I have issues….

All the food you see in the next photo is mine, not things I share with Gary or Mic (mainly because they wouldn’t eat this stuff!). The amount of it in the last 9months since we moved into the flat has gotten way excessive. So I’m posting this to shock me into actually eating it and not hoarding it! Wish me luck!

The worse thing is that this doesn’t even include my baking cupboard!!!

My Sunday…

Hello,

I’m posting this quickly before I head off to work for the afternoon, I’m really lucky to start work so late I know!

Early breakfast at mum and dad’s, banana porridge is good anytime of day right?? Then I got picked up by my friend Ali in his bright green car!

Not before having a second breakfast of leftover blackberry & frangipane tart. Nothing says mum and dad’s like cake at breakfast time. I once ate a whole trifle for breakfast on New Year’s day, I was young and it was full of sugar and alcohol, I don’t think I’ve ever been so hyper!

My friend Ali works for London Duck Tours so we went to try it out. You drive around Westminster taking in all the sites: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Ritz, Nelson’s Column, 10 Downing Street, The Wellington Arch and St James’ Palace before being launched into the river Thames (very fun, but you might get splashed a little at the back!). Then you see more sights from the water: The Houses of Parliament, Lambeth Palace, Tate Britain, St Thomas’ Hospital (where my nephew was born!) and MI6. The tour guide was pretty funny (excluding all the terrible jokes) and definitely very knowledgeable.

I admit it I’m probably quite bias because of my friend, but the tour was good and the experience of seeing half on land and half on the water was pretty unique. I definitely recommend it.

A very sad looking fox outside of the Hayward Gallery. Probably because it had lots of pigeons roosting under his tummy.

Some tofu skins from a chinese supermarket.

The Fela musical! This was amazing!!! And yes it does deserve all the exclamation marks. It’s only running until next Sunday at Sadler’s Wells so if you want to go and see it you need to be quick. It was totally brilliant, lots of singing, dancing and impressive bum wiggling. Gary loves Fela Kuti and seeing as our anniversary is next weekend we decided to go and see it. From my point of view it was nice to finally understand some of the political background to the songs and learn more about the man and his music. Obviously if you have an interest in African (specifically Nigerian) politics you would love this, if you don’t I think you would still have an amazing time with all the colour and presence of the dancers. It was probably the best thing I’ve seen this year.

We got our tickets from lastminute.com so you can even go for a discounted price!

All in all a perfect Sunday!

Elise x

Blackberry & Frangipane Tart

Hello, how are you?

I realise I’ve not updated this blog for 2 weeks now, something I promised myself I wouldn’t do. I also realise that a lot of my posts seem to start with an apology, so this one won’t. I don’t need to feel guilty for not updating everyday, but I probably still will. I think a 2 week hiatus deserves an explanation though. Simply I haven’t been myself the last month, I’ve been feeling really lethargic, I keep getting sick and generally feeling a bit down. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think I’ve been feeling quite stressed both in my job and thinking about the future, so I’ve made a few decisions and I’m feeling much better. Sometimes I think my indecisive nature makes me unwell, the anxiety I feel while trying to make a decision is usually far more painful than the actual choice.

But anyway I’m back, and I come bearing a gift of frangipane.

and a cute picture of my mum's dog!

I went to my mum & dad’s this weekend for some TLC, but now I’m ‘grown up’ I feel like I should take them something for their hospitality. Gary’s mum had just bought us round some blackberries and seeing as they’re so close to raspberries (the flavour jam used in Bakewell tart) I thought they’d make a good alternative.

And you know what?? They did!

Blackberry & Frangipane Tart
3 tbsp Psyllium Husks
120ml Water
100g Margarine
125g Caster Sugar
150g Ground Almonds
1 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 punnet Blackberries

Preheat the oven to 200C

Prepare your tart crust, I used this recipe from Seitan is my Motor, but I misread it and didn’t add in the sugar, this was stupid and I don’t recommend it, although it actually didn’t taste bad, it just needed some sweetness.

Put the psyllium in a grinder/processor and blend for a minute or two to break down the husks. Mix together the water and psyllium husks (I also learnt of the existence of these as a good egg replacer from Seitan is my Motor and her awesome recipe for coconut macaroons). Stir well and leave until it goes gloopy. I used psyllium because I didn’t want an overpowering seed flavour but I think ground flax would work just as well.

Cream together the margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the psyllium and mix until well combined. Stir through the extracts and the ground almonds.

Pour the mixture into your prepared crust and place the blackberries in an eye pleasing design. Bake for 35 minutes.

Enjoy.

Before I turned vegan I had a massive obsession with Bakewell and would always choose it if it was on offer. This has made me very fussy about frangipane. Don’t get me wrong this recipe was pretty damn good, but it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. So expect more experiments soon!

Elise x

Pineapple Upside Down Porridge

Hello,

How has your day been? Mine has been full of baking, making coffee and cleaning, so like everyday really! I love my job! It’s been quite weird listening to all the stories about the rioting in London though. I don’t know what to think about it to be honest. Obviously I don’t condone the burning of businesses, shootings and looting, but why is anyone surprised this is happening? And some of the things people are saying about the rioters is just mad. Oh well.

Onto happier things: Pineapple Upside-Down Porridge

It was one of my favourite cakes when I was a kid. It was so simple but almost magical, the way you carefully lay pineapple slices (out of a tin of course!) and placed glace cherries in the middle of the rings, then smothered it all in cake batter. Then when it came out the oven and you turned it upside down it looked like a treasure chest with all the jewelled fruit!

Unfortunately with only 3 of us in the flat we don’t eat cake quick enough to make it worth making :( so I decided to play around with my morning porridge and I’m pretty happy with it!

Pineapple Upside-Down Porridge
1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp chickpea flour (gram flour)
2 slices fresh pineapple, skin removed and centre cored
4 cocktail cherries, halved
sugar to taste

Put the porridge oats, soy milk and water into a small pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a low heat. For example, my cooker goes up to 9, I have the porridge on 3. Cook for about  50 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. This will make very creamy porridge, but if you’re not as fussy about your porridge consistency as me (or like it a different way) cook to your preferred timings.

Chop one of the slices of pineapple (the less perfect one) into small cubes and stir into the porridge along with the vanilla and sugar to taste. Thin the chickpea flour with a little water so it won’t go lumpy when you add it to the porridge (this will give a slight eggy taste). Pop the chickpea flour mix into your porridge and leave to cook for another 5 minutes or so, it’ll need to be quite thick to support the pineapple ring.

Pour the porridge into your chosen bowl, top with the remaining (special) pineapple ring and fill the centre with the halved cocktail cherries. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top and put under the grill until caramelised, giving your porridge a glossy cake look.

Enjoy!

This satisfied my nostalgic craving, but I’m still planning on making a vegan upside down cake for my next hapless victim guest. Nothing quite beats cake.

Elise x