So Matt’s left now after visiting me in London for about 5 days, and I wanted to document the massive amount of baking and cooking that took place during his stay – we made so much! I always seem to massively overeat when Matt stays as he encourages me to happily munch on everything in sight, as well as helping me bake sweet treats and fancy meals for my family – such a bad influence! It was lovely having him round though, we went to Brick Lane (I got yet another cookbook – Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen), charity-shop shopping down my little high street and did lots of Disney film watching, which was obviously awesome. Photos of some amazing Brick Lane cupcake stalls are on my facebook page.) Next time he comes to London will be immensely busy though; I’m running the Race for Life next week, then we’re heading to Latitude festival the day after, which will be so exciting! I can’t wait! Is anyone else going? Bon Iver’s headlining, and I reckon I might pass out with happiness when he performs…
So anyway, Matt loves cooking, and we had two proper family meals over the five days he was here – the first night we had a sort of Asian-themed meal (Chilli & Halloumi Flatbreads, lots of rice, my Mum’s special vegetarian curry and some onion bhajis Matt made); then on Sunday Matt made beef burgers and chips – obviously I had my own veggie sausages – and followed it with an utterly amazing passion fruit swiss roll from my Jo Wheatley book. I was so nervous about making a swiss roll for the first time, but it actually turned out quite well, it tasted good despite its “rustic” appearance :p
My favourite thing we made though were the ginger biscuits with lemon icing that we experimented with; everyone loved them, and they tasted really warm and delicious. They’re sort of (in a way) inspired by the lemon and ginger tea we have in the house at the moment, though it’s quite a traditional combination anyway so I can’t take all creative credit on this one! The recipe is totally vegan and gluten-free (I’ve been using my big bag of rice flour recently), but the silver balls we used to decorate them have gelatine in them – luckily I found out before I ate one, but don’t add them if you’re veggie.
250g of rice flour
Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
One tablespoon of ground ginger
Half a teaspoon of mixed spice
125g of vegan spread
185g of light brown sugar
One tablespoon of golden syrup dissolved in 60ml of boiling water
One tablespoon of lemon juice mixed into about 100g of icing sugar for the icing, and silver balls (or not) to decorate
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl. Add the butter and sugar and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the water/syrup mixture and mix into a soft dough with a knife.
- Roll into small balls, then place on the prepared trays, allowing for room to spread during cooking, then flatten out slightly with your fingertips. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Leave for 10 minutes on the tray to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Ice with lemon icing and decorate.
P.S. If you can’t be bothered to cook, Knead Bakery do some amazing gluten-free vegan ginger cookies (they gave me a sample pack and they’re divine) which you could buy, then ice at home!
P.P.S. I also just got a facebook page, which you can find by clicking the little ‘F’ button underneath my picture on the right-hand side (or search http://www.facebook.com/emilycooksvegan) – please ‘like’ away :)