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Tag: cooking

You Know, If Jesus Had Owned A Jesus Phone…

…he might have been able to think of a dish a little more imaginative than fish on bread.

Last Saturday I downloaded, for the very reasonable sum of £1.79, a new app for my iPhone: Vegan Recipe Finder by VegWeb.com. (I found it by accident, by clicking on the “New Apps” page in the AppStore while upgrading my existing apps). Their website already has 13,000+ user submitted vegan recipes; the app – which has literally just come out – simply exposes them in a very usable form.

As it happens, I was able to try it out the very next day, when my wife decided to do a spot of cooking for a picnic we were planning later that afternoon:

Jules: Can you look up on the Internet to see if you can find any choc chip muffins?

Me: [Holding up my iPhone and grinning in a way that was quite possibly both smug and idiotic] I don’t need to go on to the Internet love, I’ve got a new app!

I fired up the app, went into “Search”, tapped “Chocolate chip muffins” in… and was rewarded with 8 different recipes. (And that was just based on the recipe title. I later clicked on “Entire Recipe” and it came up with dozens).

The first couple of recipes we browsed through weren’t right for us, because they needed ingredients we didn’t have. But then we found one where we appeared to have what seemed like all the critical ingredients. It was perhaps a bit of a risk because it was the one with the least views and no ratings. But we needn’t have worried because it turned out great.

As an aside, that’s one of the things that I think is great about this app; you have so much choice that you can find a recipe that you can cook with the ingredients you currently have to hand, rather than having to head off out to the shops.

We selected a recipe by “CrumbledCookie”.

The recipes are laid out in a nice simple way; ingredients above and instructions below.

One issue for those of us in the UK is that the recipes are American and thus use cups (a system where ingredients such as flour are measured by volume rather than weight) and Fahrenheit. But as it happens, we’d already made sure to buy a measuring jug that had cups marked on it, and converting from Fahrenheit to centigrade (or gas mark) isn’t too hard. (And as @luciddestiny remarked when I mentioned the latter issue to him, “There’s an app for that”).

We didn’t have all the ingredients. We had no idea what turbinado sugar was, so we just used regular sugar. We didn’t have almond milk, so we used regular soya milk. And we didn’t have vanilla extract, so we just left that out.

But the results were still awesome. The muffins rose up wonderfully, and had a lovely, moist, creamy gooey consistency (plus a really nice flavour) that everyone (vegans and non-vegans alike) loved. We think maybe it was the bananas that provided the extra special texture.

Anyhow, here they are. (To right).

If you’re a vegan, I’d strongly recommend this app. The recipes look really good, it’s well-written (you can save your favourite recipes, email a recipe to someone, or send a link to a recipe to Facebook or Twitter), and it’s going to be very handy for those occasions where we’re in the supermarket, thinking on what we should buy and what we should cook.

And I can’t wait to try the vegan french toast recipe I found.

Three Minute Chocolate Cake

How cool would it be if you had some mates around (possibly after the consumption of some alcohol), and you asked them if they fancied some pudding, and less than ten minutes later you returned with some delicious chocolate sponge pudding cooked there and then from scratch? It would be cool right? Well it’s possible, and as of last Saturday, I know just how to do it.

Three minute cake

Last Saturday, we went to the Brighton Eco-Veggie Fayre. It was a good event, although if I was to be pedantic I’d say it would have been more accurately described as the Hove Vegan Festival, given that it was: a) in Hove; and b) vegan (all food and products on sale had to be “100% plant based”).

One of the rooms was dedicated to cookery demonstrations. We went to a couple, the best of which was by a good friend of ours Tony Bishop-Weston, writer of many good vegan cook books.

Tony demonstrated a couple of simple recipes, but the one that really caught my eye was for what he described as three-minute cake, which could be prepared in less than three minutes (when we did it, it probably took us more like five minutes because we were bickering over the ingredients), with just a few minutes more to cook.

Anyhow, here’s what you do:

– Add one mug of self-raising flour to a bowl.

– Add half a mug of oil (we used sunflower, Tony used red palm oil) to the bowl.

– Add half a mug of milk (we and Tony were using soya, but I guess cows milk would work too) to the bowl.

– Add a few teaspoonfuls of hot chocolate powder to the bowl.

– Add a few teaspoonfuls of sugar to the bowl.

– Mix. (We used a blender). It should be a slightly thick dough. We actually added a bit more milk and oil at this point, but then again, I think I’d put in a slightly heaped mugful of flour, so it might have been down to that.

– Pour into mugs, leaving plenty of room for it to rise. We put it into three mugs.

– Cook all the mugs in the microwave until you can put a knife in and it comes out clean. I did three minutes and then another two, and it was fine.

We topped them off with soya cream and ate two of them hot, with them tasting just like sponge pudding. I ate the third cold later that evening, and it was still delicious, but now just tasting like a chocolate sponge. You can see the result at the top of the page.

Try it. It really does work. And if you’re interested in more of Tony’s recipes, I’ve put some links to his books below:

The Complete Book of Vegan Cooking: Everything You Need to Know About Going Vegan, from Choosing Ingredients to Advice on Health and Nutrition

Vegan Cookbook: Over 90 Mouthwatering Recipes for All Occasions

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