Mellissa Morgan opened the first vegan baking in Brixton in 2011. My daughter, Molly, at one time skated at the temporary ice rink in Brixton, so we were lucky enough to find the bakery one Saturday. For Molly, who’s allergic to eggs and dairy, it was a wonderful experience. To be able to go into a bakery and choose what she wanted to eat, rather than simply take whatever option (if any) was suitable for her. The bakery display was wonderful, colourful, tempting – really like something out of a children’s book. We ended up buying a lot more than we could reasonably eat, and looked faintly ridiculous balancing skates and cake boxes as we made our way across London. It became a weekly ritual, a couple of hours skating, followed by cake. Sadly the rink moved back to Streatham and we could no longer get our weekly hit of baked goods.
The people at Square Peg publishing were kind enough to send me a copy to have a look at. It’s packed with a wide range of baking recipes (not just cupcakes) with recipes that are simple to follow and don’t call for a range of unusual or hard to find ingredients. That’s one of my bug bears with Vegan baking – ingredients that are difficult to find, or unusual. I’ve various flours and ingredients that I’ve tried once or twice, and then never again. They always seem super expensive, which is also one of my complaints, but I’ve none of these issues with the recipes by Mellissa Morgan.
Now to the cookbook.
There are a wide range of recipes – not just cupcakes, but cookies, bars and donuts as well. Some of these recipes are brilliant. I’ve tried lots and lots of recipes over the years and I can honestly say that the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and the Vegan Donut recipes are the best I’ve ever come across. Easy, reliable and give a great result every time.
There are also tips you can apply to other recipes, such as the crumble on the Blueberry and Almond crumble muffins. Its lovely added to the top of plain, or oatmeal muffins as well. My favourite cupcake recipe has got to be the Golden Syrup cupcakes, such a simple idea, and it produces a wonderfully moist, sweet cupcake.
Helpfully there are tips for vegan baking as well. Explaining that eggs are more forgiving as a leavening agent than baking powder, so for vegan baking you need to get the batter into the oven quickly so it rises properly, is great to know. Any tips that can be applied to all vegan baking are most welcome. These are the type of recipes that fool the dairy and egg folk, those that would scoff at a vegan cake. They really are simply wonderful recipes that anyone can follow and produce some great baked goods.
The more we have cookbooks like this, and bakeries that cater to those with allergies and food preferences the better. Do check out her website, or visit the bakery! They deliver too!
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Allergy UK is a great charity providing information and help for people with allergies.
Their hotline is staffed by wonderful people offering their help free of charge.
Their number is: 01322 619 898
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