Drink: Kladdkaka cocktail

This week in Sweden it was kladdkakans dag, which is a day for the unctuously good gooey chocolate cake, called a kladdkaka (sticky cake), like a Swedish brownie. I wanted to do a vegan version, but instead of just re-creating the cake, I’ve used it as inspiration for a cocktail.

Serves 2

To make you’ll need:

  • Handful of lightly burned oats, soaking in 100ml water
  • 100ml of leftover coffee, I like to use what’s leftover in my French-Press, (so for this I used Coaltown Coffee’s Black Gold No.3)
  • 400ml oat milk, I used Oatly
  • 1tbs cocoa, sifted
  • 50g good quality chocolate (at least 70%), melted, I used Svenska Kakaobolaget
  • 3 shots of Vodka, I used Stoli
  • 1tbs vanilla sugar
  • Ice

Serve:

  • Vegan whipped cream
  • Pinch of cocoa

Start by placing your oats in a pan and toasting them on low. Rather than letting them go golden brown, you need to take it just a bit further so they start to burn, not too much however. You need the nutty-bitterness that will be imbued in the liquid. Take off the heat, place into a bowl and pour in the water. Let the oats soak until they make the water a golden hue. like the picture below:

 

FullSizeRender (3)

 

After this, leave it to cool. When ready, strain the liquid through a sieve and place the golden liquid in a separate bowl. Now, take your melted chocolate and whisk that into the liquid, before adding in the cocoa, whisking thoroughly. Then add in the vanilla sugar.

 

In your cocktail shaker, place the chocolatey mixture, along with the cold coffee, oat milk and your 3 shots of vodka over the ice. Shake vigorously and serve in a tall glass. Top with some vegan whipped cream and a sifting of cacao.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Food: Dark chocolate Easter eggs with a salted date caramel filling

With more vegan options this Easter, than ever, I’ve decided to join in and add one of my own. This recipe combines the deep bitterness of dark chocolate with the naturally decadent flavours of date, made into a salted caramel.

 

To make, you’ll need:

  • 400g good quality dark chocolate (70% minimum)
  • 150g dates
  • 180ml water
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • Splash of non-dairy milk ( I used Oatly oat milk)
  • Knob of soya butter
  • Pinch of quality sea salt ( I used Halen Môn)
  • 2 tsb non-dairy cream ( I again used Oatly)
  • Easter egg mould

Start by soaking the dates in boiling water for an hour (or in cold water for a couple of hours). Once this is done blitz up the mixture in a food processor until it becomes a thin, sticky sauce. Next melt the butter in a pan, then add the mixture, cream and reduce.

After  a few minutes add the cornflour (slaked in a splash of milk) and stir. Continue reducing until it forms into a thick caramel, this should take 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and set aside. It will thicken even more as it cools.

Once the caramel is cooling you can turn your attention to the chocolate. Chop up the chocolate finely and place into a glass bowl. Keep a third of the chocolate back.

Place the pan over a bowl of simmering water. As it melts stir occasionally. The next step you’ll need to do is temper the chocolate. Tempering the chocolate will ensure it has a glossy finish and a great snap. This reduces the size of the crystals in the cocoa butter leaving you with a smoother product.

The easiest way to do this is to remove the bowl from the pan and add in the third of the chocolate that you kept behind. This will cool the chocolate. Stir until the all the chocolate is melted. It should become nice and glossy.

Use the tempered chocolate to fill the moulds. Pour a ladle of chocolate into the mould and roll it around until the whole of the mould is evenly covered. Pour any excess back into the bowl and scrape around the edge of the mould with a flat knife. Set aside and leave to harden. Once the first layer has set repeat the process until you’re happy with the thickness of the egg shell. Leave to harden and cool completely for a few hours. When it’s done carefully remove from the moulds and spoon the thick caramel into the egg halves and garnish with a pinch more salt.

Enjoy and Happy Easter!

 

 

Food: Vegan espresso gelato

This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. It uses a handful of ingredients and minimal effort, but produces a rich & creamy dairy-free ice cream.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • A splash of soy milk/almond milk
  • 3 tbs of freshly brewed strong espresso
  • A Splash of Amaretto
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • A sprinkle of salt

 

I had nearly a full tin of coconut milk (left over from the Spicy sweet potato and chickpea recipe here) that needed using up. I started to think what to make with it – and vegan gelato popped into my head.

Only full fat coconut milk will work here, so put the can of reduced fat milk away!

The actual recipe is easy, begin by spooning it into a mixing bowl, and with an electric whisk, mix until it comes together into a thick batter. Next, add a splash of soy milk/ almond milk – or any non dairy milk to loosen it up a bit. Mix again. Add the espresso and amaretto and mix again. See I told you this was easy 😉

Sift in the icing sugar and you guessed it, mix. Add a sprinkle of salt. Mix on the top speed to add a tonne of volume to it. When it’s nearly doubled in mass scrape of the excess from the whisk and pour into a lidded container. Now place in the freezer. It’s essentially done.

There’s only one thing left to do, it’s not hard though – every hour, just take the container out and stir it thoroughly with a spoon. Do this about 5/6 times and then leave it a few more hours to set properly (I left mine overnight). This will make sure the gelato is smooth and creamy when it hits your tongue.

The next day I made a salted chocolate sauce to serve with it.

To make this all you need is:

  • 50g good quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cacao solids)
  • 1 tsp flavourless oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1tbs agave
  • A pinch of good quality Sea Salt (I used Maldon)

 

To make: chop and melt the dark chocolate in a pan on a low heat on the stove. Add the agave and oil and stir until it comes together into a glossy, dark mixture. Take off the heat and pour over the gelato. The temperature difference should start to set the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the salt on the dark topping & devour!

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!