Friday, 27 December 2013

Raspberry Christmas (or any other time) Cake

Over this festive season of complete and utter indulgence, I have made this cake a few times.

Sylvia has had lots of fun decorating it!

It is wonderfully easy, light and moist, and pretty with the red raspberries. You need just one bowl to mix it all up - I love that!

Merry Christmas!

Vegan Raspberry Cake (slightly adapted from the Vanilla Cake from How It All Vegan)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup canola oil
3 tbsp apple sauce or 1 tsp Orgran No Egg mixed with 2 tbsp water
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup raspberries (I use frozen)

Preheat oven to 350C.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add sugar, milk, vanilla, oil, lemon zest and apple sauce/Orgran No Egg and mix together until just mixed. Fold through the raspberries. Pour into a round oiled cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check with a knife/skewer to see if done. 

Any vegan buttercream type icing is great for this cake. I just mix up a couple of tablespoons of Nuttelex (vegan margarine), a cup or so of icing sugar, splash of vanilla and milk. 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Walnut Oat Bliss Balls (date-free)

I'm a big fan of all those raw/nearly raw ball recipes. They are such an easy and quick sweet when you're pressed for time. And healthy!

I made these the other day, and they did not last very long at all. Yum.

These don't have dates in them. I love dates in raw sweets, but it is kind of nice to have a change from the particular flavour and texture they impart. Also, medjool dates are pretty pricey! 

These balls develop a firm cake-like texture once refrigerated for a while, which I love. 

Walnut Oat Bliss Balls (makes about 10 balls) Adapted from Bliss Balls from I Quit Sugar

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cocoa
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp rice malt syrup, to taste 
1/3 cup almond butter
1-2 tbsp almond milk (if needed)
desiccated coconut, for rolling

Blend walnuts and oats together to make a coarse powder. Add this mixture to a bowl and add the cinnamon, cocoa, salt, rice malt syrup and almond butter. Mix together with your hands. If the mix is a bit too dry to be rolled into balls, add a bit of milk.

Form the mixture into balls, then roll in the coconut.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Easy Car Birthday Cake + A Vegan Birthday Lunch

My little boy is now 1 year old!

Lexie loves cars, so Sylvia and I decided to make him a car cake.

Decorated with vegan sandwich cookies (Oreos) for the wheels, barley sugar for the headlights and licorice to line the windows. Pretty cool, no?
It was within my limited cake decoration abilities, looked so cute and tasted even better.

I used this vegan birthday cake recipe (really really good - have since made cupcakes with this recipe too) and divided it between three loaf tins, following the instructions from here.

I'm sure it will be years until Lexie will appreciate the cake via photos, but he definitely loved the taste of it on the day - he ate a whole big piece!

I always find myself paralysed with indecision when deciding what food to make for such occasions. It's the weight on my shoulders of proving vegan food is delicious, etc. I really should get over this! 

Anyway, in the end I made dishes that I could mostly prepare in advance, really my only choice with two littlies!

For snacks, I made a guacamole with corn, tomato and fresh coriander from Wild Morsels by Angela Stafford. I also made a very tasty French onion dip

My mum made her usual fantastic vine leaves, always a hit. 

My sister made lovely vegan curry puffs, but I forgot to take a photo.  

I made two pies (with the barley poppy seed crust without the poppy seeds and with spelt flour from Vegan Lunch Box), one with a mushroom, asparagus and bean filling and the other with a lentil vegetable filling (a double lot of the veggie pot pie filling from La Dolce Vegan).

I also made a pasta salad (this was just OK) and a wild rice salad (also from Wild Morsels).

I was somehow organised enough to make cupcakes for the kids to decorate too, which was lots of fun. My partner's sister did some gorgeous fruit skewers for the kids, with fruit cut out in shapes. Wish I'd taken a photo of them!

It was so lovely celebrating the day with family and yummy vegan food!