French onion soup (recipe)

This post is part of VeganMoFo 2019, a month-long celebration of vegan food. This week’s theme is travel, and today’s prompt is favourite international dish.

I’m not usually keen on onion-centric food: onion rings have too strong a flavour for me, and I don’t like the crunch of lightly-cooked onions when they’re part of a larger dish. However, at my company’s annual conference last year the vegan option was French onion soup, and to my surprise I enjoyed it.

This is proper slow food: I put on the deluxe edition of London Grammar’s Truth Is A Beautiful Thing as I started, and I was still cooking when the album finished an hour and twenty minutes later. The long cooking time makes the onions soft and silky, and mellows their flavour.

soup

Ingredients (per person)

2 onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon brown sugar
200ml vegetable stock (or water)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
¼ lemon
¼ teaspoon salt
Several pinches of black pepper

Method

Finely slice the onions and garlic.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions, garlic, and a tablespoon of water.

Cook over a low heat, stirring every few minutes, until the onions start to brown. This may take up to an hour. If the onions start to stick to the pan, add a little water.

Once the onions have started to brown, stir in the sugar and add the stock (or water) and vinegar.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for fifteen minutes. Season with the juice from the lemon, salt, and pepper.

Serve with slices of crusty French bread.

 

Gram and vegan cheese shortbread (recipe)

This post is part of VeganMoFo 2019, a month-long celebration of vegan food. This week’s theme is travel, and today’s prompt is road trip snack.

These gram and vegan cheese shortbread rounds may be small, but they pack in a lot of flavour. Fill a mini lunch box with them for a delicious snack that’s robust enough to survive being thrown around in your travel bags.

This recipe is adapted from a non-vegan original in Rose Prince’s The New English Kitchen. The keys to success are using a firm vegan butter (I used Naturli Organic Vegan Block) and the strongest vegan cheese you can find (I used Daiya Medium Cheddar Style Farmhouse Block).

lunchbox

Ingredients (makes 12)

60g gram flour
50g vegan cheese, grated
40g vegan butter, cut into cubes
¼ teaspoon salt
Several pinches of ground pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180℃.

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until they start to combine.

processor

Tip out onto a clean surface and knead for a few seconds until the mixture has an even consistency.

Roll into a cylinder about 3cm in diameter, and then cut into rounds about 1cm thick. Use a sharp knife and rotate the cylinder a quarter turn after each cut to avoid squashing it.

before-baking

Put the rounds onto a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. The edges should start to turn a golden brown colour. Leave to cool.

after-baking

Vegan Mofo 2019: Quiche

Taking a break from Nordic Baking we move on to the technical challenge from this week of Vegan Mofo: Quiche. I have a few quiche recipes but I also have a picky wife so I cobbled a few of them together, added a little silken tofu for an extra giggle and made it with spinach. A Kate-approved filling.

IMG_7191

For The Pastry 

170g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
100g vegan margarine
Chilled water

Mix the flour and salt together.

Add the margarine to the bowl a tablespoon at a time. Mix in with your fingers until it forms large crumbs.

Add the chilled water, a tablespoon at a time, until it is liquid enough to bind the dough together.

Shape into a flat disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Once the dough is chilled roll it out into a nice big circle. Lay it over a cake tin and gently press down into the edges. Prick the base of the the pastry with a fork. Cut out a circle of baking paper and lay it over the base, weighting it down with baking beads or old beans.

pre bake

Bake without any filling for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile you can be working on…

The Eggy Filling

225g gram flour
300ml water
100g silken tofu
1/4 teaspoon black salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Blend together. That’s it.

The Spinach

125g of baby spinach

Wilt down with a little salt and pepper.

The Combo

Neaten up the edges of the pastry by knocking off the bits that are over the edge of the tin (try and be neater than me. I’m a bad influence)

Pour in the spinach and the eggy filling. Mix it all together a little bit.

Turn the oven to 160°C

Bake the completed quiche for 40 minutes.

 

 

Vegan Mofo 2019: Pastry / Veganising The Nordic Baking Book

Today we move on to pastry which is an area I’m not exactly well versed in. But I try, and also I cheat.

Julstjärnor – Finnish Puff Pastry And Plum Stars

Vgeanised by being a cheating cheater who cheats and never makes her own puff pastry. The cheaper Jus-Rol is made with veg fats instead of butter.

star
Turns out that constructing these based only on a line drawing was a little difficult and my fist batch can out looking like… well like a symbol that isn’t appropriate. Thankfully, after a quick google my second batch turned into a beautiful star. The taste fantastic. Plum is an amazing jam.

Hindbærsnitter – Danish Glazed Raspberry Squares

Veganised by replacing the butter with Naturli block and using oat milk to bind the pastry rather than egg.

jammy

So far in these write-ups of my experiments I’ve been using the Swedish words for the baked goods. I’m doing it in the hopes that one of the words will stick and I’ll have gained at least one word of a foreign language out of this project. Which I’m mentioning because this is Danish instead.

I wish I’d used a mix of Trex and Vitalite for the sweet shortcrust rather than the Naturli block. It was incredibly hard to work. But when cooked and used as the bread in a fabulous jam sandwich it was perfect. Thankfully I only made a half batch because we ate them all very, very quickly.

That’s it for pastry, tomorrow we’ll be looking at bread. Brace yourself. I’ve baked a lot.