Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream

vanilla-coconut-icecream

Blown away!

Not sure you can get any easier! I mean really – I have never made ice cream before – strange but true – especially for someone who loves, loves, loves ice cream….

So necessity being the mother of invention and all that… I’m staying for the holiday xmas/new year break in a smallish country town in northern NSW and although they do have a pretty amazing health food store I couldn’t buy the soy cream I needed to make the vegan pavlova I’m about to make… so I thought I’d whip up some ice cream instead.

The pavlova hasn’t happened as yet – too many dishes vying for the oven at the moment so instead I just went with having the Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream as my dessert on Xmas day and added some lovely raspberries and pomegranate seeds…

My mother, who had no idea that you could make ice cream from coconut cream tasted it, she can be very hard to impress, the look of complete amazement on her face at just how divine this is – well that was priceless!

And so now of course I will be experimenting with other versions — chocolate will no doubt be starring some time soon!

This recipe will serve 2-3

What you will need:

  • 1 can of coconut cream (full cream please) pop into the freezer or fridge for as long as you can – it helps for the ingredients to be cold when you start preparing
  • ¾ cup of castor sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (scrape out the seeds)
  • 1 & ½ teaspoons of vanilla concentrated extract

What to do:

 Pour the coconut cream into a blender then add the sugar, vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla extract.

And blitz!

If you happen to have an ice cream machine – pour into the machine and follow the directions…

If not – never fear!

Just pour the creamy mixture into a freezer proof container – pop into the freezer for about an 45 minutes. When the mixture just begins to freeze – remove and give it a good stir with a whisk or a hand-held mixer.

Return to the freezer – wait again another 45 minutes or so and then repeat the whisking process.

Freeze. Depending on just how soft/hard you want your ice cream it can be ready in 2-3 hours.

This time around, as I had raspberries and pomegranates on hand, I used those, but I’m thinking chocolate sauce would also be lovely, some chopped nuts and a cherry on top!

The possibilities…

Enjoy! Xx

Vanilla Coconut Icecream

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Panforte di Siena

Panforte

Panforte….

would have to be one of my all-time favourite indulgences….it has the most glorious texture – reminiscent of nougat. I make it all year round but it definitely is on the must have xmas list. We make a big batch and nibble away pre & post xmas…

The recipe I always used pre-vegan days was from Margaret Fulton. For those of you reading this who aren’t Australian Margaret Fulton is an Australian Icon. She was a celebrity chef before there were celebrity chefs and almost every Australian household would have one of her cookbooks!

I remember as a child pouring over her recipes and it was probably where my love of cooking started. The photos of toffees, cakes and biscuits I found kind of fascinating!

This particular recipe I found in a cook book that was part of a Margaret Fulton series – Italian, French and Vegetarian. All very well used! I did wonder if Panforte was something I’d have to give up but like so many yummy recipes – it is easily converted! Just switch the honey for golden syrup instead!  Works a treat!

Panforte

What you will need:

  • 90g hazelnuts
  • 90g blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 185g mixed peel, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plain flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • ½ cup golden syrup
  • icing sugar for dusting

What to do:

Pre-heat your oven – on a cool temp – 150°C

Line and grease a square baking tin

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and place under a pre-heated moderate grill until the skins split, shaking frequently.

Alternatively you could pop them on a baking tray and into a moderate oven (160°C) for approximately 10-15 minutes or so. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t start to burn.

Paneforte

Remove the nuts from the heat and turn into a rough towel or old tea-towel and rub off the loose skins. Chop the hazelnuts coarsely – either by hand or in a food processor – not too fine!

Paneforte

Place the hazelnuts, almonds, mixed peel, cocoa powder, flour and spices in a large mixing bowl and stir through until thoroughly combined.

In a medium size saucepan place the sugar and golden syrup and heat gently until the sugar has melted and dissolved.

Boil gently until a little of the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into a cup of cold water. Remove from the heat and stir in the dry ingredients.

Press the mixture into your lined tin- generally from 1cm – 1.5cm in thickness  but of course that is up to you!

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes

Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper. Allow to completely cool.

Paneforte

Sift the icing sugar over the Panforte. Cut into wedges

Full of nuts, spices, candied peel and chocolate – Panforte is the perfect partner to coffee.

It also makes a perfect gift – make up a batch – wrap in cellophane paper or pop into those gorgeous little gift boxes.

Whether for yourself or as a gift (maybe both) you can’t go wrong really!

Enjoy! Xx

Paneforte

Easy Xmas Tofu Roast

Easy Xmas Tofu Roast

My first Vegan Xmas! And it’s about 6 months since I ‘went vegan’! I was vegetarian this time last year so a lot of the traditional food my family eats every year was ok then – Pavlova being one of them. But like everything I’ve found with transitioning to a vegan diet xmas food is just as easy – the difficult thing can be dealing with the opinions of family members about your ‘diet’!

So, I’ve been doing some research and uncovering some scrumptious new meals I will be cooking up  for Xmas day as well as ‘veganising’ some old favs – stay tuned!

This Tofu Roast is another gem I’ve come across in ‘The Vegetrarian Adventure’ by Karen Meyer. I’ve made a few little tweaks and have to say it’s pretty darn good! I really had no idea how it would turn out but it’s great.

You could serve it up with a vegan gravy but I decided this time to go with just a store bought mint sauce. So having done my test run and sharing it with you I’ll be cooking this up for xmas day and see if I can tempt my family to try it – we’ll see!

 

What you will need:

  • I block of firm tofu (440g)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • 3 sticks of celery – sliced finely
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional savoury yeast
  • Flaxseed egg for 2 eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal with 6 tablespoons water in a small bowl and let sit for a couple of minutes)
  • ½ cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon wholemeal bread crumbs (extra)
  • Salt and cracked pepper

Tofu Roast

 

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven – moderate temperature – 160°C
  2. Drain the tofu and then crumble
  3. Heat the oil in a frypan and sauté the onions and celery for a couple of minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Combine the tofu, vegetables, flaxseed egg, tahini, nutritional yeast, bread crumbs, salt and cracked pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Pile this into a lightly greased casserole or loaf tin. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour until the roast is solid but not dry.

This roast is perfect served with Roast Veggies –  see previous post of Roast Veggies inspiration.

I came across this recipe for a vegan gravy (see below)  by IsaChandra and think it would go perfectly – I’ll be trying this for Xmas day – let me know how you go 🙂

Enjoy  – and have a very merry vegan xmas! xx

Tofu Roast

Savoury Mushroom Gravy

4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 medium onion, diced small
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoons salt
Cracked pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (chardonnay is great)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

In a small bowl, mix the flour with about 2 cups of vegetable stock until well dissolved. Once dissolved, add the remaining broth and mix. Set aside.

Sauté the onion in oil for about 5 minutes, until translucent – add mushrooms, garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 more minutes.

Add wine and turn heat up to bring to a boil. Let wine reduce for about 3 minutes. Add the broth/flour mix and the nutritional yeast, if using. Lower heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often.

Taste for salt and pepper and serve

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice

This slice really has it all! Quite the bees knees really!

It’s full of yummy things, it’s so easy to make, its moist, goes perfectly with a cup of tea (tried and tested)

AND at the risk of repeating myself – its yummy!

 What you will need:

  • 12 dates – chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup raisins, chopped
  • ½ cup white self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup walnuts – roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon concentrated vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup soy, almond or other non-dairy milk

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat your oven at 180°C (160°C fan forced)
  2. Lightly grease with oil a shallow medium baking tin
  3. Pop the dates and the water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes. The dates will break down and become a paste. You can use a wooden spoon to help this process along if needed.
  4. In a medium to large bowl sift the flours and cocoa powder
  5. Add the raisins, walnuts and stir through the flour a couple of times
  6. In a separate smaller bowl gently whisk together the milk, vanilla, maple syrup
  7. Add the wet ingredients with the date paste to the dry ingredients and stir through until fully combined.
  8. Spread your lovely mixture evenly in the baking dish. It’s up to you just how thick you would like your slice
  9. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Finish cooling on wire rack. Once completely cool slice into either finger length slices, or you could have smaller mouthful chunks – whatever takes your fancy!

The basis for this recipe came from a dusty old cookbook I came across called The Artful Vegetarian by Karen Meyer. It was printed in 1988. Karen also wrote The Vegetarian Adventure – another of her books I found in a 2nd hand shop. I’ve made quite a few additions to the original recipe but the basic inspiration is Karen’s. Many of the recipes in her books are vegan or can easily be converted.

I love coming across out of print books like this one – a real treasure trove of food inspiration!

Enjoy! Xx

Chocolate, Date, Walnut and Raisin Slice

Easy Bean Nachos

Nachos

I love nachos!

It’s one of the best combos ever – corn chips, avocado, tomatoes, lime, coriander… really it’s the dream combo.

And it has to be of the easiest of meals to put together – you can be sitting down with a scrummy supper in under ½ hour!

What’s not to love!

 

What you will need:

  • 2 x 410g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup (85g) chunky tomato salsa
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 220g corn chips
  • 2 cups (120g) finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Grated carrot
  • 1 tomato – chopped
  • 1 avocado – mashed
  • Little extra coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Vegan Cheese (nice but not necessary)

 Nachos

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C (200° fan-forced)
  2. Combine half the beans with the salsa and give it a good mash. Stir in the remaining beans and coriander
  3. Spread half the corn chips into a medium shallow baking dish – if you are using cheese you can sprinkle some (half) on now with half the bean mixture. Top with the remaining corn chips, remaining cheese and the remaining bean mixture. Pop into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. While that’s bubbling away combine the tomato and avocado in a medium bowl and add the lime juice.
  5. Remove the nachos from the oven.
  6. Plate up the nachos and top with the salad mix (lettuce and grated carrot) Sprinkle a little finely chopped coriander on top.

Hey presto! Super easy, super yummy! Perfect for a Friday, Saturday or any night supper!

Serves approx 6 or 4 very hungry folk!

 Nachos

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins

Rasberry & Coconut Muffins

Is it possible that I have died and gone to muffin heaven? Or that I’ve reached some kind of muffin nirvana!?! Well temporarily anyway!

My goodness – these little darlings are really quite perfect – the smell, the way they look and then of course mmmnn the taste… from the first bite I knew.  Maybe they can be renamed – Love At First Bite Muffins… Heehee!

This is an adapted recipe from Vegan Cooking – Recipes for a Peaceful World by Diipali Lilburne and Amanda Quinn – I’ve altered it quite a bit but used the basic idea… I think the almond meal lends such a lovely texture…

With a little light dusted sprinkling of icing sugar the romance was complete… raspberry dreams….

Rasberry & Coconut Muffins

What you will need:

  • 1 cup raspberries – frozen or fresh (I used fresh this time)
  • 1 cup white self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarb (baking) soda
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup vanilla infused castor sugar (vanilla pod left in a jar of castor sugar)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 heaped tablespoons toasted coconut (for topping – optional)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup of soy, almond or other non-dairy milk)

What to do:

 

  1. Preheat your oven – 160° (fan-forced) – 180°C
  2. Get your muffin tray ready – either grease with sunflower oil or vegan margarine OR use muffin cases
  3. If you would like to have toasted coconut to grace the top of your muffins (optional but recommended) In a heavy based fry pan – very gently toast the 2 tablespoons shredded coconut – it will only take a couple of minutes – set aside.
  4. Dry ingredients – in a large mixing bowl sift your flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Then add the almond meal and the shredded coconut.  Mix until combined.
  5. In another bowl gently whisk together the oil and soy milk.
  6. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add the oil and soy milk mixture and gently combine.
  7. Lastly add the berries and stir through only a couple of times. Less is more with muffins!
  8. Spoon this mixture into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of each muffin.
  9. Baking time will vary – 20-25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Sprinkle with a light dusting of icing sugar…

Rasberry &CoconutMuffins

You could of course use any berry for the muffin…blueberry, strawberry…. But I must say there is something about raspberries…lovely… enjoy! Xx

Raspberry & Coconut Muffins