Punchy parsnip soup

punchy parsnip soup, dairy-free

It’s all about the roots! Winters equals root vegetables, and as Chritmas approaches the parsnips are filling the supermarket shelves, begging to be used. This soup is super punchy, using curry powder, plus dried chillies ( if you like heat, if not simply leave them out) plus a somewhat surprising but essential dollop of mango chutney to balance the spice and sweet of the curried snips. It might seem unnecessary to roast the parsnips first but it does all a depth of flavour and fuller dimension to the soup. You may think the gloriously crispy roasted parsnips would prevent a silky smooth soup, but once they’ve been immersed in the stock and simmered for a while, they soften nicely and the resulting whizzed up soup will be a smooth, creamy and silky as imaginable.

Perfect garnished with some root veggie crisps.

Punchy Parsnip Soup

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan spicy parsnip soup
500g parsnip, topped and tailed and peeled

2 tbsps olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 tsp curry powder

2 dried chillies ( optional)

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped

700ml vegetable stock

2 tbsps mango chutney

Salt and pepper

  1. Toss the parsnips in 1 tbsp of oil, season and roast for 30 minutes until cooked through
  2. Fry the onion in the oil until golden. Stir in the curry powder and chilli ( if using) and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the roasted parsnips, potato and atock and simmer until the potato is cooked through.
  3. Whizz up in a liquidizer and add the mango chutney whilst e machine is still running.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning or add more chutney if desired.
  5. Serve


Sugar coated baked cinnamon doughnut rings

dairy-free cinnamon sugar doughnuts

Iced doughnuts are one thing, but sugar coated rings are the stuff of memories and traditions ( well for me anyway!) – it’s those sugar coated rings that are used for traditional party games such as eating doughnuts without licking your lips and without hands when they’re hanging in strings – to me they seem more evocative.

egg-free sugar donuts

I was so happy with the results from by baked doughnuts, that I rushed out and bought a doughnut tin; I just couldn’t resist making more doughnuts and this time in perfect little rings! While this recipe may only be a small riff on the original baked doughnut recipe, I think it’s worth posting – the added cinnamon gives a lovely warmth, but careful don’t add too much or the delicate doughnut taste will be lost forever! Most recipes I’ve come across brush the bake doughnuts with butter (dairy-free in my case, obviously!) before rolling in sugar (has to be caster in my opinion) but I found that gives a greasy feel which I wanted to avoid. So I brushed my doughnuts with a thin water icing of 4 tbsp of water to 1/2  cup icing sugar) and then rolled them in the caster sugar. This gave a lovely, slightly crisp exterior and ensured the sugar to stayed in place.

These doughnuts keep ok, they’re definitely best eaten on the day made as they tend to soften and the sugar on the outside starts to seep into the middle, but if you’re happy with a softer doughnut then they’re good for a couple of days ( if they last that long!)

Mini Baked Cinnamon Sugar coated Doughnuts

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan baked sugar coated doughnuts

Makes 20 mini doughnuts

3 cups self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3/4 cup caster sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, melted

5 tbsp of aquafaba (the water from a tin of beans or chickpeas)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup dairy-free milk

  1. Grease your pan, place foil tubes in the centre of each and preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients and pour into the dry. Gently mix until fully combined.
  3. Pipe or spoon into the tin
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes until well risen and a knife comes out clean. Remove  from the tins and cool.

baked doughnut rings, egg-free

for the coating:

1/2 cup icing sugar

4 tbsps water

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

coating doughnuts in sugar

  1. Mix together the water and icing sugar to form a thin icing. Pour the caster sugar and cinnamon (if using) into a shallow bowl.
  2. Brush each doughnut with a thin coating of the water icing and then coat in the sugar
  3. Leave to set on a wire rack

dairy-free sugar coated donut

Chive Bagels

dairy-free, sesame-free chive bagels

Sadly bagels are out of bounds for us – because of the popularity of sesame bagels, all varieties may contain traces of sesame seeds and so the whole genre of bagel type breads is a no go for Little S. I do bemoan sesame allergy – you might think that avoiding those little seeds would have minimal impact, but their use in bakeries makes most fresh breads and generally any interesting baked goods firmly in the no go list :-(

So, if we want fancy, exciting breads we have to make them. Whilst not ideal when time is limited, it is also an absolute joy to include homemade breads, warm and fragrant from the oven into our family mealtimes. It’s when I feel like a real good mummy and provider of goodness!

These bagels with their oniony chives were a massive hit – we had traditional bagels for lunch with salads, and then bagels made into burger buns for supper. It’s definitely worth the effort when you get two tasty homemade meals out of one batch of dough!

Theses bagels are wonderfully soft inside with a slightly chewy exterior, but without any hint of heavy which store bought varieties can be. In fact they were such a hit that D has declared them his favourite homemade bread of all time! :-0

Chive Bagels

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan chive bagels

Makes 10

2 tbsp caster sugar

1/2 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 1/2 tsps salt

1 tbsp dried yeast

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

300ml water

500g strong bread flour

1 tbsp freeze-dried chives or 2 tbsps  chopped fresh chives

1tbsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp dairy-free milk, for brushing

A few flakes of sea salt to sprinkle

  1. Sift the flour into bowl; add the chives, salt, sugars and yeast.
  2. Pour in the water and oil and and mix until you have a nice smooth, pliable dough (if you have a mixer with a dough hook use that)
  3. Knead until the dough is silky smooth and bounces back when you make an indentation (probably 5-10 minutes)
  4. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Heat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade/gas mark 7. Oil a baking sheet
  6. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Cut the dough into ten equal sized pieces.
  7. Shape each into a ball, then insert a wooden spoon handle in the middle to make a hole. Twizzle about until the hole is at least 2cm/1 inch across. (Or leave as balls if making burger buns)
  8. Once all the bagels are shaped, tip the bicarbonate into the water. Place each bagel in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, turning over once. Lift out, drain off the excess water by placing on a clean tea towel. Then place on the baking sheet.
  9. Brush with the dairy-free milk and sprinkle with the salt.
  10. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden
  11. Cool on a wire rack.

dairy-free, nut-free bagels

Custard creams

dairy-free custard creams

My next foray into recreating the classics are those good old favourites, custard creams. Maybe not very exciting, but an ever present feature in a biscuit selection box and as traditional as they come! Surely we need a friendly version of such a common staple?

I don’t know why, but until I started thinking of how to recreate the recipe, it had never occurred to be that custard creams were flavoured with custard! I’d always thought that because they are plainest, cream filled sandwich biscuits, that the term came from that alone – now I feel totally silly for not realising that they’d be flavoured with custard – it’s so obvious!

So for those who are unaware of the British classic custard cream, they’re basically a custard flavoured cream filled sandwich biscuit, often found in selection tins that are a favoured prize in raffles!!

The biscuit needs to be slightly crumbly, not as crisp as a petit beurre, preferably cut into a rectangle and then sandwiched together with a stiff buttercream filling. I’m pretty pleased with the authenticity of these. There is no doubt that you’re eating a custard cream, all that is missing is the embossed outisde and a cup of tea on the side!

Custard creams

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan custard creams

Makes 18

For the biscuits

100g dairy-free margarine

100g caster sugar

200 plain flour

3 tbsp so custard powder ( Bird’s custard powder in a tin is dairy-free)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp so dairy-free milk

dairy-free custard wafers

For the filling:

2 tbsp a dairy-free margarine

2 tbsp so trex vegetable fat

2 tbsp custard powder

1 tsp vanilla

300g icing sugar

3 tsp dairy- free milk

  1. Start by making the dough. Cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in all the other ingredients, using the milk to loosen the mixture
  2. Wrap in cling film and chill
  3. Meanwhile make the filling. Combine the icing sugar and custard powder. Whisk the margarine and fat together, then whisk in the other ingredients a little at a time, alternating wet and dry
  4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade
  5. Roll out the chilled dough and cut into even sized shapes, ideally rectangles
  6. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until starting to turn golden around the edges. Cool.
  7. Sandwich together with the cream filling. These keep well for 3-4 days

vegan custard creams

Mustardy lentil burgers

mustardy lentil veggie burgers, dairy-free, egg-free

We tend to always go for bean burgers in this house and I find this mixture of beans and tortilla chips works particularly well. But sometimes, it’s good for a mix up and with the onset of Autumn, lentils seemed a far more appropriate choice.

I’ve not made lentil burgers before and was worried that the texture would be too crumbly and the taste lacking, but with a good wallop of mustard and the magic binding properties of aquafaba the resulting burgers are wonderfully flavoursome with no hint of cumbliness. The combination of lentils, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, herbs and mustard two ways gives a rich earthiness to the burgers, making them perfect for the Autumn table.

We served them in homemade chive bagel buns ( recipe to follow) and the hint of chive oniony flavour really enhanced the rich, deep flavour of the burgers. I think we’ll be having these often this Autumn!

Mustardy lentil burgers

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan lentil burgers

1 cup cooked green lentils

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3-4 medium mushroom, roughly chopped

1 slice of bread, processed or grated into breadcrumbs

1 tsp English mustard powder

1 tsp herbed de Provence

3 tsps Dijon mustard

3 tbsp aquafaba

  1. Fry the shallot in 1 tbsp olive oil until starting to turn golden, add the garlic and mushrooms and herbs and continue to cook until the mushrooms start to colour. Stir in the mustard powder
  2. Combine with the breadcrumbs and cooked lentils and process until well combined and fairly smooth
  3. Add the aquafaba and Dijon mustard and mix well. The mixture will be fairly sloppy. Form into four even sized patties and place in the fridge to firm up ( at least half an hour)
  4. Gently fry in oil until brown and crispy on the outside, then transfer to a medium hot oven (180 degrees) for 15 minutes to heat through.
  5. These freeze well after the initial frying, then simply defrost and heat in the oven.

dairy-free, egg-free veggie burgers

Chocolate Terrine

dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free chocolate terrine/chocolate log

Think of a chocolate truffle studded with yummy delicious morsels and then dusted with icing sugar – delicious, right? Well that’s the principle of this chocolate terrine – made in a terrine mould or simply formed into a cylinder; a slice of this chocolate terrine will please anyone.

The chocolate is rich and unctuous and the morsels inside crispy or chewy in alternate mouthfuls. It may just be a little more fancy chocolate refrigerator cake but it looks and tastes elegant enough to elevate it above children’s tea parties! Having said that it went down extremely well with my girls [and everyone else] as a luxury pudding option!

Chocolate Terrine

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, can be soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan chocolate terrine/refrigerator cake
170 g dairyfree chocolate

120g dairyfree margarine

3  tbsps golden or maple syrup

12 biscuits, roughly crushed ( I used Lotus )

20 g Rice Krispies

1/3 cup honeycomb pieces

1 pack ( approx 1 cup) vegetarian marshmallows

  1. Line a terrine mould or loaf tin with two layers of cling film
  2. Melt together the chocolate, margarine and syrup. Stir well to form a gorgeous truffle mixture
  3. Fold in the other ingredients
  4. Pour into the lined mould and bring over the cling film so it is entirely covered. Press down firmly for a compacted centre and even top
  5. Place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to firm up
  6. Serve dusted with icing sugar and sliced.

dairy-free chocolate terrine

Dairy-free Baked Mini Doughnuts


vegan baked doughnuts

I don’t know about you, but for us, other people eating doughnuts seems to crop up a lot! They feature as the treat of choice in so many scenarios – from the highlight of school match tea to that Halloween game of dangling them on strings and trying to eat them with no hands . I’ve made ‘proper’ doughnuts before with great success, but you really don’t want to eat or make deep fried dough too regularly, so here is a great baked doughnut recipe idea to have to hand.

I’ve made baked doughnuts before too and although they were perfectly passable, they weren’t as fantastic as I’d hoped. This recipe instead is far better, the doughnuts don’t stick (bonus!), they’re light and fluffy but also distinctly doughnutty rather than cakey.  They are an absolute joy to eat and make! And the secret? Well it’s a dose of good old aquafaba to replace the usual eggs in a doughnut batter and it works a treat, giving a fantastic rise and thankfully no hint of beanyness in sight!

I know the aquafaba direction has gone from simple meringues to general egg replacement  – however, I haven’t always been convinced. The cookies I’ve tried with aquafaba haven’t been as good as my egg-free versions and you certainly don’t want to use too much in any recipe. This recipe is  an exception, the aquafaba really, really improves it.

I don’t have a doughnut pan so I improvised with foil tubes placed in the centre of muffin holes – they may not be as perfect but they’re still doughnuts with holes!

homemade doughnut tin

Mini Baked Doughnuts

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes 20 mini doughnuts

3 cups self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3/4 cup caster sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, melted

5 tbsp of aquafaba

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup dairy-free milk

  1. Grease your pan, place foil tubes in the centre of each and preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients and pour into the dry. Gently mix until fully combined.
  3. Pipe or spoon into the tin
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes until well risen and a knife comes out clean. Remove  from the tins and cool.

baked mini donuts, nut-free

For the icing:

pink iced doughnuts, egg-free, dairy-free

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tbsp dairy free margarine, melted

2 tbsp dairy free milk

Food colouring

1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. Whisk together then use to coat the doughnuts and sprinkle with decorations.

vegan iced donuts

Stunning strawberry cupcakes

dairy-free, egg-free strawberry cupcake

This autumn term has reintroduced Thursday bake day into my life, the day when I bake goodies for the girls to take into school to share with their friends. You may think that I’m way over the top baking goodies each week (unless it’s someone’s birthday and they’re bringing in homemade treats) but I think it’s so important for my girls (and those around them) to enjoy friendly treats which they can enjoy, rather than the special, weird foods everyone shies away from. We have a few dear friends who bake so that both girls are included, and one family in particular who go to amazing lengths to ensure that little S doesn’t feel different; but on the whole, if it’s not me baking, then they’ll end up with a bag of haribo whilst everyone else scoffs cakes. It’s lucky they like haribo! Anyway, so Friday cake day has become a tradition and most often the requested treat is cupcakes…. No surprises there!

This is a delicious variation on a simple vanilla cupcake – infused with delicate strawberry flavour, and then iced with a wonderfully blush strawberry buttercream, these cupcakes are a notch up from the usual.

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan strawberry cupcakes

makes 24

400g self-raising flour

200g caster sugar

pinch of salt

200ml sunflower oil

300ml dairy-free milk

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp strawberry flavouring

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 4. Place liners in a cupcake tray
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dairy-free milk, bicarb, lemon, strawberry flavouring and oil.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix, until well combines.
  5. 2/3rds fill the liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden and a knife comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.

For the strawberry buttercream:

1/4 cup vegetable fat (such as Trex)

3/4 cup dairy-free margarine (such as Pure)

3 cups icing sugar, sifted

1/2 cup strawberry puree (fresh strawberries whizzed up to a puree in a blender and then sieved)

  1. Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the strawberry puree, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.
  3. use to top the cupcakes and then sprinkle with freeze-dried strawberry pieces

dairy-free, nut-free strawberry cupcakes

Raspberry and Lemon Flapjacks

dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free raspberry and lemon flapjacks

You simply can’t beat a flapjack for energy giving deliciousness but sometimes you want more than just sweet syrupy oats. I’m very fond of coconut flapjacks, but the girls aren’t so keen, so I’m constantly trying to develop new, exciting flavours to enhance such a simple staple.

This version uses freeze dried raspberries and lemon juice/ zest and boy, is it delicious or what! The freeze dried nuggets give a wonderful sweet berry tang and the lemon enhances and flavour and very slightly cuts through the sweetness. They may now be my all time favourite flapjack combination!

Raspberry and Lemon Flapjacks

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, can be gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan raspberry and lemon flapjacks

200g dairy free margarine (I use Pure soya or sunflower)

200g demerara sugar

200g golden syrup

400g oats (preferably not giant oats)

1/2 tsp salt

1/3rd cup freeze-dried raspberry pieces

zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line a 30×20 cm (approx.) baking tray with foil
  2. Melt together the dairy free margarine, sugar, syrup, lemon juice, zest and salt. When the sugar has dissolved mix into the oats, stir in the raspberry pieces
  3. Spread into the lined baking tray
  4. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden
  5. remove from the oven and press down with a spatula for an even finish
  6. Cool well before cutting into bars/squares. Or freeze whole and cut when defrosted.
  7. Try not to eat too many!!


My Special Fiery Chipotle Chilli Sauce

chipotle chilli sauce

Chilli sauce creeps up on you, doesn’t it? You start with a smidgen which blows your head off, then for some reason you go back for more. Before you know it, chilli sauce is a regular condiment on the dining table! Whilst you can buy any kind of chilli sauce you could imagine, it’s always good to have a recipe up your sleeve. Imagine one day there might be a great chilli sauce shortage, then what would you do?!

Besides this sauce (inspired by one from Deborah Maddison, one of my all time favourite veggie chefs) is unlike any I’ve come across, bags of chipotle flavour, loads of spice, but also tempered by an underlying tomatoey sweetness which makes it the perfect accompanying sauce. This one has crept up on us, it’s featuring with or on most things we eat! it’s wonderful on Mexican dishes of course, great with veggie sausages, fab in place of ketchup almost anywhere you would use it.

I pour some into a bottle and then freeze the rest in bottle-sized portions, ready for that awful day when the chilli sauce shortage begins!

My special Fiery Chipotle Chilli Sauce

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, gluten-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

fiery homemade chilli sauce

1 small tin of chipotles in adobo sauce
2 times of the same tin of water
4 tbsps tomato purée
1 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsps soft brown sugar

  1. Whizz together all the ingredients in a blender until smooth
  2. Pour into a sterilised bottle and keep in the fridge, or freeze in bags.
    tomato chilli sauce, free-from