Vegan Mofo 2019: Winter warmer

Hot chocolate is the perfect end to a winter’s day. Or indeed, any other day throughout the year, which is why Clare and I have 36 cartons of oat milk in the pantry. It was hot chocolate at the Exploding Bakery in Exeter that introduced us to oat milk (first Oatly, and then Minor Figures), and having tried every vegan milk around we’re still convinced that oat milk makes the creamiest hot chocolate.

This is my hot chocolate recipe: a grown-up hot chocolate, dark and strong.

hot-chocolate

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder (if using processed cocoa powder, increase the sugar to 2 tbsp)
15g dark chocolate (I use three squares of Green & Blacks 70%)
400ml (2 mugs) oat milk (I use Minor Figures)

Method

Put everything in a saucepan over a high heat and whisk steadily until the chocolate melts. Pour into mugs.

 

Vegan Mofo 2019: Perfect snacks for event TV

It’s more of a marathon than a sprint. Kate is halfway through Jane the Virgin and as it’s been quite traumatic I made her some of her favourite cheesy snacks. These are the goldfish crackers from Chloe Flavour only we make them star, heart and baby bear shape because I don’t have a mini fish cutters. If you’ve never made these get on it because they are super delicious.

Vegan Mofo 2019: Cartoon Inspired

It doesn’t matter what cute references I could make, my heart only wants one thing: Lard Lad Doughnuts. So I was a kid when The Simpsons came to the BBC. It may have been the biggest cultural event of my childhood. And we’ll say nothing of the varying quality over the years. My heart is with those early episodes.

charachter

That picture is from when I was 22 when they’d just opened the Simpsons Ride in Universal Orlando. I was significantly more adorable then I know. Also I miss having that tunic. The next time we went I was 30 and in the intervening eight years an entire Springfield had been built around it. I was only a vegetarian back then so I was able to eat a Krusty Burger, drink a Flaming Moe and eat a Lard Lad Doughnut.

krusty burger

Okay so the doughnut is huge. Like plate sized and me and Kelsie took about two days between us to eat it. It wasn’t great and now they have voodoo doughnuts it’s not anything I’d bother with again even if they went vegan.

lardlad

That’s my childhood cartoon and adult holiday obsession sorted. On with the vegan food! I went for a baked doughnut, because I’m not to be trusted with hot oil, so I made the ones from Chloe’s Kitchen, dyed pink and covered in sprinkles.  Much smaller but also taste better.

gonuts

Vegan Mofo 2019: Cook something to bring a villain back from the dark side

I don’t really have to think about this one because who hasn’t hung out close to the dark side once or twice? You know those days when you just can’t stand one more person and every little thing is driving you crazy.

When I first moved down here I informed Kate that when I was in one of those sort of moods she should give me pizza and sit me on front of Gilmore Girls. Things have changed a little in ten years and now it’s the three bs: blankets, binge watching and Bombay Express. Channa masala, dhal, and potato curry.

Vegan MoFo 2019: Food song pun

So the development stages of this post were as follows:

Day one: fail to come up with any puns at all.

Day two: finally come up with pun but fail to think of like a single song lyric, title, or artist I like.

Day three: brain still refuses to put together a pun and a song. Kate suggests just taking a picture of a Greggs sausage roll. I refuse and instead bake a Blondie. Because I’m not making an Oasis reference and you can’t make me.

This is the Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Blondie from Vegan With A Vengeance.

Vegan Mofo 2019: Veganise a dish from a sci-fi/fantasy world

Back in March I made a really dictatorial post about tea on Instagram. It involved a list. There were weights, measures, and temperatures. I thought most people would just write me off as an snobby crank. And I think most people did but some people liked my post. I figure if people like a little too much detail they’ll love a lot more detail. So behold a post about tea, Earl Grey, hot. Two more variations and one cold brew variation.

When it comes to tea there are three things to consider. One is your ratio of tea to water. With Earl Grey you want to have 1g of tea per 100ml of water. I generally make 500ml for me and Kate so that’s 5g of tea. Your second consideration is temperature. For the best taste you need to keep your water between 85 and 95 centigrade. Then the third step to tea perfection is how long you’ll leave the tea in the water to steep. Three minutes is perfect for Earl Grey. Strain it out. You’re good to go.

Variation 1: Earl Grey With Rose Petals

A nice floral brew, perfect for a special treat on a weekend afternoon.

rose
You want to use enough rose petals so that it’s about half of the weight of the tea. If you go for a second brewing you won’t get anything from the rose petals but the tea will still be good.

Variation 2: Earl Grey with Cacao Nibs

Adding roses brings out the floral notes of the tea; the cacao brings it back down to earth.

cocao

Again you want to use about 50% of the weight of the tea. the flavour really gets going as the tea cools.

Variation 3: Cold Brewed Earl Grey

You can be a snobby as you want about Iced Tea (Kate!) but it’s hot and I still need caffeine. Doing it as a cold brew rather than making hot tea and pouring it over ice preserves the flavour.

coldpress

I’m really glamorous so I brew my tea in one of those promotional sports bottles. It holds 300ml so I use 3 teaspoons of tea. I leave it in the fridge for about 12 hours, or overnight then strain it. Yum.

 

Vegan Mofo 2019: Cook For Your Favourite Characters

Does anyone else have comfort reading? Books that you go back to when they are sick or sad or exhausted because you have to read something to get your mind off the aforementioned sickness or sadness or exhaustion but you can’t quite manage to concentrate on anything complicated? Well my anxiety is turned all the way up right now and I’ve been reading Anne of Green Gables again.

As much as I wish I was more like Anne my waistline is expanding much like Diana’s who regretted only having three raspberry tarts:

“The little girls of Avonlea school always pooled their lunches, and to eat three raspberry tarts all alone or even to share them only with one’s best chum would have forever and ever branded as “awful mean” the little girl who did it. And yet, when the tarts were divided among ten girl you just got enough to tantalize you.

And to make up for that disappointment I made a whole batch and ate three to myself.