Food: Top 5 Vegan Easter eggs

With Veganism & people following a plant based diet growing, the selection of Easter treats has also grown to accomodate. Last year, results from a survey came out saying that the number of vegans in Britain had grown 360% in 10 years! Here are my picks for the top 5 Easter eggs this year:

For a great milk choc alternative:

IDShot_540x540

Tesco Finest Free From Caramel Egg With Truffles, £4

This caramel flavoured milk choc egg, made with rice flour is great gift to give someone (or yourself ;)) this Easter. The beautiful box contains 3 fondant truffles, as well!

Available from most Tesco’s or online

All the small things:

17202776_415531722134538_760593257826628721_n

The Little Vegan Bakery Vegan Creme Egg, £1.89

Easter is synonymous with Creme Eggs, and just because you’re vegan, doesnt mean you have to miss out! These little morsels of ooey-gooey goodness are great to snack on whilst the Easter lunch is in the oven. Remember to stock up though, as they are very popular!

Available at Brontosaurus Vegan, Swansea Market or contact TLVB at their Facebook page here.

For the Gourmet:

300493-Hard-Boiled-Egg-Ginger

 

Hotel Chocolat Hard-Boiled Easter Egg – Ginger 70%, £15

This deep, dark chocolate made with Indian ginger oil and studded with hazelnuts is a decadent tour de force. The chocolate is very rich, meaning you wont need a lot of it to get that chocolate fix, and at £15, makes the purchase more economical. It even has little crystallised ginger & hazelnut ‘crunches’ for you to nibble on.

Available at your nearest Hotel Chocolat, or online.

For the Kids:

sainsburys-white-chocolate-egg-cropped-176x300

(photo taken from here)

Sainsbury’s Freefrom White Choc Egg, 

A great white chocolate alternative, this is sure to make your kids beam with delight! Comes with buttons for a double-whammy of vegan white chocolate treats. Creamy and sweet, it’s hard to tell the difference between this and Milkybar!

Available at local Sainsbury’s, or online.

For something Different:

inside-eggs.jpg

Booja-Booja truffle eggs,various flavours, from £9.95

For something a little different to the usual Easter egg, why not splash out and get yourself a Booja-Booja Easter egg, filled with their award-winning truffles, tissue wrapped and encased in a special shell. The shell, alone is worth buying, handmade & painted by artists in Kashmir. Each one unique, the egg shell can be kept for years and re-purposed into a momento box etc.

Available from Brontosaurus Vegan, Swansea Market & So Cocoa, Mumbles

Have an egg-cellent Easter everyone!

Food: BPO pudding & salted caramel sauce

Here’s something I knocked up this evening, as I had a surplus of over-ripe bananas to use. Like most of my recipes, it’s a no fuss, all reward kind of deal 😉

To make you’ll need:

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1tsb peanut butter, smooth
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tbs of golden syrup (corn syrup/agave would also work)
  • 170g rolled oats
  • 60g muscavado sugar
  • 200ml non-dairy milk-  I used oat milk
  • Handful of sultanas
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt

To make the sauce:

  • 125ml water
  • 80g soft brown sugar
  • 125ml non-dairy milk (I used oat milk)
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • Pinch of salt

Start by putting the milk on a medium heat on the hob. Add the salt, sugar and golden syrup. Stir until it dissolves. Next, add in the oats and cook out for 4-5 minutes until the mixture starts bubbling and thickening like a big golden porridge.

In a separate bowl, add the peanut butter to the bananas and mash. The oat mixture should have cooked out by this point. Take it off the heat and leave it to cool, slightly.

Pour the oats into the bananas and combine both mixtures. Once it’s done, stir in the flour and cinnamon bit by bit until it comes together into a thick, sticky mixture.

Grease and line a square baking tin and fill with the oaty mixture. Put it into a pre-heated oven at 140°C for 1 hour.

While it’s cooking, you can make the salted caramel sauce.

To make, simply put the sugar and water onto the hob at a high heat. Add in 1tsp of cornflower to the milk and stir. This needs to be done, before putting it into the caramel. When the sugar has dissolved and is starting to caramelise add in the milk and stir. Turn down to a medium heat and leave it until it thickens. This can take 5-6 minutes. Once thickened, stir, take off the heat and add in the salt. Place into a jug/bowl and set aside. It will thicken even more as it cools.

Once the hour is up, take out the bake and test if it’s done with a toothpick. As it’s a pudding not a cake, it’s ok if the bake is slightly squidgy. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. It’s best served warm.

I served mine smothered in the sauce with a dollop of cremè fraîche on the side. I used Oatly imat fraiche – which seems to be only sold in Scandinavia atm (lucky I brought some back from my travels!) but soy natural yoghurt will also work.

 

Enjoy!

 

Food: Banoffee Trifle

Here’s a recipe for a fusion of two classic British puddings (and a good way to use up leftovers!)

 

You’ll need:

  • 140g banana bread, ripped up
  • 20ml Amaretto
  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped

For the custard:

  • 230ml double cream
  • seeds of a vanilla pod
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g  icing sugar
  • 15g dulce de leche

To Decorate:

  • 200ml  double cream, whipped
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 20g icing sugar, sifted
  • 20g flaked almonds, toasted
  • A square of dark chocolate, grated
  • 1tbs Dulce de Leche
  • Splash of milk

 

During the week I made a banana bread, using this trusty recipe from the BBC. With all the will in the world (and plenty of Chai to wash it down!) Tom and I were never going to finish it all – we had a lot leftover. Not wanting to throw it away before it went stale, I wanted to rescue it. It had me thinking about how I could make it into a trifle/banoffee pie fusion – two of my favourite desserts. This is one’s a decadent dessert that certainly isn’t for anyone on a diet. It could easily feed up to 6. Here’s how to make it:

To start, tear up the leftover banana loaf and place into a suitable bowl. It needs to be high enough to take the amount of filling. I’d recommend a clear glass bowl, so you’ll be able to see all the layers.

After tearing up the banana bread, drizzle some Amaretto over it, so it soaks in.

Now, it’s time to make the custard.

First scrape a vanilla pod into the cream and begin to heat until gently bubbling at the edges. You can even put a whole pod in to infuse if you want.

Meanwhile, add the eggs yolks and the sugar and whisk until they’re combined. Here’s the tricky part, carefully begin adding the the cream into the egg yolks making sure you keep whisking as you go – then do it vice versa back into the cream pan. Keep whisking on the heat until it coats the back of a spoon easily. Once made, pour the custard into a jug and leave to cool.

Chop up 2 ripe bananas and place them in a layer on top of the cake.

To the custard, (when cool) whisk in 15g of Dulce de Leche into it until its a light brown colour.

Now with a spatula, spread this tan mixture on top of the bananas. Cover the mixture with a layer of clingflim (to alleviate a skin forming) and leave to set in the fridge for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

While it’s in the fridge add icing sugar and vanilla into a bowl. Add the double cream and whisk until stiff peaks before setting aside.

Toast the almonds in a pan on medium heat until golden brown. Don’t take your eyes away from them, as they can catch quickly.

Once the bananas and custard mixture is set to a firm wobble, take out the fridge and remove the cling. Now it’s time to assemble!

Spread on a thick pillowy layer of cream on the sand coloured mixture. Grate the chocolate on top and sprinkle the golden almonds on top.

For an extra bit of naughtiness, take a tablespoon of Dulce de Leche and a splash of milk into a separate bowl. Mix with a spoon until smooth and pouring consistency and drizzle on top of the dessert. It is now ready to devour.

Enjoy!