Sunday, 21 December 2014

Oatly Christmas-Spiced Cherry Ice-Cream Bombe

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Oatly to see it I would like to share any of their Christmas recipes with all of you. The one that really caught my eye was the cherry ice-cream bombe. 

I've posted the vegan version of the recipe as Oatly sent it, however I did make a few changes when I made it. Firstly, I only made half the recipe, as there would only be two of us eating it, so instead of one large bombe I made two mini ones! Secondly, as Mr Hatter doesn't like creme de cassis, I used spiced rum instead to soak the cherries in. And thirdly, I didn't add the cinnamon and orange to the ice cream because I forgot! But the spiced rum added a lovely flavour to the bombe so it doesn't matter!

Oatly Christmas-Spiced Cherry Ice-Cream Bombe

Vegetarian friendly 

One quantity Oatly vanilla ice-cream (see below), made with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and the zest of one small orange added into the warm Oatly mixture
200g cherries, halved & stoned
4 tbsp crème de cassis liqueur
100g sugar
50ml water
1 stick of cinnamon

1. In a medium saucepan heat the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and cassis, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the liquid up to just below boiling point and take off the heat. 
2. Add the cherries and leave to cool, then chill. The longer you leave the cherries in the syrup, the better their flavour will be, but you can use them as soon as they are thoroughly chilled.
3. Line a 1litre/2 pint pudding basin or freezer proof bowl with 2 layers of cling film, leaving enough hanging over the edges to fold back over the pudding.  
4. If you are making the ice-cream fresh, churn it in the machine for 50 minutes until nearly set but still a little loose. Lift half the cherries out of their syrup and fold gently into the ice-cream until they are evenly distributed. Spoon or pour the mixture into the lined basin, smooth the top and fold over the edges of the cling film. Freeze the bombe for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
5. To serve, dip the bombe into a bowl of warm water briefly to release it from the basin, being careful not to allow any water to get inside the bombe. Peel back the edges of the cling film. Turn the bombe, still in its basin, upside down onto a serving plate with a rim. Lift off the basin and peel away the cling film. Pour the chilled cherries in syrup (remove the cinnamon stick first!) over the top of the bombe and then cut into wedges. Serve immediately.
Oatly Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes approximately 800ml 
vegan friendly 

220ml Oatly Oat drink, chilled
500 ml Organic Oatly Creamy Oat
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, stir the sugar into the Oatly oat drink until it dissolves. Stir in the remaining ingredients. 

2. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice-cream machine and churn for 50-60 minutes or until set to your desired consistency. If you like a firm set, scoop the ice-cream into a lidded plastic box and freeze for two hours. 

3. If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a lidded plastic box and freeze. Take the ice-cream out every hour and stir, whisk or whizz in the blender to break up the larger ice crystals. Return to the box and repeat until the ice-cream is almost completely set, then allow to freeze until firm. 

4. To serve, take the ice-cream out of the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator for half an hour to soften slightly.

Recipe credit
This recipe was made using Oatly Organic Creamy Oat and Oatly Oat drink – great dairy free, healthy alternatives to single cream and milk. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sick of Christmas posts yet?

Are you still stuck for vegan Christmas dinner ideas? If you're like me and Christmas has crept up on you then the answer is probably yes! However, I'm lucky because I'm not hosting the dinner so don't have too much to plan!

If this is you, don't panic. Just get yourself a copy of the November/December edition of Vegan Life Magazine... they have SO MANY tasty looking recipes that would be just perfect for Christmas.

While I think all the recipes in the magazine look scrummy, there are a few that really stood out and made me want to make them right away. Chocolate Fondant Puddings, Spinach Swirls, and Brownie Nut Butter Cups are on my "I need these right now!" list. I mean, just look how pretty the spinach swirls are! I think I may take these to my family Christmas dinner...

I'm so looking forward to trying these... I think there will be plenty of festive baking going on!

The rest of the magazine is just as interesting as the first edition was, it's a real pleasure to read. I bought this one as soon as it came out (as I never got around to subscribing... doh!), but a few weeks later I received an offer to sign up as a blogger and get a digital copy of each edition in return for a blog post - win! They also sent me a lovely little welcome present (but I haven't tried the drink sachets yet).

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

What's this? What's this? Christmas boxes everywhere...

Another day, another post about a vegan Christmas box!

Today we have the Christmas edition of The Vegan Kind's monthly lifestyle box.

It's another good month, with a nice mix of food and non-food items:

Harper's Bizarre Jingle Bells Christmas Candle
Wholeplus Gingerbread Toppers
Olive Branch Gluten Free Sweet Biscuits
Teatonics Mind Awakening Yerba & Laid Back Botanical Tea
Green People Toothpaste

Harper's Bizarre Jingle Bells Christmas Candle

This candle smells amazing, I can't wait to light it! I think I'll get it going when we have our present wrapping session with The Nightmare Before Christmas DVD playing... (Did you get that reference in the blog post title??) This candle has some lovely artwork on the tin which has been specially created for this box, and it's a company from Yorkshire so that's an extra bonus! I like supporting local business!

Wholeplus Gingerbread Toppers

Way back in May, I received a Wholeplus Hot Pot with a vanilla spice topper in one of my TVK boxes, and it was very tasty - so I'm excited to try this limited edition festive topper! It's packed full of healthy, natural ingredients and smells gorgeous. I'm mixed some into my overnight oats, so I will get to try this tomorrow morning!

Olive Branch Gluten Free Sweet Biscuits

These biscuits are available in three flavours - Cinnamon, Almond & Clove, and Orange. I got the Orange, and Mr Hatter and I managed to devour these pretty quickly. They don't taste gluten free at all and have a really lovely orange flavour. They really do melt in your mouth!

Teatonics Mind Awakening Yerba & Laid Back Botanical Tea

I'm not a big tea drinker, but I will drink the occasional herbal tea every now and then. (Although I do have a box of random tea bags I've been given and not got around to drinking yet...). I imagine that if I liked teas then this would be an exciting new product, however I'm just not a tea person! I do know some tea drinkers though so I'm sure these will find a good home!

Green People Toothpaste

Now I know toothpaste isn't the most exciting product on most people's shopping lists (unless you really like toothpaste??), but I think it's great that TVK include things like this in our boxes. Personally, I have struggled to find a toothpaste that both Mr Hatter and I are happy with - we are currently using two different types of toothpaste. I'm using an aloe-based one, and Mr Hatter says it tastes too much like plants. So we'll see if this one satisfies us both!

The charity of the month this time is Soi Dog Foundation, who aim to improve the lives of cats and dogs in Thailand.

This month's recipe comes from Bit Of The Good Stuff and looks like it would be great for Christmas Day - "Red Lentil and Cashew Nut Loaf", yum yum!

If you like what you've seen, you can subscribe to your own monthly box here for a cost of £10 per month plus shipping.

Monday, 15 December 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

I decided to join the Vegan Package Swap for November, as they were doing their Christmas-themed swap a month early to avoid any postal service related issues. I was not disappointed!

This month, I was paired with someone from Australia, which was super exciting! I had no idea what to expect...

The first thing I tried was a chocolate santa, made by Sweet William, because who can resist a chocolate santa?! They were lovely and creamy with a great taste.

The dark chocolate cranberries were also very festive and not what I expected! For some reason, I was expecting freeze-dried cranberries, but they were lovely and juicy inside their dark chocolate shells.

The Anzac biscuits (in the brown box) are apparently a classic Australian biscuit, and after looking them up online it seems they are often associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). However, it sounds like the biscuits traditionally sent to the soldiers were a little different to the popular Anzac biscuits in the shops. I was very impressed with their coconutty deliciousness and crunchy texture. These ones were even gluten-free but you wouldn't be able to tell!

You can't see it that well in the photo of the box, and I didn't get another photo as I ate it at work, but one of the chocolate bars was a "peanut slab" by Whittaker's. I had no idea what this was going to be... It was literally a slab of chocolate studded with peanuts. It was very good! Apparently it is a famous New Zealand chocolate bar, and I can see why!

The teeny weeny tub of Australian peanut butter was so cute! It tasted great too - really creamy and not too much mouth-stickiness after eating.

The Loving Earth "luvju" bar I received was turkish delight flavour! This is apparently the most popular vegan chocolate brand in Australia, and this is a new flavour. It was tasty, and it looks like they have a fantastic range on their website.

I've not tried the coconut soap yet but it smells beautiful - again, my weakness for coconut comes into play...

This is definitely one of the best boxes I've had so far - I loved it!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Steampunk Surgical Spirit... The Vegan Way!

Yesterday I attended my first Steampunk market as a trader - yay!

I've been to a few as a punter (and loved them!), and I've wanted to trade at a steampunk market for a long long time... before I was even set up as a business! I'm go glad I was finally able to trade at an event like this and I will definitely be signing up for more...

I just wanted to share a few photos from the stall. I'm hoping to have a bit more time for fancy decoration at the next stall... I have so many ideas for steampunk decorations... But I opted for some nice Christmassy cakes this time around, as it was a Christmas market too.


Mini things:


Tuesday, 25 November 2014


It was The Vegan Kind's first birthday on 1st November this year - this past year has flown by, helped along by so many beautiful boxes! This month's was no exception.

There was...

1. Considerit Salted Caramel
2. The Primal Kitchen Coconut & Macadamia Paleo Bar
3. Rebel Kitchen Orange Choc Mylk
4. Organic Surge Awakening Shower Gel
5. Ten Acre How Chicken Soup Saved The Day Crisps
6. Quinola Mothergrain Express Quinoa

1. Considerit Salted Caramel

I've tried a few items from Considerit Chocolate before and have loved all of them. I'm so excited about this product, but I've not tried it yet! I'm trying to find the perfect thing to have it on/with so that I don't waste it and it's driving me crazy!

2. The Primal Kitchen Coconut & Macadamia Paleo Bar

The Primal Kitchen is a business that has emerged this year, and which I've seen a few times before. I was expecting another snack bar along the lines of Nakd/Beond, but this was somehow so different! It had a smooth and creamy taste - which I put down to the macadamia nuts - and it was yummy. Each bar contains no more than 5 ingredients, all of which fit into the Paleo diet. I would recommend this!

3. Rebel Kitchen Orange Choc Mylk

Rebel Kitchen is another company which I have encountered before, but I had not tried this flavour. I love chocolate orange, and was expecting chocolate mylk with a hint of orange... but it was full on chocolate-orange flavour! Yay! Very impressed!

4. Organic Surge Awakening Shower Gel

This shower gel smells lush and left my skin feeling lovely and soft. It combines a unique complex of naturally derived ingredients - great!

5. Ten Acre How Chicken Soup Saved The Day Crisps

I love the names that Ten Acre give their crisps, they tell a bit of a story! I was never a huge fan of chicken crisps, but Mr Hatter assures me that these do taste like chicken soup. They were nice and went well with our weekend sandwiches! This is a brand that I would be happy to try any flavour from, as they seem to get them all spot on.

6. Quinola Mothergrain Express Quinoa

I've not tried this yet as I am planning to use it in a salad one day in the next few weeks but it looks tasty. And the easy-to-use pre-cooked quinoa is a great idea for those of us who are a bit nervous about cooking quinoa. (I can never seem to get it quite right...)

This month's charity is Dr Hadwen Trust, who specialise in non-animal medical testing. These guys do a lot of great work, so I'm glad they're getting the 10p from my box this month!

The recipe this month looks beautiful and I think I will have to try it (especially with the weather being so cold at the moment) - Pumpkin Spiced Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from The Vegan Cookie  Fairy!

If you like what you've seen, you can subscribe to your own monthly box here for a cost of £10 per month plus shipping.

Saturday, 25 October 2014


Wow. I can't believe we're up to box 12 of The Vegan Kind's monthly subscription boxes already! (I also can't believe how long it's taken me to getting around to writing this blog post.. it's nearly time for the next box!)

This month's box was another good one:

1. Angelic Gluten Free Double  Chocolate Cookies
2. Howdah Onion Bhajis
3. Premae Skincare Triumph Creme Balm
4. Landgarten Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Raspberries
5. Nom Organic Oat Bar

1. Angelic Gluten Free Double  Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are vegan and gluten free - but they don't taste gluten free! Even Mr Hatter approved (and he can be picky about things like that). Very tasty!

2. Howdah Onion Bhajis

Howdah produce tasty snacks using locally sourced ingredients - and I must say these were very tasty! These are the second snacks I've tried from Howdah (I got the Bombay Puri from Vegan Tuck Box) and they were both great!

3. Premae Skincare Triumph Creme Balm

This little sample is a vitamin enriched moisturiser which is fragranced with Frankincense. The full sized product costs £51 ! I must admit, I'm skeptical when it comes to expensive moisturisers but this little pot has left my skin feeling lovely and smooth - and it smells lush!

4. Landgarten Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Raspberries

I am a huge fan of Landgarten snacks but I was hesitant to try these as I have a bit of a thing about freeze-dried fruit. I think it's the texture I don't get on with. However, I was pleasantly surprised by these. They had a lovely sharp taste which distracted me from the texture, and Landgarten's chocolate coating is always so smooth. Yum!

5. Nom Organic Oat Bar

This was beautiful. It was just the right level of coconut vs oat, and was a great filling snack. I would definitely buy this if I was out and about and in need of a pick-me-up.

The charity of the month was Manchester & Cheshire Dogs' Home, after the tragic fire that happened there recently.

And this month's recipe is from Little Miss Meat Free and is for "Ombre Vanilla Dream Cake". It looks so beautiful - I think I'm going to have to have a go at making it. It even won this year's Great Vegan Bake Off that was hosted by PETA!

If you like what you've seen, you can subscribe to your own monthly box here for a cost of £10 per month plus shipping.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

National Chocolate Week - The Final Day!

It's the last day of National Chocolate Week, so I thought I would leave you with a lovely chocolatey recipe!

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Serves 12 (it is pretty rich, so you only need small slices)

1 cup dates
1 cup flaked almonds
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

200g creamed coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil
60g dark chocolate
1 cup frozen raspberries
100g ground hazelnuts
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp agave syrup

1. In a food processor, pulse the dates and almonds together until all the pieces are small. Drizzle in the melted coconut oil and pulse again. The mixture is ready when it sticks together when pressed between your fingers.

2. Press the date and almond mixture into a 9-inch loose-bottomed cake tin. Put this in the fridge to set while you make the filling.

3. Heat the creamed coconut over a low heat until melted. Add the coconut oil and dark chocolate, and stir with a rubber spatula until everything has melted and is combined. Add the vanilla and agave syrup.

4. In a food processor, blend the raspberries and hazelnuts until there are no large lumps left. Add the chocolately mixture and blend until smooth. Pour into the cake tin.

5. Pop in the freezer for a couple of hours until solid. This makes it much easier to get out of the cake tin! Once solid, you can remove it from the cake tin and place it on a serving plate then let it thaw in the fridge - I left it overnight which resulted in a lovely smooth mousse texture the next day.

(I made the mistake of trying to cut it while still frozen, hence the slightly rough edge in the photo!)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Vegan Tuck Box - September

As part of Vegan MoFo, I wrote a blog post about the various subscription boxes available to vegans in the UK. At the time I had never tried a box from Vegan Tuck Shop, so I decided I was going to try one! I ordered a Single Vegan Tuck Box which costs £22 and contains 10-12 products.

Unfortunately, I've been having a few problems with the camera on my phone and it has deleted most of the photos I took of my box and its contents - I'm gutted! So I'm sorry this post doesn't have as many photos as it usually would...

September Vegan Tuck Box (List taken from the Vegan Tuck Box website)

  1. Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup
  2. Braw blackcurrant oat bar
  3. Go Max Go Foods Cleo’s peanut butter cups
  4. Howdah Snacks Bombay Puri
  5. Meridian Almond Bar
  6. Moo Free Mini Moo Orange
  7. Nothing But grape and pineapple
  8. Premium Chocolatiers No No’s
  9. Provamel coconut and rice drink
  10. Rawlicious pizza crackers
  11. Retrocorn Strawberries and Cream popcorn
  12. 9 Bar Thai sprinkles
1. Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup

This is a natural sweetener made from the blossoms of coconut trees, without harming the tree or affecting its ability to produce coconuts. I'm looking forward to trying this. The coconut sugar I've tried before has been gorgeous, so I'm expecting good things from this little bottle!

2. Braw Blackcurrant Oat Bar

This little bar was lovely - full of flavour and packed with a whopping 60% fruit!

3. Go Max Go Foods Cleo's Peanut Butter Cups

I love Go Max Go chocolate bars. It's like vegan versions of all my favourite chocolate bars when I was a kid - Mars, Bounty, Milky Way (sort of - the Go Max Go version isn't quite the same). I hadn't tried the peanut butter cups before, but I had heard a lot of praise for them. To be fair, I had never had a peanut butter cup at all before so I had nothing to compare it to anyway! But I did really enjoy these. The peanut butter was creamy and encased in a lovely sweet chocolate.

4. Howdah Snacks Bombay Puri

Howdah offer a range of Indian inspired snacks that are suitable for vegans. The Bombay Puri are mini Indian flatbreads, which I used as a salad topping on a samosa salad from Salad Samurai (yup, still can't get enough of that book...). They were great, and brought an excellent flavour and crunch to the salad.

5. Meridian Almond Bar

I have seen a lot of love online for Meridian snack bars but never got around to trying one before now. I must admit, I've been missing out. The almond bar is packed full of 55% almonds! Great as a post-workout snack.

6. Moo Free Mini Moo Mint

Now, the website says that the Moo Free bar for September was orange flavoured but I got a mint one. I would have preferred the orange one, as I don't like mint chocolate (and I love orange chocolate!) but my loss was Mr Hatter's gain. He enjoyed this little minty bar, which was quite a surprise as he usually isn't too keen on vegan chocolate.

7. Nothing But Grape and Pineapple

This was the same flavour I got in my last box from The Vegan Kind, so I won't go into detail here. I still can't quite get my head around freeze-dried fruit and veg, so I have put it with my other packet awaiting the day when I turn it into granola.

8. Premium Chocolatiers No No's

This was the one product I was most excited about. I've seen these sweeties all over the internet recently, and I can see why. They are vegan marshmallows coated in chocolate, which is then encased in a sweet candy shell. From the pictures I've seen online (and the picture on the front of the bag), I was expecting these to be small - like mini marshmallow size. But when I opened the packet, they were huge! Think peanut M&M's sort of size. (Or at least, the size I remember them being... I was never a huge fan of the peanut ones so it's a vague comparison...) Did they live up to the hype? OH YES! I wasn't expecting to enjoy them as much as I did. I would definitely recomment trying these if you get chance.

9. Provamel Coconut and Rice Drink

As this came in a handy drinks carton, I decided I would just drink it as is and see what it was like. I was pleasantly surprised. The coconut gave the milk a nice flavour and smooth texture, which made is very pleasant to drink.

10. Rawlicious Pizza Crackers

I've not tried these yet but they sound interesting! I love pizza, so if they really taste like pizza I will be happy!

11. Retrocorn Strawberries and Cream Popcorn

This popcorn was literally popcorn covered in crushed sweets. It was quite strange, as it's not something I've heard of before and the crushed sweets gave the popcorn a very different texture. It was probably a bit too sweet for me (which is saying something), although it did taste nice. I did manage to eat the whole bag!

12. 9 Bar Thai Sprinkles

Another item that I've not yet tried, but I am thinking they would be lovely on top of a salad. I love Thai flavours, and enjoy sprinkling seeds over salads so this sounds like a great combination to me!

I really enjoyed my Vegan Tuck Box! Also, I really like the fact that they have a shop on their website so that you can re-order more of a certain item if there was something you really liked.

If you fancy trying one of these boxes you can take a look at your options hereThey offer a range of boxes: Vegan Starter Box (£17.50 one-off), Mini Vegan Tuck Box (5-6 items, £10 subscription / £11 one-off), Subscription Box (10-12 items £20 p/month / £57 for 3 months / £108 for 6 months), Single Vegan Tuck Box (10-12 items, £22 one-off).

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Vegan MoFo - Final Day!

Wow. I can't believe I'm already writing the last MoFo post of the year already. It's been a fun month! I now remember how difficult it is to find the time to post something every day - I must have blocked it out after last year. It has been good though, and I'm a little sad to see it end. (Although I am looking forward to getting my evenings back!)

My favourite blogs this year have been Hasta La Vegan (some crazy recipe choices to veganize) and (making me hungry with every post). Both have been a pleasure to read. I hope you have all enjoyed the month too! Which have been your top blogs?

And now as we say goodbye to MoFo for another year, I'm going to post a recipe that is looking forward. Dare I use the big C word? That's right... this recipe might come in handy for CHRISTMAS!

Now I must admit, it's been ages since I've had marzipan. So I'm not sure how authentic the taste/texture of this recipe is - and Mr Hatter doesn't like the stuff so he wouldn't even try a tiny piece! But I can tell you that it tastes fantastic and you should make it right now.

Marzipan is usually made with egg whites - it seems that this weekend has been a whole weekend of replacing eggs in egg-based recipes! Maybe that should be next year's theme... although I think that might drive me crazy...


250g ground almonds
250g icing sugar
80g Sweet Freedom
zest of half a lemon
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp rose water
2 1/2 tsp water

1. Combine the almonds and icing sugar in a bowl, and mix together.

2. Drizzle in the Sweet Freedom, lemon zest and extracts. and stir. The mixture should start to clump together.

3. Add water 1/2 tsp at a time and mix until a dough forms - you may need more or less than the amount stated, so just add a little at a time as once it's in there you can't take it back! Knead lightly until a soft dough forms but try not to overwork it.

4. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate overnight.

5, Remove from the fridge and use - you could shape it and dip into melted chocolate (which I did), use it to cover a cake, or just eat it as it is!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Meringue Mix Adventures

Whilst experimenting with the many many meringues that have come through my kitchen this weekend, I ended up with the jar of white goopy stuff pictured below.

Halfway through one batch of meringues, I decided that I was only going to cook half the mixture to see if having two trays in the oven affected the way they cooked. (It affected it marginally but not enough to worry about cooking two trays at once.) But that meant I was left with half a batch of meringue mix with no home.

After getting it all of my hands and tasting it (because why wouldn't I? There's no egg!), it turned out it tasted quite a lot like marshmallows! According to Mr Hatter, it tastes like vegan marshmallows - not "real" ones. Anyway, I added a bit more icing sugar and a little cornflour to thicken it up and scooped it into a jar. It's yummy! The plan is to try come back to the recipe at some point and try to make a version of marshmallow fluff. This stuff tasted great but the texture is very goopy - I want something light and spreadable for an oh-so-unhealthy spread for toast. Mmmmm...

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The MoFo Meringue Saga

At the beginning of Vegan MoFo, I asked if anyone had any requests. One request came from Hasta La Vegan - vegan meringue.

I tried to make meringues when I first turned vegan, using the recipe from the back of an egg-replacer packet. They came out very flat, with the taste and texture of cardboard. I'm not really surprised - meringue is comprised mainly of egg whites, so I wasn't really expecting to be able to recreate it.

So when I got a request for meringues, there was an inward groan of this-isn't-possible, mixed with a spike of excitement for a new challenge. And it has definitely been a challenge.

I use flax as an egg-replacer a lot of the time in my baking, and I've read that you can use chia seeds as a replacement too. I had both of these in the cupboard so did a little test using ground flax seeds in one bowl and chia seeds in the other. Nope. Next.

This time, I did a bit of research and found that you can apparently make a good soft meringue by cooking up some flax seeds in water and straining off the goop, which you can then whip up into meringue. Everyone in the comments on this post where I found the recipe raves about it. I tried three times and couldn't get it to whip up at all, despite standing there for 15+ minutes with my hand beaters. The best I got was this bowl of glue-like stuff which looks very suspicious:


After a bit more research, I found that a few people had had success using soya protein in their meringue mixes. I had initially avoided these recipes due to the cost of soya protein and the fact that I wanted something a bit more "natural" to make my meringues with. After my failures I really wanted a win, so I went out and bought a bag of Pulsin' Soya Protein, which states that it is suitable for vegans. Be careful when buying it though as some brands add things like whey to their soya protein.

Using the recipes at Lucy's Friendly Foods and as inspiration, I set about trying to create some meringues. Check out the link for an explanation into the hows and whys of meringues - it was a really intereating read.

My initial recipe created a very white mixture which produced meringues with a good, crisp shell - but they had a very strange taste, which I think was due to the cornflour I added.

I decided just to follow one of the recipes completely and see where that got me. The one at Lucy's Friendly Foods used more cupboard-friendly ingredients, so I gave that a go and got a few nice crispy meringues. However, not all the based crisped up properly and I ended up with a few hollow meringues. Plus, I wanted to put my own spin on it. But this mini-success had given me the hope I needed to carry on.

The recipe I ended up with creates some great-tasting meringues, which Mr Hatter agreed were very similar to egg-based meringues - YAY!!!! They are a bit more fragile than the meringues I was used to as a child, and you can see that they have more air bubbles near the surface than they probably should, but they have the crispy shell and the gooey centre and that's good enough for me! (At least until I have time to properly play with the recipe again.)

I'm going to give you the recipe as it currently is, as I really wanted to be able to give you this as part of my MoFo but I will be playing around with it to try to get a sturdier meringue. I'm thinking adding cream of tartar is going to be a good place to start, but we're both a bit meringued-out after all the experiments this week, so it might be a little while before I try again!

Anyway, here you go...

Vegan Meringues

100ml water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp + 1 tsp soya protein (separated)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
100g icing sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 120C.

2. On low speed, beat together the water, vinegar, vanilla extract and 2 tbsp soya protein for 2 minutes until fluffy:

3. Add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum and beat on high speed for 2 minutes.

4. Add 1 tsp soya protein and beat on high for 3-4 minutes until you get peaks in the mixture. This will be more like the soft peak stage of traditional meringue making - you won't get the stiff peaks you do with egg whites:

5. Add the icing sugar in two batches and beat until combined - this should only take about 20 seconds per addition. Try not to overmix.

6. Spoon or pipe onto baking trays lined with parchment paper. (I got two trays of meringues from this recipe.) Please note that this mixture is not stiff enough for the piped mixture to hold its shape - this is something I will be working on in my amendments to the recipe. Also - the smaller ones work the best, so I would recommend making lots of little meringues instead of a few big ones. If you are wanting to make big meringues you will need to increase the baking time.

7. Bake for 30 min at 120C on a low oven shelf, then reduce the temperature to 100C for a further hour. When cooked, the meringues should look crispy and the bottoms should be solid. I removed these from the oven straight away and cooled  them on a cooling rack, however I would be intrigued to see whether they were a bit firmer if left in the oven while it cools down, as with traditional meringues. I just didn't have time to try this this week.

Feel free to play with the recipe and let me know if you find any good changes! The world needs more vegan meringue!