His & Hers celebrates Vegetarian Week

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Vegetarian Week, cake

My small garden space is filled with vegetable, strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb plants this year. Whether this will translate into mangetout with Sunday roast, and rhubarb pie to follow remains a mystery. But it has been great fun, and an engaging project during lock-down. Vegetarian week highlights meat free recipe options, such as wonderful pizzas, and scrumptious desserts, which are also suitable for Vegans. Vegans need to factor in B12 vitamin; (naturally found in meat, poultry and dairy, but not in plants). Vegan and vegetarian chefs recommend that we all ‘cook from scratch’ and ensure that we have a balanced, diverse diet. It is soul food that is good for us and the planet. It turns out (who knew) that vegan cakes usually taste absolutely delicious, and for some reason, have great depth and taste really moist.

Words: Jean Hill

A new ‘Vegan Baking’ guide explains how to create a range of tasty vegan bakes, from light, airy sponges, to traditional puddings and eggless meringue. Packed full of delicious recipes, the guide is aimed at care caterers. It is a valuable resource for anyone cooking for vegans.

Amanda Woodvine, Chief Executive of charity Vegetarian for Life, which has published the Vegan Baking guide says:

“Just because someone chooses to be vegan doesn’t mean that they should miss out on their favourite sweet treats. Enjoyment of food is such an important aspect of life and if someone is living in a care home, food can become even more significant. The smells and tastes of baking can evoke fond memories. If someone is struggling to eat and losing weight, providing a tempting slice of their favourite cake and a cuppa can be (one) way to get much-needed calories”.

Vegan baking is enjoying a wave of popularity. Many catering suppliers are now increasing their vegan ranges.

Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is a registered charity that supports older vegetarians and vegans and those who cater for them. VfL also offers one-day vegan baking courses for professional caterers. These will give catering teams the tools for success to use tried-and-tested egg- and dairy- replacements to create a variety of delicious desserts.

The Vegan Baking guide can be downloaded free of charge from the Vegetarian for Life website https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/where details of the vegan baking courses can also be found, or order a physical copy for just £2 plus P&P.

chocolate orange cake, Vegetarian Week

Chocolate orange cake

Time to prepare: 30 minutes (plus time to allow the sponge to cool)

Time to cook: 30 minutes

Makes 8 slices

For the cake

240g/8½oz self-raising flour
125g/scant 4½oz caster sugar 
1½ tsp bicarbonate powder
25g/generous ¾oz cocoa powder
50g/1¾oz ground almonds 
130g/4½oz vegan margarine, gently melted
½ tsp almond essence
½ tsp vanilla essence
200ml soya milk
125g/scant 4½oz vegan natural yoghurt 
Zest of 1 orange

For the filling

30g/1oz cocoa powder
100g/3½oz icing sugar
50g/1¾oz soya cream
½ tsp almond essence
½ tsp vanilla essence

For the chocolate orange topping

150g/scant 51/3oz dark chocolate
Zest of 1 orange

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F/gas mark 4.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add all of the remaining dry ingredients. Set to one side.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and combine.

4. Fold all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

5. Divide the mixture into three lined cake tins and bake for 15 minutes. After this time the cake should have risen. To check it is cooked, carefully slide a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it is done.

6. While the cake is baking make the filling by combining all of the filling ingredients until smooth, then placing in the fridge. Once chilled, your mixture should have a thick consistency. If too thin, add a little extra cocoa powder.

7. Next make the topping. Break the chocolate into a bowl and add the orange zest. Balance the bowl over a pan with a little water in it.

8. Gently heat until the chocolate starts to melt.

9. Once melted, turn the heat off but leave over the pan. This will allow the chocolate to stay melted for longer until ready for use.

10. When the cake is completely cool, set the base layer onto your serving plate. Carefully spread half of the filling onto the top and add the second sponge.

11. Repeat with the remaining filling and add the final sponge.

12. Spoon the melted chocolate over the top and serve straight away while the chocolate is still warm.

Chef’s tip: Slice while the chocolate is still soft because once set the cake can be harder to cut.

Cannot wait to try this recipe.

Related article: www.hisandhersmag.co.uk/casa-italia/

Bettina Campolucci Bordi : www.Bettinaskitchen.com

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