Drink: Death by Mocha Shake

Here’s an amazing decadent milkshake recipe using one of my fridge essentials, Oatly Chocolate milk. With the flavours of espresso, chocolate and Oreo cookie- this is one grown up shake for the inner kid in all of us!

Serves 2-3
To make you’ll need:

  • 200ml Oatly chocolate oat drink
  • 2 scoops of espresso/coffee ice cream – I used my homemade espresso gelato, recipe here
  • 1 shot Tia Maria
  • 3/4 packet of Oreo cookies.

For the decoration:

  • Some vegan whipped cream- I used Whiptop Whipped Cream
  • 2 Oreo cookies

The recipe couldn’t be simple enough!

Start by pouring the chocolate milk into a blender, along with the scoops of espresso ice cream. Then, add the Oreo cookies, crushing them in your hands as you place them in. Pour the shot of Tia Maria in and blend until smooth and creamy.

Get two sundae or soda glasses and fill them with the shake mix. To finish, top with the whipped cream, a couple of straws and a couple of Oreo cookies.

And Enjoy!

 

 

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Food: Vegan Jagerschnitzel

Or the full title in German would be: Jagerschnitzel Veganisch (Blumenkohl schnitzel) mit champignons soße und pommes.

After my recent trip to Berlin with Uni, and the fact that Berlin is a vegan oasis- I’ve used this as inspiration make some some vegan schnitzel. This schnitzel uses cauliflower (or in German, Blumenkohl) in place of pork, which gives it some great bite.

 

To make, you’ll need:

  • 1 or 2 heads of cauliflower, cut lengthways into 4 thick steaks
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 200ml soya milk
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp white pepper
  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • One bottle of vegetable oil

 

For the sauce:

  • 75g small chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a large onion, chopped finely
  • 100-200ml soya cream
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp garlic oil

 

First start by cutting the heads of cauliflower into steaks. Small heads will only yield two decent sized steaks so I’d recommend getting two. The steaks should be at least 1 and 1/2 cm thick. Prepare your coating area by mixing the breadcrumbs in one tray and then the flour, salt, pepper and mixed spice in the other. Make sure you mix them through and evenly coat the bottom. Pour the milk into a wide bowl and dip the steaks, one at a time, into the milk then the flour mixture. Make sure you get into every nook and cranny – there’s a lot more fiddly surface area to cover on a cauliflower! When each steak is sufficiently covered in the flour mixture, leave on a rack for five minutes while you prepare the first part of the sauce.

Chop the onion and fry over a medium heat in the garlic oil. As they begin to brown add the mushrooms and fry until they begin to soften. Take them off the heat and return to the steaks.

Empty a third of bottle of vegetable oil into a pan wide enough to take the steaks – turn the heat to max and let it heat up while you prepare the next stage. Dip each steak in the milk for a second time and then in the breadcrumbs – remember to thoroughly cover each one, but don’t be tempted to double dip, therein chaos lies!

Test the heat of the oil with a small nugget of leftover cauliflower – when it’s bubbling like crazy and browns quickly, the oil is ready. Turn it down a shade and then lower the first steak into the oil – the browning should only take a minute or two so be ready to take it out. Have a cooling rack ready to take the steaks when they’re done – I used the one from the grill. I put kitchen roll underneath to take the excess oil (there’ll be a fair amount). Repeat the process for the other steaks then put the grill rack, steaks and all, onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 140 degrees celsius (fan).

While they’re baking fill your pan with the rest of the oil and return to max heat. When it’s ready deep fry your pommes until golden brown, let them shed their excess oil over kitchen roll then sprinkle liberally with salt  – I used Norður Salt.

Return your mushrooms and onions to the heat and add the soya cream and the mustard. Stir through until everything’s hot and combined. When then steaks are ready they should be golden brown. Poke the thickest part with a knife or skewer – if it goes through easily your steaks are done. Plate up and enjoy with stein of pilsner!

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: Chocolate, blueberry and liquorice tarts

To finish off my Icelandic themed Saturday, celebrating the end of the chillingly good Icelandic drama, Trapped, I decided to make some Icelandic themed, Vegan friendly treats.

Chocolate, blueberries and liquorice make an amazing combination, and they come together brilliantly in these little tarts.

Makes 4 tarts.

To make, you’ll need:

  • 2 packs of Oreo cookies
  • 80g Vegan butter, melted
  • 150g dark chocolate (80% minimum), chopped
  • 250g coconut cream
  • 1 tbs liquorice powder, sifted
  • 1tbs golden syrup (agave/cornsyrup will also work!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 handfuls of fresh blueberries
  • 1tbs blueberry jam
  • 100ml water.

Making these couldn’t be simpler. Start the bases by crushing up the Oreo cookies into rubble in a baggy and a rolling pin. I then used my mini food processor to get them into fine crumbs – alternatively, if you’ve got a large food processor do it in that. Once they are like breadcrumbs combine them in a mixing bowl with the melted butter. Press the black sludge into 4 tart tins – make sure you get into every corner and press it out evenly so that you get a level amount of filling in each. Place into the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir minimally, until it’s all melted. Take off the heat and set aside. Next, stir in the coconut cream until it forms a ganache. After it comes together, you can add in the golden syrup, salt and liquorice powder. Stir until it all comes together into a nice smooth and silky filling. Leave to cool, slightly.

The crusts should be ready by now. Take them out of the fridge and pour the ganache into them. Shake them, so they are level and them place back in the fridge, for a good couple of hours, if not overnight.

Just before you are ready to eat them. Take them out of the fridge and put a saucepan on the hob on a medium heat. Pour in 100ml of water and 1tbs of blueberry jam. It shouldn’t take long for the jam to dissolve and with a few stirs – it should come together into a nice glaze.

Top each tart with a handful of blueberries and brush on a nice layer of the glaze. It shouldn’t take long to set and it will look so much more professional – straight out of an Icelandic bakery!

Now, devour and Enjoy!

 

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: Pulled jackfruit sandwich

This is a recipe for a very convincing vegan alternative to the popular ‘pulled pork sandwich’.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tin of green jackfruit
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tsp sun dried tomato paste
  • 1tbs tomato purée
  • 2 tbs of smoked paprika
  • A splash of Chinese black vinegar
  • 1tsp onion powder
  • 1tsp garlic infused oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke,
  • 1tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsb Dijon mustard
  • 1tbs agave
  • A Spinkle of dried chilli flakes
  • 1tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 1tbs dried rosemary
  • A sprinkle of muscavado sugar
  • Salt & pepper

 

For the homefries:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • A glug of olive oil
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • 1tsp dried rosemary
  • A Sprinkle of paprika salt

 

For the smoked paprika mayo:

  • 3 tbs vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper

 

Making the sauce is easy. Just place all of the ingredients (minus the jackfruit) into a pot (I used my trusty Dutch oven) and place on the hob on a medium heat. Once it starts reducing and releasing its smoky aroma into the air, take off the heat and set aside. Here’s where you can put the jackfruit in.  To prepare simply drain, place on a chopping board and cut the flesh of the pieces away from the core. Then place into the pot. It should already start to look like the real deal – the flesh of the jackfruit instantly turns stringy, looking uncannily like pulled pork! At this point you could cook the jackfruit and then serve, but being lazy I just left it in the sauce overnight – plus I’m sure by doing this the flavour permeated the whole flesh.

When you’re ready to cook simply place on the hob on a medium heat and stir. The flesh should be starting to flake and have a meat – like texture to it. Continue stirring for roughly 8-10 minutes until the Dutch oven has had time to warm up. If some of the flesh remains un flaked I’d recommend using a masher or a wooden spoon to loosen it up. Again, you could serve it at this point, however (In my opinion) ‘pulled pork’ needs to be put in an oven to bake, thus this has to do the same. Into a preheated oven at 160°C it goes for 30 minutes.

While it’s in the oven you can start preparing the fries element. To do this simply cut the potatoes into wedges (skin on) and parboil in salted water. Then, place the potatoes into a mixing bowl along with a glug of your oil of choice (I used olive oil) toss the potatoes in the oil and sprinkle them with the chopped fresh parsley and dried rosemary. Scatter evenly on a baking tray. Unless you make these in advance you’ll have to use the smaller oven, whilst the pulled jackfruit is cooking. Preheat the smaller oven to 180°C. Once ready, place the homefries in and cook for 30 minutes. Check half way through, making sure they’re browning nicely.

Once the time is up, take both the pulled jackfruit and the homefries out and leave a few minutes to cool slightly. It’s now time to serve. On your plate/platter of choice place a sourdough bun (cut in half) and spread on 1tsp of Dijon mustard. Next, spoon on a pile of the pulled jackfruit. Then a layer of balsamic dressed rocket. Finally, top with some kind of pickle element (I used my homemade lingonberry pickled onions) and the sandwich element is done.

For the fries, simply place in a dish and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt (I used the paprika salt that my mum made me for Christmas).

You’ll need something to dip the homefries in. Here’s an easy way to make a vegan spiced mayo. Simply squeeze some mayonnaise into a bowl, add mustard, lemon juice and smoked paprika. Mix until it comes together into a smoky and smooth dip. Season to taste.

We served it with a cocktail. I wanted to make an American classic, so we went for a Manhattan. Looking at the back of the cupboards however, it turned out that I had dry vermouth, not sweet vermouth. So I adapted it ever so slightly. To make you’ll need:

  • 2 parts whisky
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • A dash of simple syrup (I used some homemade brown sugar simple syrup)
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • A handful of ice
  • 1 Maraschino cherry
  • Some orange peel.

To make, pour the whisky, simple syrup, bitters and vermouth into a cocktail shaker, along with a handful of ice. Twist and squeeze the orange peel around a couple of martini glasses, releasing the oils. Shake and pour into the glasses. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

Enjoy!

 

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!