May 1st, 2016
We went to see V in Stirling today. I brought her a couple of homemade vegan treats.
Firstly a tea loaf – this was seriously nice – no dairy or fat and considerably less sugar than most cakes, but tastes really moist and rich. Make 10 fl oz strong tea. Add 8 oz sultanas or raisins and soak overnight. The next day, chop 2 oz cherries and add to the tea mixture with a handful of chopped nuts. Add 4 oz sugar. Then sift in 5 oz wholemeal flour and 2 tsp baking powder and mix together. If needed (depends on how much of the tea the fruit has absorbed), add a bit of extra flour to make a dropping consistency. Grease and line a loaf tin and bake at 160 degrees for about 75 minutes or until a knife blade comes out clean. This length of cooking makes a slightly squidgy in the middle cake which I like – to get it very dry probably cook for an extra five minutes or so.
I also made some truffles. Pulse 6 oz nuts (I used a mix of walnuts and pecans) until they are breadcrumb sized. Then in a food processor, blend 6 oz dates until they are a sticky paste. Blend in the nuts bit by bit together with a generous tbsp dark cocoa powder. If it gets too dry, add some vegan milk or coconut oil. Knead with your hands until smooth and then roll into walnut sized balls. Chill in the freezer while you melt 8 oz dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water. When it is melted (don’t let it get over 49 degrees C) add a bulb of finely chopped stem ginger (drained well). Dip the balls in the dark chocolate and decorate with leftover chopped nuts or a dusting of cocoa (don’t cool them in the fridge because the chocolate loses its shine and gets a whitish bloom on it). Very scrummy and for chocolate truffles, almost healthy.
Here is a picture of V’s new dog Bella who is very sweet.