Thursday, 5 May 2022

Vegan Vanilla Custard Tart


Hands up if you're a fan of custard tarts!

This vegan version is sure to put a smile on your face. The filling is silky, creamy and indulgent. The pastry is delicate and golden. For the best results, leave the tart to chill in the fridge overnight as this will allow the filling to firm up nicely and hold its shape when sliced.

Note: for a soy-free alternative, you can replace the silken tofu with coconut cream.

Ingredients

(Serves 8-10)

For the crust

- 1 and 1/2 cups plain flour

- 1/3 cup vegan margarine

- 4 tbsp granulated or caster sugar

- 1-2 tbsp cold water

For the custard filling

- 1 cup (approx. 300g) silken tofu

- 1 cup dairy-free milk (such as soya, oat or rice milk)

- 4 heap tbsp corn flour

- 2 tbsp vegan margarine

- 4 tbsp caster sugar

- 1 tbsp vanilla extract

- 1/4 tsp turmeric

- 1/4 tsp kala namak (black salt)

To garnish

- ground nutmeg


Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

To make the pastry crust, use your hand to mix the flour, margarine and sugar together until it forms a soft dough. If it is too crumbly, add a little bit of water (half a tablespoon at a time) until it comes together.

On a clean, floured surface, roll the dough out into a thin circle (about 1/4 inch). Transfer to a 9 inch tart tin and gently push the pastry down into the corners and sides to form a crust. Use a fork to prick the base of the pastry multiple times, to allow air to escape while baking. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Set the crust aside and leave to cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes.

To prepare the custard filling, place the silken tofu, dairy-free milk, corn flour, margarine and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a non-stick saucepan and add the vanilla extract, turmeric and black salt. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir continuously (to prevent lumps from forming) for 10-15 minutes until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Take off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Pour the custard into the crust and chill in the fridge for 4-5 hours. The custard should set further during this time.

Dust the chilled custard tart with a generous amount of ground nutmeg. Enjoy!

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Monday, 7 March 2022

Malt Jollof Rice


Let’s get experimental! Malt drinks are popular across Nigeria, often paired with savoury meals  such as Jollof rice, moin moin and more. Attend any Nigerian party or large gathering and malt is highly likely to be served there. 

Here we have the classic Jollof but with more intensity and richness thanks to a concentrated broth of malt and blended pepper. Words cannot describe how delicious it is, so I hope you try it for yourself and see! 

Ingredients 

1/2 red onion, sliced into rounds 

4 tbsp oil 

1 red bell pepper 

2 medium tomatoes 

1 scotch bonnet 

1/2 cup water 

1 cup malt drink 

4 tightly packed cups parboiled (pre-cooked) rice 

1 tbsp dried thyme 

1 tbsp curry powder 

Salt to taste 


Method 

1. Slice the red onions into thin rings and set aside. 

2. Blend pepper, tomatoes and scotch bonnet with half a cup water until smooth. 

3. Heat the oil in a pot, add the blended mixture and malt drink. Add the thyme, curry and salt. Cook over high heat, partially covered, for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. 

4. Add the rice, mix well and lay the sliced red onions on top. Cover and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Mix well towards the end of the cooking time to combine all the ingredients. 

5. Serve hot with sides of your choice such as plantain, salad and mushrooms (see next post for my malt battered mushroom recipe!)

Monday, 24 January 2022

Where to Buy West African Ingredients Online - UK Edition

 One of the frequently asked questions I get is where to find specific Nigerian ingredients. Resisiting the urge to  simply say ‘Google is your friend’,  here are a few companies that deliver Nigerian groceries across mainland UK. The companies featured here are ones that I have personally used and so feel confident recommending. I hope you find it helpful. I will continue to add to this list as I discover and try other services. My plan is also to share similar posts like this for different countries around the world. Stay tuned! 

1. John and Biola:  they offer affordably priced African groceries and are constantly adding new products to the range. UK mainliand delivery is free! 

2. Ades: London based retail company and cash and carry with a huge quantity of fresh and packaged/dried ingredients. They deliver all over the UK  and were one of my go-to's when buying ingredients for my cookbook  recipe testing. 

3. Olumo Foods: family-owned online business specialising in high quality African groceries. You’ll find spices, veggies, fruits and everything in between. 

4. Afrobuy: A family run online grocery business. Their website is clean, well organised and easy to navigate. They have an extensive range of grains, flours and cereals, as well as fresh produce and condiments. 

5. Wosiwosi: they h ave a top-notch range of indigenous leafy greens and vegetables. You can also expect next day UK wide delivery.

Monday, 13 December 2021

Sticky Malt Pudding | Delicious Vegan Dessert Recipe

With Christmas just around the corner, what are your dessert plans? If you’re cooking for a crowd or simply want to try something unique, these time-efficient sticky malt puddings are a winner. Warm notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, balanced with the deep flavour of malt. What could be more enticing? Serve them warm or piping hot with some vegan ice cream, cream or custard and you have a winner.

Let me know if you give this a try and share your results with me over on Instagram!


Ingredients 


1 and 3/4 cups self raising flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1/2 tsp nutmeg 

1 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 heap tbsp margarine

3/4 cup apple sauce

1 cup Ultimalt 


Method

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, brown sugar and margarine. Mix until it resembles bread crumbs.

Blend the apple sauce and Ultimalt in a food blender to form a smooth mixture. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix gently to form a cake batter.

Pour the batter into lightly greased/lined muffin or pudding trays. 

Bake in the oven (middle shelf) at 180C for 25 minutes. 

Serve hot/warm with vegan cream or ice cream, a drizzle of syrup and a light dusting of cinnamon. 

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Vegan Ice Cream Cake with Sprinkles

Nothing says birthday like a cake loaded with sprinkles. Add in some ice cream and it's merriment galore. For my sister's birthday this year, I tried my hands at a vegan ice cream cake and judging by the feedback on Instagram, it seems a lot of you are interested in trying it out too! Last year, it was a fiery Ginger Nut Biscuit Cake; this year we're cooling things down with fluffy vanilla sprinkle sponges with a vanilla/honeycomb ice cream filling, whipped cream topping and all the sprinkles you could care for. So delightful.

Before we get into the recipe, a quick reminder that my cookbook Vegan Nigerian Kitchen is out now! If you love my recipes and want to support the work I do, definitely grab yourself a copy. You will LOVE the variety of delicious, vibrant recipes in there. Available in paperback and ebook. Thank you, thank you!

Now back to the cake...

Let's examine each element and get into some tips and recommendations.

1. Sponge Cakes: this is a hefty cake with two thick layers of sponge cake. If you're after something a little more dainty, or if you have less people to feed, you can halve the cake ingredient quantities to make two thinner sponges. 

Unlike most traditional sponge cakes, remember that you never want to over mix a vegan cake batter. Doing so will cause the gluten in the flour to overdevelop, causing a dense and rubbery texture. What we want is a light and fluffy sponge, so go easy when mixing the cake batter. Fold gently until all the ingredients are just about well incorporated. 

I used two 20cm sandwich cake tins for this recipe. I also made sure to line the bottom of the tins with some baking paper to prevent any sticking.

2. Sprinkles: the sponges are loaded with sprinkles and they're used as a topping too. Interestingly, not all sprinkles are vegan (some contain beeswax) so it's important to be aware. I'm able to find vegan-friendly sprinkles at shops such as Wholefoods and Planet Organic. You can also find them online, for example this, this or this

3. Ice Cream: any thick, creamy vegan ice cream will do the trick. If you have the time and energy, you can certainly make your own from scratch (check out this recipe for the simple method). But store-bought is perfectly fine. I recommend Jude's for their funky flavours (like the honeycomb flavour I used). Or you can never go wrong with Swedish Glace vanilla ice cream

One trick to making a neat ice cream cake is to leave the ice cream out for 30 minutes to soften, then line the same cake tin you used for the sponges with a layer of cling film. Scoop the ice cream into the tin, spread it out and smoothen the top, then pop back into the freezer to solidify. This way, you have a perfectly formed round slab of ice cream to place in between the cake slices. No mess, no dripping.

4. Vegan Whipped Cream: there are a couple of brands that now offer squirty vegan whipped cream. I used Food Heaven, so can confidently recommend. Alternatively, if you want to make your own coconut-based whipped cream from scratch, follow the process outlined in this banoffee pie recipe


If you like this cake recipe, you'll also like:

Vegan Blueberry and Strawberry Cake

Vegan Rainbow Tie-Dye Cake

Vegan Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream


Ingredients
(Serves 16)

- 4 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 2/3 cup sunflower oil
- 2 cups vegan milk (I used oat milk)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cake sprinkles (or as much as you care for)
- 1 tub (approx. 750ml) vegan ice cream (any flavour of your choice; softened at room temperature)
- vegan whipped cream
- sliced fresh fruit of your choice (I used strawberries and blueberries)


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. To make the sponge cakes, add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil, vegan milk and vanilla extract. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold the mixture until you have a smooth cake batter with very little to no lumps. Add as much cake sprinkles as you care for and gently fold the batter again until everything is well incorporated.

3. Divide the cake batter evenly between two 20cm cake tins that have been lightly oiled and have a layer of baking paper on the bottom. Place the cakes in the oven (top shelf) and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden and a skewer/toothpick stuck in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before taking the cakes out of the tins. Keep the cakes refrigerated while you work on the ice cream layer.

4. Line a 20cm cake tin with a layer of cling film. It doesn't have to be super neat, but make sure the cling film goes all the way up around the sides. Scoop softened ice cream into the tin and use a spoon/spatula to spread it out and smoothen the top. Place in the freezer for at least two hours until the ice cream is solid. 

5. To assemble to cake, place one layer of sponge cake upside down on a tray, large plate or cake stand, so that the smooth bottom layer is facing up. Unmould the solid ice cream from the tin/cling film and gently place it on top of the cake. Place the second layer of cake directly on top of the ice cream. 

6. If you are serving immediately, decorate with as much vegan whipped cream on top as you care for, along with fresh sliced fruit and more sprinkles. If you are not serving immediately, cover the cake (with cling film or foil) and place in the freezer until you are ready to serve and decorate. The cake is best eaten in one go, but it does freeze really well and will just need 20-30 minutes to defrost before serving each time.


I hope you give this cake a try. Let me know if you do! And if you have any questions at all, feel free to send them my way in the comment section below or on Instagram. 

Disclaimer: some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links and I receive a small commission with each sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you for the support.

vegan ice cream cake

Monday, 22 November 2021

[Cookbook Launch] Vegan Nigerian Kitchen: 100 Classic Recipes with a Plant-Based Twist


LAUNCH DAY! 🎉

Today is the official launch of my new cookbook Vegan Nigerian Kitchen. This project is one that I am immensely proud to share and I’m certain you’ll see why when you get your hands on a copy.

Thanks again to the incredible individuals who so selflessly supported and encouraged this endeavour. This cookbook was an opportunity to dig deeper into my food culture, play around with familiar and unfamiliar ingredients, and discover the wealth of plant-friendly dishes that Nigeria has to offer. I hope you feel immense delight as you make these discoveries yourself 😍

A bit more about the cookbook: it features 100 mouthwatering recipes from different regions across Nigeria; tons of full-page photographs; a comprehensive glossary of ingredients and equipment; a handy sample meal plan; a quick guide to going vegan, and a thoughtful essay on veganism by my dad, who is the most skilled writer I know! 😄

To set some expectations, this cookbook is very much for food enthusiasts. It’s for anyone who values open-mindedness, learning new things and exploring food culture. It’s for Nigerians who want to approach our meals in new ways. It’s for everyone else who wants an insight into the way we eat and accessible recipes (without animal products) that you can try at home. 

Spread the word, gift a copy to a friend, request it as a Christmas pressie, or treat yourself to a new cookbook. Thank you for your support 🥰

LINKS

Ebook: bit.ly/VNKebook

Paperback: bit.ly/VNKcookbook

Vegan Nigerian Kitchen

Friday, 5 November 2021

Cookbook Release Date and Cover Reveal - Vegan Nigerian Kitchen


Proof copy!

Excited to share that I will be releasing my second cookbook ‘Vegan Nigerian Kitchen’ on Monday 22nd November!

The comprehensive cookbook will include 100 classic Nigerian recipes with a vegan twist, spanning soups, stews, sweet & savoury snacks, porridges, rice dishes, drinks and lots more. I can't wait for you to get your hands on this epic labour of love that's bursting with full page photographs, a glossary of ingredients and equipment, useful cooking techniques and mouthwatering dishes. Whether you are familiar with Nigerian cuisine or not, you are sure to make a ton of delicious discoveries.

The cookbook will be available in both paperback and ebook formats, so you can choose what works for you.

A few weeks ago, I asked my Instagram audience to vote on the front cover (via story polls) and this was the popular choice by a long shot. Thanks for the input! 

If you want to be updated once the cookbook drops, you can check back on the 22nd or join my mailing list HERE to get the purchase links sent directly to your inbox. 💚

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Vegan Nkwobi or Isi Ewu

 

Nkwobi and Isi Ewu are traditional igbo delicacies. While the latter is made using cow leg, the former is made with goat head. The base preparation, spices and garnishes are similar for both dishes. In this vegan alternative, my protein of choice is soybean and wheat-based meat alternative VChunks made by Nigerian-owned company Veggie Victory. Be sure to check them out if you are based in Nigeria or the UK. 

I was blown away by the taste and texture of this meat alternative. As you will see in the video above, it's easy to prepare and extremely versatile. Perfect for adding to all types of soups, stews and as a replacement for meat in any dish. 

The full recipe for this will be in my upcoming cookbook (release date tba). To get notified when it's out, you can sign up for updates here.