Food: Pancakes of love

Here’s a recipe for some easy vegan pancakes to whizz up for Valentine’s for your sweetheart, works well for Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen (25th January) too!

You’ll need:

For the pancakes:

  • 100g self raising flour,
  • 50ml non-dairy milk (I used Oatly)
  • 1 mashed banana,
  • 2tbs golden syrup/agave nectar
  • Pinch of salt

For the strawberry & raspberry lovebomb:

  • Handful of frozen raspberries
  • Handful of frozen strawberries
  • Splash of water
  • 1tbs golden syrup/agave nectar
  • Splash of gin (I used Brecon Gin by Penderyn Distillery)
  • A few fresh raspberries and strawberries

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 1 tbs non dairy cream (I used Oatly)
  • 10ml of water
  • 20g sugar
  • Pinch of good quality salt (I used Halen Môn vanilla salt)

 

To make, start with the lovebomb, so it has plenty of time to set. Start by heating up the frozen raspberries, strawberries, water and golden syrup/agave nectar in a pan. Simmer until they start to release their juice, add the gin and stir. Remove from the heat and whizz in a food processor until it forms a coulis. Set aside and leave to cool. When it’s cool pour the contents into a heart shaped mould (I used a heart shaped cookie cutter on a plate) and put in the freezer to set.

For the salted caramel, dissolve the sugar and the water in a pan. Raise the heat until it starts to form a caramel then add the non-dairy cream and stir in a pinch of Halen Môn. Set aside and leave to cool.

Sieve the flour into a bowl and begin to pour in half of the non-dairy milk, stirring gently with a whisk the whole time. Now add the mashed bananas and bring together into a thick batter, making sure you whisk out any lumps in the flour. At this point you can judge how much more milk you need – for Scotch or American style pancakes it needs to be quite thick. Whisk in the sugar and the salt. When it’s ready, pour into a lightly oiled, hot frying pan and watch like a hawk. When the sides start to cook and the middle is bubbling flip it over with a fish slice. Adjust the temperature of the pan to suit your needs. When each side is golden brown set aside. After frying they might need 5-10 mins in the oven to make sure they are cooked through.

When you’re ready to assemble, stack the pancakes high and be as creative as you like with soy whip, caramel sauce and top it with the love bomb. I hope your other half appreciates the effort ;)!

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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: 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!