Portuguese Custard Tarts // Vegan
11 / 07 / 2018
I don't know anyone on the planet who doesn't like custard. Then pop the vanillery, silky, deliciousness in a cinnamony tart form and holy heck - they are one of the most delicious things on the planet. I remember making these growing up from a Jamie Oliver recipe (authenticity questionable) and remembering they were just other-worldly delicious.
I've been trying to master the art of vegan custard for a while now. Turns out I was just definitely off on a bum-steer in the beginning trying to chuck some silken tofu in on the mix. Fellow honeybunches came to my aid and told be to get my but into gear with the cornflour method and you were right in a big way. After some experimentation, this recipe is a major winner honeybunches. I might just open a cafe solely to sell these - they're that good!
Makes approx. 12 little tartlets
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened plant milk (I found rice milk, oat milk or soy to be my favourite)
- the hard cream from 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk (I used the macro brand from woolworths if you live in Australia)
- 1 tsp vanilla (paste, extract etc.)
- pinch of black salt (Kala namak - a salt that has an eggy as heck smell/flavour to it. Online is the easiest way to source it)
- pinch of turmeric
- 2-3 sheets puff pastry (most are vegan, but check)
- coconut sugar
- Take out your pastry from the freezer to thaw.
- Make your custard by sifting the cornflour and icing sugar into a small saucepan. Add a little of the plant milk, then whisk until smooth, then add the rest and whisk until combined. This way you don't end up with lumps of cornflour in the stuff. Yay.
- Put your saucepan over the heat, whisking continuously on a medium heat until the stuff thickens. It will take five minutes or so.
- Take off the heat, add your coconut cream (from your can of coconut milk - which FYI, if you open the can and the creamy stuff isn't set, you can still use it. Just scoop out the cream and leave the water below it. If you get some of the water into your custard it doesn't matter one bit) whisking until combined and smooth. Add the black salt, turmeric and vanilla, whisking once more ensuring the yellow from the turmeric is evenly dispersed throughout the custard. Set aside to chill in your fridge or freezer (if your impatient) while you make your pastry shells.
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Take a sheet of your pastry, sprinkle it with cinnamon, then roll it up tightly into a log and cut into four little caterpillars (or just smaller logs). Watch my video below if you're confused at all about this process.
- Now take a log, stand it up on it's end then use your wrist to smoosh it down into a little disk. Use a rolling pin (or something similar), roll the circle a little thinner. Repeat with all the little logs of cinnamon puff pastry, making more from your other sheets of puff until you've got 12 disks of pastry.
- Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with vegan butter and then line each hole with your pastry disks. Smooth it up the sides and then if your custard is still quite warm at this stage, leave your pastry to chill in the fridge until the custard has cooled.
- When the custard is at least 70% chilled, take it and your muffin tin out of the fridge/freezer. Divide the custard amongst the tartlets, only filling them 3/4 full at the most. Sprinkle each tart with a little coconut sugar for that burnt sugar effect.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is cooked & lightly golden. You don't want to overcook these as the custard will bubble over the sides.
- Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in. Best served fresh or at least the day of making them.
Real-Deal Mac & Cheese // Vegan + GF + RSF
11 / 07 / 2018
This mac & cheese is so much like the original it's simply glorious. The sauce is so much creamier and luscious than any cashew, potato and carrot based one you'll ever make. They're delicious don't get me wrong - but when you try this version you sort of realise that they're their own thing and that this, THIS is the stuff to behold when you're wanting some outstanding Mac & Cheese. My whole family devoured this ridiculously quickly as soon as I made it honeybunches, and I know you will do the same if you make it. It's HEAVEN!!!
- 300g small-shaped pasta (I used a GF elbows shape which mopped up the sauce wonderfully)
- 100g vegan ham/bacon, diced
- 1 small onion, diced finely
- 2 tsp minced/crushed garlic (2 cloves)
- 2 1/2 tbsp vegan butter (or light flavoured oil)
- 2 1/2 tbsp flour (GF if desired)
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- cream from 1 x 400g chilled can of coconut milk (I used the Macro brand from Woolworths if you live Australia and were wondering)
- 1 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 heaped tsp miso paste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- juice from 1 cheek of lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside until needed.
- In a small non-stick saucepan or non-stick pot add the vegan ham/bacon and saute in a little olive oil until slightly golden brown. Tip the ham into a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan/pot add the onion and garlic along with a little more olive oil and saute until soft and lightly golden.
- Add the vegan butter, leave to melt (or let your oil heat up) then add the flour and vegetable stock powder, stiring to form a roux. Stir and let the flour cook off for a minute or two.
- Add all the soy milk in stages, switching to a whisk for this process to ensure a smooth (as much as it can be with the onion in there) sauce is formed. Keep whisking for a handful of minutes until the white sauce thickens into a sexy looking thick white sauce. Remove from the heat.
- Add you coconut cream (if it's a dud of a can and the cream actually isn't hard when you open it, then just scoop out as much of the white stuff as you can, leaving as much of the water as possible - it will all work out I promise) and remaining ingredients (down to and including the pepper), whisking until smooth and seriously delicious. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta along with the vegan bacon (that you crisped up) until everything is coated and looking mighty fine. Serve and enjoy.
Warming Chilli Con Carne // Vegan + GF + RSF
11 / 07 / 2018
This is a warming staple dish that works wonderfully as is, along side some rice or quinoa, OR (if you're wanting to live a little) over some corn chips with some vegan cheese and avo on top. It's flavourful and full of all the good stuff, beans & veg. It's a weeknight-wonder as they say !! Anyhoo it's pretty simple stuff and is a great recipe for TVP users, or enjoyers or those who want to experiment with the stuff. It's around the place these days in health food shops and what-not, but if you can't find it ANYWHERE then may I point you to the internet because you'll definitely be able to get some shipped to wherever you are.
- 1 1/2 cups TVP mince (or any small shape of the stuff will do)
- 2 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 heaped tsp minced/crushed garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 1 green capsicum, diced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- generous pinch each of cloves, nutmeg & chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped/crushed tomatoes
- 2 x 400g tins of kidney beans, drained
- 1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
- 1 heaped tsp coconut sugar
- to serve: rice, natural coconut yogurt, avocado slices, chopped corriander & lime
- In a medium bowl, combine the TVP, vegetable stock along with 2 cups of warm water. Set aside to absorb all the water and do it's thing.
- In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft and lightly golden brown.
- Add the diced capsicums, sauteing for a few minutes more until they are slightly softened and caramelised.
- Add all the spices and stir for a minute or two - being careful not to burn them. Add the tomato paste, stir to combine and coat everything, then add the tomatoes, kidney beans, 1 x 400g tins worth of water and the TVP (along with any left over water in the bowl that it was soaking it). Stir to combine then add the cocoa powder and coconut sugar along with a sprinkle each of salt & pepper. Bring to the boil, pop on the lid and reduce the heat - leaving to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir before serving over rice, quinoa, corn chips (whatever you fancy) along with some coconut yogurt, coriander, lime and avocado if you have some/want to. Enjoy!
Chocolate & Raspberry Friands // Vegan + RSF
03 / 07 / 2018
I have been a friand fan since I was given this chocolate cookbook pretty young and made this one Chocolate Raspberry Friand recipe whenever I had the chance. Friands are these dense, egg-white laden, butter-filled cakes that have almond meal in on the mix and simply taste outrageously good. Considering the ingredients of the traditional variety, they're a little hard to veganize, and these took me a couple of (kinda expensive) tries to get right. They need to tick a bunch of boxes, the dense box, the moist box, the easy to extract from the tin box, let alone the flavor box. I'm stocked with the result and know you will be too honeybunches - if you need to impress someone who's coming round, shove one of these and a fork in their hand and wait for them to go gooey with delight!!
Makes 10-12 Friands
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup almond meal (also known as almond flour)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup plant milk (rice, soy, almond etc.)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- frozen raspberries (or fresh but - you know... wow$a$!)
- chopped, or flaked almonds
- Preheat your oven to 160C, and on a slow setting (if your oven has it, otherwise fan-forced is fine too).
- In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients down to and including the salt through a fine sieve. If there's a couple of clumps of almond meal left in the sieve, just add that to the bowl it's fine.
- In another bowl, combine the oil, maple, vanilla, plant milk and coconut sugar with a whisk until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking until smooth.
- Butter and flour a 12 hole muffin tin (or friand tin if you have it), divide the mixture amongst the holes - ensuring they are at least 1cm below the rim of the each hole.
- Smoosh in a couple of raspberries into each friand, as well as some flaked/chopped almonds. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes (be careful not to over cook them as a dry friand is a very unhappy little thing), letting cool in the tin slightly before turning out and serving.
Vegan Croque Monsieur // RSF
03 / 07 / 2018
I have been a Croque Monsieur fan from the first time I sampled this seriously simple yet oh so delicious dish. At the crux of it, it's a ham and cheese sandwich, but my-oh-my is it so much more than that!
If you've never had one, it's a toasted sandwich with a heck tonne of white sauce as well as cheese which essentially makes it all the more gooey, delicious, cheesy - yet not really as the cheese sauce doesn't actually have any cheese in it itself.
I cannot wait for you to try this. It's heaven. The stuff of dreams and the perfect super simple and do-able thing to feed to 'vegan cheese sceptics' that think us plant munchers have to miss out on all the fun.
Makes 4 Croque Monsieurs
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 small/medium onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp plain flour (you can use GF if need be)
- 2 tbsp grapeseed (or light tasting) oil, or vegan butter
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- the cream out of 1 x 400g tin coconut milk, that has been chilled for at least an hour
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt & pepper
- vegan butter
- bread of choosing (makes enough for around 8 slices of bread - aka 4 servings)
- vegan ham
- tomato slices
- vegan cheese shreds
- Pre-heat your oven to it's highest heat on the oven/grill setting.
- In a non-stick saucepan, or fry-pan (up to you), add the tsp of olive oil, garlic and onion, sauteing until soft and lightly browned.
- Add the flour, 2 tbsp of oil and vegetable stock powder, mixing with a wooden spoon for a minute or two, until the flour coats everything and cooks off a little. Be careful not let the flour burn, by stirring constantly.
- Next add the soy milk, in a couple of stages, whisking to incorporate after each interval (3 stages is what I did) until all of it is added to the roux. Add the coconut cream and whisk in until smooth.
- Turn the heat down to medium, and whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes that luscious white sauce you've been hoping for. It should only take a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and add the nutmeg and a generous pinch of salt & pepper.
- Line a baking tray, get out your bread slices, vegan ham, vegan cheese and tomato slices. Build up your Croque Monsieurs, by buttering the underside of the bottom piece of bread, then add your ham/tomato on top of that slice. Spoon onto of your sandwich filling some of the white sauce followed by a little sprinkle of vegan cheese, then add the other piece of bread on top of that to create your sandwich. Finish with another spoonful of the white sauce, and sprinkle with vegan cheese.
- Cook your Monsieurs in your preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, or until golden and the cheese on the top is bubbling away. Enjoy immediately honeybunches!! These are great with a light salad for a lunch or brunch with loved ones.