Deep Fried Raw Nakd Cashew Bars

Mmmmmmm; raw food.

OK, so I realise that there's something inherently wrong about this blog post, I just can't figure out what it is. I <3 raw food and I <3 deep frying, so surely it's all good?

I started eating Nakd bars as soon as they came out and have consumed several hundred of their larger bars over the past few years (mostly as breakfast - I'm generally raw these days before 12). Their new smaller bars are alright, despite looking like something suspiciously different. I like the cashew type the most, however due to their size they're not quite a meal replacement.

So how better than served deep fried in cider batter?

I admit, I did this as a joke. I'd just made my dinner and was on the hunt for something to deep fry for dessert. I am however extremely surprised by how good it tastes!

It's not in the oil long enough to get really hot, but the heat it does get melts it slightly and makes the date become quite toffee like.

The batter is from a recipe I posted in December, using cider (hard cider) instead of beer.

I don't really have anything else to say, other than that I'm definitely making this again!! :D

Cinnamon Ring Doughnuts

So this isn't really a proper post; more of a confirmation that the previous doughnut recipe that I posted earlier this month is indeed better suited to ring doughnuts.

The process of making them is the same, except you roll out the dough and cut it into doughnut shapes before rising. I used a cookie cutter for the outer and the end of a shot measure for the inner. Half the recipe quoted previously makes 4 doughtnuts.

Raising on an oiled surface really helps with clean removal. Fry each in 190oc oil until done (golden brown), turning a few times:

When cooked, shake off excess oil and roll in a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon. Eat within a day.

Critique? Physically, they work. They do everything you'd expect and the end result looks as it should.

Taste wise they do have that lovely fresh doughnut taste to them, but it's more of an aftertaste as opposed to an in your face taste. Somehow I need to get more flavour into the dough, which could mean salt or a source of flavour (vanilla?). As they're going with cinnamon, I wonder if replacing water for apple juice would work?

The other criticism I have of them is that they're ever so slightly chewy. That is, they're not quite soft enough and melt in the mouth like. I'll work on it and let you know ;)


This isn't really a meal - more of a high calorie snack.

The concept is simple - 2 fried corn tortillas with melted cheese and salsa between them.

Fry half a red onion in a pan with a little sunflower oil, then add spices. I'm lazy and buy packets of fajita spice mix (Discovery in the UK is vegan), from which I use about a quarter.

Fry the spices for a couple of minutes, then add finely chopped seiten chicken pieces (I use Redwoods). Cook for a further minute or so, then add 200g (half a standard tin) of chopped tomatoes in juice.

As it starts to reduce down add half a tsp of black treacle and a half a tsp of smoked paprika (or as much as you like to get the desired level of heat).

When most of the liquid has boiled off and it tastes good, transfer to bowl and wipe out the pan.

In a second pan fry a corn tortilla in a little oil. When the edges start to brown flip it over and cook the other side.

Whilst this is in progress fry the other corn tortilla in the original pan (again with a little oil) and place meltable vegan cheese on top.

Spread the salsa mixture ontop of the cheese. You'll want the heat quite high to ensure it goes crispy and the cheese melts properly.

The tortilla being cooked on its own will finish first, so take it out the pan and place on top of the other.

When cooked both tortillas should be golden brown and starting to go crispy, without burning. Carefully remove the quesadilla from the pan (using 2 spatulas slid underneath) and transfer to a chopping board. Divide into quarters with a sharp knife and eat immediately.

Miniature Chocolate Chip Banana Drizzle Cake

Everybody say "awwwwww" - this is the smallest cake I've ever made.

Ages ago (years) I bought a couple of 4" spring form tins, which I don't remember using until tonight. Now that I'm living alone again I need to restrain myself from making standard 8" cakes ;)

I'm not sure how much of a success this cake was, I just decided to have a go. I made a standard sponge with banana and chocolate chips. I made banana drizzle icing, which I'm not sure (according to google anyway) anyone has done before. Perhaps with good reason? :p

It's pretty moist and I think I used a few too many chocolate chips and a bit too much banana. The cake itself physically worked and it tastes pretty good. I'm not so sure about the icing - I was aiming for a buttercream consistancy but a base of 25g mashed banana wouldn't allow this to happen. Personally I don't believe it has enough of the banana flavour in it.

For my notes as much as anything I'm blogging the recipe anyway, on the pretense that it needs some tweaking.

Cake Ingredients:
  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • 75g Castor Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100ml Water
  • 25ml Sunflower Oil
  • 75g Banana
  • 25g Dark Chocolate Chips
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, then add the oil and water. Mix to a batter. Add the banana and mash it into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and beat as much air in as possible.

Pour into two greased 4" springform tins and cook at 200oc for 20-25 mins.

Remove and allow to cool when an inserted cocktail stick can be withdrawn cleanly.

Icing Ingredients:
  • 25g Banana
  • 125g Icing Sugar
  • 10ml Soya Cream
Mash the banana and add 100g of the icing sugar in stages. Combine to a thin icing, then sieve the lumps/dark bits out. Add the remaining icing sugar and soya cream.

When the cake has cooled apply the icing and eat. As it's quite moist I'm guessing that it may improve over night.

Cream Doughnuts

Having been told in a health checkup this week that my cholesterol level is too low to be read (using 3 separate blood samples in two machines) I decided to celebrate with a spot of deep frying.

I sometimes make special trips to Co-op to buy their doughtnuts and used to buy Tesco and M&S ones when they were suitable. Nothing beats a freshly fried one however.

I veganised a recipe a few years back and whilst it worked, the taste just wasn't quite right. I was inspired by Terre a Terre to have another go and am pleased to report that the results were pretty good.

As always I'm going to give an honest review and not just say they're amazing because I made them. Fresh out the frier they were amazing - just like ones from fun fairs. I think this recipe would work best for traditional ring doughnuts served hot. Once cooled and filled (as I did with the remainder) they weren't as good. Therefore next time I make them I'll either do ring or play with the recipe a bit.

Ingredients (4 huge doughnuts):
  • 250g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 25g Margerine
  • 150ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Active Yeast
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Sugar
Place all ingredients in a bread maker and select the Italian dough/pizza setting (45 minutes on my Panasonic).

Place the dough on a floured surface and kneed for a couple of minutes with your hands.

Divide the mixture into 4 and shape into lozenges. Place on an oiled try in a warm area for 20-30 minutes (I use an oven that's been heated to 50oc, then turned off). During this time they should smooth out and gain in volume.

Heat your fryer to 190oc and cook each doughnut for about 3 minutes (turning regularly).

I've just acquired a camera that shoots 720p video, which is a vast improvement on my iPhone's terrible video application that I used earlier this year for my pancake recipe. Thus I've decided to play around with vlogging a bit more:

They should float as soon as you place them in the oil and start bubbling immediately. Within 30 seconds you'll be able to turn it over. Once cooked remove the basket and shake off excess oil, then roll in sugar.

If filling, allow to cool first. I tried Soyatoo squirty cream, however piped whipping cream would have been better. I'd also recommend using standard jam - the stuff I used was a bit too syruppy and synthetic tasting.

Chesters (Worcester)

I'd not been back to Chesters since the first time in 2007, so jumped at the chance to return when invited out by a group of vegan friends.

As a general rule: I don't voluntarily do non vegetarian restaurants. I've been vegan long enough now to have had enough crap restaurant experiences to last a life time.

There are however a few hand picked exceptions to this rule, who whilst serving non vegetarian food; do completely understand the concept of veganism and have a choice of items on their standard menu.

Chesters is a Mexican restaurant in Worcester with an impressive selection of vegan offerings. They use vegan sour cream, cheese, tofu etc and seem to have really thought it through.

I've eaten a lot of nachos over the years (when you meet me you'll realise I'm telling the truth) and Chesters have gotten it just right. The chips aren't over salty and they don't scrimp on toppings.

Being the adovcate of deep drying you know I am; for mains I had a 6 bean chimichanga. Due to them messing up my order and serving salad not chips I ended up with both! Their chips are very good and salad (from a salad hater) pretty good too.

The chimichanga itself wasn't so great, but they do a variety of fillings so next time I'll try a different one. Their standard menu is for 2 chimichangas (£12), but at lunchtime they've the option of one (£6). I could probably eat 2, but it would be sheer gluttony if I did :p

Uncommon for non vegetarian restaurants: Chesters have a choice of vegan desserts. There did however seem to be some kind of availability cofuffle (I think in the end they decided they could do it), but with minutes to spare on my parking ticket I had to make a run for it and miss out on pudding.

In hindsight running is probably better for me than cake, but it's OK - I got the deep fat fryer out when I got home. More on that in another post.

The picture that follows is of their carrot cake, from the last time I visited:

It's large, warm, moist, slightly odd and served with vanilla swedish glace. Slightly odd in a good and tasty way though.

I'd certainly return (probably a few times) when back in that direction. I should probably start going walking in the Malverns - they're less than an hour from me and there's some very pretty countryside in the area.