Sunday, 31 January 2016

Vegan Banana Malt Loaf Recipe

After my long awaited return (well I’m not sure how many people have been waiting with baited breath but if you missed be or not I’m back) to blogging this month, and whilst it is still January I thought I would post another vegan recipe for anyone still on for completing veganuary! This time a sweet treat in the form of a sticky banana malt loaf. After spotting a jar of malt extract in my local greengrocers I had a sudden craving for a malt loaf so added the jar to my basket and when I got home started rooting around for my trusted banana malt loaf recipe. But alas I couldn’t find it! Now it may not be one of my absolute regular turn to bakes but it was a recipe that was always a success. So I turned to the trusted interweb for help instead and came across this recipe over at the Guardian. A few little alterations later, including the addition of banana, as well as a lot of flour as my mixture seemed very wet, and voila I had malt loaf.

The real challenge with this bake is to not tuck in as soon as the loaf is out of the oven. This is a teatime treat that gets better with age so wrap it up in baking parchment and pop in an airtight box and leave it for a few day. If, as me, you only have tinfoil in your cupboard grease this a little before wrapping up your loaf otherwise you will spend considerable amounts of time picking little bits of foil out of your malt loaf before you can actually eat the bloomin thing!

So there’s my second blog for January, I’m on a roll (gives self a premature pat on back…will look back on this at the end of April when I haven’t blogged since January and sigh!!). But until then hope you enjoy this sticky, stodgy and vegan delight.


350g malt syrup
75g treacle
200g dates, roughly chopped
150ml strong black tea (I used earl grey)
50g caster sugar
1 large ripe banana, mashed
200g plain flour
150g rye flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/GM4

Put the dates into a heatproof bowl and add the malt extract, treacle, sugar and tea. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes so the fruit can soak up some of the liquid. 

After 15 minutes add the banana and mix together thoroughly before adding the flours, baking powder and salt. Fold all of the ingredients until well combined and transfer to a lined loaf tin. 

Bake for an hour until firm to the touch. And don't panic if the mixture looks like it has sunk a little.

Once the loaf has cooled remove from the tin, wrap it up in greaseproof paper and leave for at least 3 days to allow the loaf to mature and become a little more stodgy and sticky before tucking in!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Vegan sweet potato and soya burgers

It's been a long time since I lasted posted anything on the blog, a really long time, 9 months in fact. The only excuse I have is life got in the way a bit. In that time I finished a PhD, spent a while job hunting, moved to a foreign country and started a new job (in said foreign country). And although life hasn't stopped me being busy in the kitchen it has got in the way of me actually documenting what it is I have been baking up. I thought the excuse of life getting in the way a bit was a fairly good one but at least one of my blog reading regulars disagreed (you know who you are!!!!). So here I am back blogging and I am going to try a blog a bit more this year, although after my hiatus from the blogging-sphere last year I don't think I could do an awful lot worse....but maybe I shouldn't tempt fate. But for now I'm back blogging and I will try (I promise) to keep this up.

As I make this resolution to blog a little more (although don't hold me to it) lots of other people are trying to stick to their New Years Resolutions. Whilst quite a lot of people are trying to keep off the booze for January other people are giving up meant and Veganuary has become a thing. Whilst I haven't given up my carnivorous ways just yet I thought I would kick off my blogging year with a vegan burger to help those that may be sticking to their resolutions a little more successfully than me!

Serves 2 (very generously)

2 medium sweet potatoes
100g dried soya mince
50ml boiling water
1 teaspoon marmite
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
50g wholemeal flour
a splash of olive  oil for frying

Begin by pricking the sweet potatoes with a fork and placing in a microwave for 2 minutes on high. After 2 minutes give the potatoes a squeeze and if they still feel firm zap for another minute.

Remove the potatoes from the microwave and set aside to cool.

Place the soy mince in a heatproof bowl, add the hot water, marmite, tomato puree and seasoning, stir so well combined and set aside until the soy mince has absorbed all of the water.

Meanwhile (once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle) remove the skin from the potatoes and mash. Then add to the soy mix and mix until fully combined. Then add the flour and use your hands to bring the mixture together. NOTE - I have made these burgers twice and the second time the mixture was much wetter so required a bit more flour, but add more flour as needed until you can shape the mixture into a burger shape.

Divide the mixture in 2 and shape into 2 burgers, either free style of as I like to by squishing the mixture into a large biscuit cutter to create perfect rounds.

Place a frying pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil. Once the oil is hot transfer the burgers to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until golden in colour.

I ruined the veganess of the dish by serving my burger in bun with gherkins and a big slice of melted cheese on top but without the extra dairy this recipe is perfect for a veganuary treat!