Friday, April 3, 2009

vegan chockogeddon cake

For the sponge:

275g self raising wholewheat flour
200g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder
250ml olive oil
150ml orange juice
150ml water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tin black cherries

For the icing:
200g vegan plain chocolate
4 tablespoons soya milk
1 orange

Preheat your oven to 160oC. Sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl and mix. In a separate bowl mix together the oil, orange juice, water and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until you have a smooth and fairly runny batter.

Grease and line two sponge tins with greaseproof paper and pour in your batter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a knife will come clean out of the cake. Take them out of the oven, leave to cool for five minutes, remove from their tins and cool on a rack.

For the icing, stand a heatproof bowl in a pan of boiling water. Keep over the heat and put in your chocolate and soya milk. While the chocky's melting, squeeze the orange and add the juice to the bowl. Grate some of the rind off the orange skin and add that to the melted chocolate too.

Half the chocolate mixture goes between the two sandwiches along with half the black cherries and the other half goes on top with, yes, you guessed it, the rest of your black cherries.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

White cabbage is not the most boring vegetable...


A while ago I renamed white cabbage as "grey cabbage" due to its notable lack of versatility.

OK, it's good for you, but it doesn't taste of much and with the exception of coleslaw, which originated in the gastronomic limbo of Holland, and some outlandish German concoction, called Sauerkraut, there's nothing much you can do with one, except raise it to the ceiling and say: "Alas poor Yoric..." every time you get it out of the fridge.

Apparently, this really grates after a while, which is just what you should do with white cabbage.

Or not. Here's a recipe that spruces up boring grey cabbage and doesn't smack of ghastly continental cooking. This isn't bad, but if you really want to do something tasty with a grey cabbage, do the decent thing - curry it.

Cabbage rolls:

1 grey cabbage
150g rice
60g noodles
500ml veg stock
olive oil
60g toasted sesame seeds
150g firm tofu
2 sheets nori seaweed
3 teaspoons parsley
400g tin of tomatoes
25ml cider vinegar
1 teaspoon demerara sugar

Break up the noodles and brown them by frying in the olive oil for a bit. Add the rice and veg stock and simmer until the rice is soft.

Meanwhile, half the grey cabbage and separate out the leaves. In batches, blanche them in boiling water for a couple of minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the sesame seeds, crumbled tofu, nori seaweed and parsley. Add the rice/noodles and mix. Spoon into cabbage leaves, roll em up and put them in a baking dish.

Mix together the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar and pour over the dish of rolled up cabbage leaves. Bake at 200oC for 35 minutes.