Friday, 18 May 2007

Big Sis's Burfday Goodies

It was my sister's 24th birthday a cupla weeks ago, and - as my fellow vegan (and best friend), she deserved only the best (well, the best I could muster up, anyway).

By request, she got pizza + key lime pie. As part of her present (to accompany the amazing parka I got her), I made After Eights. I've since learned (well, heard second-hand) that After Eights are in fact vegan. However, they're made by Nestlé, which means that every bite is tainted with baby milk scandal and all manner of other atrocities. These ones were scum free. Plus they had way more chocolate than what those stingy buggers give you.

Anyway, onto the goods:


I used a bog-standard dough recipe from the Hamlyn Vegetarian Cookbook. Plennee of kneadin' and rising and wotnot. For the tomatoey goo, i mixed together a can of purée with a tsp of vegan worcester sauce and some basil, then smeared it all over the base. The veggies were shroomz, tomatoes, courgettes, red onion, yellow peppers + spring onion (scallions to you yanks - NB: yes, I will usually include the US translation for any of my "cute Britishisms"). I topped it with a few basil leaves, which brings us to the charmingly multicoloured picture above.

Then it was time for some pus-free cheeze action. I've never been a fan of those actual solid fake cheeses, but my local HFS (and, I've now discovered, Sainsbury's) stock this Dairy Free Cheese Flavour Sauce Mix, which is really nice but a bit bland, and doesn't taste that cheesy. So to jazz it up a bit, i added in some nutritional yeast, worcester sauce, tomato juice, tabasco + oregano, as well as the soymilk needed to bring it to a saucy consistency. Then it was just a case of dribblin' it over the pizza + letting the bugger bake.

The result? De-fucking-licious. Oh yeah.


This is so yummy, and -- bonus -- fat free. Also laughably easy. A stuffed cat could make this, seriously. Although stuffing animals is so unvegan. And they just look creepy. Honestly, just let the kitty live out its natural life, and then BURY IT WITH DIGNITY, FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Sigh.

Anyway, the pie.

1 1/2 cups Grape Nuts
1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
1 tbsp brown sugar

2 cups soymilk
4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 cup caster or icing sugar (powdered or confectioner's)
2 limes - zest and juice
a few drop of green food dye (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Mix together the crust ingredients and press firmly into the base of a greased 9" pie dish, making sure there are no holes, and that it's all tightly smooshed together. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Leave the oven on, though.
2) Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small saucepan, place the cornflour, sugar, lime juice and zest, and then add the soy milk, stirring well to make sure there are no lumps. Heat gently, stirring all the time, until it starts to thicken. At this point, add the food dye if you're using it, and continue stirring until it's properly thickened + paste-like - but DON'T allow any lumps to form.
3) When it's good + thick, remove from the heat and poor into the pre-baked crust. Smooth the filling out with a palette knife (or something similar), and give the dish a bit of a shake to ensure it's flat. Bake for another 10-20 minutes, until the filling is proper firm, like. Allow to cool silghtly, and then refrigerate. You'll want to take it out of the fridge for a bit before serving, so it can come up to room temperature.


3x 4oz bars dark choc (or 1x 12oz bar, whatever. ya just need 12oz, split into 3x 4oz lots)
2 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar
3 tbsp soy milk (give or take)
1 tbsp veg oil
few drops peppermint extract/flavouring

1) Mix the sugar with the soy milk + oil. 3 tbsp was right for me, but it depends. You just need enough to get a really thick, gooey consistency.
2) Melt 4oz of the chocklit and spread it out thinly on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Freeze for 5 mins to make it set.
3) Pour on the minty goo in a thin layer, so it covers the same area as the choc. You might have loads left over - I did. This isn't a problem. Eat it.
4) Return to freezer for a few mins to allow the filling to set.
5) Melt a 2nd lot of choc. Pour over frozen mint stuff. Freeze again to set.
6) When it's all good and hard (oh yeah), GENTLY (using a sharp knife and a gentle leaning force) cut it up into squares. Yes, the chocolate will crack. Not an issue.
7) When it's all squared up, place the squares in a grid on a clean sheet of greaseproof paper, with about 1/4" between them.
8) Melt 2oz of the remaining choc. Pour over the squares, ensuring they're evenly covered. Freeze.
9) Take out of the freezer and cut into squares again (by this point the choc should be thick and hard enough not to crack, unless you're really stupid and clumsy). Carefully turn 'em over. There'll probly be some spare chocolate left on the paper. Scrape off and melt, along with the remaining 2oz of choc. Pour over the flipped squares (still about 1/4" apart), again ensuring they're evenly covered on all edges. If ya wannabe a fancypants like me, you can drag a spoon across 'em to get the stripe effect. Ooh-err. Freeze.
10) When they're good and frozen, take 'em out and cut 'em up. Any spare choc shavings on the greaseproof paper? EAT THEM, YOU FOOL.

And voila!