Thursday 30 May 2013

Hot Toddy Layer Cake

Hot Toddy Layer Cake - vegan.

Well, a bit of a double post for you today as this recipe *is* already on the blog as Hot Toddy Cupcakes. It was my father-in-law's 70th birthday last week and I was thinking what kind of cake to make. He's actually not that into sweet things, especially things with frosting but he did really like those cupcakes when I made them all those Christmas's ago :-)

Hot Toddy Layer Cake - vegan.

So, I thought I would have a go making the recipe as a layer cake - and I am so happy to report that it turned out beautifully! Same light and fluffy yet moist texture, nicely clove spiced whiskey lemon cake with a whiskey buttercream frosting. Sigh. This thing broke my diet but it was worth it!

Hot Toddy Layer Cake - vegan.

Hot Toddy Layer Cake

• 240ml soy cream
• 120ml rice milk
• 4 Tbsp Irish whiskey 
• 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
• zest of 2 lemons
• 350g plain flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 4 Tbsp cornstarch 
• 1 tsp salt
• 3/4 tsp ground cloves 
• 160ml vegetable oil
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 320g caster sugar

Whiskey Buttercream Frosting:

• 80g vegetable fat, room temperature
• 100g vegan margarine
• 540g icing sugar
• 2 Tbsp Irish Whiskey
• zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180C and line the bottom of two 7" round cake tins with baking paper and grease the sides. Mix together the soy cream and rice milk then stir in the whiskey and lemon juice, it will curdle! Set aside. 

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, soda, salt and cloves and set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and the soy cream curdled mixture until very well blended and sugar seems to be dissolved. It shouldn't look curdled any more. Add the dry ingredients to this and whisk gently until just blended and no lumps remain. 

Fill cake tins evenly and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin then run a knife around the edges, turn the pans over onto a wire rack and peel off the baking paper. Let fully cool.

To make the frosting, soften the vegetable fat first with a fork, then add the margarine and beat until well blended. Add half the icing sugar and all the whiskey and mix well. Add the rest of the icing sugar and mix well. You may need a touch more whiskey and or icing sugar. Just keep adding what you need until you get a smooth spreadable frosting. Now stir in the lemon zest.

Sandwich the cakes together with some of the frosting then frost the entire cake. Decorate with lemon halves and whole cloves.

Hot Toddy Layer Cake - vegan.
Hot Toddy Layer Cake - vegan.

I'm afraid we were too busy celebrating for me to get a good quality photo of the whole cake - this is the only one I got! Making everyone wait to eat while I set up a photoshoot never seems to go down very well, lol!

Hot Toddy Layer Cake - vegan.

I had much better light the next morning :-)

Hot Toddy Layer Cake - vegan.

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Tuesday 28 May 2013

Tofu Salad Sandwich or Wrap

Tofu "no-egg" Salad Sandwich
Tofu Salad with spring onion and celery on toasted wholemeal bread with Dijon mustard, dill mayo and romaine lettuce.

Phew! It's been awhile!!! I do actually have quite a few things lined up to blog but if you visit my daily blog you'll know I've been on quite the calorie restricted diet lately as I'm keen to lose about 8 pounds before my summer holidays. 

(Dieting and blogging recipes do not go well together.) 

In fact I tend to put weight on when I'm actively posting recipes here - all that testing, over and over, lol!

Now, the other thing you'll know if you visit the daily blog is that I've become positively addicted to my tofu scramble, but unlike the post on the blog here I've just been having the scramble without the cheesy chive waffles, roasted cherry tomatoes and spinach. Not that it's not good - I love that meal but I've been needing something quick and easy.

So, I've been having it with fresh basil on top of toasted tomato focaccia bread....(wow!)
Tofu Scramble with fresh basil on toasted tomato focaccia.
 A larger portion with wholemeal toast and steamed asparagus...
Tofu scramble, steamed asparagus and wholemeal toast.
 Likewise but with a "non-fat" grilled portabella mushroom...
Tofu scramble, portabella mushroom, steamed asparagus and wholemeal toast.
 Yeah, this was my favourite....
Tofu scramble, portabella mushroom, steamed asparagus and wholemeal toast.
 ....and without the asparagus....
Told you I'm addicted.

Then I started to think about egg sandwiches. Why, I have no idea as the mere smell of an egg sandwich makes me gag and always has, but that tofu scramble is so scrumptious and such a fine replacement for "eggy" things that I thought I would try it.

I have of course made tofu egg-style sandwiches before. I made the dill tofu salad sandwich from VWAV way back when and really liked it but I wanted this one to be more egg salad sandwich like.

I've followed my tofu scramble recipe here but omitted the shallots, let the whole thing cool then added finely chopped spring onion and celery. It's then piled on top of toasted wholemeal bread spread with dijon and dill mayo and finished off with some crisp romaine lettuce leaves. Perfect! Now I have another avenue to feed my tofu scramble addiction :-)

~ Recipe Notes ~

• Yes, the Marigold OrganicVegan Bouillon Powder (the red/orange tub) is a crucial ingredient here. I love the taste and as it already has turmeric in it gives this dish a lovely yellow hue. You can of course use whatever vegan bouillon powder you can find and add some turmeric for colour. If you use a different brand make sure you taste and season as need be.
• For those in the UK/IRE I use Cauldron's Original Tofu, it doesn't actually state if it is soft, firm or extra firm but the texture is very soft, but it's not silken so for a similar texture I would recommend a soft, non-silken tofu.
• Egg salad sandwiches mix the mashed egg with mayo - I don't do that here as the tofu mixture is soft and creamy enough. I do add mayo to the bread however, for flavour, but you could always mix it in with the tofu if you prefer or if you have a "drier" tofu.
• I got 2 sandwiches out of this but if I was using larger bakery style bread and wasn't dieting, then I would stuff the whole lot in! So, I would say it makes 2 small sandwiches, or 1 large :-) For the record, it doesn't keep very well as the mixture gets a little 'wet' when it sits in the fridge overnight so I would recommend just making what you need here.
Tofu "no-egg" Salad Sandwich

Tofu Salad Sandwich

• 100g soft tofu (but not silken)
• 1 tsp marigold organic vegan bouillon powder for marinade
• 125ml (½ cup) water
• 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and halved
• ¼ tsp marigold organic vegan bouillon powder
• 1 spring onion, finely chopped
• 1 small stalk of celery, finely chopped
• freshly ground black pepper

For the sandwich:
• 2 slices wholemeal bread
• 2 tsp vegan mayo
• 1/8 tsp dried dill
• dijon mustard
• romaine lettuce 

Wrap the tofu in some kitchen towel then wrap in a clean dish towel and place something heavy on top to press, I use a cast iron grill pan. Leave for 10 minutes, change the paper towel and press for another 10 minutes.

In a pyrex measuring jug dissolve the 1 tsp of bouillon powder in a splash of hot water. Fill with cold water till you have 125ml or ½ cup and mix well. Crumble the tofu into this, make sure it is all covered, then cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour to marinate.

Drain the tofu using a fine sieve and get a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Add the tofu, the garlic halves, some freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp of bouillon powder and fry until most the liquid has gone but it's still a bit creamy. Remove the garlic cloves and scrape the tofu into a bowl and leave to cool a bit. Add the spring onion and celery and mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge until completely cool.

To assemble: Toast your bread. This is essential as it makes it easier to eat and you won't have soggy bread that flops all over the place as you try to eat! If you like, spread with some vegan butter, I wanted to keep the calories low so didn't bother. Mix the mayo with the dill and spread on 1 slice of toast. Spread the other with some Dijon mustard. Top with the tofu salad and some lettuce. Enjoy!

Tofu "no-egg" Salad Sandwich

Nutritional Information: (just the tofu salad filling, all of it.)

Calories: 86
Protein: 9.1g
Fat: 3.6g
Sat Fat: 0.9g
Fibre: 1.3g
Carbs: 4.2g
Sugar: 1.5g
Sodium: 266mg
Calcium: 126mg

Wrap Version

Tofu Salad Wrap

I made a few changes to make this as a wrap. Here, I didn't marinade the tofu but instead fried the crumbled tofu with extra stock powder then let it cool. I also added some plain unsweetened soy yogurt for a lighter dressing, with added dill. It was equally good :-)

Tofu Salad Wrap

Tofu Salad Wrap

• 100g soft tofu (not silken)
• 1 tsp marigold organic vegan bouillon powder
• 1 spring onion, chopped
• 1 small stalk of celery, chopped
• 1 large clove garlic, halved
• 30g or 2 Tbsp plain unsweetened soy yogurt - you can also use vegan mayo. (I have also omitted it when I've been out of yogurt!)
• ½ tsp dried dill
• ½ tsp Dijon mustard
• 5 grinds of black pepper

• 1 large wrap of your choice
• 1 large leaf of romaine lettuce

Press the tofu between several sheets of paper towel for about 15 minutes. Crumble the tofu. Heat up a non-stick frying pan and add the tofu, garlic halves and bouillon powder. Fry until most of the liquid cooks out of the tofu and it is fairly dry, I like to get some slightly golden spots on the tofu here, you can cook it drier than the version above as you'll be adding a dressing.

Remove the garlic and transfer the tofu to a bowl to cool to room temperature then add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. Cover and chill in the fridge until cold.

Gently heat the wrap on a dry frying pan just to make it more pliable, a few seconds only on each side - don't let it get too hot. Lay down a leaf of romaine on the wrap then spoon on all of the tofu salad mixture. Wrap as you like, either fajita or burrito style - whatever's easiest for you :-)

Nutritional Information: based on 1 large wrap, will vary depending on wrap used (whole recipe)

Calories: 307
Protein: 15.9g
Fat: 9.7g
Sat Fat: 3.2g
Fibre: 3.3g
Carbs: 36g
Sugar: 3.5g
Calcium: 162mg

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