Vegan Mulled Wine Cupcakes

This year I’ve made a different kind of advent calendar to help us celebrate Christmas. Each day we have a game, a drink or song/carols, and a dessert. On one of the days, the dessert was cupcakes. This meant the perfect opportunity to make the vegan mulled wine cupcakes I was thinking about.

Vegan Mulled Wine Cupcakes

I’ve used a recipe to guide myself and that was a mistake, as I didn’t have enough batter for 6 full size cupcakes, but I’ve used a full size tray. So, I’ve ended up with 6 smaller size cupcakes. I will mention the amounts I’ve used, but if you want bigger cupcakes, make only 4.

These vegan cupcakes are amazing. It’s the first time I’ve made dairy-free and egg-less cupcakes. I’ve made dairy-free cupcakes before, but I’ve used eggs. Now I’m so impressed with these ones, that I think I’ll always make vegan cupcakes from now on. I might try to bake the batter as a cake too. Maybe a mulled wine cake, that sounds like a great idea for Christmas.

Despite the name, the cupcakes are alcohol free. Last year I’ve shared a recipe of mulled wine for kids. I’ve used grape juice, with no added sugar, instead of wine. The flavours of the spices will make the drink very similar to the adult version, but it’s a drink that anybody can have.

For decorating I’ve used my new fondant cutters to make these cute snowflakes. The icing is made with green superfood powder. I have green food colouring, but I would rather use a healthy version. The superfood powder I’ve used is what I would add to my morning smoothies. It’s a mixture of wheatgrass powder, spirulina, coconut flour, goldberry, and coconut sugar. Any kind of green powder would work just as good. I will try to add it to bakes too, to see if I can replace the food colouring with something that is actually very good for us.

Ingredients for 6 smaller cupcakes:
– 75g white flour
– 50g wholemeal flour
– 55g sugar
– 175ml grape juice
– 3 spoons oil
– 1/2 sp cocoa powder
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 pack of spices for mulled wine
Ingredients for icing and decorating:
– 50g icing sugar
– 1/2 tsp green superfood powder
– freeze dried strawberries
– white fondant snowflakes

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Orange scones

This is my second recipe in my Royal Recipes series. These orange scones are a bit different, they don’t have any dried fruits in them. Besides this, the recipe is the well know scone recipe. The scones Queen Elizabeth loves are flavoured with orange zest and they also contain orange blossom water. I had no orange blossom water, so I’ve added good quality orange flavouring instead. I will make them again with orange blossom, to see if there is a big difference between them.

I mentioned the scones are made by the traditional recipe, so, for me, this means Mary Berry’s recipe. I made her scones and variations of the scones so many times, and they turn out amazing every time.

The orange scones are served with orange marmalade, traditionally, and, of course, clotted cream. I’ve added a twist and decided to make another batch of Orange Jam. As it’s a Tudor recipe (for non-Brits, this means from the 16th century), I though it would be appropriate to serve it with these orange scones.

Orange scones, clotted cream, tea, orange jam

Ingredients for 6 scones:
– 225g self-raising flour white
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 35g butter, soften
– 25g sugar
– orange flavouring
– orange zest
– 1 egg
– 110 ml milk
– clotted cream for serving
Orange jam for serving

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Shiitake Mushroom Pizza

My husband and I love pizza, like most people I guess. It’s something I bake often, as it’s not a lot of hassle. It’s very easy to make, I can put on it what I have in the fridge and it turns out delicious every time. This time I’ve made Shiitake Mushroom Pizza. From all the mushrooms, Shiitakes are my favourite. Besides mushrooms, I put Specialty Olives that I made a few weeks ago. I need to make another batch, a bigger one, now that Christmas is coming.

4 bakes to show the #30Days30Bakes

On the 25th I’ve started a personal challenge: 30 bakes in 30 days. Basically, I want to bake something each day. It doesn’t matter if it’s something easy like a pizza or a loaf of bread. It can also be a 3 tier cake. It mostly depends on what I have in mind if there is a special occasion or not. I will finish the challenge on the 24th December, a day in which I’m sure I’m going to bake… like a lot.
If you fancy joining in the challenge, even with a single bake, use the hashtag #30Days30Bakes on twitter and tag me ancaslifestyle. I will RT all vegetarian recipes and I will also comment on all. In the roundup I’m planning to make after Christmas, I can link to any recipes that caught my eyes. Feel free to link to my blog, obviously I would appreciate it, but it’s not necessary.

Shiitake Mushroom Pizza

Now, let’s talk about Shiitake Mushroom Pizza, the first in my #30Days30Bakes challenge. I made it on a pizza stone, so I gave specific instruction for it. If you don’t use a pizza stone, just put the dough on a baking paper on a tray. It’s easier.

Ingredients for a big pizza:
– 100g strong white flour
– 100g strong wholemeal flour
– 6g Easy-Bake yeast
– 1 tsp sugar
– 130ml lukewarm water
– salt
– coarse cornmeal
– 3 spoons oil
– 100g Shiitake mushrooms
– 100g grated cheddar
– 200g tomato sauce
– 30g Gouda
– olives and sundried tomatoes

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Spiced Apple Overnight oats

I have a three ideas for overnight oats and I’m going to share all of them. Today I’ll talk about Spiced Apple Overnight Oats, as it’s a more Autumnal recipe. I like making overnight oats a lot. It’s such an easy way to prepare breakfast. Of course, this recipe is vegan, as I used apple juice. To make it sweet I used carob syrup, I like the taste a lot. It’s a bit different, but it works.
Because I used apple juice and it also has dried fruits, a portion of overnight oats has 2 portions of the recommended 5 a day. It’s such a nice way to make sure you eat healthy, while you are enjoying something that is more dessert like.

Spiced Apple Overnight oats

As with the Matcha papaya overnight oats, I used porridge oats with oatbran and wheatbran. It has a higher fibre content.

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 500ml apple juice
– 150g oats
– 2 tsp milled Linseed
– 4 spoons carob syrup
– 60g dried berry and cherry fruits
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg

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Spaghetti Cheesecake

Have you ever heard of Spaghetti Cheesecake? It’s a take on a Romanian dish. In Romania, is not called a cheesecake, but macaroane cu branza. That is funny, because almost nobody uses macaroni to make this dish, but spaghetti. In Romania another type of cheese is used, but I didn’t have any, so I used mascarpone. Soft cheese can be used also.

My husband likes this dish a lot, he used to have it as a child. I wasn’t keen on it, because a salted cheese was used and I didn’t think it works. If unsalted types of cheese would have been used, like mascarpone and soft cheese, I would have eaten a lot of it. If calories aren’t your concern, then add a spoon of chocolate spread (like I did) or a nice cherry preserve. It’s delightful like that too.

Spaghetti Cheesecake Slice

Ingredients for 4 servings:
150g spaghetti
250g mascarpone cheese
3 eggs
75g demerara sugar
25g muscovado sugar
1tsp vanilla flavouring

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Tschumi’s Chocolate Cake

Today I’m starting a new series on my blog, called Royal Recipes. Tschumi’s Chocolate Cake is the first recipe in this new series. I wanted to make it for my birthday, as it’s the Royal Birthday Cake and it has been that way for the past 100 years. As my birthday is on the same day as Prince Charles’s birthday, I imagine the Royal Family had a slice of this cake at the same time I did. It doesn’t matter if they didn’t, the Tschumi’s Chocolate Cake will be my birthday cake from now on. I loved it, it’s so rich and chocolatey, delicious.

Tschumi's Chocolate Cake. Slice of cake

Gabriel Tschumi was a Swiss chef to three monarchs, Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V. He made this cake for the first time for Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s Grandmother, for her birthday. As I mentioned before, in the last 100 years, this was the cake for the Royal birthdays. Queen Elizabeth loves this cake. When it comes to Royal protocol, no names and no numbers are ever put on the birthday cake.

Ingredients for 8 slices:
– 6 egg yolks
– 2 eggs
– 110g sugar
– 60g white plain flour
– 50g butter
– 450g dark chocolate 54% cocoa solids
– 450g double cream
– freeze dried strawberries

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Make Your Own Specialty Olives

Have you ever tried to Make Your Own Specialty Olives? Like the ones you get at fairs or in the supermarket? But much cheaper and with the added bonus that are homemade? I made flavoured marinated olives hundreds of time. This time I’ve used sundried tomatoes, herbs, fresh garlic and a blend of vegetable oils.

Make Your Own Speciality Olives. Picture from the top

The recipe is, obviously, vegan and naturally healthy. I will list the ingredients, but without mentioning the weights. It’s all down to your taste and how you want to make the olives. It doesn’t take a long time to prepare them, but it takes a long time for the olives and sundried tomatoes to infuse. I would suggest waiting at least 2-3 weeks for the sundried tomatoes to soften. If you are not using sundried tomatoes, or if they are already soften, then it takes only a week to ten days for the olives to infuse and get the flavours from the spices and herbs.

I don’t suggest using fresh herbs, as they have moisture. There are plenty of delicious dried herbs that will work great. I used fresh garlic, but you can use garlic powder if you fancy, it will work just as good. I always add different spices, and they always turn out great.

This time I’ve used chilli oil. Basically it’s vegetable oil infused with chilli flakes, nothing too complicated. If you don’t have chilli oil (do make some, it’s great on pizza/pasta, and in sauce), it doesn’t matter, you can use some chilli flakes. The chillies will infuse the oil in a week or so, plenty of time before you should open the jars and enjoy them.

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