Saturday, 10 July 2010

Vegan Vanilla Cake & Chocolate "Buttercream" Icing

Little ole Surrey has overdone itself on the heat front as of late (right on par with Memphis, but lacking in mugginess...& skeeters...which I can gladly live without!).

Sticking with the fresh fruit theme, this recipe stepped through my kitchen twice in the last couple of weeks.


Vanilla Cake:

(Makes enough for a Small Double Layer Cake)

200ml Soy Milk

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

160g Sugar

170g Plain Flour

1 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch

1 tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda


100g Veg Butter

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp Almond Extract

Chocolate "Buttercream" Topping:

80g Veg Butter

80g Veg Shortening

80g Cocoa Powder

160g Powdered Sugar

2 tbsp Soy Milk

150g Fresh Berries (your choice!)

For the Vanilla Cake Base:

In a small bowl, whisk together the Apple Cider Vinegar & Soy Milk and set aside to curdle.

In a separate bowl, sift together the Sugar, Flour, Cornstarch, Baking Powder, Baking Soda & Salt. Next, blend in the Veg Butter until your mixture becomes pebbly. Slowly add your Soy Milk mixture to this dry mixture, blending until smooth. Lastly, blend in your Vanilla & Almond Extracts.

Evenly pour your mixture into two well-greased cake tins and pop into the oven at 180C for 25min. The cakes should be a tasty lookin' golden brown when finished.

Thoroughly cool before frosting.

For the Chocolate "Buttercream" Topping:

While your cakes are in the oven, cream together your Veg Butter & Veg Shortening. Slowly add in your Cocoa Powder followed by the Powdered Sugar. Splash in the Soy Milk between each Powder addition, to ensure that everything blends smoothly.

Pop in the fridge to cool.

Assembling It All:

Making sure your cakes are thoroughly cooled (because you don't want a melty "Buttercream" disaster)...

Spread a thin layer of Chocolate "Buttercream" onto one of your cakes. Stack the second cake on top to form your second layer...then spread the "Buttercream" on again! Voila!

You can get all fancy with the Fruit - thinly slice Strawberries and place them inbetween your cake stacks for an extra burst of freshness. Or simply garnish the top layer of your cake for a wonderful pop of colour.

Refrigerate before eating!

The only bad thing about this recipe is that it does not last on your plate very long!!

Until next time...


Sunday, 4 July 2010

Cassandra's Cup

My parents and I recently made a whirlwind tour of the UK - starting in Stratford Upon Avon, rolling on up to Edinburgh, and trekking it on back to London-towne. Of the many food stops along the way, this one had to be my favourite...


Cassandra's Cup
(be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Mr. Darcy)

Cassandra's Cup is a charming little tea room located directly outside the front steps of Jane Austen's family home. Named after Jane's sister, the tea room offers everything from tea & coffee, to cakes, soups & sarnies.

What better place to rest after taking a romantic stroll around the Austen household?

Daily specials are written on wipe-away boards shaped as teapots, whilst mouthwatering treats are displayed inside glass covered cake stands below.

Savoury soups are served in oversized teacups, and the ceiling is sprinkled with a colourful assortment of vintage teacups - bringing an overall Alice in Wonderland feel to the place.

Our menu consisted of Vegan (yes, they're vegan friendly!) Asparagus Soup, Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, & a Brie and Cranberry Sandwich...lest we forget, several pots of Tea and a black Coffee (for myself).

I coulda swore I saw Mr. Darcy in the corner table...

Until next time...


Saturday, 3 July 2010

Those Refreshing Summer Nights

The days have been getting warmer, and in this (might I say...surprising) English summer heat, a cake with a refreshing Pineapple garnish is a welcome treat.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Cake


150g Plain Flour
140g Sugar
1tbsp Baking Powder
40g Butter
100g Cream Cheese
150g Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg
Tinned Pineapple Rings (Drained)

In a large bowl, sift together the Flour, Sugar, Baking Power and Salt. Next, using a hand mixer, blend in the Butter and Cream Cheese into until little pebbles are formed.

In a separate bowl, mix together the Milk, Vanilla and Egg. Then, using a hand held mixer, combine the dry and wet ingredients until all are well incorporated.

Line the bottom of a greased cake tin with the drained Pineapple Rings, then pour your cake mixture evenly over the pineapple layer.

Pop into the oven at 180C for 30min (or until thoroughly cooked).

Turn the cooked cake upside-down onto a serving plate for an extra pretty look (Like a rubbish Paula Deen, I was too hungry to do this…)

Until Next Time…