Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Brownies (v)

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I made these today. They are lush. I urge you all to try them as well. Perfect with a large black coffee ūüôā

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Baklava

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I’ve been¬†meaning to blog this for a while and just haven’t had time, sorry! I made a big batch for our engagement party and it got rave reviews. It’s dead simple to make but tastes far more complicated than it is! The recipe says it makes 30 pieces but that comes down to how big you make them. I prefer bite sized pieces to bigger chunks. The recipe is taken from Tess Malos The Complete Middle East Cookbook.

For 30 or so pieces you need:

For the pastries

  • 20 sheets of¬†filo pastry
  • 3/4 cup melted butter (that’s 190g to you and me…)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

For the syrup

  • 1.5 cups caster sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup runny honey – use a good quality one
  • thinly peeled strip of lemon rind
  • small¬†piece of cinnamon bark
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 crushed cardamon pods
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Butter the sides and base of a 33cmx23cmx5cm tin.
  2. Layer up 9 sheets of  filo pastry into the base of the tin, buttering each well before placing in the tin.
  3. Mix the nuts and sugar with the spices then sprinkle half over the pastry.
  4. Layer a further two sheets of pastry on to the nuts, buttering each as before.
  5. Spread the remaining nut mix on top of these sheets.
  6. Top with the remaining filo, buttering each.
  7. Trim the top and sides and tuck in neatly.
  8. Sprinkle some water over the top to stop it from crisping too much in the oven.
  9. Score into pieces, taking care not to cut all the way through to the base.
  10. Bake in the centre of a 180 degree oven for 30 mins. After 30 mins, move one shelf up and cook for a further 30 mins. You want the pastry to be golden brown and crisp all over.
  11. Whilst the baklava is baking make the syrup. Place everything in a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Once all the sugar has dissolved, boil rapidly for 15 mins until reduced and syrupy in consistency.
  12. Take the baklava out of the oven and drench in the hot syrup.
  13. Leave for at least four hours before eating. Then scoff!

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Nut Roast with Cashews and Almonds (v)

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Who doesn’t love a nice nut roast? My son and I can’t resist them. I’ve been promising for ages that I’d make him a proper roast dinner and finally I did. The roast is a doddle to make and freezes well.¬†You can basically use any¬†combination of nuts and herbs you like. This is what I had lying¬†around in my store cupboard.

For 8-10 slices you need

  • 250g mushrooms
  • 2 onions
  • 125g almonds
  • 125g cashews
  • 200g¬†fresh white breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs

In a food processor, first make the breadcrumbs. Empty into a bowl and then pulse the nuts until coarsely chopped. You want a combination of finely chopped and large chunks for texture. Tip into the bowl. Add the onion and mushrooms to the processor and puree until finely chopped. You need the water to come out of both of the veggies to help hold the roast together.

Once everything is chopped or blitzed, mix together with the seasoning and herbs. Pack into a 2lb loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper and bake in a 180 degree oven for 30-45 mins. It will darken in colour when cooked and the outside will form a nice crust. Serve as part of a smug bastard veggie roast dinner. It’s also great as the centre piece for a vegan/veggie Christmas dinner and as a stuffing for those who might be eating meat.