Friday, 13 July 2007

More VeganYumYums + a fucking mindblowing ice creamy treat

More goodies from Lolo's test kitchen!


This stuff was so good. As Amanda (fellow tester) pointed out, it's nice to have a salsa recipe without onions. I mean, I love onions. I really do. But raw? Damnit, why the hell would anyone eat raw onions? Between the eye pain and sniffing, the fact that everything tastes like raw onions for six hours (no matter HOW hard you brush yer teeth) and also that you become a walking human repellent (ok, I'm something of a misanthropist, but I don't want to alienate the few people near and dear to me with my disgustingly potent stinky bulb breath), I really can't see what's to be gained from eating raw onions. THEY DON'T EVEN TASTE GOOD. Anyway, rant aside, I hate raw onions, and it causes me endless dispair that almost all salsa recipes ask for raw onions (I always end up cooking them beforehand anyway). But Lolo's recipe was onion-free, and GORGEOUS. A perfect balance between hot from the chilies and the sweetness from the corn and peaches. Lush.


Yummeh. Nice n spicy and warming, but also sweet thanks to the raisins. So comforting that it felt like junk food, despite being insanely healthy (so I scarfed it down in large amounts, oh yeah). Also the perfect balance between sloppy + chunky - exactly how I like my stews. I actually had to say to my dad "you don't know what you're missing out on by not being vegan" (of course I didn't share it, don't be stupid).


As Pumbaa + Timon would say, "slimy, but satisfying". Lolo is actually reviewing the recipe, since a few folks (including me) found it just a wee bit too slimy. But it was still relaly nummy. Gorgeous combination of citrussiness, "butteriness" and herbiness. Mmmmm. And also the contrast between the squidgy slimy pasta and the fresh n crunchy asparagus was a real sensory treat. Me likes (but with slightly less oil).


Heaven. In. My. Mouth. I know I say this all the time, and yer all sick to the little bit of gum behind the wisdom teeth of me saying it, but I am seriously IN LOVE with Lolo. Is there anything she can't do? (Answer: no) The taste was nice and subtle - not too cakey (because it was bread, duh). I liked the fact that the sweetness came more from raisins than sugar. And it was amazing toasted, speshly with some soya marg on it. So fucking delicious. Gorgeous texture, too. Really soft; exactly how freshly baked bread should be, but with a proper krusty crust, thanks to a genuis tip from Lolo.


Last Saturday I went up to Hackney to meet up with some Brit PPKers at Pogo Cafe. And I have so much love for this place. It's fucking amazing. Totally vegan and mostly organic. With a great playlist (they were playing The Cure while we were there, and they play a whole range of punk, post punk and other punk-related stuff), really cool artwork (the stuff up at the mo is meat-related images/graffiti on chopping boards) and a great atmosphere too; you can just walk in, order a burger and milkshake and fuck off afterwards. Or, if you're us, you can sit there for 3 hours and not get any dirty looks from the waiting staff like you do in a lot of restaurants.

But OH MY GOD the menu! There were about six types of tofu burger (cheezeburger, bacon burger, mex burger with jalapenos and shit...), pumpkin + spinach lasagne, risotto, soup and loads more. And a kiddies' menu. About 16 flavours of milkshake. But the dessert menu really takes the cake (HAR!). Cheesecake, chocolate biscuit cake, brownies, ice cream, banana split and... knickerbockerglory. Three flavours of ice cream (choc, strawberry + vanilla), two types of custard (plain + choc), whipped soy cream, mango sauce, strawberry jam, crushed digestives and nuts on top. Fucking amazing. I just cannot stop ranting. As you can see. I'm sorry. I'll shut the fuck up now and post a delicious picture to make you really jealous. Suckers.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Recent Bakesale Madness

Sorry for the long hiatus. My hard drive died. It's still MIA. I'm doing this entry via flickr.

I recently made a shitload of cakes and cookies for two bakesales at my music centre: one to raise money for our tour to Dublin + Belfast next year, and one for the mass summer 'extravaganza' type thing, where all 900 students perform in their respective groups. there were about students and parents included, there were over 2000 people there. Needless to say, there were a lot of cakes.

Anyway, for both events I worked my socks off - no, I'm not ashamed to say it, because I really DID work bloody hard - and I'm pretty proud of what I achieved. For the mammoth event in particular, I spent about two days baking/frosting etc. (on and off). I think you can tell that I'm really committed to/in love with my music centre. I've been there for 11 years, and the staff and students are some of the best people I know. I definitely like them a hell of a lot more than the people at my high school. That was just Pretentious Bitch Plc., co-owned by Insane Unnecessary Pressure Ltd.

Anyway, enough about how much I hated high school. Let's get onto some delicious and fattening edible shit.

BAKE SALE #1 (The Dublin/Belfast Tour Fund)


Rice Krispies + cocoa/syrup/marg + glacé cherries. Yum!


Isa's recipe from the PPK. These were so fucking good. Moist + gooey and chocolate and just like heaven. Amazing.


Brain food! I made these up as I went along. And the frosting was melted (solid) creamed coconut mixed with icing sugar.


The flapjack bit had candied orange peel in, and the chocolate was Green & Black's Maya Gold chocolate. These were really popular!


Another brain recipe. I did them in a really mini muffin pan, and then put raspberry jam inside, and covered them with strawberry buttercream + fresh strawberries.

BAKE SALE #2 (The mass event)


The cupcakes had candied orange zest, orange juice, candied orange peel + mixed spice in, and the buttercream featured Green & Black's Maya Gold chocolate (that stuff is great). And yeah, I know they look a bit like tits. What's not to love? They sold out in about an hour.


Isa's recipe again. They came out even better than the first lot, coz I let 'em bake a bit longer, so they had a crunchier top, but were still lush and gooey underneath. I could marry this recipe. Oh, and they sold out in 20 minutes.


Same recipe, but with a bit more coffee (it was pretty subtle the first time). Also for the frosting I just did a basic buttercream frosting but added in desiccated coconut, and then rolled the frosted cupcakes in the leftover 'dust' at the bottom of a Chocolate Shredded Wheats packet.


Plain biscuits smeared in coffee buttercream and rolled in Grape Nuts.


The biscuits were orange flavoured, and so was the buttercream. So yeah, the name is pretty descriptive, eh?


But normal size this time! I adapted the recipe a little, and this time put the jam on top instead of inside. Also the frosting was a better consistency, so it was more pipeable, rather than just being spready like the last lot.

What a fuckload of baked goods, eh? My teeth hurt just to look at it all.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Cookies n biccies!

Backlogged: some o' the cookies I've made over the last year...

Made as a thank you present for a friend (and her family) who hosted me and put up with my weird diet for a week (believe me, that's no mean feat...)

Basic choccy biccy recipe with ground ginger + orange extract. I coloured the sugar with (non-beetle-derived) pink food dye.

These were a total piece of piss to make. Originally a cranberry biscotti recipe, but i love the fact that the bloobreez made them go a really unappetizing shade of grey. Sick-lookin' food is totally the best.


I found organic vegan gummi bears in my local health food shop. Too brilliant for words.

Also I'm aware that these aren't strictly 'cookies', since they're pretty lumpy and therefore more like rock cakes, but..... ah, feck it. They tasted good and look funny, so ner.

Basic chocolate cookie recipe, except I used Green & Black's Maya Gold Drinking Chocolate powder in place of half of the cocoa, and also added in some orange extract and spices (the same as those listed in the ingredients of the drinking choc!)


I am insanely proud of my Irish roots (I have both Northern + Southern relatives) and St. Patrick's Day always brings out the shameless patriot in me. I made these by cutting out three mini hearts for each cookie, sticking 'em together and then using a roll of spare dough for the stalk. Oh yeah, and they're green for authenticity, loike.



And that's yer lot. Cookie monster have rest now.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Lolo is a goddess. Seriously, if I were into marriage, and the lovely lady hadn't recently got married herself, I would marry her. Well, if she'd have me, that is.

Anyway, insanely lucky little bugger that I am, I've been granted access to her secret test kitchen. Woohoo! So I get to make all the amazing dishes she's planning for her cookzine, BEFORE THE REST OF THE WORLD. HAR HAR.

It's like getting a preview of an orgasm, and THEN having the orgasm itself. WOW.

So it's time I stopped letting my hormones write this blog. Pictures.

All I'll give away is that #1) yes, those are cranberries and #2) yes, it was yummy.

Most of the testers produced perfect-looking dumplings with a yummy brown filling. But because I'm me and can't do anything the normal way, mine were bright purple, due to an ingredient sub (so no, it's not the contrast on your monitor or those 'interesting pills' you took earlier.....).

Also, because Aylesbury is utter SHITE in terms of getting any ingredient which is slightly unusual, I could not procure dumpling skins anywhere. Not in any supermarket, not in the health food shop and not even in the fucking Asian shop. What's a girl to do? Make her own dumpling skins, that's what. Cheers to Ken Hom and his Vegetable And Pasta Book for the recipe.

Anyway, the dumplings and the sauce were fucking AMAZING. So so good. I got somewhat emotional in giving Lolo feedback on how good they were. And I'm not alone in this feeling. All the testers have reported back with similar praise. These babies will be a BIIIIIG hit when the 'zine is released.
Not a secret recipe, so here's the link. I replaced the chipotle sausage with Lachesis's Seitan O'Greatness because, as I already mentioned, Aylesbury is pathetic, and I couldn't get vegan chipotle sausages. But Lachesis's magic log is divine, and worked perfectly in this chilli.

The log:

The dish:

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Round Stuff With Holes

Another 'themed' backlogged post.


Recipe from The Fresh Loaf

I had a weird-looking relative of the pumpkin sitting around waiting to be used...

So I scooped out the bugger and stewed its innards...

and ended up with a pumpkin polenta stuffed bagel served with beanz n greenz.


My music centre held a bake sale to fund our trip to Dublin next year :o)
My contributions were my signature 'A Bit More Than Chocolate Biscuits' chocolate biscuits (with ginger + candied orange peel. oh, and funexciting piped icing decorations) and VEGAN DO(UGH)NUTS, courtesy of lolo @ veganyumyum.

The first batch failed hideously - no reflection on lolo's recipe; it was only coz I had no doughnut pan. I tried pinching Kelly's trick of using foil rolls in the centre, but it did not work. When I tried to remove the rolls, the doughnuts collapsed pathetically. And they were weird-lookin' anyway. After my first attempt, I was left with sad, misshapen piles of cake crumbs. The majority of said failed batch was soon working its way down my digestive system (and yes, I did then feel very sick. Thanks for asking).

Was this a Mission: Impossible? NAY! I was determined that I wouldn't be beaten by hideously failed + aesthetically offensive doughnut wannabes and a lack of specialist bakeware. I battled on in my quest for the sweet, soft ring of justice.

I realised that since I had nothing ready doughnut-shaped, I'd have to shape the buggers myself. For the second batch, I halved the wet ingredients but kept the dry quantities the same, so the texture was more like a very sticky bread dough. I knew that if I tried to ring-ify them before baking they'd puff up and basically look crap and swollen. So I just shaped 'em in to balls and patted 'em down in a really shallow-ly dipped tray (which I think was designed for Yorkshire puds - who knows? - but way too shallow for cupcakes. More dimples than cups. Anyway......)

Also, having learned from previous baking mistakes, I was aware that the reason my baked goods so often catastrophically fell apart when I played about with 'em was that I didn't let them cool, and that whilst warm they were still fragile and therefore prone to being royally fucked up by yours truly. So this time, when my (thankfully) ok-looking dough-balls came outta the oven, I let them cool. Properly.

I had toyed with the idea of filling them with jam, using some kind of placcy bag/skinny straw contraption, but given my history with piping/pastry bags, I realised this would not have been wise. I've come to terms with the fact that I will never master frosting or anything that involves squeezing goo from a bag through a hole. It's a part of life that I've accepted.

So, having discarded the idea of filled doughnuts, I decided they would indeed be holey and glazed, à la lolo's original recipe. For the holes? Simple. I gently made an initial hole with the handle of a spoon, taking care not to crack 'em. And then to properly shape it, I shoved my finger through in a totally non-gentle way and twizzled the donut around the invading digit until a satisfactory shape had been achieved. Oh yeah, I violated those doughnuts gooooooooood.

And for the glaze/sprinkles, I followed lolo's instructions to the letter, dipping 'em in the appropriate quantities of goo + sprinkles.

And VOILA! I had achieved the holy grail: I had edible, self-supporting and aesthetically pleasing vegan doughnuts. Cue much smugness and a desire to eat them all.

(I ate half.)

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Hearts, hearts and more hearts - pass me a sick bucket

DISCLAIMER: These pics are backlogged. I did NOT make all this food at once, in some kind of disgusting fit of sentimentality. Nor am I proud of its "cuteness" factor. I am not a hearts and flowers person, and god knows how I ended up making all this crap. Nevertheless, I thought it best to get all the vom-inducingly adorable food out of the way in one post, and then spend the next few months attempting to repair the damage to my menacing image.

So, on to the nauseatingly nice nosh...


I tried - and failed - to make ravioli with aubergine + mushroom filling. After a frustrating few hours (!) of attempting, it all fell apart, so I combined the filling with harissa, tomato juice and mint and cut the pasta into hearts (again, fuck knows why...) to make this nauseatingly cute dish.


Complete with pink food colouring + 'decorative' (read: pretentious) blood orange slices.


My best friend's birthday present. So it was totally ok to use a heart.

I promise there will be nothing cute or fuzzywuzzy in this blog for a looooong time.