Author: Suzanne James

Avocado & Chocolate Tart

It is amazing what you discover when you ‘go vegan’! Who’d have guessed you can make a chocolate tart with avocados?! It is possibly the easiest thing ever to make, and it is really delicious.   Avocado & Chocolate Tart – makes 12” tart Base 150g Medjool dates 120g Almonds 160g Gluten Free Oats 120g Vegetable Oil or Coconut Oil Filling 625g Avocado flesh 188g Maple Syrup 63g Cocoa Powder 250g Dark Chocolate (melted) 63g Coconut Oil 2 ½ tablespoons Vanilla Extract  A pinch of Cinnamon Topping Zest of one orange  Method Blitz the base ingredients together and press into a 12” tin.  Blind bake for about 15 minutes (but no need to use baking beans). Leave base to cool. Blitz all the filling ingredients together until well combined and smooth. Once the base has cooled add the filling to the tin and smooth the top. Place in fridge and leave to set. Garnish the top of the tart with the zest of one orange for a ‘jaffa cake’ effect! Enjoy! In season at this time of …

Filo Pastry Mince Pies

Filo Pastry Mince Pies Makes 12 mince pies  Ingredients (for the mince meat) 3 Granny Smiths (or other tart eating apples), peeled, cored and cut into 1cm / ½” chunks 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm / ½” chunks 100g / 3½oz raisins 100ml / 3½fl oz apple juice 75g / 2¾oz dried cranberries 50g / 1¾oz pecan nuts finely chopped 2 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cinnamon Pinch ground cloves Big pinch freshly grated nutmeg 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out 1 orange, zest only, finely grated 1cm / ½in piece fresh ginger, very finely chopped A few twists cracked black pepper 3 tbsp cider, calvados, rum or brandy (optional) Ingredients (for the pies) Vegetable oil, in a spray bottle 12 sheets filo pastry 1 egg, lightly beaten (alternatively use a little melted butter or vegetable oil) Icing sugar for dusting Method Preheat the oven to 1800C / 1600C(fan) / 3500F / Gas 4. Place a baking tray into the oven to heat up – this helps to stop your …

Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies

Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies Makes 9 Brownies In October we cooked for a wonderful Bride and Groom at a wedding that was attended by Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Greg Wise, Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Derek Jacobi, Ben Elton and many more. To accommodate quite a few special diets we created this wonderful Gluten Free Vegan Brownie! Ingredients 2 batches of flax eggs (2 tablespoons (14g) of flaxseed meal + 5 tablespoons (75ml) of water) Half a cup of melted coconut oil Half a cup of coconut sugar Quarter of a cup of maple syrup (or agave nectar) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Three quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder Quarter teaspoon sea salt Half cup unsweetened cocoa powder Three quarters of a cup of Gluten Free Oat Flour Quarter cup of corn meal One third of a cup of pecans or walnuts (optional) One third of a cup of vegan chocolate chips (optional) Method First preheat the oven to 3500F (1760C) and lightly grease an 8”x8” baking dish with coconut oil, then line with parchment …

Sausage, Pumpkin and Chilli Casserole

Sausage, Pumpkin and Chilli Casserole Preparation Time: Less than 30 mins Cooking Time 1-2 hours Serves 2  Ingredients 50g/1¾oz butter 6 good-quality sausages, pricked several times with a fork 1 onion, peeled, thinly sliced 3 shallots, peeled, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped about 1 tsp red chilli powder 1 small pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into equal-sized pieces 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 200g/7oz canned chopped tomatoes 400g/14oz canned cannellini (or borlotti) beans, drained, rinsed 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, to serve Preparation Preheat the oven to 1800C/350F/Gas 4 Heat half the butter in a large casserole over a medium heat and fry the sausages for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown all over. Add the remaining butter, the onions and shallots and fry for 3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and chilli powder and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring well. Add the pumpkin and stir the mixture well until combined. Increase the heat to high …

Sue’s Perfect Blackberry & Apple Pie

Who didn’t grow up with Blackberry and Apple Pie, it is a dish that makes many of us nostalgic and for me it also heralds the turning of the season. So, what makes the perfect Blackberry & Apple Pie? Everyone has a different view, but for me it comes down to ingredients. The perfect pastry, sweet English apples, and blackberries that have just enough acidity to contrast with the sugar-crusted pastry (shop bought blackberries are often much sweeter than wild ones). I am lucky as between the windfalls from my neighbor’s apple, Amanda’s allotment, and local hedgerows my house is well stocked with apples from September to November. Blackberries are around until the end of the month, so now is the time to make your pies! For preference I would always use a classic short crust pastry, light and not too sweet it will enhance the magical contents within, leaving that to be the star of the show. Plus, of course, it must stay crisp on top! Of course, my way may not be your …