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

SERVES 6-8
Vegetarian friendly 

Ingredients 
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

Method 
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 

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

Method 
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 www.facebook.com/oatlyab

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.

Cupcakes:



Mini things:



Misc: