Friday, January 27, 2017

Orange Madeira cake....

Because sometimes you simply just need a slice of cake...
In my experience on those kind of days Madeira type of cake is the best - quick and easy to make and so many flavour possibilities. Yes, you can keep it nice and simple by just adding few drops of vanilla essence, but why, why when it can be so much more by just adding a tablespoon, or tow, of your favourite marmalade ;) In my case - it's orange. I carried the flavour not only within the cake itself, but also in the icing - which I like only as a thin layer of it, on the top, just enough.


The cake will keep well, covered in a cling film for 3-4 days, though it didn't have a chance to last that long at my house... If you fancy it and you'll bake a vanilla/plain version, you can pour some rum or brandy (mixed with a bit of warm water) over it, when it's still warm and still in the baking tin.

How to make it...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Vegan chocolate fudge cake...

It's quite tricky to make a chocolate cake without eggs, a chocolate birthday cake which was a request from my 5 year old, who happens to have an egg intolerance. It's no an impossible task, but I really wanted to make something without bananas, as that's the most common and easiest egg substitute.
After doing some research I settled for this chocolate fudge cake. I was slightly apprehensive at the start, but once I tried the cake mixture (yes, I ALWAYS try the raw cake mixture, but be honest here - who doesn't?! ;) ) I liked the taste - not too sweet but definitely very chocolaty! The smell when the cake was in the oven was absolutely fantastic, it smelled like a rich, hot chocolate drink, that was definitely a good sign.


This cake is best served with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (unfortunatelly I wasn't able to do the icing suggested in the recipe). It has quite a dense and slightly sticky texture, just like fudge, which I'm personally a huge fan of! My Husband wasn't entirely convinced by it, but both girls loved it, and that was the main thing :)


The recipe was taken from a "Mayim's vegan table" by Mayim Bialik. It's an interesting cookbook and perfect for someone who's a novice in the vegan world. The original recipe calls for a vegan icing, made from tofu, as I can't seem to be able to tofu anywhere near me in the shops, I had to omit that step.

How to make it...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Vegan banana pancakes...

NO, I have not turned Vegan, or even Vegetarian over the New Year's resolutions, but if you're reading my blog for a while you probably know that my younger daughter has an egg intolerance... Thankfully it's not a severe case and she can get away with an occasional slice of cake etc. but things like pasta, Belgian waffles, pancakes etc. have to be egg free - otherwise there is a severe case of scratching the following night...
It's easy to buy dry, egg-free pasta, but pancakes are more tricky, and boy they both do love their pancakes! After some research online I wasn't happy with any pancakes that I've made, without using the eggs. But thankfully there was one, I just had to discover it.


I'm following Mayim Bialik on Instagram (who you may know from The Big Bang Theory) and I was tempted to get her cookbook "Mayim's vegan table", when she got it out. It didn't disappoint. I was a complete newbie when it came to vegan, plant based eating, so I found the book really helpfull in terms of explaining what vegan food is all about and how to get around baking/cooking without the eggs in your diet. It's in that book that I found the recipe for egg-free pancakes, that actually worked and girls really liked them!


I've adapted the recipe ever so slightly, to suit my girls' taste buds, but they're really very small changes (for ex. in Mayim's recipe there's no sugar at all). It can be challenging at times to eliminate from your diet things that you took for granted, that are called for in so many everyday dishes, bakes... But it IS doable!

How to make it...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Apple and banana "not so naughty" crumble...

Crumbles are THE desserts designed for winter time. Soft, sweet fruit,covered with crumbly and crunchy layer, all served steaming hot with a side of cream.... What's not to like on a wintry cold day?! There's not a lot of fruit that are in season during winter, but those that are, like apples work perfectly in a crumble! I like to have more than a one fruit when making a crumble - it makes it that bit more interesting, and each time introduces us to different taste and flavour combos.


Why this crumble is a "not so naughty" on? As I believe it's healthier than others!
Well, it has way less sugar than I would add normally, you also have an addition of sultanas, oats, almonds and coconut and... if you choose to swap the butter for coconut oil, not only you'll get a fantastic, tropical kind of taste, but the dessert will be completely vegan. It feels mush "lighter" when you eat it - not as "stodgy" and filling as crumble can be sometimes. I usually have my crumble with a bit of double cream in it, but you can easily do without - as it is delicious and full of flavour!



How to make it...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to make liver "cheats" pâté/parfait...

There's nothing better than a homemade parfait, but we rarely have time to make it. I was never really a fan of a store bought version, unless it's from a really good deli, it's really hard to find a quality one. If you love liver parfait you'll be happy to know that you can make it in less than 15 minutes, then it just a bit of waiting time for it to cool and set in the fridge - that's the "cheating" part here ;) Yes, it's really that quick and really quite easy to make. I believe that when making a pâté you should really buy the liver from a local butcher, please don't but it from a supermarket. For such a small amount needed and when there's barely few ingredients involved, you want the best you can get!

liver pâté

You can use any liver, being it chicken, duck or my personal favourite - lamb. Lamb might not be to your personal taste though, as it's quite fragrant and strong. If you normally don't eat/like lamb meat, don't make the lamb parfait, as the taste is even stronger.

liver parfait

A little jar of homemade pâté makes a great gift, just make sure that the person you want to give it to eats liver and parfait, as it's not everyone's idea of a great accompaniment to a melba toast ;)

How to make it...

Monday, January 02, 2017

New Year, new resolutions, blah, blah, blah...

Yes, we've ALL been there - New Year comes and we promise ourselves (and sometimes others) that we will stop doing this and start doing that. How many times you've made that list, and actually stuck to it?!?! Yup, probably as often as me every year - it gets forgotten somewhere around mid February...


This year I pledge to eat more plant based food and less meat. No, I'm not turning into a vegan, or even a vegetarian, I just want to be more conscious as to what ends up on my plate, and I also want to do that "good thing" for my planet and those who inhabit it. But the biggest reason behind such move are my girls, one just turned 5 and the other will be 7 in June. I believe that THIS IS the right time to show them, teach them and "plant that seed for the future", when it comes to eating habits and somewhat concern about our environment and the world we're living in.
There's also the case of hen egg intolerance in my younger girl... So baking and cooking can be sometimes a little challenge.