Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

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Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy | #baking #cake #chocolate #hazelnut #vegan
Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy | #baking #cake #chocolate #hazelnut #vegan
Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy | #baking #cake #chocolate #hazelnut #vegan
Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy | #baking #cake #chocolate #hazelnut #vegan
Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy | #baking #cake #chocolate #hazelnut #vegan Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy | #baking #cake #chocolate #hazelnut #vegan

Boozy Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

  • Servings: serves 10-12
  • Print

Ingredients
Cake

400g self-raising flour
100g Suma whole, raw hazelnuts
100g soft light brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water)
350ml Rude Health hazelnut milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
100g Montezuma 73% cook’s chocolate
150g vegan margarine/butter substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract

Boozy chocolate ganache
200g Montezuma 73% cook’s chocolate
Coconut cream from 1 can of coconut chilled overnight
2 tbsp Frangelico
Garnish
Suma whole, raw hazelnuts, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/gas mark 4). Line and grease a round, springform tin measuring 20cm diameter (8 inches).
  2. Grind the hazelnuts to a fine powder in a food processor or blender. Don’t blend too long or they’ll turn to butter!
  3. Mix the chia seed egg in a small bowl and in another, larger, combine the hazelnut milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle.
  4. Melt the vegan margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the couverture chocolate buttons and stir gently until evenly melted, then remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients – flour, ground hazelnut and sugar – in a large (REALLY large) mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre. Slowly pour in the curdled hazelnut milk as you continuously stir with a spoon or spatula, then do the same for the chia seed egg and melted chocolate. Take care to scrape the bottom of the bowl to fold in every last bit of the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour the batter into the lined and greased cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: in a small saucepan over medium heat, gently warm up the milk and hazelnut butter. Add in the chocolate. When the chocolate starts to melt and ooze and into the milk and hazelnut butter, stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Set aside to cool a little.
  8. For the ganache, open the can of chilled coconut (do not shake it) and discard the water. Melt the remaining cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon to melt. Set aside to cool, then place in the fridge to set.
  9. When the cake is cooled, slice it in half using a bread knife. Careful lift the topmost part onto a plate. Spread the filling over the lower half, then sandwich the top half of the cake on top. When the ganache has set in the fridge (after approx. half and hour) cover the cake with it. I use a spoon to do this, but you could use a palette knife if you wish.
  10. Garnish with hazelnuts if you wish. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
By Clémence Moulaert
Adapted from  Vegan Walnut Coffee Cake

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Love and cookies,

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Suma Wholefoods. All opinions are my own. 

Vegan Christmas Tree Cupcakes

#Vegan #Christmas #Tree #Cupcakes - The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan #Christmas #Tree #Cupcakes - The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan #Christmas #Tree #Cupcakes - The Vegan Cookie Fairy
My dears, I will be keeping this one short and sweet today. It is after all Christmas Eve, which, where I come from, is pretty much Christmas Day. I’m having to adapt to British traditions this year, so I’m going to be spending the day baking and cooking in preparation for tomorrow, watching Christmas films and generally getting fat and lazy. Just what I need. 

I wish you all something equally merry and satisfying, whatever that means for you. Merry Christmas to you all! xx
#Vegan #Christmas #Tree #Cupcakes - The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan #Christmas #Tree #Cupcakes - The Vegan Cookie Fairy

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Pumpkin Spiced French Toast & VegFest Scotland Recap

Pumpkin Spiced French Toast - The Vegan Cookie Fairy #vegan #breakfast
Pumpkin Spiced French Toast - The Vegan Cookie Fairy #vegan #breakfast
Christmas spirit
I did something very very exciting last weekend: I packed my bags and off I went to Glasgow, to spend all my hard-earned money on vegan cheese and chocolates at VegFest Scotland. 

Actually, I did another very exciting thing: I made this vegan Pumpkin Spiced French Toast for brunch, but more on that later. 
Pumpkin Spiced French Toast - The Vegan Cookie Fairy #vegan #breakfast
We’ve been waiting about a year for VegFest to come to Scotland, and finally the weekend happened. I went up to Glasgow on Sunday 6 (St Nicholas Day! Sampling all the chocolate to honour that tradition, eh), as I sadly couldn’t make it on the Saturday. I came prepared with a wee plan of talks I wanted to attend and stalls I wanted to visit. First up on my list: The Vegan Kind stall. 

You guys know I’m a big fan of this Glasgow-born and based company. Karris has done a fabulous job starting this business from the ground up, with the intention of making vegan brands more accessible to the general public and simultaneously supporting animal charities. I can’t think of a better business model than that. The reason I made their stall my first pit stop is because I knew they were fast selling out of their chocolate-filled Christmas selection box. It was filled (emphasis on was because I’ve nearly eaten the whole thing already) with chocolate bars from Vego, iChoc, Almighty Foods and Sarelle, all quality vegan chocolates that taste like milk chocolate – only £8!
 #VegFestScotland  
 #VegFestScotland
Next I hurried to Patrik Baboumian‘s talk on veganism and weightlifting. Having recently started lifting weights myself, I’m interested in finding out more about the proper plant-based nutrition to help my performance, so I was hoping to get some insights from Germany’s Strongest Man, but mostly I was charmed by his cheerful, endearing personality. He’s just adorable! His story is one of compassion and determination; he went vegan for the animals, and to his surprise found that his new diet was not only helping the world but also his performance. He got me thinking about how plant power can enhance my performance at the gym, and I’m considering buying his book to find out more now. 

The talk ended and I was free to roam and sample. I spent at least twenty minutes by the Almighty Foods stand, sampling the wonderful results of their superfood chocolate alchemy (THAT SPROUTED CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT FUJ, THO)(and the coffee chocolate bar!!) and emptying the contents of my wallet into their till. Tyne Chease was another must-have on my list. I missed these guys at the Edinburgh Vegan Festival in August but this time, I got my wish: a pretty little wheel of 100% organic smokey paprika “cheese”. It’s so moreish, but I have to make it last considering the price! 

I then wandered around, wondering what to spend the meager remains of my budget on. I debated between all the takeaway food stalls but ended up going for an old favourite, Henderson’s of Edinburgh (loyal to the core, what can I say), who served a mean Buddha Box and mince pies. I sipped on my Pink Russian cold-pressed raw drink from Glasgow-based (but hopefully coming soon to Edinburgh!) Juice Warrior, from whom I also bought a tote bag to carry around my purchases. 

I have to say I was disappointed by one thing: there was no recycling bin to throw away my cardboard food box in once I was done with my lunch. Bit of a bummer, SECC.
 #VegFestScotland
IMG_6802
I concluded the afternoon with Fat Gay Vegan’s talk for bloggers. I can’t say that I learned anything new there (I have been blogging for five years now) but I’d never met him in person, and just kind of wanted to bask in his positive presence. He’s a funny guy, and has some strong opinions that he stands by in a civil, sort of typically British way. Can’t help but like him for that. 

There was so much more to see and do and buy, but I just didn’t have the time. I’m surprised I didn’t get whiplashing from turning my head left and right all day, trying to decide which stall to visit next. From clothing to artisan chocolates to handmade cleaning products to kitchen utensil demos to freshly made food – there was just. so. much.
 #VegFestScotland
I’m really excited about next year – hopefully it’ll be even bigger and better! It was definitely worth a trip to Glasgow to see my favourite vegan brands and discover new ones. I was there mostly for the food (I’m not even going to pretend otherwise) but there were also lots of talks and workshops, and extensive list of which you’ll find on the website. It’s best to show up with an idea of what you want to see so you don’t get overwhelmed. Or just turn up and go with the flow. Whatever floats your eco-friendly bamboo-made boat, I guess. 

My final recommendation: though you’ll eat plenty at VegFest, make sure you get in a hearty breakfast like this vegan Pumpkin Spiced French Toast
Pumpkin Spiced French Toast - The Vegan Cookie Fairy #vegan #breakfast

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Crêpes Mikado – French Crêpes with Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream & Hot Chocolate Sauce

#Vegan Crêpes Mikado - Vanille Ice Cream Whipped Cream Chocolate Sauce | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan Crêpes Mikado - Vanille Ice Cream Whipped Cream Chocolate Sauce | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan Crêpes Mikado - Vanille Ice Cream Whipped Cream Chocolate Sauce | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
I was really chuffed with the response that last week’s recipe got. So many of you shared the recipe on social media! I’m pleased to see more women getting into fitness and nourishing their body & soul as one. All I can say is❤❤❤

This week, I’m proposing a recipe that nourishes the soul a little more than the body… though I did do an intense Body Balance workout sesh right after I gobbled down a double portion of this breakfast recipe. Clearly it got me through the workout.

When I was little, my mum and dad bought a campervan. It was a massive thing and we packed in the whole family – kids, dogs and all – to go on spontaneous weekend trips and summer holidays to the north of France. The Nord-Pas-de-Calais was one region we visited particularly frequently. As for the rest of our holiday hangouts, I can only say that I was just a wee girl at the time, and didn’t particularly pay attention to or care where we going. All I knew was that we were near the sea, the beach, and great places to eat.
#Vegan Crêpes Mikado - Vanille Ice Cream Whipped Cream Chocolate Sauce | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
It’s funny, the older you get the less you remember complete events; I just have flashes of Dad knee-deep in the sand, digging a fort for us, a statue of Joan of Arc in a tiny village, my sister and I singing silly songs in the campervan until Mum couldn’t stand us anymore, our dog, Mimi, sat between us on the bench seat, and all the crêpes Mikado I ate on those holidays.

Some recipes for crêpes Mikado I’ve seen call for the making of a crème pâtissière, some even for frangipane cream. But the way I remember it, you need 4 simple ingredients: crêpes, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and hot chocolate sauce. If you couldn’t be bothered with the chilling and whipping of the coconut cream – or just don’t like coconut cream – you can skip it or add an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream.
#Vegan Crêpes Mikado - Vanille Ice Cream Whipped Cream Chocolate Sauce | The Vegan Cookie Fairy

Crêpes Mikado - French Crêpes with Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce

  • Servings: serves 1-2
  • Print

For the Crepes:

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 ripe banana, peeled
  • 1 cup)non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Vegan butter or coconut oil, to grease the pan

For the Topping:

  • 2 scoops vegan vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoon soy milk
  • 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight in the fridge
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a blender, blend the ingredients for the crêpes, minus the butter/coconut oil, until smooth.
  2. Grease a large, shallow frying pan and place it on moderately high heat. Pour in half of the batter and swirl the pan so the batter covers its whole surface. You can also use a crepe spreader to do this.
  3. Cook the crepe on one side for about 3 minutes. The sides should be easy to lift up with a spatula, and the crepe should move around freely when you gently shake the pan. Flip the crepe with a deft swing of the wrist, or use a spatula if you’re not that confident. Cook on the other side for another couple of minutes.
  4. Place the crepe on a plate when it’s done, and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
  5. For the toppings, start with the coconut cream, and make this ahead of time. Remove the upper, creamy part of the chilled coconut milk. Discard the watery part underneath. Whip the coconut cream with a little powdered sugar if desired.
  6. Melt the chocolate and 4 tablespoons soy milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the chips.
  7. Place one scoop of ice cream over each crepe. Top with a hefty dollop of coconut cream and drizzle over the hot chocolate sauce.

Want more crêpes recipes? It say happens I am a fanatic an expert.

Lemon Sugar Pancakes

Maca, Orange & Almond Crêpes

Pumpkin Spiced Crêpes with Speculoos Dust and Chocolate Sauce

 

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Vegan Protein Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins – For Girls Who Lift

#Vegan #Protein Peanut Butter Choc Chips #Muffins | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan #Protein Peanut Butter Choc Chips #Muffins | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
I’ve become that person. The one who posts photos on instagram of myself flexing my biceps, a legend underneath reading #girlswholift.

You know how I mentioned that about seven months ago, I went through a really difficult time? Basically, the thing I’d been trying to prevent for the better part of a year and a half happened. The only way I could think of to deal with it was to just keep calm and carry on. Paint on a brave face and smooth over the ruffled areas of my life. But I’d come home in the evening, sit down in my old lady armchair, listen to Adele songs and cry.

I couldn’t stand for my life to be so pathetic.

I needed an immediate distraction. Something I’d never done before. When I couldn’t bear the crying anymore and needed something other than sleeping pills to knock me out at night, I followed one of my best friend’s advice: I started lifting heavy weights “for fun”.

Well, not that heavy at first. My first ever Body Pump class, I walked up to the instructor and admitted I didn’t know a thing about weightlifting. Sure I’d done YouTube workouts at home and I knew about Pilates, but proper weightlifting? Nah uh. All smiles and bouncing ponytail hair, she helped me set up and told me to start with 2.5kg on the bar. Everyone else seemed to be lifting 5kg or more – most guys were lifting around 10kg through the whole class.

The warm up was intense. Then people started adding on weights; I watched them and stuck to my measly 2.5kg. During bicep track I got brave overconfident and took hold of 5kg in each hand – big mistake. My spaghetti arms couldn’t handle it for more than 45 seconds. By the time lunges came around I thought I might pass out, but I couldn’t let the instructor down, and I couldn’t flake out in front of 20-odd people who were red and sweaty in the face, gleaming like polished brass. They were giving it their all. And I was tired of feeling weak.

My legs were so wobbly after that class that I could barely make it up the three flights of stairs to my tenement flat. My entire body was sore for 5 days. But the instructor’s enthusiastic compliments still rang in my head after that class. And on the sixth day, I went back for another beating.
#Vegan #Protein Peanut Butter Choc Chips #Muffins | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
I’ve kept going every week since late July. I didn’t think I’d ever progress from 2.5kg, until I went up to 3.5kg, and found that it hadn’t killed me, just made my bum a bit sorer the next day. I was thrilled when I moved up to 5kg on the bar during squats in late August – I was bloody ecstatic when I realised last week that I could lift 7.5kg. That’s a total of 15kg for over five minutes of non-stop squatting. And with perfect posture too!

I’m that person who flexes in front of the mirror after the gym now, because I never knew I could be this strong. I eat a ton of food, unapologetically, and without hating myself for it, when only four years ago I would have made myself throw up those delicious pancakes I had for breakfast. I wish 18-year-old me could see myself now – I think she’d be surprised, but relieved. To see how far I’ve come, how many bold decisions I made for and by myself, and how I’m 100% OK, even when I’m struggling.

My physical strength is in line with my mental endurance now. I can handle some pretty intense shit, it turns out. Several times this year I reached a point where I cowered in fear and told myself “No way, I can’t”. And yet I did. 

This tasty recipe nourishes every part of me: my body (lots of protein for my growing muscles), my sweet tooth (allllllll the carbs) and my soul (chocolate, forever and for always). Yes, it’s made with white flour, but it also contains natural peanut butter and vegan protein powder. A bit of balance – that’s what keeps  you afloat in life.
#Vegan #Protein Peanut Butter Choc Chips #Muffins | The Vegan Cookie Fairy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Just under 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line a muffin tin.
  2. Pour the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large mug and set aside to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and protein powder, and combine using a fork.
  4. Add the mashed banana, peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract to the curdled non-dairy milk. Whisk until just combined.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and fold.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just combined; over-mixing will create a tough batter and therefore produce dense, heavy muffins.
  7. Fill the muffin cups to just below the rim, topping with additional chocolate chips.
  8. For regular-sized muffins, bake for 22-23 minutes. For large muffins, 25 minutes. The muffins should be golden on top and a toothpick should come out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Walnut Coffee Cake (Gluten-Free)

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#Vegan #Glutenfree Walnut Coffee Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan #Glutenfree Walnut Coffee Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
#Vegan #Glutenfree Walnut Coffee Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Earlier last week, I sat on a blue plastic chair in A&E, crying to my mother on the phone.

How am I here again? I thought to myself. And why the hell am I crying? It was only a foot injury, and probably a minor one, but in the moment it was turning my whole world upside down. I tried to put things into perspective: my best friend nearly died and was rushed to hospital just a couple of weeks previously – that was something to cry about. I’d only tripped and twisted my ankle, possibly fractured my metatarsals.

The worst thing was, this is the second time I’ve tripped over the step outside the front door of my building, and injured the same foot in the same spot. Both times, the injury could have been prevented had I not rushed out the door at the last minute, or been fumbling in my pocket for my phone, or something equally stupid. If I just stopped trying to do 1,349,284 things in a day, maybe I wouldn’t have missed the step and tripped in front of those construction guys on the street. (Hey, at least they didn’t laugh.)

Remember how I wrote about being too busy and life passing me by? I managed to slow down for about 48 hours and then hopped back onto the crazy train. I know it’s no good for me – I get palpitations when I check my monthly to-do list, which I end up checking about 20 times in a day sometimes – and yet I can’t stop. Well I can, but I haven’t yet reached the life-threatening epiphany that will mend my ways. Can a to-do list tendency really kill me? Maybe. Probably.

I have this deep, dark fear that if I don’t do 10 times more than is required of a normal, healthy human being, I will fail somehow. Fail whom? No idea. No one’s actually requiring me to go above and beyond in every little mundane detail. I know this blog is no therapy session or AA meeting (Hi, my name is Clem and I’m a compulsive over-achiever… Hiiii, Cleeeem) but if any of you lovely readers have tips to overcome the demons that tell me I’m never trying hard enough, my sanity will appreciate you all the more for sharing them.
#Vegan #Glutenfree Walnut Coffee Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy
In the meantime, here’s an overachiever cake for you. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many compliments about any baked goods so far from my office colleagues, and I kind of wish I hadn’t brought the cake to work because I would have liked to eat more than one slice of it. It is phenomenal. It looks pretty impressive, if I do say so myself, and it tastes even better. If you ever feel like your life’s a mess, make this cake, see how people marvel over it like it’s an original Picasso, and tell me if you still feel bad.

Oh and… I deleted my weekly to-do list. Almost deleted the monthly one but then I panicked because I don’t think I’ll survive Christmas without it. Baby steps!
#Vegan #Glutenfree Walnut Coffee Cake | The Vegan Cookie Fairy

GF Walnut Coffee Cake

  • Servings: serves 10-12 people
  • Print

Ingredients

For the cake

400g (2 cups packed) Dove’s Mill self-raising, gluten-free flour
100g (1 cup) Suma walnut halves
180g (2 cup) Suma demerara sugar
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
180ml (3/4 cup) Suma coconut oil, melted
350ml (1 cup + scant 1/2 cup) soya milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp coffee extract

For the ccoffee cream frosting

3 tins of full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight (700g total, or 24.5oz)
4 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp coffee extract
a drop of vanilla extract

For the caramelised walnuts

8-10 Suma walnut halves
60g (1/3 cup) Suma demerara sugar

Instructions

For the cake

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/gas mark 4). Line and grease a round, springform tin measuring 20cm diameter (8 inches).
  2. Add the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, lightly combining with a fork.
  3. In a big cup, combine the soya milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle.
  4. If you haven’t already, melt the coconut oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add this, the vanilla and coffee extract and curdled soya milk to the bowl of dry ingredients, and fold them in.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
  7. Now prepare the coffee cream frosting: in a large mixing bowl, whip all the ingredients together, either with a hand-held whisk or an electric one. When the cream is smooth and glossy, place in the fridge.
  8. For the caramelised walnuts: line a tray with baking paper. Add the sugar to a small saucepan on medium to high heat and leave to melt. After about 10 minutes, the sugar will have bubbled and turned to caramel – DON’T stir it, as that will disturb the process. Drop each walnut half in, one at a time, stir it around in the caramel and then lift it out with a teaspoon. Place onto the baking paper to cool.
  9. When the cake is baked and cooled, slice in half through the middle. Spread a third of the frosting over the bottom tier of the cake, then sandwich the other tier on top. Frost the cake with the remainder of the frosting.
  10. Decorate with the caramelised walnuts when they are cool.

Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Vegan Coffee & Chocolate Macarons

Vegan Coffee Macarons - The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy

I originally wrote and published this post on Friday 16 October but my blog crashed and the whole post was gone. I’d written quite a heartfelt post, and in just one second all those words were gone. I don’t have the heart or patience to rewrite the whole thing, and maybe it’s for the best that some of those words are now gone. At any rate, I was able to copy-paste an extract that was posted in the newsletter.


Perfectionist.

How many times has that word been thrown around when people describe me, or comment on something I’ve done (or rather, not done as well as I would like). You’re a born perfectionist, Clem. Even my star sign says so; virgo, the ultimate perfectionist, nothing’s ever good enough, always has to try harder, do more, be better.

My whole life I felt like that word was ill-suited to me. I never felt like I was doing anything right anyway – I was never the prettiest girl in class, never thin enough, never good enough at maths or sciences, never very techy, my brain is a sieve and I get flustered and shy, I’m not the social butterfly I wish I could be, and on and on and on – in fact I was far from perfect. But I guess even the fact that I don’t feel good enough to deserve the brand of ‘perfectionist’ just goes to show how much of  a true perfectionist I am. Sometimes though, I wish I could rebrand myself a ‘failurist’, which seems much more apt.

I like to think I’ve made small improvements: I don’t get into quite a panic about getting stuff right the first time around. But then if I do mess up something, the mental self-flagellation begins: I can’t stop thinking about what I could have done better, what small detail I overlooked, how lazy, how stupid, damn stupid I can be. I imagine that’s what it’s like to be a postman attacked by a small chihuahua that’s bitten into your leg and refuses to let go until it’s tasted blood. And boy, do I bleed.

My biggest failure to date has been haunting me for six months. I loved a man, and tried so hard for almost three years to make our relationship last, and it didn’t work. I gave it everything I had – and I still lost. I can’t tell you how much that hurts. It’s the hardest lesson I’ve learnt so far: that sometimes, no matter how long or how hard you try, you will lose, because some things are out of your control and that’s ok. Let go.
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy

I know these macarons look far from perfect. Macarons require a lot of practice, and i’m still learning. Clearly, i’m overzealous with the filling, but hey, I like my chocolate, ok? I’m just happy these feet, are properly baked, and taste effing fantastic. Taste first, looks second.

Vegan Coffee & Chocolate Macarons

Ingredients:

For the coffee shells:

  • 100g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 50g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • Aquafaba (brine) from a 400g (14 oz) tin of chickpeas
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coffee extract

For the chocolate filling:

  • 260g (1 cup + 1 tbp) vegan butter
  • 200g (7 oz) chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Drain the aquafaba into a bowl and then pour it into a saucepan and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Discard any almond crumbs that are too large to pass through the sieve.
  3. Pour the aquafaba into a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed until pale and frothy, but not quite stiff yet. Alternatively, use a handheld electric whisk for this process.
  4. Add the coffee extract and caster sugar and continue whisking until the aquafaba forms glossy, stiff peaks.
  5. Use a spatula to scrape the meringue off the whisk and into the bowl.
  6. Sieve half of the dry mixture into the meringue and mix gently, using downward strokes with the spatula. Sieve the second half of the dry mixture into the meringue and fold until all the dry mixture is incorporated.
  7. Spread the mixture with the spatula against the side of the bowl and then scoop up from underneath and turn over; this counts as one turn. Repeat this process a further 19 times. Be careful not to do this more than 20 times as it can make the macarons greasy. This step is known as the macaronnage.
  8. The macaron batter should be thick but run off the spatula and spread slightly if left in the bowl. Spoon the mixture into a large piping bag and secure the top. Place the piping bag in a tall drinking glass or mug to help support it as you spoon in the mixture. Pipe 2.5cm (1 inch) circles onto baking trays lined with baking paper, leaving room for the macarons to spread slightly. It’s important when piping the macarons to hold the piping bag directly above the baking tray, not at an angle, and to pipe in one smooth motion.
  9. Then take one baking tray at a time and drop it onto the counter or table from a small height and drop it once more. Repeat with the other trays. This helps the macarons have an even shape and aids in developing the “pied” or foot. With a moist finger, gently press down any tips left on the surface of the macarons.
  10. Leave the macarons to dry at room temperature for 2 hours.
  11. Preheat the oven to 100ºC (200ºF). Bake the macarons on the top shelf of the oven, one tray at a time, for 30 minutes. Keep checking on them to make sure they brown too quickly but do NOT open the oven door. This will ruin the macarons. When the 30 minutes are over, switch off the oven and leave inside for 15 minutes, then open the oven door and leave for another 15 minutes before taking out of the oven.
  12. Repeat this process with all of the trays of macarons.
  13. Once your baking tray and macarons are completely cold, you’re ready to sandwich them together with your filling. The macarons should have a nice, crisp shell, a ruffled foot or pied around the bottom and a firm underneath.
  14. For the filling, melt all the ingredients together in a heat-proof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon to prevent any burning. Set aside to cool completely, then pipe onto the bottom of half of the macaron shells. Finally, sandwich the remaining shells on top.

Notes:

Keep in an airtight box for up to 3 days.

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Love and cookies,

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