Roasted Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Roasted Rhubarb Muffins Title 2
(So. Almost two weeks ago I announced on Instagram that this post would be live soon on another website almost two weeks ago but it never did. Annoying. Sorry about the delay, I was so eager to share this recipe with you as soon as possible. Hopefully you can still find some rhubarb in the shops.)

Rhubarb gets me into a frenzy. Every year it’s the same: those pretty, slender stalks that bear my two favorite colours only visit our vegetable patches for a short while and before you know it, they’ve gone. So I panic, buy loads, try to make the most of them, but I just end up making lots of rhubarb crisp.
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But not this year, because I’ve started expanding my arsenal of rhubarb recipes. Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day I tried making rhubarb granola, which was a great success and inspired me to make these muffins. The rhubarb, roasted in coconut sugar, softens and sweetens but retains a sharpness that perfectly complements the sweet, moist texture of the muffins. Granola replaces the traditional streusel topping to make these muffins the perfect weekend baking treat.
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Don’t be scared by the oil in this recipe – 1/2 cup divided over 9 muffins isn’t so bad. If you really do want to make this recipe low-fat, substitute the same amount of fruit puree such as apple or banana for the oil. If you don’t want to use maple syrup (or don’t have any), use 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and add an extra splash of milk to thin out the batter if it gets too lumpy.
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Roasted Rhubarb Granola Muffins

  • Servings: makes 9 muffins
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Granola topping
1/2 cup (40g) oats
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin)
1 tbsp canola (or vegetable) oil

Muffins
2 stalks of rhubarb
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 + 1/2 cups (225g) spelt flour
1/2 cup (40g) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 (60ml) maple syrup
1/2 cup (125ml) canola/vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125ml) non-dairy milk
2 tbsp ground flaxseed + water

1. Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Slice the rhubarb in 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces. Toss the rhubarb and coconut sugar together in a roasting dish and roast 20 minutes while you prepare the muffin batter and granola topping.

2. For the granola topping, simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until needed.

3. Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 6 tbsp water in a small bowl. Set aside to get while you gel on with the muffin batter.

4. Combine the spelt flour, oats, ground ginger and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the maple syrup, oil, non-dairy milk and gelled flaxseed and water mixture. The batter should be thick and smooth.

5. If you haven’t already, remove the rhubarb from the oven. Drain any excess juices and fold the softened pieces of rhubarb into the muffin batter.

6. Pour the batter into 9 large muffin molds. Cover generously with the granola topping.

7. Lower the oven temperature to 340ºF (170ºC). Bake the muffins for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and crisp and a skewer comes out of the muffins clean. Cool on a wire rack before enjoying still slightly warm.

What’s your favorite way to eat rhubarb? Leave me your recommendations in the comments below 🙂

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Love and cookies,
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Vegan Scottish Tablet

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I’m no sports fan but I have to say that the Commonwealth Games have piqued my interest and even raised some weirdly nationalistic emotions in me (and I am certain I haven’t got a drop of Scottish blood in me, sadly). Ross Murdoch, who is a student at my university, won a gold medal in the men’s 200 metres breaststroke final. I see those athletes when I go to the university swimming pool for a leisurely swim, and I’m so proud of them and what they’re doing. Go team Scotland! 🙂 I’m actually going to see the gymnastics tomorrow, so if you happen to see me come and say hi!
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It seems fitting then to share a typically Scottish recipe with you today. I was holding out on this one because the weather was just too nice not to share my ice cream and summer recipes with you, but what better occasion to have tablet than while watching the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow?
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For those of you not familiar with this Scottish delicacy (and I was one of you less than a year ago) tablet is sort of like fudge but with condensed milk added to the mix. Needless to say that butter and condensed milk are decidedly not suitable for a vegan diet. Thankfully vegan butter and coconut milk will do the trick! This recipe does take a wee while to make as you need to patiently condense the coconut milk and be careful not to let the sugar burn, so stay by your stove at all times! And yes, there is a frightening amount of sugar involved… But the great thing about this recipe is that it only requires four ingredients!
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Scottish Tablet

  • Servings: makes 12 large pieces
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Adapted from this BBC Good Food recipe.

500g (1lb) demerara/unrefined cane sugar (not soft brown sugar)
180g (1 + 1/4 cup) vegan butter
75ml (1/3 cup) coconut cream (scoop the fat out of a can of chilled full-fat coconut milk)
125ml (1/2 cup) water

In a large saucepan heat the water and add the butter.

When the butter has melted and the water is just about to boil, add all of the sugar to the pan. Dissolve the sugar in the hot buttery water, stirring regularly.

Bring the liquid to the boil, then lower to a simmer.

Add the coconut cream after a few minutes of gentle simmering. Keep stirring for the next 20 minutes. The sugary liquid is going to bubble up a lot (hence the importance of a large saucepan) so you must keep on eye on it. After twenty minutes it will have reduced considerably and become a thick, creamy sauce.

Test the consistency of the mixture by dropping a little on a cold side plate; if it sets within 30 seconds, it’s ready.

Remove the mixture from the heat. Pour into a large mixing bowl and beat ferociously for 10 minutes. (An electric whisk is convenient at this point, but you may also consider this your workout for the day.) Then pour into a shallow tray of 13cm x 18cm ( 5 inches x 7 inches). Cool on a wire rack before transferring to the freezer for at about half an hour.

Slice into 12 large (or 24 small) cubes.

Enjoy with a good cup of tea or coffee for a delightful afternoon treat!

If you’re watching the Commonwealth Games, who are you rooting for? 

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Love and cookies,
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My Favourite Vegan Summer Desserts – Recipe Round-Up!

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When summer rolls around I often hear people complaining that it’s too hot to eat rich, sweet foods… Not me! Let’s be honest, there is no alternate reality in which I am not eating dessert every day. Especially in northern Europe where our summers are frightfully short and we have to make the most of our summer fruits while they last, there are all too many excuses to make delectable sweet treats. These are just a handful of my favourite ones – you know it was hard to choose!

Strawberry frozen yogurt on an almond butter-dipped cone
strawberry froyo ab cones - best summer desserts
If you were not yet aware of my love affaire with almond butter, let me tell you about. Or rather, let me show you. Chocolate-dipped cones haven’t got a chance compared to almond butter. It’s a summery take on the traditional peanut butter and jam combo.

Ginger beer mango coconut ice cream float
ginger beer float - best summer desserts
I love these Fentiman’s ginger beer bottles, they look so cute and vintage – and the drink itself isn’t half bad, either. The ginger beer paired with the creaminess of the mango and coconut is something you really have to try for yourself.

Pistachio and espresso ice cream sandwiches
Pistachio espresso cookie sandwiches
Someone commented on this recipe telling me I must have had sophisticated palate as a child… if only! But if you feel that description applies to you, whether you are old or young, these ice cream sandwiches are for you. They’re much simpler to make than they look!

Raw chocolate mousse
raw chocolate mousse -best summer recipes
This recipe is amongst my most popular, and it’s easy to know why: it can be made with only 4 ingredients, it’s raw, healthy, and mind-blowingly moreish. Every non-vegan I’ve ever served it to asked for more.

Raw banana ice cream pops – endless flavour combinations
banana ice cream pops - best summer recipes
Have you got bananas? Cacao and cacao butter? Various topping choices? Then you can make banana ice cream pops. And you should. Go make them. Now. (If you haven’t got ice cream sticks, just use chopsticks.)

Coconut & mango froyo sandwiches
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If ice cream sandwiches aren’t your thing, have you ever tried a froyo sandwich? I like having these in the freezer for a sweet treat when I get a craving, I just let them thaw for 20-30 minutes before biting into them.

Gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crumble
strawberry rhubarb crumble - best summer desserts
Make the most of strawberry season before it’s over! Nothing screams ‘summer’ like strawberries and rhubarb crumble. You can easily make this gluten-free by using gluten-free oats, or pulsed nuts and seeds.

Raw vanilla rooibos tartlets
raw vanilla rooibos tartlets - best summer desserts
If it’s too hot to turn the oven on, turn to your Vitamix or food processor and make some raw desserts. Rooibos is my favourite tea of all time, and gives this dessert a delicate perfume.

Peanut butter cup ice cream {sugar-free + raw}
PB cups ice cream - best summer dessrets
I’ve saved the best for last: super decadent, chunky, indulgent, dreaaaamy peanut butter cup ice cream. Only 6 ingredients, no added sugars. It’s basically one of your five-a-day.

What’s your all-time favourite summer dessert? Share your tips and recipes in the comments below! 🙂

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Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

 

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream { vegan + sugar-free + option to make raw}

Peanut Butter Cups Ice Cream #sugarfree title
I have had a fantastic week. My friend Vanessa found out hardly two months ago that she needed to move to Glasgow, where she will be attending Glasgow University this autumn. She’d never been to Scotland before – never even been North before – and didn’t know anyone but me here. Moving to the other end of the country is daunting enough, but having to do in less than two months is an ordeal.
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A month ago she was viewing flats, this week she actually moved in. Yesterday was what my mother would call ‘une épopée – an epic adventure. Cramming Nessie’s every possession into our backpacks, one small and two giant suitcases, we took a bus, then a train, then a taxi and finally made it to her flat. Her quaint, chic, grown-up flat in the West End. Creaky wooden floorboards, high ceilings, cheerful yellow bedding – for someone who hates moving, I felt quite excited by the possibilities that moving offers. A fresh start, the feeling of adventure and expansion. It’s how I felt when I crammed with the cat into my mum’s overloaded car and followed the motorway signs to ‘THE NORTH.’
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But before she moved into to her new flat Nessie called my home hers for a week while she was ‘in limbo’. My neighbour jokes that my flat is becoming a halfway house for stray students waiting for their flats! I’ve had two different temporary flatmates over the past couple of months, and it’s been great to live with my girlfriends. Nessie’s diet and mine are polar opposites: she eats Kraft mac ‘n cheese any time of day while I make my salads and green smoothies, which is hilarious, and we still get along great. We spent a week watching countless Disney films, stealing some rare Scottish sunshine, talking about boys and eating ice cream. While she dug into a pint tub of Häagen-Dazs, I devoured peanut butter cup ice cream for lunch.
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Thanks for a great week, my loch Ness monster. Welcome to Scotland, and see you soon!

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream: sugar-free, with option to make raw

  • Servings: serves about 3 people, 2 scoops each
  • Print

Note: Make the peanut butter cups first because they will need to set in the freezer. While they’re setting you can make the ice cream. BUT remember you need to freeze the bananas overnight for the ice cream, so a little advance preparation is necessary. 

For the peanut butter cups:

125ml (1/2 cup) coconut oil
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
about 2 heaped tbsp natural, smooth peanut butter (preferably palm oil-free; use raw to make raw PB cups)
1 tsp stevia

Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl suspended over a pot of boiling water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water).

Remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao and stevia until no lumps remain. Set aside for a few minutes to cool.

Coat the bottom and sides of 5 silicone cupcake moulds. Freeze for about 5-10 minutes until set.

Pour about a teaspoon of peanut butter into the cupcake moulds. This is the peanut butter centre of your peanut butter cups. Freeze for another 5-10 minutes until set.

Finish the peanut butter cups by covering the peanut butter centre with the remainder of the raw cacao sauce. Freeze again, until needed this time. (And lick the bowl if there’s any chocolate left.)

For the peanut butter ice cream:

4 very ripe bananas
250ml (1 cup) coconut milk
3 tbsp natural, smooth peanut butter (preferably palm oil-free; use raw to make raw ice cream)

Peel the bananas and chop them into small slices. Place in a freezer bag and freeze overnight.

Blend the coconut milk and frozen banana slices (a little at a time) in a food processor. After about 3-5 minutes the bananas and coconut milk ought to look creamy, like soft serve ice cream.

Pour the ice cream into an ice cream container. Swirl the peanut butter through it. Break the frozen peanut butter cups into small pieces and scatter them across the ice cream, incorporating them with a spoon.

Freeze for an hour before serving, or until needed. If you are leaving the ice cream until later, you will need to defrost it for half an hour; using an ice cream scoop dipped in hot water also helps to form nice round scoops.

When was the last time you felt that soaring feeling of new possibilities? 

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Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake

(First things first: Happy Independence Day to the US! And happy birthday to my friend Vanessa.)

Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake title
Remember last Friday’s post? Just before it went live my not-so-vegan, can’t-cook-to-save-his-life Cookie Monster emailed me with an idea. ‘Why don’t we make a cake for our anniversary to put it up on your blog?’ This made a few things very clear to me:

1) He really never plans things in advance, does he?
2) And yet, I never give up hope that someday he will.
3) He clearly hasn’t noticed that during my Masters degree I only blog on Fridays.
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But bless him for trying. I actually thought it was a splendid idea. I keep trying to get him into the kitchen, show him a few simple recipes, but every time I end up doing everything myself. Oh well. To each his own talent(s).
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In the end, we settled on making a vegan cheesecake. Baileys cheesecake. When the cake came out rather thin (I could have made it taller but the price of cashews in the UK gives me heart palpitations) he suggested we add a chocolate layer (‘A chocolate ganache layer,’ said I; ‘What the f*** is ganache?!’ quoth he). Then he got this crazy idea to use an apple corer (I’m surprised he knew what that even is) and slice holes in the cheesecake and fill them with chocolate. I might have called him a nutter.
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But the Irish are nothing if not determined, so he bought me an apple corer and under duress made me cut holes out of the cheesecake, fill them with ganache, and cover the whole lot in chocolate.

Well I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the best thing I ever ate.

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In honour of all the things I might have never tried, known or experienced, I made this cake for my Cookie Monster, who never ceases to push me out of my comfort zone. (And who did not lift a finger to help but instead watched the World Cup. Some things never change – but maybe I don’t want them to.)IMG_2195_1

Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake

  • Servings: serves 8-10
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For the base:

250g (8.8 oz) digestive biscuits (graham crackers)
125ml (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted
60ml (1/4 cup) rapeseed/canola oil (or more coconut oil; I just ran out)

For the cheesecake filling:

310ml (1 + 1/4 cup) Angela Liddon’s recipe for vegan Irish Cream
400g (14 oz) cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
75g (2.8 oz) vegan white chocolate chips

For the chocolate ganache:

250ml (1 cup) coconut cream
200g (7 oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line and grease a round 20cm (8 inch) springform tin.

2. Pulse the digestive biscuits to a coarse sandy texture in a food processor. Tip into a large bowl and with your hands, mix in the oil to form a sticky dough; this is your base. Press it into the bottom of the lined tin, ensuring it is nice and even.

3. Bake for 15 minutes, then cool on a wire rack while you get on with the rest of the cake.

4. Discard the soaking water of the cashews. Blend the cashews, coconut oil and vegan Iris cream until smooth; this will require a high-speed blender, a tamper and some patience. At most it will take ten minutes. Add in the white chocolate chips, either by stirring them in with a spoon or by letting your blender do it at the lowest speed for just a few seconds.

5.Pour the cheesecake filling onto the cooled cake base (the springform tin should obviously still be around the base at this point). Place in the fridge overnight for best results.

6. In the morning when the cake is set solid, use an apple corer to cut out little cylinders from the cheesecake. (Go on and eat them what else will you do with those little creamy towers?) You will pour the chocolate ganache into and over them.

7. To prepare the ganache: melt the coconut cream in a saucepan over medium heat. When the cream is liquid and just about bubbling, remove the pan from the heat and drop the broken chocolate into the cream; let it ooze and melt, then stir with a wooden spoon till evenly blended. Let cool for a few minutes, then pour into the holes in the cheesecake and over the whole cake.

8. Set in the fridge for another couple of hours before carefully releasing the cake from its springform tin and serving with a few shavings of white chocolate on top. (And obviously drink up the remainder of the Irish cream while devouring a slice of cheesecake.)

How do you push your boundaries and get out of your comfort zone?

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Love and cookies,

 

Limoncello Drizzle Cake {GF and sugar-free} Celebrating 2 years.

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I get fairly personal on this blog – after all for me, food is such a foundational part of my day, of my entire life, that there are memories associated with most dishes I make, especially cakes and desserts. (Like Mum’s cake, or Granny’s chocolate mousse, or these ice cream sandwiches.) And sometimes I mention my Cookie Monster. But I don’t really talk about him that much because a) he gets embarrassed like that, and b) I like to keep him to myself.
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Especially considering the past year. We were (or rather, I was) optimistic about long-distance. One year, we could do that, right? Let me fast-forward to the point: long-distance is brutal. Skype is great but human contact is essential in a relationship. There has been more shouting, crying and sulking than either of us would have liked. There were times I thought, ‘This is it, we won’t make it.’ There were more ups and downs than a roller-coaster can boast; at this point, I think we’re both ready to get off the ride.
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That’s not to say we never have good times together. We have loads. Last year we went to Naples and we brought back two bottles of limoncello. Sunshine in a bottle. If I could bottle his smile and save it for a stressful day, I would. But for now, limoncello will have to do; with each bite of this cake I remember that week of sunshine, gelato and blissful relaxation we spent together.

Two years together. Thanks for sticking with me, babe.
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Limoncello Drizzle Cake {GF}

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

3 tbsp powdered stevia
120g (1/2 cup) vegan butter
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla essence
The juice of a small lemon and the zest of three
120g (1 cup) ground almonds
180g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) polenta
1 tsp baking powder
125ml (1/2 cup) warm water
A few tablespoons of limoncello and soya or coconut cream to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Line or grease a round 20cm (8″) springform cake tin.

Cream the butter and stevia till light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl. Add the flax eggs, vanilla essence, lemon juice and zest. Incorporate the warm water and remaining dry ingredients a little at a time to combine them more easily; the batter should be even and somewhat thick, but not lumpy or tough to handle.

Pour into the lined/greased cake tin. Smooth out the top so it’s even. Lower the temperature to 180ºC (350ºF) and bake for 40 minutes; the edge of the cake should come away from the tin and be golden.

Cool on a wire rack. Release the cake from its tin and carefully place it on a tray/plate/stand. (I do this by flipping the cake upside down onto a plate, then flipping it again onto the desired platform of presentation.) Drizzle over as much limoncello as you like without drowning the cake and serve each slice with a generous glug of cream.

Thank you for letting me share my personal stories with you. Your continued support means the world to me. ❤

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Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Ginger Beer Mango Coconut Ice Cream Float {Suma Bloggers Network}

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Sometimes overcomplicating things is not the best plan. Who am I kidding – it never is. For my first blog post of my partnership with Suma I had planned an epic, mind-boggling, orgasmic ginger beer mango loaf cake. The stuff of dreams. It was going to be moist, delicate, flavourful, exotic and totally blissful. I even shared a sneak peek of the initial trial on Instagram:
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The only thing more soul-destroying than a failed cake is a second failed cake. (And The Fault In Our Stars. It wrecked my heart.)
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After the second trial, which was even uglier and more pitiful than the first, I knew I had to change tack. Let’s face it: I have 48 days to write and hand in my Dissertation, I’ve started a new (stressful) part-time job, I’ve just sent the first drafts of my next two ebooks to my publisher, and then just, you know… life on top of that. Sometimes there is simply no room in such a hectic schedule for an epic ginger beer mango loaf cake. And that is ok.
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The weather is hot, we’re in shorts and t-shirts and we’re trying to tan our pathetically pale skins in the Scottish sun. This could only mean ice cream. So I present to you a simple ginger beer float, with stupendously simple and sugar-free mango ice cream, topped with a lush whipped coconut cream made of only two ingredients. There you go. Enjoy, my lovelies.
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Ginger Beer Mango Coconut Ice Cream Float

  • Servings: makes 1 large serving
  • Print

For the mango coconut cream and ginger beer float:

250ml (1 cup) coconut cream, chilled overnight
1 banana, sliced and frozen
480g (3 heaped cups) frozen mango chunks
120ml (2/3 cup) almond milk

120ml (1/2 cup) chilled Fentiman’s Ginger Beer (see final step: ‘to assemble’)

Puree the first four ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until creamy and smooth. Tip: add the mango chunks a little at a time to make life easier for your blender/food processor.

Pour the ice cream into a container and place in the freezer for about an hour. If leaving it longer, do defrost it for about twenty minutes before scooping it up with an ice cream scoop dipped in hot water.

For the coconut whipped cream:

200ml (3/4 cups + 2 tbsp) coconut cream, chilled overnight
1 tbsp powdered stevia

Briskly whip together both ingredients.

To assemble:

Place three scoops of mango coconut ice cream in a sundae glass. Pour over the chilled ginger beer and top with a healthy dollop of coconut whipped cream. Enjoy immediately, by yourself or with a friend.

Variations: Add some caramelised ginger or dried pineapple chunks to your mango ice cream for a fiery kick to complement the ginger beer.

How about you – do you, like me, waste far too much time trying to be an overachiever?

Disclaimer: I was sent some ingredients for this recipe by Suma Wholefoods as part of the Suma Bloggers Network partnership but, as always, all opinions are my own. I am not getting paid for this blog post. 

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