Tuesday, 22 November 2016

PLUM UPSIDE-DOWN MOCHA CAKE

Vegan plum upside-down cake...vegan mocha cake...there's a lot going on with this single layer of deliciousness. 

This was the product of visiting home on the day of my sister's birthday, raiding our fridge and cupboards to pool together ingredients that would result in a slightly unconventional cake. My sister loves chocolate, but I didn't want to make another run of the mill fudge/brownie number. This plum upside-down mocha (chocolate & coffee) cake, with a mocha-flavoured caramel sauce, hits all the same spots that a decadent chocolate cake would, but it's also more grown up in its flavour profile and has a lot more depth, reflecting (she says poetically) the very real, bitter-sweet awareness that my little sister is no longer a kid *sob*. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try. Feel free to skip out on the rum/brandy for an alcohol-free version, but the subtle kick it gives though...so worth it! x

Ingredients
Cake:
- 300g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 150g soft dark brown sugar
- 50ml strong black coffee
- 400ml tinned coconut milk
- 120ml sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp rum/brandy (optional)
- 4-5 ripe plums

Mocha caramel sauce:
- 400ml full-fat tinned coconut milk
- 100g soft dark brown sugar
- 40ml strong black coffee
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp rum/brandy (optional)

To make the cake, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the cocoa powder and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, add the black coffee, coconut milk, sunflower oil, vanilla extract, and rum/brandy (optional) and whisk together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold gently, being careful not to over mix. 

Line the base of a round springform cake tin with a round piece of baking paper. Grease the sides of the tin with a little sunflower oil.

Core the plums, discarding the seeds in the middle, and slice into rings. 

Arrange the plum rings onto the base of the cake tin, fitting as much or as little of it as you desire.

Pour the cake batter over the plums. Bake in a pre-heated oven, 170C, for 25 minutes. To check that the cake is cooked at the centre, stick a skewer in the centre and make sure it comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool before taking it out of the tin, turning it upside down and peeling back the baking paper to reveal the plum design.

To make the mocha caramel sauce, place all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally and keep an eye to make sure that it doesn't burn, but essentially you want to boil it until the sauce starts to reduce down and thicken. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the sauce coats the back of a spoon when you dip it in and out. 

Decorate the cake as you wish, drizzling a generous amount of the sauce over the top. I've also used slices of fresh plum, freeze-dried fruits, and a little sprinkling of crushed granola. Be as creative as you want! It also goes great with coconut ice-cream ;)








Friday, 18 November 2016

THE VEGAN NIGERIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER *15/12/16*

*Advanced booking required*

It's the last Vegan Nigerian pop-up restaurant of the year and the festive season is upon us. What better way to round off the year than with a delectable three-course meal? 
Expect mouth-watering food, Christmas tunes, and the usual warm atmosphere. Share, invite...would love to see you there :) <3 

Any special dietary requirements? Email: vegannigerian@gmail.com 

Menu
Starter: Coconut, sweetcorn and scotch bonnet soup (gf) 
Main: Roasted stuffed pepper; baked sweet potatoes; carrot, fennel & mint salad; gravy (gf) 
Dessert: Christmas cake with pineapple/orange compote and whipped coconut cream

When: 15th December 2016, 7.30pm
Where: Paradise Unbakery, 59 Chamberlayne Road, London, NW10 3ND

Eventbrite - The Vegan Nigerian Christmas Dinner



Thursday, 10 November 2016

POP-UP RESTAURANT #6 IN PICTURES























It's been almost two weeks since the last pop-up restaurant and although I've shared updates across other platforms, I'm only just getting round to posting on here. Is it just me or does the increasingly cold weather inspire extreme bouts of procrastination? Simple tasks suddenly seem to require epic levels of strength and motivation to get done. Anyway, better late than never...

The most recent pop-up was in the style of a buffet - that much-loved format that makes life oh so easy - featuring jollof rice as the lead, supported by a bunch of salads, mountains of plantain and sauces to liven things up. Desert was a trio of chocolate/almond cake, lime tart, and apple/ginger spiced puff puff.

A lot of firsts at this one:
- A collaboration. With the wonderful sugarcane juice company Guarapo, who supplied us with fresh, cold-pressed sugarcane juice infused with lime and ginger. It was the perfect accompaniment to the meal.
- A weekend event. At last, after requests to host a pop-up on a Saturday, finally got round to it.
- A new location. In South West London, to be exact. Slowly but surely, the pop-up is making its way around the capital. From West to North West to South West. Next time, East?
- A professional team. Not that my family and friends haven't been professional at previous events - ha! What I mean is, the Vegan Nigerian team is growing slowly and I had the help of new hired team members to make the evening go smoothly.

The next event will most likely be a Christmas-themed dinner and I am so excited to put together the menu for that! Stay tuned for more info and head over to Facebook and Instagram for more of my stuff!








































Thursday, 3 November 2016

LONDON VEGFEST 2016 RECAP [VIDEOS + PICTURES]

Saturday: Cookery Demos, Collaborations and the Search for Food

Crazy to think that a whole year has gone by since the last London VegFest and my first stint at delivering a live cookery demo. VegFest was back again at Olympia on October 22nd and 23rd, though this time in a different and, in my opinion, far better area of the building. It was more spacious, the demo area seemed better equipped...just a general upgrade from the congested atmosphere of last year. As a result, I stuck around long enough to enjoy various aspects of the two-day event - sampling most of the food on offer (this worked out much better on Sunday when the queues were not as insane), taking in a couple of other cookery demos, attending a handful of informative talks, watching an eccentric live band perform, and discovering what's new on the vegan market. I met up with friends I hadn't seen in a while, encountered new faces, and bumped into familiar ones from the virtual world of food blogging and instagram.

Following my demo (filmed by my brother, see video below), I put my director's hat on and filmed a promotional video for the vegan patisserie company Organic Livity (video also below). This was another first for me and I am thankful for the opportunity to collaborate on something so fun and creative.





Towards the end of the day, I also filmed my friend Elisabeth (@nutrinformed) as she showcased three delicious vegan buckwheat recipes (video below).



Sunday: Talks, Overeating and Pro-Intersectionality

Sunday was more laid back. A day of stress-free and guilt-free cake guzzling, pizza eating and vegan cheese tasting (to name a few things), all sandwiched between talks at the pro-intersectional vegan conference. One particularly brilliant talk was delivered by journalist and media coach Katrina Fox (via Skype) on the topic of Intersectionality & Business. I've included a clip of that in the video below, and you can find out more about her work via katrinafox.com.
I have to give a big shout-out to VegFest for shining a spotlight on intersectionality this year. Veganism ought to be a nuanced movement, and there is so much that we can all learn when it comes to pursuing the vegan lifestyle in a more ethical, people-focused (alongside animal-focused) manner.










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