Vegan Double Chocolate Cake

In honour of National Chocolate Day this week, I shared a pic on Instagram of a dairy & egg free chocolate cake I made recently. I had a few requests for the recipe, so here it is folks, enjoy!

Cake Ingredients

  • 340g self raising flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 400ml soya, almond or rice milk
  • 160ml light rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients

  • 75g dairy-free margarine
  • 75g vegetable fat (shortening)
  • 650g icing sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • Around 80-100ml soya, almond or rice milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Cake Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C (350’F / gas mark 4) and grease 2 round 20cm cake tins.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the cocoa powder, caster sugar and baking powder.
  3. Add the milk, oil and vanilla, stirring until just combined. Don’t overmix or you’ll knock any air out and your cake won’t rise properly. To stop the rising agents working too quickly, tap the bowl on your kitchen counter and you should see little bubbles popping.
  4. Spoon half of the mixture into each cake tin and tap the tins a final time on the work surface.
  5. Put in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes. You’ll know the cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in to the middle of the cakes, comes out clean. They should feel springy to the touch.
  6. Leave the cakes in the tins to cool for about 15-20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack until completely cooled.

Buttercream Method

  1. Use an electric or handheld mixer to whip together the margarine, vegetable fat and vanilla, until creamy in texture.
  2. Add half the icing sugar, all the cocoa powder and milk, and continue to mix. Start slowly, then bring up the speed until combined.
  3. Add the rest of the icing sugar and mix for about 1 minute until you have a smooth consistency.
  4. If your icing is too firm, add a bit more milk; too thin, add a bit more icing sugar.

Finishing Touches

  1. Spread the bottom layer of your cake with a nice thick helping of buttercream.
  2. Place the second layer on top and smother with more buttercream, covering the sides too.
  3. At this point you can either leave with this simple finish, or perhaps decorate with iced buttercream flowers on top, or even vegan biscuits or chocolate pieces.


Depending on who I’m making this cake for, and whether I want to at least try making it a bit healthier (or just slightly less naughty), you can swap out the caster sugar  for coconut sugar, the self raising flour for a gluten-free self raising blend flour, and the cocoa powder for unsweetened cacao powder.


This is a rich and decadent cake, so I’ve also experimented with different buttercream flavours. If the double chocolate is a bit much for you, try using a simple vanilla buttercream instead – just increase the icing sugar quantity to 750g, remove the cocoa powder completely, whilst reducing the milk quantity to just 40-60ml.


Have a go and let me know how you get on!

Adapted from a Turkish Delight Cake recipe by Ms. Cupcake.

Vegan Spicy Satay Tofu + Grilled Pineapple Stir Fry 

The other night I was putting my food together for the following day at work. Breakfast of overnight oats with peanut butter and a side of pineapple… Mmmm peanut butter and pineapple, now that looked like a delicious combination, why haven’t I thought of this before?

don’t you just love pineapples?

So I decided to use these 2 ingredients to make Spicy Satay Tofu + Grilled Pineapple Stir Fry for dinner. This recipe will feed 2, or in my case 1 dinner, with leftovers for lunch at work tomorrow.

What you’ll need :

For the satay tofu:

  • A block of firm tofu – I used Cauldron’s Original Tofu – cut in to 6 – 8 equal sized pieces
  • 200ml vegan vegetable stock – Bouillon or Kallo are good
  • 2tbs 100% peanut butter – I like Meridian‘s, currently buy 1 get 1 half price in Holland & Barrett
  • 1tbs low sodium soy sauce, or tamari for gluten free
  • 1tsp coconut oil for frying
  • 1tbs sesame seeds
  • Fresh red chilli slices to garnish

Use a 2 serving mixture of your fave veggies for the stir fry. I used:

  • Broccoli
  • Red onion
  • Sugarsnap peas
  • Flower sprouts – these are new to me but are a type of Brussels sprout with a more subtle flavour, with double the amount of vitamin B6 and vitamin C than standard Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Bamboo shoots

All lightly fried so still crisp, in a little coconut oil with plenty of fresh red chilli, garlic and ginger.

For the noodles:

  • 1/2 courgette spiralized in to courgetti
  • 1 packet Bare Naked Foods Noodles – have you seen/used these noodles before? I don’t often eat noodles unless they’re made from veggies, but these are a no brainer : gluten, fat & sugar free, low in calories & carbs, veggie & vegan friendly, no added preservatives or colours, high in fibre, I’d recommend
  • 1tsp sesame oil for flavour

+ 4 slices of pineapple 

And here’s what you do :

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add tofu slices and fry until crisp on one side. Turn over – at this point I like to add a little extra soy sauce, but that’s purely my preference, not a necessity – and continue to fry on the second side.
  2. In the meantime make up your peanut satay sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Once second side of tofu is nice and crisp, add your spicy peanut satay sauce to the pan and simmer. This will allow the tofu to absorb some of the satay flavours and for the sauce to reduce.
  3. Whilst your satay tofu is simmering, heat a little more coconut oil in a wok and stir fry all your veggies. I like my stir fries crunchy so I only cook my veg for a few minutes, until they’ve ever so slightly softened up. Once cooked to your liking, turn off the heat from under your wok, it’s residual heat will keep your stir fry hot.
  4. Now throw you zoodles + choice of noodles in another pan and warm through. This will only take about 3-4 minutes. Once done add the sesame oil.
  5. Finally, griddle your pineapple slices on each side. I use a griddle pan for this, but you can use a frying pan, grill, or even BBQ, it’s up to you. I particularly like the striped effect you get when you griddle or BBQ.
  6. The only thing left to do is sprinkle sesame seeds on your tofu, then plate up and serve. I like to use the zoodle/noodle combo as a base, with veggie stir fry on next, followed by pineapple and lastly the tofu on top, garnished with freshly sliced red chilli.

 

spicy satay tofu with griddled pineapple, veggie stir fry + zoodle noodles
 

Veganuary Vegan for 1 Week – Day 4 Alice’s Quinoa Green Salad

We’ve made it to day 4 of our vegan for 1 week of Veganuary challenge!

Thursday’s lunch was very kindly supplied by Alice in the form of a deliciously nutritious protein packed & healthy fat filled quinoa salad.

IMG_2070 I 💚 green foods

Here’s Alice’s recipe :

Quinoa Salad – serves 4

You will need:

🌿300g Quinoa
🌿1 red chilli
🌿100g baby spinach
🌿4 spring onions
🌿1 bunch fresh coriander
🌿1 bunch fresh mint
🌿1 large ripe mango
🌿2 limes
🌿2 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil
🌿1 ripe avocado
🌿1 punnet of cress

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IMG_2213natural fresh ingredients

Method:

🌿Rinse thoroughly + then boil the Quinoa, bring to boil + then cover and simmer for 15-18 mins (200ml boiling water per 40g quinoa).
🌿Put the red chilli, baby spinach, spring onions, coriander (keep a few leaves aside for decoration) and leaves of the mint into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
🌿Peel and cut the mango into cubes.
🌿Chop up the avocado into similar size chunks.
🌿Drain and rinse the cooked quinoa under a cold tap and drain again.
🌿Place the quinoa on a large serving platter then mix through the blitzed spinach mixture.
🌿Squeeze over the juice of the two limes and drizzle over the 2 tsbp of oil and mix again.
🌿Top with the cubed mango, avocado + coriander leaves.

🌿Et voila!

And finally :

“Thought I’d give you a bit of feedback from my experience as a vegan!!

Thoroughly enjoyed trying something new – especially as a group as it made it much more fun, and good to have others for support! Also, definitely makes you really think about what you’re eating, and notice how much rubbish is added to something that should be so simple… sugar in crisps… Beeswax in Veggie Percy Pigs… who’d have thought it?

As a Dairy Farmer’s daughter, I thought I’d find it a struggle, however it really wasn’t (mentally, at least). Physically, I’m not sure it agreed with me, although I put that down to a change in diet, rather than the diet itself. Sunday through to Wednesday I felt quite bloated with a slightly dodge tummy (too much information?!), but then by Thursday it had all settled down again!

Personal favourites from the week were Kelly’s Vegan Vietnamese (who knew Tofu could be so tasty) and Carly’s scrummy Coconut Flapjack cookies – delicious!

And, I cooked my first ever Nut Roast, and my boyfriend actually enjoyed it!!

Xx”

So that just leave me & my vegan Vietnamese Tofu Bun Cha recipe to come tomorrow.

Veganuary Vegan for 1 Week – Day 2 Lynne’s Chickpea Stew

Next up on the vegan lunch menu was Lynne’s chickpea stew with salad and (the famous and very popular) homemade sun dried tomato bread – seen here smothered in Pure Soya spread.

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Here’s how Lynne created this hearty & warming stew:

Chickpea Stew

🌿 Crush 8 cardamom pods, 2 teaspoons of cumin and coriander seeds together and fry gently in 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
🌿 Add 2 medium chopped onions, 1 chopped leek and 4 chopped garlic cloves and gently fry until soft
🌿 Add 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, 2 cans of chick peas and ½ litre of veg stock and simmer for around half hour
🌿 Add a good handful of chopped coriander and season to taste.

🌿 This served 7 people!

Everyone really enjoyed Lynne’s stew, commenting on how tasty it was and how nourishing and filling chickpeas are. Faye has even said she’ll definitely be adding them to her shopping list in the future.

Lynne had also put a lot of thought into her dish and brought in spare Tupperware for us to dish up our own lunch portions. She even made us a special vegan salad dressing!

Personally I think this is a great stew and you can really play around with the main ingredients adding or substituting what ever you fancy or have in your fridge:

🌿 Beans
🌿 Sweet potato
🌿 Butternut squash
🌿 Tofu
🌿 Pasta

You get the idea…

Be sure to check back soon for details on how Lynne found the experience, including a confession at the end of the week that she’d been drinking wine not knowing if it was vegan or not – Lynne!!!

NEW : As promised, here’s how Lynne got on last week:

“I didn’t find it too hard going as I already have a lot of fruit , veg , grains and pulses in my diet.
It was really nice to have different people bring in a new dish each day so that we all tried something we hadn’t before.
Tofu was one of my surprise likes of the week. I’d tried it once before but found it really bland but Kelly put a very tasty spin on it so my view has now changed and I might be tempted to try again.
Milk alternatives were my other big win of the week and I’m now a convert to Coconut and Almond milk. Hot chocolate made with coconut is amazing!
I’m not a convert but I did enjoy giving it a try.”

Still to come : the bread & dressing recipes.

Tomorrow, Marissa’s sweet potato chilli, with tortilla chips & homemade guacamole!