Sunday, 28 August 2011

Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes





I decided to try and make a cupcake version of the Lemon Drizzle cake I make regularly. The recipe is exactly the same, although I halved it to make enough mixture for 12 cupcakes.
I made up the cake with lemon syrup drizzled on top, then decorated with buttercream lemon frosting.

Twinwood Festival 2011

So, being the fabulous boyfriend @mrflibbletweets is he got us day tickets for the Saturday of Twinwood. Having attended similar (but smaller) events over the last few years I was really excited about it.
We were both totally unprepared - no chairs, food, umbrellas and in my case no shoes!



After arriving with our Sainsbury's picnic and our blanket we settled down to watch the John Miller Orchestra and have some lunch.



I think we did pretty well considering the rush and had an old favourite - hummus and falafel sandwiches with salad. There were many food options there for the omnivores, but not even a single vegetarian food van in sight. I'm not sure I would have risked it even if there had been one although at Isle of Wight Festival 2009 there were loads of really good vegan options all over the place. I've always found festivals a bit hit and miss in that way - during the years I went to Reading I found the choices limiting (2003-2005).



The weather wasn't great and @mrflibbletweets braved the weather and found us umbrellas. I managed to get soaked - and sunburnt! There were loads of traders there - Vivien of Holloway and Heyday being my favourites.



Over our dinner we caught The Hep Chaps and Si Cranstoun while trying to keep dry. We rounded off the evening in the Casablanca Club to watch Maddie Brown before braving the mud and heading home.



Monday, 22 August 2011

Churros

It seems lately after taking in a Lemon Drizzle cake to work I keep getting requests for more goodies. I wanted something relatively quick to make, but something they may not have tried before. So I came up with a veganised recipe for those lovely cinnamon sugar coated Churros I used to eat as a child on holidays to the states.



They traditionally come in star shaped sticks - this can be achieved by using a LARGE star shaped nozzle on a piping bag. The dough is a little tough to press through so it's advisable to use a fabric piping bag as disposable ones will mostly likely burst. If you don't own one of these, don't worry you can just roll the dough with your hands into short sticks.


For the Churros:

1 cup plain flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cups of boiling water

1 heaped tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp vegan margarine (Pure Sunflower works well)

For the sugar mixture:

1/4 cup sugar

1tsp cinnamon
You will also need sunflower oil and a heavy bottomed pan to cook

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and place the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved add the marg and melt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until a dough is formed. Leave this to cool for around 15 minutes and heat up the oil ready for cooking.
Prepare some kitchen roll for draining the oil from your cooked Churros and prep the sugar mixture in a bowl.
Using your piping bag create sticks around 4-5 inches long and fry them in small batches of 2 or 3. Drain on the kitchen paper then roll in the sugar mixture.
Serve warm, great by themselves or can be dipped into chocolate sauce.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Ananda's Vegan Marshmallows




During a trip to the Warehouse Cafe today @mrflibbletweets and I stopped off at the One Earth vegan shop in Birmingham and picked up some of these marshmallows.



We decided to have them toasted with some chocolate sauce that @mrflibbletweets whipped up fondue style. It's sad to say that we won't be getting these again. They just weren't very nice - they had a strange crunchy outer and a not so good centre. Other brands ( of which not too helpfully I can't remember the name of) we've had in the past have been much better.
Despite this I am glad to see One Earth recently have started to stock a bigger variety of goodies and hope they continue to do so, they even had some items in their deli counter I'd not seen before. We tried the Vanilla Oat Cookies and the always reliable carrot cake.

Monday, 15 August 2011

London - Vx, Saf & Moaz


I wasn't sure I liked London - I spent the whole 3 years of my degree avoiding the place and I was most likely about 15 the last time I ventured there to see a band. So yesterday when @mrflibbletweets suggested me go for the day I was determined to give it another go.
First of all we visited Saf Shoreditch - really enjoyable. I had the mushroom gyoza to start, Tempeh salad sandwich for mains and tiramisu for pudding. Sadly i have no photos but @mrflibbletweets is bound to write a review on this over at his Blog
Even good old Holland & Barrett held some suprises for me - takaway ice cream (I suspect it was british Toffuti) which we enjoyed in the park.
We headed over to Vx on our travels as well. I'd heard so much about this 'vegan boutique' that I just HAD to take a look.





I have to to say, it really wasn't what i'd been expecting. I DO think it's great it exists and they did sell some hard to find goods such as Primal Jerky and Vegusto vegan cheese. I didn't however actually think they had that much stock - i know it's a small shop but with it's location being a little out of the way it'd have to carry more to make the trip worthwhile. Some items were also overpriced - why pay for their vegan condoms when Condomi is available in bulk (or even free at some doctors/ clinics). I also noticed the same jelly i buy in my local Asda (3 for £1) on sale for £2.99.
Primal Jerky is a strange foodstuff that I became hooked on when I visited Ethos Vegan Kitchen a few years ago (they stock it as well as being a cafe and having a takeaway baked goods counter). I was happy to get my hands on some, although I think @mrflibbletweets was of the view it was strange.





We had a passing look inside Planet Organic but I wasn't really impressed. We did however pick up some Cliff bars - they are pretty good and would be a nice change to eating Nakd bars all the time.





For dinner we headed over to Moaz Vegetarian in Soho.





I had an avocado moaz - which consisted of avocado, falafel and whatever you wanted from the salad bar in a pitta bread.






It's a good idea, the food was nice - but it's not the holy grail of falafel and it's 100% still fast food in it's style. Similar to Subway perhaps? @mrflibbletweets wasn't keen on the chips ( I didn't try them ). In fact I was SO stuffed from the day's adventures I had to finish mine off in the car on the way home!