Recipe of the Month – February

Last month I gave you a vegan recipe for Tomato and Bean soup from the Vegan Recipe Club, this month I am sharing a really easy vegan chocolate cake recipe that I found on the Tesco website.  Tesco has some really lovely recipes and the great thing about their website and recipes is that there are handy “shop ingredients” and “add to shopping list” buttons which let you add the items you need to your basket rather than traipsing around the shop looking for what you need.  This function also shows you how much it will cost for you to make the recipe from scratch.

This is one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes and is really versatile in that you can add things like cherries, vegan chocolate chips, vegan fudge pieces to the cake mix before cooking.  I like to use a smaller cake tin and make 2 separate cakes and fill with the icing and a bit of marmalade just to make it a bit different!

Here’s the recipe….

For the cake….

  • 40g (1 1/2oz) cocoa powder
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225g (7 1/2oz) caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 75ml (3fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar

For the icing

  • 30g (1oz) cocoa powder
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 150g (5oz) Pure sunflower butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

This amount of icing will cover the top of the cake but if you want to cover the sides too I tend to triple the amounts used.

Method…

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a 20cm (8in) round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, 230ml (8fl oz) water, vanilla and vinegar, then pour into the flour mixture. Mix together very well until smooth.
  3. Pour into the cake tin and place in the centre of a preheated oven. Bake for about 30 mins until risen and firm to the touch. A skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool in its tin for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire rack.
  4. While the cake is cooking make the icing. Sieve the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add in the dairy-free margarine and vanilla extract and use an electric whisk to combine everything together until smooth and fully incorporated.
  5. It will look very dry, but don’t add any liquid as it will come together after a minute or two of whisking. Refrigerate for 30 mins before using.
  6. When the cake is completely cool, spread the chocolate icing liberally over the top and serve.

You can find this recipe at https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/dairy-and-egg-free-chocolate-cake.html

 

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Recipe of the Month – January

In my opinion there is nothing better, at this time of the year, than settling down with some toast and a lovely, hot bowl of soup while your favorite programme plays on the tv.  Today I am sharing my favorite Vegan Tomato and Bean Soup recipe that is easy to make, nutritious and filling.  The recipe was found on http://www.veganrecipeclub.org.uk and they have some really wonderful recipes on there to cover almost every type of meal imaginable!  It’s such a fab resource of recipes and would be super helpful to any of you attempting Veganuary this year!

Heres the recipe…

 

  • 900g/2lb plum tomatoes (Or you can cheat and use two tins of chopped! If so, start at no. 4) *
  • 30ml/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 275g/10oz onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 900ml/1½ pts/3¾ cups vegetable stock
  • 30ml/2 tbsp sun dried tomato paste (or just blitz about 3-4 whole SDT with water)
  • 10ml/2 tsp paprika
  • 15ml/1 tbsp cornflour or ½ tbsp arrowroot (arrowroot is GF) – mix to a paste with a little cold water
  • 425g/15oz tin cannellini or other small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 30ml/2tbsp chopped fresh basil**
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

* I always use tinned tomatoes just because fresh tomatoes seem to get eaten as soon as they are purchased…

** I don’t always have fresh basil to hand and have used dried basil in its place, but please check the date when you opened the dried herbs as they can lose their potency once opened.

Additional things I sometimes add are oregano, thyme or vegan Worcestershire sauce.

Method…

  1. If using fresh tomatoes you will want to prepare them first.  To prepare them we need to peel them and then chop them.  To peel them it is easiest to place them in a bowl of hot (just boiled) water, then plunge them into cold water after around 10-20 seconds, then peel with a sharp knife.  Then cut into quarters.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan, I use the pan that I am going to make the soup in because I hate washing up!
  3. Add the onions and garlic and lightly fry before adding the tomatoes and the tomato paste into the mix.  I usually add the tomatoes once the onions have softened and become transparent.
  4. Add stock and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  5. Bring the mix to the boil then leave to simmer for 10mins
  6. Add the cornflour (this will thicken the soup slightly)
  7. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the mix, stir through
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning, add basil then serve!

This recipe will serve 2 people easily!