Vegan Christmas Pudding

A little while ago I was asked to take part in the John Lewis “Stir-up Sunday” Christmas pudding making event at Waitrose Cookery School, and boy was it ACE.

Ok so basically I’d never heard of Stir-up Sunday before, but apparently it’s a thing.  A real thing where people gather together and make delicious Chrimbo puddings – whoop!  Read all about it here if you wanna, because the more you know… etc.

My creation. SO boozy. SO delicious.

The aim of the evening was to make our very own puddings to take home with us, and while we waited for them to cook we could partake in a bit of cocktail making, food eating and general gossip, chit chat and “getting to know you” kind of vibes.  There were about 20 of us there and we were split into four teams for the purpose of pud making.  Shout out to the vegan squad – we were so high in number that we had to be split into TWO groups #teamvegan.

Long Winter Negronis that we made ourselves because we’re awesome cocktail makers now.

The pud making itself was surprisingly easy, and the ingredients aren’t that difficult to source.  Considering I’m not a huge fan of Christmas pudding, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome – meaning, it was hot damn tasty.

Our gorgeous dinner – all vegan AND gluten free. BOOM.

John Lewis have kindly allowed us to share the recipe for the pudding, which I’ve included below.  Check out their write up of the evening here too, which also includes the recipe and some photos taken on the night.

I couldn’t actually wait until Christmas to try the puds, so I’ve already demolished my two (I had help…).  They were absolutely gorgeous, so if you plan on making traditional Christmas puddings this year, you should give this one a go.  Top notch, guys.

vegan xmas pudding.jpg
The end result – vegan Christmas pudding (photo courtesy of John Lewis)


25g dairy-free soya spread
1 tbsp milled flaxseed
60g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
25g coconut oil, melted
40ml black treacle
55ml stout
1 tbsp dark rum
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
40g peeled, cored and coarsely grated Bramley apple, mixed with lemon juice
10g blanched almonds, roasted and chopped
75g currants
20g mixed peel
20g Forest Feast sour cherries
200g vegan mincemeat


Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease 4 mini pudding basins and 4 small circles of baking parchment with the soya spread and set aside. Mix the flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of cold water and set aside for at least ten minutes, or until it becomes jelly-like and makes a ‘flax egg’.

Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves into a medium mixing bowl, then add the flax egg and the melted coconut oil. Mix the treacle with the stout and rum in a measuring jug. Pour this mixture into the bowl and whisk everything together thoroughly. Stir in the lemon zest, apple, almonds, currants, peel, cherries and mincemeat.

Divide the mixture between the prepared basins and top each one with a circle of greased parchment. Wrap each basin in an 18cm square of foil and fold under the edges of the basins.

Place the basins into a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come 2.5cm up the sides of the basins. Carefully place the tin in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the puddings are springy and firm to the touch in the centre. Remove from the oven, unwrap, remove the parchment and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Carefully run a small knife around each one and turn out onto warm serving plates.


Time to make: 15 minutes to mix the ingredients, 50 minutes to bake, 10 minutes standing time = 75 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 1.5, so simple to make, basically just mix and shove in the oven

#nowplaying: Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today



Chocolate tofu cheesecake

How do you make a “healthy” dessert that doesn’t look or taste healthy?  Make this vegan chocolate cheesecake with silken tofu.  EASY.

Ok ok, there’s plenty of chocolate in here but when you hold that up against the silken tofu (all that protein!), the dates (so fibrous!), the almonds (hello vitamin E!) and the hemp milk (oh heyyyyyy calcium!) you’d be hard pressed to find a healthier cheesecake in a non-vegan recipe.  But we don’t do non-vegan around these parts, do we?

*wipes drool off chin*

And the ridiculous thing is, it tastes delicious.  Don’t be put off by the tofu – it really doesn’t taste like it.  I had a mild panic attack when I put the the silken tofu in the blender without any of the other ingredients and gave it a whizz, as it smelled so much like tofu.  No one wants to eat cake that tastes and smells like tofu, unless you’re hardcore vegan level 5,890 or something.

Adding the melted chocolate, vanilla, cacao powder and agave ensured that the filling tasted not like tofu at all.  In fact, the urge to lick not only the food processor, but stick my finger in the filling itself was overwhelming.  You can even just make the filling without the base and have yourself a tofu mousse (SO GOOD).

And the best thing about this recipe?  No baking.  The joys!

Go nuts with the toppings – raspberries, cream, nuts, chocolate shavings etc. and create something you really want to eat.  I just popped some hazelnuts on the top and circled with some cacao nibs for this one.

Sexy cross-section viewz

Here’s the recipe, go forth and veganize, folks.



1 cup almonds (most other nuts (hazelnuts, pecans) can also be used)

1 cup medjool dates

Pinch of salt


200g dark chocolate

350g silken tofu (DO NOT use firm tofu! You will regret it…)

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoons plant milk (I used hemp, but soy, almond or oat will also work)

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon agave


Pulse the almonds with a pinch of salt in a food processor with a sharp blade until relatively fine. I kept mine a little chunky, but it’s personal choice!

Add the pitted dates and pulse/blend until well combined.  You want the mix to hold together when you press it in your hands.  It might look loose and not sticky when you’re blending, but give it a squash with your hands and you’ll know if it’s ready to go.

Line a 9 inch spring-form tin with clingfilm or baking paper.

Transfer the blended ingredients to the spring-form tin and press down firmly.  I use my fingers because it’s easier to get the base even around the sides.  Press, press, press and put aside.

Melt the chocolate using a bain marie method (see here) until smooth.

While the chocolate is melting, add the tofu to your (cleaned) food processor and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients (cocoa powder, melted chocolate, vanilla extract, plant milk, agave and salt) and blend until smooth.

Taste (try not to eat the entire mix…) and adjust with more agave if needed.

Transfer the chocolate tofu mix to the cake base and smooth over the top, ensuring an even spread of chocolate mix across the cake.

Add your favourite toppings.

Place in the fridge and chill.  Best served straight from the fridge, but can be served at room temperature.

Time to make: 10 minutes base, 10 minutes melting chocolate, 10 minutes filling, 5 minutes putting together = 35 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, relatively simple, just a faff making the two parts separately

#nowplaying: Isis Unveiled – …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

Matcha-lime cheesecake (vegan/raw)

Probably the sexiest thing I have ever made to date…


I recently bought a (very expensive) small packet of matcha on a whim and wasn’t sure what kind of recipe to incorporate it into.  There are so many options for adding matcha to sweet treats, so making a raw cheesecake seemed like a good option.  I’m a big fan of citrus fruits, and matcha kinda goes with lime (they’re both green, right?!) – and adding pineapple to the second layer makes it ultra citrus-y and delicious.

img_6649There are plenty of recipes for raw cheesecakes online, so just search around for what you think you might like and go from there.  As with all the recipes on this blog this one is dairy and egg free.


If you have a spare day on the weekend you’ll smash this one… patience you must have, my young padawan 😉




1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup almonds (you can sub for any other nut here – hazelnuts or pecans would work)

6 medjool dates

Middle layer

1 cup cashews soaked for at least 4 hours (best overnight if possible)

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1/2 cup pineapple pieces (fresh or from a tin)

1/2 cup agave or brown rice syrup

Top layer

1/2 cup cashews (again, soaked overnight)

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp agave or brown rice syrup

juice of two limes

1 Tbsp matcha powder



Base layer – Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until well combined, around 60 seconds.  Scrape down the side as necessary.

Transfer to a small springform cake tin, lined with baking parchment.  Press down evenly.

Transfer tin to the fridge/freezer while you work on the second layer.

Middle layer – Add the cashews to the blender and blend until almost smooth.  Scrape down the sides as necessary.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Remove your cake tin from the fridge/freezer and add the blended middle layer to the top, using the back of a spatula to ensure even coverage.

Transfer cake tin to the freezer and allow to freeze for at least one hour.

Top layer – As with the middle layer, blend the cashews first.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  If the colour is too pale green add some more matcha and blend again.

Remove the cake tin from the freezer (after allowed hour) and transfer the top layer onto the middle layer.

Smooth with the back of a spatula and then place back in the freezer.

Allow at least an hour to freeze.

When ready to serve, allow five to ten minutes out of the freezer before cutting.


Time to make: 15 minutes for each layer, 2 hours in the freezer = 2 hours 45 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 3.5, each layer is kinda straightforward, but there’s the fun of going back and forth to the freezer.

#nowplaying Deap Vally – Smile More

Basic bitch banana & walnut bread

I LOVE me a good banana bread.  There are so many things you can put in them (blueberries, chocolate chips, poppyseed etc.) and many and varied ways of making the bread itself.  Because you’re on this blog however, let me show you how to make yourself a basic bitch VEGAN banana bread.

No weird ingredients, no faffing, just basic and hot damn tasty.  When I make this bread it rarely makes it out of the house, or lasts for longer than a day, it’s SO yum.  I’ll usually make bread when I have overloaded on smoothie bananas in the freezer and have to use up ultra spotty bananas some other way.


If you manage not to scoff the entire loaf within hours of it coming out of the oven, it’s a good idea to cut into slices and individually wrap them – chuck them in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer if you want to keep some for later.

But honestly, it won’t last long 😉

Nice nuts.


1 1/2 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar of your choice)

2 medium bananas, mashed

1/3 cup plant milk (I used hemp in this recipe but any other plant milk will be fine)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus a few reserved for the topping


Preheat oven to 185C (365F).

Grease and line a 20cm x 12cm (or thereabouts) loaf tin.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl combine the oil and sugar.  Stir until well combined.

Add the bananas and milk to the large bowl with the sugar and oil, and stir well.

Transfer the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in the walnuts (feel free to add chocolate chips or blueberries here instead!).

Transfer the mix to the lined baking tin.  Place the reserved walnuts on top for decoration.

Place the tin on the middle rack in the oven and cook for around 45 minutes, rotating half way.

Check to see if ready by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the bread – if it comes out clean you should be ready to go.

Allow to cool (if you have the patience for it…) for 30 minutes, then slice and serve.

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 45 minutes cooking = around an hour, plus cooling time

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5.  Basic bitch is as basic bitch does!

#nowplaying PiL – Death Disco

Matcha bliss balls

Yup, officially obsessed with matcha.  When an ingredient makes food look this colour though, who WOULDN’T be obsessed?!  The flavour isn’t overpowering either, so there are loads of recipes you can add it to without making the finished product taste odd.

IMG_5965I’m currently on a quest for the perfect bliss ball, so thought try some using the green goodness of matcha.  Bliss balls are so easy to make, and you can pretty much put anything in there and they’ll taste awesome.  Use different nuts, add some dates, coat with chocolate – the variations are endless.

These were rolled separately in black sesame seeds and desiccated coconut, but feel free to leave plain. (OR dip in chocolate – everyone’s preferred option, surely!) An awesome, raw, sweet pick-me-up for your morning or afternoon snacking.



3/4 cup macadamia nuts (you can use brazil nuts or almonds if you prefer)

1.5 cups of desiccated coconut

2.5 tsp matcha powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup rice malt syrup (or agave if you prefer)

2.5 tsp vanilla extract

Optional – black sesame seeds/desiccated coconut/dark chocolate for coating


Grab your blender, chuck in all the ingredients, blend until all ingredients are combined and chopped sufficiently.

Transfer to a flat container and place in the freezer for around 15 minutes, or until just firm.  You don’t want to roll them into balls immediately as the mix will be too sloppy and go everywhere!

Remove from freezer and roll into small balls.

Roll in black sesame seeds or coconut and you’re all done.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 2 minutes in the blender, 15 minutes in the freezer, 5 minutes rolling in coating = around 30 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5 – Easy peasy!

#nowplaying Glass Animals – Youth

Vegan chocolate honeycomb

Another flashback to my youth in the land down under – Violet Crumble anyone?  Crunchie perhaps?  Gone are the days spending pocket money on a king sized Crunchie chocolate bar for morning tea (or sometimes for breakfast, alongside a packet of Twisties… how am I not dead?!), so now I have to make something similar from scratch to curb the cravings.

Making honeycomb is SO much fun, but it contains SO much sugar.  This is definitely a treat recipe, not a staple!  Makes you realise how much c r a p is in commercially sold chocolate bars.  At least with this recipe you know exactly what’s going into it.  The fun part is chucking in the bicarb soda – you’ll feel like you’re in a science lab, for real.


Only four ingredients in this you’ll be happy to know, but it does take a bit of faffing.  It’s not the most immediate of chocolate craving crushers, but it’s worth it for the deliciousness that is waiting at the end.  The only question to answer now is – will you keep it in the fridge or leave it out?  That age old argument…


3 Tbsp rice malt syrup

1 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp bicarb soda

1 x block dark chocolate, melted (approximately 150 grams)


Line a small baking tin/dish with parchment paper so that the paper is hanging over the sides (my dish measures 18cm x 10cm)

Add the rice malt syrup and coconut sugar to a medium sized saucepan (not a small one!) and stir occasionally on low heat.  You want all of the sugar to have melted, so continue to stir for up to 10 minutes, or until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Once dissolved, bring to the boil and without stirring, let the mix gently boil for about a minute.

Remove saucepan from the hob and add in the bicarb soda, stirring to combine.

The mix will fluff up a bit – the fluffier the better!  Ensure all of the bicarb soda is mixed in, but try not to over-stir.

Transfer the mix to the lined baking tin and allow to cool.

Once the mix has cooled, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

Dat honeycomb…

The next day, remove the honeycomb from the fridge, remove from the baking tray and chop into bite sized chunks.  No need to be regimented here, rustic is good!

Line a baking tray/dish with parchment paper as before.

Melt the chocolate using the double boiler method.

Place the chopped honeycomb into a large bowl and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top.  Stir to combine.

Transfer the chocolate honeycomb mix to the lined baking tray/dish and press down with a spatula to ensure there are few gaps in the mix.

Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.

Remove from the fridge and serve immediately.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes on the hob/pan, 5 minutes combining = 25 minutes (plus overnight)

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2 – be careful not to burn the sugar/syrup mix, plus waiting time is excruciating!

#nowplaying The Cribs – We Share The Same Skies

Apricot danish

Pastry is life.  Every time I buy a roll of Jus Rol pastry it goes within the day.  Not raw mind you (I’m not that silly… although it does taste nice raw too), but made into anything and everything – savoury, sweet, big, small, as long as it’s tasty.

I used to buy danish pastries a LOT when I first started working.  It didn’t help that I worked in a cafe that had an abundant pre-made supply.  Then I worked as a junior baker and we baked danish pastries from scratch.  Apricot were always my favourite.

This is a pretty basic recipe, no faffing at all, and very delicious.  You could substitute apricot for blueberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches – you name it, it’ll probably work.  As long as you like the fruit, you’ll love it with pastry!




2 x rectangle sheets of puff pastry (mine were approx 15cm x 10cm), room temperature

1 x apricot, peeled and halved (see here for how to easily peel an apricot)

1 x tablespoon apricot jam or marmalade

Optional – handful of slivered almonds


Preheat your oven to 220C (425F).

Arrange a baking tray with parchment paper to cover and place pastry rectangles on paper to warm to room temperature.

Once your pastry is at room temperature, fold the corners into the middle of the pastry, then place your halved apricot in the middle (see below).


Brush pastry with slightly warmed jam/marmalade (5 seconds in the microwave should be plenty).

Sprinkle slivered almonds on top.

Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, but check so as not to burn.

Serve immediately, or can be kept at room temperature for around 2 days.


Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking = 30 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5, not much to this recipe, which we like!

#nowplaying Blossoms – Charlemagne


Vegan cherry ripe

Is there such a thing as Cherry Ripe chocolate bars in the UK?  If there is, I haven’t found one yet.  And who cares anyway, because you can make them yourself!

I used to demolish Cherry Ripe bars when I was living in Australia, and along with Bounty bars they were top of the pile as far as naughty chocolate snacks go.  The fact that these home made ones aren’t so naughty makes them even better.  Four kinds of fruit (I KNOW!) and totally delicious.  Give them a try and let me know how yum they are.




Bar ingredients
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp coconut oil (ensure melted)
1 Tbsp agave
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh cherries
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
2 medjool dates

Chocolate coating
3 Tbsp coconut oil
4 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp agave


Line a 10cm by 5cm (or similar size) baking tin/dish with parchment paper that extends up the sides.

Add the bar ingredients to the food processor and blend until all ingredients are combined and broken down. You can leave a few chunks if you like, but I like it better when it’s smooth!

Transfer the mix to your lined baking tin and press down firmly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Ensure the mix is spread out evenly and flat on the top.

Place the bar mix in the freezer to set for approximately 2 hours, while you go and watch your favourite YouTubers for a bit 😉

Freeze me.

Remove bar mix from the freezer after the allocated time and cut into bars. Leave in the baking tin and return to the freezer while you make your chocolate coating.

Mix the chocolate coating ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Ensure your coconut oil is fully melted (but not hot) before mixing with the agave and cacao powder. Depending on what time of year it is, you will find that coconut oil will either be hard or completely melted. Right now it’s summer, so mine was melted and ready to go. (Although if you live somewhere like Australia or Cuba my guess is that your coconut oil is always on the melted side… don’t make me jealous now!)

Line a medium sized baking tray with parchment paper, big enough to fit all of your bars on without touching.

Remove the bars from the freezer and one by one, dip your bars into the chocolate coating. I use a fork and a spoon for this to ensure full coverage (and less chocolate-y hands).

Once coated, place the bars on the parchment covered baking tray to set.

When all the bars are coated, return to the freezer to set.

The chocolate coating should set quickly, so you can tuck into one of them after around ten minutes.

These can be kept in the freezer or fridge, depending on which you prefer.

They are best enjoyed cold, as the chocolate does tend to melt a bit when left at room temperature, especially for you guys who live in a warm climate..!

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 2 hours to set, 10 minutes to coat, five minutes to set = 2 hours, 25 minutes (take out the setting times and it’s only 20 minutes out of your day!).

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2.5, fairly fuss free but there is a long waiting period to set the bars.  Coating them is also a bit fiddly if you’re not already an expert.

#nowplaying Moonlandingz – Sweet Saturn Mine

Raw chocolate orange bliss balls


I have now officially moved into the big time of small time cooking (!) – I bought a proper food processor.  Can you believe I’ve gone this long without one?  Crazy.

Making foods like these raw chocolate orange balls had been difficult previously – ever tried to make falafel by hand?  Or cheesecake crust in a – shudder – blender?!  This could be why my blender currently decided to give up the ghost and I had to throw it out.  Overuse and possibly using it for the completely wrong things.  Oops.

So first to be made in my new, all the bells and whistles Kenwood food processor were these chocolate orange bliss balls.  WAY easier with a food processor!  A pretty simple recipe too, difficult at all to make.


This recipe made around 25 small balls, but feel free to halve the recipe if you’re not feeding a load of people (which I wasn’t – whoops.  More for me).




10 Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup ground almonds/almond meal

1 tsp vanilla essence

Juice and zest of one large orange

Chocolate finish

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 Tbsp agave nectar


Place all the ball ingredients in a food processor and process until you get a sticky crumble (see below).


Roll into approximately 25 balls, more or less depending on what size you want them to be.

Mix the chocolate finish ingredients together in a small bowl/ramekin.  If your coconut oil isn’t yet melted do this first.  It’s currently the height of summer here so mine was already melted!

Dip the balls one by one into the finish and use two spoons to coat so you don’t get chocolate-y fingers (unless you want to, of course).

Place balls on a small baking sheet lined freezer tray.  Alternatively you can let them set on a wire rack so the chocolate finish drizzles off.  I personally like to have the chunky bits of chocolate on the bottom of the balls!

Feel free to add some dessicated coconut at this stage, or any other toppings.


Place the balls on the baking sheet into the freezer for 20 minutes, then serve immediately.

Can be kept in the fridge for up to five days.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep/blending, 10 minutes rolling balls, 10 minutes dipping in chocolate finish, 20 minutes in the freezer = 45 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2, chocolate dipping is a bit fiddly

# nowplaying Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy

Aquafaba chocolate mousse (vegan)


I’ve been eyeing off aquafaba (chickpea brine) mousse recipes on the internet for months now so decided to pull my finger out on the weekend and give it a try.

Chickpea brine smells SO gross, so I was hugely skeptical at first as to whether you could make something out of the stuff that would taste any good.  So now you know, don’t throw away the aquafaba, it’s liquid GOLD.

The key to this recipe is to make sure that you’ve fluffed up your aquafaba enough – I used a hand whisk and kept whisking (alternating arms!) for a good 15 minutes to get it to the required consistency.  It would be MUCH easier to use an electric beater, so if you have one to hand, do yourself (and your arms) a favour and use that instead.

My precious

Apart from the whisking, this is a pretty straightforward recipe with only three ingredients.  Give it a go – I need someone else to confirm that it doesn’t taste like chickpea brine!



100g good quality dark chocolate – as always, I used Lindt dark 70%

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp chickpea brine (aquafaba) – there should be at least this amount from one 400g tin of chickpeas

3 tsp vanilla essence


Break the chocolate into pieces and use a double boiler method (here’s a good step-by-step on how to do this) to melt the chocolate, 1 Tbsp aquafaba and the vanilla essence.  Stir occasionally until fully melted.

While the chocolate is melting, whisk the remainder of the aquafaba in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.  Be persistent – don’t stop until the peaks appear!


Once sufficiently whipped, add 1/4 of the aquafaba to the melted chocolate (taken off the heat) and stir until combined.



Now add the chocolate to the remainder of the aquafaba and fold until just combined.  You don’t want to mix it too much here as your mix will flatten and you won’t have fluffy mousse.

Keep it fluffy guys

Pour into ramekins or small bowls and  refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.


Makes dessert for four people (or two hungry ones!)

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 20 minutes whisking by hand (take off 15 minutes if using an electric beater), 10 minutes to combine = 35 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, whisking can be a pain if you don’t have an electric beater, but otherwise it’s fairly straightforward.

#nowplaying Holy F**k – Xed Eyes