Tag: baking

Easy vegan, gluten free chocolate chip

One of the drawbacks (or benefits, depending on my mood!) about being vegan is that when you’re craving a specific type of junk food, you might not always have easy access to something. This was how I was feeling the other day. I fancied some cookies but didn’t have anything and had no where close by to buy them from. So I had to make my own.

Easy vegan cookiesFor my birthday, I was given some oaty cookie mix, which only needs spread and water adding to it for the dry mix to become to become cookie mix. I also picked up some dairy free chocolate chips from somewhere and thought these would make great cookies that even the laziest baker could organise! Both are also gluten free and incredibly delicious, even before they’re baked.

chocolate chip vegan cookies

It is incredibly easy to make the cookies. You simply add some melted dairy free spread and water to the dry mix. Then throw as many chocolate chips into this that you think your stomach can handle. In my case, this was quite a lot. What I didn’t think about was putting melted butter into cookie mix with chocolate chips. About half of them melted, which I thought would ruin them, but was actually a happy accident. The mix states that it makes about 10 cookies, but I only managed to leave enough mix for about 7! They were incredibly moreish and great broken up and mixed in with ice cream. Well, it is the holidays!

Tuesday Treat – Homemade Nutella

I have a chocolate hazelnut spread addiction. So much so that I cannot have it in the house. This is because I will find any excuse to eat it and if I can’t, then I’ll go at it with a spoon until it’s all gone. So when I came across this recipe on Minimalist Baker, I knew that I had to make it.

Armed with plenty of hazelnuts and high hopes, I set about making Easy Vegan Nutella with four ingredients. It was surprisingly easy. (Okay, I know it’s called ‘Easy Vegan Nutella’ but this is me making it and I can ruin oven pizza!) I slightly overdid roasting the hazelnuts, so when it was first made, it did have a bit of a burnt tinge, but that passed over time (not that it was around for long!) I used raw cacao for my chocolate, instead of melted chocolate, as we always have that in the house and it was easier. Removing the skin from the hazelnuts was pretty straightforward too, it just took a little time. The nutella works well on croissants, in wraps, on toast and straight from the jar!

Croissants and homemade vegan nutellaHomemade Nutella and banana wrap Homemade nutella wrapHomemade nutella on toastI will definitely make this again, as it was so easy and I’ve since seen skinless hazelnuts in Holland & Barrett so might try those next time, just to save a little time (‘cos this recipe isn’t easy enough, right?!) And I thought this might make a great Christmas gift next year. Fyi, I tried the JusRol make at home croissants and I’m not sure whether it was our oven or if I did something wrong, but they weren’t great. They didn’t really rise and for me, they weren’t worth it. I’ll stick to eating my nutella from a spoon thanks!

Flapjacks

Flapjacks

I’ve wanted for find a nice, healthy-ish recipe for cakes for a while. Something quick and easy, using ingredients that we routinely keep in the house. While visiting my OH’s sister, her partner fed us THE most awesome flapjacks. Desperate to recreate the taste at home, I asked for the recipe, expecting something complex. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t difficult at all!

Flapjacks

The recipe I used is from Good Food and can be found here. To say this recipe is easy is an understatement. I added a mixture of flax seeds, chopped hazelnuts and sunflower seeds, in a bid to make up for the Golden Syrup! I only used 2 tablespoons of syrup too and the flapjacks are a crunchy on the outside & gooey on the inside. They take about 5 minutes to make & 20 minutes to cook and you can add pretty much anything to the mix. A perfect super-fast snack!

My First Craft Stall

A Crafty Chai Stall

As you know, I’ve been very busy making my craft products for my first ever stall at the Oxford Bake Off. I had a fab day! Oxford Town Hall is a lovely place for this kind of event, especially when it is decorated with bunting from the lovely people at Oxford Bunting Co (one of whom bought one of my iPhone/pod covers! Thanks!)

We arrived in plenty of time to set up, having done a ‘dry run’ at home, making sure everything would fit & look okay. My lovely OH was on hand to help with everything thank A Crafty Chai Stallgoodness! He made me a fantastic poster advertising the stall too.

While we were setting up, lots of people who had entered the bake off competition were nervously bringing in their entries & setting their cakes up. The standard was very high & I was lucky enough to sample quite a lot of the cakes later on in the day!

Once we had everything set up & prices laid out, we had time to get ourselves a drink (giant chai for me, obvs!) & have a good old look around the other stalls. There was quite a variety of stalls mixed in with cake sellers. We were next to Made in Jericho who made some fabulous pies & muffins (yep, sampled those too!) Our first port of call however, was to the very lovely Oxford Cupcakes, who make the best cupcakes & macaroons! Not only did they have these delicious treats for sale, but they also had some cupcake decorating going on. Fun for everyone. Later on in the day, after my first few sales, my OH visited the tea shop. The tea was provided by my favourite tea company, Jeeves and Jericho, who also had a stall at theA crafty chai jewellery bake off.

There was a constant stream of people throughout the day, but when the bake off judgement was due, the place was packed! I managed to sell quite a few pieces and something from every part of my range. It was lovely to hear so many compliments from people as they looked through all my stock. It’s good to know what other people think!

I was pleased with the amount of stock I had on display & I’m pleased that I’ve got enough left to restock my Folksy shop. This means I can work on making some things for me & presents for other people. (Yes I’m already thinking about Christmas!)

I would definitely do another craft stall. It was nice meeting people from Twitter; hearing nice things about my products, and of course, selling things too! It was also a great opportunity to network with other local sellers & to get tips from them.

I did learn a few things too!

  1. Don’t park in Oxford City Centre! It almost wiped out my profit! I didn’t see the tweet from Oxford City Guide about cheaper parking until later. Should’ve moved the car then.
  2. Take a packed lunch. Not taking lunch did mean I got to eat a mushroom & goats cheese pie from Made in Jericho and a whole lot of cake, but it’s not cost effective.

I’m sure some other things will come to me the more I reflect on it. When I do another one, I think it needs to be closer to Christmas. Most of my stock is suitable as a gift so people will only buy it if they’re looking for a present or a treat for themselves. And with money being tight, it’s not the time for treats.

I really hope the Bake Off raised lots of money for the charities it was supporting. I had fun, even though I was exhausted by the end of the day!

My craft stall

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Kate for organising the event & to my OH for helping to run the stall, carry the stock, get my chai etc! Couldn’t have done it without him! x