Review: Black Girl Baking

Black Girl Baking isn’t an entirely vegan cookbook, although quite a few of the reviews are either vegan or has vegan variations. but I was tempted by the pictures I’d seen on Instagram so into my amazon basket it went. And I wasn’t disappointed. Breaking away from traditional baking the recipes use a variety of flours, sweeteners, and even aquafaba to create a fantastic collection of baked treats.

cake

I started with a chocolate cake. (Not an) Easy Bake Cake With Raspberry Glaze. It’s really easy to throw together the sponge. its made with whole wheat flour which makes me feel good about myself and it’s egg free as is and dairy free with a simple substitution. The real star of the show is the glaze though. Made with real raspberries it packs a very flavourful punch. I always say pink food tasted the best and it’s especially true when flavoured with real fruit.

crackers

For a savoury treat I made the Everything Chickpea Turmeric Crackers which has the flour profile of a pakora mixed with an everything bagel. I like both of those things but even after eating a full batch of those crackers I couldn’t tell you if they work together. I kept thinking I’d made my mind up but then I’d take another bite.

minibudnt

These little guys are Kate’s favourite: Sticky Maple Mini Cakes. They’re made with with all the fanciest ingredients; dates, maple syrup, coconut mil, coconut oil. Basically it’s all the most expensive things in my cupboard. The texture is a little grainy but not in a bad way. the flavour though is incredible. Rich, caramely, and nutty. All of Kate’s favourite flavours.

tomato

That might be Kate’s favourite but the recipe that’s been added to our regular rotation is a little less sweet. Blistered Tomato Sheet Pizza is super simple. Just a good pizza crust and some beautiful blistered baby tomatoes. It transforms the meh cherry tomatoes of winter into a rich caramelised sauce and is now our favourite thing to do when we have cherry tomatoes hanging about.

I recommend you give this one a look. It might not be for you but between the pizza and the chocolate cake the price is justified for me.

Review: ReRooted Plant Milks

I have serious thoughts about plant-based milks. At the moment my favourite is Minor Figures which is a barista-style oat milk. We get it delivered a few cases at a time and mostly use it for hot chocolates. The level of waste is annoying so when we heard that Earth. Food. Love. would be bringing out their own plant milks we got very excited. And got one of every flavour.  We tried each one, first plain and then I streamed the milk and made us hot chocolate.

ccnut

First up is coconut. I’m a little biased against coconut. I find the texture a combination of too watery and too greasy – predictably I wasn’t a fan. It was also lacking in any sweetness which doesn’t make it easy to drink raw but did make the hot chocolate taste, in Kate’s words, like a dark chocolate Bounty.

oat

The oat milk on its own proved pretty tasteless (Kate thought it was rather sour) but it has a glorious texture which makes it perfect for your teas, coffees and hot chocolates. You might need a little sugar if you’re used to dairy – it’s lacking in the dairy sugars after all.

almond 50

This almond milk is 50% raw, 50% roasted almonds. As a result it’s a little bitter. It has the slightly nutty aftertaste that you expect from almond milk and it’s a good texture for hot drinks. I always like an almond milk in hot chocolate – the tastes really complement each other.

almond100

And last up our favourite: the 100% roasted almond. With a richer, sweeter, more robust flavour than the 50% we enjoyed drinking this both straight and in hot chocolate. Its distinctive taste might not be what you are looking for with your tea though.

ReRooted (website) milk is currently available at Earth. Food. Love. in Totnes. They’re hoping to start a milk delivery service soon so keep your eyes peeled if you live in the Totnes area.

Tips and tricks for self catering in Portree

We recently visited Skye, staying in a cottage in Portree. It isn’t the first time we’ve stayed there but this time we cooked a lot more in the cottage (and over a small fire I built by the loch) so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of where to get your vegan essentials.

Co-op

There is a small Co-op in the centre of Portree which has a few bits, but head out to the large Co-op on the edge of town if you want a big selection of vegan ready meals, various non-dairy milks, and Linda McCartney products, as well as the usual staples of pop, crisps and vegetables.

Jackson’s Wholefoods

Health food shop with all the usual cereals, pulses and health food awesome. They stock some of my favourite things like Minor Figures, Tofurky, Taifun, and Vego. I baked some Taifun tofu with onions and peppers on the embers on my fire for a wild cooking take on fajitas, and it was amazing.

Skye Batiks

Even if you aren’t into the gorgeous batiks it’s worth popping in for the Sri Lankan curry mixes. We picked up one for lentils and one for potato. They’re rich and flavourful and you add chilli to taste so it’s suitable for everyone from wimps to fire eaters.

Review: Isle of Skye Ice Cream Co.

Recently we stayed in a small cottage in Portree on the Isle of Skye. We noticed the Ice Cream Co shop but we didn’t think much of it, being vegan. My Dad went in though, one day when he was out walking the dog. He came back with a big smile on his face talking about how nice it was and how they offered Watson his own ice cream. Which is cute and everything but I wasn’t really interested until he said the magic words “and they had vegan ice cream”.

IMG_6477

We popped in and got two scoops of raspberry and it was delicious. Despite being early May the weather in Portree was stunning and it was nice to cool off with a little dairy-free treat. We were happy to find a vegan option, even happier that it was in such a cute and friendly ice cream parlour.

Review: Offshore (Torquay)

Offshore is one of our old favourites, one of the first places we started visiting when I moved down to Torquay, but we haven’t had chance to go in a while. We popped in over the bank holiday to try the special: vegan fish and chips.

The fish is in fact banana blossom fried in a beautiful crispy batter. The banana blossom itself is fairly flavourless so it probably could have done with a bit of nori to liven things up. I’d recommend trying it. Especially if you get a table with a view of the harbour. It just fits. If they aren’t serving the fish when you visit the main menu has an array of vegan options including pizza and two different burgers.

Event Recap: No Whey! Vegan Market (Plymouth)

Because I often work on a Saturday we’re always on the lookout for things to do on a Sunday, especially with a lot of our favourite local business being closed. This past Sunday was also our anniversary (11 years together, 6 years married!) so we had to do something interesting. We decided to head over to Plymouth for the No Whey Vegan Market.

So what’s at the No Whey vegan market? In every nook and cranny of the building there are stalls stocked with a diverse range of… well everything. We came home with a shopping bag full of baked goods from Bake Free and V is for Veggies as well as some Cornish Energy Balls (Facebook group).

There was also dog clothing, badges, embroidery, soap, art, and a lot of zines. I wish I could have bought more zines. As it was I came away with some really cool stuff and absolutely no money left in my pocket. No Whey Vegan Market is charming and original and amazing and you should go on 19th May for the next one!

Recipe: Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild garlic, after it’s picked, can wilt really fast. To keep it fresh after picking I wrapped it in a damp tea towel and popped it in a sealable box in the fridge. Or you could make it into pesto straight away.

 

Wild Garlic Pesto

About 20 leaves of wild garlic

8 walnuts

190ml (3/4 cup) olive oil

This is a simple two-step process: put it in the blender and blend it up.

It’s served here with spinach pasta and broccoli but it can be used just like any other pesto.