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Yesterday I launched a separate "Ps...it's vegan!" blog on blogspot.
My first post is all about easy to make cheaty vegan desserts
! In time I will be adding "proper" recipes and other lovely vegan things!
You can view my blog here
"Ps...it's vegan" business news will remain here in this news section :)
In other news..."The Minories Garden Cafe" in Colchester are now selling our cakes on Wednesdays.
I'm thrilled that "ps...it's vegan!" is nominated for "Best Vegan Cakes" at the UK vegan awards for the second year running. Please give us a sneaky vote here if you like our cakes! Thank you!
April 20th I held a charity bake sale in Lush Colchester, as part of the "worldwide vegan bake sale" to raise funds for Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, in Asheldham, Essex.
The bake sale was a huge success and all 180 cakes sold in less than 3 hours! (between 11am and 2pm).
I am thrilled that kind hearted cake-lovers helped to raise £245.80 Tower Hill!
I was overwhelmed by the turn out and support-some people were even buying boxes of 10 cakes at a time! One couple came all the way from Billericay, just to buy some cakes!
The staff at Lush were lovely and gave me a really warm welcome (and bought their fair share of cakes too!)
I spent 12 hours making lot's of different flavoured cupcakes, muffins, cookies, whoopie pies and cinnamon rolls.
This is the second time I've participated in the world wide vegan bakesale, in 2011 I held another bakesale in Lush, which raised £157 for Animal Aid.
This year I chose to support Tower Hill Stables because I follow them on Facebook and felt I wanted to help the good work they do.
I was thrilled that the sanctuary owner, elite vegan marathon runner Fiona Oakes came along to support the event! (although all the cakes had sold out by the time she arrived!)
It was lovely to meet Fiona. I've been a huge fan of hers for ages. (you could say she's one of my heroes!) I really appreciated her taking the time to visit Colchester
Fiona is a former Olympic athlete (former cyclist), who now competes in extreme marathons.
She won the women's race at the North Pole marathon earlier this year (in temperatures of -28 c!) and came in third place overall, behind two male runners. She smashed the previous women's course record by 45 minutes! (along with her mascot- Percy bear, who also made an appearance at Lush!)
Fiona runs these extreme marathons to raise awareness of veganism and to prove that you can excel on a plant based diet, and also to raise funds for her animal sanctuary, at which she cares for 400 rescued animals (including horses, sheep, cows, chickens, pigs and rescued dogs and cats).
Fiona said she was really happy to see me promoting veganism through baking cakes, as a lot of people still seem to think being vegan means going without! She was also very appreciative of the effort I'd put in to raise money for her sanctuary, and said she'd be happy to help promote "ps..it's vegan!" in the future.
Fiona and me! (and Percy on my shoulder!
More photos from the day can be seen here
Since it is nearly Christmas I thought I would share with you a recipe for vegan mince pies!The pastry recipe is from the amazing "Vegan Pie in The Sky" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romeo.
You will need:
(7 oz/ 200g) plain flour
tablespoons (2oz/50g) cold dairy free margarine (recommend “Vitalite” or
tablespoons (2oz/50g) cold vegetable fat (ie Trex)
tablespoons ice water
tablespoon apple cider vinegar
soya or almond milk
sugar for dusting
pin or wine bottle for rolling out pastry, muffin tin, round pastry cutters, or
To make your pastry: This is an all-purpose,
flaky, roll-out pie crust, perfect for any pies. It's great for cutting shapes,
or making lattices. Double the recipe and use it to make apple pie!
- In a large mixing bowl, sift
together the flour and salt. Mix in the sugar. Add half the margarine and
vegetable fat by about half tablespoonfuls, and rub into the flour with
your fingertips, until the flour appears pebbly. Add the remaining
margarine and shortening, and rub in.
- In a small bowl, mix
together 2 tablespoons of ice water with the apple cider vinegar. Drizzle
the water and vinegar mixture into the flour by the tablespoonful, gently
mixing it after each addition. Knead the dough a few times, adding more
water until it holds together. You may need only the 2 tablespoons, but
add up to 1 more tablespoon if needed.
- Divide the dough in two,
roll each half into a ball, then press them into disks and wrap each in cling
film. Refrigerate for half an hour. (Refrigerate your rolling pin too!)
To assemble you pies:
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with
flour. Roll out one ball of pastry to about 1/8 inch thick.
glass or pastry cutter cut out circles approx 3.5 inch wide, and press
carefully into the muffin pan to make the base of your pies.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of mincemeat into each pie. Roll out the other ball of pastry to 1/8 inch
thick. Use a star cutter (if you have one) or a smaller glass to cut out the
lids of your pies. Press the lids on.
Make a small hole in the surface of each pie with a small sharp knife to allow
the steam to escape (no need if using star shaped lids). Brush each pie with a little soya or almond
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins or until
golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins
before moving to a cooling rack.
cooled sprinkle the tops with icing sugar.
keep well if placed in an airtight tin. If you like you can warm them in the
oven before serving.
I have neglected keeping up to date with my news! And a fair bit has happened lately.
Most notably, I was very excited to come third in the category of "Best Vegan Cakes" at the UK vegan awards!
It was a surprise enough to see I was nominated, so I was super excited to finish in the top three (out of 13 nominated vegan bakeries).
Other good news, I am currently supplying two new locations.
The first is "Cafe at number 21" which is a new eatery on Trinity Street, that aims to cater for all diets, including vegetarian and vegan.
I supply them with vegan cupcakes (and the occasional muffin), throughout the week.
I am also currently trialling supplying 2 canteens (Zest and Blues) at the University of Essex! So if you know any vegan (or non-vegan!) students at the uni please let them know about my cakes, and be sure to tell them to let the catering staff know how happy they are to see sweet vegan treats on sale!!
Amendment, July 2013: I am unfortunately no longer stocking the university, due to issues delivering the cakes (I don't drive!)
I have also recently stopped supplying "Cafe at 21" (for personal reasons). For any updates on new stockists, join our mailing list!
I am afraid I am bearer of bad news this evening! (You may
have already read this on Facebook..)
Unfortunately the Treehouse café are
having to call time on their vegan market stall, for the time being at least…
Here is a message that they posted on facebook earlier today…
lovely people of Colchester, we've got some good news and some bad news for
First off the bad news - due to full time day jobs, essays, studies and other
things we'd rather avoid (but can't) we're going to be taking a break from our
regular Saturday stall. It turns out the pressure of moving, starting studies
and full time xmas work means we can't spend all our time working on or at the
stall, as much as we love it.
We know this means some of you will miss out on your weekend fix of vegan
treats, BUT - and now for the better news- we still want to prepare food for
We'll be taking orders which can be delivered in town centre at weekends, for
which we'll be posting a menu up soon, so if you do want to order anything, all
you have to do is let us know by Thursday evening!
Also, we're still available for catering, so get in touch if you have any
parties or events coming up.
Lastly, it's not all over for the stall - there's a possible (and exciting)
opportunity for us to expand soon - though we can't say too much about it - and
the stall will be back in the new year!
Thank you all for your support so far, it's been great to meet you all and we
hope to see you all again soon!”
I’d like to extend my thanks too to everyone
that supported the stall and bought my cakes; I was really blown away by the
response, and I’m really sorry that I won’t be able to make you any more for the time being.
forget that cakes/cupcakes are still available for private order, and can be
collected from my address (down East hill) -Just email!
(I know it’s not as convenient
as stopping by the stall, but at least an option is there..)
you informed on here of any other places that I may end up selling in the future (I’ll
have sent some of you around the whole town looking for vegan cakes soon! -Sorry about that!), and I’ll
also email my mailing list with any developments regarding The Treehouse. -Don’t forget you can also follow them on
their facebook page where they will post any updates.
Hopefully I will have some better news to report in the near future!
Many thanks as always
I was quite excited this morning to discover
that “ps..it’s vegan!” has been nominated in the “best cakes” category at the
UK vegan awards! So if you like our cakes, and have a moment to spare, perhaps
you could cast a little vote our way! (it would be much appreciated!) http://www.veganmidlands.org.uk/festival/veganawards.html
Also..just a little update..in case anyone is wondering what is happening with
Guntons…reluctantly I think I will have to stop supplying them on Saturdays for
the foreseeable future..as 1, it’s not overly practical for me to be selling in
two places on a Saturday…and 2, I am guessing that most of my customer base probably
head to the market stall on Saturdays anyway, since there are more vegan goodies
on offer! (Hence they are selling much better!)
But thank you if you did buy cakes from there in the past..perhaps one
day in the future I will return! (if they would have me!)
So..after 2 successful trial runs (thanks for the support
folks!) The Treehouse market stall has decided to sign up for a regular pitch :)
But-first there was an ultimatum to be had! The choice was...either return to the original (nice) pitch where the stall was launched (Culver
street) but NOT sell cupcakes, or, move to Long Wyre street (not so nice a
pitch) and continue selling cupcakes.
The reason for the whole cupcake debacle is basically
that there are rules stipulating how many stalls can sell the same things in the
same vicinity of each other, and there is another stall that already sells
cupcakes on Culver street. Now I know,
and you know, that vegan cupcakes will more often than not, be bought by
vegans, who wouldn’t have shopped at the other stall anyway. But apparently that doesn’t matter…rules are
So, after much deliberating we all decided for the
future success of the stall that it needed a good pitch, and we all think Culver street is the best pitch.
Which means…no more cupcakes! Now as scary as that sounds to me (I am a
cupcake girl through and through) -I am trying my best to look at it positively and see it as a window
for new cake opportunities (as this blog title suggests..”necessity breeds
The rules are very clear “no cupcakes".
the be all and end all of culinary cake delights!
So let’s start new trends!
(Gather 'round close, here is the top secret plan..)
of cupcakes lets try…
-Brownies! Chocolatey brownies, Nutty brownies, minty brownies, coffee brownies,
-Tray bakes,cake slices,cake squares, in lots of flavours! Lemon?
Bakewell?! Date and oat?
-Cookies! Choc chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies ,espresso cookies-,coconut
macaroons- every other kind of cookie!
-Whoopie pies! (I’ve yet to try them, but see here, they look awesome-like cakey
-Mini sponge cakes!(maybe like these?-once I've bought the special tin!)
-Muffins! Coconut banana muffins, lemon blueberry muffins,double chocolate
muffins, choc raspberry muffins,choc orange muffins,strawberry spelt muffins,apple
muffins,no added sugar muffins...? Every other muffin!
-mini loaf cakes?
These are just a few ideas I’ve had so far..obviously I won’t
be doing them all at once, but these are the sorts of things you can expect
over the coming weeks. I’ll try and have
a good variety on offer each week (something chocolatey, something fruity,
something (slightly) less sinful!)
I’m sorry if anyone is upset at the loss of the
cupcakes! (they are darn cute and I will miss making them!) but I hope you will still support the stall and
try my new goodies! Please let me know if you do, and let me know what you
think, as I always appreciate good honest feedback! :) Also let me know if you have
any ideas for new products, or if there is
anything in particular you would like to see :)
And as a footnote…don’t forget you can still order cupcakes
in any flavour or design, for collection from my house :) (so all is not lost!)
As always, many thanks for your continued support-it really
is invaluable to me! :D
There is exciting news for veggies/vegans in Colchester..(or anyone who
just loves delicious food...) I'm pleased to let you know that
Colchester is soon to have it's own dedicated veggie/vegan market stall!
In the words of "The Treehouse
"..."The Treehouse will be Colchester's first co-op run fully veggie cafe and
social centre! Colchester is in desperate need of more veggie-friendly
places to eat and a space where people can find out what's going on in
their community, meet, organise and socialise... So we thought it was
time to do something about it!
We will be starting with a market stall from Saturday from August 11th, where we'll
be serving yummy veggie burgers, salads, delicious vegan cupcakes and
more. Come find is in the town centre for some free samples, a snack or a
Then we hope we can move into a more permanent space
where we can run workshops, provide meeting space for local community
& campaign groups, give free IT & language lessons and of course
serve excellent veggie and vegan food and damn good coffee! If you'd
like to support our project, get in touch, or better yet, come to our
stall and try some food!"
I really can't wait for this to launch; it will be amazing to know there
is somewhere to pick up a delicious home-made veggie burger on a
Saturday! (and as well as that it is being run by some really lovely
will have hopefully picked up on the word
"cupcake" in there too, and I'm very excited to say that I will be
working alongside The Treehouse to provide them with sweet treats for
So I hope you will join me in supporting them on their facebook
page, and paying them a visit this Saturday (11th Aug) at Culver street (near the Halifax) for some tasty food and a chat!