Chai Gingerbread Stars with Coconut Glaze

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I think it’s safe to say I just can’t get enough of chai spices. Two chai recipes in two weeks? Yep, I’m hooked. You can find my other chai-inspired recipes here: Cocoa Chai Hot Cross Buns, Chai Tiramisini (one of my most popular recipes yet), and of course there’s the recap of where my chai love story began: in India.

Chai Gingerbread with Coconut Glaze 4
Chai Gingerbread with Coconut Glaze 3

I can’t help that I have at least 3 cups of chai tea per day at work, it’s just such a comforting, warming and homely flavour! The spice blend is delicate enough that it isn’t overpowering, but strong enough to warm the cockles of your heart.

That’s why I associate this spice blend with Christmas: after all, cinnamon and ginger are traditional Christmas flavours, and they are prominent in chai as well. Add gingerbread and sweet coconut glaze to the mix and you’ve got yourself one hell of a cracking Christmas biscuit!

Chai Gingerbread with Coconut Glaze

This recipe is adapted from the recipe for Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations in my ebook The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Christmas Recipes. I’ve reduced the amount of molasses in this recipe a little bit and replaced it instead with Sweet Freedom Dark. It tastes similar but slightly sweeter. Don’t worry, it’s not an unhealthy sweetener! It is made entirely from natural, plant-based sources. For me, it adds an extra depth of flavour to the gingerbread, and a bit of Christmas spirit.

Funny story: my piping bag gave up the ghost as I was icing these biscuits. *Insert series of French and Scottish expletives* Right when I was filming these for my ebook trailer… Hence I ended up covering most of the biscuits with a generous lathering of coconut icing instead of dainty decorations.

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Get your aprons on and clear a big space in the kitchen because the kids will want to get involved in this! (I have no children, but I do have a boyfriend, and some days that feels like the same thing.) You don’t have to stick to star shapes for these either, go ahead and make gingerbread people, reindeer, pine trees, cats, …

P.S. I recently did an interview with Alison Thompson, aka The Proof Fairy (great minds have similar names ;), you can listen to ‘Conversations with Authors: Clemence Moulaert’ on audioBoom

P.P.S.: Thank you for all your kind words on my ebooks. It means the world to me to know that so many vegans out there now feel more confident going into the Christmas holidays armed with an arsenal of tasty recipes both they and their omnivore families can enjoy. I appreciate all your reviews — so please, please, leave me a review on Amazon!

Oh, and pics of my cat! I promised I share more of these but with me gone most of the day and then coming home when it’s dark, I just haven’t had much of a chance to snap some photos. And he’s a bit coy, my Mali…

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Chai Gingerbread Stars with Coconut Glaze

Adapted from ‘Edible Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations’ from The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Christmas Recipes.

For the Chai Gingerbread:

70g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
170g (1 + 1/4 cup) plain flour + extra for dusting
100g (3 1/2 oz or just under 1 stick) vegan butter
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1/3 tsp ground cloves
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp Sweet Freedom Dark
2 tbsp molasses/treacle

For the Coconut Glaze:

250ml (1 cup) coconut cream, chilled till set hard
2 tsps Sweet Freedom Original

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F).  Line 2 oven trays/cookie sheets with non-stick parchment paper.

2.  Put the sugar and vegan butter into a large bowl and beat them together. (You can also use an electric whisk to do this.)  Drizzle in the black treacle/molasses and Sweet Freedom Dark, and mix again.

3. Mix in the flour and spices. Use first a wooden spoon (or the electric whisk), and after the dough becomes thicker and more difficult to handle, start kneading it with your hands.

4.  Dust some flour over a clean work surface. Put the dough onto it and knead it for about 5 minutes. It should be smooth and pliable.

5.  Roll out the dough to a 4-5 mm (¼ inch) thickness with a rolling pin. Cut out as many cookies as you can by using a cookie cutter of your choice (I suggest stars for a festive touch). Place the cookies on the lined baking trays/cookie sheets.

6. Knead the leftover dough into a ball, roll it out again as previously instructed and start the cutting process once more. Repeat this until you have used all the dough and created as many cookies as possible.

7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes (for smaller cookies, bake 8-10 minutes, for larger ones 12-13 minutes) until they are golden brown and slightly crispy at the edges.

8. While the gingerbread is baking, whisk the coconut cream and Sweet Freedom Original into a smooth cream in a small bowl. Set aside in the fridge until needed.

9. Cool the gingerbread completely before icing. Use a piping bag to draw pretty decorations, or simple cover the entire surface of the gingerbread with icing.

What’s your favourite Christmas treat? 

Psst — there are only 7 days till Christmas! Get my ebook THE VEGAN COOKIE FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS RECIPES on Amazon to have the best vegan Christmas ever. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Sweet Freedom, who kindly provided me with some of their products, but as always all opinions are my own, and I mean every word I say. 

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

9 Irresistible Vegan Christmas Desserts Even Omnivores Will Love!

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This year I will enjoy my fourth Christmas as a vegan. The one problem? My family don’t eat a plant-based diet. But that’s not even a problem really because they always make an effort to accommodate my needs — that, and I pretty much commandeer the kitchen over the holidays. Me, a control freak? Not at all, not at all…

I seriously love this season. For me it truly is the most wonderful time of the year and I loudly, ostentatiously, obnoxiously celebrate it. (True story: I started wearing my Christmas jumper on 1 November this year. I’m that freak.)

But I get that this is stressful for a lot of vegans and vegetarians. Times have changed and it is easier than ever to thrive on a plant-based diet, but we’re not out of the woods yet (are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods yet…). That’s why I wrote my ebook The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Christmas Recipes and it’s why I’m sharing the 9 most irresistible vegan Christmas desserts on the Internet, so you can convince your omnivore relatives through the sheer power of sugar and fatty goodness. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Pretzel Stick Snowmean – Anti-candida, Yeast-free and Paleo by Fork & Beans

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I adore Cara from Fork & Beans, and her wonderful, colourful sense of humour. She makes the cutest-looking treats around, and most of them are vegan and gluten-free. She recently had some bad health news and now makes a lot of candida-friendly treats. Like these Pretzel Sticks Snowmen! Nothing stops this woman and I love that about her. All I want for Christmas is to be as badass as Cara.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot Drizzle

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot

I am getting absolute RAVE reviews for these Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. They are massive and moreish, and you just can’t stop at one. So simple to make, and they require hardly any time at all, which makes them perfect for potlucks, parties, sharing, afternoon tea, and more…

Healthy Nutella Hot Chocolate from Desserts with Benefits

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There is nothing I’d rather do this Christmas than just sit in front of the telly in my onesie and have an IV drip streaming hot chocolate directly into my blood stream. You will not believe this, but each serving of this drink has only 110 calories!!! And it’s completely vegan. I think I’ll have two servings, please…

Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Minimalist Baker

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I have NEVER made cinnamon rolls before, but I think that’s about to change with this recipe from Minimalistic Baker. As their name suggests, all their recipes are minimalist, but not when it comes to flavour. I’ve made so many of their recipes in the past and they have never failed me yet. Go try this today!

Vegan One-Pot Pecan Sticky Toffee Pudding

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There is only one answer to subzero temperatures, hail storms and ferocious winds: this One-Pot Vegan Sticky Pudding. Ooey gooey good stuff that sticks to your ribs and makes your tummy sing Christmas carols. Er, ok maybe not that last bit, but it really is the stuff dreams are made of.

Amaretto Snowballs (vegan + gluten-free) by Pure Ella

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I simple adore all of Ella’s recipes. They are healthy but so delicious, often gluten-free and paleo, based on wholefoods, natural ingredients. This is an oldie but goody, and guaranteed to delight all your guests this Christmas.

Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Fudge by Dreena Burton

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A delish recipe by Plant Powered Kitchen and gorgeous photograph shot by Emma from Coconut & Berries! I live in the land of fudge but sadly I can never eat any of it! Thank goodness for this Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Fudge from Dreena Burton :)

Chai Tiramisini

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These Tiramisini served in cocktail glasses make me feel like a domestic goddess. If all else goes wrong, at least I’ve got my vegan Tiramisini… If you don’t want them so posh, just serve them in vintage teacups, and Bob’s your uncle.

Cranberry & Pumpkin Breakfast Loaf

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I call this one a breakfast loaf, but if you up the sugar a little bit, it’s perfect for dessert. Serve with warm custard or your favourite brand of vegan vanilla ice cream for the perfect Christmas treat in front of the telly!

And there you have it, my favourite, most delicious, irresistible vegan desserts for this Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Let me know in the comments what you’ll be cooking/baking/eating/drinking this Christmas, I’m curious to know your individual traditions :)

Psst — there are only 13 days till Christmas! Get my ebook THE VEGAN COOKIE FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS RECIPES on Amazon to have the best vegan Christmas ever. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot Drizzle

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot title

I could not be more excited about today’s recipe! I feel like it’s the perfect segway from autumn into the Christmas season, and on top of that it’s the ideal dish to bring to a potluck or party, it does not require baking (I’m giving you tasty recipes and saving you energy, how ’bout that, huh), and it is so freakin’ delicious. I am almost jumping in my seat as I’m typing this.

I brought these Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars to my friend’s last week, to celebrate decorating her Christmas tree, and it got rave reviews. She didn’t mind that it was vegan because it was so irresistible. (In fact, she usually gobbles up whatever sweets I give her.) All you’ll taste is a delicate blend of Christmas spices, creamy pumpkin and cashew, and that sweet, moreish gingerbread cookie base made from Speculoos biscuits, traditional Belgian delicacies that I grew up eating.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot

I made these Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars with three of my favourite baking products: Sweet Freedom Original and Dark fruit-based syrups, and Choc Shot, made by the same company. Sweet Freedom sweeteners are made from natural ingredients (apple, grape and carob) so they taste like regular sugar but in fact contain 25% fewer calories. If you need to watch your GI/GL intake, this is the perfect sweetener for you.

Sweet Freedom Original tastes a bit like agave or any white-sugar based syrup, but it’s lighter and milder than maple syrup. For me, that makes it the ideal product to use in everyday baking and sweet treats. On the other hand, Sweet Freedom Dark has a more distinctive flavour, almost like treacle (that’s what we call molasses in the UK).

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot

Choc Shot is my sweet chocolate sauce of choice when I can’t be bothered to make my own. You’ll be surprised to know it contains only 14 calories per teaspoon (!!!) but like the Original and Dark sweeteners it is made 100% of natural ingredients. A bottle never lasts longer than a week in my house because I drizzle this over my porridge, my pancakes, I use it to make hot chocolates, or I just eat it straight off the spoon. No shame.

Sweet Freedom products are also free of GMO’s and gluten, and are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot

I used all three products to make these Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars, and the result was way beyond my highest hopes. Creamy, sinlessly sweet, delicately spiced, addictive — in short, the perfect recipe to bring to a Christmas party this year. Both young and old, vegan and omnivores will love these treats and come back begging for more. Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Choc Shot Drizzle

  • Servings: makes 8 large bars
  • Print

For the crust:
200g (7 oz) Speculoos biscuits
3 tbsp vegan butter

For the filling:
1 425g (15 oz) tin/can of pumpkin puree
2 cups (280g) raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp Sweet Freedom Dark
1 tbsp Sweet Freedom Original
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Choc Shot to drizzle over the finished cheesecake

1. In a food processor, blitz the biscuits to a fine powder. Add the butter and pulse a few more times to combine; the texture should resemble wet sand and start clumping together. Alternatively, you can rub the ground biscuits and butter together in a large bowl, using your fingers.

2. Press the crust mix into the bottom of a  20 x 13 cm ( 8 x 5.5 inches) rectangular tin, making sure it is completely even. Place in the fridge while you get on with the filling.

3. Blend half of the cashews with all of the remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. When the mixture starts to look creamy and evenly blended, add the remaining cashews little by little; adding them all at once along with the other ingredients could stall your blender/food processor, especially since the filling needs to be very thick.

4. When the filling is nice and thick and creamy, pour it over the cheesecake crust. Smooth over the top with a spatula to make it even. Chill in the fridge overnight, or at least a couple of hours in the freezer to set completely.

5. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the cheesecake into 8 evenly-shaped bars. Place these on a plate and drizzle over with Choc Shot. Enjoy!

These bars keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or for a couple of months in the freezer.

Are you going to any Christmas parties this year? What are you bringing as a dish to share? I’d love to know if you’ve got any tips about hosting or taking part in a mixed vegan and omnivore dinner party!

Psst — there are only 13 days till Christmas! Get my ebook THE VEGAN COOKIE FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS RECIPESon Amazon to have the best vegan Christmas ever. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Sweet Freedom, who kindly provided me with some of their products, but as always all opinions are my own, and I mean every word I say. 

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

 

Chai Tiramisini

Chai-Tiramisini-The-Vegan-Cookie-Fairy

As I type this, I have just polished off one of these guys. #foodbaby #yolo and all that jazz, y’know?

I am a lover of a tiramisu, as you will know by (exhibit a, one of my most popular recipes, and exhibit b), and  this particular take on the Italian classic has been a long time coming. Ever since I purchased my copy of Nigellissima, in fact, which contains a recipe for Tiramisini. The idea of that delicate pudding served in elegant cocktail glasses appealed to me on so many levels, but particularly because it is so adult.

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This weekend a very good friend of mine helped me deep-clean my flat (it’s one of her hobbies, would you believe it). We also went to B&Q and bought paint (you see where I’m going with this, don’t you? But you’ll have to wait a while longer for that piece of news!), and we talked about all the ways in which we have been adulting recently.

Buying furniture with her own hard-earned money; decorating our respective homes the way we want to, making them very much our own; having a full-time job, falling in that dreadful 9-to-5 pattern; making bold choices in the love department, and to hell what anyone might think; wearing red lipstick because we’re 22 and we’re totally fabulous.

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But adulting is hard, man (and the autocorrect refuses to acknowledge that is a word, how dare that little cad!). There are days when I wake up and think ‘HELLZ YEAH, I’M 22 AND I’M QUEEN OF THE WORLD, BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, YOU WORMS’ but there are many more days when I come home tired, drop my bag by the front door, and sit quietly at the dining table, petting my cat in a rhythmic, soothing motion, because I’m so, so grateful the day is over, and also wary of the next day, which promises to be equally repetitive, mind-numbing and soul-destroying.

There are changes ahead — again, more on that soon — and they will bring exciting news for me. But for now, I take pleasure in the wee details of every day life; they are what gets me through the day. It may sound silly to say that — it’s just tiramisu, after all — but the thought of that creamy chai-spiced filling, and the tip of my spoon breaking the bottom layer of coffee-soaked biscuit somehow brings me great joy. You need balance in life. You need those little things that lift you up.

And I think that’s what adulting is, really. Sh*t days with magic little moments, and then some really great, wonderful, earth-shatteringly happy days that get you through the tough times. Some good, some bad; salad days, and tiramisu days.

Chai Tiramisini 8

This recipe is elegant and glamorous, but if you serve it in small tea cups or glass it would be the perfect treat for a potluck or dinner party. It’s ideal for sharing and everybody loves the chocolate/chai combination. And this one is perfect for Christmas, with its warming chai spices and chocolate biscuit bottom. For me, it has all the right elements: a bit of alcohol, healthy fats, naughty chocolate biscuits, natural sweeteners. And a whole lot of love. You can find this recipe plus tons of other healthy yet indulgent recipes on Aloha‘s website; it’s one of my favourite online sources for healthy, yummy recipes.

Chai Tiramisini 9 Chai Tiramisini 10

Chai Tiramisini

  • Servings: two large servings, or four small servings
  • Print

Notes:
*I am not the biggest fan of Marsala and don’t usually keep it in my kitchen, but as I’m sure you know, I do love Amaretto, and I find the sweet almond flavour pairs well with the chai spices. It’s up to you which one you choose, or whether you add any at all.
** Bourbon creams are typically British biscuits consisting of two rectangular chocolate biscuits with chocolate cream in the middle. Kind of like a chocolate filling Oreo.  Do check the ingredients list as ingredients will vary from brand to brand, and some may add dairy or egg products.

Base:
12 Bourbon creams, or another kind of chocolate cookie with cream filling**, plus one extra for each person
60ml (1/4 cup), or 4 tbsp hot espresso
60ml (1/4 cup), or 4 tbsp Amaretto (optional; you can omit this and double the espresso instead)

Filling:
250ml (1 cup) coconut cream
280g (2 cups) raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 tbsp Marsala or Amaretto*
2 tbsp Sweet Freedom Original fruit-based syrup
1 tbsp water, as needed
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

A drizzle of Choc Shot, to serve (optional)

1. Crumble 3 biscuits per glass and soak with 1 tbsp espresso and 1 tsp alcohol, or 2 tbsp espresso if omitting the alcohol. If serving 4 people, use small glasses; if serving two people, you may use martini or cocktail glasses, which will hold more. In the latter case, you may not need to use 6 biscuits per person, as this will make really quite a lot to eat!

2. Next, make the cream filling. Blend the coconut cream, spices, alcohol, agave and spices together, adding the cashews a little at a time. Add 1 tbsp of water if needed, just in case your blender or food processor is struggling. You  may need to stop the machine every once in a while to stir the cream with a tamper or wooden spoon.

3. Divide the cream filling between the glasses. Top with a dusting of cocoa powder, a drizzle of Choc Shot and/or a chocolate biscuit.

How do you find balance in tough times?

Psst — there are only 21 days till Christmas! Get my ebook THE VEGAN COOKIE FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS RECIPESon Amazon to have the best vegan Christmas ever. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Sweet Freedom, who kindly provided me with some of their products, including Choc Shot and Sweet Freedom Original, but as always all opinions are my own, and I mean every word I say. 

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Book Review: “Veganish: The Omnivore’s Guide To Plant-Based Cooking” by Mielle Chénier-Cowan Rose

viking muesli

One of my favourite films of all time is Julie & Julia, the story of how Julie Powell was inspired by Julia Child to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and transform her life. Right after I saw the film, I fell in love with cooking too, and purchased my own copies of Mastering The Art. I spent the summer after graduating high school learning to make a roux, béchamel sauce from scratch, and many, many cakes.

But only six months later, in the middle of my first year at university in London, I decided to adopt a plant-based diet. It was back to the drawing board for me, and my copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking have remained untouched on my cookbook shelf since then. I taught myself plant-based booking through a mix of intuition and recipes found online.

Then I was approached by Viva Editions about Veganish: The Omnivore’s Guide To Plant-Based Cooking. I was hesitant at first: I blog mostly about vegan dessert recipes, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure that this book was ground-breaking in any sense. But you know what? It’s pleasantly surprising to be proven wrong sometimes.

white bean and kale soup veganish

My meals lately had been so boring, and after long days at work I often rely on ready-made soups and curries. Being vegan, they’re not so unhealthy, but still not nearly as healthy as homemade food. So I made a commitment to cook from Veganish for a week, and I have never eaten so well! I shared the White Bean and Kale Soup with an omnivore friend of mine, who said it was probably the healthiest thing she’d ever eaten.

chocolate ganache

There is a recipe for chocolate ganache in Veganish which I adapted to make these little peanut butter chocolate ganache cups. This stuff is so irresistible it should be illegal. Seriously. I should have doubled the recipe. I also had to make the recipe for Viking muesli — a seriously plant-powered breakfast! I made it warm since the days are so cold now in Scotland, but this would make a light summery breakfast if chilled.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you will have seen me posting about the Roasted Root Medley — a new staple recipe in my diet! I have been pairing it with kale salad marinated in the ‘Honey’ Mustard Vinaigrette, my new favourite salad dressing. I’ve never been good at making salad dressings, but Mielle’s recipes have changed that.

roasted-roots-medley-and-honey-mustard-vinaigrette

You’ll notice the title says ‘plant-based’, not ‘vegan’. Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose has been a vegan chef and advocate for natural living for over 15 years, she studied healing foods and culinary nutrition at Bauman College and has worked with some of the most prominent vegetarian restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the raw food restaurant phenomenon Cafe Gratitude. But her family has suffered from health issues that left her with no option but to reintroduce animal-based products into their diets.

What I like about Mielle’s book is that it encourages an attitude of compassion and flexibility, while emphasising the benefits of a plant-based diet. ‘You will be fine,’ she says, ‘if you relax, follow your intuition, and pay attention to recommendations that resonate with you, and eat a wide variety of seasonal whole foods with joy and gratitude.’ Veganish contains recommendations like ‘buy ingredients that you recognise from nature and cook your meals from scratch as often as possible'; ‘make an effort to avoid unnaturally altered, refined ingredients'; ‘be moderate, balanced, and flexible.’ For someone who has suffered from a disordered relationship with food, this book is heaven-sent. Reading this book, I never once felt pressured, belittled or misunderstood.

viking muesli

The one downside? No pictures. Ach, for a cookbook collector such as myself, that was a shock at first — but as Mielle says, she doesn’t want this to be a recipe book, she wants it to be a cookbook. One that you can use as a staple, a guide to learn the basics from and use to build up your confidence as a plant-based cook. So, pictures really aren’t all that important.

On the other hand, Veganish includes concise but highly informative chapters on plant-based nutrition, salt, cooking oils, cooking methods and special techniques. These 217 pages are jam-packed with comprehensible information and delicious recipes. I consider Veganish to be the modern equivalent of Julia Child’s booksand a very important book for our time. 

Veganish is published by Viva Editions and is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

roasted root medley

All in all, I definitely recommend this book. It’s the perfect gift to someone who is just embarking on a plant-based cooking, or wants to learn to cook in a balanced, intuitive and wholesome way. The recipes are simple, the information makes sense, and the food is scrumptious.   

Have you read Veganish, and cooked any recipes from it? What’s your definition of a balanced plant-based diet?

Disclaimer: Viva Editions sent me a copy of Veganish for reviewing purposes, but as always, all opinions here are my own, and I mean every word I say. 

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

One-Pot Pecan Sticky Toffee Pudding

 

one-pot vegan pecan sticky toffee pudding TVCF

 

Suma-Bloggers-Network-Logo

The thing with 9 to 5 is that it takes me ages before I get around to actually baking the things I want to. I have a list as long as my elbow of recipes I want to try stored on my phone; nearly every day I open it, sighing over the cakes I haven’t yet tried. But as the colder season approached (and is now well and truly here) all I wanted was to make sticky toffee pudding.

one pot vegan pecan sticky toffee pudding tvcf

Suma kindly sent me a boxful of heavenly stuff: pitted dates, organic flour, pecans, soft brown sugar, coconut milk… Ingredients made of magic, if you ask me.

one pot vegan sticky toffee pudding tvcf

I don’t know about you, but I’m about 90% lazy. I think part of this is genetics, and part is taking example from Nigella Lawson, who always makes her recipes as simple as possible to spare herself effort. That’s exactly how I cook and bake, too: the fewer dishes I have to wash, the better, because I don’t have a dishwasher, and I HATE. DOING. DISHES.

one-pot vegan pecan sticky toffee pudding

So when I want comfort, I want it now, and with as few dishes as possible, if you please. Cue this one-pot sticky toffee pudding with buttery pecans and oodles and oodles of caramel. If you want it extra quickly, you may need to use a blender or food processor to puree the dates faster; otherwise, just soak them and then mash them in the same bowl you will be using to mix the cake batter.

Boom. You’re welcome.

one-pot vegan pecan sticky toffee pudding 6

One-Pot Vegan Pecan Sticky Toffee Pudding

For the pudding:

250g (2 cups) Suma pitted dates, roughly chopped
175ml (3/4 cup) just boiled water
200g (1 + 1/3 cups) Doves Farm organic plain white flour
50g (1/4 cup, tightly packed) Billington’s fair-trade natural soft brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Suma ground cinnamon
75g (1/3 cup) vegan butter, softened at room temperature
160ml (2/3 cup) soya milk
1 tsp black treacle (molasses)
20g (1/4 cup) Suma pecan nuts

For the caramel sauce:

250ml (1 cup) Biona organic coconut milk
50g (1/4 cup, tightly packed) Billington’s fair-trade natural soft brown sugar

1. Soak the chopped dates in the boiled water until the water is tepid, or about an hour, then mash with a fork until you obtain a rough and chunky paste. If you are pressed for time, soak the dates only for twenty minutes and blend them with the water for a few seconds.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Line or grease a 28cm (11 inch) round cake tin.

3. Combine the soft brown sugar, date paste and vegan butter in a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon. Mix in the soya milk and treacle (molasses). The mixture will look like it’s separating at this point, which is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. This is a messy cake batter.

4. Fold in the plain flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and chopped pecans.

5. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 25 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, dissolve the soft brown sugar in the coconut milk, stirring continuously to prevent any burning. Keep the saucepan on medium to high heat, watching carefully so that it doesn’t burn or boil over. Over the next 15-20 minutes, the caramel sauce will reduce approximately by half; it should be thick and sticky on your wooden spoon. Remove from the heat when done.

7. Cool the cake on a wire rack until it is just slightly warm to the touch. Stab all over with a fork, then pour over two thirds of the caramel sauce. If serving immediately, scoop out large pieces straight from the tin and serve with vanilla ice cream or custard and a drizzle of the remaining caramel sauce. (Or slice neat pieces if you want, but it’s more fun to keep it messy.) Top with extra pieces of pecans.
If keeping for later, pour all of the sauce over the cake, let it cool completely, and reheat in the microwave or oven before serving with ice cream or custard.

Lazybones unite — tell me your best tips to live the lazy efficient life with minimal effort?

Psst — there are only 28 days till Christmas! Get my ebook THE VEGAN COOKIE FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS RECIPES on Amazon to have the best vegan Christmas ever. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,
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Raw Amaretto Chocolate Cream Cake

raw vegan amaretto chocolate cream cake - the vegan cookie fairy
Is alcohol raw? Probably not. But that’s the only not raw ingredient in this cake, sooo… that doesn’t count, right?

I see raw vegan desserts being promoted as ‘healthy’ all the time. Compared to all traditional desserts — laden with dairy, eggs, oil, sugar, white flour, preservatives and chemical food colourings — they arguably are. But dessert is still dessert, and for me, that means it needs to be indulgent, moreish, and 1000% hit the spot.

Cue the alcohol.

My favourite cocktail is an Amaretto Sour. According to Barnivore, Amaretto is vegan — HALLELUJAH! And a good thing too, because I would have hated to give it up. I love the sweet and sour combination, and that almond aroma that reminds me of amaretti with every sip.
raw vegan amaretto chocolate cream cake - the vegan cookie fairy
This cake is not inspired by that blessed cocktail, but simply by the liqueur. The sweetness of the almond liqueur paired with the bitter cacao, mixed with cream cashews makes for a heavenly cake. You will not be able to stop at just one slice!

This recipe comes at a particularly happy time for me because tomorrow, I am graduating from the University of Stirling. I am proud to call myself an alumna of this amazing institution; I only spent a year there but it has been the best year of my life so far. I’ve made lifelong friends who share so many of my interests, it’s like I’ve known these girls for ever, I’ve learnt a ton of things, both in the classroom and outside of it, and though there have been lots of earth-shattering, terrifying episodes where I seriously questioned my ability to  be an adult, I do feel more confident being me now. It takes me by surprise some days, but I’m proud of myself. I’ve come really far.
raw vegan amaretto chocolate cream cake - the vegan cookie fairy
So tomorrow I am going to pose for hundreds of pictures, have lunch with my parents, catch up with my Dad (who I haven’t seen in over a year), and enjoy being on campus one more time. There are exciting times coming ahead, and this is one of the last times I will get to bask in the majesty of Stirlingshire — I don’t want to tell all just yet, just know that I will soon reveal the great news to you!

On my behalf, please do take a slice (or three) of cake. Have a truly magical, wonderful day :)
raw vegan amaretto chocolate cream cake - the vegan cookie fairy

Raw Amaretto Chocolate Cream Cake

  • Servings: makes one 20cm/8 inch cake, serves 8
  • Print

Notes:
After soaking the dates and nuts, discard the soaking water.
I use regular dates, but Medjool are always preferable; they’re also much, much stickier, so you may not even need to soak them.
This cake freezes really well; simply slice it and keep it in an airtight tin for up to a month in the freezer. Leave to thaw for 10 minutes before eating, and it’s like an ice cream cake. You’re welcome.

For the crust:
125g (2/3 cup) dates*, pitted and soaked for 2 hours
100g (1 cup) raw almonds, soaked overnight

For the filling:
450g (3 cups) cashews, soaked for 2 hours
60g (1/2 cup) raw cacao powder, or cacao nibs ground into powder
125g (2/3 cup) dates, pitted and soaked for 2 hours
250ml (1 cup minus about 1 tbsp) warm water
3 tbsp Amaretto liqueur
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1. Blend the dates and raw almonds in a food processor until they turn into a sticky ‘dough’. Press this into the bottom of a 20cm (8 inch) springform cake tin. Refrigerate until needed.

2. For the filling, prepare a date paste first: blend the dates with 160ml (2/3 cup) of the water, the melted coconut oil and Amaretto into a smooth paste.

3. Now add the rest of the water, the cashews and the cacao powder. Blend until smooth.

4. Pour the filling into the cake tin, over the crust. Smooth over the top with a spatula, and refrigerate to set for at least 4 hours. Place in the freezer to speed up the process.

5. Release from the tin and top with extra cacao nibs or chopped dates. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite cocktail?

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Love and cookies,
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