Friday, December 19, 2008


Here's my December cake. Well, one of them. There may be one more before the month is out. I'm gone cake mad!


225gr of self raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1tsp NoEgg mixed with 2tblsps water (or 1 beaten egg for non vegans)
1½ tablespoons of treacle
200mls of soya milk
100gr of light brown sugar
225gr of raisins
100gr walnuts
30gr flaked almonds

o Preheat the oven to 160˚C
o Grease a 2lb loaf tin
o Sieve the flour and spice, mix in sugar, dried fruits and walnuts
o Heat the soya milk and the treacle gently until they are thoroughly combined, but be careful not to over heat.
o Mix the NoEgg mix into the treacle and milk. Then mix this mixture into the dry ingredients
o Put the mixture into the loaf tin. Gently shake to flatten the top
o Sprinkle with the flaked almonds
o Bake for an hour and ten minutes in the top of the oven.
o Test with a skewer to see if it is baked through

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We have eaten all of our vegan Xmas cake, bar one tiny smidgin. Sigh. Only two other people - our friends John and Malcolm - got to taste it. It really was delicious: crumbly, moist, full of taste. I think the combination of dates and brandy are what made it so, so good.

So now I think I need another cake; a December cake, if you will. And I need to decide what that will be. Stay tuned!

Last night we went to a Vegetarian Christmas Cookery Demonstration, run by Ann Mills, in the An Gáirdín Organic Centre in Portumna, 20 miles away. Everything was fresh, organic, seasonal and local, where possible. None of the food was vegan, but all the recipes were adaptable. Most of the produce was grown on site.

We were welcomed with a hot blackcurrant drink. They then made carrot and coriander soup to start; leek and tomato croustade for the main, with parsnips, brussels sprouts and roast potatoes; and an apple and yogurt trifle for dessert. All of it was delicious. Mr Vegan could taste very little but enjoyed what he did sample. After the demo, they served us a 3 course meal. I thought we'd get a little taster but it was bountiful. It was a lovely evening in good company, and considering the dinner I ate, good value at €35 each.

An Gáirdín run other courses throughout the year and their site is here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Here's a seasonal take on my regular spelt muffins. Oranges are so Christmassy, are they not? They just smell like Christmas to me.

Makes 12 small, figgy-orange muffins.

Preheat oven to 180˚C

125 gr of halved or quartered ready-to-eat figs
rind and juice of 1 large orange
250 gr (9oz) wholegrain spelt flour
25gr (1oz) light muscovado sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
100ml soya milk
1 tsp NoEgg mixed with 2tblsps water (non vegans can use one beaten egg)
2 tblsps vegetable oil
12 muffin or bun cases

• Put muffin cases into bun tray
• Zest the orange, then half it and squeeze it
• Cut up the figs into halves or quarters (depends how big they are) and remove any stalks
• Soak the figs in the orange juice and rind
• Mix the flour, spice, sugar and baking powder in a bowl
• Make up the NoEgg as per pack (or beat your egg)
• In a jug, mix together the soya milk, oil and NoEgg mixture
• Make a well in the flour and beat in the milky mixture
• Mix in the fig and orange mixture until combined
• Divide the mixture between the muffin cases
• Bake for 30 minutes