The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Sweet Stuff

Fruit Birthday Cake | Fresh Fruit

It was my daughters birthday party last week, we visited our local laser tag place for two hours of fun with 10 kids and a couple of adults. May I just say at this point that I won both games. Not only did I beat 10 children, I beat my husband, teenage son and some random strangers. Clearly this is a proud moment for me! I’d like to thank my parents, my school etc etc..but most of all my weight loss because I could shoot/run/duck and hide my way to victory.

Ahem, now I have the tale of my victories out of the way I wanted to share my daughters birthday cake. Last year we made a Panda, rainbow, aquafaba layer cake which looking back on was pretty impressive! This year however she requested something a little different, a fruit cake, made with fresh fruit, namely a melon cake.

She loves fruit, and actually isn’t that big a fan of cake, and being the only vegan in her friend group and I think she likes being seen as the healthy one.

Sadly, I was a little worried about judgement. From who? Other parents, the venue, family, isn’t that mad? I was worried about being judged for giving children fruit rather than a huge amount of sugar.

Worry of judgement aside, I just went for it, and created a three tier cake from watermelon, gala melon and honeydew. We then garnished it with 3 types of grapes, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple.

fruit birthday cake

The kids absolutely tore into it, after two games of laser tag I think it was actually perfect.

I did also make some vegan cupcakes, these were for the party bags and adults there, but making a fruit cake and cupcakes was much quicker and easier than making a full birthday cake, which was good considering how busy I am at the moment!

vegan cupcakes

At some point I’ll do a post about the cupcakes but you can find a close recipe for them here.

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Vegan Pancakes | Sweet Stuff

Definitely not weight loss related but yesterday was pancake day. I’ve tried a few different recipes for vegan pancakes since going vegan and while they’ve all been okay, none have been really knock out. That is until these. Even my highly fussy non-vegan husband thought these were delicious.

This recipe is for the larger style of pancakes, the type that require flipping. However, I am a coward when it comes to flipping (plus I’m paranoid my frying pan handle will break off, that has happened once before) so I tend to use a slice to turn them. This recipe will make 8 large pancakes, of which we all had 2 each. One serving was around 250 calories, so not all that bad diet wise either.

Vegan Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 240g Plain Flour
  • 1.3 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 and 1/3¬†cups of Soya Milk
  • 3/4¬†cup of Water
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method

Sift together the dry ingredients, then add the wet. Really simple. I then whisked for a few minutes just to make sure all the flour was mixed in properly. If the mixture is a little thick (it should be pourable) add more milk.

Heat a frying pan and brush with vegetable oil, or use fry light. Heat up to pretty hot. I then used a ladle and used just over one ladle full per pancake. Fry for a few minutes on each side. If there was one complaint with them is that they didn’t really brown up but we were hungry so I didn’t overcook and to be honest the paleness did not detract from the flavour at all.

I had lemon and a tsp of sugar with mine, my son and daughter had maple syrup, and husband had dark chocolate buttons and sliced banana.

vegan pancakes

They really were tasty, I have been made to promise we are having them again at the weekend and I can’t say I’m complaining!

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Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles | Christmas Menu

These dark chocolate avocado truffles are tasty, but have the added benefit of actually being pretty good for you, considering what a delicious sweet treat they are! I’m making these as a snack, and may take some more to a new years party we are attending if they go down well.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Ingredients

  • 280g 70% Dark Chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup (or just plain old caster sugar)
  • Toppings – cocoa powder, dessicated coconut, chopped nuts

Method

Break chocolate into chunks and place in a glass mixing bowl above a pot of water. Just simmer the water and stir the chocolate as it’s melting. Once fully melted stir in the agave syrup (or sugar). Set aside to cool.

Scoop out the avocado flesh, add the salt and using a fork mash to a pulp.

Gently fold the avocado into the melted chocolate. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until it firms up. When nearly ready put your chosen coatings in small bowls.

Roll the chocolate mixture into balls, dip the balls into the coatings and cover. Continue until all the chocolate mixture is used up.

Put truffles in an airtight container and chill for another 30 minutes. Use within two days.

I will update with pictures once I’ve made them, but I have made similar truffles previously and they were delicious! Here you can see my full christmas menu and feel free to follow me on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble

I was walking through the supermarket today and I saw some nice looking rhubarb, and the weather is decidedly wintery, (and having a couple of packets of blueberries in the fridge),  I decided on a whim to knock up some vegan rhubarb and blueberry crumble.

Pre-vegan days, I used to eat a fair whack of hot deserts, but the unavailability of vegan offerings in the supermarkets has lead to me pretty much giving them up entirely. Therefore, I was looking forward to this for pudding!

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble Recipe

Ingredients
  • 400g Rhubarb
  • One punnet of blueberries
  • 100g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 70g Self Raising flour
  • 70g Wholemeal flour
  • 85g Vegan Margarine
  • 50g Sugar
Method

Chop rhubarb into thumb sized chunks. Put in saucepan with blueberries, Golden Caster Sugar and a little water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes on a really low heat. Be careful because the rhubarb can easily lose it’s shape if overcooked.

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry crumble

When soft pour into a baking dish. Heat oven. Rub flour mix and margarine together. Add sugar.Mix up with your hands. Scatter on top of the rhubarb and blueberry mix.Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry crumble

 

Cool in the oven at 180C for a fan oven for about 30 minutes. I had mine with Alpro soya single cream.

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry crumble

Here you can see more of my food and this is the recipe that inspired this crumble. It was lovely! Simple, comforting food, recommended!

Vegan Birthday Cake – Baking

As my first proper post I thought I may as well start with a biggie, I faced a huge challenge this week, creating a Vegan Birthday Cake for my daughter’s 8th Birthday. After trying a number of recipes I found that one using aquafaba¬†gave the best bake. Honestly, since going vegan the resourcefulness of the bakers and cooks out there still surprises me, chickpea brine for egg replacer sounds insane but really works, there is no taste but it gives the correct texture for a cruelty free vegan birthday cake. I can’t say this would work well for my weight loss, but it definitely did the job in satisfying the kids, friends and family. Pictures are at the bottom of the post.

Vegan Birthday Cake Recipe

The following recipe which was found originally here was used for each layer of the cake ( three times in total) with a couple of small differences.

  • Aquafaba – One 400g can (of chickpeas in my case)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
  • Cream of Tartar – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sunflower Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Self Raising Flour – 1 1/2 Cups
  • Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Bicarbonate of Soda – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Food Colouring Gels

Method

Preheat Oven to 160 Degrees (fan) or 180 Degrees.

Using a large bowl add vinegar to aquafaba and whip using an electric hand blender. Whipping has to continue for around ten minutes until the mixture resembles egg whites, forming peaks. I found that I struggled to get the aquafaba whipped enough, and after some googling found some suggestion it may have been due to my blender being rather basic (not strong enough), so added half a teaspoon of cream of tartar which seemed to do the job.

Sugar should be added until the mix goes glossy. Next add in the oil and vanilla. At this point for each of the three layers I added in around a third to a half of a tube of food colouring.

Next I sifted the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the frothy mixture and gently folded this in.

I used a single 7 inch baking tin which gave a good rise, this needed to be lined and greased.

The cake was put in the oven for 25 – 35 minutes, when a toothpick comes out clean I left the cake in the tin for 5 minutes then transferred to a rack.

Decorating

After the cakes had began to cool I mixed up sugar syrup by boiling one cup of water and one cup of sugar until it was a thick syrup. I poked small holes in the top of the cakes then using a brush, brushed the syrup all over the cakes. I was worried that the cakes would be dry as a few test cakes I made had been a weird dry texture but the sugar syrup really seemed to help.

Buttercream was 100g dairy free spread mixed with 200g Icing Sugar and some vanilla essence.

Finally, pre made fondant icing was used for the panda. I need to improve my decorating skills! However, the cake tasted delicious. All of the kids at my daughters birthday party loved it, and even the parents, and my family and friends were shocked when they tasted it and knew it was a vegan birthday cake made with chickpea juice!

inside the rainbow panda vegan birthday cake

Rainbow Colours

The finished iced panda vegan birthday cake

Happy Panda

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see more recipes relating to baking please click the link. Also, you can view my overall food page which also has links to other meal sections.

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