Category Archives: Sweet Stuff

Sweet Stuff

It is true that it is not easy to find vegan cakes in shops but there are still options for those with a sweet tooth, and cakes can always be made.

Fruit strudels – found in the supermarket freezer sections – are often vegan and you will find dairy-free ice cream in the same place. Usually this is made by Swedish Glace and will be vanilla, chocolate or strawberry flavoured, although you will find other brands and flavours in health food shops.

In supermarkets you may also find Mrs Crimble cakes (stem ginger and Dutch apple) and, in the Free From section, you are likely to find vegan chocolate and caramel desserts made by Alpro, as well as custard and soya cream. You may also find chocolate bars and buttons.

For those who love chocolate, the Animal Aid online shop has a host of options, and sells fudge, coconut ice, cola bottles and other delicious sweet treats, too, but you will also find some in high street shops and supermarkets.

For biscuit-lovers, Sainsburys and the Co-op make things easy by labelling which are vegan. Otherwise Hobnobs, ginger nuts and bourbons tend to be fine (just check the label). The Blackfriars flapjacks sold in Holland and Barrett are also labelled, and there are several vegan varieties. Health food stores also sell vegan cheesecakes, and these can be found in the freezer section.

If you can’t find what you want, sometimes you just need to make it. Order the Cake Scoffer from Animal Aid for just £1.50 plus p&p to get you started or, for something more, try Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which costs £9.99 plus p&p.

Pies and crumbles can be made in the same way, using dairy-free margarine instead of butter. And here are three of our favourite recipes to get you started:

Sweet Stuff

It is true that it is not easy to find vegan cakes in shops but there are still options for those with a sweet tooth, and cakes can always be made.

Fruit strudels – found in the supermarket freezer sections – are often vegan and you will find dairy-free ice cream in the same place. Usually this is made by Swedish Glace and will be vanilla, chocolate or strawberry flavoured, although you will find other brands and flavours in health food shops.

In supermarkets you may also find Mrs Crimble cakes (stem ginger and Dutch apple) and, in the Free From section, you are likely to find vegan chocolate and caramel desserts made by Alpro, as well as custard and soya cream. You may also find chocolate bars and buttons.

For those who love chocolate, the Animal Aid online shop has a host of options, and sells fudge, coconut ice, cola bottles and other delicious sweet treats, too, but you will also find some in high street shops and supermarkets.

For biscuit-lovers, Sainsburys and the Co-op make things easy by labelling which are vegan. Otherwise Hobnobs, ginger nuts and bourbons tend to be fine (just check the label). The Blackfriars flapjacks sold in Holland and Barrett are also labelled, and there are several vegan varieties. Health food stores also sell vegan cheesecakes, and these can be found in the freezer section.

If you can’t find what you want, sometimes you just need to make it. Order the Cake Scoffer from Animal Aid for just £1.50 plus p&p to get you started or, for something more, try Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which costs £9.99 plus p&p.

Pies and crumbles can be made in the same way, using dairy-free margarine instead of butter. And here are three of our favourite recipes to get you started:

No-bake chocolate peanut butter ice cookies

WP_20150317_013-168x300Makes 13 to 15 bars

  • 140g porridge oats
  • 100g peanut butter (made from 100% peanuts)
  • 15g coco powder
  • 15g poppy seeds
  • 1g sea salt
  • 70g chopped dates
  • 20g agave syrup or other sweetener
  • 150ml hot water

Method

  1. Simply put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix really well. The mixture will be quite sticky and heavy like thick porridge.
  2. Taste the mixture at this stage and add more sweetener or dates if you like. However, keep in mind that the flavour will be enhanced once the mixture is chilled.
  3. Spread the mixture on a sheet of cling film and press into a flat rectangular bar. Leave in the fridge for about 1 hour to set, then slice.
  4. Now the cookies are ready to eat, or you can leave them in the freezer and take them out about 10 minutes before you eat them, or until soft enough to bite. I recommend chilling in the freezer as the texture becomes creamier. Make sure the cookies are defrosted enough, otherwise you will not taste them!

Recipe courtesey of Naoko’s Wholesome Kitchen

Ginger sponge pudding

  • 225g self-raising flour (white or wholemeal is fine)
  • 115g brown sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • a thumb-sized chunk of fresh ginger – peeled and grated (or a heaped tbsp ground ginger)
  • 250ml water
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp golden or maple syrup

Method

  1. Grab a big microwave-proof bowl (pyrex is perfect) and sift the dry ingredients into it.
  2. Stir in the water and oil and mix well.
  3. Drop the syrup into the bowl, and ease it down to the bottom with your spoon.
  4. Stretch cling film over the bowl and pierce a hole in the top. Microwave on full power for 7-8 mins, then leave to stand for another 2 mins.
  5. Serve with vegan custard or dairy-free cream.

Chocolate cheesecake

  • 250ml dairy-free milk
  • 225g plain dairy-free cream cheese (such as Tofutti or Creamy Sheese)
  • 150g of vegan dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free margarine
  • 8 to 10 vegan biscuits – crushed

Method

  1. Melt the margarine in the bottom of a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the crushed biscuits. Spread over the base of a cake tin (6-8 inch diameter) and place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Next, melt the chocolate over a pan of hot water, or in the microwave, until it is smooth. Remove from heat. Empty the cream cheese into another bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth, add the dairy-free milk and melted chocolate and mix together well.
  3. Try a little of the mixture as sometimes it can be a little bitter, depending on the chocolate used. If necessary, add a teaspoon of golden or maple syrup and mix in thoroughly.
  4. Spread the mixture on top of the biscuit base and return to fridge. Leave for a couple of hours, or preferably overnight.

Banana and mango fool

Serves 4.

  • 500ml soya yoghurt
  • 3 medium-sized bananas – peeled and chopped
  • 1 large (or 2 small) ripe mango – peeled, stoned and chopped
  • 2 heaped tbsp raisins (optional)
  • 2 heaped tbsp sunflower seeds

Method

  1. Purée the mango and banana in a liquidiser. If too dry/stiff to liquidise, add a little soya milk.
  2. Put the soya yoghurt in a large bowl and add the fruit purée. Stir in the raisins and sunflower seeds.
  3. Divide between four bowls or glasses and serve with dairy-free ice cream.

If you can’t get a decent mango, try grapes, kiwis, or summer fruits such as strawberries and/or raspberries instead. Banana is a crucial part of this recipe as it adds bulk, texture and, of course, taste.

Microwaved steamed sponge pudding

  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml water
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

Method

  1. Put the flour, sugar and baking powder in an 18cm Pyrex bowl and mix well. Stir in the water and oil to form a smooth batter. Pour the syrup into the middle of the mixture (it should sink to the bottom).
  2. Cover bowl with microwave-proof cling-film. Microwave on high for approx 4 mins.
  3. Leave to stand for a few mins, then turn out onto a plate and serve with dairy-free cream or custard.

Try with jam or marmalade instead of golden syrup. You can also add a few chopped up dates or raisins to the batter.

It is also useful as a sponge base. Just microwave the batter mix without adding syrup or jam, allow to cool and use sponge for trifles, etc.

Chocolate Fondue

4675605487_21efdf4039_bServes 2.

  • 100g vegan dark chocolate
  • 50ml dairy-free milk
  • A little maple or golden syrup
  • Fresh fruit and biscuits to serve

Method

  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in saucepan with the dairy-free milk.
  2. Slowly warm the ingredients on the lowest possible heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts and mixes completely with the milk.
  3. Taste and sweeten with a little maple or golden syrup if needed.
  4. Transfer to a small pot or glass and serve immediately with fresh fruit and vegan biscuits for dipping.

Strawberry and kiwi cheesecake

Base:

  • 75g dairy-free margarine
  • 340g vegan digestive biscuits (or Hobnobs)

Cheesecake mixture:

  • 3 lemons – zest and juice
  • 400g plain tofu
  • 100ml soya milk
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence

Topping:

  • 1 kiwi – peeled and sliced
  • 1 x 85g packet vegetarian strawberry jelly crystals (e.g. Just Wholefoods – found in health food shops and some supermarkets)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160C or Gas Mark 3.
  2. Grease a loose bottomed, deep, 20cm cake tin with dairy-free margarine.
  3. Crush the digestives until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Melt the margarine in a pan, pour in the biscuit crumbs and mix well. Press into the cake tin until about 1cm deep.
  5. Finely grate the lemon rinds and put into a blender with the squeezed lemon juice.
  6. Add all the other mixture ingredients and blend together until smooth and creamy.
  7. Pour the blended mixture onto the base, smooth the top and place in the oven for one hour, or until the top turns a rich golden brown. Allow the cheesecake to cool.
  8. Follow the instructions on the jelly packet. Slice the kiwi and arrange on top of the cheesecake. Then pour on the hot jelly. Leave to cool and place in the fridge to set.

Easy-to-make chocolate cake

  • 1 cup soya milkChocolate Fudge Cake ©flavourphotos
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350/180.
  2. Whisk the soya milk and vinegar and set aside for five minutes. Then add sugar, oil and vanilla essence and beat until foamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches and whisk until smooth.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  6. Frosting can be made by beating icing sugar and cocoa into dairy-free margarine, or eat the cake warm with dairy-free ice cream.

Peanut butter fudge

  • 125g dairy-free margarinepeanut_butter_fudge_zoom
  • 500g dark brown sugar
  • 120ml soya milk
  • 250g crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300g icing sugar

Method

  1. Melt the margarine in a saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and soya milk and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes without stirring.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla seeds or essence.
  3. Place the icing sugar in a bowl, pour the margarine and sugar mixture on top. Using a wooden spoon, beat until smooth.
  4. Pour into a 20cm square baking tray and set aside to cool slightly. Then put in the fridge to chill completely.
  5. Cut the fudge into squares.