Honeybunch of
Onion Tops
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25 / 01 / 2019

So vegan meringues do exist. They are a thing, and all because of the really nifty substance which is Aquafaba, which I'm sure you already know about because it's been all about the place since it popped up on the scene a few years back. So Aquafaba (which is just the water from a can of chickpeas) does wondrous things, although I have found it to do meringue better than pavlova over the years. Simply because my pavlova's have kinda "sweat-ed" after a couple of hours which as you can imagine was been oh-so-attractive!!

Anyhoo - this recipe is really impressive, pretty bloody easy and super gooood. So let me show ya' how I did it. FYI - aquafaba is kinda technical so I used another's recipe, and made it my own here.

Makes 1 x two-teared approx 9-inch cake

Ingredients

Method

  1. With an electic mixer/beater, whip the COYO yoghurt until stiff peaks form (should only take a minute or two). Add in the maple syrup and vanilla & beat to combine. Add in a handful of fresh raspberries if you like a pink "cream", or take out half and then do this step to the remaining COYO-whip to get a two-tone effect in your "cake". However you decide to do it, chill until ready to assemble.
  2. Once your two meringue disks that you have made have cooled to room temperature, take out your whipped coconut yoghurt and prep all your fruit. You want to assemble it within 30 minutes to an hour of serving for optimum results.
  3. Assemble it so you start with a meringue disk, then top with half the yoghurt (spread out to the sides), then half the fruit, a few small dollops of yoghurt, then the other meringue, remaining yoghurt and remaining fruit. Decorate to your liking and then voila! Store in the fridge until ready to serve, and then after that if there is some left over. Although as mentioned, best eaten fresh. Enjoy!


25 / 01 / 2019

Gluten-Free cupcakes are a pain up the bum to do if I'm being frank. Well all gluten-free baking is a pain if we want to speak the truth here. But hey - it's still possible and these cupcakes are definetly grand to boot, so if you have a GF pal around, brighten their day with these beauties. Or alternatively, whack this epic icing on any cake of your choice, as it's seriously good. It's a proper buttercream and one that I am definetly going to turn to for every baking need I have around the corner. Okay I hope this recipe helps you out honeybunches, and makes your tastebuds sing!

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the first six ingredients together (aka the dry cupcake ingredients). Whisk to combine & finish by creating a well in the center.
  3. In another bowl, combine the remaining cupcake ingredients. Mix the wet mixture into the dry by pouring it into the well and gently mixing by broadening your circle to incorporate the dry ingredients without creating many lumps. Ensure there is no flour left at the bottom of your bowl.
  4. Pour the mixture into 12 lined (or greased) muffin/cupcake holes, so that they are about 3/4 full. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 mintutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  5. Meanwhile make your icing by beating your butter and shortening together until smooth & combined (with an electric mixer if you have one). Add in the cocoa powder & vanilla, beating again until combined. Then add the plant milk along with the icing sugar in the same go, and then beat everything together to combine. Feel free to add the icing sugar in increments if that works best for you. Chill until needed.
  6. Once your cupcakes have cooked and have cooled to room temperature, ice them with the buttercream and enjoy!


23 / 01 / 2019

Strawberry Cake! How innocent, how reminiscent - how bang-on lovely!! This was such a success and my goodness was it jolly-well delicious to eat up. The strawberry flavour is wonderfully well-balanced and takes you right back to the second best childhood flavour (...next to chocolate, if you missed that).

Strawberries featured pretty heavily in my childhood. So heavily, that on one occasion (when I was a toddler, or new to the whole "eating-foods" phenomenon - what ever age that was) my bum went bright red. I don't know if that's even possible from eating too many strawberries, or what the biology of that is, but that's what my mum reports as being the case. So I'm going to harness that in my case to persuading you that I know strawberries and therefore this cake recipe can most definitely be trusted.

Refined-Sugar-Free Variation: replace the jam with a homemade version, made using strawberry pulp and chia seeds (there are oodles of recipes all over the internet). For the icing you could whip up some natural COYO, and top it with that instead. Super delish - and to answer your next question, yep I think it would definitely still be sweet enough.

Makes a 24cm or 9 1/2 inch cake

Ingredients

Strawberry Icing

Decoration

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Grab a large mixing bowl, and sift in the first five ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
  3. In a blender or food processor (or you could just chop the strawberry skins seriously small and mix together instead), combine the remaining cake ingredients (sans the melted butter) until smooth and combined. Add in the melted butter and blend/mix once more to combine.  
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredient bowl, then pour the strawberry puree mixture into the centre, whisking gently from the centre outwards until all dry ingredients are incorporated with the wet. It should be a wonderful,pour-able, yet not super runny cake batter. Add a little more plant milk if your mixture is too thick.
  5. Grease and line a 24cm or 9 1/2 inch pan with vegan butter (or any oil) and some baking paper. Pour in the batter into the prepared pan and smooth over. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes on slow (or if on fan-forced, start testing it after 25 minutes). When a skewer inserted comes out clean, transfer to a cooling wrack to (you guessed it) cool.
  6. Meanwhile, make your icing by whisking the vegan butter together with the jam and the vanilla until smooth and combined. Add the icing sugar in increments and whisk in between each addition, scraping down the sides to ensure it's smooth. Chill until needed.
  7. When the cake has come to room temperature, use a long serrated knife to gently saw your way through the cake, so you have two tiers. Smother the top of the bottom layer with the remaining jam, all the way out to the edge. Replace the top of the cake on the bottom half, then cover with the strawberry icing (or COYO if doing that refined sugar free option). Decorate with the sliced strawberries around the side, chill for about 30 mins minimum, serve and enjoy!


23 / 01 / 2019

Stew's are something that unless you grew up with them (because say you're from the UK or Ireland), then they're most likely towards the bottom of your "what to make for dinner barrel". Not because there's anything particularly wrong with them, just that A) they require a bit of time to do their thing, either on the hob or in the oven - which many of us are becoming increasingly unwilling to plan ahead sufficiently enough to do, which is a bit sad, and then because B) aesthetically they're a little average.

So with this recipes, I've tried to remedy that last point by putting the potatoes on top instead of in the stew, and grilled them a bit after baking so you essentially have the best of both worlds. Saucy, flavourful, soft stew-like potatoes, with that roasted potato finish. Glorious! As for stews taking a while, I do implore you to give it a go despite it taking a couple of beats to make, as it's the perfect comforting (and dare I say, just as "meaty" and satisfying as the real deal) dish to make for your loved ones on a cold, or even just overcast kind of day.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  2. In a large pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and add the onion, celery, carrots & garlic. Saute until the onion is lightly golden and the other veg softens.
  3. Meanwhile in another large fry-pan, add another glug of olive oil and saute both types of mushrooms in two batches so not to crowd them too much. Don't touch them too much, as you want them to reduce in size and become slightly golden. Once all the mushrooms are sauteed set aside.
  4. Add the plain flour to the onion mixture and stir to coat the veg. Cook the flour off for a minute or two and let it soak up the moisture in the pan. Add the beer, tomtoes, cooked mushrooms and 3 cups of the "beef" stock and stir everything together. If you desire a runnier consistancy (bear in mind it will thicken up in the oven) add the remaining cup of stock.
  5. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, mixed herbs, sugar and a grind each of salt and pepper. Stir together and let bubble away while you get out your baking dish (if your pot isn't oven safe that is) and chop your potatoes.
  6. Transfer the stew to an oven safe dish if need be, and layer the potatoes on top of the stew so that they float oven the mixture. Dot little bits of vegan butter over the top, and finish with a grind of salt & pepper.
  7. Cover the stew and cook for 1 hour. After the hour has finished up, take off the lid/foil and cook under the grill setting for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are seriously golden brown. Enjoy honeybunches!!


23 / 01 / 2019

One birthday I had in middle school, my birthday cake was a carrot cake choc-a-block with walnuts in it, and while I didn't show it - I wasn't all that choofed with the relatively-wholesome cake. Safe to say, my taste-buds and attitude to carrot cake has thankfully made a full recovery since then, and now I do love a lovely carrot cake, complete with a lemony icing, and yes, lots of walnuts. This is a denser, moister cake then most so keep that in mind, and also you can easily swap the GF flour for regular if you wish. Enjoy!

Makes 1 x 20cm square cake

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (not fan-forced if you have the option, otherwise the fan setting will still work, just not as well).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients (down to and including the salt) with a whisk until smooth and combined (with carrot strands in it though of course).
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl (sans the walnuts) and whisk gently to combine.
  4. Grease and line a 20cm square tin (or similar) and add in the batter.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour. If the skewer does not come out clean and the cake is not quite firm to touch, give it another 10 minutes. Set aside to cool at room tempurature.
  6. Meanwhile make your icing by mixing all the icing ingredients together with an elctric whisk until smooth. You can cream the butter first with the vanilla and lemon, but I've found it doesn't make much difference either way. Beat for a couple of minutes so the icing lightens and fluffs up a tad more.
  7. Ice the cooled cake with the icing and enjoy!