I felt it in the air this Monday.
The first autumn chill.
You know the kind – it sort of tickles your hands but isn’t cold enough to warrant gloves. It came so suddenly this year in Scotland; I think because we had such a horrid summer – basically two months of waiting, and waiting, and waiting for summer to come – so we’ve been taken quite aback by the shorter days, and the drop in temperature. And suddenly it’s September, and we haven’t had a summer at all. But I honestly don’t mind because, as everyone known, autumn is a brilliant season and second only to winter (which is obviously the best because, Christmas).
Instantly, I knew I had to bake something with pumpkin.
This is what I love about autumn:
The colour orange slowly tainting the landscape, and the leaves all falling off the trees. Hot whiskeys on a cold night. That crisp, fresh breeze that means you can wrap a long, oversized check scarf three times around your head. Spiced lattes with piece of chocolate after lunch. Lazy Sunday morning tucked in bed, listening to the rain, the cat curled against my stomach. Piping hot porridge for breakfast. Plaid dresses and plaid shirts and plaid scarves. All my favourite series coming back on TV. Drinking chai tea like it’s my job. Fairy lights and scented candles. Mali sitting in my lap when I meditate in the morning. Knitted jumpers. Saturday baking afternoons, and the smell of vanilla and warm cookies in the house. The way the sunset light falls on the Edinburgh skyline.
Oh and you know another thing I love? Competitions! VegFest is coming to Glasgow on Saturday 5 – Sunday 6 December and I’m giving away two tickets worth £20. Scroll down to find out the details!
[gleam url=”https://gleam.io/wT6cS/2x-weekend-vegfest-glasgow-tickets”%5D2x Weekend VegFest Glasgow Tickets[/gleam]
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Love and cookies,
Disclaimer: this post is NOT sponsored by VegFest Scotland, they have simply decided to kindly give away two tickets to my lucky readers. Grab ’em while you can!
That bite in the air. The clear blue sky against the purple Ochil Hills. The sickly sweet pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. Mali tentatively poking his head outside the open back door, sniffing out the cold air, and deciding against walking outside today. My tartan stole and homemade knitted baby blue scarf. All my favourite TV shows back for another series. My first pumpkin delivered in my weekly veg bag.
I’m bouncing with excitement. The other day at work, a colleague greeted me at the door and remarked it was colder today, to which I replied: ‘I know! It’s great!’ (Except it’s freezing in the office, which is not great.)
Like spring after a drawn-out, dreary February, I feel rejuvenated. Summer is wonderful – especially in Scotland, where you get nearly 20 hours of light a day, brambles grow along the River Forth for peckish walkers to pick, and we get a month-long cultural festival in Edinburgh (The Fringe) – but I can’t stand it for long. It’s the heat, you see. I’m like an overdressed Victorian middle-class snob, fanning herself feverishly as she lounges underneath a parasol, complaining to everyone with ears about the heat. Autumn is a welcome breath of fresh air after a short but much-enjoyed summer.
I just feel alive. Hopeful. Chipper. (I know, me, chipper!) There’s just so much to enjoy, all things pumpkin spice being top on the list.
If you detest all the pumpkin madness, I am sorry (that you are such a miserable person), and want to prepare for what is coming next: many, many pumpkin recipes. #sorrynotsorry
Pumpkin Breakfast Loaf with Chocolate Drizzle
Notes: The chocolate drizzle doesn’t look amazing in these pictures, because I’d tried making it with vegan butter, and the result was disappointing. It’s much, much better without it. Just chocolate + maple syrup makes a thick, syrupy drizzle. On another note, this loaf isn’t too sweet, and can be made with wholemeal flour. If you want to serve it for dessert, you can add a few tablespoons of raw cane sugar.
For the pumpkin loaf:
225g (1.5 cups) plain (wholemeal) flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (The Kitchn has a good recipe for it)
125ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
75ml (1/3 cup) coconut oil, melted
250ml (1 cup) pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
2 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice
For the chocolate drizzle:
50g (1.75 oz) dark chocolate
1 tbsp maple syrup
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and grease a loaf tin.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre; place all the wet ingredients in the well, then fold them in.
3. Pour the batter into the loaf tin, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
4. Chop or break the chocolate and add it to a small saucepan, along with the maple syrup. On moderate heat, melt the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Set aside to cool a little, but not too long; you should ideally pour it over the loaf in the next ten minutes, while the chocolate is still runny but cool enough to set.
Keep covered with a cloth or stored in the bread tin for up to 3 days.
How does autumn make you feel?
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Love and cookies,