Friday, 30 November 2012

Ⓥ Animal Aid - Chocolate Chestnut Truffle Pudding

Recently we went to Herbies cafe in Exeter.
From outside we could see that the cafe looked cosy and welcoming with a 5 star rating on food hygiene and an array of vegan cakes available why would any full blooded vegan resist the temptation.
It was a cold day so we opted for a hot chocolate each and to accompany it I had a ginger lemon cake, Gramondo went for the chocolate chestnut brandy truffle cake. We didn't have much time to wait until a friendly member of staff arrived with our cakes. They looked fantastic! Really well presented with a cute little jug of cream and a tasty cape gooseberry on top. My ginger lemon cake consisted of a ginger biscuit base topped with a sumptuous lemon curd topping - Divine. Gramondo's truffle cake was a dense dark chocolate truffle that was really rich with a kick of brandy. As usual we swapped dishes half way through and as usual I came away with the better half of the deal. We both agreed that both of the cakes were truly moreish!

So when I got home I thought I would try to emulate the chocolate truffle cake. After much searching I gave up. Gramondo though was more tenacious and found a recipe on the Animal Aid website that looked simple enough and also looked very similar to what we had eaten in Herbies. So the next day we bought the three ingredients required and I manged to make it in a very short length of time. To be honest I added about three table spoons of agave syrup. We had it with some oatly pouring cream but unfortunately no cape gooseberry. Amazingly it was very close to the Herbies' truffle, very rich, not too sweet.

If you have a go at making it I hope you enjoy it!

Animal Aid - Chocolate Chestnut Truffle Pudding

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Ⓥ My First Vegan Quiche in Fifteen Years

After returning home from the animal charity fayre I was full of beans or maybe cake and decided to make my first vegan quiche in about fifteen years.  After completing the task I'm wondering why its taken me all this time to make one.  I had already handed out the task of making the pastry so it was merely the filling that I needed to contend with.  So, basically all you need to do is decide what filling you want to put in your quiche, I chose onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli, mushroom, green olive tapenade and red pepper.  After blind baking the pastry case I spread on some green olive tapenade, then sprinkled on the chopped garlic, onion, sun dried tomato.  Then place evenly around pieces of chopped mushroom, red pepper and pre steamed small florets of broccoli.  For the actual filling I blended a block of my favourite Clear Spot Organic Tofu with about one cup of soya milk (just add the milk a bit at a time until you get the correct consistency), seasoning and about 100g of grated Cheezly.  The consistency was that of thick yogurt.  This made three 16cm diameter quiches.  I then spooned the mixture on top of the vegetables. It was in the oven for about 45 minutes gas mark 6.  And voila there you have it, very easy indeed.

Ⓥ A Fun Day Out at Morley Animal Charity Fayre in Aid of Hope Pastures Horse and Donkey Sanctuary and Whitehall Dog Rescue

Today we ventured out of Vegan Chat Room Head Quarters to a local town called Morley where they were having an animal charity fayre in aid of Hope Pastures Horse and Donkey Sanctuary and Whitehall Dog Rescue, you might have already guessed this by the title of the post. It was well attended and had around about twenty stalls. There was a mix of animal charity/rights info stalls, tombolas and bric-a-brac stalls in aid of the various sanctuaries and of course a couple of stalls selling things to eat. One of the food stalls was That Old Chestnut based in Leeds, we have their link on the VCR website. They must have had about fifteen different types of vegan cakes/tiffins on display, it was an impressive sight to behold. We did our part in vegan cake research by sampling several of them. The consensus was that they were all very very good indeed!

Roasted hazelnut and chocolate bundt cake

Sticky stem ginger cake

Chocolate orange cake

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Ⓥ Quick and Easy Vegan Truffles

As usual I have taken a long time to put together a blog post. This one is about some vegan truffles my friend Victoria made for me for Christmas. Just before I scoffed them I managed to spare a few minutes to take a photo of them and thought it was probably a good thing to put on the blog. So just five months later I've managed to get around to doing it.

I hope you will agree that they do look very good. Here is how Victoria made them.


125g/4oz vegan cream cheese
300g/10oz sifted icing sugar
60g/2oz ground almonds
250g/8oz plain chocolate
A tablespoon of dark rum or brandy or anything else that takes your fancy
To coat - cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, chopped nuts
Mini paper cases


Soften the cream cheese with an electric whisk in a bowl. Then gradually add the icing sugar and ground almonds. Melt the chocolate, stir in the rum or brandy into the chocolate and add this to the cream cheese mixture, mix it in fast and thoroughly. Roll into small balls and put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes (this makes it easier to put the coating on without it all melting all over your hands) coat in the cocoa/coconut/rolled nuts.Pop into the paper cases and chill. Enjoy!!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Ⓥ One vegan and two meat eaters destined to see the vegan light.

Here is a photo of myself and my sister Gillian in the early 1970s spending some quality time with a beautiful brown cow (i am the one with the bunches in the middle); but shockingly only hours later to happily eat meat and dairy fed to us by our parents.
The cow sadly would not have "enjoyed" many more years on this planet before being slaughtered. Luckily both my sister and I saw the vegan light and stopped participating in animal abuse over two decades ago now. But what I wonder triggers the individual to turn vegan, why are most humans missing that empathy that causes them to question what is thought of by the masses as normal, the slaughter and consumption of other sentient beings.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the photo.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ⓥ Clear Spot Tofu for My Dinner

Recently I put in a wholefood order with Lembas, my local wholefood wholesalers. Amongst the various vegan delights was one of my favourites - Clear Spot Organic Tofu - As it says on the pack "The complete and versatile vegetable protein food". To me, it puts all other commercial "tofu" to shame. I have to hold back from eating it straight from the packet. Another bonus for me is that it is local to where I live, starting its life at R&R Tofu Ltd on a small industrial estate in Malton North Yorkshire.
R&R started producing their tofu in 1985, so are by now experts in everything tofu related.

So, anyway, I ordered half a case of the 450g packets expecting half a case - three packets to arrive. Due to a cock up on the Lembas front they delivered a whole case - six packets. Now there was a three week use by on the tofu and even though I do live on the edge when it comes to "use bys" choosing usually to use my own common sense and extend the "use by" by several days/weeks/months depending on the item in question. In this case I was aware that tofu can be a little bit of a stickler when it comes to when it wants to be eaten by.
So for the past two weeks I have made two cheesecakes, one spinach and tofu curry, butternut squash soup with added tofu and today a butternut squash spring onion and red pepper with satay sauce concoction with basmati rice.

So I thought I would pass on my knowledge of this wonderful tofu to anyone who wandered by and read this blog.