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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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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Sticky Toffee Pudding

I tried Sticky Toffee Pudding a few years ago and I loved it. Recently I thought I should bake it again and only this is how I realized I never shared my recipe on the blog.

Sticky Toffee Pudding was invented in the 1970s by Francis Coulson at Sharrow Bay, an restaurant in Cumbria. I had no idea when I went to Ullswater and Aira Force Waterfall (my post about it), in a holiday last year, that I was so close to the birthplace of the Sticky Toffee Pudding. This means another trip to Cumbria is on the list for next year.
On their website, Sharrow Bay mentions figs instead of dates. I will try it with figs too in the name of culinary research and is just a way to enjoy more yummy desserts.

As you know, if you are familiar with the pudding, Sticky Toffee should be served with ice cream. I prefer salted caramel and my husband prefers vanilla, so I bought both of them. The pud goes great with any of them.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients for the pudding
– 200g chopped pitted dates
– 180ml hot Earl Grey tea
– 200g plain white flour
– 70g butter
– 100g muscovado sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1/2 tsp ground ginger
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Ingredients for the toffee sauce
– 250g caster sugar
– 140ml double cream

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Passion fruit tart

I made this Passion fruit tart decorated with edible pansies and a hot water crust pastry. It’s the first time I make a sweet pie with a hot water crust pastry. It was so good that I will make it again. I mentioned before that it’s easier to work with as it’s more stringy and easier to roll. Also, it’s more forgiving than the standard pastry with more butter, as it doesn’t need chilling.

Passion fruit tart decorated with edible pansies

I love the sharp taste of the passion fruit curd filling. I think the filling can be kept in a jar in the fridge to enjoy as a curd. I will make it again like that.

Passion fruit tart decorated with edible pansies

Ingredients:
– 165g plain white flour
– 60g butter
– 75ml water (for the pastry)
– 120g sugar
– 40g cornflour
– 200ml water (for the filling)
– 5 Passion fruits
– 3 egg yolks
– edible Pansies for decor

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Swan eclairs

The Swan eclairs are a beautiful and fancy dessert. I used to have them as a child, when I was going with my grandparents at a local tea room. It’s one of the first memories I have. While I remembered them and I was attached to the idea of Swan eclairs, it’s the first time I make them. Surely, it will not be the last. I like how lovely they look and I like that each of them looks like it has its own character. I think a Swan eclair lake would be a wonderful showstopper on a dinner party or even for a very special meal, like the Christmas dinner.

 Swan Eclairs

I think the Swans look so pretty. I think it’s quite a posh looking dessert.

 Swan Eclairs

Ingredients for 12 Swan Choux (and necks):
– 180g white plain flour
– 4 eggs
– 120g butter
– 200ml water

Ingredients for the vanilla creme patissiere:
– 100g sugar
– 50g plain white flour
– 4 egg yolks
– 500ml milk
– 1 tsp vanilla paste

Ingredients for the whipped cream and decor:
– 300ml whipping cream
– 30g icing sugar
– 10g icing sugar to sprinkle on top

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Rhubarb puff pastry tart

Rhubarb puff pastry tart sounds amazing, especially paired with quark cream. The cream has rhubarb and dry Sherry and it’s delicious on its own. The recipe is really easy to make, but it does take a bit of time for waiting for the rhubarb to cool down. I loved the Quark cream with the dry Sherry, it was delicious. I preferred Quark because it’s a cheese naturally low in fat and it was a good choice. I will use Quark again for cream, because I think it’s a good option.

Rhubarb puff pastry tart with quark cream and Sherry

I used less than 1 pack of puff pastry. With the remaining puff pastry I made 2 cheese pinwheels and a couple of vegan sausage rolls.

Ingredients:
– 240g puff pastry
– 800g rhubarb
– 125g sugar
– 250g Quark
– 25ml Sherry
– 1/2 tsp vanilla

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