VeganMoFo: Nostalgia - it's just as good as it was when you were a kid
I had planned for this post to be a nostalgia trip, a wallow in childhood food memories, followed by an attempt to veganise the foodstuffs I loved as a wee 'un.
So, I sat down and tried to remember just what food I loved as a kid. It was surprisingly hard - neither of my parents were overly keen on cooking when I was a kid and, being as it was the 80s and ready meals were just coming in to fashion, we ate a lot of processed food - chicken kievs and chips, a meat pie, or something from Marks and Spencer if it was a red letter day of some description.
There was also a lot of batch cooking in the interests of economy. Alas, it was mainly batches of 24 carat wrong.
I remember being regularly presented with watery spaghetti bolognaise (I still approach vegan versions with trepidation to this day) or with something involving liver that looked grey and tasted just the same.
But it wasn't all bad. Despite their scoffing at my decision to become vegetarian, and crying at my decision to become vegan, my parents crank out some amazing vegan food - a good roast round my parents was great when I was a kid and is still fabulous now it's animal free, and (hurrah) always comes with a hot pudding and some Swedish Glace at the end.
My dad makes the best baba ganoush going, and my mum has embraced vegan pudding making - greeting me after I arrived back home from five months in Central America with a vegan pecan pie.
Homemade puddings were a staple of our diet and keeping us busy on school holidays. I decided to get on my nostalgia trip by revisiting the simplest of puddings - the cornflake cake.
I would post a recipe, but who needs one? Put chocolate in a bain marie (double boiler to Stateside readers) until melted, stir in cornflakes (vegan ones, obv) and other crap, put into cases and leave to set.
There, that's the recipe. When I was little it was probably made cheapo milk chocolate and silver balls, now it's Montezuma dark chocolate, chopped figs and macadamia nuts.
Whatever you want to put in it, making these was the most fun I've had in the kitchen for a while - the sheer joy of getting hand and face covered in melted chocolate and having to lick it off, fighting the mixture from spoons into cases, smashing up the nuts and chocolate, making a mess and having something tasty as a result.
And, happily enough, the finished cake tastes just as wonderful as you remember from when you were two foot tall.