Last month I posted my guide to vegan food in restaurant chains. As the time for Christmas parties and meals with work is upon us, I’m going to repost the link for the new followers. Find my guide to vegan food on the high street here.
Do you remember the vegan home made mince? Well, after leaving it for a week or so for the flavours to really come together, it’s finally ready to use in mince pies! The above picture is my attempt. There are so many recipes for short crust pastry out there, just ready and waiting to be veganised, so if you’ve got time to make your own, go for it! If’ you don’t have the time or the motivation to make your own pastry, there is a ready made vegan option available!
Jus-rol short crust pastry is completely vegan, and even says vegan on the packet. You can find it in the fridge or freezer sections in most supermarkets. I got mine from Sainsbury’s at the same time as their vegan mulled wine.
Ooh, mulled wine, a deliciously warming spiced drink. Absolutely perfect for the chilly festive season that is upon us. Nothing beats sipping a cup of mulled wine after a good day browsing your local Christmas market, warming yourself and your numb fingers in the process. It’s also great to accompany your Christmas dinner and makes a nice gift to give someone if you are invited to a Christmas party this season. A bottle of ready mulled wine would make a nice festive secret santa present, for example.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Everyone gets chocolate for Christmas, but if you’re panicking about buying a vegan a Christmas present, you might think the good old stand by of a box of chocs is out of the window. I’m here to tell you that chocolate is most definitely NOT out of the window, as vegan chocolate does exist and is wonderful!
Vegan fudge from the Fudge Kitchen! How delicious does this look? Nom. I braved the wind to go and get some at my local shop and I was lucky they had some in stock. It seems they don’t keep it all the time, but they will make it on request, so phone up in advance.
You can also purchase it from their online shop, as well as pre-ordering a dairy free vegan fudge box set, with four slabs of fudge. Toffee fudge is the one I bought, but they also have classic chocolate, maple & walnut and chocolate swirl in their box. A perfect vegan gift for Christmas.
The fudge is so deliciously creamy, I ate half the slice all at once and am now on a super sugar high. Luckily I have a sweet tooth and a big one at that. I’m having to resist eating the other half as we speak.
Vegan advent calendar
Vegan advent calendar
Om nom nom shortbread. You know, I haven’t made shortbread since I was a child, so making a vegan version is definitely going to be a challenge for me. Luckily, the recipe in my Mum’s cookbook (read about that here) didn’t require eggs like some recipes I’ve seen. So the only substitution was to use vegan margarine instead of butter. I also upped the quantity of marg, as I just wasn’t getting a dough, and I added spices to give it a more festive feeling.
6 oz vegan marg
6 oz flour
2 oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the margin,spices, sugar and knead into a dough.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface till about 1/4 inch thick (quick tip: an inch is roughly the length from the tip of your thumb to it’s first knuckle, use that as a guide).
Cut into Christmas tree shapes (you can buy biscuit cutters in most supermarkets) and place onto an oiled baking tray.
If you want to hang your Christmas tree shortbread biscuits on your Christmas tree, then make a little hole in the dough at the top, by using a sharp knife.
Bake in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
Decorate however you want. Getting children to help with this is a fun task. Try sprinkling sugar, edible glitter, edible gold. Ice them with icing sugar tinsel and baubles. Go crazy with colour. It’s Christmas after all!
No, not the meaty kind of mincemeat. The kind to make mince pies with, of course! The perfect thing to get you in the mood for Christmas, if you weren’t already (I refuse to start being Christmassy until December!). Home-made mincemeat can be put in cute little jars to make an adorable present, if you’re not planning on turning into mince pies, obviously 😛
The recipe below is based on a recipe from a cookbook my Mum was given in the late 60s/early 70s, when she was first married. It has lots of amazing traditional recipe in it, I’m absolutely loving the challenge of turning the recipe into vegan versions. The book is by Marguerite Patten and is nearly falling apart, it’s seen so much use!
It is very easy to substitute ingredients in the recipe, depending on what you have in the cupboard. For example, the original recipe calls for mixed peels, but I had none, so I used chopped candied ginger instead. Feel free to swap and change any ingredients you please and don’t forget to let me know the results of any experiments 🙂
Ingredients – makes roughly 4 jars
125g Vegan suet or margarine (I would recommend suet if you are giving it as a gift, margarine does not make the most attractive mince. I used marg in this vesion, so I apologise for the photos!)
1 grated apple
125g sultanas, raisins etc.
125g brown sugar
125g nuts (I used chopped almonds)
75g chopped candied ginger
Zest and juice of one orange
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons of amaretto (or alcohol of choice)
Mince is very easy to make, just as simple as combining all ingredients and putting them in jars. If you are planning to keep the mince for a longer amount of time, make sure to sterilise your jars and seal them with wax discs and cellophane. The alcohol in this recipe also helps with preserving, but the book says you can substitute it for orange or lemon juice, but your mince won’t keep as long.
I have a theory that people who say they don’t like mince pies have only tried supermarket mince pies, not home made mince pies! Or said they didn’t like them as a child because the filling was brown and/or had fruit in. Please give mince pies a chance, they such a yummy British tradition. What’s your opinion on mince pies/my theory? 🙂