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Sunday 15 February 2009

Love, Actually.

This year I made a couple of valentine themed goodies. Being single since, erm - Abba! means that I usually spend v-day with a tub of ice cream and a chick flick or a single girlfriend, a tub of ice cream and a chick flick!!

This year I had one such single friend over to stay and my other friend & her fiance as well - they decided not to bother celebrating it this year!

But it started on Thursday night when a workmate requested some v-day themed cupcakes for Friday. So I made chocolate CCs with buttercream that I tinted/flavoured with raspberry Crusha (which used to be vegan and I still have a bottle of the old stuff - boo to them for putting carmine in it now!!) The heart was some white fondant that I coloured with a wanktonne of pink food colouring paste, rolled out and cut out with a teeny cookie cutter.

I also made 2 special ones for my fellow Gossip Girl loving besties!!

So onto the day itself. Dinner for my friends was butter bean stew, with smashed taters & roasted asparagus (my new favourite way to eat asparagus.

I made 2 desserts as my friend said she was trying to be good so I thought I'd make sure I had a lower fat option. The main event was a coconut cheesecake that I have had in my head for ages, I just wasn't sure it'd work, but it did (recipe is at the end of the post, I'm really REALLY happy with the way it turned out)

Second option was a carrot cake, that I threw some pineapple chunks & orange zest into. Instead of the usual cream cheese frosting, I just made a glaze with icing sugar and orange juice and drizzled it over the top. It was awesome!

Of course, everyone went for a bit of both in the end. I whizzed up some strawberries to make a sauce for the cheezecake too.

Today's dinner was some rice that I cooked up and added to a tomato, some black beans that I cooked this morning and lots of hot sauce. With roasted baby portabellas and asparagus. MMM!

And here's the cheesecake recipe. It's very soft but it sets enough to remove the outside of the tin!

Coconut Cream Cheezecake

150g digestive biscuits*
3 tbsp vegan margarine
250ml coconut cream (1 carton of Blue Dragon UHT coconut cream!!)
1 tsp agar flakes
1 tsp arrowroot
1 tsp water
3/4 pack (a 225g pack) of plain vegan cream cheese
1/2 pack firm silken tofu
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Smash up the biccies a bit, then throw them into a food processor until they are finely ground. Melt the margarine and then mix the two together.

Pour the crumbs into a 9" flan tin, with a removable bottom if possible. Press the crumbs down well and use a cup measurer or a spoon to pack them down. Put into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until just lightly brown. Remove from oven & cool.

Pour the coconut cream into a saucepan and sprinkle the agar flakes over it. Don't stir! Switch on the heat and bring to a boil. Stir well and then turn the heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally until the agar flakes melt.

Mix together the arrowroot & water and then add to the coconut mixture. Turn the heat up a bit and bubble, stirring, until it thickens a bit. Remove from the heat, leave to cool and stir occasionally. Don't worry if it gets a bit lumpy!

When the coconut mixture and base are both cool, throw the tofu, cream cheese and coconut mixture into a blender (or food processor if it is a really good one that will get it smooth! - a hand blender would work too!). Add the vanilla, sugar & maple syrup and process till all smooth.

Pour the filling into the shell & level it out and smooth off the top. Chill for at least 2 hours until firm enough to remove the outer ring of the tart tin.

To make it pretty, I mixed some coconut with some pink food colouring and sprinkled it on top!

Cooking to: I have been mainly listening to Lily Allen - It's Not Me It's You & Paramore - Riot! this week.

*Digestives - watch out, a lot of them contain butter. McVities Light digestives are vegan, as are Morrison's own brand value range!


  1. Oh Sal you make my mouth water all over my keyboard and it's so messy! Those cuppers are so cute, and I just hate that I can't get vegan cream cheese here because I would be making your cheese cake right this minute if I could!!

  2. Happy V Day, Sal!

    I love the cupcakes, v.cute and the cheesecake looks delcious too!

  3. Every single thing looks delicious!!! I really want asparagus now!

  4. Your heart cupcakes are so adorable!

    Roasted asparagus is so yummy, you just reminded me to get some next time we go to the grocery store.

    Your coconut cheesecake looks fabulous, especially with the yummy strawberry sauce!

    Carrot cake with pineapple and orange zest = genius!

  5. Bowl me over why don't you!
    Cupcakes, Carrot Cake AND Coconut Cheesecake in one blog reading sitting!!
    Those Cupcakes are sooo pretty.
    Thanks for the recipe for the Cheezcake, I am currently experimenting with making my own Vegan cream Cheez and I can't think of a better way to use it!
    I think Asparagus is my all time favourite veg ever. I roast mine for 12 mins tossed with some Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt and Pepper. They are soooo good.

  6. The cheesecake looks fab! What sort of cream cheese did you use? I recently had a tirimisu disaster with the alpro cream cheese (way too cheesey!), I really want to make cheesecake but I'm nervous to use the alpro cheese in case it's horrible again!

  7. Aw. Those cupcakes!

  8. that sounds like a lovely vday dinner! and so many yummies! your cheesecake looks amazing, as does that carrot cake. and those cuppies? too cute!

  9. that looks so great! i really want one of those cupcakes...and the cheezecake!! gah!!!

  10. Ooooh yum - I'll take a bit of everything, please!

  11. What a great dinner! I especially love your heart shaped cakes. Those cuppers are soo sweet!

  12. Aw, what an awesome way to celebrate V-day! I had an awful Valentine's Day — long story — but a meal like that would have surely cheered me up. Especially that cheezecake!

    I also have been listening to a lot of Lily Allen this week!

  13. hooray for a fun v-day, Sal! your v-day themed cupcakes look too awesome! i love the pink color (it's perfect), and those hearts! yay! your plate of butterbean stew, taters, and asparagus looks soooo comforting & awesome! roasted asparagus is my absolute favorite, too! yay!

    thank you so much for the coconut cheesecake, Sal! it looks so glorious - we're gonna have to make this! sweet awesomeness! yay!

  14. what a great way to spend valentine's day! i love those cupcakes. what are nutritional biscuits? are those like butter cookies?

  15. I love your cute cupcakes, but your coconut cheesecake looks a page three stunnah!

  16. Pardon the pun, but those are such sweet cupcakes! Love the decorating job. :)

  17. Mmm... roasted asparagus is the BEST!

    I love th V-day feastings, very cute :)

  18. Thanks for replying on my blog, I used to love philadelphia too! I've seen the tofutti stuff before but never tried it, cheesecake is definately on the cards soon!

  19. that vday feast looks really awesome. and cupcakes w/ hearts on them are my favorite. mmm....


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