Sunday, 17 October 2021

Pear & Coconut Crumble Bars

Summer meets autumn with these tasty crumble bars!


Pears are a really underrated fruit in my opinion, they get a bad rep because most aren't sure on the slightly grainy texture of the flesh. But if you buy the right pears you get an enormous juicy bite with a buttery sensation. Pears need a bigger title which is why they are featured here in my crumble bars. I've used Rocher pears which are my favourite, but conference pears also work work really well. The smaller pears a re little more firm which will only gives these bars a bit more of a crunch which personally is not what I recommend. I've added a little spice to this recipe with ground cardamom for some autumnal warmth which really brings out the fruitiness of the pears. And to top it off, I've mixed through desiccated coconut with the crumble topping for a slight tang, hence why this really is a transitional recipe. 

If you like these crumble bars..

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Serves: 16

Ingredients

Base
150g butter softened
220g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp alt
Filling
800g pears - rocher or conference
30g light brown suagr
1 tsp ground cardamom
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornflour
Topping
120g butter softened
100g caster sugar
100g plain flour
60g Oats
2btps desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp salt


Method

✿Peel and chop the pears into small cubes. Place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients for the filling and leave to infuse. 
Preheat the oven to 170℃ and grease and line a 9x9 inch baking tray. 
In a large bowl, cube the butter into the plain flour. Use your hands to mix together into a breadcrumb consistency. Then add in the sugar and salt and mix in.
Press the mixture into the base of the baking tray and then bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile use the same bowl to make the crumble topping. Mix the butter into the flour with your hands into a breadcrumb consistency. Then add in the oats and caster sugar and mix. 
When the base has baked, remove from the oven and spoon in the pear mixture. Spread out evenly and then top with the crumble making sure the pears are covered and coated. 
Place back in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown all over. Wait till cooled then cut into 16 bars. Best served with vanilla ice cream or custard. Enjoy!

Christina
xx

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Sunday, 3 October 2021

Banoffee Pancakes

 If you love Banoffee Pie, then you'll love this twist on a big stack of pancakes!

I'm really enjoying making these upgraded pancake stacks. Don't get me wrong, a simple fluffy plain pancake never goes amiss, but when you can add a little sparkle I think that's worth risking. When I first spotted The Coconut Collaborative Banoffee pots I knew I could put them to good use and they make the perfect spread in-between each sweet pancake. I found two of the pots to be enough, but they come in packs of four so there's the option to have more banoffee spread.  I tried to layer these like the traditional banoffee pie, so you've got a simple (but delicious) vegan pancake, lots of banoffee spread, sliced bananas and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Hopefully that will curb your sweet tooth! 

If you love banoffee and pancakes...

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

RECIPE

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 large or 10-12 smaller pancakes

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle

INGREDIENTS

Pancakes
350g Self-raising flour
400ml Soya milk
1 tsp flaxseed
30g melted butter
1 tsp Cinnamon optional
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
Pinch of salt
Toppings
1 - 2 Bananas, sliced
Chocolate Sauce - I like Sweet Freedom

✿In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon if using, salt and flaxseeds. Then pour in the soya milk, melted butter and maple syrup and mix until well combined.
Leave the batter to sit for about 5-10 minutes so that it thickens enough to hold its shape.
✿Heat up a large non-stick pan on a low to medium heat and drizzle a little oil. Once warm, add a couple of tbsp of the pancake batter to the pan in a circle to create one smaller pancake (or add more batter to make larger pancakes). Do this again to make more pancakes in the pan depending on the size - I did 3 at a time.
✿When you see bubbles starting to appear on the surface of each pancake, you can then flip it to cook on the other side. It should take roughly 2-3 minutes per side. Then remove from the pan, put on a plate and repeat with the rest of the pancake batter.
Layer the pancakes with the sliced bananas and Banoffee pots spread on each pancake. Finish with a big drizzle of chocolate sauce and serve. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx

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Sunday, 19 September 2021

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins

These hearty muffins are full of juicy apples and warm cinnamon spices!

These muffins took me a few tries to get them right, each time I just wasn't satisfied - they were either too small, too ugly (for the photos you know) or just didn't taste right, they needed something more. I'm finally happy with these delightful muffins, just the right amount of cinnamon and lovely chunks of apples. I say these are for breakfast, purely because I made them just so I could eat cake for breakfast you know but as always, you eat them when you want, you'll love them.

If you love apples and muffins...

Check out my other muffin recipes for more inspiration!


Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 10 muffins

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle

Ingredients

140g Oat flour
100g Plain flour
150g Light Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
130ml Soya milk + 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
60g Applesauce
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 Apple chopped into small pieces

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180degrees and line a muffin tray with cases. 
Mix together the soya milk and ACV and leave to the side for 5 minutes to create a 'buttermilk'. In a small bowl combine the flaxseed with water and leave to form a gel for 5-10 minutes this will be your 'flax egg'. 
In a large bowl, combine both flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
Make a well in the centre and then pour in the soya milk, applesauce, flax egg and whisk together until combined but do not over mix. 
Fold in 3/4 of the chopped apple and then evenly spoon into the cases. Top with the remaining chopped apple pieces then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes - this is dependant on how hot your oven is, my muffins were done at 20 minutes and still nice and moist, but bake for longer if you prefer a slightly drier texture.
Leave to cool before removing from the muffin tray. Best kept at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx




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Sunday, 12 September 2021

Bourbon Biscuit Chocolate Cheesecake - No Bake!

If you love Bourbon biscuits and chocolate, then you'll love this delicious no bake cheesecake!
After three attempts at perfecting this recipe, I've finally mastered it and when that happens you know it's going to be a good recipe. I am so excited for you all to try this one. A vegan cheesecake to me is so important to get right and I love how this turned out. when you cut a slice, it has straight smooth clean-cut edges and has set beautifully. The base is made with lots of Bourbon biscuits, filled with a chocolate cheesecake filling and topped with whipped cream and more biscuits, yum! A bourbon biscuit is a classic here in the UK, and if yo haven't found yourself nibbling on a few, get yourself to Tesco! I get mine from Tesco as they are super cheap and they say 'suitable for vegans'. if you follow the steps to this cheesecake exactly as I've written it, you too will have a wonderful dessert to share :)

If you love chocolate and cheesecakes....

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 20 minutes + 8 hours or more in the fridge to set
Cook: no bake
Serves: 10-12

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

Base
380g Bourbon biscuits
100g Vegan butter, melted
Filling
220g Vegan milk chocolate, melted
250ml Oatly Whipping cream 
400g Vegan cream cheese - I liked Oatly, but Sainsburys is also a good one
130g Icing sugar
1 tsp Caster sugar
Bourbon biscuits on top optional
Oatly Whipping Cream on top optional

Method

✿Grease or line a 21cm springform cake tin. Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin either in a zip-lock bag or a bowl or if you have a food processor you can blitz them to a crumb consistency. 
Pour the melted butter on top of the biscuits and mix together well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and press down evenly to create a base. Place in the fridge whilst you make the filling. 
Prepare two medium to large bowls. melt the chocolate in the microwave then leave to cool slightly. 
Use an electric hand-whisk to mix together the cream cheese and sugars until combined. Then add the chocolate and mix in, but do not over mix.
In the other bowl, whisk the whipping cream until it has stiff peaks, this takes about 5 minutes. 
Spoon the cream cheese into the whipping cream and fold together with a spatula until everything is combined. Try not to deflate the whipping cream at this stage. 
Spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the biscuit base and spread evenly - I like to use an offset spatula for this to create a smooth and flat finish on top. 
Place in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours or preferably overnight. 
Once set, you can pipe more whipping cream on top and decorate with more Bourbon biscuits for an extra chocolatey crunch!
Use a small knife to go around the edge of the cheesecake before releasing the cake tin as this helps it not get stuck sometimes. Best kept in the fridge when not serving. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx


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Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Strawberry & Banana Baked Oats

Get ahead with your morning breakfast by making these delicious baked oats, served hot or cold!


I have been loving making these ahead of the week for my work breakfasts. They are perfect for meal prepping and and an easy grab-and-go breakfast option if you struggle for time in the mornings. Plus they take less than an hour to make so really no time at all. I've used some Alpro strawberry banana flavoured yoghurts to top these oats as I find yoghurt just the best accompaniment, sort of like having some custard with your cake :) you can use any yoghurt you like  but I definitely recommend these ones. Honestly, I've probably said it before and I'll say it again, baked oats are honestly like having a oats-like-cake for breakfast, and I can't think of anything better than cake for breakfast!

If you love baked oats....

Check out my other breakfast recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

180g Oats
1tsp Baking powder
2 Bananas, overripe
250ml Soya milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp Ground flaxseed
200g Strawberries, quartered

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease an oven-proof baking dish. 
In a large bowl, mash the bananas well, then add the soya milk, vanilla and flaxseed. Leave the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
Then mix in the oats and baking powder until combined. Fold through the strawberries.
Spoon the batter into the dish and spread out evenly. Optional to add more strawberries or banana slices on top once in the dish.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown or a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces. Top with the Alpro yoghurt and more fruit. 
These oats will last up to 3 days at their best, stored in the fridge. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx
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Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake - no bake!

Enjoy this creamy cheesecake on a warm summers day for a lighter but delicious dessert!
No bake, no nuts, or tofu, all with easy vegan ingredients!

When I made this cheesecake, I performed a little dance when it had set - you don't know the length it has taken me to perfect my cheesecake recipes, I find them SO hard! You see (not to bore you too much) but I don't want my cheesecakes to be made with cashews, or tofu, or coconut milk. I want it to be made the way non-vegan cheesecakes are made, with ream cheese and double cream. And now that we have those products available for vegans surely it can be a simple 1:1 substitution? I tell you it is not, science always comes into it. 


So anyway, I've nailed this recipe and I'm thrilled! When I said it was a 'lighter dessert' I didn't mean healthier. I mean lighter in that it is not so heavy, I find in the summer we crave desserts that are more refreshing and this is exactly that. It's so creamy from the white chocolate, and the strawberries add a beautiful sweetness. You can always swap the strawberries for another berry, but I find strawberry and white chocolate a lovely combination.

If you like strawberries or white chocolate....

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 20 minutes + 6+ hours or overnight chilling time
Cook: no bake 
Serves: 10 

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

Base
300g Digestive biscuits
120g Butter, melted
Filling
200g White Chocolate
250ml Whipping Cream/ Double Cream - I like Oatly Whipping cream
400g Cream cheese
120g Icing sugar
200g Strawberries, quartered
Topping 
30g White chocolate melted
4 Large strawberries 
Freeze-dried strawberries

Method

✿Line or lightly grease a 9inch cake tin.
Make the base first - crush the biscuits using a rolling pin or food processor, then mix together in a bowl with the melted butter stirring together thoroughly.
Press the biscuit mixture into the cake tin evenly, then place in the fridge to set for about 20 minutes. 
Meanwhile make the filling - melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 20 second intervals until melted, or in a bain-marie over a low heat. Leave to cool a little. 
In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to whip the cream until you have stiff peaks, this should take about 6-8 minutes. You can use a standing mixer but I find a hand-mixer is better for this. 
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the cream cheese and icing sugar together, then stir in the melted chocolate. 
Fold through the whipped cream gently so you don't deflate it, then fold through the chopped strawberries.
Spoon the filling on top of the biscuit base and spread evenly.
Place in the fridge to set for a minimum of 6 hours but ideally leave overnight for best results.
The next day, drizzle over the white chocolate, and add the strawberries on top to finish. Best eaten within 4 days and kept in the fridge. Enjoy!

Christina
xx


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Monday, 9 August 2021

Peanut butter and Raspberry Pancakes

 Start the day with a big stack of these pancakes fill and topped with peanut butter and a delicious raspberry yoghurt!

I've had this recipe on my radar for a while but there was never a good time to make pancakes, a mistake I have learnt quickly - there is ALWAYS time for pancakes! I love peanut butter and I love the sweetness of berries with it so if you're like me, you'll love this big stack and you might mot even share it, I wouldn't judge. I've used Nush Raspberry Yoghurt here for a beautiful creamy addition to the fluffy pancakes and what I love about their yoghurts, is that not only are they suitable for vegans, dairy free and lactose free foodies, they're made from almonds so give this pancake recipe that extra nuttiness! If you can't get your hands on the raspberry flavour, they also do a strawberry and blueberry pot which also compliment this stack. 

If you love peanut butter and pancakes....

Check out my other pancake recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 5 mintes
Cook: 5-10 minutes
Serves: 2 - makes 6 pancakes

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

200g ripe bananas
100g Oat flour or plain flour
145ml Soya milk
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
2tbsp Maple syrup 
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
2tbsp Peanut butter
Pinch of salt
100g Raspberries
Extra peanut butter 


Method

In a jug, combine the soya milk and apple cider vinegar and leave to sit for 5 minutes. It will curdle but this is okay, as it is a 'buttermilk'. 
In a large bowl, add the oat flour, baking powder and salt and mix. 
Make a well in the centre, and add the maple syrup, peanut butter and 'buttermilk'. Mix well together to form a batter. 
Heat a large frying pan on a low to medium heat, and add a little oil or vegan butter. When hot enough, add 2 tablespoons of the batter to make 1 pancake. Repeat with more tbsp - I could fit 3 pancakes at a time in my pan. 
When the pancakes start to bubble after a few minutes, use a spatula to flip the pancakes over to cook on the other side. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, eventually the pancakes will be able to slide around the pan. 
Repeat with the remaining batter until used up. 
To serve, layer the pancakes with the Nush raspberry yoghurt, peanut butter and then top with the raspberries. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx

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Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Cherry Lattice Pie

 Make this cherry lattice pie for a gorgeous showstopper dessert!

When cherries are in season in the summer, they are exceptional in desserts like this pie, or a crumble or a cake you name it, they are worth buying. I encourage you to but fruits when they are in season because not only is it better for the planet (less importing etc) but they really do taste so much better. So right now in the UK we are coming to the end of cherry season so now is the perfect time to make my lattice pie recipe! I'll admit it is the first time I had made a lattice topping for a pie and it was quite fiddly, but I really wanted the challenge and I am glad I tried it because although it isn't perfect, it does add a little something to the pie doesn't it. If you're not up for the lattice top, you can simply roll out the pastry and make a nice big lid, just make sure to seal the edges with the base. I hope you love this pie as much as I did, cherry pie really is so delicious and so sweet, best to enjoy with some ice cream or whipped cream!


If you love cherries or pies...

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 50 minutes
Serves: 10

Ingredients

Pastry
350g Plain flour
2tbsp Icing sugar
225g Butter, cold and cubed
1tsp Caster sugar for on top
1-2 tbsp ice cold water
Filling
500g Frozen sweet cherries - not the sour kind
80g Caster sugar
1/2 juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Cornflour
1tsp Vanilla extract
Vegan Egg wash
3tbsp Soya milk
1tbsp Maple syrup


Method

✿First make the pastry - in a large bowl, add the plain flour and icing sugar. Cube the butter into the bowl and use your hands to rub it into the flour. Keep going until you have a breadcrumb mixture.
Add 1 tbsp of the ice cold water and mix in to form a dough, add another tbsp if needed but not too much otherwise the dough will be too sticky. 
Once the dough is formed, split into two balls and then flatten each one into a disc. Wrap the discs in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the filling - In a medium saucepan on a medium heat, add all of the ingredients except the cornflour and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low-medium so that the cherries are simmering. Add the cornflour. Continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring frequently so that the cherries do not stick to the saucepan. The mixture should reduce and thicken and then remove from the heat and leave to the side. 
Remove the dough from the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to use it so that it softens enough to roll. 
Roll out one of the discs about 1-2cm bigger than a 9inch pie dish. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough up and then unroll it on top of the pie dish. 
Use your fingers to gently push the dough down into the dish and press into the sides and base for straight edges. if any of the dough breaks just push it back together. Do not trim the edges yet. 
Pour the cherry filling into the pie base. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. 
With the remaining disc of dough roll out into a large circle roughly the size of the pie dish and cut about 14 long strips. 
Lay the pastry strips in a lattice over the cherry filling: lay 7 strips going in one direction then weave the other 7 in and out at right angles (in the other direction), leaving the loose ends of the strips hanging over the edge of the dish.
Seal the edges together with some water and trim to make a neat finish. brush the whole pie with the "egg wash" and then place on a tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 
Then reduce the oven to 180 degrees and continue to bake for a further 30 minutes until golden on top. If the pastry looks like it is getting too brown before fully baked, cover with foil and continue to bake. 
Leave to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes to firm up before slicing and serving. Best served with custard, ice cream or whipped cream!
Will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Christina
xx




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