Category Archives: Sweet Stuff

Sweet Stuff

It is true that it is not easy to find vegan cakes in shops but there are still options for those with a sweet tooth, and cakes can always be made.

Fruit strudels – found in the supermarket freezer sections – are often vegan and you will find dairy-free ice cream in the same place. Usually this is made by Swedish Glace and will be vanilla, chocolate or strawberry flavoured, although you will find other brands and flavours in health food shops.

In supermarkets you may also find Mrs Crimble cakes (stem ginger and Dutch apple) and, in the Free From section, you are likely to find vegan chocolate and caramel desserts made by Alpro, as well as custard and soya cream. You may also find chocolate bars and buttons.

For those who love chocolate, the Animal Aid online shop has a host of options, and sells fudge, coconut ice, cola bottles and other delicious sweet treats, too, but you will also find some in high street shops and supermarkets.

For biscuit-lovers, Sainsburys and the Co-op make things easy by labelling which are vegan. Otherwise Hobnobs, ginger nuts and bourbons tend to be fine (just check the label). The Blackfriars flapjacks sold in Holland and Barrett are also labelled, and there are several vegan varieties. Health food stores also sell vegan cheesecakes, and these can be found in the freezer section.

If you can’t find what you want, sometimes you just need to make it. Order the Cake Scoffer from Animal Aid for just £1.50 plus p&p to get you started or, for something more, try Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which costs £9.99 plus p&p.

Pies and crumbles can be made in the same way, using dairy-free margarine instead of butter. And here are three of our favourite recipes to get you started:

Sweet Stuff

It is true that it is not easy to find vegan cakes in shops but there are still options for those with a sweet tooth, and cakes can always be made.

Fruit strudels – found in the supermarket freezer sections – are often vegan and you will find dairy-free ice cream in the same place. Usually this is made by Swedish Glace and will be vanilla, chocolate or strawberry flavoured, although you will find other brands and flavours in health food shops.

In supermarkets you may also find Mrs Crimble cakes (stem ginger and Dutch apple) and, in the Free From section, you are likely to find vegan chocolate and caramel desserts made by Alpro, as well as custard and soya cream. You may also find chocolate bars and buttons.

For those who love chocolate, the Animal Aid online shop has a host of options, and sells fudge, coconut ice, cola bottles and other delicious sweet treats, too, but you will also find some in high street shops and supermarkets.

For biscuit-lovers, Sainsburys and the Co-op make things easy by labelling which are vegan. Otherwise Hobnobs, ginger nuts and bourbons tend to be fine (just check the label). The Blackfriars flapjacks sold in Holland and Barrett are also labelled, and there are several vegan varieties. Health food stores also sell vegan cheesecakes, and these can be found in the freezer section.

If you can’t find what you want, sometimes you just need to make it. Order the Cake Scoffer from Animal Aid for just £1.50 plus p&p to get you started or, for something more, try Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which costs £9.99 plus p&p.

Pies and crumbles can be made in the same way, using dairy-free margarine instead of butter. And here are three of our favourite recipes to get you started:

Strawberry trifle

Trifle base:

See Easy-to-make chocolate cake recipe, and simply omit the cocoa powder

Trifle topping

  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 100g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 1x 85g packet of vegan strawberry jelly crystals
  • 525g soya custard

Method

  1. Make the trifle base by following the Easy-to-make chocolate cake recipe and leaving out the cocoa powder.
  2. When cool, slice the sponge cake into ‘fingers’ and place them in a layer at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Wash and remove any stalks and leaves from the strawberries, then arrange them in a layer of strawberries over the sponge cake.
  4. Prepare jelly according to the instructions on the packet, and pour it over the strawberries and sponge. Leave it to cool and then place it in fridge until the jelly has set.
  5. Once set, cut up the banana and arrange it on top of the jelly and then cover with custard. Take the chocolate bar and use a vegetable peeler to grate chocolate swirls for the top.

Microwaved steamed sponge pudding

  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml water
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

Method

  1. Put the flour, sugar and baking powder in an 18cm Pyrex bowl and mix well. Stir in the water and oil to form a smooth batter. Pour the syrup in the middle of the mixture (it should sink to the bottom).
  2. Cover bowl with microwave-proof cling-film. Microwave on high for approx 4 mins.
  3. Leave to stand for a few mins, then turn out onto a plate and serve with dairy-free cream or custard.

Try with jam or marmalade instead of golden syrup. You can also add a few chopped up dates or raisins to the batter.

It is also useful as a sponge base. Just microwave batter mix without adding syrup or jam, allow to cool and use sponge for trifles, etc.

Banana & mango fool

  • 500ml soya yoghurt
  • 3 medium-sized bananas – peeled and chopped
  • 1 large (or 2 small) ripe mangoes – peeled, stoned and chopped
  • 2 heaped tbsp raisins (optional)
  • 2 heaped tbsp sunflower seeds

Method

  1. Purée the mango and banana in a liquidiser. If too dry/stiff to liquidise, add a little soya milk.
  2. Put the soya yoghurt in a large bowl and add the fruit purée. Stir in the raisins and sunflower seeds.
  3. Divide between four bowls or glasses and serve with dairy-free ice cream.

If you can’t get a decent mango, try grapes, kiwis, or summer fruits such as strawberries and/or raspberries instead. Banana is a crucial part of this recipe as it adds bulk, texture and, of course, taste.

Boozy vegan ice cream

  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 900ml soya milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 50g margarine
  • 125g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125g tinned or glacé cherries in syrup
  • 50g whole mixed peel, chopped
  • 50g raisins or sultanas
  • 4 tbsp rum or brandy
  • 25g flaked almonds

Method

  1. Put cornflour into a bowl and blend in to a paste with a little of the milk.
  2. Put the rest of the milk into a saucepan with the vanilla, sugar, margarine and chocolate. Heat gently to boiling point, then pour it over the paste and mix until combined.
  3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring it to the boil, stirring. Remove from heat, cover and leave until cool.
  4. Remove the vanilla pod, wash and dry it (it can be used many times). Liquidise the mixture in a food processor then pour it into container and freeze until it begins to solidify around the edges. Whisk and return to the freezer.
  5. Repeat this process, this time whisking in the fruits, rum or brandy, and almonds. Return it to freezer and leave until solid.
  6. Before serving, allow the ice cream to soften at room temperature.

Chocolate cheesecake

  • 250ml soya milk
  • 225g plain dairy-free cream cheese
  • 150g of vegan dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free margarine
  • 8 to 10 vegan digestive biscuits – crushed

Method

  1. Melt the margarine in the bottom of a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the crushed biscuits. Spread over the base of a cake tin (6-8 inch diameter) and place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Next, melt the chocolate over a pan of hot water, or in the microwave, until it is smooth. Remove from heat. Empty the cream cheese into another bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth, add the oya milk and melted chocolate and mix together well.
  3. Try a little of the mixture as sometimes it can be a little bitter, depending on the chocolate used. If necessary, add a teaspoon of golden or maple syrup and mix in thoroughly.
  4. Place the mixture on top of the biscuit base and return to fridge. Leave for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.

Chocolate chestnut truffle pudding

  • 200g vegan dark chocolate
  • 440g tin chestnut puree
  • 3 tbsp rum or brandy
  • A little dairy-free margarine
  • Candied chestnuts (optional)
  • Glacé cherries (optional)
  • Dairy-free cream or ice cream

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water or in a microwave.
  2. When melted remove from heat, then add chestnut puree and stir in the rum.
  3. Grease a pudding basin with a little dairy-free margarine and fill with the mixture. Smooth the top, cool, then chill in fridge until needed.
  4. Turn out onto a plate, coat with grated chocolate, candied chestnuts or glacé cherries. Serve with dairy-free cream or ice cream.

Recipe by Mary Scott Morgan.

Fig and cointreau christmas cake

  • 450g sultanas
  • 225g raisins
  • 225g dried figs – chopped into quarters
  • 50g glacé cherries
  • 500ml orange juice
  • 230ml vegetable oil
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250ml Cointreau (or rum if you prefer)

Method

  1. Pour the orange juice into a large bowl. Add the dried fruit and vanilla essence and leave to stand for at least an hour.
  2. Mix the flour, spices and sugar together. Add all the other ingredients (except the alcohol) and mix.
  3. Pour into a greased 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22 cm) cake tin. Place a piece of grease proof paper or foil on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for an hour. Remove grease proof paper.
  4. Lower temperature to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for a further hour. Test the cake by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. It might need longer.
  5. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then splash alcohol over the top. Remove from tin and wrap in foil when cool. Improves if stored for a few days.

Ginger sponge pudding

  • 225g self-raising flour (white or wholemeal is fine)
  • 115g brown sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • a thumb-sized chunk of ginger – peeled and grated (or a heaped tbsp ground ginger)
  • 250ml water
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp golden or maple syrup

Method

  1. Grab a big microwave-proof bowl (pyrex is perfect) and sift the dry ingredients into it.
  2. Stir in the water and oil and mix well.
  3. Drop the syrup into the bowl, and ease it down to the bottom with your spoon.
  4. Stretch cling film over the bowl and pierce a hole in the top. Microwave on full power for 7-8 mins, then leave to stand for another 2 mins.
  5. Serve with vegan custard or dairy-free cream.

Chocolate brandy mousse

  • 100g vegan dark chocolate
  • 250ml of soya cream
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate.
  2. Add the soya cream, brandy and golden syrup and whisk until the mixture thickens.
  3. Pour into individual bowls and allow to chill in the fridge.

Asian summer pudding

This dessert is best made a day in advance.

  • 1 loaf of thick-slice, soft, white bread
  • 250g strawberries
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 1 largo mango – peeled and stoned
  • 1 papaya – peeled and de-seeded
  • 1 x 400g tin of lychees – drain and keep juice aside (if using fresh lychees, use 10-15 skinned and stoned)
  • 1 tsp sugar – but leave out if using tinned lychees
  • Carton of dairy-free cream or ice cream

Method

  1. Use either a pudding bowl or 4 separate ramekins.
  2. Blend the strawberries to a pulp (with the sugar if not using tinned lychees) by mashing, or in a food processor, and mix in the orange juice. Cut up the rest of the fruit into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Remove the crusts and dip slices of the bread into the strawberry/orange mix. Line the pudding basin or ramekins with the dipped bred, overlapping slices to ensure all of the basin sides and bottom are covered. Pour in the chopped fruit mix and cover the top with slices of the strawberry/orange juice bread.
  4. Place a plate on the pudding basin and weigh it down with something heavy (such as a full food tin or proper kitchen weight). Leave overnight in the fridge so that all the flavours mull and the basin shape will hold.
  5. To turn out: take off weight and plate, place the serving dish you wish to display your pudding on over the pudding basin, hold tightly and turn over. Very carefully lift off basin and hopefully, your fruit-soaked bread pudding will ease out and keep its shape.
  6. Slice and serve with the dairy-free cream or ice cream.

Alternative fruit suggestions include kiwi fruit and pomegranates.