I’m not vegan, but I’ve recently gone dairy free because my baby boy has a dairy intolerence. It’s given me the chance to experiment with new recipes, flavours and ideas while having a positive impact for animals and the environment – what Veganuary is all about. I’ve always thought I would try going vegan for a bit and it’s been easier than I thought – so I’d encourage you to give it a go!
I made this pudding for Christmas day using the medjool dates sold loose at Beanies. Yum!
Makes: 8 servings
Oven Temperature: 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4
Cooking Time: about 30 minutes
175g (7 oz) soft brown sugar
50g (2 oz) margarine
175g (7 oz) finely chopped dates
225g (9 oz) self-raising flour
1/2 – 1 tsp baking powder
275ml (1/2 pint) boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking powder is fine if you don’t have any)
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the sauce
50g (2 oz) vegan margarine
75g (3 oz) soft brown sugar
3 tbsp soya cream (you can use soya milk in an emergency!)
1. Cream together margarine and sugar. (This is a fairly low fat recipe so the mixture will be crumbly at first rather than creamy!)
2. Put the chopped dates in a medium sized bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the self raising flour, the bicarbonate of soda and the vanilla essence. Pour on the boiling water – it will fizz up!
3. Fold the flour and baking powder into the margarine mixture. If the mixture becomes too dry, add some of the liquid from the dates.
4. Finally add the dates and all of the liquid. Blend it together and pour into a greased/lined 7″x11″ baking tray.
5. Cook for about 30 – 35 minutes at 180ºC/350ºF until cooked.
6. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the margarine over a low heat and then add the sugar. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the vegan cream and pour the toffee sauce over the cake when it comes out of the oven. Put the cake under the grill for a couple of minutes until the sauce bubbles.
7. Serve with vegan cream or ice cream.
N.B. This recipe is from www.parsleysoup.co.uk – one of the few UK vegan recipe websites you could find back in the day. It still has lots of useful vegan versions of everyday classics like shepherds pie, bean burritos and lentil mousaka… but best of all are the cakes, biscuits and classic British puddings.