Cinnamon, candy and pecan glazed mini donuts (no sugar)

Cinnamon, candy and pecan glazed mini donuts (no sugar)
Donuts. Yes, donuts. This recipe benefits from the addition of well-beaten chickpea brine, which foams like beaten egg whites - and adds fluffiness and air to the donuts. Three options for glazes are provided; these can be mixed and matched to improvise your own glazes: why not dip your donuts in candy glaze and then add finely chopped pecans on top? Or dip your donuts in cinnamon glaze and then add finely chopped walnuts? This recipe makes 70 mini donuts (4 cm outer diameter).
  • Donut batter:
  • 2¼ cups of wholewheat spelt flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ⅓ cup chickpea brine from organic, unsalted chickpeas
  • ¼ cup cold-pressed sunflower or safflower oil
  • ¾ cup brown rice malt
  • 1 cup brown rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • Cinnamon glaze (covers around 24 mini donuts):
  • 3 tblsp brown rice malt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Candy glaze (covers around 24 mini donuts):
  • 3 tblsp brown rice malt
  • ¾ tblsp beetroot juice

  • Pecan glaze (covers around 24 mini donuts):
  • 2 tblsp brown rice malt
  • 1 tblsp raw white almond butter
  • 1 tblsp brown rice milk
  • Small handful of pecans, finely chopped
  1. Pre-heat oven to 210 degrees. Generously grease the donut pan with cold-pressed safflower or sunflower oil and set aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients for the donut batter (flour, baking powder, spices and sea salt) and set aside.
  3. Pour the chickpea brine into a glass bowl and beat until the mixture froths and develops a smooth consistency, but before it forms stiff peaks. (Use an electric beater to save both time and your arms).
  4. Pour the oil and brown rice malt for the donut batter into a small pan and gently warm over a low heat, stirring with a fork until the brown rice malt 'melts' into the oil but before it bubbles. (You can skip this step if short on time, but warming the malt will make it easier to stir the malt into the wet ingredients).
  5. Mix the oil and brown rice malt into the chickpea brine, stir in the milk and vanilla essence, add the dry ingredients, and mix well. The batter should have a runny consistency similar to pancake batter.
  6. Fill each donut cup approximately ½ full with the donut batter (around 1 tbslp batter per cup).
  7. Bake for 6 minutes or until the donuts spring back when lightly pressed.
  8. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. If needed, use a wooden toothpick, to gently prise each donut out of the pan. Wipe down the pan and re-grease between batches.
  9. While the donuts are baking/cooling in the pan, make your glazes. For the cinnamon and candy glazes, mix the ingredients in a small bowl each and set aside. For the pecan glaze, mix the malt, butter and milk together and set aside (keeping the pecans apart from the wet ingredients).
  10. To glaze the donuts, dunk them top-first into the glaze and, if using nuts, sprinkle the nuts on top. To increase the sweetness, let the first glaze soak in for a couple of minutes and then drizzle extra glaze on top.
  11. Cinnamon glazed, pecan glazed, and candy glazed donuts (left to right)



Raspberry filled, sugar-free vegan chocolate cupcakes

Raspberry-filled, sugar-free vegan chocolate cupcakes
This recipe makes 11 cupcakes, with two icing options: vegan chocolate 'ganache' and cream cheese. The chocolate 'ganache' icing is completely refined sugar-free, and go for this if you're after a deep, rich chocolately experience. The cream cheese icing includes some refined sugar (sugar being a minor ingredient in the cream cheese), and brings a salty tangy sweetness to the cupcake.
  • Cake mixture:
  • 1¾ cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup organic cocoa powder - its worth buying a good quality organic cocoa powder (in the UK, I buy Green & Black's organic cocoa powder)
  • 2 heaped tsp egg replacer
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tblsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cold-pressed oil
  • 1 cup brown rice malt
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 11 heaped tsp fruit-sweetened (no sugar) raspberry jam

  • Chocolate 'ganache' icing for 6 cupcakes (no sugar):
  • 9 tblsp raw white almond butter
  • 6 tblsp brown rice malt
  • 6 tsp cocoa
  • 3 tsp brown rice milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla essence

  • Cream cheese icing for 6 cupcakes (some sugar):
  • 10½ tblsp vegan cream cheese
  • 6 tsp brown rice malt
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Sift the dry cake ingredients together in a large bowl, and set aside.
  3. Pour the oil and brown rice malt into a small pan and gently warm over a low heat, stirring with a fork until the brown rice malt 'melts' into the oil (but before it bubbles).
  4. Take the pan off the heat, and use a fork to quickly mix in the rice milk and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, continuously stirring with a fork until well combined.
  6. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of batter in the paper cases, then put 1 heaped teaspoon of jam in the centre of each case, topping with approximately 1 tablespoon of batter (being sure to completely cover the jam).
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
  8. Cool in the tin for ten minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
  9. To make either icing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork.
  10. The icing can be either spooned or piped on. I used a large resealable plastic bag, squeezing the icing into one corner and cutting off the tip, to then pipe the icing onto the cupcakes.


Best ever sugar-free vegan brownies

Best ever sugar-free vegan brownies
After much experimenting and gallant taste-testing by friends, the best ever sugar-free vegan brownies have finally been perfected! Crispy toffee-chewy on the outside and gooey soft on the inside. In case you like even more chocolate in your brownies, try adding a couple of tablespoons of cocoa nibs into the dry ingredients - these will give the brownies a rich, dark chocolate flavour. You might like to try substituting the pecans for almonds. Makes 12 brownies (11 cm x 3 cm x 2 cm pan).
  • ⅔ cup whole pecans
  • ⅔ cup + 1½ tblsp organic cocoa powder - its worth buying a good quality organic cocoa powder (in the UK, I buy Green & Black's organic cocoa powder)
  • ½ cup + 1 tblsp wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2½ tblsp egg replacer
  • One pinch of sea salt
  • 4 tblsp sunflower or safflower oil
  • 1¼ cups of brown rice malt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Put pecans into a small dry skillet and lightly toast over a medium heat. When the pecans are just starting to brown, slide them out of the pan and onto a chopping board. Roughly chop, aiming for nice chunky pieces, and set aside.
  3. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl, adding the pecans, and set aside.
  4. Pour the oil and brown rice malt into a small pan and gently warm over a low heat, stirring with a fork until the brown rice malt 'melts' into the oil.
  5. Stir the vanilla into the oil and brown rice malt mixture, and then pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, continuously stirring with a fork until well combined.
  6. Line a brownie pan with grease proof baking paper and pour the mixture in.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, until the top of the brownies start to crisp (but toothpick still comes out wet).
  8. Take out of the oven and let the brownies cool in the pan (so they keep their shape).


Sugar-free vegan jam tarts

Sugar-free vegan jam tarts
These jam tarts will steal the show. The jam lends plenty of sweetness, but in case you'd like a little more, substitute the water in the pastry for apple juice. Pastry recipe is reproduced (with her kind permission) from Aine McAteer's 'Recipes to Nurture', one of the best wholefood cookbooks I've ever come across. Makes approximately 12 jam tarts, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
  • 3 cups spelt flour
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 large pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup safflower oil
  • ½ cup iced water to bind (or apple juice, in case a sweeter pastry is preferred)
  • Sugar-free jam of your choice (raspberry is my personal favorite)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Slowly pour in the oil, mixing with a fork until the mixture takes a bread crumb consistency.
  4. Drizzle in the cold water, continuing to mix with the fork, until the mixture binds and forms a ball.
  5. Lightly knead until the dough is smooth and pliable.
  6. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and put in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough out between two piece of baking paper (to avoid the dough sticking to the rolling pin) and then cut into shapes. To get a similar effect to the ones shown above, you'll need two cookie cutters in the same shape, one smaller than the other, to get the pretty picture frame effect.
  8. Half of the large heart pieces will be the base of the jam tarts, the other half will be used to create the 'picture frame' tops of the jam tarts.

  9. Cut a small heart out of one of the large heart pieces, to create the 'picture frame' top of the jam tart.

  10. Use a spatula to carefully lift the pastry shapes onto your baking tray. Be careful not to distort the shapes - but in case some of the shapes get stretched or compressed during the process, use the cookie cutter as a guide to push the pieces back into shape.
  11. Reform the dough from the leftover pieces, and then roll out again, cutting out more shapes until the dough is used up.
  12. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes, or until just turning golden.
  13. Take out of the oven and let the pastry cool slightly.
  14. Spread a teaspoon of jam over one of the 'base' pieces of pastry. Gently press one of the picture-frame pieces on top. Repeat until all of your jam tarts have been made.



Gingerbread people

Gingerbread people
Its always pleasing to serve up a nostalgic childhood treat, with all the flavours and textures that you remember, but none of the dairy, eggs or refined sugar. Makes 15 gingerbread people.
  • ½ cup of cold-pressed safflower or sunflower oil
  • ½ cup of barley malt syrup (brown rice syrup works too if that's all you have, but misses some of the golden syrup/molasses flavour)
  • 3½ cups of wholemeal spelt flour
  • Heaped ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Handful of currants (for dressing your gingerbread people)
  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, lightly whisking to get rid of any lumps (cheats way to whisk). Set aside.
  3. Combine all the wet ingredients in a small saucepan and gently heat to the point where the rice malt is just liquified, so its easier to stir into the dry ingredients. Avoid over-heating or the wet ingredients, or they will start cooking the dough when mixed with the dry ingredients.
  4. Using a fork, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Lightly knead into two separate balls. Wrap each ball in clingwrap and put into the refrigerator to cool the dough - 10-20 minutes will be enough.
  5. Roll your first dough ball out between two sheets of greaseproof baking paper to approximately ½ cm thick. Cut out your gingerbread people, placing onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Do the same with the second dough ball.
  6. Knead the leftovers from the two balls to make a third ball and continue cutting until all the dough is used. (Any scraps that can't be made into gingerbread people can be used to make a couple of bonus jam gingerbread tarts).
  7. Add the currants plus any other decorations (e.g. glitter) to 'dress' your gingerbread people.
  8. Bake for 7-9 minutes and cool on wire racks.




No-sugar vegan tarte tartin


No-sugar vegan tarte tartin
Apple desserts are my favorite. This one is so super sweet, you won't miss the sugar for a moment.
  • 6 small apples, cored, peeled and cut into 16 pieces each
  • ¼ cup of cold-pressed corn, safflower or sunflower oil (corn oil will give a sweeter result)
  • ½ cup of brown rice malt
  • ⅛ cup of apple juice concentrate
  • a pinch each of sea salt and ground cinnamon
  • 1 tblsp vanilla essence
  • 350 gram packet of ready-rolled puff pastry (look for a vegan and sugar-free brand)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190.
  2. Combine the oil, rice malt, apple juice concentrate, sea salt and cinnamon in an ovenproof pan, and put over a low heat. After around 5-10 minutes, the mixture will start to thicken and bubble, taking the consistency of toffee. Stir the apples in and cook until they just start to soften. Stir the vanilla in, and take off the heat.
  3. Arrange the apple pieces in the pan so they lie flat (use a wooden spoon to avoid burning your fingers), and lay the pastry over the top of the apples, tucking in the sides.
  4. Put into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden.
  5. While still hot (before the sauce cools down), place your serving dish on top of your pan, cover both forearms with tea towels (for protection, in case of spillage), and then quickly turn the pan upside down and onto the serving dish. Gently tap the bottom of the pan and voilà! your tarte tatin is served.
  6. Serve with coconut milk or cream.


Mini filo apple pies

I created these to fulfil the only McDonald's craving I ever get: apple pies. These pies are all about the luscious apple filling. So healthy, you're forgiven for eating three before they've cooled down!
  • 10 small apple pies
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp apple juice concentrate
  • Small handful of sultanas
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 300 grams filo pastry (if you search, you can find filo without sugar)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except the filo) in a large pot on the stove and cook over a low heat until the apples are just tender. Don't worry if the mixture seems dry, the juice from the apples will come out as they cook. Strain the mixture and set aside.
  3. Lay the filo sheets out flat and keep inside a towel to stop the pastry drying out.
  4. Set up your pie-making station: put an oiled, non-stick surface for making your pies in the centre, a shallow dish of olive oil to the side, drained pie filling to the other, and the towel-covered pastry on top.
  5. To make each pie: make a double-layered strip of pastry around 4 inches wide and oil both sides (dip your fingers in the oil and transfer to the pastry), then place a tablespoon of the mixture in a corner of the pastry strip and fold over into a triangle shape (see picture below). Dip your fingers in the oil again and smooth some oil over the pastry, and fold the pastry over again - and again, until you're left with a neat triangle shaped pastry. As you fold the pastry, stuff some extra apple pieces into the mixture if there is space. Put onto a tray covered in grease-proof baking paper and coat the pastry with more oil; the more oil, the crispier the pastry (I like mine less oily for everyday, but if I'm making these as a dessert then I'll use more oil throughout the process and add another layer or so of pastry). You'll end up with around 12 pastries.
  6. Bake at 160 degrees until golden, turning over half-way through baking. Cool on racks and enjoy hot or cold.


Lazy vegan scones with balsamic strawberries


Lazy vegan scones with balsamic strawberries
  • 2 cups of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 3 tsps of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 3½ tblsps of cold pressed oil (I like safflower or sunflower for the bonus nutrients, but olive oil is fine too)
  • 5 tblsps of brown rice malt (add more if you have a sweet tooth, but then reduce the volume of milk)
  • 100 mls of rice milk (I prefer rice milk for its sweetness, but soy works too)
  • 1 large punt of strawberries
  • A drizzle each of balsamic vinegar and brown rice malt.
  • 1 can soya spray cream
  1. Preheat oven to 220 C
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use your fingers to break up the baking powder and sea salt, and add to the flour. Then, rather than sifting (these are lazy scones after all), gently whisk the dry ingredients to combine.
  3. In a small pan, add the oil and rice malt, stirring with a fork, and gently heat. The aim is to melt the malt into the oil for easier mixing, so be sure to take the pan off the heat well before the rice malt bubbles.
  4. Using a fork, stir the oil and rice malt mixture into the dry ingredients, adding the milk as you go, until the dough is pliable but not too sticky. You might need to add a little extra flour or reserve some of the milk.
  5. Turn the dough onto a sheet of grease-proof paper and lightly knead. Put another piece of grease-proof paper on top and roll the dough out to approximately 2 cms thick. Cut into 4-5 cm wide circles and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for approximately 9 minutes or until golden.
  7. While the scones are baking, prepare your strawberries: simply slice your berries into a bowl, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and rice malt, lightly stir and let sit.
  8. Serve your scones with the balsamic strawberries and soya spray cream (raspberries and other berries optional).