And now the end is near, so I face the final curtain…
Do you know that the lyrics for My Way were written by songwriter Paul Anka specifically for Frank Sinatra, who had revealed that he wanted to retire and wanted Anka to write one last song for him?
Little did Anka know that Sinatra wouldn’t actually retire and that the song would go down in the annals of history, covered by the likes of Elvis Presley, Nina Simone, Sid Vicious, Jay-Z and Robbie Williams (ah and we are doing so well – sorry Robbie!).
Hang on. We’re four paragraphs into this week’s blog and there has been zero reference to food Chef Chris! What’s all this music malarkey about?
Don’t fret dear blog reader, as always there is a method to my cheffy madness.
It’s just My Way (see what I did there) of bringing the curtain down on Veganuary,
It’s being a record year with more people turning to a vegan diet during January than ever before and whilst, inevitably there will be some that didn’t make the full month (which definitely applied to Dry January – hic..) the fact is they tried it and well done for doing so.
More than 1,200 new vegan products and menus were launched for Veganuary 2020, which is amazing. We have tried many ourselves and they are just getting better and better, so there’s never been a better time to forgo anything which is free of animal products.
Now the one thing that used to lag behind when it came to vegan food was dessert.
That’s because cream, butter, milk, honey, eggs form the basis of some of the world’s most famous desserts, which originally didn’’t bode well for the sweet-toothed vegan. However, there are now so many alternatives available which make it easier to create the desserts you like. So, for example, aquafaba (the water found in tins of chickpeas) is great for making egg-free meringues, dairy milk can now be replaced with oat or almond milk, and coconut milk is a great substitute for cream.
And guess what, whether it’s traditional and contemporary puddings, they all taste every bit as good as their dairy-filled counterparts.
So, when it comes to vegan food, you don’t need to bring the curtain completely down just because January is over. Some may already have been fully converted to the Vegan Way (we sound like The Mandalorian – how good is that show by the way!), but for everyone else there’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy vegan food, even if it’s every now and then.
We certainly think Ol Blue Eyes would have approved of this week’s recipe:
The ultimate vegan chocolate cake
- 120g vegan butter
- 220g light brown sugar
- 330g plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 5g baking powder
- 225g sweetened soy milk
- 110g vegetable oil
- 100g golden syrup
- 15g vanilla essence
- 1 vanilla pod halved and the seeds scraped out
In a kitchen mixer place all ingredients in the bowl with the whisk attachment connected and mix all the ingredients till the mixture is light and creamy. Place in a 160oc preheated oven in 2x18cm cake tins lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 25 minutes or until till a cake skewer comes out clean when inserted. Allow to cool for before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
Vegan chocolate ganache:
- 130g 95% dark chocolate
- 130g sweetened soy milk
- 120g liquid glucose
In a small sauce pan heat up the soy milk and glucose and cook for 5 minutes then pour onto the chocolate and mix well till smooth and glossy. Allow to cool down for 5 minutes before pouring over the chocolate cake covering the whole thing in the rich ganache. Place in the fridge to cool and set.
Vegan chocolate icing:
- 50g golden syrup
- 75g vegan butter
- 15g coco powder
- 5g vanilla essence
- 50g 95% dark chocolate
- 35g sweetened soy milk
In a plastic microwavable bowl melt together the chocolate and golden syrup together gently. Leave to one side to allow to cool, once cool in a kitchen mixer with the whisk attachment whisk together all the ingredients till they are combined and a smooth icing is formed. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes till firmed up then fill a piping bag and pipe on the butter icing on top of the ganache cake. Place back in the fridge to allow to set again.
Vegan bitter sweet chocolate mousse:
- 200g 95% dark chocolate
- 145g water
- 105g golden syrup
- 90g sweetened soy milk
- 40g liquid glucose
In a small sauce pan heat up the soy milk, golden syrup, glucose and water and bring to the boil, put the dark chocolate in a bowl pour over the water soy mix leave for 2 minutes then stir to make sure the chocolate is melted. Place the bowl over ice and start whisking this will cool the mix down and add air be sure to take the bowl on and off the ice while still whisking this will stop the chocolate mousse from setting too hard. When the mousse is firm enough to scoop leave to one side but not in fridge till ready to plate.
- 30g cocoa powder
- 50g liquid glucose
- 100g golden syrup
- 20g cornflour
- 135g soy milk
- 130g water
In a small sauce pan over a low heat, mix together and cook the cocoa powder, golden syrup, liquid glucose and water till combined then mix the cornflour and soy milk together add to the other ingredients and cook till thickened. Leave to cool in fridge.
Dark chocolate shard:
In a plastic microwavable bowl, gently heat up the chocolate heating in 10-15 second bursts mixing after every heating. Eventually the chocolate will be liquid. Roll out a square of cling film with 3 layers and spread the chocolate out very thinly on the cling film transfer to a flat tray and put in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set and go crispy. Use the crisp chocolate shard to decorate the cake and for extra indulgence serve with bitter sweet chocolate mousse.