Desserts, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Tarte au Chocolat

Here’s a lovely little treat……for Valentine.ūüíē

Tbh, this kind of thing is way out of my comfort zone; (give me a bag of beans and a cabbage any day!), as you can see from my pastry skills (or lack of), ¬†but I was inexplicably moved the other day to buy a little set of heart-shaped baking tins, and I definitely had chocolate on my mind….. ¬† maybe it seemed to me¬†that the world needs some love these days, as there appears to be a lot of hate around, and we all can all make space¬†for the occasional chocolate heart…no?! ūüíö

This tart can be made as one big one, or 4 little ones.

I used ready-made vegan shortcrust pastry, but of course you can use your favourite home-made pastry, and, with a little care, a gluten-free version.

The filling is light and velvety rich and hopelessly delicious.

I hope you enjoy!



Serves 4

Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Tarte au Chocolat”

Celebration Dishes, Desserts, Vegan, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Treats

Cranachan (made with Crowdie – the old-fashioned way)


A creamy Scottish dessert; the perfect end to a vegan Burns’ Night supper.

In my brief series of Scottish delights here on the blog, Cranachan is another a simple dish, using thoroughly Scottish ingredients: oatmeal, raspberries and whisky.

In order to veganise it, I’ve diverged from tradition by using coconut cream and maple syrup (instead of double cream and honey).

It comes out just as light and tastes just as good.

Originally, Crowdie (a simple curd cheese) was used in this dessert, and I’ve noticed that a lot of Cranachan recipes bypass this, but it’s so easy to do, I thought I’d go back to the very beginning and make some, because it’s actually very easy.

Crowdie is made by curdling milk and separating the curds from the whey.  Incidentally, you end up with a lovely soft cheese that resembles Ricotta and can be flavoured with salt, pepper and herbs such as chives or basil.

The whey can be used in soups and stews, so there’s no waste!

PS. Cranachan recipe with or without Crowdie follows below!



makes between 220 – 275 gms.

Cook’s Note: a jam thermometer is useful here – but not absolutely essential.

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cranachan (made with Crowdie – the old-fashioned way)”

Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Growing things, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Strawberry + Pimm’s Fool

It’s been Wimbledon fortnight. ¬†And now it’s over I’m in a brief period of mourning. ¬†Being a tennis addict, this always happens. ¬†I should be used to it by now. ¬†But I can’t help it ūüė¶ ¬†I ¬†put as much aside as I can … all forms of cleaning, hoovering, shopping, and frankly, cooking. ¬†It’s just so hard. ¬†Sigh. ¬†ūüôā

I call it ‘the beans on toast +¬†daily avocado syndrome’. ¬†I get it every single year.

So I haven’t blogged¬†much…done much…¬†been out much. ¬†I’ve just watched tennis.

With a notable exception.

I made a strawberry fool….and I added Pimm’s No. 1 ūüôā

What better way to while away an afternoon, than watching my all-time favourite tennis player eventually demolish his extremely resilient opponent in a tense five-setter …… …..than with strawberries blended¬†in an alcoholic coconut cream.

(The boozy bit in this recipe is entirely¬†optional … but I’ll get to that later).


Federer finally begins to inch ahead in the quarter finals! 


It’s the last shout for my strawberry patch …and we’ve had strawberry tart, strawberry jam, strawberry smoothies and just plain strawberries………and I mourn them when they’re¬†over too. ¬†In fact, is life worth living without strawberries and Wimbledon? ¬†I have to wonder….

But nature¬†moves on, the raspberries and blueberries are coming next…and there’s tennis at the Olympics I believe …!

So.  Back to the fool:

I used Pimm’s No. 1 and maple syrup for this…which combined, give it a lovely, tawny, dusky flavour, but you could go another way by using¬†a light sweetener (white sugar or light agave) and fresh mint and lemon juice… details below.




Ingredients: Continue reading “Strawberry + Pimm’s Fool”

Celebration Dishes, Desserts, Vegan

Strawberry Tart with a Strawberry Cr√®me P√Ętissi√®re.

‘Tis strawberry time. ¬†I have an ever-expanding¬†strawberry patch on my allotment, (they put out new runners every autumn), and they’ve begun to appear¬†in all their glorious juiciness.

To be honest, there is no better way to eat a strawberry than to pick it in the late afternoon when it has been bathed in gentle sunshine, and just pop it in your mouth. ¬† Stand there, close your eyes, feel the light breeze and the warmth of the sun… and savour the strawberryness… of everything….

¬†¬†Eating a strawberry like this tends to lead to the eating of more strawberries in a similar fashion. ¬†It’s a very engaging activity ¬†ūüôā

Nevertheless, some tend to make it back to the kitchen and sooner or later there will be jam, ice-cream, and who knows what else to come, but we had a picnic this weekend……. …so I made a strawberry tart.

Here’s how.


Strawberry Tart with a Vegan¬†Cr√®me P√Ętissi√®re

for 6-8

or possibly just for 1

Ingredients: Continue reading “Strawberry Tart with a Strawberry Cr√®me P√Ętissi√®re.”

All About Beans, Desserts, Japanese Inspired Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Yokan. A traditional japanese dessert.

Yokan is made from beans.  Often red bean paste, using adzuki beans.

Yokan takes me back to afternoons spent with a friend of mine who used to import Yokan from Japan, and take it with his Matcha tea.  He had a tea whisk and gave me one.  I still have it.

yokan – adzuki bean jelly

As with so much Japanese cuisine, Yokan is delicate, fragrant and subtle.

Proof, if proof were needed, that beans aren’t just about stews and burgers!



*The beans need soaking overnight.

Ingredients: Continue reading “Yokan. A traditional japanese dessert.”

Breakfast, Desserts, Vegan

Seed Cream with Fresh Fruit….

Seeds, nuts and beans, are, by their very nature, indigestible.

It is their raison d’√™tre to remain that way.

Unlocking the goodness isn’t difficult … it comes down to soaking and cooking gently, soaking and sprouting, or else, grinding and soaking.

Here’s a lovely simple seed cream.

seed cream with fresh fruit

Chia, Nigella, Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds, ground to fine powder and soaked overnight in non-dairy milk and yogurt.

Served with fresh fruit.

Choose your seeds….choose your fruit.

Add whatever you feel like.

Using a sharp yogurt, this cream could easily be adapted to dress a salad or accompany vegetables in a stuffed pancake…. ¬†¬† Continue reading “Seed Cream with Fresh Fruit….”

Desserts, Vegan

Blueberry + Chocolate Pot

A lovely mellow little pot of goodness….

everyone loves chocolate …don’t they? …and blueberries….don’t they?

…and it’s¬†a match made in heaven…isn’t it?

blueberry chocolate pot



for 4

Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Blueberry + Chocolate Pot”

Desserts, Vegan

Tropical Banoffee Pie. Vegan.

The skies are grey today.  Steely grey.  Mid-winter grey.

And it’s pouring with rain.

winter grey days…rainy days…

Time to curl up with a good book, and a slice of Tropical Banoffee Pie…..

vegan banoffee pie

Straight from the 1970’s, revamped + veganised: with a ginger crunch¬†biscuit base, date puree, dark muscovado + coconut cream ‘dulce de leche’ caramelised sauce: infused with vanilla and lime, lemon and lime soaked bananas and coconut whipped cream….(with an optional dash of rum)……

… a little bit of vegan heaven…..

vegan paradise?….quite possibly….



serves 6

Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Tropical Banoffee Pie. Vegan.”

Desserts, Vegan

Stewed Apricots in Apricot Puree with Almond and Apricot Cakes . . An Indian dessert . . Vegan . .

This is an Indian dessert, that I’ve been making for years, and I believe¬†I originally took it from a dessert by Mridula Baljekar who has long been a cooking guru of mine….

It’s¬†an incredibly simple rich flavourful dessert…. minimum effort …maximum effect….

stewed apricots in apricot puree …

Serve as is …or with cakes or biscuits and a swirl of soya cream….

It really needs nothing…. it’s quite delicious as it is ….

stewed apricots in apricot puree….



Serves 4

a wonderfully simple vegan dessert

Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Stewed Apricots in Apricot Puree with Almond and Apricot Cakes . . An Indian dessert . . Vegan . .”

Cakes, Desserts, Vegan Treats

Basbousa. Egyptian-style Semolina Cake. Flavoured with citrus.

Dense, moist and with a zing of citrus, this semolina cake would be a great finish to these Egyptian-style dishes:

broad bean patties coated in sesame seeds fried in olive oil served with a simple green mezze
spiced paprika stew + marinaded fried tempeh




(click images for links)




citrus basbousa with a refreshing herb tea



serves 8

Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Basbousa. Egyptian-style Semolina Cake. Flavoured with citrus.”