Friday, 18 December 2009

Chocolate Yule Log

These should be mandatory at Christmas. This was delicious and relatively easy to make. Just a bit time consuming. I recommend doing it with a friend :D

For the Sponge:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together the wet ingredients, except the vinegar and mix into the dry.
  4. Stir in the vinegar, pour into the tray and put into the oven as quickly as possible.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use the parchment paper to roll the sponge up. Set it to one side until it has cooled down completely. Don't stress over any cracks.
For the Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup shortening (known as cookeen or trex in the UK)
  • 1/4 cup soy butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp soy milk.
  1. Mix it all together until you have a thick and creamy frosting. Set aside until the cake is ready.
For the chocolate topping:

  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Heat the soy milk in a pan until its nearly boiling.
  2. Take off the heat, add the chocolate and maple syrup and stir until dissolved.
  3. Set aside until cool and really thick.
To assemble the rest of the cake:

  • When cool, unroll the cake carefully and evenly slap the icing all over it.
  • Roll the cake off the parchment and onto a plate before covering with the chocolate topping. If there's any cracks you can just fill them all with icing.
  • Cover with decorations if you're feeling fancy (we did marzipan shapes) and serve!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Vegan Thanksgiving!

Being from the UK I don't usually celebrate Thanksgiving but we had three American friends round for a Thanksgiving meal last week. I have no idea what thanksgiving is really about, but any excuse for a feast is fine by me. I spent a total of 6 hours straight shopping and cooking for the meal so have a few recipes to share with you. I would have more but we made lots of things that I didn't get a picture of because we were all too busy devouring everything.

The one piece of advice I can give to anyone who celebrates Thanksgiving for the first time through the pain.

Our menu for Thanksgiving was:

  • Tofurky
  • Mashed Potato
  • Mashed Sweet Potato
  • Squash
  • Stuffing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Wine Glazed Brussel Sprouts
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Ice Cream

all washed down with Mulled Wine and Cider!

Here are the recipes for the Green Bean Casserole and the Wine Glazed Brussel Sprouts.

Green Bean Casserole

  • 340g Green Beans
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 280g button mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Splash of wine
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 large pack of breadcrumbs
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Black Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Start off by adding the tbsp of salt and green beans to boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. While the beans are boiling chop the mushrooms into bitesize pieces
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the mushrooms, garlic and cayenne pepper. Fry until the mushrooms are soft and juicy.
  5. Stir the cornflour and wine into the stock before adding to the mushrooms. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the soymilk and simmer for 5-10 minutes until thick. Stir in the green beans and pour into a casserole dish.
  7. Fry the chopped onion in a little oil until golden brown.
  8. Top the casserole with breadcrumbs, onions and black pepper before baking for 20 minutes.

This casserole was so good I'm thinking of making this at Christmas. Last night I made the filling for this casserole and stirred it into pasta and it worked really well.

Wine Glazed Brussel Sprouts

  • 2 lbs brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour dissolved in water
  1. Put the wine, water, maple syrup and soy sauce into a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the brussel sprouts and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cornflour mix and simmer for another 10 minutes before serving.

If I can find some photos I'll try and post the recipe for the pumpkin bread this week. It was awesome.