There they are: chocolate chunk and walnut muffins. They’re very very good, but tricky to photograph so we’re going to intersperse with some professional pictures of seasonal Montezuma’s chocolate.
Lets start with the ghosts! Or Montezuma’s Dark and Vegan Halloween Treats to be exact.
Okay, onto the muffin recipe!
Chocolate Chunk and Walnut Muffins
4 (heaped) tablespoons of Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising flour,
2 (heaped) tablespoons of cocoa,
2 tablespoons (not heaped) of caster sugar
100g bar of chocolate
handful of walnuts, broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
Soya milk to mix (start with about half a cupful)
Start with the fun part: bashing up the chocolate. While it’s still in its wrapper, hit the bar of chocolate repeatedly with a rolling pin. All over. Backwards and forwards. Up and down. Tip the fragmented contents into a mixing bowl along with the flour, cocoa, walnuts and sugar and mix well. Add the wet ingredients and stir.
With gluten free cakes that are going into paper cake cases, you don’t want the batter too wet or the cakes might stick in there quite badly. So, you’re going for a nice sturdy batter, not too much soya milk. Or you could use silicone cases.
Spoon into 12 cake cases and bake at 200C/400F for 10-15 minutes. Cool, then eat!
And now let’s look ahead a little into the chocolatey year… to Advent!
It’s bright. It’s snowy. It’s cold.
So… soup. And maybe Easter eggs.
And definitely books! Recent reads here include:
Room by Emma Donoghue. You’re best going into this knowing only that a five year old boy and his mother live in a tiny room and that the child, the voice of the novel, has never left it. So intriguing. Scary and thought provoking too.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
The Bones of You by Debbie Howells is a chilling and gripping murder mystery and a good exploration of narcissism.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
And if you need to laugh after those, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion should have you doing that from the opening pages as obviously autistic Don Tillman sets out to solve ‘the wife problem’.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
First to the glossy hair. The organic hair care company Old Wives Tail sent us some lovely smelling Argan & Rosemary Organic Oil Treatment. Now, my hair has always been thin and brittle; good nutrition improved it, but on a windy day in the woods I still looked like a demented will-o’-the-wisp.
Never having used an oil treatment before, I wondered if the thick conditioner would really shampoo off easily: it did, oily to squeaky clean in sixty seconds. And it’s left my hair feeling fuller, with more body and smelling great. It’s actually glossy. Will it defy the wind? Well that would be a miracle, but who knows?
Old Wives Tail are running a competition to win a free hair mask of your choice here. (Closes August 1st).
An older recipe from our main courses page has recently come back into favour, it’s so delicious I don’t know why we stopped making it:
Sweet Potatoes in a Coconut and Peanut Sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a little sunflower oil
1 teaspoon of curry powder or spices of your choice
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 tin of coconut milk
5 or 6 medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
seasalt to taste
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes. Add the curry spices and stir well. Add the peanut butter, stirring over a medium heat until in begins to melt and then pour in your coconut milk and stir until well blended. Put the sweet potatoes and salt in the pan and bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer until they are softened (10 minutes +). Nice with rice and salad.
‘Harlequin’ is one of fifty life-size dolphins displayed across Aberdeen for the summer. They are diverse and beautiful and huggable. See the Wild Dolphins website for more info.
In beautiful, colourful Neal’s Yard, in the former home of Monty Python, resides the Wild Food Café. We enjoyed our raw pizza and salad (it is ‘raw-centric’).
Also in Covent Garden is LabOrganic, which we visited more than once for their fresh green juices and raw chocolate mousse.
We loved The Coach and Horses vegetarian pub with its timeless rickety stairs, twenties music and somehow Dickensian mantelpiece:
The ‘tofush’ and chips was excellent:
and the flowers in a teapot, pretty:
Though we didn’t eat in them, Food for Thought in Neal St. had a savoury and delicious smell wafting out its door and the dishes visible through the window of totally vegan Vantra Vitao looked very good.
Useful resource: Vegan London
Cheap tickets etc:
The Vegan Family House now lives here on the blog. The best of the recipes and book reviews have come with us (see pages listed above).
It’s simpler. It’s better. There’s a new beetroot variant of our hummus recipe… What more could anybody want?
We put the old, more battered, sign on some t-shirts and things a while back…
There’s a new soya milk brand coming to Tesco mid January: Vive Soy. We were sent a sample of the Cappuccino flavour to try which Davie enjoyed heated up at work on a very snowy day. It was very sweet, containing both sugar and sweeteners. The unflavoured varieties do not contain sweeteners and the unsweetened type has no sugar at all 🙂
These quantities make a huge one! Blend up 3 boxes of Silken Tofu with a teaspoon of turmeric, 2 tablespoons of Gram Flour and Black Salt (Kala Namak) to taste. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Grease a baking dish and place it in the oven too (frittata will cook more quickly). Wash, slice and fry up a box of mushrooms and a chopped red pepper (we used yellow but red would look better) in a little olive oil. Add a tin of sweetcorn to the mix until well heated through. Mix it all together (in pan if big enough, or straight into heated dish) and bake for at least half an hour or until it seems set through. Muchly yum 🙂