Monday, 30 October 2017

Recipe | Vegan sponge birthday cake with edible flowers

Cooking is and always has been one of my favourite activities. The peaceful productivity of a quiet kitchen, pots and podcasts bubbling in the background, spices filing the air - it’s all my idea of time well spent. But… (and it’s a big one) I do cook every day, at least one meal but often more. When there are seven of us in the house, that’s 21 meals a day or 147 a week. That’s also when my interest begins to wain.

When it comes to shopping, I’m not tied to any one shop or supermarket. Whatever’s easiest is my motto, often this means an Aldi run after the school drop both for convenience and their low prices. There isn’t a huge amount of choice, however. It was only when I added some new potatoes to my Farmdrop order that I realised how homogenous supermarket produce can taste. Because these potatoes were incredible. Creamy and full of flavour, they were potatoes at their very best. And it made me reconsider a few things about where we buy our food.

Farmdrop is a brilliant new service that’s currently available in London, Bristol and Bath. Their ethos is to deliver quality produce sourced from local growers, producers and suppliers direct to your door. And on that, they do deliver. The options are a little limited at the moment (think an amplified Abel & Cole shop) with more becoming available as the company grows, but they are carefully chosen, ethical products that cover all bases. And the quality really makes it worthwhile. As well as fruit, veg, salad and veg boxes, you can also buy store cupboard staples, dairy and eggs, meat, wine and even pet food. Deliveries are made in the company’s electric vans (Vanimals) direct to your door within 19 hours of food leaving the farm, where farmers are paid a decent 75% of the retail price. All in all, these guys are good eggs.

So what’s this got to do with the great big cake up there? Well, the edible flowers were part of my Farmdrop order, delivered from the local Severn Project specialising in salads and herbs grown organically and locally. The flowers sat in their little tub, peering up at me for a few days until I decided what to do with them. I hope you’ll think I did them proud.

Farmdrop discount code vegan sponge cake recipe

Flower-topped celebration cake

100g vegan margarine
150g golden caster sugar
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200ml plant milk
Few drops vanilla essence (optional if making normal sponge)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm tin.
2. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix until everything is combined.
3. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes. It's ready when golden on top, firm and springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before icing.

For the icing:
70g vegan margarine
6 tbsp jam or fruit compote (I use St Dalfour jam which has no refined sugar)
100-200g icing sugar
Edible flowers

1. Cream together the margarine and the jam.
2. Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until you achieve the consistency you want.
3. Smooth over your cooled cake, then arrange your flowers.

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Farmdrop discount code vegan sponge cake recipe

If you’d like to try Farmdrop for yourself (I’d really recommend it) then you can use code OYSTERANDPEARL25 for £25 off your first order (minimum spend £50). Let me know what you think!

Pssst! Their Christmas shop is now live.

Want more vegan recipes?

Try these, including vegan waffles, vegan mock duck, smoothies, drinks, almond butter and breakfast ideas

Want more cake recipes?

Try these, including Welsh cakes, rose petal and strawberry sandwiches, plum, fig and almond cake, Earl Grey tea loaf and more

Farmdrop asked me to review their service and offered me a £40 shop to do so.
For more on how I work with brands, head over to my Work with me page.
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