Brownies with a Vegan Twist

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One of the most common questions you get as a vegan is ‘don’t you miss cake’? Well the good news is my lovelies- there is such a thing as vegan cake! Yes- you can make a cake without butter or eggs! I decided that I would make something that everyone loves… brownies with a vegan twist. I know what your thinking ‘brownies with a vegan twist’ hmmm probably should make them for Mum- but don’t worry there is nothing green in these just two super ripe bananas.

Ingredients

  • Two super ripe bananas- (If you are vegan ripe bananas are like holy water so make sure you buy extra that week and save them!)
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 5 tbsps of sunflower oil or coconut oil if you are feeling extra healthy
  • 1tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 shot glasses of almond milk (again with the odd measurement, sorry!)

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 2 minuets- if you don’t like using microwaves you can always do it in a bain-marie which, is where you place a glass or heatproof bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water.
  3. Mash the two ripe bananas with the vanilla extract with a fork. This should be super easy if your bananas are ripe enough.
  4. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl or your electric mixer.
  5. Add the melted chocolate, bananas, sunflower oil and almond milk and mix together.
  6. Once everything has been mixed together. Pour the batter into your baking tray and cook for around 1 hour.
  7. Check the brownies after 40 minuets, you can tell if they are done by shaking the tray. If the batter wobbles all over then they need more cooking! Although it’s okay to have a little wobble in the middle, this makes them extra gooey!
  8. Once you are happy with the consistency, leave them to cool for around half an hour in the tin. If you try to cut them while they are hot they will fall apart.
  9. Once cool serve with your favourite tea, and a catch up with your best buddies.

 

A Proper Vegan Birthday Cake

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It was my flatmate, Kat’s birthday this weekend so I decided I would attempt to make a vegan birthday cake for her. I wanted to do the proper unhealthy kind, full of refined sugar and covered in icing. Not, some Deliciously Ella, gluten free, buckwheat flour, goji berry nonsense. After all it is your birthday, it only happens once a year so you can get away with eating junk as long as it is cruelty free.

The cake did end up being a bit of a fail, I didn’t grease the tins enough so it ended up being half a birthday cake… But it’s the thought that counts right? Plus, it tasted pretty amazing if I do say so myself. I basically followed my grandmother’s recipe for a classic cake mix and just replace the butter and eggs with vegan alternatives (it is in ounces sorry!)

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 6oz of vegan butter
  • 6oz of caster sugar
  • 6oz of self raising flour
  • 3tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 shot glasses of almond milk (sorry about this measurement, it was the closest thing I could find to be the same quantity as an egg. It’s probably about 2 tablespoons per shot glass.)
  • 2 tsp of baking powder

For the Icing

  • 3oz of vegan butter
  • 6oz of icing sugar
  • 2tsp of vanilla extract
  • A splash of almond milk
  • Vegan food colouring. If you are using pink you need to look out for carmine or E120 which is ground up beetles (ewww). I used sugar flare which you can get in Lakeland.
  • Sprinkles- again look for beeswax and carmine on the ingredients list.

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Method:

For The Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° and grease your tins! I would suggest using greaseproof paper, to prevent you from ending up with half a cake like me!
  2. Beat the vegan butter and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.
  3. Slowly add a shot of almond milk, vegan butter can curdle more easily than dairy butter.
  4. If you find that the mixture starts to curdle add a tablespoon of flour and beat again.
  5. Once all the almond milk is beaten in, add the vanilla extract and sift the flour and baking power into the wet mixture and fold in gently with a large metal spoon.
  6. Once all the mixture is combined, divide equally between two sandwich tins and bake in the oven until golden. This normally takes around half an hour but check after 20 minuets.

For the Icing

  1. While your cake is baking you can get started on the icing.
  2. Sift the icing sugar, and add the vegan butter, vanilla extract and food colouring into a bowl and beat.
  3. You shouldn’t need to add any almond milk or water, but if it does look crumbly add a little.
  4. Make sure you don’t add to much or the icing could get really runny. It should be thick and creamy and have a shiny glossy effect when you spread it over something.
  5. Take your cake out of the oven and leave to cool for at least two hours- preferably more.
  6. Ice the the top and the middle layers of the cake, scatter with sprinkles and add some candles and your ready to go.
  7. Now all that’s left is to drink lots of wine and party all night.

Chocolate and Banana Muffins

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I’ve been in a baking mood recently, and I have got lots of ripe bananas, so I thought I’d have a go at making one of my favourite childhood recipes: chocolate and banana muffins. This time, I went with the same theory as keeping the fat equal to the flour, sugar and eggs (well I used bananas as an egg replacer) and it works if you add a little more flour because the bananas make the cake quite sticky. These muffins turned out super moist and even my little sister who isn’t a very big fan of me going vegan said she couldn’t tell the difference!

Ingredients: (Makes 16)

  • 170g coconut oil
  • 180g self raising flour
  • 170g brown or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 100g chopped up dark chocolate (make sure it is over 75% cocoa)
  • 4 bananas mashed
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with cake cases.
  2. Beat the coconut oil and sugar together until it is pale and creamy
  3. Add the mashed bananas, vinegar and vanilla extract and continue beating until the mixture is fully combined and not curdling.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the bowl.
  5. Add the chopped chocolate and fold all the dry ingredients into the wet with a large metal spoon.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cake cases around ¾ full and bake in the oven until golden brown, this should take around 12-15 minuets.

Banana Pancakes

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These banana pancakes are the perfect Sunday treat, plus the benefits of removing the milk and eggs make them completely fat free! If you think about it, they are basically flour and water! It kinda goes against the whole idea of pancakes (using all the luxury ingredients up before lent) but hey ho, now you can have pancakes during lent! I find the best way to serve these is with lots of chopped up berries, more bananas and maple syrup!

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas mashed into a puree. They should be really ripe and spotty!
  • 200g plain four
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 100ml (or more) of water
  • 1 table spoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  • Mash the bananas with a fork and leave to onside.
  • Sift the flours and baking powder into a bowl.
  • Add the almond milk, bananas, water and vanilla extract and mix. The batter should be quite thick, but not as thick as cake batter. If you find your batter is too thick, just add more water.
  • Heat a non-stick pan on the hob and add a ladle of pancake batter.
  • Try to cook them on a medium head, and do not flip them until you can see little bubbles on the uncooked side of the pancake.
  • Flip over and cook until both sides are golden. Serve with lots of fresh berries and maple syrup!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

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This is the perfect thing to make for people who are reluctant to try your vegan creations! I made this vegan chocolate cake for mothers day, after my sister was complaining that now I don’t eat butter or eggs, we will never get to make cakes together again! So I proved her wrong by making this delicious chocolatey pudding!

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 125g ground hazelnuts
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g melted coconut oil
  • 150-200ml almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 200g brown or coconut sugar

For the Icing:

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 100g melted dark chocolate (make sure it is over 75% cocoa)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Dash of water to form the desired consistency

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line your cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Then melt the coconut oil and stir using an electric mixer or handheld whisk.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk and slowly pour it into the cake mixture.
  5. Stop adding almond milk when you have a thick batter.
  6. Spoon into the cake tin and cook for around 45 minuets, if you are worried about the top burning, cover it with tin foil after 30 minutes.
  7. Once the cake is cooked, leave it to cool while you make the icing.
  8. Melt the chocolate and beat in with the icing sugar and coconut oil, make sure you don’t melt the coconut oil!
  9. The consistency of the icing will be thick and crumbly so turn your mixer onto low and slowly add water bit by bit.

When I first made this I went with the approach of adding all the ingredients together, including the water and beating it fast until the mixture combined – but THIS DOES NOT WORK! You need to stir it slowly and encourage the water and oil to combine (making an emulsion)!

  1. Once the icing is to thick and creamy, cover the chocolate cake with it and scatter raspberries over the top.