Saffron & Hazelnut Wreath

Ingredients

  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 1 small pinch of saffron threads
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 10 g fast-action dried yeast
  • 800 g strong flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 115 g icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
HAZELNUT FILLING
  • 150 g dried pear , or apple
  • 120 ml Cognac , or Calvados
  • 150 g unsalted butter , (at room temperature)
  • 80 g plain flour
  • 100 g hazelnuts
  • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 small lemon

Directions

  1. First, start your filling. Finely chop the dried pear or apple and mix in a bowl with your chosen liqueur or water. Set aside.
  2. For the dough, melt the butter with the milk in a pan over a low heat. Stir in the saffron, set aside and allow to cool.
  3. Mix the sugar, ½ a teaspoon of sea salt, yeast and flour in the bowl of a free-standing mixer. Gradually add the milk mixture and mix well.
  4. Using the dough hook attachment on the mixer, knead for 15 minutes, or until silky and coming away from the sides of the bowl. Place in a greased bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Returning to the filling, drain the dried fruit and add to a bowl. Finely grate in the lemon zest, finely chop the hazelnuts and add along with rest of the filling ingredients, rubbing together with your fingers. Cover and set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  7. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 28cm x 70cm rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 3cm border all the way around.
  8. Roll the dough up from one of the longer ends, pressing the edge firmly to seal. Cut the roll in half lengthways, turn the pieces cut-side-up, then loosely twist around each other.
  9. Bring the ends together into a ring, tuck one under the other, and press to seal. Transfer the wreath to a baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes, or until increased by half its size.
  10. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool on a rack.
  11. Meanwhile, whisk the icing sugar, cardamom 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Drizzle over the wreath, and serve.

Coconut Cake

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 50g Dessicated coconut
  • 150ml Milk
  • 110g Margarine
  • 110g White caster sugar
  • 2 Egg(s) (free range)
  • 250g Self-raising white flour
  • 1 pinch Salt
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 6 Egg White(s) (Free Range)
  • 400g Caster Sugar (we like Silver Spoon)
  • 675g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (We Like Nielsen Massey)
For the Decoration
  • A handful Almonds (Flaked)

Directions

  1. Soak the coconut in the milk for at least two hours. Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan 150°C, gas mark 3) then grease and line a 20cm round tin.
  2. Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour, salt and coconut milk mixture and gently mix until all has combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.
  4. Whilst the cake cools make the buttercream. Place the egg white and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir the mix until the egg white reach 60°c.
  5. Transfer the egg whites and sugar into a stand mixer bowl and beat together until they increase in volume. This typically take 5-10 minutes. Whilst you continue to beat these, add small chunks of the butter and the vanilla extract until they are all incorporated in the bowl. Don’t worry if it begins to look curdled it will reform into smooth buttercream.
  6. Spread the buttercream on top of your cake and top with flaked almonds or alternatively dessicated coconut.

Hedgehog Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake
  • 100g Plain Chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 100g Butter (Unsalted)
  • 250ml Milk (Whole)
  • 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 15g Cocoa Powder (Sifted )
  • 300g Self-Raising White Flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 225g Caster Sugar (we like Silver Spoon)
  • 2 Egg(s) (Free Range)
For the Buttercream
  • 100g Butter (Unsalted)
  • 2 tsp Water (Boiling)
  • 400g Icing Sugar (we like Silver Spoon)
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
  • 4tbsp Raspberry Jam
For the Decoration
  • 100g Chocolate Sprinkles
  • 750g Brown/Chocolate Sugar Paste Icing
  • 15 Ice Cream Cornets
  • 100g Brown/Chocolate Sugar Paste Icing (light brown)
  • 250g Green Sugar Paste Icing
  • 50g Black Sugar Paste Icing
  • 50g White Sugar Paste Icing

Vegan Pizza Margherita

Ingredients

For the pizza dough
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra
For the tomato sauce
  • 100ml passata
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or ½ tsp dried oregano)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
For the topping
  • 200g vegan mozzarella-style cheese, grated
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil or oregano leaves, chilli oil and vegan parmesan to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Measure 150ml of cold water and 150ml boiling water into a jug and mix them together – this will mean your water is a good temperature for the yeast. Add the oil and 1 tsp salt to the warm water then pour it over the flour. Stir well with a spoon then start to knead the mixture together in the bowl until it forms a soft and slightly sticky dough. If it’s too dry add a splash of cold water.
  2. Dust a little flour on the work surface and knead the dough for 10 mins. Put it back in the mixing bowl and cover with cling film greased with a few drops of olive oil. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.
  3. Heat oven to 220C/200C/gas 9 and put a baking sheet or pizza stone on the top shelf to heat up. Once the dough has risen, knock it back by punching it a couple of times with your fist then kneading it again on a floured surface. It should be springy and a lot less sticky. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.
  4. Put all the ingredients for the tomato sauce together in a bowl, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar if you like and mix well. Set aside until needed.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 or 4 pieces (depending on whether you want to make large or small pizzas), shape into balls and flatten each piece out as thin as you can get it with a rolling pin or using your hands. Make sure the dough is well dusted with flour to stop it sticking. Dust another baking sheet with flour then put a pizza base on top – spread 4-5 tbsp of the tomato sauce on top and add some sliced tomatoes and grated vegan cheese. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake in the oven on top of your preheated baking tray for 10-12 mins or until the base is puffed up and the vegan cheese has melted and is bubbling and golden in patches.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the dough and topping. Serve the pizzas with fresh basil leaves or chilli oil if you like and sprinkle over vegan parmesan just after baking.

Vegan White Pizza

Ingredients

For the pizza dough
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra
For the white sauce
  • 150g silken tofu
  • 100ml almond milk
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
Optional toppings
  • 1 sliced courgette, red chilli flakes, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, rosemary sprigs, grated vegan pizza cheese, handful of fresh spinach leaves, cooked and cooled new potatoes, sliced
To serve
  • Fresh basil or oregano leaves, chilli oil and vegan parmesan

Fruit & Spice Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 100g rolled porridge oat
  • 25g butter, diced
  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g plain wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50g raisin
  • 50g sultana
  • 50g stoned date, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mixed peel
  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 3-4 tbsp demerara sugar

Vegan Apple Crumble

Ingredients

For the filling
  • 575g Bramley apple(3 medium apples), peeled, cored and sliced to 1 cm thick
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
For the crumble
  • 175g plain flour
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 110g dairy-free spread (we used Vitalite dairy-free spread)
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • Oat-based vegan cream or custard, to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/170 fan/gas 5. Toss the apples with 2 tbsp golden caster sugar and put in a 23cm round baking dish at least 5cm deep, or a 20cm square dish. Flatten down with your hand.
  2. For the crumble topping, mix the flour and sugar in a bowl with a good pinch of salt. Rub the dairy-free spread in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like moist breadcrumbs. Shake the bowl and any big bits will come to the surface – rub these in too.
  3. Pour the crumble mix over the apples to form a pile in the centre, then use a fork to even out. Gently press the surface with the back of the fork so the crumble holds together and goes crisp, then lightly drag the fork over the top for a decorative finish. Sprinkle the oats and demerara sugar over evenly.
  4. Place on a baking tray and put in the oven for 35-40 mins, until the top is golden and the apples feel very soft when you insert a small, sharp knife. Leave to cool for 10 mins before serving.