Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Raspberry Cupcakes and a Giveaway!

Naomi over at Arthelia's Attic is having a fantastic giveaway of one of her crocheted 1940s snoods, a vintage hat, a tote bag, mug and a copy of her favourite vintage book! She has a lovely Etsy shop and her blog is full of interesting vintage fashion, cooking etc. so do take a peep for details on how to enter the giveaway!

Last week I also had another go at some vegan cupcakes! These were for my friend Steff's birthday, and I devoured the leftovers on Friday night with Aerospace Boyfriend and my friend Laura Lee with some blueberry and pink fizz bellinis!

Here they are going into the oven. Lurid!

The recipe was the basic vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World (link for the book in my previous cupcake post!) modified with two spoonfuls of raspberry syrup and a drop of pink food colouring.

Also, I was right about the cupcake wrappers; here is one of the American-sized ones dwarfing a British fairy cake case.

Here they are cooled and glazed with a Kirsch syrup:

I cut out a cone from the tops, and filled each hollow with a whole fresh raspberry and some raspberry coulis made by sieving fresh raspberries and adding icing sugar and raspberry syrup.

Here they are finished! In an obsessive cake-baking shopping frenzy, I purchased two new icing bags and lots of nozzles. This was done using the largest rose-shaped nozzle, with the icing bag filled with two shades of pink rasberry vegan buttercream frosting. The cakes are topped with silver balls, fresh raspberries and blueberries, and lots of beautiful edible glitter, which unfortunately did not show up at all in the pictures.


Tuesday, 20 April 2010


I recently filled in a survey from UK based chocolate company Montezuma's and was entered into a draw for a chocolate hamper, which I won! It looked like this one, with a few different items in it:

As well as being ecstatic because I had never really won anything before (and because I was getting free chocolate, obviously), I was additionally impressed that they allowed me to request that my hamper be completely vegan. I love the fact that they are very aware of vegans and work hard to create a good variety of delicious treats that we can eat, alongside their extensive non-vegan range.

My hamper contained a dark chocolate Easter bunny, three different bars of chunky dark chocolate with such tasty additions as ginger, brazil nuts and hazelnuts, a big bag of the most heavenly melt-in-the-mouth dark chocolate giant buttons, and an enormous 300g 'Choco:Block' slab dotted with huge chunks of pecans, walnuts and dates, all wrapped in a luxe black box with a ribbon tie.

They also included a 10% off voucher, to tempt me to purchase some more of their remarkable confections! Here is what I plan to put it towards:

Their vegan truffle collection, comprising sumptuous pralines laced with orange and cinnamon, coffee, lime and chilli, and pure unadulterated dark chocolate.

I suggest you all go take a look and have a drool! I for one will not be running low on treats any time soon.

Thanks, Montezuma's!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Massive Cookie Fail!

Along this week's theme of vegan baking, today Aerospace Boyfriend decided that he would bake some chocolate gingerbread cookies. I was reading out the ingredients as he mixed, and mistakenly told him to add the extra ounce of sugar that should have been reserved for sprinkling on the tops. After a hideous melty oven incident, this cookie beast is what resulted:

Yum. As you can see, it also had the effect of turning my boyfriend into a drooling cookie gremlin. It was tasty though!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Rum Cupcakes, Sushi and Spring Rolls: Vegan Yumminess!

This weekend has been a cooking frenzy! Aerospace Boyfriend has presented me with Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World which I have wanted for ages, so at his request, the first recipe I tried was Rum & Raisin cupcakes. You can find the authors' websites, full of scrumptious vegan treats, at www.theppk.com and http://vegancupcakes.wordpress.com.

Here they are after coming out of the oven. A word of advice here; American cupcake wrappers must be significantly larger than standard British cake cases, because the recipe states it makes 12 cakes, but we got 24!

Here they are topped with Rum Glaze and Rummy Buttercream Frosting (and sprinkles)!

Gratuitous cake porn, on the tiny saucers from my Ridgway Homemaker mocha cups:


This weekend was also my first foray into sushi making. It was really easy and everyone should try it! The rolls on the left are filled with fried smoked tofu sticks, cucumber, shredded spring onion, carrot, yellow pepper and vegan mayonnaise. The ones on the right (which were my first try and came out a little loose) are filled with vegan mock duck, carrot, bamboo shoots and cucumber.

I also made vegan spring rolls. They were filled with carrot, beansprouts, mushroom, green beans and bamboo shoots. To make them, I first simmered everything for two minutes in a broth made from water, soya sauce, garlic, sesame oil and Chinese five spice. I then placed the vegetables onto ready made pastry sheets from my local Asian catering supplier, adding a teaspoonful of the broth before rolling up and frying. Spring roll sheets can be found in most Asian shops or larger supermarkets, alternatively you could use filo pastry or samosa sheets. The key to these is cutting everything into tiny strips, and not overfilling them.

Here is the result of me trying out making California rolls. These were a bit more difficult than the standard rolls where the Nori (seaweed) is on the outside, and they came out too loose. They could also have done with some sesame seeds to stick on the outside. They were tasty though, with wasabi and soya sauce dips!