Weekly round up - What I've Been Buying, Making and Eating!

These choccies were actually from a few weeks ago but somehow got missed off a post and I've just noticed the picture on my phone. For those not from Manchester, Bonbon Chocolate Boutique is a fabulous little chocolate shop in the Northern Quarter. I've blogged about it here before. They sell lots of artisan and handmade chocolate including some made on the premises and also the best hot chocolate ever in several different flavours most of which are vegan friendly!


Matt visited with a friend a few weeks ago and brought these home. They were salted caramel truffles which they had just started selling and are made by the staff at Bonbon. They were seriously stunning and I am still thinking about them now weeks later!


I have been all about the chocolate in the last week. I went out and bought a bar of Seed and Bean Cornish Sea Salt after seeing this review by new blogger Hayley Loves which reminded me how much I love this bar. We also ordered a bar of this amazing sounding raw chocolate via the Real Foods website. I say amazing sounding as it arrived just as Matt went away for a week so I am patiently waiting for him to return to try this and the other things in the Real Foods order.


One of Matt's nephews had very kindly got us a Real Foods gift voucher for Christmas so we cashed in to get some ingredients (carob and vital wheat gluten) and also some treats such as the aforementioned Ailey Maes raw choc and some of this gourmet nut butter. How delicious does this sound as do the others in this range by Almighty Foods!


We have been wanting to try the Follow Your Heart vegan egg for ages so we are looking forward to a breakfast with this next weekend.


I've been really enjoying making frothy coffees with the Oatly Foamable from last weeks round up. I hope some coffee shops start to offer this as an alternative to soya.


There's been a bit of baking going on too recently. We hosted a Defiance Sessions the other week and I made some cakes to sell for donations at the gig for the first time. There were gluten free brownies from the Oh She Glows cookery book.



This is the Lemon and Poppy Seed cake from Get It Ripe. I really like a couple of the cake recipes from this book and they always turn out great.


I also made for the first time a Chocolate and Beetroot cake from the BBC recipes website. I wasn't sure about this as you basically chucked all the ingredients in a blender but it turned out really well and the recipe is definitely a keeper. I used ready cooked beetroot so it was nice and quick to make too!


One of the reasons I ordered the carob from Real Foods is that it seems to crop up in quite a few recipes from the Vegan recipe book I recently picked up in a charity shop. I've been regularly making the easy granola recipe from this and I turned next to something else form the breakfasts chapter - croissants!


These were fun to make though I would have liked as little more detail in the recipe such as what size to roll things out. The fat you use is coconut oil which you spread on the dough and then fold it and roll it before putting it in the fridge for a while to rest. The process takes about an hour and a half but most of that is just waiting for the dough to do it's thing and you can go off and do something else.


The recipe recommends filling them with chocolate so I tried this with some chocolate chips and I couldn't resist trying some with a bit of leftover smoked violife and some onion marmalade.


As you can see mine weren't quite as photogenic as the picture in the book. They also didn't have a croissant like texture it was definitely more of a filled bread roll. I enjoyed making them though and would probably have another go and experiment with fillings. I've popped a few in the freezer to take on a camping trip in a few weeks for a breakfast.


I lucked out again at my favourite charity shop last week that does 3 books for a pound. I got a couple of novels and a copy of Chocolate Covered Katie's book. How cool is that! I've only made a granola so far and I need to invest in some healthier sweeteners before I try anything else (xylitol and stevia feature heavily).


Talking of stevia I also won a sample box of Purition raw vegan smoothie mixes in a Facebook competition. The mixes all feature a small amount of stevia as a sweetener as well as a blend of nuts, seeds and hemp protein. They are designed to be a meal replacement drink or an after workout smoothie and they recommend adding fruit to them.


So far I've tried the vanilla (adding banana and cinnamon) and the chocolate (adding banana and frozen cherries). I liked both drinks and they did keep me full to my next meal. Although they can be used as part of a weight loss regime or as a protein drink I also think these would also be great for anyone who is poorly or recovering from an operation. I was really ill about five years ago and struggled to eat well over a few months living on sandwiches a lot of the time as they were easy. Something like this would have been brilliant then as another food option. I know you can make up your own blends but when you are ill the ease of having something like this cannot be underestimated.


So that's it for this week. I'm curious to know if anyone else has ever tried to make vegan croissants and if so what recipe you used?

Comments

  1. Cheese and Pickle croissants sound like an absolute brilliant idea. I haven't tried making croissants - my brother did once make dairy free croissants from scratch but said it was so much hassle making the pastry it wasn't worth it! But I heard there's a place that sells vegan croissants in Nottingham so I'm holding out for those :)

    I wish I could find vegan books in charity shops!

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    1. Yeah, I looked at some others recipes online and they took 2 days to make! Good to know about somewhere in Nottingham, will have to lok out for those.

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  2. The cheese and onion marmalade croissants sound like a great combination!
    I don't think I have ever found such nifty cookbooks in an op shop.

    I haven't made croissants before. I have a couple of recipes, so I guess I will one day!

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    1. I've had a really good run on charity shop cookbooks recently. Hoping it continues!

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  3. So many good eats as always, I love the idea of a cheese & pickle croissant. I always like to cut the plain ones in half and stuff them with VioLife slices. I haven't made croissants for years and I don' remember which recipe I used but there's a place in Seoul that makes the most ridiculous spot on perfect vegan croissants and I would love to get my hands on their recipe.

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    1. You have managed to find some amazing baked goods on your travels!

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  4. That's a great looking round up. I love salted caramel, so now you're not the only one thinking about them now! You've also got some cracking charity shops where you are.

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    1. We tried the chocolate last night and it was excellent. Must check out some of the other flavours in the range. It was like Panna in style so I think you'd like it.

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  5. The brownies at the Defiance Sessions were really nice, will look out for that cook book. Great blog!

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    1. Thanks Mike :) It's a nice cookbook and she has a good blog as well by the same name of Oh She Glows.

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  6. Those chocolates look so amazing. I wish I could get some of those in the US.

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    1. They were so good. I need to treat us to some more sometime soon!

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  7. Thank you for the mention :) I think I need to visit Manchester solely for the chocolate shop, I adore salted caramel :) luckily Leeds isn't too far away. :)

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    1. It's definitely worth a visit and it's really close to the amazing V Revolution too that has the best vegan burgers and junk food.

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  8. I love the little box that the Bon Bons came in. I just really love everything about the word Bon Bon too! I am a sucker for anything caramel since it's not always easy to find vegan caramel. I have never tried making croissants, vegan or not. The smoked cheese ones sound AMAZING!! They look great, and good on you for attempting them, I feel like I would for sure be too intimidated!

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    1. There definitely needs to be more vegan caramel in the world!

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