Monday, 21 July 2014

Zucchini Bhaji and Tarka Dal

Zucchini Bhaji and Tarka Dal - vegan and gluten-free!
vegan•gluten-free•soy-free•nut-free

Anyone else have a glut of zucchini in their garden right now? Yeah, thought so :-) I actually came up with this bhaji recipe last summer when we were in a similar situation and we just absolutely love these. They have great flavour and texture and best of all - they use up a LOT of zucchini! I made loads of these last summer and I suspect the same thing will happen this year. It's taken me so long to post them as I kept thinking I should blog them with something even though I usually just make these on their own to snack on, preferably with some mango chutney and a chilled beer! 

I decided they would be nice dipped into my tarka dal which is just a very basic version using common cupboard ingredients, probably not very traditional but certainly has far less fat than the versions you get in restaurants ;-) I keep my dal mild for my son but feel free to throw in some chillies, with seeds or not - up to you!
Zucchini Bhaji - vegan and gluten-free!
The bhaji's are good hot or cold so would be great to pack on a picnic and they are perfect with some mango chutney. They would also be good used like falafel in a wrap or a pitta with some salad and chilli sauce, lots of options! They also freeze and reheat beautifully, just defrost and lightly pan fry till warm :-)
Zucchini Bhaji and Tarka Dal - vegan and gluten-free!

Zucchini Bhaji

makes about 10 fritters.

500g grated zucchini (you'll need about 600g prior to grating)
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 fresh red chili, finely chopped, I de-seed mine, if you want them hotter leave them in.
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped 
1 large onion, diced
1 “egg”:
     1 Tbsp cornstarch
     1/8 tsp xanthan gum
     1/8 tsp gluten free baking powder
     1/8 tsp turmeric
     1 tsp peanut oil
     50 ml water
80ml (1/3 cup) unsweetened soy or almond milk
140g (1 cup + 1 Tbsp) Gram flour*
1½ tsp gluten free baking powder 
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

*Gram flour is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour or besan.

Top and tail the zucchini then grate, preferably in a food processor with the grating attachment. Tip the zucchini into a colander, sprinkle generously with salt and toss well, massaging the salt into the zucchini. Don't worry about the amount of salt as it will be rinsed off, this is to draw out the water from the zucchini so you don't end up with soggy bhaji! 

Leave for 20 mins then rinse under cold water. Now take handfuls of the grated zucchini and squeeze as much water out as you can then spread out on a clean dish towel. Cover with another clean dish towel and press down getting the zucchini as dry as you can. Tip into a bowl and separate it all with a fork.

Gently fry the chilli, garlic and onion in the coconut oil with some black pepper until soft. Add the curry powder and fry gently for 1 minute more. Set aside. 

Make the "egg": In a small bowl add the cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder and turmeric and whisk. Mix together the water and oil in a small glass. Slowly add the liquid to the dry whisking all the while until it is all added then whisk really well until the mixture is really thick and gloopy. This takes a little while - if your arms don't hurt, you haven't whisked enough! Now start whisking in the milk a little bit at a time again whisking really well after each addition so it stays on the thick side.

In a medium bowl add the gram flour, salt and baking powder. Add the zucchini, “egg”/milk mixture and fried mixture and stir with a fork until really well blended. There should be no more flour showing and you should have a thick mixture.
Preheat the oven to 120C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Pour enough peanut oil in a medium size fry pan to cover the bottom and drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto the pan. Flatten slightly with a fork and fry until golden then flip and fry the other side. Repeat until all the batter is used up adding more oil if need be.

When the fritters are cooked transfer to the prepared sheet to keep them warm in the oven. I also do this to ensure the fritters get fully cooked in the middle. They will keep happily in a low temperature oven for even up to half an hour. I usually make the fritters first and keep them warming in the oven while I make the dal.
Zucchini Bhaji - vegan and gluten-free!

Tarka Dal:

serves 2 generously, 3 as a small side

240g (1¼ cup) dry red split lentils
250ml (1 cup) water
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp mild curry powder
1 Tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, cored and finely chopped 
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp vegan butter

Rinse lentils well, place in saucepan and cover with cold water (not the 1 cup listed in the recipe, just cover them with water). Bring to boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with hot water and place back in the pot with the measured water, turmeric and curry powder. Simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes adding more water a bit at a time if need be until the lentils are fully cooked and there is very little water left.

Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and fry the cumin seeds a few seconds. Add the onion and fry until slightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. With a few minutes left add the garlic (you can add a finely chopped chilli now if you want more heat, keep in mind this is a mild dal). Add the tomatoes and cook until they start to break down.


Stir this into the lentils along with the garam masala, salt and 1 Tbsp vegan butter. Stir until the butter melts and everything is well blended. 
Zucchini Bhaji and Tarka Dal - vegan and gluten-free!



Nutritional Information:

For 1 Bhaji out of 10:
Calories: 103
Protein: 4.1g
Fat: 4.7g
Sat Fat: 1.2g
Fibre: 2.3g
Carbs: 11.7g
Sugar: 3.1g
Sodium: 138mg

For 1/2 of the tarka dal:
Calories: 300
Protein: 11.4g
Fat: 13.3g
Sat Fat: 7.3g
Fibre: 7.4g
Carbs: 36.6g
Sugar: 6.8g
Sodium: 904mg

Still have too much zucchini?? A couple of my favourites...
Zucchini, Lemon and Dill
Soup with Orzo
Beer Battered Zucchini Sticks
with Ranch Dip

Friday, 11 July 2014

Creamy Spiced Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup

Creamy Spiced Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup. Vegan/Gluten-free/Soy-free
 Butternut Squash•Ginger•Chilli•Garlic•Coconut

Now, I hope you'll forgive me for posting a hot, spicy soup recipe in the middle of July but this was just too good not too. Besides, maybe it's winter where you are....or maybe you live in Ireland like me! I'm kidding, actually the summer here so far has been incredible BUT we can have summers where all you want is a hot bowl of soup - that's no lie :-) One bonus is that this recipe doesn't roast the squash first so at least the oven won't have to be on!

I made this as I had a couple butternut squashes to experiment with and while I have often made soup with them I've always just 'winged it' and thus had no recipe to pass on. So, I thought I would jot down what I did this time so I could actually share it ;-)

This is such an easy, simple soup to make; it comes together in no time and has great flavour from the ginger, chilli, garlic and coconut. It's super creamy and even thicker the next day. I also got to use my new Froothie Optimum 9400 high performance blender here and I really didn't think it would make a big difference as obviously my old blender could process soups...but wow, not like this - idid such an incredible job, it only took seconds and the texture is absolutely silky smooth! Before, my pureed soups - especially with squash, would have a slightly fibrous texture but this one is like velvet, gorgeous!

Creamy Spiced Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup. Vegan/Gluten-free/Soy-free


Creamy Spiced Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup:
serves 4

1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cubed
(You'll need 470g prepared weight or 4 cups.)
2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 onions, diced - 150g / 1 heaping cup
1½ Tbsp finely chopped garlic (2 large cloves)
1½ Tbsp finely chopped red chilli (1 large), I de-seed , if you want it spicier, throw them in! 
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
850ml / 3½ cups vegetable stock, I made mine with 3 tsp Marigold organic vegan bouillon powder which has turmeric added, if you are using a different stock powder I recommend adding a little turmeric here - maybe 1/2 tsp?
4 Tbsp full fat coconut milk
sea salt to taste - I added 1/8 tsp

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan then add the onion, fry until soft and transparent. Add the chilli, garlic and ginger and fry gently another minute. Add the cubed squash and stir until they are well coated in the oil and fry a couple of minutes. Add the hot stock, give it a good stir then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the squash is really tender. Stir in the coconut milk then blitz in a blender until really, really smooth. Return to the saucepan to warm up, taste and season with salt if need be. Serve with a swirl of coconut milk if you want to be fancy ;-)
Creamy Spiced Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup. Vegan/Gluten-free/Soy-free

Disclaimer: Froothie sent me an Optimum 9400 for review and this post contains affiliated links. If you purchase a blender through my link a little commission is thrown my way :-) All views regarding the blender are entirely my own.


Nutritional Information: for 1 serving out of 4

Calories: 171
Protein: 2.9g
Fat: 9.8g
Sat Fat: 8.5g
Fibre: 3.2g
Carbs: 21g
Sugar: 5.1g
Sodium: 830g (will vary depending on stock used)

You Might Also Like:

Creamy Smoked Paprika
Sweet Potato & Dill Soup +
Garlic Rye Toast
Chilli Roasted Butternut Squash,
Soba Noodles + Creamy
Miso-Tahini Sauce

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Peach Melba Smoothie & Froothie Optimum 9400 Blender Review

Vegan Peach Melba Smoothie

Ok, now the eagle eyed among you may have noticed that those are indeed nectarines and not peaches but "Nectarine Melba" doesn't sound quite the same does it? Ah, they taste the same and this is a wonderful smoothie bursting with peachy and raspberry goodness :-)

Now, if you have been following my blog for awhile you have probably also noticed a distinct lack of smoothie and beverage recipes. This is not down to not liking smoothies, I love them, I just haven't had a good enough blender to get the perfect consistency I like. 

Until now that is. The lovely folks at Froothie sent me their Optimum 9400 blender to review and folks, I am in love! 
This isn't just a regular blender - it's a high performance blender - the type used in juice bars and cafes, it can blend rocks (if you want it too!) kind of blender. The type that can make nut milks, flours and cheeses with ease, crush ice and even make soups hot right in the jug. Here is a comparison with the Vitamix Pro 500:
So, very impressive! But unlike the other high performance blenders which are £600+ this one is currently retailing at a special introductory price of £329 which even includes a 30 day money back guarantee and a 10 year guarantee which gives you peace of mind with such a big purchase. Plus they ship worldwide at UK delivery prices, a nice break for those of us in Ireland! 
I didn't want to just make a couple smoothies then do my review here. No. Believe me when I say I have been pretty hard on this machine the past week! Besides smoothies I have made LOTS of juices, slushies, nut cheese, nut flours, houmous, soups and it has never let me down. No more shaking the blender back and forth trying to get the contents to whirl around, yay! It's so easy to use, the ultra safe jug simply sits on top of the base - no struggling to lock it in place and it's a breeze to clean. Although not dishwasher safe you simply add some water and a drop of dish washing soap and turn it on - the machine will clean itself, which actually makes it easier to clean than putting it in the dishwasher!
So, I LOVE it - I cannot tell you how much healthier we have all eaten since receiving this machine. As much as I like fruit I simply wasn't much of a fruit eater. Now we are flying through fruit and I feel a lot better for it as well. What I really love is that I can just peel an orange and throw it in, before I would have to use just orange juice in my smoothies now I get all the benefits of the WHOLE fruit. Oh, and you don't even have to core a pineapple... I certainly will never be buying fruit juices ever again :-)

I really don't know how I've gotten on so long as a vegan without a high performance blender now, there is really no comparison to a 'regular' blender. I can't wait to make my own nut butters and milk and experiment more with nut cheeses. I would honestly say now one of these machines is essential for us vegans and at this price it's actually cheaper than the amount I have spent on cheap low quality blenders that broke down on me in the past few years. I have no doubt this one will last a long time.
Vegan Peach Melba Smoothie
Which brings me to my first super easy recipe using the Optimum 9400 - a Peach Melba Smoothie, or as I touched on above, a Nectarine Melba Smoothie, either fruit would work well but I prefer the smooth skin on a nectarine here :-)

Peach Melba Smoothie:

• 4 small nectarines, stone removed and quartered (300g prepared weight)
• 100g / ¾ cup frozen raspberries
• 1 navel orange, peeled and any seeds removed then roughly chopped
• 125ml / ½ cup unsweetened soy or coconut yogurt
• 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup or other syrup sweetener of your choice (more or less, will depend on sweetness of fruit used)
• ½ tsp natural vanilla extract

Simply place everything in the blender and turn on first to low power then slowly increase to the highest setting for no more than 30 seconds. Done!

Serves 2.
Vegan Peach Melba Smoothie
Nutritional Information: per serving
Calories: 191
Protein: 5.9g
Fat: 2.7g
Sat Fat: 0.4g
Fibre: 7.8g
Carbs: 39.3g
Sugar: 27.8g
Calcium: 135mg



Disclaimer: Froothie sent me an Optimum 9400 Blender to review but all views expressed are entirely my own. This post also contains affiliated links. -Deb xx


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chilled Summer Lettuce & Pea Soup

Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.
No wait, come back!! I promise this is soooo good :-) As odd as it all sounds (lettuce in soup?? and COLD?) this really is quite delicious and is going to be a summer staple for us for sure.

It came about, as I'm guessing all lettuce soups do, because I had a major glut of lettuce in the poly-tunnel. About 10 big heads of lettuce came up at the same time and since my son doesn't eat lettuce (grrr) that's an awful lot for 2 people to get through, yes, even for vegans :-) 
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.
After getting quite bored of salads and of wrapping almost everything I was eating in large leaves of lettuce I had a search online to see what else I could do with them. There were quite a lot of lettuce soup recipes around, some chilled, some not and I've based this one a few different recipes, taking ideas I liked best from each of them and putting it into one soup...Including my very own Minted Petite Pois and Potato Soup from 2009 :-)

This one has a potato added which I liked as it gives the soup some body, LOTS of fresh herbs which are essential - especially the mint! Lots of garlic and some petite pois - their sweetness really help balance out the lettuce. Then some soy cream is stirred in before blitzing, giving the soup a lovely creaminess.
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.
Now, if chilled soups sound like an abomination to you, this soup is just as good hot. My husband isn't into the whole chilled soup thing so he heats his, in which case it's lovely with a sprinkling of my vegan parmesan on top. 

If it's cool out I'll heat mine and probably slightly prefer it that way but when I made this soup it was roasting hot here - my kitchen was 29.2 degrees! On those days, having a fresh green cooling minty soup with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a chilled glass of white wine was just perfect and oh so refreshing :-)
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.

~Recipe Notes~

♥ Our lettuce was Cos but I'm sure any green leaf lettuce would work, especially romaine (not iceberg though!)
♥ I have made this with a Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot and with a Kallo Vegetable very low-salt Stock Cube, both turned out wonderful. I needed an extra ⅛ tsp of salt with the Knorr one and added ¾ tsp with the low-salt Kallo one.
♥ I used 1 whole 250ml carton of Alpro Single Cream
♥ Recipe provides about 4-6 servings and can be frozen!

Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.

Chilled Summer Lettuce & Pea Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped (2 Tbsp)
3 cups (750 ml) water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 potato, peeled and sliced thin
 (about 164g peeled weight)
5-6 cups lettuce, from about 2 large heads, chopped and lightly packed (250g)
1 cup frozen petite pois or peas (130g)
1 Tbsp each finely chopped fresh dill, mint and chives 
1 cup (250 ml) soy cream
salt and pepper to taste
~
lemon wedges to serve (if having chilled)
vegan parmesan to serve (if having hot)



In a saucepan, soften the onion and garlic in the oil with some black pepper until the onion is soft and translucent. Dissolve the stock cube in the water and add to the pot with the sliced potato. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potato very soft. Add the lettuce, peas and fresh herbs and cook for about 5 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the soy cream, let cool slightly.

In a blender, purée the soup until smooth and bright green, mine took a little while to get really green - just keep going. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let cool at room temperature then cover and refrigerate until cold. 

When I'm having this soup cold I serve it with a wedge of lemon to squeeze in then season with a little salt and pepper - the lemon really goes well in this! If I'm having it warm I don't add the lemon but like a spinkling of my vegan parmesan on top and some black pepper. Both ways are great :-)
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.

From various sources but mainly Ricardo Cuisine's Chilled Lettuce Soup.

Nutritional Information: for 1 serving out of 6

Calories: 153
Protein: 3.4g
Fibre: 3g
Carbs: 12.1g
Sugar: 2.8g
Fat: 9.4g
Sat Fat: 1.3g
Sodium: 332mg (depending on stock cube used)

You Might Also Like: 
Summer Salad Rolls
w/ Spicy Nut Butter Dip
Curried Potato Salad
Lettuce Wraps



Sunday, 22 June 2014

Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Marinated Tofu

Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu (+a tofu tutorial!) - vegan and gluten free
Served with Mexican Rice, Potato Salad and Sweet Iced Tea - hello summer!
Ok, so I am loving this tofu lately! Those of you who like my facebook page will recognize it from a couple weeks ago as part of my blog testing lunches :-) It's pretty much as described, tofu marinated in a zesty lime and tequila marinade then pan fried until lightly charred. It's seriously good, very zesty and downrite more-ish. The marinade is slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eat's recipe for margarita chicken (good tip - don't limit yourself to searching for tofu recipes, meat marinades usually work awesome as tofu marinades!)
Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu - vegan and gluten free
Served as a lighter meal on top of some nice lettuce with slices of avocado and a drizzle of the marinade as a dressing.
What I am really excited about here is the tofu preparation method I have used. I'm very limited here in the types of tofu I can buy. I can get firm and soft silken tofu then I'm pretty much left with Cauldron's Original Tofu:
For those of you not in Ireland and the UK it is a VERY soft tofu, bordering on silken in many ways. I do love it but it's softness can be a let down in some cases, particularly in marinating. Obviously when marinating you want to extract as much of the liquid as you can from the tofu, usually by pressing so that the tofu will absorb all your yummy marinade. This tofu is so soft it gets a little smashed when you press it. Not good. So I was looking for a way to draw out the liquid without pressing (or freezing as it takes too long) - enter, the microwave.
Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu - vegan and gluten free
I simply cut the tofu as I wanted, in this case thin-ish triangles and placed them on a plate. Microwaved for 1 minute then placed them on paper towels to drain. Wiped the plate clean of all the water that came out and repeated the process so that it was microwaved a total of 4 minutes. In the end you end up with a much firmer and bouncier tofu with almost all the liquid extracted - perfect for marinating. This does 'cook' the tofu slightly but I find that only enhances the texture again. Plus, you are then marinating the tofu while warm which I find makes it absorb even more marinade.

I am really happy to find a way to make soft tofu firm, and in only 4 minutes! If your tofu is too soft, give this method a try (step by step photos below!)
Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu with Mexican Rice and Potato Salad - vegan and gluten free

~Recipe Notes~

♥ If using soft or very soft tofu then follow my microwaving procedure below.
♥ If you are using a firm tofu, simply press the cut tofu between layers of paper towel or a clean kitchen towel for about 15 minutes, change the paper at least once, then marinade as per recipe instructions.
♥ Depending on your microwave you may not need the full 4 minutes, or you may need more. Stop when there is very little water being released by the tofu and it feels firm, bouncy and dry-ish.
♥ The 1 tsp of salt is not a typo! As this is a marinade all of that won't be used and you do want a little salty kick here, just like in a margarita :-) Besides, even when I use it as a dressing it's not too much.
♥ Marinade makes enough for 2 lots of tofu (250g) but I've written this up to serve one. Leftover marinade will keep in the fridge for a couple of days or you can double the amount of tofu here to serve 2.

Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu - vegan and gluten free

Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu:

40ml lime juice (about 2 limes) +zest of ½ lime
zest of ¼ orange + juice of ½ orange
1 Tbsp tequila, I used gold
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp sweet freedom syrup, light agave or maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt and 16 grinds of black pepper
125g tofu (¼ of a pack of Cauldron) - see notes above

For the marinade simply whisk everything but the tofu together and tip into a container that will fit all the tofu in a single layer.

Marinade Source: Iowa Girl Eats


~Prepare the Tofu~

1. Take ¼ of a pack of Cauldron’s Soft Tofu and slice into 6 thin triangles.
2. Place on a plate and microwave on high 1 minute.
3. Transfer the tofu onto 2 sheets of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down gently to absorb water.
4. Dry the plate and return the tofu to it. Microwave again for 1 minute.
5. Transfer to 2 sheets of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down to absorb water.
6. Dry the plate and return the tofu to it, poke the tofu with a fork, both sides. Microwave again for 1 minute. (You want to fork the tofu now as it's starting to cook it can 'seal' the out side of the tofu which could result in the tofu not absorbing as much marinade. It also helps the water to release.)
7. Transfer to 1 sheet1 of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down to absorb water.
8. Dry the plate and return the tofu to it, poke the tofu with a fork, both sides. Microwave again for 1 minute.
9. Transfer to 1 sheet1 of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down to absorb water (there should be very little water at this point). Poke again with a fork on both sides.
10. Place the prepared tofu into the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinade.
Perfect Tofu Tutorial
Perfect Tofu Tutorial

~Fry the Tofu~

Brush a little peanut oil onto a frying pan and get it nice and hot. Remove the tofu from the marinade and place in the pan:
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 Let it cook until lightly golden brown underneath with some darker spots, then flip them over:
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 Spoon over a little of the marinade over each piece of tofu (please take care if you have a gas hob - remember there is tequila in there!!)
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 ...and let it sizzle away!
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 Flip the tofu over and spoon a little more marinade over, again let it sizzle away.
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
I now just let it cook, flipping them over until I'm happy with the amount of charred bits I've got on both sides.

Then, just serve as you like! I liked this both ways - as a larger, heartier meal with Mexican Rice and Potato Salad (basic version) and as a lighter salad simply with a nice leaf, avocado and the marinade as dressing. 
(Note that the photos you see here are not with my Mexican Rice recipe but rather an easier 'cheater' version, same idea though.)
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu Salad with Garden Fresh Lettuce and Avocado. Vegan and Gluten Free.




Nutritional Information: tofu only, 1 serving

Calories: 193
Protein: 10.9g
Fat: 11.2g
Sat Fat: 2.1g
Fibre: 0.9g
Carbs: 8.8g
Sugar: 5.1g
Sodium: 1163 * - will be less as you don't use ALL the marinade :-)

You Might Also Like:
Moros Y Cristianos from
The World Food Cafe


Chili Cornmeal Crusted
Tofu w/Mexican Rice

Friday, 13 June 2014

Neapolitan Layer Cake

Neapolitan Layer Cake - all vegan!
Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry Layer Cake with Petal Design Frosting
Well, it has been awhile since I've had a decadent cake post ;-) I made this for my husband's birthday a few weeks ago, and it's something I've wanted to try for awhile now. Actually, my son had a choice of this cake or the Spaghetti and Meatball cake for his birthday in March but the novelty factor of the latter cake was too much for him to resist!
Vegan Neapolitan Cake
I've really combined 2 different cakes here that I've seen around and wanted to try. First the cake itself - Neapolitan cake: fairly straightforward, just a layer of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cakes. Then I saw this petal frosting design on this Bakewell Ombre Cake on BBC Good Food and loved the look of it. Thankfully there are lots of tutorials out there on how to do this but really, you're just piping a blob of frosting onto the cake then smearing it to the side with the back of a spoon or small off-set spatula. Time consuming, yes, but not difficult.
Neapolitan Cake with Petal Frosting
Each frosting layer is also flavoured chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and I have to say this cake smells JUST like neapolitan ice cream! It's rather incredible. For the chocolate cake I used the standard chocolate wacky cake recipe that I use for all my chocolate cakes but scaled it down and baked into one 7" cake pan. Then I made an individual vanilla cake using my white cake recipe and an individual strawberry cake also using my white cake recipe PLUS some natural strawberry extract and some pink food colouring paste....which, yes - I was a little heavy handed with in both the cake and the frosting, lol, I was really after something a little more pastel like than what I got, but whatever! Live and learn, food colouring pastes are really potent :-)
Neapolitan Layer Cake - vegan.
One apology on all the recipes here: I wasn't able to convert it all into cups as I just had too much going on with the scaling down of the cake recipes. So, it's all in grams but if I can get on my soapbox here: weighing is a MUCH better and more accurate way of baking, and I'm speaking as someone who grew up using cups then moved to the UK and switched to weighing. For example if you measure out 1 cup of flour it will weigh something slightly different every time but 140g is always 140g. (And don't get me started on measuring things like whole pecans in a cup, haha!! What about all the empty space?!?!) If you do a lot of baking I really recommend picking up a small digital scale.  Anyway....on to the recipe :-)
Neapolitan Layer Cake - Vegan
Neapolitan Layer Cake

For the Chocolate Cake Layer:
• 188g plain flour
• 150g caster sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 30g unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1½ tsp vanilla extract
• 80ml vegetable oil
• 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 240ml cold water

Grease and line the base of an 7" round cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Whisk all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and whisk until just smooth - don't overdue it. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until firm but bouncy on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave to fully cool in the tin.

For the vanilla cake layer:
• 75g vegan butter
• 135g white caster sugar
• 1 tsp clear vanilla extract 
• 180g plain white flour
• 1½ tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
• 95ml plain soy yogurt
• 95ml sparkling water
• ¾ Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Grease and line an 7” cake pan with baking paper.

In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup whisk together the soy yogurt, sparkling water, vanilla and vinegar.

Alternately add the flour and liquid to the butter mixture starting and ending with the flour. So you add 1/3 of the flour mixture then half of the liquid, 1/3 of the flour mixture, last of the liquid then last of the flour. Mix in with a rubber spatula using a quick folding in movement and only mix until well blended in after each addition - take care not to overmix.

Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared tin, level off the top and pop it into the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. It should be firm on top, bounce back a little when pressed on top and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and leave to fully cool on a wire rack, in the tin.


For the strawberry cake layer:
• 75g vegan butter
• 135g white caster sugar
• 1 tsp natural strawberry extract 
• tiny bit of pink food colouring paste* - check it's vegan of course!
• 180g plain white flour
• 1½ tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
• 95ml plain soy yogurt
• 95ml sparkling water
• ¾ Tbsp apple cider vinegar

* I used Wilton food colouring paste in Rose, it's labelled vegetarian and is also vegan according to this site selling it.

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Grease and line an 7” cake pan with baking paper.

In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup whisk together the soy yogurt, sparkling water, strawberry extract, paste colour and vinegar.

Alternately add the flour and liquid to the butter mixture starting and ending with the flour. So you add 1/3 of the flour mixture then half of the liquid, 1/3 of the flour mixture, last of the liquid then last of the flour. Mix in with a rubber spatula using a quick folding in movement and only mix until well blended in after each addition - take care not to overmix.

Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared tin, level off the top and pop it into the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. It should be firm on top, bounce back a little when pressed on top and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and leave to fully cool on a wire rack, in the tin.
Neapolitan Layer Cake - Vegan