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.