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Wednesday 5 March 2008

Alien on Toast!

That is what you would think you had asked for, when you see the look on some people's face when you ask for the vegan option!

I’m still pretty new to veganism (been veggie for a while but went vegan January 01 this year) and aside from how good I feel, the best thing is trying new dishes and foods I never would have tried before – plus it gives me an excuse to buy more cookbooks!! So this blog will be about what I’ve been cooking, some recipes of my own and food porn.

One of my other loves is make-up and I'm finding that it’s tough trying to find vegan make-up that doesn’t totally blow! So when I find it, I’ll post about it. I sometimes dabble in making my own soaps, lotions, make-up ...etc so I’ll post about that too!

So I’m gonna start off slow ... here are some cupcakes I made from the acest book I own –
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The basic chocolate cupcakes are amazing and were the first ones from the book I tried, with the peanut butter frosting – they rocked my world (and the worlds of a couple of people at work too). But I didn’t take a pic of them. Poo.

Here’s a couple I did take pics of:

Chocolate Mint (I left off the chocolate ganache because they already looked so pretty). The icing was green but it doesn’t show up too well in the pic. They were birthday cupcakes for my friend Maz so I busted out the piping bag to make them look all pretty and added some glittery candles.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes, with vegan cream cheese frosting. The icing is really quite runny on these but it tastes flippin awesome. I’m telling you, if you’re trying to sell your house, forget making coffee or burning some naff candle or some crap – bake a batch of these instead; they made my flat smell amazing.

Since I’m on a pudding roll, here is some Chocolate Pudding, the orange variation (recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance). This is seriously tasty and I reckon a few tweaks and it could make a wicked ice cream - i'll get back to you on that!

And lastly some Mango & Orange Sorbet (recipe below).

Recipe for Mango & Orange Sorbet:
This is awesome and easy as pee to whip up. I ripped it off from a book that I got for chrimbo but I adapted it the recipe a bit to make it better (and take out the egg white!)

Your mangoes need to be really ripe and soft so that they make a right mess when you chop them up! This way they are really sweet and taste gorgeous.

2 large ripe mangoes
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
115g castor sugar (about ½ cup), I used golden castor sugar
½ pint water (about 1¼ cups)
1 tbsp Cointreau or other orange liqueur (optional)

Make a syrup by mixing together the water and sugar in a small pan and put on a low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

While it’s cooling, chop the flesh of the mangoes into rough chunks and whizz in a food processor until smooth. Add the zest and juice of the oranges to the mangoes and pulse to combine.

Then add the Cointreau if using and about half of the syrup and taste. Add more syrup if it’s not sweet enough, until the mixture tastes sweet enough. The sweeter your mangoes are the less syrup you’ll need.

Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions. I find this is too soft to eat when it’s done so I freeze it for an hour or so before serving. Whatever’s left will keep perfectly but will freeze rock hard so you’ll need to leave it out at room temp for a bit before serving.

I put it in pretty bowls with some thin strips of orange and lime zest like a flash git, just for the photo though!

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