SoyaToo! Soy Whip Spray Cream

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So I finally got around to trying Soy Whip in a can. I have to say I was quite excited about this and trying it out in various ways for the kids.

First the good news: it tastes great, in fact pretty much the same as the carton version – sweet, but with a very light aerated texture, like a dessert version of whipped cream. Probably not the best for a low fat, organic diet but even so the ingredients listed aren’t that bad.

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It works in exactly the same way as a can of normal dairy whipped cream. The kids loved it squirted directly on some fresh berries. We started to get creative and made some egg free meringues using Orgran Egg Replacer and made a raspberry cream sandwich:

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These were scoffed in seconds.

Even the husband started to get enthusiastic and sneakily tried to eat it straight out of the can! We started to plan all manner of desserts and uses for it but then…here’s the bad news. After only the third time we had used it, it had stopped dispensing and we couldn’t get the cream out! The can was still full of cream (I could hear it sloshing inside when it was being shaken) but even after following the recommended instructions by cleaning the nozzle each time after use with warm water and leaving at room temperature for 15 minutes after taking out of the fridge, every time we pressed the nozzle there was the hiss of gas and nothing else…until all of the nitrous oxide had been emptied out.

A quick internet search revealed that this had happened to pretty much everyone else who had bought it too, which is a massive shame as I was hoping my can was just a dud. In summary it means that the product just doesn’t work, which is really disappointing as it actually tastes really good. I’ll stick with the carton next time.

Dairy and Egg Free Trifle

This is a wee project I’ve been planning on doing for a while, and I’ve finally got around to it. It’s somewhat unfair that we always get to eat these lovely cakes and desserts while my poor girls just get to eat the same old stuff every time, so it makes me really happy to create something new for them.

It has lots of different elements to it, and it took a couple of days to make having to wait for each of the layers to set. First, jelly and fruit on the bottom – I used fresh raspberries but any soft fruit works; followed by a sponge layer, homemade; and then some dairy free custard. For the custard I used a 50/50 mix of soya/coconut milk (the KoKo brand) as personally I find the coconut is quite neutral tasting and masks the overpowering taste of soya.

However the success of this is all down to this fantastic product I found called Soya Too which I got from my local health food shop. It comes in a carton, and weirdly comes out in a kind of semi-solid block, but it whips up like double cream and for those that have had dairy before, tastes like Bird’s Dream Topping (remember that, ’80s kids?).

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The “cream” tastes quite sweet and dessert-like, though don’t go too overboard if like me you don’t like things too sugary. They also do a spray version in a can which I’m hoping to try out soon, so there are lots of things we could do with this. How exciting!

Anyway back to the trifle – I have to say it was a resounding success, and everyone had double helpings all round. Definitely one to try again, and it is very easy to tweak by substituting with different ingredients and quantities.

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(Apologies for the poor picture quality, by the time I finished it was the evening and the lighting in the kitchen isn’t great for taking photos)

Ingredients

Jelly Layer:
1 packet of jelly (makes up to 1 pint)
Fresh soft/tinned fruit (I used fresh raspberries)

Sponge Layer:
200g (7oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g (4oz) caster sugar
55ml (2oz) sunflower oil
200ml (14fl oz) dairy-free milk
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Custard:
1 tbsp custard powder ( I use Birds)
250ml dairy free milk (I used 50/50 soya/coconut)

1 packet of Soya Too! Soy Whip

Instructions

  1. First make up the jelly according to the instructions, you may want to use around 50ml less water if you wish your jelly to be firmer. Pour into a large glass serving dish.
  2. When the jelly has cooled add your fruit making sure they are evenly spaced. Put in the fridge to set (this will take all day if you have made it in the morning or leave overnight).
  3. While the jelly is setting make your sponge:
    a)  Preheat the oven to 180C and line a springform cake tin(23cm/9inch is ok) with baking parchment.
    b)  Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Whisk together the sunflower oil, milk, syrup and vanilla in a jug and pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, mix together gently until thick and creamy.
    c)  Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until risen and cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Make the custard up according to the instructions. You want the layer to be quite firm and not too liquid so I use double the recommended quantity of custard powder. Put in a jug to cool and cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming.
  5. When everything has cooled and the jelly has set it’s time to assemble! Cut the sponge cake into slices, you can make these as thin or as thick as you like – I did mine quite thin so it wouldn’t be too filling. Arrange these over your jelly layer.IMG_4521
  6. Pour over the cooled custard and spread evenly.IMG_4522
  7. Whip the Soy Whip according to the instructions in a large bowl, then spread over your custard. It’s now ready to eat and enjoy!IMG_4526 2

Gingerbread

Gingerbread
Gingerbread People!

There was a bake sale at Little Two’s baby group so rather than make cakes (which are a bit hit and miss with dairy and egg eaters) I made some gingerbread. Well unexpectedly, they all disappeared like hot cakes! Fortunately I managed to keep a couple for my two but I then had to make another batch since they were so delicious.

The recipe is a Delia Smith one – Queen of all things culinary, and I make these all the time. It has quite intense flavours due to the addition of black treacle, cloves and orange rind but my kids love them. It’s great fun making these together and they love stamping out the shapes from the dough.

Ingredients

175g/3oz Soft Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tbsp Black Treacle
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1 Pinch Cloves
Grated Rind of 1 Orange
95g Butter/Marg
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
225g Plain Flour

Method

  1. Put sugar, syrup, treacle, spices and orange rind into a saucepan with 1 tbsp water. Heat to boiling and stir until dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter and bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Beat flour in until a dough is formed. Leave the dough to rest, covered in a cool place for approx 30 minutes until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4.
  5. Roll out dough to 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out with cookie cutters, using currants for the eyes and mouth or press holes in the dough.
  6. Bake on baking sheets in the centre of the oven for 10-15mins until firm when pressed lightly with fingertips. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray until transferring to a wire rack.

I’m Back

Summer break has finished. Eldest has gone back to school and baby and toddler classes have started again – it’s actually quite nice to be back in a routine!

Over the summer some strange things have happened – both of the girls have developed some new allergies sadly (I sigh as I type this). Eldest One has had more reaction to fresh fruit so the variety of what she can eat is decreasing. Little Two has started to react to peanut now; we were hoping this would not be the case since she was eating it since she was a year old, however over the summer holiday she didn’t have it for a few weeks as Eldest One is allergic to peanut and that seems to have done it. There’s a definite reaction to avocado over the last week and she is also reacting to random things, some of which I can’t quite put my finger on but it could be oranges, tomato and peppers. The trouble is she wants to eat everything all of the time – and that includes the furniture!

We’ve been doing a fair bit of culinary research over the holidays. I’ve taken a few pics so will post them up soon.

Oral Allergy Syndrome: A right pain

My Eldest One has Oral Allergy Syndrome and the number of fresh fruit and vegetables she can eat raw is dwindling as each summer passes by. She used to love eating cherries, strawberries, melon, peaches, apple – in fact any fruit. Not anymore. Because she has hay fever this is causing a cross reaction between pollen and certain fruits/vegetables which when eaten gives her an itchy mouth. Poor One hates it when it happens – this year she started to react to tomatoes which she ate by the bucket load until only a few months ago, and yesterday she ate a raw carrot stick and said her throat was itchy.

I sigh as a write this, because One gets really disappointed when she finds there is yet another thing she cannot eat and then starts getting fearful of trying anything else in case she reacts. There are only a few fruits she can eat fresh now: raspberries, banana, grapes, pomegranate and satsumas. Fortunately cooking or freezing can change the structure so we can still make an apple crumble or freeze the fruit to make a smoothie.

I also suspect Number Two is reacting in a similar way to tomatoes, sugar snaps and potato! It’s all getting very difficult with deciding what both my kids can eat at the same time.

For more information there is some really useful advice on OAS here:

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Cross Reaction Chart

Dairy and Egg Free Scones

I love scones, especially when they are warm from the oven, a nice crust on the outside and warm and fluffy inside. They are a real weakness of mine if I go to a cafe and they’re on the menu, perfect with a cup of tea. My eldest really wanted to try them so I started from a basic recipe and made it into one which would be safe for her. My first attempt turned out a bit like rock cakes, but I carried on looking and found this recipe from BBC Good Food and the results are fantastic. A few tips I found out along the way: 1) Keep the fat cold and handle the dough as little as possible; 2) as mentioned in the recipe, the lemon juice adds acidity which gives the raising agents a boost resulting in more rise and a lighter texture; 3) keep the dough thick which will result in a lovely tall scone.

I usually make these using unsweetened soya milk, but lately my eldest has a penchant for oat milk and they’ve turned out just as nice. My girls love these fresh with some dairy free spread and a dollop of strawberry jam. Enjoy!

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Classic Dairy and Egg Free Scones (Adapted from BBC Good Food)

Ingredients:

  • 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g cold dairy free spread/margarine, cubed (Stork Block margarine gives me the best results)
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175ml dairy free milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • milk for brushing

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the spread/margarine, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  2. Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment. Put a baking sheet in the oven.
  3. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother – the dough should still be quite wet. Pat into a round about 4cm deep.
  4. Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. Brush the tops with milk of choice, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
  5. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat while warm!

Quick Dairy and Egg Free Apple Tart

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This is a quick dessert I rustled up for my kids, it took less time than I thought it would and so easy – my eldest arranged the apples on which was fun for her and less work for me! We used Jus Rol Puff Pastry which is egg and dairy free; afterwards I thought the addition of cinamon would have added a bit more flavour so I’ll try and remember to put it on next time. I try not to use too much sugar so have used a combination of sugar and honey so this is a treat which is not too bad for them.

Ingredients:
A box of Jus Rol Puff Pastry Sheet
2 or 3 apples depending on size (any variety but I find braeburn or cox work best)
Brown Sugar for sprinkling (Or any other sugar if you don’t have brown)
Honey for drizzling

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas Mark 6. Cut each apple into quarters and remove the core. Cut into slices about 5 mm thick.
2) Unroll the puff pastry sheet and cut along to make a rectangle (about 15cm long or so). Place on a non stick baking sheet or sheet lined with baking parchment.
3) Arrange the slices on the pastry so they overlap each other in a domino effect. When done, sprinkle all over with brown sugar, and a light drizzle of honey.
4) Pop into the oven for 15 minutes or until the edges of the pastry are golden brown. All done and ready to enjoy!