover, leave to rise by half (1 1/2 hours) and bake at 200C/400F/gas mark 6 for 30 minutes. Spoon the syrup on top and leave in the tin till warm.

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Ah! Really sticky, gooey, lovely, apple-y buns!

Some time back I was revelling in the wonders of brussels sprouts here on the blog and in the heat of the moment I think I might have promised a recipe on these little green delights, so here it is:

Sautéd Brussels Sprouts with almonds, garlic and chilli

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I have left this very open, both on ingredients and on how much of each to use so to make it flexible, quick and super easy!

Note: If you like your stir fries less crunchy, add some water.

Ingredients

use as much as you’ld like of these:

  • brussels sprouts, halved
  • garlic, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • (+ freshly ground black pepper if you don’t use the chilli)
  • (water, optional)

and use one from each group of these:

group 1

  • chilli, chopped
  • red pepper, chopped
  • smoked tofu, cut into thin strips
  • smokey bits

group 2

  • sesame seeds
  • almonds; whole or flaked
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds

Stir fry all the ingredients until desired texture is acquired. If using the water, leave your nuts out until all the water has dissapeared so not to lose their crunch. Then fry until their toasted. Finito.

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Dig In!

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These cookies were made using a mix of recipes from my cookbooks as inspiration and the measurements are very approximate as I did this on a hunch. They are quite thick and quite soft and they have a mild spicy ginger bready
hint to their flavour. You can leave some of the flavourings out, or experiment with swapping them for others.

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 200g margarine
  • 2dl (1cup) sugar
  • 60g marzipan, grated
  • 1 1/2 t bicarbonate of soda
  • a bit of cognac essence (but I’m sure the real thing works as well)
  • couple pinches ground all spice
  • 5dl (2cups) flour
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • the peel from 1 lemon

Melt the margarine until slightly browned. Stir in the sugar, extracts, spices and peel once the margarine has become a bit colder. Fold together the flour, bicarbonate and marzipan and stir this into the margarine mix. Work into a dough. Roll out so it’s 0.5cm/0.2″ thick onto a floured surface and use the cutter of you preferred shape to create your cookies. Shuffle them onto a baking parchment situated on top of a baking sheet and into the oven they go. I baked these on 175˚C/350˚F for 20 min, but it depends on the size of the shapes you’ve used so keep a lookout as you don’t want them to brown (or maybe you do). Leave to cool and harden for a bit.

Icing:

  • 2 1/2 dl (1cup+) confectionary sugar (ground normal sugar)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • the tiniest bit of blue food colouring (to give the icing a hint of ice blue)
  • 40g margarine or shortening
  • blue coloured sugar, sugar mixed with blue food colouring

Mix all ingredients except the last one (blue coloured sugar) in a mixer/grinder until fully incorporated. Spread onto the cold cookies and sprinkle the blue coloured sugar on top. Leave to stiffen for quite a while.

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Bon Appetit!