Baileys Bourbon Creams

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I love everything about Scotland (men in kilts, in particular) but I never thought I would like Scotch. I love me a glass of whiskey, but I’d prefer it to be Irish. However my lovely neighbours refused to accept this and promptly began to instruct me on proper whisky. (Note the absence of the ‘e’.)
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The best place in Stirling for a dram is The Curly Coo, a quaint and old-fashioned looking pub to which I instantly pledged my allegiance. It’s my regular now. Not that I have the funds to regularly go to the pub, but if there’s anywhere I want to go for a drink, it’s there. The landlady, who has a jarring Queen’s English accent, knows her whisky like the back of her hand and I’m told she has an interesting back story. I guess I’ll need to go back and figure out what it is…
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But if I’m really, really honest… the only whiskey I’ve got in my house is my trusted Jameson. That one will always be my favourite. (Sorry Gemma!)
IMG_1965A note for the Americans and other non-Brits: a Bourbon cream is the most attractive and delightful little biscuit there ever was. You may not call it a cookie. No, it does not contain Bourbon. It’s totally non-alcoholic and surprisingly can often be found to contain no eggs or dairy, just vegetable oils. But it’s never sold with a Baileys cream centre, so I decided to make one. There.
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Baileys Bourbon Creams

  • Servings: makes 18 biscuits
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Adapted from this recipe by Good Housekeeping.

For the bourbon biscuits:

250g (9 oz)spelt or plain flour
125g (4.5 oz) vegan butter
125g (4.5 oz) soft brown sugar
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegan butter and work it into the dry ingredients by rubbing them together between your fingertips. The end result should resemble wet sand and be moist but not too sticky.

Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Unwrap the biscuit dough and roll it out on a clean surface. Make it into a rectangle 23cm x 30.5cm (9in x 12in), and about 0.5 cm (0.25 inch) thick. Cut the rectangle in 3 parts lengthways, then cut across them in 2.5 cm (1 inch) intervals. You should have 36 biscuits.

Place them on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-22 minutes.

For the Baileys Cream:

500ml (2 cups) coconut cream
1 tbsp Irish whiskey
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp espresso powder

Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Give it about 5 minutes for all the ingredients to melt into each other, then stir with a wooden spoon. Remove from the hob and set aside to cool completely. 

Stir in 2 tsp psyllium husk, then place in the fridge to set. It’s best to leave it overnight, but a minimum of 6 hours will do.

Spread about a teaspoon of the Baileys cream onto the bottom side of a biscuit, then press another one on top. Do this for all of the biscuits. If you have any cream leftover, feel free to dip the biscuits into it or eat it on its own as pudding!

What’s one thing you never thought you’d like?

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Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Vegan In Scotland: Henderson’s Restaurant and Deli Review

Welcome to the third review of Vegan In Scotland, the blog series in which I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants, cafés and shops in Scotland. Ever since I moved here, I realised it is noticeably harder to eat out and stick to a plant-based diet in Scotland than it was when I lived in London. After several months of frustration, I am making it my mission to suss out vegan/vegetarian places to eat all over Scotland — if it takes me all the way out to the Hebrides! (But hopefully not.) The first reviews are on Stereo and David Bann.

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I could think of no better way to start the Easter weekend than a much-anticipated visit to Henderson’s vegetarian restaurant and deli in Edinburgh. I had already visited the café at St John’s near Princes Street – it was good, but nothing to write home about. (The cake was dry. Few things are more disappointing than a dry cake.)

But I knew that if there were this many Henderson’s branches across Edinburgh there must be a good reason. I am nothing if not determined to see the good in everything.
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The restaurant is located in the basement of the deli, down a flight of bucolic stairs. (In the summer this is unfortunate, as we would have liked to dine in the sun, but I imagine it must be delightfully cosy in there in the winter.) There is a menu scribbled onto a blackboard behind the buffet, but otherwise you can pretty much mix and match your salads and cooked lunch. About half of the dishes are vegan, so there is plenty of choice. The ‘famous’ haggis and the bean burger were tempting but I was curious about the mushroom stroganoff, having never had one in my life. I left my partner to order and grabbed a ginger coconut lemon bar on my way to our table.

There was nothing pretty about my stroganoff, but it was nutritious and enjoyable. Not sure I would order it again. When my table companion’s bean burger arrived I was nearly green with envy: a baseball-sized patty, golden brown and crisp on the outside, lounging on a bed of fresh lettuce and juicy cherry tomatoes, served with a just-spicy-enough tomato sauce. And those wedges. Gargantuan, crackling, dusted with paprika and cayenne. I was very happy to finish off my companion’s plate.
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I liked my little coconut bar but it was too crispy for me, and actually quite tough to chew. I wish I’d gone with the chocolate hazelnut cake they were serving that day, but I felt compelled to try something different for once. (Note to self: stick with what you like.)

 

The room is poorly lit and vaguely resembles the interior of a second-rate Swiss chalet pub, but it isn’t uncomfortable and the food mostly makes up for it. We agreed that this was not the ideal place for a couple to have a cosy meal together but rather a family restaurant, or somewhere you would dine out with a group of friends. There were a number of children around, which might bother some adult diners.

Looking at the website afterwards I discovered they offer 10% student discounts. If this was advertised anywhere in the restaurant, I did not notice it, but I’ll make sure to ask next time. IMG_1464 IMG_1465 IMG_1466_1
We went up to the deli post-lunch; it was quite empty, everyone being out in the sun that day. I asked for a fresh juice and to my delight they made it for me on the spot. There was an excellent selection of teas and plenty of vegan chocolate, including some chocolate eggs by Considerit, which I love.IMG_1468IMG_1467IMG_1469

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My overall verdict: I’ll happily go again. There were so many dishes I wanted to try but my stomach begged to differ. By now you’ll know we’re modest eaters, and our bill came to just under £20 for two people. If you live in Edinburgh and want to buy lunch or a snack on the go, or get a few special ingredients, I would definitely recommend the deli. The food is fresh and moreish.

Henderson’s restaurant and deli
94 Hanover Street
Telephone : 0131 225 2131
email mail@hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I am not endorsed for this review and the meal was not complimentary. 

Have you been to Henderson’s? Which Scottish vegan restaurant/café/shop should I visit next?

Love and cookies,
TheVeganCookieFairySignature #2

Cardamom Pancake Stack with Sweet Potato Chocolate Frosting

CardamomPancakeStack_title2Hello sweet friends! Yes, another pancake stack cake. I can’t promise I won’t make more. If you think about it, it’s perfectly logical: they are both a breakfast food and a dessert, and they are the embodiment of Pancake Day. (Who’s excited??? It can’t be just me!!!) Surely I need not explain any further.

IMG_1060cardamomchocpancakestackYes, you did read that right: you can eat these for breakfast. You can eat anything for breakfast, technically, be it salad or cupcake, but let me elaborate: what I mean is that (and for many reasons I loathe to say this, but it’s true) this is a healthy cake.

Don’t shoot, please – hear me out!

IMG_1066I hate it when people say: ‘This cake/cupcake/cookie is healthy, it’s good for you!’ Let’s be honest, if it’s dessert, it’s never really that healthy. You shouldn’t eat it every day, even if it is sugar-free, low-fat, animal-free, whatever. Dessert will always be dessert, unless you happen to think raw carrot is a sweet treat. I’ve been guilty of saying it before, but it always irks me; it makes me feel like some gimmicky fad diet marketer.

IMG_1069This cake, though it should not be consumed daily but only as a occasional meal for celebration, is made of mostly natural ingredients. The sweetness comes from the sweet potatoes (more on those later) or xylitol or stevia. It won’t spike your blood sugar levels, it won’t mess with your cholesterol. It’s a whole lot of carbohydrates, yes, but that’s why I chose spelt flour, not processed white flour. The ground flaxseed add omega 6 and9’s,which are essential to a healthy diet. If you wanted to make the frosting super duper healthy, you could use raw cacao powder instead of melted chocolate.

So you see, eating some of this cake won’t make you diabetic, it won’t give you cancer. It won’t make you skinny either, though, but no one ever said Pancake Day would do that.

IMG_1054My point really is: just eat what you want. Try to limit processed ingredients that deep down you know aren’t good for you, but you will never, ever hear me say you should not eat them at all. You get one life. You shouldn’t spend if feeling rotten about yourself.

Happy Pancake Day to all of you lovely cookie monsters!IMG_1071

Note: Most of you will be thinking: ‘Clem, you’ve lost it this time. Sweet potatoes in my frosting? Shut the front door.’ I got the idea from the lovely Elenore over at Earthsprout. She’s a goddess in the kitchen, so if you don’t trust my word, trust hers.

Cardamom Pancake Stack with Sweet Potato Chocolate Frosting

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Sweet potato chocolate frosting:

2 large sweet potatoes
100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 200ºC (400ºF) and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Cut the sweet potatoes in quarters, lengthways. Spray with a little oil. Roast for 1 hour or until fork tender.

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Cool on a wire rack before scooping the flesh out of the skins. Mash with a fork.

Melt chocolate and coconut oil au bain-marie; i.e. place a bowl over a pot of boiling water on the stove. The heat will slowly melt the coconut oil and chocolate.

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Fold the melted chocolate into the mashed sweet potato. Add cocoa powder for a more intense chocolate flavour. Marvel at those colours.

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Set aside in the fridge until needed.

Cardamom pancakes:

190g spelt flour (I think that make 1 + 1/2 cups? I didn’t measure it myself, only used a conversion chart. At any rate it should weigh 6.7 oz)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
3 tbsp xylitol or 3-ish tsp stevia
1 tsp ground cardamom
375ml (1 + 1/2 cups) soya milk
¼ tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

In a small bowl mix the ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Set aside to gel. This mixture will thicken and act as an egg replacer to bind the batter.

Sift the remaining dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the vanilla paste, flax eggs and soya milk until fully incorporated.

Grease a large, thin frying pan with a little coconut oil. Place on medium heat.

Drop one ladleful of batter into the pan, spreading it not too thinly into a 10cm (5”) diameter circle. Cook on one side for 3-5 minutes, until small bubbles appear on the top and the sides firm up. Bravely flip (aided by a spatula if need be). Cook on the other side till firm.

Place the pancake onto a clean plate. Repeat this process until the batter is exhausted. You should have 6 pancakes.

To assemble:

Spread a tablespoon of frosting onto each pancake, save one. Stack the pancakes, frosted side up. Place the remaining pancake on top. Generously cover the sides and top of the stack with the rest of the frosting.

Decorate with maple-roasted nuts and seeds if desired. Eat for dessert or breakfast—or whenever you damn please!

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What are you planning this Pancake Day/Mardis Gras/Shrove Tuesday?

Love and cookies,

TheVeganCookieFairySignature #2